Shoot branching and flowering time are important traits that determine plant shoot architecture, reproductive capacities, and yield. However, the mechanisms of interaction between the flowering and branching networks in plants are not fully elucidated. This investigation seeks to determine if the major flowering genes DIE NEUTRALIS (DNE)/EARLY FLOWERING4 (ELF4), LATE BLOOMER1 (LATE1)/GIGANTEA, LATE FLOWERING (LF)/TERMINAL FLOWERING 1c (TFL1c) and FLOWERING LOCUST (FT) are involved in the coordinated regulation of branching and flowering, and to integrate LF/TFL1, DNE, LATE1, and FT into the models for regulation of bud outgrowth in model species Pisum sativum (garden pea) and Arabidopsis thaliana (arabidopsis). Double mutant analyses revealed that dne and lf-22 prevent and/or delay bud outgrowth in strigolactone biosynthesis (rms1) and strigolactone signaling (rms3, rms4) mutants in pea. To determine if the effects of flowering genes on branching are conserved across species, the phenotype of flowering mutants in arabidopsis will be examined to identify any variations in flowering, branching, and vegetative growth. Collectively, our findings will provide more insight into the mechanisms of interactions between these pathways, which will ultimately help breeders to predict and optimize flowering and branching responses in different environments to improve crop yield and reproductive success. 

Funding: CSI RO PhD Top-up Scholarship (Additional support for Living Allowance, Training and Development, and other Operational Expenses from January 2023 - 2026). 

Project members

Olalekan Amoo

PHD candidate
School of Agriculture and Food Sustainability