Mol Biol Rep 39(4): 3737-46.(Apr 2012)
The Expression Level of Rosa Terminal Flower 1 (RTFL1) Is Related With Recurrent Flowering in Roses
Li-Na Wang, Yun-Feng Liu, Yu-Man Zhang, Rong-Xiang Fang, Qing-Lin Liu

We examined the relationship between the recurrent flowering character and the expression patterns of TERMINAL FLOWER 1 (TFL1) homologs in roses, using flower buds of Rosa multiflora, R. rugosa, R. chinensis, and six other rose species and nine rose cultivars. RTFL1 (Rosa TFL1) genes were amplified from rose genomic DNA using a combination of degenerate and gene-specific primers by thermal asymmetric interlaced-PCR and normal PCR, respectively. Their copy numbers in different species were determined by Southern blots. We used real-time PCR to analyze the expression patterns of RTFL1 genes at four developmental stages (pre-sprouting, young, mid-aged, and mature flower buds). Our results show that there are at least three RTFL1 homologs in roses; RTFL1a, RTFL1b, and RTFL1c. The sequences of the homologs were more similar among the same homolog in different species than among the different homologs in the same species. For RTFL1a, we detected two copies in R. multiflora, two copies in R. rugosa, and one copy in R. chinensis. For RTFL1c, we detected one copy in R. multiflora, two copies in R. rugosa, and three copies in R. chinensis. We detected only one copy of RTFL1b in R. chinensis. RTFL1c was expressed at high levels at all four flowering stages in R. multiflora and R. rugosa, which are non-recurrent flowering species, whereas it was barely detected in R. chinensis (a recurrent flowering species) at any stage. These results were further verified in six other non-recurrent flowering species and nine recurrent flowering cultivars. These results suggest that the recurrent flowering habit in roses results from lower expression of RTFL1c, which may be related to recurrent flowering character in roses.