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Association of dwarfism and floral induction with a grape ‘green revolution’ mutation

Abstract

The transition from vegetative to reproductive growth is an essential process in the life cycle of plants. Plant floral induction pathways respond to both environmental and endogenous cues and much has been learnt about these genetic pathways by studying mutants of Arabidopsis1,2. Gibberellins (GAs) are plant growth regulators important in many aspects of plant growth and in Arabidopsis they promote flowering3,4,5. Here we provide genetic evidence that GAs inhibit flowering in grapevine. A grapevine dwarf mutant derived from the L1 cell layer of the champagne cultivar Pinot Meunier produces inflorescences along the length of the shoot where tendrils are normally formed. The mutated gene associated with the phenotype is a homologue of the wheat ‘green revolution’ gene Reduced height-1 (ref. 6) and the Arabidopsis gene GA insensitive (GAI)7. The conversion of tendrils to inflorescences in the mutant demonstrates that the grapevine tendril is a modified inflorescence inhibited from completing floral development by GAs.

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Figure 1: The L1 plant produces inflorescences instead of tendrils.
Figure 2: Mutant phenotypes.
Figure 3: The Vvgai1 point mutation results in an amino-acid substitution.

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Acknowledgements

We thank R. King and A. Poole for the GA analyses by GC–MS; T. Franks for plant material; S. McClure for help with the scanning electron mictroscopy; and D. MacKenzie and C. Reich for technical assistance. This work was supported in part by the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, Dried Fruits Research and Development Council and the Cooperative Research Centre for Viticulture.

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Correspondence to Mark R. Thomas.

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Boss, P., Thomas, M. Association of dwarfism and floral induction with a grape ‘green revolution’ mutation. Nature 416, 847–850 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/416847a

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