Control of flowering time in temperate cereals: genes, domestication, and sustainable productivity

J Exp Bot. 2007;58(6):1231-44. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erm042. Epub 2007 Apr 9.


The control of flowering is central to reproductive success in plants, and has a major impact on grain yield in crop species. The global importance of temperate cereal crops such as wheat and barley has meant emphasis has long been placed on understanding the genetics of flowering in order to enhance yield. Leads gained from the dissection of the molecular genetics of model species have combined with comparative genetic approaches, recently resulting in the isolation of the first flowering time genes in wheat and barley. This paper reviews the genetics and genes involved in cereal flowering pathways and the current understanding of how two of the principal genes, Vrn and Ppd, have been involved in domestication and adaptation to local environments, and the implications for future breeding programmes are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Edible Grain / genetics*
  • Edible Grain / physiology*
  • Flowers / genetics
  • Flowers / physiology*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Photoperiod