A wheat homolog of MOTHER OF FT AND TFL1 acts in the regulation of germination

Plant Cell. 2011 Sep;23(9):3215-29. doi: 10.1105/tpc.111.088492. Epub 2011 Sep 6.


Seed dormancy is an adaptive mechanism and an important agronomic trait. Temperature during seed development strongly affects seed dormancy in wheat (Triticum aestivum) with lower temperatures producing higher levels of seed dormancy. To identify genes important for seed dormancy, we used a wheat microarray to analyze gene expression in embryos from mature seeds grown at lower and higher temperatures. We found that a wheat homolog of MOTHER OF FT AND TFL1 (MFT) was upregulated after physiological maturity in dormant seeds grown at the lower temperature. In situ hybridization analysis indicated that MFT was exclusively expressed in the scutellum and coleorhiza. Mapping analysis showed that MFT on chromosome 3A (MFT-3A) colocalized with the seed dormancy quantitative trait locus (QTL) QPhs.ocs-3A.1. MFT-3A expression levels in a dormant cultivar used for the detection of the QTL were higher after physiological maturity; this increased expression correlated with a single nucleotide polymorphism in the promoter region. In a complementation analysis, high levels of MFT expression were correlated with a low germination index in T1 seeds. Furthermore, precocious germination of isolated immature embryos was suppressed by transient introduction of MFT driven by the maize (Zea mays) ubiquitin promoter. Taken together, these results suggest that MFT plays an important role in the regulation of germination in wheat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Germination / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Dormancy*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / growth & development*
  • Temperature
  • Triticum / genetics*
  • Triticum / metabolism


  • Plant Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB571512
  • GENBANK/AB571513
  • GENBANK/GQ339780
  • GEO/GPL9805
  • GEO/GSE22786