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Genetics of plant flowering

25 Nov, 2010

Joanna Putterill is investigating the genes that control flowering in plants and how day length and temperature affect their expression.

Listen to audio: Genetics of plant flowering

Duration: 12:41

Joanna Putterill heads the Flowering Lab in the Plant Molecular Science Research Group at Auckland University. She uses molecular genetics to study how flowering is regulated in plants and is particularly interested in how external cues, such as increasing day length in spring, work to trigger flowering.

Triggering plant flowering

Temperature and day length can trigger plants to flower in the spring. Also, in some plants, low winter temperatures, or vernalisation, may be necessary before flowering. Joanna has used a well characterised model plant called Arabidopsis thaliana to identify the genes involved in these processes.

Joanna has just received a Marsden grant, titled Springing into Flower after Winter, to look at the effect of low winter temperatures in triggering flowering in a new model plant, the legume Medicago truncatula.

Applications of flowering genes

Flowering-related genes may become important genetic markers to enable plant breeders to create new strains of plants that can flower at specific times.

Programme details: Our Changing World

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