Control of flowering and the regulation of plant architecture have been thoroughly investigated in a number of well-studied dicot plants such as Arabidopsis, Antirrhinum, and tobacco. However, in many important monocot seen crops, molecular information on plant reproduction is still limited. To investigate the regulation of meristem identity and the control of floral transition in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) we isolated a ryegrass TERMINAL FLOWER1-like gene, LpTFL1, and characterized it for its function in ryegrass flower development. Perennial ryegrass requires a cold treatment of at least 12 weeks to induce flowering. During this period a decrease in LpTFL1 message was detected in the ryegrass apex. However, upon subsequent induction with elevated temperatures and long-day photoperiods, LpTFL1 message levels increased and reached a maximum M:hen the ryegrass apex has formed visible spikelets. Arabidopsis plants overexpressing LpTFL1 were significantly delayed in flowering and exhibited dramatic changes in architecture such as extensive lateral branching, increased growth of all vegetative organs, and a highly increased trichome production. Furthermore, overexpression of LpTFL1 was able to complement the phenotype of the severe tfl1-14 mutant of Arabidopsis. Analysis of the LptTFL1 promoter fused to the UidA gene in Arabidopsis revealed that the promoter is active in axillary meristems, but not the apical meristem. Therefore, we suggest that LpTFL1 is a repressor of flowering and a controller of axillary meristem identity in ryegrass.
Jensen, C. S., Salchert, K., & Nielsen, K. K. (2001). A ¤Terminal Flower-1¤-like gene from perennial ryegrass involved in floral transition and axillary meristem identity. Plant Physiology, 125(3), 1517-1528. https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.125.3.1517