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A Petunia homeodomain-leucine zipper protein, PhHD-Zip, plays an important role in flower senescence.

  • Author(s): Chang, Xiaoxiao;
  • Donnelly, Linda;
  • Sun, Daoyang;
  • Rao, Jingping;
  • Reid, Michael S;
  • Jiang, Cai-Zhong
  • et al.
Abstract

Flower senescence is initiated by developmental and environmental signals, and regulated by gene transcription. A homeodomain-leucine zipper transcription factor, PhHD-Zip, is up-regulated during petunia flower senescence. Virus-induced gene silencing of PhHD-Zip extended flower life by 20% both in unpollinated and pollinated flowers. Silencing PhHD-Zip also dramatically reduced ethylene production and the abundance of transcripts of genes involved in ethylene (ACS, ACO), and ABA (NCED) biosynthesis. Abundance of transcripts of senescence-related genes (SAG12, SAG29) was also dramatically reduced in the silenced flowers. Over-expression of PhHD-Zip accelerated petunia flower senescence. Furthermore, PhHD-Zip transcript abundance in petunia flowers was increased by application of hormones (ethylene, ABA) and abiotic stresses (dehydration, NaCl and cold). Our results suggest that PhHD-Zip plays an important role in regulating petunia flower senescence.

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