Genetics of flowering time variation
Flowering time is a trait of considerable adaptive and agricultural value. Molecular and developmental geneticists have defined many of the genes that potentially govern the different flowering time pathways in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, mainly through mutational analyses. However, it is still not known what roles the different pathways and the genes within the pathways have in governing flowering time variation in natural populations of A. thaliana or other species, with rare exceptions.
We use a variety of methods to identify genes that control variation in flowering time in several plant species, e.g., A. thaliana, Brassica spp. and Capsella bursa-pastoris. Methods include QTL and association mapping, analysis of gene expression and population genetic analysis of sequence variation.