Reduction of the geomagnetic field delays Arabidopsis thaliana flowering time through downregulation of flowering-related genes.

21 Jun 2018

Variations in magnetic field (MF) intensity are known to induce plant morphological and gene expression changes. In Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0, near-null magnetic field (NNMF, i.e., <100 nT MF) causes a delay in the transition to flowering, but the expression of genes involved in this response has been poorly studied. Here, we showed a time-course quantitative analysis of the expression of both leaf (including clock genes, photoperiod pathway, GA20ox, SVP, and vernalization pathway) and floral meristem (including GA2ox, SOC1, AGL24, LFY, AP1, FD, and FLC) genes involved in the transition to flowering in A. thaliana under NNMF. NNMF induced a delayed flowering time and a significant reduction of leaf area index and flowering stem length, with respect to controls under geomagnetic field. Generation experiments (F1 - and F2 -NNMF) showed retention of flowering delay. The quantitative expression (qPCR) of some A. thaliana genes expressed in leaves and floral meristem was studied during transition to flowering. In leaves and flowering meristem, NNMF caused an early downregulation of clock, photoperiod, gibberellin, and vernalization pathways and a later downregulation of TSF, AP1, and FLC. In the floral meristem, the downregulation of AP1, AGL24, FT, and FLC in early phases of floral development was accompanied by a downregulation of the gibberellin pathway. The progressive upregulation of AGL24 and AP1 was also correlated to the delayed flowering by NNMF. The flowering delay is associated with the strong downregulation of FT, FLC, and GA20ox in the floral meristem and FT, TSF, FLC, and GA20ox in leaves. Bioelectromagnetics. 39:361-374, 2018. © 2018 The Authors. Bioelectromagnetics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.