Molecular aspects of vernalization in temperate cereals

01/2022 - 12/2024
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Principle investigator
Co-principle investigator
Vernalization is a process accelerating flowering in many plants after an extended period of cold. This important phenomenon is regulated both genetically and epigenetically. However, the molecular mechanism of vernalization in temperate cereal remains still elusive. This project aims to study a mechanism of vernalization as a response to a DNA sequence change of the VRN-1 gene including the following changes in chromatin structure. We will analyze VRN-1 functions using reporter and CRISPR/Cas9 edited mutant lines by determining expression, epigenetic profile, and immunolocalization of the VRN-1 during vernalization. Additionally, we will study VRN-1 cis-regulatory sequences in other temperate cereals. Finally, we will map the
candidate genes influencing vernalization in bread wheat and barley by a forward-directed genetic approach. Owing to the new technologies and plant materials, we can study the regulation of the VRN-1 gene more comprehensively than before. This project will substantially improve our understanding of vernalization processes in wheat and barley.