Comparative transcriptomics indicates a role for SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) genes in Mimulus guttatus vernalization response

Jill C. Preston, Jinshun Zhong, Meghan McKeown, Meghan den Bakker, Jannice Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The timing of reproduction in response to variable environmental conditions is critical to plant fitness, and is a major driver of taxon differentiation. In the yellow monkey flower, Mimulus guttatus, geographically distinct North American populations vary in their photoperiod and chilling (vernalization) requirements for flowering, suggesting strong local adaptation to their surroundings. Previous analyses revealed quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying short-day mediated vernalization responsiveness using two annual M. guttatus populations that differed in their vernalization response. To narrow down candidate genes responsible for this variation, and to reveal potential downstream genes, we conducted comparative transcriptomics and quantitative PCR (qPCR) in shoot apices of parental vernalization responsive IM62, and unresponsive LMC24 inbred lines grown under different photoperiods and temperatures. Our study identified several metabolic, hormone signaling, photosynthetic, stress response, and flowering time genes that are differentially expressed between treatments, suggesting a role for their protein products in short-day-mediated vernalization responsiveness. Only a small subset of these genes intersected with candidate genes from the previous QTL study, and, of the main candidates tested with qPCR under nonpermissive conditions, only SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) gene expression met predictions for a population-specific short-day-repressor of flowering that is repressed by cold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1239-1249
Number of pages11
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Flowering time
  • Local adaptation
  • Mimulus guttatus
  • Photoperiod
  • Vernalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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