WARF: P00168US

Alteration of Flowering Time in Plants


Richard Amasino, Scott Michaels, Fritz Schomburg, Katia Scortecci, Si-Bum Sung

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a unique tool for altering the timing of flowering in plants.
OVERVIEWThe transition between vegetative growth and flowering (reproduction) represents a major developmental shift in the plant life cycle.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed a unique tool for altering the timing of flowering in plants, allowing plant breeders to control the growth and development of agriculturally and horticulturally important species. The researchers characterized novel genes, the flowering locus C (FLC) gene and relatives of FLC, from Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica rapa, which play a significant role in the delay of flowering. In experiments with Arabidopsis, genetically modified plants lacking FLC activity or activity of an FLC relative flowered significantly earlier than wild-type. In addition, plants over-expressing the FLC gene or relatives took substantially longer to flower or did not flower at all, and showed large (i.e. 10-fold) increases in biomass.
  • Allows the creation of transgenic plants in which the timing of the flowering is selectively accelerated or delayed depending on the needs of the grower.
  • Hybrid seed production could be made easier by controlling flowering in one or both parents.
  • Delay of flowering may be used to increase the vegetative growth and yield of vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, potatoes and beets, and of forage crops, such as alfalfa and clover.
  • High sequence similarity among FLC genes from Arabidopsis and Brassica indicates that FLC genes from one species should be readily expressed in others, allowing the creation of transgenic varieties of commercially important species.
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTModification of FLC expression and relatives of FLC has been used successfully both to accelerate and delay flowering in Arabidopsis.
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at or 608-960-9842.
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