Expression analysis of vernalization and day-length response genes in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) indicates that VRNH2 is a repressor of PPDH2 (HvFT3) under long days

M. Cristina Casao, Ernesto Igartua, Ildiko Karsai, José Manuel Lasa, M. Pilar Gracia, Ana M. Casas

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The response to vernalization and the expression of genes associated with responses to vernalization (VRNH1, VRNH2, and VRNH3) and photoperiod (PPDH1 and PPDH2) were analysed in four barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) lines: 'Alexis' (spring), 'Plaisant' (winter), SBCC058, and SBCC106 (Spanish inbred lines), grown under conditions of vernalization and short days (VSD) or no vernalization and long days (NVLD). The four genotypes differ in VRNH1. Their growth habits and responses to vernalization correlated with the level of expression of VRNH1 and the length of intron 1. 'Alexis' and 'Plaisant' behaved as expected. SBCC058 and SBCC106 showed an intermediate growth habit and flowered relatively late in the absence of vernalization. VRNH1 expression was induced by cold for all genotypes. Under VSD, VRNH1 expression was detected in the SBCC genotypes later than in 'Alexis' but earlier than in 'Plaisant'. VRNH2 was repressed under short days while VRNH1 expression increased in parallel. VRNH3 was detected only in 'Alexis' under NVLD, whereas it was not expressed in plants with the active allele of VRNH2 (SBCC058 and 'Plaisant'). Under VSD, PPDH2 was expressed in 'Alexis', SBCC058, and SBCC106, but it was only expressed weakly in 'Alexis' under NVLD. Further analysis of PPDH2 expression in two barley doubled haploid populations revealed that, under long days, HvFT3 and VRNH2 expression levels were related inversely. The timing of VRNH2 expression under a long photoperiod suggests that this gene might be involved in repression of PPDH2 and, indirectly, in the regulation of flowering time through an interaction with the day-length pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1939-1949
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of experimental botany
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2011



  • Barley
  • Mediterranean conditions
  • gene expression
  • landraces
  • photoperiod
  • vernalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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