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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Characterization of Environmental Effects on Flowering and Plant Architecture in an Everbearing Strawberry F1-Hybrid by Meristem Dissection and Gene Expression Analysis

Samad, Samia; Rivero, Rodmar; Kalyandurg, Pruthvi Balachandra; Vetukuri, Ramesh Raju; Heide, Ola M.; Sonsteby, Anita; Khalil, Sammar


Floral transition in the cultivated everbearing strawberry is a hot topic because these genotypes flower perpetually and are difficult to maintain in a non-flowering state. However, it has rarely been studied using morphogenetic and molecular analyses simultaneously. We therefore examined the morphogenetic effects and the activation of genes involved in floral induction and initiation in seedlings of an everbearing F1-hybrid. Seedlings were grown at 12, 19, and 26 degrees C under 10 h SD and 20 h LD conditions. We observed a strong environmental influence on meristem development and a FLOWERING LOCUS T1 (FaFT1)-SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS1 (FaSOC1) pathway similar to that in the everbearing woodland strawberry. The everbearing cultivar showed typical features of a quantitative LD plant, flowering earlier under LD than SD conditions at all temperatures. We also found that floral induction is facilitated by FaFT1 upregulation under LD conditions, while FaSOC1 upregulation in the apex leads to photoperiod-independent floral initiation. Moreover, we confirmed the strawberry meristem identity gene FaFUL can also be used as an early indicator of floral initiation in EB cultivars. This study also highlights the advantages of seed-propagated F1-hybrids in genetic studies, namely that they are genetically identical and not biased by a previous flowering history.


everbearing strawberry; floral induction; floral initiation; flowering; Fragaria x ananassa Duch; photoperiod; temperature

Published in

2022, Volume: 8, number: 7, article number: 626Publisher: MDPI