Unravelling the floral transition in Brassica oleracea using transcriptomics

Woodhouse, Shannon (2021) Unravelling the floral transition in Brassica oleracea using transcriptomics. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Brassica oleracea is an economically important crop species that exhibits extensive morphological diversity. The harvestable product can be vegetative or floral tissues, therefore understanding the genetic basis of the floral transition is an important goal for growers and breeders. Current knowledge of the floral transition largely stems from work in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana. Efforts to translate knowledge from this model into B. oleracea are complicated by the fact this species is a mesopolyploid and consequently contains multiple paralogues of many genes.

Here we present results from phenotyping a diverse set of 69 B. oleracea lines for heading and flowering traits under a range of conditions. We present a novel associative transcriptomics pipeline and use it to analyse the phenotyping results, identifying candidates for vernalisation response in miR172D and BoFLC.C2. Furthermore, we present a transcriptome time series experiment to investigate gene expression across the floral transition in B. oleracea and identify a critical point in floral initiation, at which we see enrichment for gene ontology terms associated with meristem identity. Finally, we adapt an existing method for the comparison of gene expression profiles between A. thaliana and B. oleracea and find that expression between the two species is largely similar but differently synchronised, but we identify differences in expression profiles between paralogues of key floral genes.

This thesis provides a novel associative transcriptomics pipeline for B. oleracea to identify candidates for complex traits. Using flowering time as an example trait, we identify key candidates for the vernalisation response in B. oleracea. Furthermore, we provide transcriptome time series data to investigate the floral transition in B. oleracea and demonstrate that gene expression dynamics for many genes are similar between A. thaliana and B. oleracea, but differently synchronised. These results provide a valuable foundation for understanding flowering time in B. oleracea.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2022 11:36
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2022 11:36
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/85951


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