Research objectives and content
The floral transition is a fundamental developmental switch in the plant life cycb. fca Arabidopsis mutantsexihibit delayed flowering under inductive lon8 days. The FCA protein contains two RNA-binding domains and a putative WW domain which could mediate protein-protein interaction. The FCA protein is likely to function as a post-transcnptional regulator. The research project will address two questions. Firstly, when and where the FCA protein is required in the plant to control the floral transition ? The bacteriophage loxP/Cie site-specific recombination system will be use to generate FCA +GUS- sectors in anfca GUS+ background. In silu staining of GUS activity in plants of wild-type phenotype will indicate where the FCA function is precisely required. In parrallel, a chimeric FCA-GRE protein of which expression will be triggered at specific stages of plant development by watering plants with steroid will also be constructed. Secondly, to which molecular partners does the FCA protein bind in vivo ? We plan to identify RNA sequence motifs using the SELEX procedure that have high affinity for the FCA protein. Two-hybrid studies will put forward proteins that specifically interact with the FCA protein.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The proposed experiments involve a large variety of molecular biological, plant genetic and plant cell biological work, most of which I have no experience with. For me working in Dr. Dean's lab would mean an excellent chance to work in a laboratory which has got a leading role in Arabidopsis research. It will give me the opportunity to interact with the many scientists of the John Innes Centre. A post doctoral fellowship in Dr. Dean's lab will greatly improve my intellectual and technical capabilities and is likely to give an important impaa in my career as a scientisL Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
The project is part of a Framework IV project entitled Genetic Manipulation of Flowering which is funding a successful collaborative effort between different labs. Moreover, four European companies are involved in the FCA project (Plant Genetic System, RijksZwaan, Van der Have and Zeneca agrochemicals) who wish to use the FCA gene and its partners to manipulate flowering time in transgenic crops.