Developmental responses of bread wheat to changes in ambient temperature following deletion of a locus that includes FLOWERING LOCUS T1

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FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) is a central integrator of environmental signals that regulates the timing of vegetative to reproductive transition in flowering plants. In model plants, these environmental signals have been shown to include photoperiod, vernalization and ambient temperature pathways, whilst in crop species the integration of the ambient temperature pathway remains less well understood. In hexaploid wheat, at least 5 FT-like genes have been identified, each with a copy on the A, B and D genomes. Here we report the characterization of FT-B1 through analysis of FT-B1 null and over-expression genotypes under different ambient temperature conditions. This analysis has identified that the FT-B1 alleles perform differently under diverse environmental conditions; most notably the FT-B1 null produces an increase in spikelet and tiller number when grown at lower temperature conditions. Additionally, absence of FT-B1 facilitates more rapid germination under both light and dark conditions. These results provide an opportunity to understand the FT-dependent pathways that underpin key responses of wheat development to changes in ambient temperature. This is particularly important for wheat, for which development and grain productivity is sensitive to changes in temperature.&nbsp