The Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology
Vol. 88 No: 1
Physiology and genetics of flowering in cultivated and wild strawberries - a review
O.M. HEIDE, J.A. STAVANG and A. SØNSTEBY
Two main categories of flowering and fruiting habits exist in strawberry: 1) seasonal flowering (SF) genotypes which produce only one flush of flowering and fruiting in the Spring; and 2) recurrent flowering or everbearing (EB) genotypes which, in addition to a spring flush, produce more or less continuous flowering and fruiting throughout the growing season.
Both types are represented in the octoploid cultivated strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa Duch., as well as in the diploid wood strawberry, F. vesca L. Independent of ploidy level, SF genotypes have proved to be basically short-day (SD) plants, while EB genotypes are basically long-day (LD) plants.
However, flower induction is controlled in both groups, by a pronounced interaction of photoperiod and temperature, which has complicated resolution of the underlying response mechanisms.
At low temperatures (< 10ºC), both SF and EB genotypes are essentially day-neutral, while, at higher temperatures, they exhibit contrasting photoperiodic responses.
Significant progress has been made in elucidating the genetic factors and molecular mechanisms underlying the complex flowering responses of strawberry, using the diploid F. vesca as a model plant.
Many of the central genetic components of the flowering pathways which are known in Arabidopsis thaliana have also been identified in strawberry.
A major breakthrough was identification of the SFL (SEASONAL FLOWERING LOCUS) gene in F. vesca as a homologue of the Arabidopsis TERMINAL FLOWER1 (FvTFL1) gene, and the recent demonstration of its function as a genetic switch controlling the opposite photoperiodic responses of the SF and EB genotypes of strawberry.
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