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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01873

Environmentally sensitive molecular switches drive poplar phenology

  • 1Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Faculty of Forest Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
  • 2Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), Spain

Boreal and temperate woody perennials are highly adapted to their local climate, which delimits the length of the growing period. Moreover, seasonal control of growth-dormancy cycles impacts tree productivity and geographical distribution. Therefore, traits related to phenology are of great interest to tree breeders and particularly relevant in the context of global warming. The recent application of transcriptional profiling and genetic association studies to poplar species has provided a robust molecular framework for investigating molecules with potential links to phenology. The environment dictates phenology by modulating the expression of endogenous molecular switches, the identities of which are currently under investigation. This review outlines the current knowledge of these molecular switches in poplar and covers several perspectives concerning the environmental control of growth-dormancy cycles. In the process, we highlight certain genetic pathways which are affected by short days, low temperatures and cold-induced signaling.

Keywords: poplar, adaptive response, Cold response, Circadian clock, short day, low ambient temperature, bud set, winter dormancy

Received: 30 Jul 2018; Accepted: 04 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Ronald R. Sederoff, North Carolina State University, United States

Reviewed by:

Hairong Wei, Michigan Technological University, United States
Maria V. Arana, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina  

Copyright: © 2018 MAURYA, Triozzi, Bhalerao and Perales. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Rishikesh P. Bhalerao, Department of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Faculty of Forest Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden, Rishi.Bhalerao@slu.se
Dr. Mariano P. Perales, Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain, mariano.perales@upm.es