Editors' ChoicePlant biology

A Time to Grow, a Time to Crop

Science's STKE  15 Nov 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 310, pp. tw410
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3102005tw410

Barley is a very adaptable grain crop that can be grown from the Arctic Circle to subequatorial near-desert regions. Part of barley's success derives from its diverse strains, which have various responses to changes in photoperiod. Turner et al. have now identified the Ppd-H1 gene of barley and find that it participates in the coordinate regulation of flowering by circadian clocks and seasonal photoperiod. A spring variety of barley shows reduced photoperiod response caused by a mutation in this gene that delays its flowering. Instead, the plant accumulates the vegetative mass required to produce more grain.

A. Turner, J. Beales, S. Faure, R. P. Dunford, D. A. Laurie, The pseudo-response regulator Ppd-H1 provides adaptation to photoperiod in barley. Science 310, 1031-1034 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]