Functional and Evolutionary Characterization of the CONSTANS-like Family in Lilium×formolongi

Yu Fan Li, Yu Qian Zhao, Meng Zhang, Gui Xia Jia, Michele Zaccai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Lilium×formolongi is a facultative long-day (LD) plant. Aiming to dissect the molecular regulation of the photoperiodic pathway, largely unknown in Lilium, we explored the CONSTANS/FLOWERING LOCUS T (CO/FT) module, a major regulatory factor in the external coincidence model of the photoperiodic flowering pathway in lily. We identified eight CONSTANS-LIKE (COL) family members in L.×formolongi, which could be divided into three types, according to their zinc-finger (B-box) protein domains. Type I included only LfCOL5, containing two B-box motifs. Type II contained six LfCOLs members that had only one B-box motif. Type III contained only LfCOL9 that showed a normal B-box and a second divergent B-box motif. Phylogenic analyses revealed that LfCOL5 was the closest to Arabidopsis CO. LfCOL5, LfCOL6 and LfCOL9 were up-regulated at the flowering induction stage under LDs, coinciding with an increase in LfFT1 expression. LfCOL5, LfCOL6 and LfCOL9 also showed obvious diurnal expression pattern for 3 d under LDs. However, under short-day (SD) conditions, the expression patterns of LfCOL5, LfCOL6 and LfCOL9 were variable and complex, with regard to the developmental stages and circadian rhythm. LfCOL5, LfCOL6 and LfCOL9 complemented the late flowering phenotype of the co mutant in Arabidopsis. Taken together, the results suggest that LfCOL5, LfCOL6 and LfCOL9 are involved in triggering flowering induction under LDs. LfCOL6 and LfCOL9 belong to types different from functional COL homologs in other plant species, illustrating the variation in phylogeny, evolution and gene function among LfCOL family members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1874-1888
Number of pages15
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Diurnal expression
  • Flowering time
  • Lilium×formolongi
  • Photoperiod

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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