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Molecular Genetics and Breeding of Forest Trees (MGBFT)

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Introduction to the laboratory

My research group is focused on increasing the yield potential of two woody oil plants Jatropha curcas and Plukenetia volubilis through manipulating floral development and sex expression.

Cover story: Gibberellin inhibits floral initiation in the perennial woody plant Jatropha curcas

Gibberellin is an important phytohormone and has been reported to promote flowering
in annual and biennial plants, but may play an opposite role in woody perennial plants. In this issue,
Li et al. (on pp. 999−1006) reported that exogenous application of gibberellin inhibited flowering of the
perennial biofuel plant Jatropha curcas, whereas gibberellin biosynthesis inhibitors promoted
flowering. And the promotive effect of the gibberellin biosynthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol on floral
initiation in J. curcas could be diminished by gibberellin treatment. This work indicates that gibberellin
acts as an inhibitor in floral initiation of J. curcas, which could shed light on the mechanism of floral
transition in J. curcas and other perennial plants.
Cover image shows an inflorescence of J. curcas stimulated by exogenous application of the gibberellin
biosynthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol. Image supplied by J. Li, B.-Z. Pan and Z.-F. Xu (Xishuangbanna
Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences).

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