Characterization of the Ghd8 Flowering Time Gene in a Mini-Core Collection of Miscanthus sinensis

Zhihui Guo, Meilan Xu, Hironori Nagano, Lindsay V. Clark, Erik J. Sacks, Toshihiko Yamada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The optimal flowering time for bioenergy crop Miscanthus is essential for environmental adaptability and biomass accumulation. However, little is known about how genes controlling flowering in other grasses contribute to flowering regulation in Miscanthus. Here, we report on the sequence characterization and gene expression of Miscanthus sinensis Ghd8, a transcription factor encoding a HAP3/NF-YB DNA-binding domain, which has been identified as a major quantitative trait locus in rice, with pleiotropic effects on grain yield, heading date and plant height. In M. sinensis, we identified two homoeologous loci, MsiGhd8A located on chromosome 13 and MsiGhd8B on chromosome 7, with one on each of this paleo-allotetraploid species’ subgenomes. A total of 46 alleles and 28 predicted protein sequence types were identified in 12 wild-collected accessions. Several variants of MsiGhd8 showed a geographic and latitudinal distribution. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that MsiGhd8 expressed under both long days and short days, and MsiGhd8B showed a significantly higher expression than MsiGhd8A. The comparison between flowering time and gene expression indicated that MsiGhd8B affected flowering time in response to day length for some accessions. This study provides insight into the conserved function of Ghd8 in the Poaceae, and is an important initial step in elucidating the flowering regulatory network of Miscanthus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number288
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Flowering time
  • Gene expression
  • Geographic distribution
  • Ghd8
  • Miscanthus sinensis
  • Sequence diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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