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Article|01 Feb 2021|OPEN
Hydrogen sulfide promotes flowering in heading Chinese cabbage by S-sulfhydration of BraFLCs
Xiaoli Ma1,2, Liping Zhang1, Zhuoya Pei1, Linlin Zhang1, Zhiqiang Liu1, Danmei Liu1, Xuefeng Hao1,3, Zhuping Jin1, & Yanxi Pei1,
1School of Life Science and Shanxi Key Laboratory for Research and Development of Regional Plants, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, Shanxi Province 030006, China
2Department of Biological Science and Technology, Jinzhong University, Jinzhong, Shanxi Province 030619, China
3Department of Biology, Taiyuan Normal University, Jinzhong, Shanxi Province 030619, China

Horticulture Research 8,
Article number: 19 (2021)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2021.19
Views: 412

Received: 12 Jun 2020
Revised: 03 Nov 2020
Accepted: 20 Nov 2020
Published online: 01 Feb 2021


Heading Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. syn. B. campestris L. ssp. chinensis Makino var. pekinensis (Rupr.) J. Cao et Sh. Cao) is a cruciferous Brassica vegetable that has a triplicate genome, owing to an ancient genome duplication event. It is unclear whether the duplicated homologs have conserved or diversified functions. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a plant gasotransmitter that plays important physiological roles in growth, development, and responses to environmental stresses. The modification of cysteines through S-sulfhydration is an important mechanism of H2S, which regulates protein functions. H2S promotes flowering in Arabidopsis and heading Chinese cabbage. Here we investigated the molecular mechanisms of H2S used to promote flowering in the latter. Four, five, and four BraFLC, BraSOC I, and BraFT homologs were identified in heading Chinese cabbage. Different BraFLC proteins were bound to different CArG boxes in the promoter regions of the BraSOC I and BraFT homologs, producing different binding patterns. Thus, there may be functionally diverse BraFLC homologs in heading Chinese cabbage. Exogenous H2S at 100 μmol L−1 significantly promoted flowering by compensating for insufficient vernalization. BraFLC 1 and BraFLC 3 underwent S-sulfhydration by H2S, after which their abilities to bind most BraSOC I or BraFT promoter probes weakened or even disappeared. These changes in binding ability were consistent with the expression pattern of the BraFT and BraSOC I homologs in seedlings treated with H2S. These results indicated that H2S signaling regulates flowering time. In summary, H2S signaling promoted plant flowering by weakening or eliminating the binding abilities of BraFLCs to downstream promoters through S-sulfhydration.