In plants, timing of flowering is an essential factor that controls the survival rates of descendants. The circadian clock genes E1 and GIGANTEA (GI) play a central role in transmitting signals to FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) in leguminous plants. Lotus japonicus is a wild Japanese species that ranges from northern Hokkaido to the southern Ryukyus and exhibits a wide range in terms of the time between seeding and first flowering. In this study, we first identified LjGI and analyzed polymorphisms of LjE1 and LjGI among wild populations covering the entire distribution range of this species in Japan. LjGI had a coding sequence (CDS) length of 3495 bp and included 14 exons. The homologies of DNA and amino acid sequences between LjGI and GmGI were 89 and 88 % (positive rate was 92 %), respectively. LjE1 harbored five nucleic acid changes in a 552 bp CDS, all of which were nonsynonymous; four of the changes were located in the core function area. LjE1 alleles exhibited partial north–south differentiation and non-neutrality. In contrast, the LjGI harbored one synonymous and one nonsynonymous change. Thus, our study suggests that LjE1 may be involved in the control of flowering times, whereas LjGI may be under strong purifying selection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas