MADS-Flowering Locus C (FLC)-like Sequences from the Early Embryonic Stages of Moringa Oleifera Lam.: Identified and Cloned

Document Type


Publication Date



MADS-box genes are organ identity genes represented in many plants. These encode for MADS-domain transcription factors that interact with other genes controlling floral and seed development as well as germination. Moringa oleifera Lam. is a tree with conspicuous white to cream flowers produced in January to March. Genes that control flowering and seed development in M. oleifera have not been previously identified. This research aimed to identify and clone the MADS-flowering locus C (FLC) sequences in the embryonic stages of M. oleifera. DNA was extracted from M. oleifera embryos and used as a template for PCR amplification of MADS-FLC sequences. cDNA was synthesized from total RNA obtained from the same samples using RACE-PCR. Amplicons from both were cloned and sequenced. Results indicated 13 nucleotides with blastx amino acid sequence identity match with Cichorium intybus L. MADS-FLC. Putative amino acid blastx analysis of eight cloned cDNA products using RACE-PCR had 86-100% homology with MADS-FLC-like protein 2 and 3 sequences of C. intybus L. over 25-27 amino acids, while cloned genomic DNA PCR products showed 5 amplicons with 96-100% homology with the same proteins over the same range. ClustalX alignments of cDNA and DNA translated amino acids showed a 27-residue motif from amino acids 6 to 33 of all sequences. Amino acids 6 to 25 showed an identity match with the C. intybus L. MADS-FLC M-type domain, while amino acids 26-33 that are similar to the MEF2-type MADS-box portion of C. intybus L. FLC-like protein 2. The FLC gene encodes a transcription factor that represses flowering initiation. Flowering and seed development in M. oleifera are not yet fully understood, hence, this study may shed light on the role of the FLC gene in the flowering and seed development of M. oleifera.