Journal of genetics and genomics = Yi chuan xue bao

The RING finger protein NtRCP1 is involved in the floral transition in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum).

PMID 26165497


The transition from the vegetative phase to the reproductive phase is a major developmental process in flowering plants. The underlying mechanism controlling this cellular process remains a research focus in the field of plant molecular biology. In the present work, we identified a gene encoding the C3H2C3-type RING finger protein NtRCP1 from tobacco BY-2 cells. Enzymatic analysis demonstrated that NtRCP1 is a functional E3 ubiquitin ligase. In tobacco plants, expression level of NtRCP1 was higher in the reproductive shoot apices than in the vegetative ones. NtRCP1-overexpressing plants underwent a more rapid transition from the vegetative to the reproductive phase and flowered markedly earlier than the wild-type control. Histological analysis revealed that the shoot apical meristem of NtRCP1-overexpressing plants initiated inflorescence primordia precociously compared to the wild-type plant due to accelerated cell division. Overexpression of NtRCP1 in BY-2 suspension cells promoted cell division, which was a consequence of the shortened G2 phase in the cell cycle. Together, our data suggest that NtRCP1 may act as a regulator of the phase transition, possibly through its role in cell cycle regulation, during vegetative/reproductive development in tobacco plant.