Genomic and Phenomic Screens for Flower Related RING Type Ubiquitin E3 Ligases in Arabidopsis
Flowering time control integrates endogenous as well as environmental signals to promote flower development. The pathways and molecular networks involved are complex and integrate many modes of signal transduction. In plants ubiquitin mediated protein degradation pathway has been proposed to be as important mode of signaling as phosphorylation and transcription. To systematically study the role of ubiquitin signaling in the molecular regulation of flowering we have taken a genomic approach to identify flower related Ubiquitin Proteasome System components. As a large and versatile gene family the RING type ubiquitin E3 ligases were chosen as targets of the genomic screen. The complete list of Arabidopsis RING E3 ligases were retrieved and verified in the Arabidopsis genome v11 and their differential expression was used for their categorization into flower organs or developmental stages. Known regulators of flowering time or floral organ development were identified in these categories through literature search and representative mutants for each category were purchased for functional characterization by growth and morphological phenotyping. To this end, a workflow was developed for high throughput phenotypic screening of growth, morphology and flowering of nearly a thousand Arabidopsis plants in one experimental round.