Control of flowering time in temperate cereals: genes, domestication, and sustainable productivity

James Cockram, Huw Jones, Fiona J Leigh, Donal O'Sullivan, Wayne Powell, David A Laurie, Andrew J Greenland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

350 Citations (Scopus)


The control of flowering is central to reproductive success in plants, and has a major impact on grain yield in crop species. The global importance of temperate cereal crops such as wheat and barley has meant emphasis has long been placed on understanding the genetics of flowering in order to enhance yield. Leads gained from the dissection of the molecular genetics of model species have combined with comparative genetic approaches, recently resulting in the isolation of the first flowering time genes in wheat and barley. This paper reviews the genetics and genes involved in cereal flowering pathways and the current understanding of how two of the principal genes, Vrn and Ppd, have been involved in domestication and adaptation to local environments, and the implications for future breeding programmes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-44
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number6
Publication statusPrint publication - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Edible Grain/genetics
  • Flowers/genetics
  • Genes, Plant
  • Photoperiod


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