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University of Liege, Department of Life Sciences
There are genetic similarities between the biennial growth habit of Hyoscyamus niger (H. niger) and winter annual ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana, including the response to demethylating agents. One focus of our research group at Marquette is to determine whether FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) homologs or FLC-related MADS-box genes are involved in biennialism of H. niger. This review also summarizes our initial characterization of expression profiles of 4 groups of H. niger MADS-box genes. Our results suggest that B-class floral homeotic gene homologs of H. niger are differentially expressed in flowers of annual and vernalized, biennial plants.