The floral homeotic C-function gene AGAMOUS (AG) has been shown to be critical in the determination of stamen and carpel identity in Arabidopsis. In the present study, a new homologue of AGAMOUS gene from pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch], denoted by CiAG, was isolated and its function was characterized. The complementary DNA (cDNA) of CiAG contains an open reading frame of 687 base pairs (bp) encoding 227 amino acids. Multiple sequence comparisons revealed that CiAG had the typical MIKC structure. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that CiAG is closely related to C-lineage AG. The expression of CiAG was highly accumulated in the reproductive tissues (staminate flowers, pistillate flowers, and fruitlets) than in vegetative tissues (leaves and current-growth branches). Arabidopsis overexpressing CiAG exhibited earlier flowering. The homeotic transformations of petals into stamen organs were observed in 35S::CiAG transgenic plants. All these results indicated that CiAG plays a key role in the process of flower development of pecan.
This study examined the ability to vegetatively propagate 1-year-old pecan (Carya illinoinensis) through the rooting of hardwood cuttings. Cuttings were treated with varying concentrations of different auxins and different combinations of media and ambient temperatures. Under different temperature conditions, all auxin treatments induced the rooting of cuttings but did not promote sprouting. The effectiveness of the induction of adventitious roots was as follows: 1-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) > indole 3-butyric acid > indole 3-acetic acid. The base of the parent shoot treated by NAA at a concentration of 0.09%, planted in substrate with bottom heat was the most effective, with 82% rooting, 8.3 roots/cutting and root lengths of 7.3 cm. These findings suggested that auxin and substrate/air temperature differences are both indispensable in the process of adventitious roots formation in pecan. This study revealed that the propagation of hardwood cuttings derived from branches of 1-year-old pecan is possible.