A nuclear gene, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) homolog, was cloned from Phyllostachys meyeri as PmFT. Its putative copy number was estimated as four by Southern blot analysis, and the two copies were completely sequenced. Twenty-seven FT homolog sequences of bambusoid and early diverging grasses comprised 172-bp exons, and 357- to 785-bp introns exhibited 0-58.9% pairwise divergence with six modal levels. Parsimony analyses of the FT homologs rooted at Pharus virescens produced six equally parsimonious trees. In the strict consensus tree, five clades were resolved; they were affected by divergence of the intron region rather than exon region. The basal clade was Puelioideae, followed by Olyreae clade including Oryza sativa. Streptogyneae clade combined the Olyreae clade with terminal sister clades of the Bambuseae, i.e., pantropical bamboos and East Asiatic temperate bamboos. The global topology suggested that FT homologs are significant for resolving the tribe level. However, the phylogeny of FT homologs does not resolve monophyly in Bambusoideae because of intercalary positioning by Streptogyneae clade. We discussed the role of FT homologs in controlling the inflorescence architecture and position of Streptogyneae in the bamboo phylogeny.
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