An annotated reference sequence representing the hexaploid bread wheat genome in 21 pseudomolecules has been analyzed to identify the distribution and genomic context of coding and noncoding elements across the A, B, and D subgenomes. With an estimated coverage of 94% of the genome and containing 107,891 high-confidence gene models, this assembly enabled the discovery of tissue- and developmental stage–related coexpression networks by providing a transcriptome atlas representing major stages of wheat development. Dynamics of complex gene families involved in environmental adaptation and end-use quality were revealed at subgenome resolution and contextualized to known agronomic single-gene or quantitative trait loci. This community resource establishes the foundation for accelerating wheat research and application through improved understanding of wheat biology and genomics-assisted breeding.
Wheat varieties with a winter growth habit require long exposures to low temperatures (vernalization) to accelerate flowering. Natural variation in four vernalization genes regulating this requirement has favored wheat adaptation to different environments. The first three genes (VRN1-VRN3) have been cloned and characterized before. Here we show that the fourth gene, VRN-D4, originated by the insertion of a ∼290-kb region from chromosome arm 5AL into the proximal region of chromosome arm 5DS. The inserted 5AL region includes a copy of VRN-A1 that carries distinctive mutations in its coding and regulatory regions. Three lines of evidence confirmed that this gene is VRN-D4: it cosegregated with VRN-D4 in a high-density mapping population; it was expressed earlier than other VRN1 genes in the absence of vernalization; and induced mutations in this gene resulted in delayed flowering. VRN-D4 was found in most accessions of the ancient subspecies Triticum aestivum ssp. sphaerococcum from South Asia. This subspecies showed a significant reduction of genetic diversity and increased genetic differentiation in the centromeric region of chromosome 5D, suggesting that VRN-D4 likely contributed to local adaptation and was favored by positive selection. Three adjacent SNPs in a regulatory region of the VRN-D4 first intron disrupt the binding of GLYCINE-RICH RNA-BINDING PROTEIN 2 (TaGRP2), a known repressor of VRN1 expression. The same SNPs were identified in VRN-A1 alleles previously associated with reduced vernalization requirement. These alleles can be used to modulate vernalization requirements and to develop wheat varieties better adapted to different or changing environments.wheat | flowering | vernalization | VRN1 | Triticum aestivum ssp. sphaerococcum
To elucidate differentially expressed proteins and to further understand post-translational modifications of transcripts, full leaf proteome profiles of two wild emmer (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides TR39477 and TTD22) and one modern durum wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. durum cv. Kızıltan) genotypes were compared upon 9-day drought stress using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and nano-scale liquid chromatographic electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry methods. The three genotypes compared exhibit distinctive physiological responses to drought as previously shown by our group. Results demonstrated that many of the proteins were common in both wild emmer and modern wheat proteomes; of which, 75 were detected as differentially expressed proteins. Several proteins identified in all proteomes exhibited drought regulated patterns of expression. A number of proteins were observed with higher expression levels in response to drought in wild genotypes compared to their modern relative. Eleven protein spots with low peptide matches were identified as candidate unique drought responsive proteins. Of the differentially expressed proteins, four were selected and further analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR at the transcriptome level to compare with the proteomic data. The present study provides protein level differences in response to drought in modern and wild genotypes of wheat that may account for the differences of the overall responses of these genotypes to drought. Such comparative proteomics analyses may aid in the better understanding of complex drought response and may suggest candidate genes for molecular breeding studies to improve tolerance against drought stress and, thus, to enhance yields.
MicroRNAs, small regulatory molecules with significant impacts on the transcriptional network of all living organisms, have been the focus of several studies conducted mostly on modern wheat cultivars. In this study, we investigated miRNA repertoires of modern durum wheat and its wild relatives, with differing degrees of drought tolerance, to identify miRNA candidates and their targets involved in drought stress response. Root transcriptomes of Triticum turgidum ssp. durum variety Kızıltan and two Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides genotypes TR39477 and TTD-22 under control and drought conditions were assembled from individual RNA-Seq reads and used for in silico identification of miRNAs. A total of 66 miRNAs were identified from all species, across all conditions, of which 46 and 38 of the miRNAs identified from modern durum wheat and wild genotypes, respectively, had not been previously reported. Genotype- and/or stress-specific miRNAs provide insights into our understanding of the complex drought response. Particularly, miR1435, miR5024, and miR7714, identified only from drought-stress roots of drought-tolerant genotype TR39477, can be candidates for future studies to explore and exploit the drought response to develop tolerant varieties.
An autophagy-related gene Atg8 was cloned for the first time from wild emmer wheat, named as TdAtg8, and its role on autophagy under abiotic stress conditions was investigated. Examination of TdAtg8 expression patterns indicated that Atg8 expression was strongly upregulated under drought stress, especially in the roots when compared to leaves. LysoTracker(®) red marker, utilized to observe autophagosomes, revealed that autophagy is constitutively active in Triticum dicoccoides. Moreover, autophagy was determined to be induced in plants exposed to osmotic stress when compared to plants grown under normal conditions. Functional studies were executed in yeast to confirm that the TdATG8 protein is functional, and showed that the TdAtg8 gene complements the atg8∆::kan MX yeast mutant strain grown under nitrogen deficiency. For further functional analysis, TdATG8 protein was expressed in yeast and analyzed using Western immunoblotting. Atg8-silenced plants were exposed to drought stress and chlorophyll and malondialdehyde (MDA) content measurements demonstrated that Atg8 plays a key role on drought stress tolerance. In addition, Atg8-silenced plants exposed to osmotic stress were found to have decreased Atg8 expression level in comparison to controls. Hence, Atg8 is a positive regulator in osmotic and drought stress response.
BackgroundBread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the most important crops worldwide and its production faces pressing challenges, the solution of which demands genome information. However, the large, highly repetitive hexaploid wheat genome has been considered intractable to standard sequencing approaches. Therefore the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) proposes to map and sequence the genome on a chromosome-by-chromosome basis.Methodology/Principal FindingsWe have constructed a physical map of the long arm of bread wheat chromosome 1A using chromosome-specific BAC libraries by High Information Content Fingerprinting (HICF). Two alternative methods (FPC and LTC) were used to assemble the fingerprints into a high-resolution physical map of the chromosome arm. A total of 365 molecular markers were added to the map, in addition to 1122 putative unique transcripts that were identified by microarray hybridization. The final map consists of 1180 FPC-based or 583 LTC-based contigs.Conclusions/SignificanceThe physical map presented here marks an important step forward in mapping of hexaploid bread wheat. The map is orders of magnitude more detailed than previously available maps of this chromosome, and the assignment of over a thousand putative expressed gene sequences to specific map locations will greatly assist future functional studies. This map will be an essential tool for future sequencing of and positional cloning within chromosome 1A.
BackgroundThe ~17 Gb hexaploid bread wheat genome is a high priority and a major technical challenge for genomic studies. In particular, the D sub-genome is relatively lacking in genetic diversity, making it both difficult to map genetically, and a target for introgression of agriculturally useful traits. Elucidating its sequence and structure will therefore facilitate wheat breeding and crop improvement.ResultsWe generated shotgun sequences from each arm of flow-sorted Triticum aestivum chromosome 5D using 454 FLX Titanium technology, giving 1.34× and 1.61× coverage of the short (5DS) and long (5DL) arms of the chromosome respectively. By a combination of sequence similarity and assembly-based methods, ~74% of the sequence reads were classified as repetitive elements, and coding sequence models of 1314 (5DS) and 2975 (5DL) genes were generated. The order of conserved genes in syntenic regions of previously sequenced grass genomes were integrated with physical and genetic map positions of 518 wheat markers to establish a virtual gene order for chromosome 5D.ConclusionsThe virtual gene order revealed a large-scale chromosomal rearrangement in the peri-centromeric region of 5DL, and a concentration of non-syntenic genes in the telomeric region of 5DS. Although our data support the large-scale conservation of Triticeae chromosome structure, they also suggest that some regions are evolving rapidly through frequent gene duplications and translocations.Sequence accessionsEBI European Nucleotide Archive, Study no. ERP002330Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-1080) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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