Molecular evolution of dimeric alpha-amylase inhibitor genes in wild emmer wheat and its ecological association.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: alpha-Amylase inhibitors are attractive candidates for the control of seed weevils, as these insects are highly dependent on starch as an energy source. In this study, we aimed to reveal the structure and diversity of dimeric alpha-amylase inhibitor genes in wild emmer wheat from Israel and to elucidate the relationship between the emmer wheat genes and ecological factors using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. Another objective of this study was to find out whether there were any correlations between SNPs in functional protein-coding genes and the environment. RESULTS: The influence of ecological factors on the genetic structure of dimeric alpha-amylase inhibitor genes was evaluated by specific SNP markers. A total of 244 dimeric alpha-amylase inhibitor genes were obtained from 13 accessions in 10 populations. Seventy-five polymorphic positions and 74 haplotypes were defined by sequence analysis. Sixteen out of the 75 SNP markers were designed to detect SNP variations in wild emmer wheat accessions from different populations in Israel. The proportion of polymorphic loci P (5%), the expected heterozygosity He, and Shannon's information index in the 16 populations were 0.887, 0.404, and 0.589, respectively. The populations of wild emmer wheat showed great diversity in gene loci both between and within populations. Based on the SNP marker data, the genetic distance of pair-wise comparisons of the 16 populations displayed a sharp genetic differentiation over long geographic distances. The values of P, He, and Shannon's information index were negatively correlated with three climatic moisture factors, whereas the same values were positively correlated by Spearman rank correlation coefficients' analysis with some of the other ecological factors. CONCLUSION: The populations of wild emmer wheat showed a wide range of diversity in dimeric alpha-amylase inhibitors, both between and within populations. We suggested that SNP markers are useful for the estimation of genetic diversity of functional genes in wild emmer wheat. These results show significant correlations between SNPs in the alpha-amylase inhibitor genes and ecological factors affecting diversity. Ecological factors, singly or in combination, explained a significant proportion of the variations in the SNPs, and the SNPs could be classified into several categories as ecogeographical predictors. It was suggested that the SNPs in the alpha-amylase inhibitor genes have been subjected to natural selection, and ecological factors had an important evolutionary influence on gene differentiation at specific loci.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Various enzyme inhibitors act on key insect gut digestive hydrolases, including alpha-amylases and proteinases. Alpha-amylase inhibitors have been widely investigated for their possible use in strengthening a plant's defense against insects that are highly dependent on starch as an energy source. We attempted to unravel the diversity of monomeric alpha-amylase inhibitor genes of Israeli and Golan Heights' wild emmer wheat with different ecological factors (e.g., geography, water, and temperature). Population methods that analyze the nature and frequency of allele diversity within a species and the codon analysis method (comparing patterns of synonymous and non-synonymous changes in protein coding sequences) were used to detect natural selection. RESULTS: Three hundred and forty-eight sequences encoding monomeric alpha-amylase inhibitors (WMAI) were obtained from 14 populations of wild emmer wheat. The frequency of SNPs in WMAI genes was 1 out of 16.3 bases, where 28 SNPs were detected in the coding sequence. The results of purifying and the positive selection hypothesis (p < 0.05) showed that the sequences of WMAI were contributed by both natural selection and co-evolution, which ensured conservation of protein function and inhibition against diverse insect amylases. The majority of amino acid substitutions occurred at the C-terminal (positive selection domain), which ensured the stability of WMAI. SNPs in this gene could be classified into several categories associated with water, temperature, and geographic factors, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Great diversity at the WMAI locus, both between and within populations, was detected in the populations of wild emmer wheat. It was revealed that WMAI were naturally selected for across populations by a ratio of dN/dS as expected. Ecological factors, singly or in combination, explained a significant proportion of the variations in the SNPs. A sharp genetic divergence over very short geographic distances compared to a small genetic divergence between large geographic distances also suggested that the SNPs were subjected to natural selection, and ecological factors had an important evolutionary role in polymorphisms at this locus. According to population and codon analysis, these results suggested that monomeric alpha-amylase inhibitors are adaptively selected under different environmental conditions.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Patterns of genetic diversity between and within natural plant populations and their driving forces are of great interest in evolutionary biology. However, few studies have been performed on the genetic structure and population divergence in wild emmer wheat using a large number of EST-related single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. RESULTS: In the present study, twenty-five natural wild emmer wheat populations representing a wide range of ecological conditions in Israel and Turkey were used. Genetic diversity and genetic structure were investigated using over 1,000 SNP markers. A moderate level of genetic diversity was detected due to the biallelic property of SNP markers. Clustering based on Bayesian model showed that grouping pattern is related to the geographical distribution of the wild emmer wheat. However, genetic differentiation between populations was not necessarily dependent on the geographical distances. A total of 33 outlier loci under positive selection were identified using a FST-outlier method. Significant correlations between loci and ecogeographical factors were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Natural selection appears to play a major role in generating adaptive structures in wild emmer wheat. SNP markers are appropriate for detecting selectively-channeled adaptive genetic diversity in natural populations of wild emmer wheat. This adaptive genetic diversity is significantly associated with ecological factors.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) panels recently developed for the assessment of genetic diversity in wheat are primarily based on elite varieties, mostly those of bread wheat. The usefulness of such SNP panels for studying wheat evolution and domestication has not yet been fully explored and ascertainment bias issues can potentially affect their applicability when studying landraces and tetraploid ancestors of bread wheat. We here evaluate whether population structure and evolutionary history can be assessed in tetraploid landrace wheats using SNP markers previously developed for the analysis of elite cultivars of hexaploid wheat.<h4>Results</h4>We genotyped more than 100 tetraploid wheat landraces and wild emmer wheat accessions, some of which had previously been screened with SSR markers, for an existing SNP panel and obtained publically available genotypes for the same SNPs for hexaploid wheat varieties and landraces. Results showed that quantification of genetic diversity can be affected by ascertainment bias but that the effects of ascertainment bias can at least partly be alleviated by merging SNPs to haplotypes. Analyses of population structure and genetic differentiation show strong subdivision between the tetraploid wheat subspecies, except for durum and rivet that are not separable. A more detailed population structure of durum landraces could be obtained than with SSR markers. The results also suggest an emmer, rather than durum, ancestry of bread wheat and with gene flow from wild emmer.<h4>Conclusions</h4>SNP markers developed for elite cultivars show great potential for inferring population structure and can address evolutionary questions in landrace wheat. Issues of marker genome specificity and mapping need, however, to be addressed. Ascertainment bias does not seem to interfere with the ability of a SNP marker system developed for elite bread wheat accessions to detect population structure in other types of wheat.
Project description:SNP-based genome scanning in worldwide domesticated emmer germplasm showed high genetic diversity, rapid linkage disequilibrium decay and 51 loci for stripe rust resistance, a large proportion of which were novel. Cultivated emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccum), one of the oldest domesticated crops in the world, is a potentially rich reservoir of variation for improvement of resistance/tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses in wheat. Resistance to stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici) in emmer wheat has been under-investigated. Here, we employed genome-wide association (GWAS) mapping with a mixed linear model to dissect effective stripe rust resistance loci in a worldwide collection of 176 cultivated emmer wheat accessions. Adult plants were tested in six environments and seedlings were evaluated with five races from the United States and one from Italy under greenhouse conditions. Five accessions were resistant across all experiments. The panel was genotyped with the wheat 90,000 Illumina iSelect single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array and 5106 polymorphic SNP markers with mapped positions were obtained. A high level of genetic diversity and fast linkage disequilibrium decay were observed. In total, we identified 14 loci associated with field resistance in multiple environments. Thirty-seven loci were significantly associated with all-stage (seedling) resistance and six of them were effective against multiple races. Of the 51 total loci, 29 were mapped distantly from previously reported stripe rust resistance genes or quantitative trait loci and represent newly discovered resistance loci. Our results suggest that GWAS is an effective method for characterizing genes in cultivated emmer wheat and confirm that emmer wheat is a rich source of stripe rust resistance loci that can be used for wheat improvement.
Project description:Natural populations of the tetraploid wild emmer wheat (genome AABB) were previously shown to demonstrate eco-geographically structured genetic and epigenetic diversity. Transposable elements (TEs) might make up a significant part of the genetic and epigenetic variation between individuals and populations because they comprise over 80% of the wild emmer wheat genome. In this study, we performed detailed analyses to assess the dynamics of transposable elements in 50 accessions of wild emmer wheat collected from 5 geographically isolated sites. The analyses included: the copy number variation of TEs among accessions in the five populations, population-unique insertional patterns, and the impact of population-unique/specific TE insertions on structure and expression of genes.We assessed the copy numbers of 12 TE families using real-time quantitative PCR, and found significant copy number variation (CNV) in the 50 wild emmer wheat accessions, in a population-specific manner. In some cases, the CNV difference reached up to 6-fold. However, the CNV was TE-specific, namely some TE families showed higher copy numbers in one or more populations, and other TE families showed lower copy numbers in the same population(s). Furthermore, we assessed the insertional patterns of 6 TE families using transposon display (TD), and observed significant population-specific insertional patterns. The polymorphism levels of TE-insertional patterns reached 92% among all wild emmer wheat accessions, in some cases. In addition, we observed population-specific/unique TE insertions, some of which were located within or close to protein-coding genes, creating allelic variations in a population-specific manner. We also showed that those genes are differentially expressed in wild emmer wheat.For the first time, this study shows that TEs proliferate in wild emmer wheat in a population-specific manner, creating new alleles of genes, which contribute to the divergent evolution of homeologous genes from the A and B subgenomes.
Project description:The domestication and subsequent genetic improvement of wheat led to the development of large-seeded cultivated wheat species relative to their smaller-seeded wild progenitors. While increased grain weight (GW) continues to be an important goal of many wheat breeding programs, few genes underlying this trait have been identified despite an abundance of studies reporting quantitative trait loci (QTL) for GW. Here we perform a QTL analysis for GW using a population of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from the cross between wild emmer wheat accession 'Zavitan' and durum wheat variety 'Svevo'. Identified QTLs in this population were anchored to the recent Zavitan reference genome, along with previously published QTLs for GW in tetraploid wheat. This genome-based, meta-QTL analysis enabled the identification of a locus on chromosome 6A whose introgression from wild wheat positively affects GW. The locus was validated using an introgression line carrying the 6A GW QTL region from Zavitan in a Svevo background, resulting in >8% increase in GW compared to Svevo. Using the reference sequence for the 6A QTL region, we identified a wheat ortholog to OsGRF4, a rice gene previously associated with GW. The coding sequence of this gene (TtGRF4-A) contains four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between Zavitan and Svevo, one of which reveals the Zavitan allele to be rare in a core collection of wild emmer and completely absent from the domesticated emmer genepool. Similarly, another wild emmer accession (G18-16) was found to carry a rare allele of TtGRF4-A that also positively affects GW and is characterized by a unique SNP absent from the entire core collection. These results exemplify the rich genetic diversity of wild wheat, posit TtGRF4-A as a candidate gene underlying the 6A GW QTL, and suggest that the natural Zavitan and G18-16 alleles of TtGRF4-A have potential to increase wheat yields in breeding programs.
Project description:Widening the genetic basis of leaf rust resistance is a primary objective of the global durum wheat breeding effort at the International Wheat and Maize Improvement Center (CIMMYT). Breeding programs in North America are following suit, especially after the emergence of new races of Puccinia triticina such as BBG/BP and BBBQD in Mexico and the United States, respectively. This study was conducted to characterize and map previously undescribed genes for leaf rust resistance in durum wheat and to develop reliable molecular markers for marker-assisted breeding. Four recombinant inbred line (RIL) mapping populations derived from the resistance sources Amria, Byblos, Geromtel_3 and Tunsyr_2, which were crossed to the susceptible line ATRED #2, were evaluated for their reaction to the Mexican race BBG/BP of P. triticina. Genetic analyses of host reactions indicated that leaf rust resistance in these genotypes was based on major seedling resistance genes. Allelism tests among resistant parents supported that Amria and Byblos carried allelic or closely linked genes. The resistance in Geromtel_3 and Tunsyr_2 also appeared to be allelic. Bulked segregant analysis using the Infinium iSelect 90K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array identified two genomic regions for leaf rust resistance; one on chromosome 6BS for Geromtel_3 and Tunsyr_2 and the other on chromosome 7BL for Amria and Byblos. Polymorphic SNPs identified within these regions were converted to kompetitive allele-specific PCR (KASP) assays and used to genotype the RIL populations. KASP markers usw215 and usw218 were the closest to the resistance genes in Geromtel_3 and Tunsyr_2, while usw260 was closely linked to the resistance genes in Amria and Byblos. DNA sequences associated with these SNP markers were anchored to the wild emmer wheat (WEW) reference sequence, which identified several candidate resistance genes. The molecular markers reported herein will be useful to effectively pyramid these resistance genes with other previously marked genes into adapted, elite durum wheat genotypes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: A genome-wide assessment of nucleotide diversity in a polyploid species must minimize the inclusion of homoeologous sequences into diversity estimates and reliably allocate individual haplotypes into their respective genomes. The same requirements complicate the development and deployment of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in polyploid species. We report here a strategy that satisfies these requirements and deploy it in the sequencing of genes in cultivated hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum, genomes AABBDD) and wild tetraploid wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides, genomes AABB) from the putative site of wheat domestication in Turkey. Data are used to assess the distribution of diversity among and within wheat genomes and to develop a panel of SNP markers for polyploid wheat. RESULTS: Nucleotide diversity was estimated in 2114 wheat genes and was similar between the A and B genomes and reduced in the D genome. Within a genome, diversity was diminished on some chromosomes. Low diversity was always accompanied by an excess of rare alleles. A total of 5,471 SNPs was discovered in 1791 wheat genes. Totals of 1,271, 1,218, and 2,203 SNPs were discovered in 488, 463, and 641 genes of wheat putative diploid ancestors, T. urartu, Aegilops speltoides, and Ae. tauschii, respectively. A public database containing genome-specific primers, SNPs, and other information was constructed. A total of 987 genes with nucleotide diversity estimated in one or more of the wheat genomes was placed on an Ae. tauschii genetic map, and the map was superimposed on wheat deletion-bin maps. The agreement between the maps was assessed. CONCLUSIONS: In a young polyploid, exemplified by T. aestivum, ancestral species are the primary source of genetic diversity. Low effective recombination due to self-pollination and a genetic mechanism precluding homoeologous chromosome pairing during polyploid meiosis can lead to the loss of diversity from large chromosomal regions. The net effect of these factors in T. aestivum is large variation in diversity among genomes and chromosomes, which impacts the development of SNP markers and their practical utility. Accumulation of new mutations in older polyploid species, such as wild emmer, results in increased diversity and its more uniform distribution across the genome.
Project description:In plants, the mechanism for ecological sympatric speciation (SS) is little known. Here, after ruling out the possibility of secondary contact, we show that wild emmer wheat, at the microclimatically divergent microsite of "Evolution Canyon" (EC), Mt. Carmel, Israel, underwent triple SS. Initially, it split following a bottleneck of an ancestral population, and further diversified to three isolated populations driven by disruptive ecological selection. Remarkably, two postzygotically isolated populations (SFS1 and SFS2) sympatrically branched within an area less than 30 m at the tropical hot and dry savannoid south-facing slope (SFS). A series of homozygous chromosomal rearrangements in the SFS1 population caused hybrid sterility with the SFS2 population. We demonstrate that these two populations developed divergent adaptive mechanisms against severe abiotic stresses on the tropical SFS. The SFS2 population evolved very early flowering, while the SFS1 population alternatively evolved a direct tolerance to irradiance by improved ROS scavenging activity that potentially accounts for its evolutionary fate with unstable chromosome status. Moreover, a third prezygotically isolated sympatric population adapted on the abutting temperate, humid, cool, and forested north-facing slope (NFS), separated by 250 m from the SFS wild emmer wheat populations. The NFS population evolved multiple resistant loci to fungal diseases, including powdery mildew and stripe rust. Our study illustrates how plants sympatrically adapt and speciate under disruptive ecological selection of abiotic and biotic stresses.
Project description:α-Gliadins are a major group of gluten proteins in wheat flour that contribute to the end-use properties for food processing and contain major immunogenic epitopes that can cause serious health-related issues including celiac disease (CD). α-Gliadins are also the youngest group of gluten proteins and are encoded by a large gene family. The majority of the gene family members evolved independently in the A, B, and D genomes of different wheat species after their separation from a common ancestral species. To gain insights into the origin and evolution of these complex genes, the genomic regions of the Gli-2 loci encoding α-gliadins were characterized from the tetraploid wild emmer, a progenitor of hexaploid bread wheat that contributed the AABB genomes. Genomic sequences of Gli-2 locus regions for the wild emmer A and B genomes were first reconstructed using the genome sequence scaffolds along with optical genome maps. A total of 24 and 16 α-gliadin genes were identified for the A and B genome regions, respectively. α-Gliadin pseudogene frequencies of 86% for the A genome and 69% for the B genome were primarily caused by C to T substitutions in the highly abundant glutamine codons, resulting in the generation of premature stop codons. Comparison with the homologous regions from the hexaploid wheat cv. Chinese Spring indicated considerable sequence divergence of the two A genomes at the genomic level. In comparison, conserved regions between the two B genomes were identified that included α-gliadin pseudogenes containing shared nested TE insertions. Analyses of the genomic organization and phylogenetic tree reconstruction indicate that although orthologous gene pairs derived from speciation were present, large portions of α-gliadin genes were likely derived from differential gene duplications or deletions after the separation of the homologous wheat genomes ~ 0.5 MYA. The higher number of full-length intact α-gliadin genes in hexaploid wheat than that in wild emmer suggests that human selection through domestication might have an impact on α-gliadin evolution. Our study provides insights into the rapid and dynamic evolution of genomic regions harboring the α-gliadin genes in wheat.