A Novel Retrotransposon Inserted in the Dominant Vrn-B1 Allele Confers Spring Growth Habit in Tetraploid Wheat (Triticum turgidum L.).
ABSTRACT: Vernalization genes determine winter/spring growth habit in temperate cereals and play important roles in plant development and environmental adaptation. In wheat (Triticum L. sp.), it was previously shown that allelic variation in the vernalization gene VRN1 was due to deletions or insertions either in the promoter or in the first intron. Here, we report a novel Vrn-B1 allele that has a retrotransposon in its promoter conferring spring growth habit. The VRN-B1 gene was mapped in a doubled haploid population that segregated for winter-spring growth habit but was derived from two spring tetraploid wheat genotypes, the durum wheat (T. turgidum subsp. durum) variety 'Lebsock' and T. turgidum subsp. carthlicum accession PI 94749. Genetic analysis revealed that Lebsock carried the dominant Vrn-A1 and recessive vrn-B1 alleles, whereas PI 94749 had the recessive vrn-A1 and dominant Vrn-B1 alleles. The Vrn-A1 allele in Lebsock was the same as the Vrn-A1c allele previously reported in hexaploid wheat. No differences existed between the vrn-B1 and Vrn-B1 alleles, except that a 5463-bp insertion was detected in the 5'-UTR region of the Vrn-B1 allele. This insertion was a novel retrotransposon (designated as retrotrans_VRN), which was flanked by a 5-bp target site duplication and contained primer binding site and polypurine tract motifs, a 325-bp long terminal repeat, and an open reading frame encoding 1231 amino acids. The insertion of retrotrans_VRN resulted in expression of Vrn-B1 without vernalization. Retrotrans_VRN is prevalent among T. turgidum subsp. carthlicum accessions, less prevalent among T. turgidum subsp. dicoccum accessions, and rarely found in other tetraploid wheat subspecies.
Project description:Vernalization genes VRN1 play a major role in the transition from vegetative to reproductive growth in wheat. In di-, tetra- and hexaploid wheats the presence of a dominant allele of at least one VRN1 gene homologue (Vrn-A1,?Vrn-B1, Vrn-G1 or Vrn-D1) determines the spring growth habit. Allelic variation between the Vrn-1 and vrn-1 alleles relies on mutations in the promoter region or the first intron. The origin and variability of the dominant VRN1 alleles, determining the spring growth habit in tetraploid wheat species have been poorly studied.Here we analyzed the growth habit of 228 tetraploid wheat species accessions and 25 % of them were spring type. We analyzed the promoter and first intron regions of VRN1 genes in 57 spring accessions of tetraploid wheats. The spring growth habit of most studied spring accessions was determined by previously identified dominant alleles of VRN1 genes. Genetic experiments proof the dominant inheritance of Vrn-A1d allele which was widely distributed across the accessions of Triticum dicoccoides. Two novel alleles were discovered and designated as Vrn-A1b.7 and Vrn-B1dic. Vrn-A1b.7 had deletions of 20 bp located 137 bp upstream of the start codon and mutations within the VRN-box when compared to the recessive allele of vrn-A1. So far the Vrn-A1d allele was identified only in spring accessions of the T. dicoccoides and T. turgidum species. Vrn-B1dic was identified in T. dicoccoides IG46225 and had 11 % sequence dissimilarity in comparison to the promoter of vrn-B1. The presence of Vrn-A1b.7 and Vrn-B1dic alleles is a predicted cause of the spring growth habit of studied accessions of tetraploid species. Three spring accessions T. aethiopicum K-19059, T. turanicum K-31693 and T. turgidum cv. Blancal possess recessive alleles of both VRN-A1 and VRN-B1 genes. Further investigations are required to determine the source of spring growth habit of these accessions.New allelic variants of the VRN-A1 and VRN-B1 genes were identified in spring accessions of tetraploid wheats. The origin and evolution of VRN-A1 alleles in di- and tetraploid wheat species was discussed.
Project description:In wheat, the vernalization requirement is mainly controlled by the VRN genes. Different species of hexaploid and tetraploid wheat are widely used as genetic source for new mutant variants and alleles for fundamental investigations and practical breeding programs. In this study, VRN-A1 and VRN-B1 were analysed for 178 accessions representing six tetraploid wheat species (Triticum dicoccoides, T. dicoccum, T. turgidum, T. polonicum, T. carthlicum, T. durum) and five hexaploid species (T. compactum, T. sphaerococcum, T. spelta, T. macha, T. vavilovii).Novel allelic variants in the promoter region of VRN-A1 and VRN-B1 were identified based on the change in curvature and flexibility of the DNA molecules. The new variants of VRN-A1 (designated as Vrn-A1a.2, Vrn-A1b.2 - Vrn-A1b.6 and Vrn-A1i) were found to be widely distributed in hexaploid and tetraploid wheat, and in fact were predominant over the known VRN-A1 alleles. The greatest diversity of the new variants of VRN-B1 (designated as VRN-B1.f, VRN-B1.s and VRN-B1.m) was found in the tetraploid and some hexaploid wheat species. For the first time, minor differences within the sequence motif known as the VRN-box of VRN1 were correlated with wheat growth habit. Thus, vrn-A1b.3 and vrn-A1b.4 were revealed in winter wheat in contrast to Vrn-A1b.2, Vrn-A1b.5, Vrn-A1b.6 and Vrn-A1i. It was found that single nucleotide mutation in the VRN-box can influence the vernalization requirement and growth habit of wheat. Our data suggest that both the A-tract and C-rich segment within the VRN-box contribute to its functionality, and provide a new view of the hypothesised role of the VRN-box in regulating transcription of the VRN1 genes. Specifically, it is proposed that combination of mutations in this region can modulate vernalization sensitivity and flowering time of wheat.New allelic variants of the VRN-A1 and VRN-B1 genes were identified in hexaploid and tetraploid wheat. Mutations in A-tract and C-rich segments within the VRN-box of VRN-A1 are associated with modulation of the vernalization requirement and flowering time. New allelic variants will be useful in fundamental investigations into the regulation of VRN1 expression, and provide a valuable genetic resource for practical breeding of wheat.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Flowering time greatly influences the adaptation of wheat cultivars to diverse environmental conditions and is mainly controlled by vernalization and photoperiod genes. In wheat cultivars from the Yellow and Huai Valleys, which represent 60%-70% of the total wheat production in China, the large-scale genotyping of wheat germplasms has not yet been performed in terms of vernalization and photoperiod response alleles, limiting the use of Chinese wheat germplasms to a certain extent. RESULTS: In this study, 173 winter wheat cultivars and 51 spring wheat cultivars from China were used to identify allelic variations of vernalization and photoperiod genes as well as copy number variations of Ppd-B1 and Vrn-A1. Two new co-dominant markers were developed in order to more precisely examine Vrn-A1b, Vrn-B1a, and Vrn-B1b. Two novel alleles at the Vrn-B3 locus were discovered and were designated Vrn-B3b and Vrn-B3c. Vrn-B3b had an 890-bp insertion in the promoter region of the recessive vrn-B3 allele, and Vrn-B3c allele had 2 deletions (a 20-bp deletion and a 4-bp deletion) in the promoter region of the dominant Vrn-B3a allele. Cultivar Hemai 26 lacked the Vrn-A1 gene. RT-PCR indicated that the 890-bp insertion in the Vrn-B3b allele significantly reduced the transcription of the Vrn-B3 gene. Cultivars Chadianhong with the Vrn-B3b allele and Hemai 26 with a Vrn-A1-null allele possessed relatively later heading and flowering times compared to those of Yanzhan 4110, which harbored recessive vrn-B3 and vrn-A1 alleles. Through identification of photoperiod genes, 2 new polymorphism combinations were found in 6 winter wheat cultivars and were designated Hapl-VII and Hapl-VIII, respectively. Distribution of the vernalization and photoperiod genes indicated that all recessive alleles at the 4 vernalization response loci, truncated "Chinese Spring" Ppd-B1 allele at Ppd-B1 locus and Hapl-I at the Ppd-D1 locus were predominant in Chinese winter wheat cultivars. CONCLUSION: This study illustrated the distribution of vernalization and photoperiod genes and identified 2 new Vrn-B3 alleles, 1 Vrn-A1-null allele, and two new Ppd-D1 polymorphism combinations, using developed functional markers. Results of this study have the potential to provide useful information for screening relatively superior wheat cultivars for better adaptability and maturity.
Project description:Wheat adaptability to a wide range of environmental conditions is mostly determined by allelic diversity within genes controlling vernalization requirement (Vrn-1) and photoperiod sensitivity (Ppd-1). We characterized a panel of 151 durum wheat Mediterranean landraces and 20 representative locally adapted modern cultivars for their allelic composition at Vrn-1 and Ppd-1 gene using diagnostic molecular markers and studied their association with the time needed to reach six growth stages under field conditions over 6 years. Compared with the more diverse and representative landrace collection, the set of modern cultivars were characterized by a reduction of 50% in the number of allelic variants at the Vrn-A1 and Vrn-B1 genes, and the high frequency of mutant alleles conferring photoperiod insensitivity at Ppd-A1, which resulted on a shorter cycle length. Vrn-A1 played a greater role than Vrn-B1 in regulating crop development (Vrn-A1 > Vrn-B1). The results suggest that mutations in the Vrn-A1 gene may have been the most important in establishing the spring growth habit of Mediterranean landraces and modern durum cultivars. The allele Vrn-A1d, found in 10 landraces, delayed development. The relative effects of single Vrn-A1 alleles on delaying the development of the landraces were vrn-A1 = Vrn-A1d > Vrn-A1b > Vrn-A1c. Allele vrn-B1 was present in all except two landraces and in all modern cultivars. The null allele at Ppd-A1 (a deletion first observed in the French bread wheat cultivar 'Capelle-Desprez') was found for the first time in durum wheat in the present study that identified it in 30 landraces from 13 Mediterranean countries. Allele Ppd-A1a (GS105) was detected in both germplasm types, while the allele Ppd-A1a (GS100) was found only in modern North American and Spanish cultivars. The relative effect of single Ppd-A1 alleles on extending phenological development was Ppd-A1(DelCD) > Ppd-A1b > Ppd-A1a (GS105) > Ppd-A1a (GS100). Sixteen Vrn-1+Ppd-1 allelic combinations were found in landraces and six in modern cultivars, but only three were common to both panels. Differences in the number of days to reach anthesis were 10 days in landraces and 3 days in modern cultivars. Interactive effects between Vrn-1 and Ppd-1 genes were detected.
Project description:KEY MESSAGE:The combination of three non-functional alleles of the flowering repressor VRN2 results in a spring growth habit in wheat. In temperate cereals with a winter growth habit, a prolonged exposure to low temperatures (vernalization) accelerates flowering. Before vernalization, the VRN2 locus plays a central role in maintaining flowering repression. Non-functional VRN2 alleles result in spring growth habit and are frequent in diploid wheat and barley. However, in hexaploid wheat, the effect of these non-functional VRN2 alleles is masked by gene redundancy. In this study, we developed a triple VRN2 mutant (synthetic vrn2-null) in hexaploid wheat by combining the non-functional VRN-A2 allele present in most polyploid wheats with a VRN-B2 deletion from tetraploid wheat, and a non-functional VRN-D2 allele from Aegilops tauschii (Ae. tauschii) (the donor of hexaploid wheat D genome). Non-vernalized vrn2-null plants flowered 118 days (P < 2.8E-07) earlier than the winter control, and showed a limited vernalization response. The functional VRN-B2 allele is expressed at higher levels than the functional VRN-D2 allele and showed a stronger repressive effect under partial vernalization (4 °C for 4 weeks), and also in non-vernalized plants carrying only a functional VRN-B2 or VRN-D2 in heterozygous state. These results suggest that different combinations of VRN-B2 and VRN-D2 alleles can be a used to modulate the vernalization response in regions with mild winters. Spring vrn2-null mutants have been selected repeatedly in diploid wheat and barley, suggesting that they may have an adaptative value and that may be useful in hexaploid wheat. Spring wheat breeders can use these new alleles to improve wheat adaptation to different or changing environments.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The precise identification of Winterness/Springness (growth habit) for bread wheat, which is determined by genes involved in vernalization and photoperiod, will contribute to the effective utilization of bread wheat varieties. Here, 198 varieties from the Yellow and Huai wheat production region (YHW) in China were collected to identify their vernalization (Vrn-1) and photoperiod (Ppd-1) gene composition via a series of functional markers and their association with vernalization and photoperiod requirements at three locations during two years of experiments. The growth habits were measured during the spring sowing season. RESULTS:The results showed that the semi-winter varieties (grades1-4) were most prevalent in the population. The relative effects of single Vrn alleles on the growth period, such as heading date (HD) and/or flowering date (FD), were as follows: Vrn-B1b?>?Vrn-B1a?>?Vrn-D1b?>?Vrn-D1a?>?vrn-D1?=?vrn-B1. The interactive effects of Vrn-B1 and Vrn-D1 on HD and FD were identical to those of Vrn-B1b. Approximately 35.3% of the cultivars carried Ppd-B1a (photoperiod-insensitive) and exhibited the earliest HD and FD. The Ppd-D1a-insensitive allele (Hapl II) was carried by just 0.5% of the varieties; however, the other two sensitive alleles were present at a higher frequency, and their effects were slightly weaker than those of Ppd-B1a. In addition, strong interactive effects between Ppd-B1 and Ppd-D1 were detected. In terms of mean values among various genotypes, the effects followed the order of Vrn-1?>?Ppd-1. CONCLUSIONS:According to the results of ANOVA and least significant range (LSR) tests, we can conclude that Vrn-1 rather than Ppd-1 played a major role in controlling vernalization and photoperiod responses in this region. This research will be helpful for precisely characterizing and evaluating the HD, FD and even growth habit of varieties in the YHW at molecular levels.
Project description:Investigation of low-temperature (LT) tolerance in cereals has commonly led to the region of the vyn-A1 vernalization gene or its homologue in related genomes. Two cultivars, one a non-hardy spring wheat and one a very cold-hardy winter wheat, whose growth habits are determined by the Vrn-A1 (spring habit) and vrn-A1 (winter habit) alleles, were chosen to produce reciprocal near-isogenic lines (NILs). These lines were then used to determine the relationship between rate of phenological development and the degree and duration of LT tolerance gene expression. Each allele was isolated in the genetic backgrounds of the non-hardy spring wheat 'Manitou' and the very cold-hardy winter wheat 'Norstar'. The effects of each allele on phenological development and low-temperature tolerance (LT50) were determined at regular intervals over a 4 degrees C acclimation period of 0-98 d. The vegetative/reproductive transition, as determined by final leaf number (FLN), was found to be a major developmental factor influencing LT tolerance. Possession of a vernalization requirement increased both the length of the vegetative growth phase and LT tolerance. Similarly, increased FLN in spring Norstar and winter Manitou NILs delayed their vegetative/reproductive transition and increased their LT tolerance relative to Manitou. Although the winter Manitou NILs had a lower FLN than the spring Norstar NILs, they were able to extend their vegetative stage to a similar length by increasing the phyllochron (interval between the appearance of successive leaves). Cereal plants have four ways of increasing the length of the vegetative phase, all of which extend the time that low-temperature tolerance genes are more highly expressed: (1) vernalization; (2) photoperiod responses; (3) increased leaf number; and (4) increased length of the phyllochron.
Project description:In wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), time from planting to spike emergence is influenced by genes controlling vernalization requirement and photoperiod response. Characterizing the available genetic diversity of known and novel alleles of VERNALIZATION1 (VRN1) and PHOTOPERIOD1 (PPD1) in winter wheat can inform approaches for breeding climate resilient cultivars. This study identified QTL for heading date (HD) associated with multiple VRN1 and PPD1 loci in a population developed from a cross between two early flowering winter wheat cultivars. When the population was grown in the greenhouse after partial vernalization treatment, major heading date QTLs co-located with the VRN-A1 and VRN-B1 loci. Copy number variation at the VRN-A1 locus influenced HD such that RIL having three copies required longer cold exposure to transition to flowering than RIL having two VRN-A1 copies. Sequencing vrn-B1 winter alleles of the parents revealed multiple polymorphisms in the first intron that were the basis of mapping a major HD QTL coinciding with VRN-B1. A 36 bp deletion in the first intron of VRN-B1 was associated with earlier HD after partial vernalization in lines having either two or three haploid copies of VRN-A1. The VRN1 loci interacted significantly and influenced time to heading in field experiments in Louisiana, Georgia and North Carolina. The PPD1 loci were significant determinants of heading date in the fully vernalized treatment in the greenhouse and in all field environments. Heading date QTL were associated with alleles having large deletions in the upstream regions of PPD-A1 and PPD-D1 and with copy number variants at the PPD-B1 locus. The PPD-D1 locus was determined to have the largest genetic effect, followed by PPD-A1 and PPD-B1. Our results demonstrate that VRN1 and PPD1 alleles of varying strength allow fine tuning of flowering time in diverse winter wheat growing environments.
Project description:In order to clarify the origin of spring growth habit in modern domesticated wheat, allelic variability of the VRN-1 gene was investigated in a wide set of accessions of the wild tetraploid species Triticum dicoccoides (BBAA), together with diploid species T. monococcum, T. boeoticum and T. urartu, presumable donors of the A genome to polyploid wheats.No significant variation was found at the VRN-B1 locus of T. dicoccoides, whereas at VRN-A1 a number of previously described alleles were found with small deletions in the promoter (VRN-A1b, VRN-A1d) or a large deletion in the first (1st) intron (VRN-A1L). The diploid A genome species were characterized by their own set of VRN-1 alleles including previously described VRN-A1f and VRN-A1h alleles with deletions in the promoter region and the VRN-A1ins allele containing a 0.5 kb insertion in the 1st intron. Based on the CAPS screening data, alleles VRN-A1f and VRN-A1ins were species-specific for T. monococcum, while allele VRN-A1h was specific for T. boeoticum. Different indels were revealed in both the promoter and 1(st) intron of the recessive VRN-A1u allele providing specific identification of T. urartu, the proposed donor of the A genome to modern wheat. We found that alleles VRN-A1b and VRN-A1h, previously described as dominant, have either no or weak association with spring growth habit, while in some diploid accessions this habit was associated with the recessive VRN-A1 allele.Spring growth habit in diploid wheats was only partially associated with indels in regulatory regions of the VRN-1 gene. An exception is T. monococcum where dominant mutations in both the promoter region and, especially, the 1st intron were selected during domestication resulting in a greater variety of spring forms. The wild tetraploid T. dicoccoides had a distinct set of VRN-A1 alleles compared to the diploids in this study, indicating an independent origin of spring tetraploid forms that likely occurred after combining of diploid genomes. These alleles were subsequently inherited by cultivated polyploid (tetraploid and hexaploid) descendants.
Project description:The major physiological determinants of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) phenology in a given area are a response to vernalization temperature and day length, which are at least in part, regulated by the allelic variation at the vernalization (VRN) and photoperiod (PPD) loci, respectively. Characterization of the existing genetic variation for plant phenology in winter wheat can assist breeding programs improve adaptation to local environments and to optimize wheat phenology for the changing climate. The objectives of this research were to characterize the allelic variation at the major VRN and PPD loci in a diverse panel of high latitude winter wheat genotypes (n = 203) and to associate the allelic variation with phenologic, agronomic and adaptation traits. The panel was genotyped using allele-specific markers at vernalization (VRN-A1, VRN-B1, VRN-D1 and VRN-B3) and photoperiod (PPD-A1, PPD-B1, and PPD-D1) loci and phenotyped for agronomically-important traits. Though photoperiod sensitivity was more prevalent, most of the variation in the phenology of the winter wheat panel was explained by allelic variation at PPD-D1, PPD-A1, and the interaction between these loci. While a typical high latitude winter wheat genotype is one that carries winter alleles at all major VRN loci and photoperiod sensitive alleles at the major PPD loci, in lower latitudes where winters are milder, the presence of one or two photoperiod insensitive alleles seems to contribute to higher yield and wider adaptation.