Allelic variation at the VRN-1 promoter region in polyploid wheat
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- Yan, L., Helguera, M., Kato, K. et al. Theor Appl Genet (2004) 109: 1677. doi:10.1007/s00122-004-1796-4
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Vernalization, the requirement of a long exposure to low temperatures to induce flowering, is an essential adaptation of plants to cold winters. We have shown recently that the vernalization gene VRN-1 from diploid wheat Triticum monococcum is the meristem identity gene APETALA1, and that deletions in its promoter were associated with spring growth habit. In this study, we characterized the allelic variation at the VRN-1 promoter region in polyploid wheat. The Vrn-A1a allele has a duplication including the promoter region. Each copy has similar foldback elements inserted at the same location and is flanked by identical host direct duplications (HDD). This allele was found in more than half of the hexaploid varieties but not among the tetraploid lines analyzed here. The Vrn-A1b allele has two mutations in the HDD region and a 20-bp deletion in the 5′ UTR compared with the winter allele. The Vrn-A1b allele was found in both tetraploid and hexaploid accessions but at a relatively low frequency. Among the tetraploid wheat accessions, we found two additional alleles with 32 bp and 54 bp deletions that included the HDD region. We found no size polymorphisms in the promoter region among the winter wheat varieties. The dominant Vrn-A1 allele from two spring varieties from Afghanistan and Egypt (Vrn-A1c allele) and all the dominant Vrn-B1 and Vrn-D1 alleles included in this study showed no differences from their respective recessive alleles in promoter sequences. Based on these results, we concluded that the VRN-1 genes should have additional regulatory sites outside the promoter region studied here.