, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 295-303,
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Genomic regions influencing gene expression of the HMW glutenins in wheat


Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) produces glutenin storage proteins in the endosperm. The HMW glutenins confer distinct viscoelastic properties to bread dough. The genetics of HMW glutenin proteins have been extensively studied, and information has accumulated about individual subunits, chromosomal locations and DNA sequences, but little is known about the regulators of the HMW glutenins. This investigation addressed the question of glutenin regulators. Expression of the glutenins was analyzed using QRT-PCR in ditelosomic (dt) Chinese Spring (CS) lines. Primers were designed for each of 4 CS glutenin genes and a control, non-storage protein endosperm-specific gene Agp-L (ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase). Each line represents CS wheat, lacking one chromosome arm. The effect of a missing arm could feasibly cause an increase, decrease or no change in expression. For each HMW glutenin, results indicated there were, on average, 8 chromosome arms with an up-regulatory effect and only one instance of a down-regulatory effect. There were significant correlations between orthologous and paralogous HMW glutenins for effects of chromosome groups B and D. Some or all the glutenin alleles shared regulatory loci on chromosome arms 2BS, 7BS, 4DS, 5DS and 6DS, and Agp-L shared regulatory loci with glutenins on arms 7AS, 7BS, 2DS, 3DS, 4DS and 5DS. These results suggest a few chromosome arms contain putative regulatory genes affecting the expression of conserved cis elements of 4 HMW glutenin and Agp-L genes in CS. Regulation by common genes implies the regulators have diverged little from the common wheat ancestor, and furthermore, some regulation may be shared by endosperm-specific-genes. Significant common regulators have practical implications.

Communicated by B. Friebe.