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Single nucleotide polymorphism, haplotype diversity and recombination in the Isa gene of barley


The Isa gene from barley—an intronless gene expressed in maternal tissues of the seed—has a likely role in defence against pathogens. The protein product—bi-functional α-amylase/subtilisin inhibitor—inhibits the seed’s own amylase in addition to the bacterial protease subtilisin and fungal xylanase. Sixteen barley genotypes were targeted to amplify and sequence the Isa gene region to detect sequence polymorphisms, since little is known about genetic diversity at this locus. A total of 80 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 23 indels were detected in 2,164 bp of sequence containing the Isa transcript, promoter and 3′ non-transcribed region (overall one SNP per 27 bp and one indel per 94 bp), with eight sequence-based haplotypes distinguishable amongst the 16 varieties. Sequencing a polymorphic region in the promoter in an additional 27 barley genotypes increased the number of sequence-based haplotypes discovered to 11. However there is low haplotype diversity amongst the cultivated barley varieties sampled, with most varieties represented by a single haplotype. There was minor amino acid diversity in the protein, with five out of ten SNP sites in the coding region predicted to produce amino acid substitutions. SNP analysis indicated a history of recombination events—a minimum of seven based on the initial eight haplotypes from the whole sequenced region. Most of the recombination events occurred in the highly polymorphic regions, the 3′ non-transcribed region and sequences flanking a microsatellite in the Isa promoter.

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We would like to acknowledge the contribution of Linh Nguyen for carrying out sequencing and allele sizing of the microsatellite region and Giovani Cordeiro for running RecMin.

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Correspondence to P. C. Bundock.

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Communicated by P. Langridge

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Bundock, P.C., Henry, R.J. Single nucleotide polymorphism, haplotype diversity and recombination in the Isa gene of barley. Theor Appl Genet 109, 543–551 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-004-1675-z

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  • Recombination Event
  • Wild Barley
  • Barley Variety
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Site
  • Endosperm Transfer Cell