Divergence of VRN-B3 alleles during the evolution of domesticated wheat
Genetic changes accrued during the domestication of wheat have been crucial in improving the cultivation and yield of this strategic crop. Allelic variation at the VRN3 gene makes a significant contribution to the adaptability of wheat to a wide range of environmental conditions. In the present study, the origin and distribution of the Vrn-B3a and Vrn-B3b alleles during the evolution of wheat were investigated. Analysis of 214 accessions of 11 polyploid wheat species from different eco-geographical areas found the Vrn-B3a and Vrn-B3b alleles in accessions of tetraploid wheat T. dicoccum from Russia and hexaploid wheat of T. spelta from Iran, respectively. DNA sequence analysis of an insertion in the Vrn-B3b promoter region identified a new family of non-autonomous transposable hAT elements that originated in T. urartu lineage. Publicly available whole genome sequence assemblies of 11 T. aestivum and T. durum varieties, as well as WGS of T. dicoccoides were used to investigate the phylogeny and distribution of the TEs inserted in the Vrn-B3a and Vrn-B3b promoter regions, to determine the origin of these alleles. Results showed that both Vrn-B3a and Vrn-B3b diverged during the domestication of wheat, in the T. dicoccum lineage. However, while Vrn-B3a is common in T. dicoccum and T. durum from Ukraine and Russia the Vrn-B3b allele likely has a more recent origin in hexaploid wheat from the Near East.
KeywordsWheat Emmer Spelt Evolution Genetic diversity VRN3 gene Promoter region Transposable elements
We are grateful to Carly Schramm for comments and English polishing of the manuscript.
This study was funded by the Russian Scientific Foundation Grant no. 14–14-00161. The work at the SB RAS Genomics Core Facility was supported by the IC&G Budgetary Project no. 0324-2018-0018.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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