Functional & Integrative Genomics

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 665–670 | Cite as

The glutamine synthetase (GS2) genes in relation to grain protein content of durum wheat

  • Agata GadaletaEmail author
  • Domenica Nigro
  • Angelica Giancaspro
  • Antonio Blanco
Short Communication


Glutamine synthetase (GS2) is a key enzyme in plant nitrogen metabolism responsible of the first step of ammonium assimilation and transformation into glutamine (an essential compound in the amino acid-biosynthetic pathway). The goal of the present study was to isolate and characterize GS2 genes and to assess the linkage with grain protein content (GPC), an important quantitative trait controlled by multiple genes. Here, we report the isolation of the complete glutamine synthetase gene sequences and their localization on the two homeologous chromosome 2A and 2B in durum wheat cvs. Ciccio and Svevo characterized by a different grain protein content. GS2-A2 located on 2A chromosome is comprised of 13 exons separated by 12 introns, and the allele sequence in the two cultivars were different for an insertion of 5 bp located in the third exon in the cv. Ciccio. The GS2-B2 has the same intron/exon structure, but the two cultivars differ for the insertion of a 33-bp sequence located in the second intron of the cv. Svevo. Specific primers were designed in the polymorphic region and amplified in a recombinant inbred line mapping population. The study localized GS genes (GS2-A2, GS2-B2 GSe, GSr) on chromosomes 2A, 2B, 4A, and 4B, where four significant QTLs for GPC were also located.


Glutamine synthetase (GS) Wheat QTL analysis Grain protein content 



This research was supported by a grant from Ministero dell'Università e della Ricerca, Italy, project: ‘AGROGEN’.

Supplementary material

10142_2011_235_MOESM1_ESM.doc (356 kb)
Supp. Fig. 1 Genetic linkage map of chromosomes 2A and 2B in the RIL population Ciccio × Svevo (CxS) and in the F2 population Latino × Primadur (LxP) with highlighted GS2-A2 and GS2-B2 loci (a). Genetic linkage map of chromosomes 4A and 4B in the RIL population Ciccio × Svevo (CxS) and in the F2 population Latino × Primadur (LxP) with highlighted GSr-A4, GSr-B4, and Gse-A4 loci (b) (DOC 356 kb)
10142_2011_235_MOESM2_ESM.doc (54 kb)
Supp. Fig. 2 LOD score scan on chromosome 2B for QTLs associated with grain protein content. The scan for QTLs for each environment (dark blue dash-dotted lines Gaudiano 2006, pink dash-dotted lines Valenzano 2006, orange dash-dotted lines Foggia 2006, red dash-dotted lines Valenzano 2007, and blue dash-dotted lines Foggia 2007) are represented separately. The position and the name of molecular markers are shown on the chromosome along the horizontal axis. The LOD score scan was obtained by ICIM with highlights the markers used as cofactors (DOC 54 kb)
10142_2011_235_MOESM3_ESM.doc (84 kb)
Supp. Fig. 3 Alignment of the complete genomic sequences of GS2-A2 and GS2-B2 gene of cv. Svevo. (vertical lines identity, dots SNP) with underlined exons sequences (DOC 83 kb)
10142_2011_235_MOESM4_ESM.doc (40 kb)
Supp. Table 1 Chromosome localization of glutamine synthetase markers in two different durum wheat mapping populations “Svevo × Ciccio” (SxC) and “Latino × Primadur” (LxP) (dashes absent fragment) (DOC 40 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agata Gadaleta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Domenica Nigro
    • 1
  • Angelica Giancaspro
    • 1
  • Antonio Blanco
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agro-Forestry and Environmental Biology and ChemistryUniversity of BariBariItaly

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