The use of Vp1 in real time RT-PCR to select for pre-harvest sprouting tolerance in triticale
In spite of the availability of laboratory and field tests there is still a major problem to select pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) tolerant triticale varieties in a reliable, field-independent way. One approach to minimize the influence of environmental conditions and physio-morphological traits on PHS detection is using molecular genetic tools. The ‘viviparous’ Vp1 gene has been repeatedly described to play an important role in dormancy in wheat. A quantitative RT-PCR assay based on the expression of the Vp1 gene has been developed. Specific primers were designed for detecting Vp1 in both wheat and triticale. The expression levels of Vp1 were normalized using reference genes and relatively quantified with the comparative Ct-method. However, the first results indicate that the achieved Vp1 expression levels at 50 days post anthesis are not useful to select for PHS tolerance, both in wheat and triticale. This negative outcome so far is possibly due to the existence of several splicing events or to the late assaying moment in the kernel development, when Vp1 expression is found to be low.
KeywordsTriticale Wheat Vp1 gene Real time RT-PCR Pre-harvest sprouting
S. De Laethauwer is financially supported by the research funding of the University College Ghent. We are very grateful to the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research—Unit Plant for their technical assistance and expertise. We would like also to thank Dr. Zofia Banaszak (Danko, Poland), Jorion et fils, Florimond Desprez, Dr. Kath Cooper and Prof. Daryl Mares for providing seed samples of triticale, wheat and rye.
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