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Contributions of TaSUTs to grain weight in wheat under drought

  • Sarah Al-Sheikh Ahmed
  • Jingjuan Zhang
  • Wujun Ma
  • Bernard Dell
Article

Abstract

Key message

The homologous genes to OsSUT1-5 in wheat were identified and detailed analysed. TaSUT1 was the predominant sucrose transporter group and it illustrated the genotypic variations towards drought during grain filling.

Abstract

Sucrose transporters (SUT) play crucial roles in wheat stem water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) remobilization to grain. To determine the major functional SUT gene groups in shoot parts of wheat during grain development, drought tolerant varieties, Westonia and Kauz, were investigated in field drought experiments. Fourteen homologous genes to OsSUT1-5 were identified on five homeologous groups, namely TaSUT1_4A, TaSUT1_4B, TaSUT1_4D; TaSUT2_5A, TaSUT2_5B, TaSUT2_5D; TaSUT3_1A, TaSUT3_1D; TaSUT4_6A, TaSUT4_6B, TaSUT4_6D; TaSUT5_2A, TaSUT5_2B, and TaSUT5_2D, and their gene structures were analysed. Wheat plants above the ground were harvested from pre-anthesis to grain maturity and the stem, leaf sheath, rachis, lemma and developing grain were used for analysing TaSUT gene expression. Grain weight, thousand grain weight, kernel number per spike, biomass and stem WSC were characterized. The study showed that among the five TaSUT groups, TaSUT1 was the predominant sucrose transporting group in all organs sampled, and the expression was particularly high in the developing grain. In contrast to TaSUT1, the gene expression levels of TaSUT2, TaSUT3 and TaSUT4 were lower, except for TaSUT3 which showed preferential expression in the lemma before anthesis. The TaSUT5 gene group was very weakly expressed in all tissues. The upregulated gene expression of TaSUT1 Westonia type in stem and grain reveal a crucial role in stem WSC remobilization to grain under drought. The high TaSUT1 gene expression and the significant correlations with thousand grain weight (TGW) and kernel number per spike demonstrated the contribution in Kauz’s high grain yield in an irrigated environment and high TGW in Westonia under drought stress. Further molecular level identification is required for gene marker development.

Keywords

Drought Gene expression Grain filling Sucrose transporter Water soluble carbohydrate remobilization Wheat 

Abbreviations

1-FEH

1-Fructan exohydrolase

ABA

Abscisic acid

DAA

Days after anthesis

GAPDH

Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase

KN

Kernel number per spike

SUT

Sucrose transporters

TGW

Thousand grain weight

WSC

Water soluble carbohydrate

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a Scholarship of Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to the first author, Grain Research & Development Corporation ‘Grant Number UMU00039 and Murdoch University. The Western Australian Agriculture and Biotechnology Centre provided facilities for molecular analyses. The work involved collaboration with staff from the Department of Agricultural and Food Western Australia, Merredin station.

Author contributions

SA, JZ, WM, BD conceived the research. SA and JZ performed the experiments and analysed the data. SA, JZ, WM and BD wrote and reviewed the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors claim that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11103_2018_782_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (109 kb)
Supplementary Figure S1 (PDF 109 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Veterinary and Life SciencesMurdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia

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