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Photoperiod insensitive Ppd-A1a mutations in tetraploid wheat (Triticum durum Desf.)

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Variation in photoperiod response plays an important role in adapting crops to agricultural environments. In hexaploid wheat, mutations conferring photoperiod insensitivity (flowering after a similar time in short or long days) have been mapped on the 2B (Ppd-B1) and 2D (Ppd-D1) chromosomes in colinear positions to the 2H Ppd-H1 gene of barley. No A genome mutation is known. On the D genome, photoperiod insensitivity is likely to be caused by deletion of a regulatory region that causes misexpression of a member of the pseudo-response regulator (PRR) gene family and activation of the photoperiod pathway irrespective of day length. Photoperiod insensitivity in tetraploid (durum) wheat is less characterized. We compared pairs of near-isogenic lines that differ in photoperiod response and showed that photoperiod insensitivity is associated with two independent deletions of the A genome PRR gene that cause altered expression. This is associated with induction of the floral regulator FT. The A genome deletions and the previously described D genome deletion of hexaploid wheat remove a common region, suggesting a shared mechanism for photoperiod insensitivity. The identification of the A genome mutations will allow characterization of durum wheat germplasm and the construction of genotypes with novel combinations of photoperiod insensitive alleles.

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This work was supported by grant-in-aid to the John Innes Centre by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of Great Britain and by a grant to E. P. W. from the University of East Anglia, Norwich.

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Correspondence to David A. Laurie.

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Communicated by A. Graner.

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Fig. S1 Alignment of predicted PRR protein sequences from the 2A, 2B and 2D genes of various wheat genotypes and the 2H chromosome of barley. Tetraploid 2A sequences (‘GS-100’, ‘GS-101’, ‘GS-104’ and ‘GS-105’) are described in this paper. Hexaploid sequences are CS_A, CS_B and CS_D from ‘Chinese Spring’ (DQ885753, DQ885757 and DQ885766) and Chey_B from ‘Cheyenne’ (DQ885760). The barley (H) sequence is from ‘Igri’ (AY970701). Two conserved regions, the pseudo-receiver domain and CCT domain, are marked by brackets. Red arrows show variant amino-acids distinguishing the tetraploid wheat genotypes. Blue arrows show variant amino-acids distinguishing the tetraploid and hexaploid wheats. The adjacent coloured numbers refer to polymorphisms listed in Table 1 in the main text (PDF 1982 kb)


Fig. S2 Sequence homology of a promoter region identified by alignment of wheat A, B and D genome sequences with barley (‘Morex’ AY943294), Brachypodium sylvaticum (previously analysed by Turner et al. 2005) and rice (AP005199). 6x and 4x refer to hexaploid and tetraploid sequences, respectively. This conserved region of about 100 bp lies in the centre of the minimum region defined by the three deletions and was the only region in the wheat promoter with significant homology to rice identified using BLAST ( (PDF 231 kb)

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Wilhelm, E.P., Turner, A.S. & Laurie, D.A. Photoperiod insensitive Ppd-A1a mutations in tetraploid wheat (Triticum durum Desf.). Theor Appl Genet 118, 285–294 (2009).

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