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An alternative mechanism for cleistogamy in barley

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Cleistogamy in barley is genetically determined by the presence of the recessive allele cly1, but the dominant allele at the linked locus Cly2 is epistatic over cly1. Although the molecular basis for cly1 action is well understood, that of Cly2 is not. Here we show that anther non-extrusion can occur not just when the lodicules fail to expand adequately (a trait which is fully determined by the allelic state at the cly1 locus), but by the premature timing of anthesis before the spike has emerged from the boot. The transcription of HvAP2 at cly1 is unaffected by the timing of anthesis. Where this occurs prematurely, by the time that the spike has emerged from the boot, the lodicules have already become shrunken and have lost the capacity to push the lemma and palea apart. Premature anthesis appears to be governed by a dominant gene, probably Cly2. Of the three phases of development of a non-cleistogamous barley floret (spike emergence from the boot, floret gaping induced by lodicule expansion and anther extrusion), genetic variation is available regarding at least the former two.

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We thank K. Kakeda for useful comments on the manuscript. This research was funded by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Genomics for Agricultural Innovation grants no. TRG1004 and Genomics-based Technology for Agricultural Improvement grants no. TRS1002) to T.K. and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (Postdoctoral Fellowship for Foreign Researchers) to N.W.

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Correspondence to Takao Komatsuda.

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Communicated by P. Hayes.

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Supplementary File 1 Spike emergence distance at the anthesis. (A) Measurement of spike emergence distance at the anthesis in F1 plant of SN × MG cross (left) and F1 plant of SN × KNG cross (right). (B) Frequency distribution of spike emergence distance in F2 population of SN × KNG cross. Genotypes for HvAP2/NmuCI are shown in different colors: black bars SN genotype (n = 32), light gray bars F1 genotype (n = 43), and white bars KNG genotype (n = 19). (C) F2 population of SN × MG cross: black bars SN genotype (n = 26), light gray bars F1 genotype (n = 49), and white bars MG genotype (n = 17). (D) F2 population of RIL50 × GP cross: black bars RIL50 genotype (n = 13), light gray bars F1 genotype (n = 30), and white bars GP genotype (n = 19) (PPTX 378 kb)


Supplementary File 2 Spearman correlations between pairs of traits related to cleistogamy measured in the F2 population bred from the cross RIL50 × GP (n = 62)(XLS 20 kb)


Supplementary File 3 Hypothetical genotypes contribute to lodicule size and spike emergence, and their overlapping effect on anther extrusion(XLSX 11 kb)

Supplementary File 4 The sequences of PCR primers targeting the cly1 region(XLS 29 kb)

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Wang, N., Ning, S., Pourkheirandish, M. et al. An alternative mechanism for cleistogamy in barley. Theor Appl Genet 126, 2753–2762 (2013).

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