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B genome specific polymorphism in the TdDRF1 gene is in relationship with grain yield

Abstract

Main conclusion

A and B genome copies of DRF1 gene in durum wheat were isolated and sequenced using gene variability. B genome specific polymorphism resulted, in a RIL population, in relationship with grain yield mainly in drought condition.

Drought tolerance is one of the main components of yield potential and stability, and its improvement is a major challenge to breeders. Transcription factors are considered among the best candidate genes for developing functional markers, since they are components of the signal transduction pathways that coordinate the expression of several downstream genes. Polymorphisms of the Triticum durum dehydration responsive factor 1 (TdDRF1) gene that belongs to DREB2 transcription factor family were identified and specifically assigned to the A or B genome. A panel of primers was derived to selectively isolate the corresponding gene copies. These molecular information were also used to develop a new molecular marker: an allele-specific PCR assay discriminating two genotypes (Mohawk and Cocorit) was developed and used for screening a durum wheat recombinant inbred line population (RIL-pop) derived from the above genotypes. Phenotypic data from the RIL-pop grown during two seasons, under different environmental conditions, adopting an α-lattice design with two repetitions, were collected, analyzed and correlated with molecular data from the PCR assay. A significant association between a specific polymorphism in the B genome copy of the TdDRF1 gene and the grain yield in drought conditions were observed.

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Abbreviations

AP2:

Apetala2

DRF1:

Dehydration responsive factor 1

RIL:

Recombinant inbred line

SSR:

Simple sequence repeat

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Acknowledgements

Authors are really grateful to Marco Dettori (AGRIS, IT) for his valuable suggestions during the manuscript preparation; to Serena Guida (AIFA, IT) and Arianna Latini (ENEA, IT) for their constructive criticisms; to Cristina Prisco (Bio-Fab Research srl, IT) for her technical assistance in the sequence project of the TdDRF1 gene; to Marian Shields for revision of English text; to Giulio Marconi (ENEA library service) for constant assistance. This study was partially supported by: the High Relevance Mexico–Italy Project of the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry; COST FA0604 Tritigen Project and ERA-NET in Life Science Project (EU 7FP). DDB was supported by an International Doctoral Fellowship from Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna (Pisa—IT) and Fellowships of the Government of Mexico, “Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores” for three stages at CIMMYT (Mexico); KT was supported by ENEA International Fellowship for 2 years postdoc position at ENEA Casaccia Research Centre (IT).

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Correspondence to Patrizia Galeffi.

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We dedicate this paper to the memory of Alfonso Garcia (CIMMYT), who gave his highly professional contribution to the field experiments.

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Cantale, C., Di Bianco, D., Thiyagarajan, K. et al. B genome specific polymorphism in the TdDRF1 gene is in relationship with grain yield. Planta 247, 459–469 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-017-2799-0

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Keywords

  • Allele-specific PCR assay
  • Drought
  • Functional marker
  • Molecular genetics
  • Statistical association
  • Trait