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The genetic diversity of group-1 homoeologs and characterization of novel LMW-GS genes from Chinese Xinjiang winter wheat landraces (Triticum aestivum L.)


Group-1 homoelog genes in wheat genomes encode storage proteins and are the major determinants of wheat product properties. Consequently, understanding the genetic diversity of group-1 homoelogs and genes encoding storage proteins, especially the low-molecular-weight glutenins (LMW-GSs), within wheat landrace genomes is necessary to further improve the quality of modern wheat crops. The genetic diversity of group-1 homoelogs in 75 Xinjiang winter wheat landraces was evaluated by Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) markers. These data were used to select 15 landraces for additional LMW-GS gene isolation. The genetic similarity coefficients among landraces were highly similar regardless if considering the diversity markers on 1A, 1B, and 1D chromosomes individually or using all of the markers together. These similarities were evinced by the generation of four similar cluster dendrograms that comprised 11–15 landrace groups, regardless of the dataset used to generate the dendrograms. A total of 105 LMW-GS sequences corresponding to 79 unique genes were identified overall by using primers designed to target Glu-A3 and Glu-B3 loci, and 54 mature proteins were predicted from the unique LMW-GS genes. Nine novel chimeric LMW-GS genes were also identified, of which, one was recombinant for -i/-m, one for -s/-m, and seven for -m/-m parent genes, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis separated all of the LMW-GSs into three clades that were supported by moderate bootstrap values (> 70%). The clades corresponded to LMW-GS genes primarily harboring different N-terminals. These results provide useful information for better understanding the evolutionary genetics of the important Glu-3 locus of wheat, and they also provide new novel gene targets that can potentially be exploited to improve wheat quality.

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We thank LetPub ( for its linguistic assistance during the preparation of this manuscript.


This research was supported by the grants from the Natural National Science Foundation of China (U1403185, 31771783), the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2016YFD0100502, 2017YFD0100903), Sichuan Science and Technology Program (No. 2018HH0113 and No. 2018HH0130), the Key Research and Development Program of Sichuan Province (2018NZDZX0002), and the project of Urumqi science and Technology Bureau (Z161210002).

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SFD, ZHY, and YLY conceived and designed the experiment. XKH performed the experiment. XKH, YXL, and YMW analyzed the data. YLZ and HC provided suggestions; JBZ and ZFL planted the materials. XKH and ZHY wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Yongliang Yan or Zehong Yan.

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Communicated by: Izabela Pawłowicz

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Hu, X., Dai, S., Yan, Y. et al. The genetic diversity of group-1 homoeologs and characterization of novel LMW-GS genes from Chinese Xinjiang winter wheat landraces (Triticum aestivum L.). J Appl Genetics 61, 379–389 (2020).

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  • Chinese endemic wheats
  • Xinjiang wheat landraces
  • Low-molecular-weight glutenins (LMW-GSs)
  • Chimeric genes
  • Evolutionary relationships