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Arabidopsis–rice–wheat gene orthologues for Na+ transport and transcript analysis in wheat–L. elongatum aneuploids under salt stress

Mullan, D.J., Colmer, T.D. and Francki, M.G. (2007) Arabidopsis–rice–wheat gene orthologues for Na+ transport and transcript analysis in wheat–L. elongatum aneuploids under salt stress. Molecular Genetics and Genomics, 277 (2). pp. 199-212.

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Lophopyrum elongatum is a wild relative of wheat that provides a source of novel genes for improvement of the salt tolerance of bread wheat. Improved Na+ ‘exclusion’ is associated with salt tolerance in a wheat–L. elongatum amphiploid, in which a large proportion (ca. 50%) of the improved regulation of leaf Na+ concentrations is controlled by chromosome 3E. In this study, genes that might control Na+ accumulation, such as for transporters responsible for Na+ entry (HKT1) and exit (SOS1) from cells, or compartmentalisation within vacuoles (NHX1, NHX5, AVP1, AVP2) in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, were targeted for comparative analyses in wheat. Putative rice orthologues were identified and characterised as a means to bridge the large evolutionary distance between genomes from the model dicot and the more complex grass species. Wheat orthologues were identified through BLAST searching to identify either FL-cDNAs or ESTs and were subsequently used to design primers to amplify genomic DNA. The probable orthologous status of the wheat genes was confirmed through demonstration of similar intron–exon structure with their counterparts in Arabidopsis and rice. The majority of exons for Arabidopsis, rice and wheat orthologues of NHX1, NHX5 and SOS1 were conserved except for those at the amino and carboxy terminal ends. However, additional exons were identified in the predicted NHX1 and SOS1 genes of rice and wheat, as compared with Arabidopsis, indicating gene rearrangement events during evolution from a common ancestor. Nullisomic–tetrasomic, deletion and addition lines in wheat were used to assign gene sequences to chromosome regions in wheat and L. elongatum. Most sequences were assigned to homoeologous chromosomes, however, in some instances, such as for SOS1, genes were mapped to other unpredicted locations. Differential transcript abundance under salt stress indicated a complex pattern of expression for wheat orthologues that may regulate Na+ accumulation in wheat lines containing chromosomes from L. elongatum. The identification of wheat orthologues to well characterized Arabidopsis genes, map locations and gene expression profiles increases our knowledge on the complex mechanisms regulating Na+ transport in wheat and wheat–L. elongatum lines under salt stress.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre
Publisher: Springer
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