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Mol Biol Evol. 2006 Jul;23(7):1386-96. Epub 2006 May 4.

Molecular characterization of a diagnostic DNA marker for domesticated tetraploid wheat provides evidence for gene flow from wild tetraploid wheat to hexaploid wheat.

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  • 1Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, USA.


All forms of domesticated tetraploid wheat (Triticum turgidum, genomes AABB) are nearly monomorphic for restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) haplotype a at the Xpsr920 locus on chromosome 4A (Xpsr920-A1a), and wild tetraploid wheat is monomorphic for haplotype b. The Xpsr920-A1a/b dimorphism provides a molecular marker for domesticated and wild tetraploid wheat, respectively. Hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum, genomes AABBDD) is polymorphic for the 2 haplotypes. Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones hybridizing with PSR920 were isolated from Triticum urartu (genomes AA), Triticum monococcum (genomes AmAm), and T. turgidum ssp. durum (genomes AABB) and sequenced. PSR920 is a fragment of a putative ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter gene (designated ABCT-1). The wheat ABCT-1 gene is more similar to the T. urartu gene than to the T. monococcum gene and diverged from the T. urartu gene about 0.7 MYA. The comparison of the sequence of the wheat A genome BAC clone with that of the T. urartu BAC clone provides the first insight into the microsynteny of the wheat A genome with that of T. urartu. Within 103 kb of orthologous intergenic space, 37 kb of new DNA has been inserted and 36 kb deleted leaving 49.7% of the region syntenic between the clones. The nucleotide substitution rate in the syntenic intergenic space has been 1.6 x 10(-8) nt(-1) year(-1), which is, respectively, 4 and 3 times as great as nucleotide substitution rates in the introns and the third codon positions of the juxtaposed gene. The RFLP is caused by a miniature inverted transposable element (MITE) insertion into intron 18 of the ABCT-A1 gene. Polymerase chain reaction primers were developed for the amplification of the MITE insertion site and its sequencing. The T. aestivum ABCT-A1a haplotype is identical to the haplotype of domesticated tetraploid wheat, and the ABCT-A1b haplotype is identical to that of wild tetraploid wheat. This finding shows for the first time that wild tetraploid wheat participated in the evolution of hexaploid wheat. A cline of the 2 haplotype frequencies exists across Euro-Asia in T. aestivum. It is suggested that T. aestivum in eastern Asia conserved the gene pool of the original T. aestivum more than wheat elsewhere.

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