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Theor Appl Genet. 2013 May;126(5):1273-83. doi: 10.1007/s00122-013-2052-6. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Structure, transcription and post-transcriptional regulation of the bread wheat orthologs of the barley cleistogamy gene Cly1.

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Plant Genome Research Unit, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences (NIAS), 2-1-2 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan.


The majority of genes present in the hexaploid bread wheat genome are present as three homoeologs. Here, we describe the three homoeologous orthologs of the barley cleistogamy gene Cly1, a member of the AP2 gene family. As in barley, the wheat genes (designated TaAP2-A, -B and -D) map to the sub-telomeric region of the long arms of the group 2 chromosomes. The structure and pattern of transcription of the TaAP2 homoeologs were similar to those of Cly1. Transcript abundance was high in the florets, and particularly in the lodicule. The TaAP2 message was cleaved at its miR172 target sites. The set of homoeolog-specific PCR assays developed will be informative for identifying either naturally occurring or induced cleistogamous alleles at each of the three wheat homoeologs. By combining such alleles via conventional crossing, it should be possible to generate a cleistogamous form of bread wheat, which would be advantageous both with respect to improving the level of the crop's resistance against the causative pathogen of fusarium head blight, and for controlling pollen-mediated gene flow to and from genetically modified cultivars.

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