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Plant Biotechnol J. 2016 May;14(5):1269-80. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12492. Epub 2015 Oct 19.

TaGS5-3A, a grain size gene selected during wheat improvement for larger kernel and yield.

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Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering for Plant Breeding, College of Agronomy, Northwest A & F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.
Key Laboratory of Crop Gene Resources and Germplasm Enhancement, Ministry of Agriculture/Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China.


Grain size is a dominant component of grain weight in cereals. Earlier studies have shown that OsGS5 plays a major role in regulating both grain size and weight in rice via promotion of cell division. In this study, we isolated TaGS5 homoeologues in wheat and mapped them on chromosomes 3A, 3B and 3D. Temporal and spatial expression analysis showed that TaGS5 homoeologues were preferentially expressed in young spikes and developing grains. Two alleles of TaGS5-3A, TaGS5-3A-T and TaGS5-3A-G were identified in wheat accessions, and a functional marker was developed to discriminate them. Association analysis revealed that TaGS5-3A-T was significantly correlated with larger grain size and higher thousand kernel weight. Biochemical assays showed that TaGS5-3A-T possesses a higher enzymatic activity than TaGS5-3A-G. Transgenic rice lines overexpressing TaGS5-3A-T also exhibited larger grain size and higher thousand kernel weight than TaGS5-3A-G lines, and the transcript levels of cell cycle-related genes in TaGS5-3A-T lines were higher than those in TaGS5-3A-G lines. Furthermore, systematic evolution analysis in diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid wheat showed that TaGS5-3A underwent strong artificial selection during wheat polyploidization events and the frequency changes of two alleles demonstrated that TaGS5-3A-T was favoured in global modern wheat cultivars. These results suggest that TaGS5-3A is a positive regulator of grain size and its favoured allele TaGS5-3A-T exhibits a larger potential application in wheat high-yield breeding.


Breeding selection; Grain size; Serine carboxypeptidase; TaGS5; Triticum spp.

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