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Coexpression network and phenotypic analysis identify metabolic pathways associated with the effect of warming on grain yield components in wheat

Abstract : Wheat grains are an important source of human food but current production amounts cannot meet world needs. Environmental conditions such as high temperature (above 30 degrees C) could affect wheat production negatively. Plants from two wheat genotypes have been subjected to two growth temperature regimes. One set has been grown at an optimum daily mean temperature of 19 degrees C while the second set of plants has been subjected to warming at 27 degrees C from two to 13 days after anthesis (daa). While warming did not affect mean grain number per spike, it significantly reduced other yield-related indicators such as grain width, length, volume and maximal cell numbers in the endosperm. Whole genome expression analysis identified 6,258 and 5,220 genes, respectively, whose expression was affected by temperature in the two genotypes. Co-expression analysis using WGCNA (Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis) uncovered modules (groups of co-expressed genes) associated with agronomic traits. In particular, modules enriched in genes related to nutrient reservoir and endopeptidase inhibitor activities were found to be positively associated with cell numbers in the endosperm. A hypothetical model pertaining to the effects of warming on gene expression and growth in wheat grain is proposed. Under moderately high temperature conditions, network analyses suggest a negative effect of the expression of genes related to seed storage proteins and starch biosynthesis on the grain size in wheat.
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Christine Girousse, Jane Roche Eyheraguibel, Claire Guerin, Jacques Le Gouis, Sandrine Balzegue, et al.. Coexpression network and phenotypic analysis identify metabolic pathways associated with the effect of warming on grain yield components in wheat. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2018, 13 (6), pp.e0199434. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0199434⟩. ⟨hal-02623273⟩

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