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Duplication and partitioning in evolution and function of homoeologous Q loci governing domestication characters in polyploid wheat

Abstract : The Q gene encodes an AP2-like transcription factor that played an important role in domestication of polyploid wheat. The chromosome 5A Q alleles (5AQ and 5Aq) have been well studied, but much less is known about the q alleles on wheat homoeologous chromosomes 5B (5Bq) and 5D (5Dq). We investigated the organization, evolution, and function of the Q/q homoeoalleles in hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Q/q gene sequences are highly conserved within and among the A, B, and D genomes of hexaploid wheat, the A and B genomes of tetraploid wheat, and the A, S, and D genomes of the diploid progenitors, but the intergenic regions of the Q/q locus are highly divergent among homoeologous genomes. Duplication of the q gene 5.8 Mya was likely followed by selective loss of one of the copies from the A genome progenitor and the other copy from the B, D, and S genomes. A recent V(329)-to-I mutation in the A lineage is correlated with the Q phenotype. The 5Bq homoeoalleles became a pseudogene after allotetraploidization. Expression analysis indicated that the homoeoalleles are coregulated in a complex manner. Combined phenotypic and expression analysis indicated that, whereas 5AQ plays a major role in conferring domestication-related traits, 5Dq contributes directly and 5Bq indirectly to suppression of the speltoid phenotype. The evolution of the Q/q loci in polyploid wheat resulted in the hyperfunctionalization of 5AQ, pseudogenization of 5Bq, and subfunctionalization of 5Dq, all contributing to the domestication traits.
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Zengcui Zhanga, Harry Belcram, Piotr Gornickic, Mathieu Charles, Jérémy Just, et al.. Duplication and partitioning in evolution and function of homoeologous Q loci governing domestication characters in polyploid wheat. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , National Academy of Sciences, 2011, 108 (46), pp.18737 - 18742. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1110552108⟩. ⟨hal-02650358⟩

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