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Major structural genomic alterations can be associated with hybrid speciation in Aegilops markgrafii (Triticeae)

Danilova, Tatiana V., Akhunova, Alina R., Akhunov, Eduard D., Friebe, Bernd, Gill, Bikram S.
The plant journal 2017 v.92 no.2 pp. 317-330
Aegilops markgrafii, allopolyploidy, barley, chromosome painting, chromosome translocation, chromosomes, complementary DNA, diploidy, genome, grasses, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, hybrids, interspecific hybridization, introgression, karyotyping, phylogeny, rye, transposons, wheat
During evolutionary history many grasses from the tribe Triticeae have undergone interspecific hybridization, resulting in allopolyploidy; whereas homoploid hybrid speciation was found only in rye. Homoeologous chromosomes within the Triticeae preserved cross‐species macrocolinearity, except for a few species with rearranged genomes. Aegilops markgrafii, a diploid wild relative of wheat (2n = 2x = 14), has a highly asymmetrical karyotype that is indicative of chromosome rearrangements. Molecular cytogenetics and next‐generation sequencing were used to explore the genome organization. Fluorescence in situ hybridization with a set of wheat cDNAs allowed the macrostructure and cross‐genome homoeology of the Ae. markgrafii chromosomes to be established. Two chromosomes maintained colinearity, whereas the remaining were highly rearranged as a result of inversions and inter‐ and intrachromosomal translocations. We used sets of barley and wheat orthologous gene sequences to compare discrete parts of the Ae. markgrafii genome involved in the rearrangements. Analysis of sequence identity profiles and phylogenic relationships grouped chromosome blocks into two distinct clusters. Chromosome painting revealed the distribution of transposable elements and differentiated chromosome blocks into two groups consistent with the sequence analyses. These data suggest that introgressive hybridization accompanied by gross chromosome rearrangements might have had an impact on karyotype evolution and homoploid speciation in Ae. markgrafii.