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Genetic mapping reveals a dominant awn-inhibiting gene related to differentiation of the variety anathera in the wild diploid wheat Aegilops tauschii

Nishijima, Ryo, Ikeda, TatsuyaM., Takumi, Shigeo
Genetica 2018 v.146 no.1 pp. 75-84
Aegilops tauschii, alleles, chromosome mapping, diploidy, loci, phenotype, quantitative trait loci, wheat
Aegilops tauschii, a wild wheat relative, is the D-genome donor of common wheat. Subspecies and varieties of Ae. tauschii are traditionally classified based on differences in their inflorescence architecture. However, the genetic information for their diversification has been quite limited in the wild wheat relatives. The variety anathera has no awn on the lemma, but the genetic basis for this diagnostic character is unknown. Wide variations in awn length traits at the top and middle spikes were found in the Ae. tauschii core collection, and the awn length at the middle spike was significantly smaller in the eastward-dispersed sublineage than in those in other sublineages. To clarify loci controlling the awnless phenotype of var. anathera, we measured awn length of an intervariety F₂ mapping population, and found that the F₂ individuals could be divided into two groups mainly based on the awn length at the middle of spike, namely short and long awn groups, significantly fitting a 3:1 segregation ratio, which indicated that a single locus controls the awnless phenotype. The awnless locus, Anathera (Antr), was assigned to the distal region of the short arm of chromosome 5D. Quantitative trait locus analysis using the awn length data of each F₂ individual showed that only one major locus was at the same chromosomal position as Antr. These results suggest that a single dominant allele determines the awnless diagnostic character in the variety anathera. The Antr dominant allele is a novel gene inhibiting awn elongation in wheat and its relatives.