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Characterization of TaCOMT genes associated with stem lignin content in common wheat and development of a gene-specific marker

FU, Lu-ping, XIAO, Yong-gui, YAN, Jun, LIU, Jin-dong, WEN, Wei-e, ZHANG, Yong, XIA, Xian-chun, HE, Zhong-hu
Journal of integrative agriculture 2019 v.18 no.5 pp. 939-947
DNA, Triticum aestivum, biosynthesis, caffeate O-methyltransferase, chromosomes, cultivars, genes, lignin, lignin content, lodging resistance, marker-assisted selection, wheat
Stem lignin content (SLC) in common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) contributes to lodging resistance. Caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a key enzyme involved in lignin biosynthesis. Characterization of TaCOMT genes and development of gene-specific markers could enable marker-assisted selection in wheat breeding. In the present study, the full-length genomic DNA (gDNA) sequences of TaCOMT genes located on chromosomes 3A, 3B, and 3D were cloned by homologous cloning. Two allelic variants, TaCOMT-3Ba and TaCOMT-3Bb, were identified and differed by a 222-bp insertion/deletion (InDel) in the 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR). A co-dominant gene-specific marker based on this InDel was developed and designated as TaCOMT-3BM. A total of 157 wheat cultivars and advanced lines grown in four environments were used to validate the associations between allelic patterns and SLC. The SLC of cultivars with TaCOMT-3Ba was significantly (P<0.01) higher than that of those with TaCOMT-3Bb, and the marker TaCOMT-3BM could be effectively used in wheat breeding.