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1.  Genetic map of Triticum turgidum based on a hexaploid wheat population without genetic recombination for D genome 
BMC Genetics  2012;13:69.
A synthetic doubled-haploid hexaploid wheat population, SynDH1, derived from the spontaneous chromosome doubling of triploid F1 hybrid plants obtained from the cross of hybrids Triticum turgidum ssp. durum line Langdon (LDN) and ssp. turgidum line AS313, with Aegilops tauschii ssp. tauschii accession AS60, was previously constructed. SynDH1 is a tetraploidization-hexaploid doubled haploid (DH) population because it contains recombinant A and B chromosomes from two different T. turgidum genotypes, while all the D chromosomes from Ae. tauschii are homogenous across the whole population. This paper reports the construction of a genetic map using this population.
Of the 606 markers used to assemble the genetic map, 588 (97%) were assigned to linkage groups. These included 513 Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) markers, 72 simple sequence repeat (SSR), one insertion site-based polymorphism (ISBP), and two high-molecular-weight glutenin subunit (HMW-GS) markers. These markers were assigned to the 14 chromosomes, covering 2048.79 cM, with a mean distance of 3.48 cM between adjacent markers. This map showed good coverage of the A and B genome chromosomes, apart from 3A, 5A, 6A, and 4B. Compared with previously reported maps, most shared markers showed highly consistent orders. This map was successfully used to identify five quantitative trait loci (QTL), including two for spikelet number on chromosomes 7A and 5B, two for spike length on 7A and 3B, and one for 1000-grain weight on 4B. However, differences in crossability QTL between the two T. turgidum parents may explain the segregation distortion regions on chromosomes 1A, 3B, and 6B.
A genetic map of T. turgidum including 588 markers was constructed using a synthetic doubled haploid (SynDH) hexaploid wheat population. Five QTLs for three agronomic traits were identified from this population. However, more markers are needed to increase the density and resolution of this map in the future study.
PMCID: PMC3470960  PMID: 22888829
Allopolyploid; Crossability; Doubled haploid; Segregation distortion
2.  The impact of single nucleotide polymorphism in monomeric alpha-amylase inhibitor genes from wild emmer wheat, primarily from Israel and Golan 
Various enzyme inhibitors act on key insect gut digestive hydrolases, including alpha-amylases and proteinases. Alpha-amylase inhibitors have been widely investigated for their possible use in strengthening a plant's defense against insects that are highly dependent on starch as an energy source. We attempted to unravel the diversity of monomeric alpha-amylase inhibitor genes of Israeli and Golan Heights' wild emmer wheat with different ecological factors (e.g., geography, water, and temperature). Population methods that analyze the nature and frequency of allele diversity within a species and the codon analysis method (comparing patterns of synonymous and non-synonymous changes in protein coding sequences) were used to detect natural selection.
Three hundred and forty-eight sequences encoding monomeric alpha-amylase inhibitors (WMAI) were obtained from 14 populations of wild emmer wheat. The frequency of SNPs in WMAI genes was 1 out of 16.3 bases, where 28 SNPs were detected in the coding sequence. The results of purifying and the positive selection hypothesis (p < 0.05) showed that the sequences of WMAI were contributed by both natural selection and co-evolution, which ensured conservation of protein function and inhibition against diverse insect amylases. The majority of amino acid substitutions occurred at the C-terminal (positive selection domain), which ensured the stability of WMAI. SNPs in this gene could be classified into several categories associated with water, temperature, and geographic factors, respectively.
Great diversity at the WMAI locus, both between and within populations, was detected in the populations of wild emmer wheat. It was revealed that WMAI were naturally selected for across populations by a ratio of dN/dS as expected. Ecological factors, singly or in combination, explained a significant proportion of the variations in the SNPs. A sharp genetic divergence over very short geographic distances compared to a small genetic divergence between large geographic distances also suggested that the SNPs were subjected to natural selection, and ecological factors had an important evolutionary role in polymorphisms at this locus. According to population and codon analysis, these results suggested that monomeric alpha-amylase inhibitors are adaptively selected under different environmental conditions.
PMCID: PMC2898687  PMID: 20534122
3.  Characterization and comparative analysis of HMW glutenin 1Ay alleles with differential expressions 
BMC Plant Biology  2009;9:16.
High-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GSs) have been considered as most important seed storage proteins for wheat flour quality. 1Ay subunits are of great interest because they are always silent in common wheat. The presence of expressed 1Ay subunits in diploid and tetraploid wheat genotypes makes it possible to investigate molecular information of active 1Ay genes.
We identified 1Ay subunits with different electrophoretic mobility from 141 accessions of diploid and tetraploid wheats, and obtained the complete ORFs and 5' flanking sequences of 1Ay genes including 6 active and 3 inactive ones. Furthermore, the 5' flanking sequences were characterized from 23 wild diploid species of Triticeae. All 6 active 1Ay possess a typical HMW-GS primary structure and some novel characteristics. The conserved cysteine residue within the repetitive domain of y-type subunits was replaced by phenylalanine residue in subunits of 1Ay (Tu-e1), 1Ay (Tu-e2), 1Ay (Ta-e2) and 1Ay (Td-e). Particularly, 1Ay (Ta-e3) has an unusual large molecular weight of 2202 bp and was one of the known largest y-type HMW-GSs. The translations of 1Ay (Tu-s), 1Ay (Ta-s) and 1Ay (Td-s) were disrupted by premature stop codons in their coding regions. The 5' flanking sequences of active and inactive 1Ay genes differ in a few base substitutions and insertions or deletions. The 85 bp deletions have been found in promoter regions of all 1Ay genes and the corresponding positions of 6 species from Aegilops and Hordeum.
The possession of larger molecular weight and fewer conserved cysteine residues are unique structural features of 1Ay genes; it would be interested to express them in bread wheat and further to examine their impact to processing quality of wheat. The 1Ay genes from T. urartu are closer to the genes from T. turgidum dicoccon and T. aestivum, than those from T. monococcum aegilopoides. The 85 bp deletion and some variations in the 5'flanking region, have not interrupted expression of 1Ay genes, whereas the defects in the coding regions could be responsible to the silence of the 1Ay genes. Some mutational events in more distant distal promoter regions are also possible causes for the inactivation of 1Ay genes.
PMCID: PMC2667398  PMID: 19196487
4.  Molecular evolution of dimeric α-amylase inhibitor genes in wild emmer wheat and its ecological association 
α-Amylase inhibitors are attractive candidates for the control of seed weevils, as these insects are highly dependent on starch as an energy source. In this study, we aimed to reveal the structure and diversity of dimeric α-amylase inhibitor genes in wild emmer wheat from Israel and to elucidate the relationship between the emmer wheat genes and ecological factors using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. Another objective of this study was to find out whether there were any correlations between SNPs in functional protein-coding genes and the environment.
The influence of ecological factors on the genetic structure of dimeric α-amylase inhibitor genes was evaluated by specific SNP markers. A total of 244 dimeric α-amylase inhibitor genes were obtained from 13 accessions in 10 populations. Seventy-five polymorphic positions and 74 haplotypes were defined by sequence analysis. Sixteen out of the 75 SNP markers were designed to detect SNP variations in wild emmer wheat accessions from different populations in Israel. The proportion of polymorphic loci P (5%), the expected heterozygosity He, and Shannon's information index in the 16 populations were 0.887, 0.404, and 0.589, respectively. The populations of wild emmer wheat showed great diversity in gene loci both between and within populations. Based on the SNP marker data, the genetic distance of pair-wise comparisons of the 16 populations displayed a sharp genetic differentiation over long geographic distances. The values of P, He, and Shannon's information index were negatively correlated with three climatic moisture factors, whereas the same values were positively correlated by Spearman rank correlation coefficients' analysis with some of the other ecological factors.
The populations of wild emmer wheat showed a wide range of diversity in dimeric α-amylase inhibitors, both between and within populations. We suggested that SNP markers are useful for the estimation of genetic diversity of functional genes in wild emmer wheat. These results show significant correlations between SNPs in the α-amylase inhibitor genes and ecological factors affecting diversity. Ecological factors, singly or in combination, explained a significant proportion of the variations in the SNPs, and the SNPs could be classified into several categories as ecogeographical predictors. It was suggested that the SNPs in the α-amylase inhibitor genes have been subjected to natural selection, and ecological factors had an important evolutionary influence on gene differentiation at specific loci.
PMCID: PMC2324104  PMID: 18366725
5.  QTL Mapping of Domestication-related Traits in Soybean (Glycine max) 
Annals of Botany  2007;100(5):1027-1038.
Background and Aims
Understanding the genetic basis underlying domestication-related traits (DRTs) is important in order to use wild germplasm efficiently for improving yield, stress tolerance and quality of crops. This study was conducted to characterize the genetic basis of DRTs in soybean (Glycine max) using quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping.
A population of 96 recombinant inbred lines derived from a cultivated (ssp. max) × wild (ssp. soja) cross was used for mapping and QTL analysis. Nine DRTs were examined in 2004 and 2005. A linkage map was constructed with 282 markers by the Kosambi function, and the QTL was detected by composite interval mapping.
Key Results
The early flowering and determinate habit derived from the max parent were each controlled by one major QTL, corresponding to the major genes for maturity (e1) and determinate habit (dt1), respectively. There were only one or two significant QTLs for twinning habit, pod dehiscence, seed weight and hard seededness, which each accounted for approx. 20–50 % of the total variance. A comparison with the QTLs detected previously indicated that in pod dehiscence and hard seededness, at least one major QTL was common across different crosses, whereas no such consistent QTL existed for seed weight.
Most of the DRTs in soybeans were conditioned by one or two major QTLs and a number of genotype-dependent minor QTLs. The common major QTLs identified in pod dehiscence and hard seededness may have been key loci in the domestication of soybean. The evolutionary changes toward larger seed may have occurred through the accumulation of minor changes at many QTLs. Since the major QTLs for DRTs were scattered across only six of the 20 linkage groups, and since the QTLs were not clustered, introgression of useful genes from wild to cultivated soybeans can be carried out without large obstacles.
PMCID: PMC2759197  PMID: 17684023
Soybean; Glycine max; domestication related traits; QTL; hard seededness; seed size; pod dehiscence; twinning habit

Results 1-5 (5)