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1.  Molecular characterization of LMW-GS genes in Brachypodium distachyon L. reveals highly conserved Glu-3 loci in Triticum and related species 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:221.
Background
Brachypodium distachyon L. is a newly emerging model plant system for temperate cereal crop species. However, its grain protein compositions are still not clear. In the current study, we carried out a detailed proteomics and molecular genetics study on grain glutenin proteins in B. distachyon.
Results
SDS-PAGE and RP-HPLC analysis of grain proteins showed that Brachypodium has few gliadins and high molecular weight glutenin subunits. In contrast the electrophoretic patterns for the albumin, globulin and low molecular weight glutenin subunit (LMW-GS) fractions of the grain protein were similar to those in wheat. In particular, the LMW-C type subunits in Brachypodium were more abundant than the equivalent proteins in common wheat. Southern blotting analysis confirmed that Brachypodium has 4–5 copies of LMW-GS genes. A total of 18 LMW-GS genes were cloned from Brachypodium by allele specific PCR. LMW-GS and 4 deduced amino acid sequences were further confirmed by using Western-blotting and MALDI-TOF-MS. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that Brachypodium was closer to Ae. markgrafii and Ae. umbellulata than to T. aestivum.
Conclusions
Brachypodium possessed a highly conserved Glu-3 locus that is closely related to Triticum and related species. The presence of LMW-GS in B. distachyon grains indicates that B. distachyon may be used as a model system for studying wheat quality attributes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-221
PMCID: PMC3547698  PMID: 23171363
2.  Comparison of low molecular weight glutenin subunits identified by SDS-PAGE, 2-DE, MALDI-TOF-MS and PCR in common wheat 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:124.
Background
Low-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (LMW-GS) play a crucial role in determining end-use quality of common wheat by influencing the viscoelastic properties of dough. Four different methods - sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE, IEF × SDS-PAGE), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), were used to characterize the LMW-GS composition in 103 cultivars from 12 countries.
Results
At the Glu-A3 locus, all seven alleles could be reliably identified by 2-DE and PCR. However, the alleles Glu-A3e and Glu-A3d could not be routinely distinguished from Glu-A3f and Glu-A3g, respectively, based on SDS-PAGE, and the allele Glu-A3a could not be differentiated from Glu-A3c by MALDI-TOF-MS. At the Glu-B3 locus, alleles Glu-B3a, Glu-B3b, Glu-B3c, Glu-B3g, Glu-B3h and Glu-B3j could be clearly identified by all four methods, whereas Glu-B3ab, Glu-B3ac, Glu-B3ad could only be identified by the 2-DE method. At the Glu-D3 locus, allelic identification was problematic for the electrophoresis based methods and PCR. MALDI-TOF-MS has the potential to reliably identify the Glu-D3 alleles.
Conclusions
PCR is the simplest, most accurate, lowest cost, and therefore recommended method for identification of Glu-A3 and Glu-B3 alleles in breeding programs. A combination of methods was required to identify certain alleles, and would be especially useful when characterizing new alleles. A standard set of 30 cultivars for use in future studies was chosen to represent all LMW-GS allelic variants in the collection. Among them, Chinese Spring, Opata 85, Seri 82 and Pavon 76 were recommended as a core set for use in SDS-PAGE gels. Glu-D3c and Glu-D3e are the same allele. Two new alleles, namely, Glu-D3m in cultivar Darius, and Glu-D3n in Fengmai 27, were identified by 2-DE. Utilization of the suggested standard cultivar set, seed of which is available from the CIMMYT and INRA Clermont-Ferrand germplasm collections, should also promote information sharing in the identification of individual LMW-GS and thus provide useful information for quality improvement in common wheat.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-124
PMCID: PMC3017774  PMID: 20573275
3.  Wheat beta-expansin (EXPB11) genes: Identification of the expressed gene on chromosome 3BS carrying a pollen allergen domain 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:99.
Background
Expansins form a large multi-gene family found in wheat and other cereal genomes that are involved in the expansion of cell walls as a tissue grows. The expansin family can be divided up into two main groups, namely, alpha-expansin (EXPA) and beta-expansin proteins (EXPB), with the EXPB group being of particular interest as group 1-pollen allergens.
Results
In this study, three beta-expansin genes were identified and characterized from a newly sequenced region of the Triticum aestivum cv. Chinese Spring chromosome 3B physical map at the Sr2 locus (FPC contig ctg11). The analysis of a 357 kb sub-sequence of FPC contig ctg11 identified one beta-expansin genes to be TaEXPB11, originally identified as a cDNA from the wheat cv Wyuna. Through the analysis of intron sequences of the three wheat cv. Chinese Spring genes, we propose that two of these beta-expansin genes are duplications of the TaEXPB11 gene. Comparative sequence analysis with two other wheat cultivars (cv. Westonia and cv. Hope) and a Triticum aestivum var. spelta line validated the identification of the Chinese Spring variant of TaEXPB11. The expression in maternal and grain tissues was confirmed by examining EST databases and carrying out RT-PCR experiments. Detailed examination of the position of TaEXPB11 relative to the locus encoding Sr2 disease resistance ruled out the possibility of this gene directly contributing to the resistance phenotype.
Conclusions
Through 3-D structural protein comparisons with Zea mays EXPB1, we proposed that variations within the coding sequence of TaEXPB11 in wheats may produce a functional change within features such as domain 1 related to possible involvement in cell wall structure and domain 2 defining the pollen allergen domain and binding to IgE protein. The variation established in this gene suggests it is a clearly identifiable member of a gene family and reflects the dynamic features of the wheat genome as it adapted to a range of different environments and uses.
Accession Numbers: ctg11 =FN564426
Survey sequences of TaEXPB11ws and TsEXPB11 are provided request.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-99
PMCID: PMC2887456  PMID: 20507562
4.  A highly conserved gene island of three genes on chromosome 3B of hexaploid wheat: diverse gene function and genomic structure maintained in a tightly linked block 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:98.
Background
The complexity of the wheat genome has resulted from waves of retrotransposable element insertions. Gene deletions and disruptions generated by the fast replacement of repetitive elements in wheat have resulted in disruption of colinearity at a micro (sub-megabase) level among the cereals. In view of genomic changes that are possible within a given time span, conservation of genes between species tends to imply an important functional or regional constraint that does not permit a change in genomic structure. The ctg1034 contig completed in this paper was initially studied because it was assigned to the Sr2 resistance locus region, but detailed mapping studies subsequently assigned it to the long arm of 3B and revealed its unusual features.
Results
BAC shotgun sequencing of the hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum cv. Chinese Spring) genome has been used to assemble a group of 15 wheat BACs from the chromosome 3B physical map FPC contig ctg1034 into a 783,553 bp genomic sequence. This ctg1034 sequence was annotated for biological features such as genes and transposable elements. A three-gene island was identified among >80% repetitive DNA sequence. Using bioinformatics analysis there were no observable similarity in their gene functions. The ctg1034 gene island also displayed complete conservation of gene order and orientation with syntenic gene islands found in publicly available genome sequences of Brachypodium distachyon, Oryza sativa, Sorghum bicolor and Zea mays, even though the intergenic space and introns were divergent.
Conclusion
We propose that ctg1034 is located within the heterochromatic C-band region of deletion bin 3BL7 based on the identification of heterochromatic tandem repeats and presence of significant matches to chromodomain-containing gypsy LTR retrotransposable elements. We also speculate that this location, among other highly repetitive sequences, may account for the relative stability in gene order and orientation within the gene island.
Sequence data from this article have been deposited with the GenBank Data Libraries under accession no. GQ422824
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-98
PMCID: PMC3017796  PMID: 20507561

Results 1-4 (4)