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1.  Intraspecific sequence comparisons reveal similar rates of non-collinear gene insertion in the B and D genomes of bread wheat 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:155.
Background
Polyploidization is considered one of the main mechanisms of plant genome evolution. The presence of multiple copies of the same gene reduces selection pressure and permits sub-functionalization and neo-functionalization leading to plant diversification, adaptation and speciation. In bread wheat, polyploidization and the prevalence of transposable elements resulted in massive gene duplication and movement. As a result, the number of genes which are non-collinear to genomes of related species seems markedly increased in wheat.
Results
We used new-generation sequencing (NGS) to generate sequence of a Mb-sized region from wheat chromosome arm 3DS. Sequence assembly of 24 BAC clones resulted in two scaffolds of 1,264,820 and 333,768 bases. The sequence was annotated and compared to the homoeologous region on wheat chromosome 3B and orthologous loci of Brachypodium distachyon and rice. Among 39 coding sequences in the 3DS scaffolds, 32 have a homoeolog on chromosome 3B. In contrast, only fifteen and fourteen orthologs were identified in the corresponding regions in rice and Brachypodium, respectively. Interestingly, five pseudogenes were identified among the non-collinear coding sequences at the 3B locus, while none was found at the 3DS locus.
Conclusion
Direct comparison of two Mb-sized regions of the B and D genomes of bread wheat revealed similar rates of non-collinear gene insertion in both genomes with a majority of gene duplications occurring before their divergence. Relatively low proportion of pseudogenes was identified among non-collinear coding sequences. Our data suggest that the pseudogenes did not originate from insertion of non-functional copies, but were formed later during the evolution of hexaploid wheat. Some evidence was found for gene erosion along the B genome locus.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-155
PMCID: PMC3445842  PMID: 22935214
Wheat; BAC sequencing; Homoeologous genomes; Gene duplication; Non-collinear genes; Allopolyploidy
2.  Genetic structure and ecogeographical adaptation in wild barley (Hordeum chilense Roemer et Schultes) as revealed by microsatellite markers 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:266.
Background
Multi-allelic microsatellite markers have become the markers of choice for the determination of genetic structure in plants. Synteny across cereals has allowed the cross-species and cross-genera transferability of SSR markers, which constitute a valuable and cost-effective tool for the genetic analysis and marker-assisted introgression of wild related species. Hordeum chilense is one of the wild relatives with a high potential for cereal breeding, due to its high crossability (both interspecies and intergenera) and polymorphism for adaptation traits. In order to analyze the genetic structure and ecogeographical adaptation of this wild species, it is necessary to increase the number of polymorphic markers currently available for the species. In this work, the possibility of using syntenic wheat SSRs as a new source of markers for this purpose has been explored.
Results
From the 98 wheat EST-SSR markers tested for transferability and polymorphism in the wild barley genome, 53 primer pairs (54.0%) gave cross-species transferability and 20 primer pairs (20.4%) showed polymorphism. The latter were used for further analysis in the H. chilense germplasm. The H. chilense-Triticum aestivum addition lines were used to test the chromosomal location of the new polymorphic microsatellite markers. The genetic structure and diversity was investigated in a collection of 94 H. chilense accessions, using a set of 49 SSR markers distributed across the seven chromosomes. Microsatellite markers showed a total of 351 alleles over all loci. The number of alleles per locus ranged from two to 27, with a mean of 7.2 alleles per locus and a mean Polymorphic Information Content (PIC) of 0.5.
Conclusions
According to the results, the germplasm can be divided into two groups, with morphological and ecophysiological characteristics being key determinants of the population structure. Geographic and ecological structuring was also revealed in the analyzed germplasm. A significant correlation between geographical and genetic distance was detected in the Central Chilean region for the first time in the species. In addition, significant ecological influence in genetic distance has been detected for one of the population structure groups (group II) in the Central Chilean region. Finally, the association of the SSR markers with ecogeographical variables was investigated and one marker was found significantly associated with precipitation. These findings have a potential application in cereal breeding.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-266
PMCID: PMC3014967  PMID: 21118494
3.  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
4.  A first survey of the rye (Secale cereale) genome composition through BAC end sequencing of the short arm of chromosome 1R 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:95.
Background
Rye (Secale cereale L.) belongs to tribe Triticeae and is an important temperate cereal. It is one of the parents of man-made species Triticale and has been used as a source of agronomically important genes for wheat improvement. The short arm of rye chromosome 1 (1RS), in particular is rich in useful genes, and as it may increase yield, protein content and resistance to biotic and abiotic stress, it has been introgressed into wheat as the 1BL.1RS translocation. A better knowledge of the rye genome could facilitate rye improvement and increase the efficiency of utilizing rye genes in wheat breeding.
Results
Here, we report on BAC end sequencing of 1,536 clones from two 1RS-specific BAC libraries. We obtained 2,778 (90.4%) useful sequences with a cumulative length of 2,032,538 bp and an average read length of 732 bp. These sequences represent 0.5% of 1RS arm. The GC content of the sequenced fraction of 1RS is 45.9%, and at least 84% of the 1RS arm consists of repetitive DNA. We identified transposable element junctions in BESs and developed insertion site based polymorphism markers (ISBP). Out of the 64 primer pairs tested, 17 (26.6%) were specific for 1RS. We also identified BESs carrying microsatellites suitable for development of 1RS-specific SSR markers.
Conclusion
This work demonstrates the utility of chromosome arm-specific BAC libraries for targeted analysis of large Triticeae genomes and provides new sequence data from the rye genome and molecular markers for the short arm of rye chromosome 1.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-8-95
PMCID: PMC2565679  PMID: 18803819

Results 1-4 (4)