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1.  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
2.  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
3.  Wheat gene bank accessions as a source of new alleles of the powdery mildew resistance gene Pm3: a large scale allele mining project 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:88.
Background
In the last hundred years, the development of improved wheat cultivars has led to the replacement of landraces and traditional varieties by modern cultivars. This has resulted in a decline in the genetic diversity of agriculturally used wheat. However, the diversity lost in the elite material is somewhat preserved in crop gene banks. Therefore, the gene bank accessions provide the basis for genetic improvement of crops for specific traits and and represent rich sources of novel allelic variation.
Results
We have undertaken large scale molecular allele mining to isolate new alleles of the powdery mildew resistance gene Pm3 from wheat gene bank accessions. The search for new Pm3 alleles was carried out on a geographically diverse set of 733 wheat accessions originating from 20 countries. Pm3 specific molecular tools as well as classical pathogenicity tests were used to characterize the accessions. Two new functional Pm3 alleles were identified out of the eight newly cloned Pm3 sequences. These new resistance alleles were isolated from accessions from China and Nepal. Thus, the repertoire of functional Pm3 alleles now includes 17 genes, making it one of the largest allelic series of plant resistance genes. The combined information on resistant and susceptible Pm3 sequences will allow to study molecular function and specificity of functional Pm3 alleles.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that molecular allele mining on geographically defined accessions is a useful strategy to rapidly characterize the diversity of gene bank accessions at a specific genetic locus of agronomical importance. The identified wheat accessions with new resistance specificities can be used for marker-assisted transfer of the Pm3 alleles to modern wheat lines.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-88
PMCID: PMC3095356  PMID: 20470444

Results 1-3 (3)