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Norwich, United Kingdom

Kiss T.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Balla K.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Veisz O.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Lang L.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Breeding | Year: 2014

Heading of cereals is determined by complex genetic and environmental factors in which genes responsible for vernalization and photoperiod sensitivity play a decisive role. Our aim was to use diagnostic molecular markers to determine the main allele types in VRN-A1, VRN-B1, VRN-D1, PPD-B1 and PPD-D1 in a worldwide wheat collection of 683 genotypes and to investigate the effect of these alleles on heading in the field. The dominant VRN-A1, VRN-B1 and VRN-D1 alleles were present at a low frequency. The PPD-D1a photoperiod-insensitive allele was carried by 57 % of the cultivars and was most frequent in Asian and European cultivars. The PPD-B1 photoperiod-insensitive allele was carried by 22 % of the genotypes from Asia, America and Europe. Nine versions of the PPD-B1-insensitive allele were identified based on gene copy number and intercopy structure. The allele compositions in PPD-D1, PPD-B1 and VRN-D1 significantly influenced heading and together explained 37.5 % of the phenotypic variance. The role of gene model increased to 39.1 % when PPD-B1 intercopy structure was taken into account instead of overall PPD-B1 type (sensitive vs. insensitive). As a single component, PPD-D1 had the most important role (28.0 % of the phenotypic variance), followed by PPD-B1 (12.3 % for PPD-B1_overall, and 15.1 % for PPD-B1_intercopy) and VRN-D1 (2.2 %). Significant gene interactions were identified between the marker alleles within PPD-B1 and between VRN-D1 and the two PPD1 genes. The earliest heading genotypes were those with the photoperiod-insensitive allele in PPD-D1 and PPD-B1, and with the spring allele for VRN-D1 and the winter alleles for VRN-A1 and VRN-B1. This combination could only be detected in genotypes from Southern Europe and Asia. Late-heading genotypes had the sensitivity alleles for both PPD1 genes, regardless of the allelic composition of the VRN1 genes. There was a 10-day difference in heading between the earliest and latest groups under field conditions. © 2014 The Author(s). Source

Clemente A.,CSIC - Experimental Station of El Zaidin | Arques M.C.,CSIC - Experimental Station of El Zaidin | Dalmais M.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Le Signor C.,CNRS Agroecology Lab | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Several classes of seed proteins limit the utilisation of plant proteins in human and farm animal diets, while plant foods have much to offer to the sustainable intensification of food/feed production and to human health. Reduction or removal of these proteins could greatly enhance seed protein quality and various strategies have been used to try to achieve this with limited success.We investigated whether seed protease inhibitor mutations could be exploited to enhance seed quality, availing of induced mutant and natural Pisum germplasm collections to identify mutants, whilst acquiring an understanding of the impact of mutations on activity. A mutant (TILLING) resource developed in Pisum sativum L. (pea) and a large germplasm collection representing Pisum diversity were investigated as sources of mutations that reduce or abolish the activity of the major protease inhibitor (Bowman-Birk) class of seed protein. Of three missense mutations, predicted to affect activity of the mature trypsin / chymotrypsin inhibitor TI1 protein, a C77Y substitution in the mature mutant inhibitor abolished inhibitor activity, consistent with an absolute requirement for the disulphide bond C77-C92 for function in the native inhibitor. Two further classes of mutation (S85F, E109K) resulted in less dramatic changes to isoform or overall inhibitory activity. The alternative strategy to reduce anti-nutrients, by targeted screening of Pisum germplasm, successfully identified a single accession (Pisum elatius) as a double null mutant for the two closely linked genes encoding the TI1 and TI2 seed protease inhibitors. The P. elatius mutant has extremely low seed protease inhibitory activity and introgression of the mutation into cultivated germplasm has been achieved. The study provides new insights into structure-function relationships for protease inhibitors which impact on pea seed quality. The induced and natural germplasm variants identified provide immediate potential for either halving or abolishing the corresponding inhibitory activity, along with associated molecular markers for breeding programmes. The potential for making large changes to plant protein profiles for improved and sustainable food production through diversity is illustrated. The strategy employed here to reduce anti-nutritional proteins in seeds may be extended to allergens and other seed proteins with negative nutritional effects. Additionally, the novel variants described for pea will assist future studies of the biological role and health-related properties of so-called anti-nutrients. Copyright: © 2015 Clemente et al. Source

Diaz A.,John Innes Center | Diaz A.,Polytechnic University of Valencia | Zikhali M.,John Innes Center | Turner A.S.,John Innes Center | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The timing of flowering during the year is an important adaptive character affecting reproductive success in plants and is critical to crop yield. Flowering time has been extensively manipulated in crops such as wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) during domestication, and this enables them to grow productively in a wide range of environments. Several major genes controlling flowering time have been identified in wheat with mutant alleles having sequence changes such as insertions, deletions or point mutations. We investigated genetic variants in commercial varieties of wheat that regulate flowering by altering photoperiod response (Ppd-B1 alleles) or vernalization requirement (Vrn-A1 alleles) and for which no candidate mutation was found within the gene sequence. Genetic and genomic approaches showed that in both cases alleles conferring altered flowering time had an increased copy number of the gene and altered gene expression. Alleles with an increased copy number of Ppd-B1 confer an early flowering day neutral phenotype and have arisen independently at least twice. Plants with an increased copy number of Vrn-A1 have an increased requirement for vernalization so that longer periods of cold are required to potentiate flowering. The results suggest that copy number variation (CNV) plays a significant role in wheat adaptation. © 2012 Díaz et al. Source

Bowles D.,University of York | Carson A.,University of York | Isaac P.,IDna Genetics Ltd
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

There is considerable interest in locally adapted breeds of livestock as reservoirs of genetic diversity that may provide important fitness traits for future use in agriculture. In marginal areas, these animals contribute to food security and extract value from land unsuitable for other systems of farming. In England, close to 50% of the national sheep flock is farmed on grassland designated as disadvantaged areas for agricultural production. Many of these areas are in the uplands, where some native breeds of sheep continue to be commercially farmed only in highly localised geographical regions to which they are adapted. This study focuses on three of these breeds, selected for their adaptation to near identical environments and their geographical concentration in regions close to one another. Our objective has been to use retrotyping, microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms to explore the origins of the breeds and whether, despite their similar adaptations and proximity, they are genetically distinctive. We find the three breeds each have a surprisingly different pattern of retrovirus insertions into their genomes compared with one another and with other UK breeds. Uniquely, there is a high incidence of the R0 retrotype in the Herdwick population, characteristic of a primitive genome found previously in very few breeds worldwide and none in the UK mainland. The Herdwick and Rough Fells carry two rare retroviral insertion events, common only in Texels, suggesting sheep populations in the northern uplands have a historical association with the original pin-tail sheep of Texel Island. Microsatellite data and analyses of SNPs associated with RXFP2 (horn traits) and PRLR (reproductive performance traits) also distinguished the three breeds. Significantly, an SNP linked to TMEM154, a locus controlling susceptibility to infection by Maedi-Visna, indicated that all three native hill breeds have a lower than average risk of infection to the lentivirus. © 2014 Bowles et al. Source

Domoney C.,John Innes Center | Knox M.,John Innes Center | Moreau C.,John Innes Center | Ambrose M.,John Innes Center | And 10 more authors.
Functional Plant Biology | Year: 2013

A fast neutron (FN)-mutagenised population was generated in Pisum sativum L. (pea) to enable the identification and isolation of genes underlying traits and processes. Studies of several phenotypic traits have clearly demonstrated the utility of the resource by associating gene deletions with phenotype followed by functional tests exploiting additional mutant sources, from both induced and natural variant germplasm. For forward genetic screens, next generation sequencing methodologies provide an opportunity for identifying genes associated with deletions rapidly and systematically. The application of rapid reverse genetic screens of the fast neutron mutant pea population supports conclusions on the frequency of deletions based on phenotype alone. These studies also suggest that large deletions affecting one or more loci can be non-deleterious to the pea genome, yielding mutants that could not be obtained by other means. Deletion mutants affecting genes associated with seed metabolism and storage are providing unique opportunities to identify the products of complex and related gene families, and to study the downstream consequences of such deletions. © 2013 CSIRO. Source

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