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Fine mapping and genetic analysis identified a C2H2-type zinc finger as a candidate gene for heading date regulation in wheat
Monday, 2023/05/29 | 07:55:19

Yuting Li, Hongchun Xiong, Huijun Guo, Chunyun Zhou, Meiyu Fu, Yongdun Xie, Linshu Zhao, Jiayu Gu, Shirong Zhao, Yuping Ding, Chaojie Wang, Ahsan Irshad, Luxiang Liu & Zhengwu Fang 

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A minor-effect QTL, Qhd.2AS, that affects heading date in wheat was mapped to a genomic interval of 1.70-Mb on 2AS, and gene analysis indicated that the C2H2-type zinc finger protein gene TraesCS2A02G181200 is the best candidate for Qhd.2AS.


Heading date (HD) is a complex quantitative trait that determines the regional adaptability of cereal crops, and identifying the underlying genetic elements with minor effects on HD is important for improving wheat production in diverse environments. In this study, a minor QTL for HD that we named Qhd.2AS was detected on the short arm of chromosome 2A by Bulked Segregant Analysis and validated in a recombinant inbred population. Using a segregating population of 4894 individuals, Qhd.2AS was further delimited to an interval of 0.41 cM, corresponding to a genomic region spanning 1.70 Mb (from 138.87 to 140.57 Mb) that contains 16 high-confidence genes based on IWGSC RefSeq v1.0. Analyses of sequence variations and gene transcription indicated that TraesCS2A02G181200, which encodes a C2H2-type zinc finger protein, is the best candidate gene for Qhd.2AS that influences HD. Screening a TILLING mutant library identified two mutants with premature stop codons in TraesCS2A02G181200, both of which exhibited a delay in HD of 2–4 days. Additionally, variations in its putative regulatory sites were widely present in natural accession, and we also identified the allele which was positively selected during wheat breeding. Epistatic analyses indicated that Qhd.2AS-mediated HD variation is independent of VRN-B1 and environmental factors. Phenotypic investigation of homozygous recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and F2:3 families showed that Qhd.2AS has no negative effect on yield-related traits. These results provide important cues for refining HD and therefore improving yield in wheat breeding programs and will deepen our understanding of the genetic regulation of HD in cereal plants.


See https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-023-04363-5

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