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Downregulation of the expression of subgenomic chromosome A7 genes promotes plant height in resynthesized allopolyploid Brassica napus

Gene expression levels in allopolyploid plants are not equivalent to the simple average of the expression levels in the parents and are associated with several non-additive expression phenomena, including homoeolog expression bias. However, hardly any information is available on the effect of homoeolog expression bias on traits. Here, we studied the effects of gene expression-related characteristics on agronomic traits using six isogenic resynthesized Brassica napus lines across the first ten generations

Kanglu ZhaoJing DongJunxiong XuYanbo BaiYuhe YinChunshen LongLei WuTuanrong LinLongqiu FanYufeng WangPatrick P. Edger & Zhiyong Xiong

Theoretical and Applied Genetics; January 2024; vol. 137 (11): 2024

Key message

Homoeolog expression bias and the gene dosage effect induce downregulation of genes on chromosome A7, causing a significant increase in the plant height of resynthesized allopolyploid Brassica napus.

Abstract

Gene expression levels in allopolyploid plants are not equivalent to the simple average of the expression levels in the parents and are associated with several non-additive expression phenomena, including homoeolog expression bias. However, hardly any information is available on the effect of homoeolog expression bias on traits. Here, we studied the effects of gene expression-related characteristics on agronomic traits using six isogenic resynthesized Brassica napus lines across the first ten generations. We found a group of genes located on chromosome A7 whose expression levels were significantly negatively correlated with plant height. They were expressed at significantly lower levels than their homoeologous genes, owing to allopolyploidy rather than inheritance from parents. Homoeolog expression bias resulted in resynthesized allopolyploids with a plant height similar to their female Brassica oleracea parent, but significantly higher than that of the male Brassica rapa parent. Notably, aneuploid lines carrying monosomic and trisomic chromosome A7 had the highest and lowest plant heights, respectively, due to changes in the expression bias of homoeologous genes because of alterations in the gene dosage. These findings suggest that the downregulation of the expression of homoeologous genes on a single chromosome can result in the partial improvement of traits to a significant extent in the nascent allopolyploid B. napus.

 

See https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-023-04510-y

 

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