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Red coleoptile is an easily observed trait in Triticum aestivum and can provide some protection against stress. Here, TaMYB-A1 or TuMYB-A1, homologous to TaMYB-D1, which controls red coleoptile formation in the common wheat cultivar ‘Gy115’, was isolated from eight T. aestivum and 34 T. urartu cultivars. The genome sequence of TaMYB-A1 was 867 bp with an intron of 93 bp, which was similar to the MYBs regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis in T. aestivum but different from other MYB transcription factors regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis. TaMYB-A1 had an integrated DNA-binding domain of 102 amino acids and a transcriptional domain of 42 amino acids, which was responsible for regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis. TaMYB-A1 was assigned to the same branch as the MYBs regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis in a phylogenetic tree. A transient expression analysis showed that TaMYB-A1 induced ‘Opata’ coleoptile cells to synthesize anthocyanin with the help of ZmR. A non-functional allele of TaMYB-a1 existed in common wheat cultivars containing rc-a1. One single nucleotide was deleted 715 bp after the start codon in TaMYB-a1 compared with TaMYB-A1. The deletion caused a frame shift mutation, destroyed the DNA transcription activator domain, and resulted in TaMYB-a1 losing its ability to regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis in ‘Opata’ coleoptile cells. Those cultivars with functional TaMYB-A1 or TuMYB-A1 have red coleoptiles. The isolation of TaMYB-A1 should aid in understanding the molecular mechanisms of coleoptile traits in T. aestivum.

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Prorocentrum donghaiense caused large-scale red tides off Chinese coast in recent years. Expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis was carried out for this dinoflagellate in order to identify the genes involved in its proliferation and death. A cDNA library was constructed for P. donghaiense at late exponential growth phase, and 308 groups of EST were generated, which include 36 contigs and 272 singletons. Among 22 groups showed homologies with known genes, 2 matched significantly with caspase and proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Caspase and proliferating cell nuclear antigen are 2 key proteins involved in programmed cell death. Their identification evidenced preliminarily the induction of PCD in aging P. donghaiense. The identified included also calmodulin and protein phosphatase, two proteins involved in diverse cell processes including PCD by binding to or modifying others.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: L. Wei, S.G. Bai, X.J. Hou, J.M. Li, B. Zhang, W.J. Chen, D.C. Liu, B.L. Liu, and H.G. Zhang

Among 20 awnless Tibetan wheat cultivars analyzed by SDS-PAGE, the migration rate of an HMW-GS in XM001584 and XM001593, named 1BX23*. was shown to be slightly faster than 1Bx6. and slower than Bx7. Its nucleotide sequence was isolated based on homology clones. In a phylogenetic tree of 1Bx genes, 1Bx23* was apparently clustered with 1Bx23. Compared with 1Bx23. eight single nucleotide replacements caused four single amino acid replacements in 1Bx23*. The deletion of “G” at base pair 1463 and insertion of “A” at 1509 bps induced a 42-nucleotide frame shift. “GQRQQAGQWQRPGQ” was replaced by “DKGNRQDNGNDRDK”. The new segment cannot be found in other HMW-GSs, and it is very similar to a segment found in collagen. Moreover, an 18-nucleotide deletion made 1Bx23* six amino acids shorter than 1Bx23. The cultivar XM001593 had 28 chromosomes, which signifies that it was tetraploid wheat, and that the new HMW-GS 1Bx23* cannot be used directly for breeding in common wheat.

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Physiological male sterility induced by the chemical hybridizing agent (CHA) overcomes problems of maintenance of sterile lines and restorers. However, the mechanism of sterility is unclear. The process of tapetum of CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’ at uninucleate, binucleate and trinucleate were compared with control to determine if tapetum varying differently during developmental stages. Tapetal degradation in CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’ began at late uninucleate stage, somewhat earlier than control plants. Cytological observations indicated that the gradual degradation of the tapetum in CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’ was initiated and terminated earlier than in the control. These findings implied that CHA-induced male sterility was related to abnormally early tapetal degradation. In order to indicate the role of the SKP1 gene in fertility/sterility in wheat, its expression was assessed in anthers at uninucleate, binucleate and trinucleate stages. SKP1 expression was reduced in the later developmental stages, and there was an obvious decrease from the uninucleate to trinucleate stages. Higher expression of the SKP1 gene occurred in ‘Xi’nong 2611’ compared to CHA-treated ‘Xi’nong 2611’. This implied that SKP1 gene expression was inhibited during the fertility transformation process and was related to transformation from fertility to sterility. Moreover, the results from this study suggest that SKP1 plays an essential role of conducting fertility in physiological male sterility.

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Red coleoptile is an easily observed agronomic trait of wheat and has been extensively studied. However, the molecular mechanism of this trait has not yet been revealed. In this study, the MYB gene TaMYB-D1 was isolated from the wheat cultivar ‘Gy115’, which possesses red coleoptiles. This gene resided at the short arm of the homoelogous group 7 chromosomes. TaMYB-D1 was the only gene expressed in the coleoptiles of ‘Gy115’ and was not expressed in ‘Opata’ and ‘CS’, which have uncoloured coleoptiles. Phylogenetic analysis placed TaMYB-D1 very close to ZmC1 and other MYB proteins regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis. The encoded protein of TaMYB-D1 had an integrated DNA binding domain of 102 amino acids and a transcription domain with 42 amino acids, similar to the structure of ZmC1. Transient expression analysis in onion epidermal cells showed that TaMYB-D1 was located at the plant nucleus, which suggested its role as a transcription factor. The expression of TaMYB-D1 was accompanied with the expression of TaDFR and anthocyanin biosynthesis in the development of the coleoptile of ‘Gy115’. Transient expression analysis showed that only TaMYB-D1 induced a few ‘Opata’ coleoptile cells to synthesize anthocyanin in light, and the gene also induced a colour change to red in many cells with the help of ZmR. All of these results suggested TaMYB-D1 as the candidate gene for the red coleoptile trait of ‘Gy115’.

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As one of the world’s earliest domesticated crops, barley is a model species for the study of evolution and domestication. Domestication is an evolutionary process whereby a population adapts, through selection; to new environments created by human cultivation. We describe the genome-scanning of molecular diversity to assess the evolution of barley in the Tibetan Plateau. We used 667 Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) markers to genotype 185 barley landraces and wild barley accessions from the Tibetan Plateau. Genetic diversity in wild barley was greater than in landraces at both genome and chromosome levels, except for chromosome 3H. Landraces and wild barley accessions were clearly differentiated genetically, but a limited degree of introgression was still evident. Significant differences in diversity between barley subspecies at the chromosome level were observed for genes known to be related to physiological and phenotypical traits, disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, malting quality and agronomic traits. Selection on the genome of six-rowed naked barley has shown clear multiple targets related to both its specific end-use and the extreme environment in Tibet. Our data provide a platform to identify the genes and genetic mechanisms that underlie phenotypic changes, and provide lists of candidate domestication genes for modified breeding strategies.

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Rye (Secale cereale) plays an important role in wheat improvement. Here we report a new triticale, named Fenzhi-1, derived from the wide cross MY11 (Triticum aestivum) × Jingzhou (Secale cereale) after the in vitro rye pollen has been irradiated by He-Ne laser. Morphologically, Fenzhi-1 is characterized by branched-spikes. Genetically, Fenzhi-1 displays stable fertility and immunity to wheat powdery mildew and stripe rust. In situ hybridization (FISH) and seed storage protein electrophoresis revealed that Fenzhi-1 is a new primary hexaploid triticale (AABBRR). The present study not only provides a new method to synthesize an artificial species, but also shows that Fenzhi-1 could be a valuable source for wheat improvement.

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The effects of sowing date, nitrogen application level and timing on barley protein components and malt quality were investigated. There was a significant difference in total protein and its protein fractions among the four barley genotypes. The protein component was changeable over the different growing conditions, and the extent of change varied with protein fraction and genotype. Marked variation in malt quality over the different environments (sowing date, N fertilizer rate and applying time) was also observed. Increased N fertilizer application increased diastatic power (DP) value, but reduced malt extract. Grain protein content was significantly and positively correlated with albumin, globulin and hordein, but was not correlated with glutelin. However, glutelin was significantly related to other malt quality parameters.

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of endophytic fungi from tartary buckwheat on the host sprout growth and functional metabolite production. Without obvious changes in the appearance of the sprouts, the exogenous fungal mycelia elicitors notably stimulated the sprout growth and rutin accumulation, and the stimulation effect was mainly depended on the mycelia elicitor species along with its treatment dose. Three endophytic fungi Fat6 (Bionectria pityrodes), Fat9 (Fusarium oxysporum) and Fat15 (Alternaria sp.) were screened to be the most effective candidates for promoting F. tataricum sprout growth and rutin production. With application of polysaccharide (PS, 150 mg/l) of endophyte Fat6, PS (200 mg/l) of endophyte Fat9, and PS (150 mg/l) of endophyte Fat15, the rutin yield was effectively increased to 47.89 mg/(100 sprouts), 45.85 mg/(100 sprouts) and 46.83 mg/(100 sprouts), respectively. That was about 1.5- to 1.6-fold compared to the control culture of 29.37 mg/(100 sprouts). Furthermore, the present study revealed that the biosynthesis of the functional flavonoid resulted from the stimulation of the phenylpropanoid pathway by mycelia polysaccharide treatments. Application of specific fungal elicitors could be an efficient strategy for improving the nutritional and functional quality of tartary buckwheat sprouts.

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Phenolic extract from banana peel was extracted with 95% ethanol and characterized by LC-TOF-MS/MS. Epicatechin, rutin, 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, myricetin, ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, and gallic acid were detected in the extract. Cholate test was performed for the initial examination of the hypolipidemic effect of the dietary fibres. The dietary fibres prepared by sequential treatment with sulphuric acid then sodium hydroxide (SST) and sodium hydroxide treatment (SHT) had high water-holding capacities (7.48 and 6.91 g g−1) and swelling capacities (4.8 and 4.3 ml g−1). The dietary fibres prepared by sequential treatment with trypsin then sulphuric acid (TST) and sulphuric acid treatment (SAT) had high oil-holding capacities (5.52 and 5.10 g g−1) and enhanced capacities for sodium cholate adsorption. Results indicated the potentials of banana peel as functional ingredient in food applications.

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