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Nitrogen (N) is an important nutrient for plant growth and yield production, and rice grown in paddy soil mainly uses ammonium (NH4 +) as its N source. Previous studies have shown that N status is tightly connected to plant defense; however, the roles of NH4 + uptake and assimilation in rice sheath blight disease response have not been studied previously. Here, we analyzed the effects of different N sources on plant defense against Rhizoctonia solani. The results indicated that rice plants grown in N-free conditions had higher resistance to sheath blight than those grown under N conditions. In greater detail, rice plants cultured with glutamine as the sole N source were more susceptible to sheath blight disease compared to the groups using NH4 + and nitrate (NO3 ) as sole N sources. N deficiency severely inhibited plant growth; therefore, ammonium transporter 1;2 overexpressors (AMT1;2 OXs) were generated to test their growth and defense ability under low N conditions. AMT1;2 OXs increased N use efficiency and exhibited less susceptible symptoms to R. solani and highly induced the expression of PBZ1 compared to the wild-type controls upon infection of R. solani. Furthermore, the glutamine synthetase 1;1 (GS1;1) mutant (gs1;1) was more susceptible to R. solani infection than the wild-type control, and the genetic combination of AMT1;2 OX and gs1;1 revealed that AMT1;2 OX was less susceptible to R. solani and required GS1;1 activity. In addition, cellular NH4 + content was higher in AMT1;2 OX and gs1;1 plants, indicating that NH4 + was not directly controlling plant defense. In conclusion, the present study showed that the activation of NH4 + uptake and assimilation were required for rice resistance against sheath blight disease.

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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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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: Z.L. Li, H.Y. Li, G. Chen, X.J. Liu, C.L. Kou, S.Z. Ning, Z.W. Yuan, M. Hao, D.C. Liu, and L.Q. Zhang

Seven Glu-A1 m allelic variants of the Glu-A1 m x genes in Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum, designated as 1Ax2.1 a, 1Ax2.1 b, 1Ax2.1 c, 1Ax2.1 d, 1Ax2.1 e, 1Ax2.1 f, and 1Ax2.1 g were characterized. Their authenticity was confirmed by successful expression of the coding regions in E. coli, and except for the 1Ax2.1 a with the presence of internal stop codons at position of 313 aa, all correspond to the subunit in seeds. However, all the active six genes had a same DNA size although their encoding subunits showed different molecular weight. Our study indicated that amino acid residue substitutions rather than previously frequently reported insertions/deletions played an important role on the subunit evolution of these Glu-A1 m x alleles. Since variation in the Glu-A1x locus in common wheat is rare, these novel genes at the Glu-A1 m x can be used as candidate genes for further wheat quality improvement.

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Aegiolops kotschyi cytoplasmic male sterile system often results in part of haploid plants in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). To elucidate the origin of haploid, 235 wheat microsatellite (SSR) primers were randomly selected and screened for polymorphism between haploid (2n = 3x = 21 ABD) and its parents, male-sterile line YM21 (2n = 6x = 42 AABBDD) and male fertile restorer YM2 (2n = 6x = 42 AABBDD). About 200 SSR markers yielded clear bands from denatured PAGE, of which 180 markers have identifiable amplification patterns, and 20 markers (around 8%) resulted in different amplification products between the haploid and the restorer, YM2. There were no SSR markers that were found to be distinguishable between the haploid and the male sterile line YM21. In addition, different distribution of HMW-GS between endosperm and seedlings from the same seeds further confirmed that the haploid genomes were inherited from the maternal parent. After haploidization, 1.7% and 0.91% of total sites were up- and down-regulated exceeding twofold in the shoot and the root of haploid, respectively, and most of the differentially expressed loci were up/down-regulated about twofold. Out of the sensitive loci in haploid, 94 loci in the shoot, 72 loci in the root can be classified into three functional subdivisions: biological process, cellular component and molecular function, respectively.

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