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Thinopyrum ponticum (2n = 10x = 70) has donated rust resistance genes to protect wheat from this fungal disease. In the present study, the line ES-7, derived from the progeny of the crosses between common wheat cultivar Abbondanza and Triticum aestivumTh. ponticum partial amphiploid line Xiaoyan784, was characterized by cytological, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) and EST-STS marker techniques. Cytological observations revealed that the configuration of ES-7 was 2n = 42 = 21 II. GISH and FISH results showed that ES-7 had two St chromosomes and lacked 5A chromosomes compared to common wheat. The 4A chromosome of ES-7 had small alterations from common wheat. Two EST-SSR markers BE482522 and BG262826, specific to Th. ponticum and tetraploid Pseudoroegneria spicata (2n = 4x = 28), locate on the homoeologous group 5 chromosomes of wheat, could amplify polymorphic bands in ES-7. It was suggested that the introduced St chromosomes belonged to homoeologous group 5, that is, ES-7 was a 5St (5A) disomic substitution line. Furthermore, ES-7 showed highly resistance to mixed stripe rust races of CYR32 and CYR33 in adult stages, which was possibly inherited from Th. ponticum. Thus, ES-7 can be used for wheat stripe rust resistance breeding program.

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Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis Westend. f. sp. tritici Eriks., is a major disease that causes substantial losses to wheat production worldwide. The utilization of effective resistance genes in wheat cultivars is the preferred control of the disease. To study the inheritance of all-stage resistance in spring wheat cultivars Louise, WA008016, Express, Solano, Alturas and Zak from the Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the United States, the six cultivars were crossed with the Chinese susceptible variety Taichung 29. Single-spore isolates of CYR32 and CYR33, the predominant Chinese races of P. striiformis f. sp. tritici, were used to evaluate F1, F2 and BC1 generations for stripe rust resistance under controlled greenhouse conditions. Genetic analysis determined that Louise had one dominant resistance gene to CYR32, temporarily designated as YrLou. WA008016 had two dominant and one recessive resistance genes to CYR32, temporarily designated as YrWA1, YrWA2 and YrWA3, respectively. Express had a single recessive gene that conferred resistance to CYR32, temporarily designated as YrExp3. The two independent dominant genes in Solano conferring resistance to CYR32 were temporarily designated as YrSol1 and YrSol2. Alturas had two recessive genes for resistance to CYR32, temporarily designated as YrAlt1 and YrAlt2. Zak has one dominant gene for resistance to CYR33, temporarily designated as YrZak1. These six cultivars can be important resistance sources in Chinese wheat stripe rust resistance breeding.

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The geographical patterns of tree species richness in forest communities have been studied widely, but little is known about the geographical variation of the estimated species richness and minimum areas using species-area curves. A differential technique based on the species-area relationships (SAR) was developed for estimating the minimum area (Amin) capturing 60- 80% of the species in each plot, which is an important characteristic of a forest community. The relationship between estimated species richness (ESR) from the SAR and the corresponding minimum area is described by the linear model ESR = 0.0051×Amin (R2 = 0.98, p < 0.0001). Both the ESR and the minimum area exhibit similar geographical variations with a significant increase along altitudinal and a decrease along latitudinal gradients. The spatial variations of the ESR were partitioned into three geographical components and their combined effects. Altitude accounted for 40% and 45% of the total variation in the ESR and the minimum area, respectively. While latitude accounted for 69% and 61% of the total variation in the ESR and the minimum area, respectively. Thus, latitude is the main determinant which influences the geographical variation of the ESR. As far as we know, this study presents the first report of the geographical patterns of the minimum area in temperate forests.

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An allometric analysis of biomass and N mass allocation of rice (Oryza sativa L.) seedlings under non-shaded (100% of full sunlight) and shaded (30% of full sunlight) treatments were conducted. The allometric slopes and the intercepts were estimated using standardized major axis regression. Results indicated that biomass was preferentially allocated to stems during plant ontogeny, and leaves and roots were isometric when rice seedlings were not shaded. Under shade, however, more biomass was allocated to leaves and stems. N mass allocation was also altered by shading in that more N mass was allocated to the aerial shoots, and plants accumulated less N mass when shaded. Our study revealed that both biomass and N mass were in accordance with the optimal partitioning theory.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: H. Yu, Y. Yang, X.Y. Chen, G.X. Lin, J.Y. Sheng, J.Y. Nie, Q.J. Wang, E.J. Zhang, X.R. Yu, Z. Wang, and F. Xiong

The waxy wheat shows special starch quality due to high amylopectin content. However, little information is available concerning the development and degradation of amyloplast from waxy wheat endosperm. To address this problem, waxy wheat variety, Yangnuo 1, and a non-waxy wheat variety, Yangmai 13, were chosen to investigate the development and degradation of endosperm amyloplast during wheat caryopsis development and germination stage respectively using histochemical staining and light microscopy. Changes of morphology, the soluble sugar and total starch content were indistinguishable in the process of caryopsis development of two wheat varieties. The developing endosperm of non-waxy was stained blue-black by I2-KI while the endosperm of waxy wheat was stained reddish-brown, but the pericarp of waxy and non-waxy wheat was stained blue-black. In contrast to nonwaxy wheat, endosperm amyloplast of waxy wheat had better development status and higher proportion of small amyloplast. During seed germination many small dissolution pores appeared on the surface of endosperm amyloplast and the pores became bigger and deeper until amyloplast disintegrated. The rate of degradation of waxy wheat endosperm amyloplast was faster than non-waxy wheat. Our results may also be helpful to the use of waxy starch in food and nonfood industry.

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Abiotic stresses like salinity and abnormally cold environments cause significant yield losses in many crops including wheat. Therefore, concerted efforts are being made by breeders to develop new varieties with salt and cold tolerance to ensure stable yields over varied environments. This study was undertaken to screen six hundred and seventy-seven accessions of international wheat genetic resources to identify lines with high level of tolerance to salinity and cold environments. Based on the results of two years study in different agroecological locations, 51 accessions were classified as salt tolerant and 115 accessions were classified as cold tolerant. Of these, 35 accessions had good agronomic characteristics. Also, there were 39 genotypes with combined tolerance to cold as well as salinity. Thus, there were good lines which can be used directly or as parents for breeding wheat varieties for wide adaptation and high yield. Further analysis of the data showed that early genotypes had good cold tolerance but a poor salt tolerance. It was also observed that small number of both test spikelet and spikelet, short spike length and good seed-plump were positively associated with cold tolerance. Therefore, maturity and spike traits should be taken into considered when selecting wheat lines for wide adaptation breeding.

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Genetic structure of 142 parent lines of sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] was analyzed using model-based approach based on SSR markers. Forty-one selected from 103 SSR markers were used to analyze the parent lines, which generated 189 alleles revealed by each marker ranging from 2 to 11 with an average of 4.6 per marker. The polymorphic information content (PIC) value was 0.543 with a range of 0.089 to 0.850. All the parent lines were assigned to 7 subgroups, named Kafir, Kaoliang, Feterita, Shallu, Hegari, Milo and Durra. Parent lines without clear pedigree record were clustered into their corresponding groups, and genetic components of each line were estimated by Q-values. Information of this study would be useful for breeders to conclude their genetic background and select appropriate parents for germplasm improvement and hybrid breeding, and thus improve the efficiency of breeding programs.

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It is well demonstrated that wheat-rye 1BL/1RS translocated chromosome leads to some valuable novel traits such as disease resistance, high yield and functional stay-green after anthesis. To understand the physiological mechanism of 1BL/1RS translocation responsible for osmotic stress, two wheat cultivars, CN12 and CN17, carrying the translocated chromosome and MY11 without the translocated chromosome were employed in the study. During 5-day osmotic stress, fresh weight inhibition, chlorophyll content, soluble protein content, MDA concentration, antioxidant enzymes activity and free polyamines content were examined. CN12 and CN17, especially cultivar CN17, registered greater biomass and minor oxidative damage compared with their wheat parent. Meanwhile, the concentration of Spd and Spm in CN17 was significantly higher than the others. In addition, we found a positive correlation of fresh weight inhibition (FWI) and Put concentration, and a negative one with the parameters (Spd + Spm): Put ratio, indicating the importance of higher polyamine (Spd and Spm) accumulation on the adaptation to osmotic stress. Therefore, we proposed that the accumulation of higher polyamines (Spd and Spm) should play an important role on the adaptation of 1BL/1RS translocation lines to osmotic stress and might be important factors for the origin of novel traits introduced by 1BL/1RS.

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Barley stripe mosaic virus (BSMV)-based virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) is an effective strategy for rapid determination of functional genes in wheat plants. ERECTA genes are reported to regulate stomatal pattern of plants, and manipulation of TaERECTA (a homologue of ERECTA in bread wheat) is a potential route for investigating stomatal development. Here, the leucine-rich repeat domains (LRRs) and transmembrane domains of TaERECTA were selected to gain BSMV:ER-LR and BSMV:ER-TM constructs, respectively, targeting TaERECTA for silencing in wheat cultivars ‘Bobwhite’ and ‘Cadenza’, to identify the function of TaERECTA on stomatal patterns. The results showed that reduced expression of TaERECTA caused an increased stomatal and epidermal cell density by average 13.5% and 3.3%, respectively, due to the significantly reduced size of leaf epidermal and stomatal cells, and this led to an increase in stomatal conductance. These suggest that modulation of TaERECTA offers further opportunities in stomatal engineering for the adaptation of photosynthesis in wheat.

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Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder, affecting over 30% of the world’s human population. The primary method used to alleviate this problem is nutrient biofortification of crops so as to improve the iron content and its availability in food sources. The over-expression of ferritin is an effective method to increase iron concentration in transgenic crops. For the research reported herein, sickle alfalfa (Medicago falcata L.) ferritin was transformed into wheat driven by the seed-storage protein glutelin GluB-1 gene promoter. The integration of ferritin into the wheat was assessed by PCR, RT-PCR and Western blotting. The concentration of certain minerals in the transgenic wheat grain was determined by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, the results showed that grain Fe and Zn concentration of transgenic wheat increased by 73% and 44% compared to nontransformed wheat, respectively. However, grain Cu and Cd concentration of transgenic wheat grain decreased significantly in comparison with non-transformed wheat. The results suggest that the over-expression of sickle alfalfa ferritin, controlled by the seed-storage protein glutelin GluB-1 gene promoter, increases the grain Fe and Zn concentration, but also affects the homeostasis of other minerals in transgenic wheat grain.

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