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Salt stress is one of the major abiotic stress which severely limits plant growth and reduces crop productivity across the world. In the present study, the effects of exogenous pyridoxal-5-phosphate (vitamin B6, VB6) on seedling growth and development of wheat under salt stress were investigated. The results showed that exogenous application of pyridoxal-5-phosphate (VB6) significantly increased the RWC, biomass, the concentration of photosynthetic pigments, proline, the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), together with decreasing the content of Malondiadehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in wheat leaves under salt stress. Meanwhile, the transcript level of P5CR, P5CS, SOD, TaSOS1 and TaSOS4 were also up-regulated after treatment with pyridoxal-5-phosphate. VB6 acts as a signal in regulating the activities of plant antioxidant enzymes and SOS pathway to improve resistance to salt stress. The current study results may give an insight into the regulatory roles of VB6 in improving salt stress and VB6 could be an easily and effective method to improve salt-stress tolerance to wheat in the field condition. It is urgency to understand the molecular mechanism of VB6 to enhance the salt tolerance of wheat in the next work.

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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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Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been recently found to be a gaseous signaling molecule in plants. In this work, we studied the role of H2S in alleviating salinity stress during wheat grain germination (Triticum aestivum L. Yangmai 158). Pretreatment with NaHS, a H2S donor, during wheat grain imbibition, could significantly attenuate the inhibitory effect of salinity stress on wheat germination. NaHS-pretreated grain showed higher amylase and esterase activities than water control. NaHS pretreatment differentially stimulated the activities of catalase (CAT), guaiacol peroxidase (POD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), decreased the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and reduced NaCl-induced changes in plasma membrane integrity in the radicle tips of seedlings compared with water control. We conclude that H2S plays an important role in protecting wheat grain from oxidative damage induced by salinity stress.

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Wheat glutenins containing high and low molecular weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS and LMW-GS) are the major determinants of wheat gluten quality. In this study, the recently developed reversed-phase ultra-performance liquid chromatography (RP-UPLC) was used to study the synthesis and accumulation patterns of glutenins during grain development of four Chinese bread wheat cultivars with different gluten quality. Developing grains were collected based on thermal times from 150 °Cd to 750 °Cd at 100 °Cd intervals, and the content of glutenin subunits and their accumulation patterns were determined by RP-UPLC as well as sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The results showed that HMW-GS and LMW-GS synthesis were initiated currently at 250 °Cd and they displayed a gradually upregulated expression. All the HMW-GS can be detected at 250 °Cd, earlier than LMW-GS. Different glutenin subunits and genotypes showed clear accumulation diversity during grain development. Particularly, 1Dx5 + 1Dy10 in the cultivar Gaocheng 8901 and Zhongyou 9507 with superior dough properties were accumulated faster at early stages than 1Dx2 + 1Dy12 in Jingdong 8 and Zhengmai 9023 with poor dough quality, suggesting that faster accumulation rate of glutenin proteins at the early stages of grain development may contribute to the formation of superior gluten structure and dough quality.

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In this study, the cDNA of homocysteine S-methyltransferase was isolated from Aegilops tauschii Coss., with the gene accordingly designated as AetHMT1. Similar to other methyltransferases, AetHMT1 contains a GGCCR consensus sequence for a possible zinc-binding motif near the C-terminal and a conserved cysteine residue upstream of the zinc-binding motif. Analysis of AetHMT1 uncovered no obvious chloroplast or mitochondrial targeting sequences. We functionally expressed AetHMT1 in Escherichia coli and confirmed its biological activity, as evidenced by a positive HMT enzyme activity of 164.516 ± 17.378 nmol min−1 mg−1 protein when catalyzing the transformation of L-homocysteine. Compared with the bacterium containing the empty vector, E. coli harboring the recombinant AetHMT1 plasmid showed much higher tolerance to selenate and selenite. AetHMT1 transcript amounts in different organs were increased by Na2SeO4 treatment, with roots accumulating higher amounts than stems, old leaves and new leaves. We have therefore successfully isolated HMT1 from Ae. tauschii and characterized the biochemical and physiological functions of the corresponding protein.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: W.F. Song, Z.Y. Ren, Y.B. Zhang, H.B. Zhao, X.B. Lv, J.L. Li, C.H. Guo, Q.J. Song, C.L. Zhang, W.L. Xin, and Z.M. Xiao

Two lines, L-19-613 and L-19-626, were produced from the common wheat cultivar Longmai 19 (L-19) by six consecutive backcrosses using biochemical marker-assisted selection. L-19 (Glu-D1a, Glu-A3c/Gli-A1?; Gli-A1? is a gene coding for unnamed gliadin) and L-19-613 (Glu-D1d, Glu-A3c/Gli-A1?) formed a set of near-isogenic lines (NILs) for HMW-GS, while L-19-613 and L-19-626 (Glu-D1d, Glu-A3e/Gli-A1m) constituted another set of NILs for the LMW-GS/gliadins. The three L-19 NILs were grown in the wheat breeding nursery in 2007 and 2008. The field experiments were designed using the three-column contrast arrangement method with four replicates. The three lines were ranked as follows for measurements of gluten strength, which was determined by the gluten index, Zeleny sedimentation, the stability and breakdown time of the farinogram, the maximum resistance and area of the extensogram, and the P andWvalues of the alveogram: L-19-613 > L-19-626 > L-19. The parameters listed above were significantly different between lines at the 0.05 or 0.01 level. The Glu-D1 and Glu-A3/Gli-A1 loci had additive effects on the gluten index, Zeleny sedimentation, stability, breakdown time, maximum resistance, area, P and W values. Although genetic variation at the Glu-A3/Gli-A1 locus had a great influence on wheat quality, the genetic difference between Glu-D1d and Glu-D1a at the Glu-D1 locus was much larger than that of Glu-A3c/Gli-A1? and Glu-A3e/Gli-A1m at the Glu-A3/Gli-A1 locus. Glu-D1d had negative effects on the extensibility and the L value compared with Glu-D1a. In contrast, Glu-A3c/Gli-A1? had a positive effect on these traits compared with Glu-A3e/Gli-A1m.

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

Premature termination codons (PTCs) are an important reason for the silence of highmolecular- weight glutenin subunits in Triticum species. Although the Glu-A1y gene is generally silent in common wheat, we here isolated an expressed Glu-A1y gene containing a PTC, named 1Ay8.3, from Triticum monococcum ssp. monococcum (AmAm, 2n = 2x = 14). Despite the presence of a PTC (TAG) at base pair positions 1879–1881 in the C-terminal coding region, this did not obviously affect 1Ay8.3 expression in seeds. This was demonstrated by the fact that when the PTC TAG of 1Ay8.3 was mutated to the CAG codon, the mutant in Escherichia coli bacterial cells expressed the same subunit as in the seeds. However, in E. coli, 1Ay8.3 containing the PTC expressed a truncated protein with faster electrophoretic mobility than that in seeds, suggesting that PTC translation termination suppression probably occurs in vivo (seeds) but not in vitro (E. coli). This may represent one of only a few reports on the PTC termination suppression phenomenon in genes.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: N. Zhang, R.Q. Pan, J.J. Liu, X.L. Zhang, Q.N. Su, F. Cui, C.H. Zhao, L.Q. Song, J. Ji, and J.M. Li

Plants with deficiency in Gibberellins (GAs) biosynthesis pathway are sensitive to exogenous GA3, while those with deficiency in GAs signaling pathway are insensitive to exogenous GA3. Thus, exogenous GA3 test is often used to verify whether the reduced height (Rht) gene is involved in GAs biosynthesis or signaling pathway. In the present study, we identified the genetic factors responsive to exogenous GA3 at the seedling stage of common wheat and analyzed the response of the plant height related quantitative trait loci (QTL) to GA3 to understand the GAs pathways the Rht participated in. Recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between KN9204 and J411 with different response to exogenous GA3 were used to screen QTL for the sensitivity of coleoptile length (SCL) and the sensitivity of seedling plant height (SSPH) to exogenous GA3. Two additive QTL and two pairs of epistatic QTL for SCL were identified, meanwhile, two additive QTL and three pairs of epistatic QTL for SSPH were detected. For the adult plant height (PH) investigated in two environments, six additive QTL were identified. Three QTL qScl-4B, qSsph-4B and qPh-4B were mapped in one cluster near the functional marker Rht-B1b. When PH were conditional on SSPH, the absolute additive effect value of qPh-4B and qPh-6B were reduced, suggesting that the Rhts in both two QTL were insensitive to exogenous GA3, while the additive effect values of qPh-2B, qPh-3A, qPh-3D and qPh-5A were not significantly changed, indicating that the Rhts in these QTL were sensitive to exogenous GA3, or they were not expressed at the seedling stage.

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