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Crown rot caused by Fusarium pathogens is one of the most economically destructive diseases of wheat. The objective of this study was to investigate defense-related enzyme responses in wheat seedlings infected with Fusarium graminearum. Three wheat varieties were employed to the experiment. Physiological analysis of varieties indicated that defensive-related enzymes were induced by F. graminearum infection. The superoxide dismutase and peroxidase activities increased dramatically and the phenylalanine ammonia-lyase activity was stimulated to a higher level in resistant variety Hongyouzi than in susceptible variety Wo0102. However, the chitinase activity was higher in susceptible variety Wo0102 than in Hongyouzi after infection. These results suggest that the defense enzymes could be stimulated in wheat seedlings by Fusarium infection.

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Hydroponic studies were conducted to investigate the role of iron plaque on transport and distribution of chromium (Cr) by rice seedlings. Microscopical observations indicate that iron plaque developed quickly at the root surface of rice seedlings, but the distribution of iron plaque was more intense near root base and less towards root tip. Results showed that rice seedlings exposed to Cr(III) depicted significantly higher capacity for Cr accumulation in plant tissues than Cr(VI) in the presence of iron plaque. However, transport of Cr within plant cells was more evident in Cr(VI) treatment with iron plaque than Cr(III) treatment. Results also showed that there are significant impact on transport of K, Mn and Zn in rice seedlings treated with Cr(VI) in the presence of iron plaque, while significant effect on transport of Mn and Zn were observed in Cr(III)-treated rice seedlings. Results from detached root test provide additional evidence to confirm the presence of iron plaque, that had different impact on Cr uptake when Cr(VI) or Cr(III) was supplied.

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Numerous studies showed that lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) play important roles in flower, development, cuticular wax deposition and pathogen responses; however, their roles in abiotic stresses are relatively less reported. This study characterized the function of a maize LTP gene (ZmLTP3) during drought stress. ZmLTP3 gene was transferred into maize inbred line Jing2416; subsequently the glyphosate and drought tolerance of the over-expression (OE) lines were analyzed. Analysis showed that OE lines could significantly enhance drought tolerance. Transgenic maize lines OE6, OE7 and OE8 showed lower cell membrane damage, higher chlorophyll contents, higher protective enzymes activities, better growth and development under drought condition. The results strongly indicated that overexpression of ZmLTP3 could increase drought tolerances in maize.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: D. Huang, H. Zhang, M. Tar, Y. Zhang, F. Ni, J. Ren, D. Fu, L. Purnhauser, and J. Wu

Stripe or yellow rust (Yr), caused by Puccinia striiformis Westend. (Pst), is one of the most important wheat diseases worldwide. New aggressive Pst races can spread quickly, even between countries and continents. To identify and exploit stripe rust resistance genes, breeders must characterize first the Pst resistance and genotypes of their cultivars. To find new sources of resistances it is important to study how wheat varieties respond to Pst races that predominate in other continents. In this study we evaluated stripe rust resistance in 53 Hungarian winter wheat cultivars in China. Twenty-four cultivars (45.3%) had all stage resistance (ASR) and 1 (1.9%) had adult-plant resistance (APR), based on seedling tests in growth chambers and adult-plant tests in fields. We molecularly genotyped six Yr resistance genes: Yr5, Yr10, Yr15, Yr17, Yr18, and Yr36. Yr18, an APR gene, was present alone in five cultivars, and in ‘GK Kapos’, that also had seedling resistance. The other five Yr genes were absent in all cultivars tested.

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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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Stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (PST), is one of the most serious diseases of wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) worldwide. Of 94 Triticum durum/Aegilops tauschii synthetic wheat accessions tested, CI142 (Garza/Boy// Ae. squarrosa 271) was found to be resistant to 6 Chinese PST races. The resistance to stripe rust in CI142 was proven to be controlled by a single dominant gene, tentatively designated YrC142 . Gene postulation showed that the pathogenic specificity of CI142 is different from 21 other lines possessing known resistance genes, such as Yr10, Yr15, Yr24 , and Yr26 , located on chromosome 1B. Bulked segregant analysis (BSA) and F 2 segregation analysis of the CI142/Mingxian 169 cross were used to analyse the SSR markers linked to YrC142 . Five SSR markers were found to be closely associated with YrC142 in the order Xwmc419-YrC142-Xgwm273, Xbarc187-Xgwm18-Xwmc626 , in which the relative genetic distances of these SSR loci to the gene YrC142 were 5.4, 0.8, 0.8, 1.0, and 2.4 cM, respectively. Two SSR markers ( Xgwm273 −162 and Xgwm18 −168 ) distinguished YrC142 from Yr10, Yr15, Yr24 , and Yr26 , suggesting that these 2 SSR markers may be used as diagnostic ones for the gene in a wheat breeding program against stripe rust. Based on these findings, YrC142 is most likely a new gene or a new allele at the Yr26 locus, which provides an opportunity to diversify stripe rust-resistant resources for wheat breeding programs.

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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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Chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) are powerful tools to combine naturally occurring genetic variants with favorable alleles in the same genetic backgrounds of elite cultivars. An elite CSSL Z322-1-10 was identified from advanced backcrosses between a japonica cultivar Nipponbare and an elite indica restorer Xihui 18 by SSR marker-assisted selection (MAS). The Z322-1-10 line carries five substitution segments distributed on chromosomes 1, 2, 5, 6 and 10 with an average length of 4.80 Mb. Spikilets per panicle, 1000-grain weight, grain length in the Z322-1-10 line are significantly higher than those in Nipponbare. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified and mapped for nine agronomic traits in an F3 population derived from the cross between Nipponbare and Z322-1-10 using the restricted maximum likelihood (REML) method in the HPMIXED procedure of SAS. We detected 13 QTLs whose effect ranging from 2.45% to 44.17% in terms of phenotypic variance explained. Of the 13 loci detected, three are major QTL (qGL1, qGW5-1 and qRLW5-1) and they explain 34.68%, 44.17% and 33.05% of the phenotypic variance. The qGL1 locus controls grain length with a typical Mendelian dominance inheritance of 3:1 ratio for long grain to short grain. The already cloned QTL qGW5-1 is linked with a minor QTL for grain width qGW5-2 (13.01%) in the same substitution segment. Similarly, the previously reported qRLW5-1 is also linked with a minor QTL qRLW5-2. Not only the study is important for fine mapping and cloning of the gene qGL1, but also has a great potential for molecular breeding.

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In this study, we employed electron microscopy to investigate the cytogenetic and embryologic mechanisms of parthenogenesis induced in the 1BL/1RS male sterile lines of wheat. Analysis of the root tips and acid polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis indicated that all of the male sterile lines and their maintainer lines were 1BL/1RS translocation lines, whereas the restorer lines were non-1BL/1RS translocation lines. Furthermore, the chromosomes of 1BL/1RS wheat lines with T. aestivum cytoplasm and Aegilops cytoplasm (include Ae. kotschyi, Ae. ventricosa, Ae. variabilis) paired abnormally at different rates during meiotic metaphase I (MMI). The translocated segment size of the 1RS chromosome and the specific nuclear–alloplasm interaction impaired the pairing of homologous chromosome in the background of the specific Aegilops cytoplasm at MMI. In addition, the frequency of abnormal chromosomal pairing was directly affected by the frequency of haploid production induced by parthenogenesis. The results of this study provide significant insights into the mechanism of parthenogenesis, which is probably due to the abnormal fertilization of synergid cells in alloplasmic 1BL/1RS wheat.

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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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