Functional characterization of GPC-1 genes in hexaploid wheat.

Raz Avni, Rongrong Zhao, Stephen Pearce, Yan Jun, Cristobal Uauy, Facundo Tabbita, Tzion Fahima, Ann Slade, Jorge Dubcovsky, Assaf Distelfeld

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In wheat, monocarpic senescence is a tightly regulated process during which nitrogen (N) and micronutrients stored pre-anthesis are remobilized from vegetative tissues to the developing grains. Recently, a close connection between senescence and remobilization was shown through the map-based cloning of the GPC (grain protein content) gene in wheat. GPC-B1 encodes a NAC transcription factor associated with earlier senescence and increased grain protein, iron and zinc content, and is deleted or non-functional in most commercial wheat varieties. In the current research, we identified 'loss of function' ethyl methanesulfonate mutants for the two GPC-B1 homoeologous genes; GPC-A1 and GPC-D1, in a hexaploid wheat mutant population. The single gpc-a1 and gpc-d1 mutants, the double gpc-1 mutant and control lines were grown under field conditions at four locations and were characterized for senescence, GPC, micronutrients and yield parameters. Our results show a significant delay in senescence in both the gpc-a1 and gpc-d1 single mutants and an even stronger effect in the gpc-1 double mutant in all the environments tested in this study. The accumulation of total N in the developing grains showed a similar increase in the control and gpc-1 plants until 25 days after anthesis (DAA) but at 41 and 60 DAA the control plants had higher grain N content than the gpc-1 mutants. At maturity, GPC in all mutants was significantly lower than in control plants while grain weight was unaffected. These results demonstrate that the GPC-A1 and GPC-D1 genes have a redundant function and play a major role in the regulation of monocarpic senescence and nutrient remobilization in wheat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-324
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments the authors would like to thank Bat-Sheva Ben-Zvi, Dr. chingiz K. alekperov, assaf avneri, Isaac levian, Francine Paraiso, Danna chan, anna amen, Mike Steine, and Dayna loef-fler for excellent technical assistance. t. Fahima and J. Dubcovsky acknowledge support from United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (grant 2007194). J. Dubcovsky acknowledges support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the gordon and Betty Moore foundation grant gBMF3031, and from the agricultural and Food research Initiative grant 2011-68002-30029 (Triticeae-caP) from USDa-nIFa. a. Distelfeld acknowledged support from the Marie curie International reintegration grant number PIrg08-ga-2010-277036 and from the ISrael ScIence FOUnDatIOn (grants no. 999/12 and 1824/12).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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