Transcription factor retention through multiple polyploidisation steps in wheat

SummaryWhole genome duplication (WGD) is widespread in plant evolutionary history, but the mechanisms of non-random gene loss after WGD are debated. The gene balance hypothesis proposes that dosage-sensitive genes such as regulatory genes are retained in polyploids. To test this hypothesis, we analysed the retention of transcription factors (TFs) in the recent allohexaploid bread wheat (Triticum aestivum).We annotated TFs in hexaploid, tetraploid and diploid wheats; compared the co-expression of homoeologous TF and non-TF triads; and analysed single nucleotide variation in TFs across cultivars.We found that, following each of two hybridisation and WGD events, the proportion of TFs in the genome increased. TFs were preferentially retained over other genes as homoeologous groups in tetraploid and hexaploid wheat. Across cultivars, TF triads contain fewer deleterious missense mutations than non-TFs.TFs are preferentially retained as three functional homoeologs in hexaploid wheat, in support of the gene balance hypothesis. High co-expression between TF homoeologs suggests that neo- and sub-functionalisation are not major drivers of TF retention in this young polyploid. Knocking out one TF homoeolog to alter gene dosage, using TILLING or CRISPR, could be a way to further test the gene balance hypothesis and generate new phenotypes for wheat breeding.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
  • Name: Evans, Catherine EB, Type: Corresponding Author,
  • Name: Arunkumar, Ramesh, Type: Author,
  • Name: Borrill, Philippa, Type: Author,
Maintainer Email
Article Host Type repository
Article Is Open Access true
Article License Type cc-by-nc
Article Version Type submittedVersion
Citation Report
DFW Organisation JIC
DFW Work Package 1
DOI 10.1101/2022.02.15.480382
Date Last Updated 2022-06-16T18:05:41.893366
Evidence oa repository (via page says license)
Funder Code(s)
Journal Is Open Access false
Open Access Status green
Publisher URL