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Free Content Cross-genome map based dissection of a nitrogen use efficiency ortho-metaQTL in bread wheat unravels concerted cereal genome evolution

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Monitoring nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in plants is becoming essential to maintain yield while reducing fertilizer usage. Optimized NUE application in major crops is essential for long-term sustainability of agriculture production. Here, we report the precise identification of 11 major chromosomal regions controlling NUE in wheat that co-localise with key developmental genes such as Ppd (photoperiod sensitivity), Vrn (vernalization requirement), Rht (reduced height) and can be considered as robust markers from a molecular breeding perspective. Physical mapping, sequencing, annotation and candidate gene validation of an NUE metaQTL on wheat chromosome 3B allowed us to propose that a glutamate synthase (GoGAT) gene that is conserved structurally and functionally at orthologous positions in rice, sorghum and maize genomes may contribute to NUE in wheat and other cereals. We propose an evolutionary model for the NUE locus in cereals from a common ancestral region, involving species specific shuffling events such as gene deletion, inversion, transposition and the invasion of repetitive elements.
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Keywords: cereal synteny; glutamate synthase (GoGAT); nitrogen use efficiency; ortho-metaQTL

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: INRA/Université Blaise Pascal UMR 1095 GDEC, Domaine de Crouelle, 234 Avenue du Brézet, 63100 Clermont-Ferrand, France 2: BIOGEMMA, 8 Rue des Frères Lumière, 63028 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 2, France 3: LIMAGRAIN VERNEUIL HOLDING, ZAC Les Portes de Riom – BP 173, 63204 Riom, France 4: ARVALIS Institut du Végétal, 3 Rue Joseph et Marie Hackin, 75116 Paris, France

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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