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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Wheat Super Domestication Gene Q. (Wheat Information Service, "frontiers of Biosciences")

Authors
item Faris, Justin
item Simons, Kristen - PLNT PATH KSU, MANHATTAN
item Zhang, Zengcui - PLNT SCI, NDSU, FARGO, ND
item Gill, Bikram - PLNT PATH, MANHATTAN, KS

Submitted to: Frontiers in Bioscience
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: August 12, 2005
Publication Date: May 26, 2006
Citation: Faris, J.D., Simons, K.J., Zhang, Z., Gill, B. 2005. The wheat super domestication gene Q. Frontiers of Wheat Bioscience. 100:129-148.

Interpretive Summary: The Q gene is largely responsible for the domestication and widespread cultivation of macaroni and bread wheat primarily because it confers the free-threshing character. It also pleiotropically influences many other domestication-related traits. For nearly a century, scientists have been intrigued by the Q gene and its pleiotropic nature. Here, we provide a summary of early investigations and discoveries regarding Q and its role in floral morphology and domestication, followed by an overview of our work to clone and characterize Q. Molecular genetic analysis allowed us to verify the identity of Q and its effects on domestication-related traits. Through evolution, a genetic mutation occurred that gave rise to the Q gene, and this resulted in the rapid spread of wheat cultivation. Future work will focus on the functional analysis of Q. Unique methods of improving wheat or domesticating new crops may result from further exploitation of Q, one of the most important genes in the rise of modern civilization.

Technical Abstract: The Q gene is largely responsible for the domestication and widespread cultivation of macaroni and bread wheat primarily because it confers the free-threshing character. It also pleiotropically influences many other domestication-related traits. For nearly a century, scientists have been intrigued by the Q gene and its pleiotropic nature. Here, we provide a summary of early investigations and discoveries regarding Q and its role in floral morphology and domestication, followed by an overview of our work to clone and characterize Q. Fine-mapping, chromosome walking, and DNA sequence analysis of knockout mutants allowed us to verify that Q is a member of the AP2 class of transcription factors. Analysis of transgenic plants confirmed the dosage and pleiotropic effects of Q. The Q and q alleles harbor structural differences, and Q is more abundantly transcribed than q. The q allele is the more primitive, and Q arose only once most likely in a tetraploid, which upon hybridization with Aegilops tauschii produced T. aestivum, and from those wheats originated the world’s macaroni and bread wheat. Future work will focus on the functional analysis of Q. Unique methods of improving wheat or domesticating new crops may result from further exploitation of Q, one of the most important genes in the rise of modern civilization.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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