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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Molecular Characterization of the Major Wheat Domestication Gene Q

Author
item Simons, Kristin
item Fellers, John
item Trick, Harold
item Zhang, Zengcui
item Tai, Yin Shan
item Gill, Bikram
item Faris, Justin

Submitted to: Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2005
Publication Date: 1/20/2006
Citation: Simons, K.J., Fellers, J.P., Trick, H.N., Zhang, Z., Tai, Y., Gill, B.S., Faris, J.D. 2006. Molecular Characterization of the Major Wheat Domestication Gene Q. Genetics. 172:547-555.

Interpretive Summary: The conversion of wild grasses with natural seed dispersal mechanisms into non-shattering free-threshing domesticated forms launched agriculture revolution. The domestication of wheat is historically recent and a principle factor in the rise of modern human civilization. The wheat Q gene governs the free-threshing character, and it also pleiotropically influences a repertoire of other domestication-related traits. Here, we show Q is a major regulatory gene involved in floral development. Analysis of knockout mutants and transgenic plants expressing varying copy numbers indicated that Q gene action is dosage dependent, and influences threshability, rachis fragility (shattering), glume tenacity, glume shape, spike length and plant height. Sequence comparisons between domesticated wheats and other grasses suggest that Q arose from q through mutation.

Technical Abstract: The domestication of wheat is historically recent and a principle factor in the rise of modern human civilization. The wheat Q gene governs numerous domestication-related traits, most importantly the free-threshing character. Here, we show Q is a floral homeotic gene with similarity to the AP2 class of transcription factors. Analysis of knockout mutants and transgenic plants expressing varying copy numbers indicated that Q gene action is dosage dependent, and influences threshability, rachis fragility, glume tenacity, glume shape, spike length and plant height. Sequence comparisons between domesticated wheats and other grasses suggest that Q arose from q through mutation.

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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