Dysfunction of mitotic cell division at shoot apices triggered severe growth abortion in interspecific hybrids between tetraploid wheat and Aegilops tauschii

Authors


Author for correspondence:
Shigeo Takumi
Tel: +81 78 803 5860
Email: takumi@kobe-u.ac.jp

Summary

  • Common wheat is an allohexaploid species, derived through endoreduplication of an interspecific triploid hybrid produced from a cross between cultivated tetraploid wheat and the wild diploid relative Aegilops tauschii. Hybrid incompatibilities, including hybrid necrosis, have been observed in triploid wheat hybrids. A limited number of A. tauschii accessions show hybrid lethality in triploid hybrids crossed with tetraploid wheat as a result of developmental arrest at the early seedling stage, which is termed severe growth abortion (SGA). Despite the potential severity of this condition, the genetic mechanisms underlying SGA are not well understood.
  • Here, we conducted comparative analyses of gene expression profiles in crown tissues to characterize developmental arrest in triploid hybrids displaying SGA.
  • A number of defense-related genes were highly up-regulated, whereas many transcription factor genes, such as the KNOTTED1-type homeobox gene, which function in shoot apical meristem (SAM) and leaf primordia, were down-regulated in the crown tissues of SGA plants. Transcript accumulation levels of cell cycle-related genes were also markedly reduced in SGA plants, and no histone H4-expressing cells were observed in the SAM of SGA hybrid plants.
  • Our findings demonstrate that SGA shows unique features among other types of abnormal growth phenotypes, such as type II and III necrosis.

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