TaCKX6-D1, the ortholog of rice OsCKX2, is associated with grain weight in hexaploid wheat
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- •The cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX) gene plays a principal role in controlling cytokinin levels and has been shown to be a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) affecting grain number in rice. However, the function and evaluation of the haplotypes of the wheat CKX gene have yet to be illustrated.
- •In this study, TaCKX6-D1, a wheat ortholog of rice OsCKX2, was cloned and its haplotype variants were determined to be significantly associated with the 1000-grain weight on the basis of linkage mapping, association analysis and gene expression analysis.
- •Five TaCKX6-D1 haplotypes, designated a–e, were identified. An indel marker was developed to identify haplotype a, which was associated with higher grain weight. Haplotype a showed decreased expression relative to haplotype b in seeds at 8 d after pollination. Sequence variations among modern cultivars, landraces and wild species suggest a significant domestication signature at the TaCKX6-D1 locus in Chinese wheat germplasm.
- •TaCKX6-D1 may serve as a useful gene for the breeding of high-yielding wheat. A strategy for allele mining and utilization of TaCKX6-D1 was proposed. Our study also sheds light on the mechanisms of grain development and domestication of wheat, as well as the functional divergence of orthologs in comparative genomics.