Genome merger: from sequence rearrangements in triticale to their elimination in wheat–rye addition lines

Genome merger: from sequence rearrangements in triticale to their elimination in wheat–rye addition lines

Miguel Bento, Perry Gustafson , Wanda Viegas and Manuela Silva

Theoretical and Applied Genetics, Volume 121, Number 3 / août 2010, doi: 10.1007/s00122-010-1325-6


Genetic and epigenetic modifications resulting from different genomes adjusting to a common nuclear environment have been observed in polyploids. Sequence restructuring within genomes involving retrotransposon/microsatellite-rich regions has been reported in triticale. The present study uses inter-retrotransposon amplified polymorphisms (IRAP) and retrotransposon microsatellite amplified polymorphisms (REMAP) to assess genome rearrangements in wheat–rye addition lines obtained by the controlled backcrossing of octoploid triticale to hexaploid wheat followed by self-fertilization. The comparative analysis of IRAP and REMAP banding profiles, involving a complete set of wheat–rye addition lines, and their parental species revealed in those lines the presence of wheat-origin bands absent in triticale, and the absence of rye-origin and triticale-specific bands. The presence in triticale × wheat backcrosses (BC) of rye-origin bands that were absent in the addition lines demonstrated that genomic rearrangement events were not a direct consequence of backcrossing, but resulted from further genome structural rearrangements in the BC plant progeny. PCR experiments using primers designed from different rye-origin sequences showed that the absence of a rye-origin band in wheat–rye addition lines results from sequence elimination rather than restrict changes on primer annealing sites, as noted in triticale. The level of genome restructuring events evaluated in all seven wheat–rye addition lines, compared to triticale, indicated that the unbalanced genome merger situation observed in the addition lines induced a new round of genome rearrangement, suggesting that the lesser the amount of rye chromatin introgressed into wheat the larger the outcome of genome reshuffling.

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