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Acta Agron Sin ›› 2009, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (10): 1764-1770.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1006.2009.01764


Alternative Splicing of Photoperiod Response Gene Ppd-B1 in Wheat

GUO Zhi-Ai12,ZHAO Guang-Yao2,REN Zheng-Long1*,Jia Ji-Zeng2*   

  1. 1College of Agriculture,Sichuan Agricultural University,Ya'an 625014,Sichuan,China;2National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement/Key Laboratory of Crop Germplasm & Biotechnology,Ministry of Agriculture/Institute of Crop Sciences,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences,Beijing 100081,China
  • Received:2009-04-09 Revised:2009-07-24 Online:2009-10-12 Published:2009-08-07
  • Contact: REN Zheng-Long,E-mail:renzllab@sicau.edu.cn,Tel: 0835-2883153;JIA Ji-Zeng,E-mail:jzjia@mail.caas.net.cn,Tel: 010-82105831


Alternative splicing creates multiple types of mRNA transcripts from a single gene, and can contribute to the regulation of gene function and protein diversity in eukaryotic cells. Photoperiod response plays a major role in controlling the heading time, yield, and adaptability in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), and Ppd-B1 has been considered to have a potential effect on wheat responses to photoperiod changes. However, its alternative splicing has not been reported yet. In the present study, a photoperiod insensitive variety Chinese Spring carrying Ppd-B1 and another photoperiod sensitive variety Marquis carrying ppd-B1 were grown under four different photoperiod conditions. The cDNA and genomic DNA sequences of Ppd-B1 were isolated and characterized. The length of Ppd-B1 coding region was 3 053 bp with eight exons whose total size was 1 995 bp. The Ppd-B1 mRNA was alternatively spliced, producing multiple types of transcripts. There were three alternative splicing sites located in 5' UTR, exon 5, and intron 6, whose action led to exon increasing, alternative 5' end processing and intron retention. The alternative processing events that were augmented by the two former splicing sites remained the conserved Psedo-response regulator (PRR) domain in the deduced protein, whereas that directed by the third site resulted in frameshift mutation. Among the eight different types of Ppd-B1 transcripts produced by alternative splicing, four types (type a to d) expressed at relatively high levels with the frequency ranging from 32.6% (type d) to 13.0% (type b). They could be translated into full length proteins, and were likely to be functional. The remaining types (type e to h) expressed at very low levels with the frequency varying from 2.2% (type g) to 6.5% (type e). They gave rise to truncated peptides upon conceptual translation. The relative abundance of the different types of Ppd-B1 transcripts were changed by the photoperiod response characteristics of wheat varieties and the photoperiod conditions under which wheat plants were cultured. The data collected here paves the way for further studies to reveal the physiological function of Ppd-B1 alternative splicing in wheat.

Key words: Wheat, Photoperiod response, Ppd-B1, Alternative splicing, Transcripts

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