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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Genomic organization of the complex alpha-gliadin gene loci in wheat.

  • Author(s): Gu, Yong Qiang
  • Crossman, Curt
  • Kong, Xiuying
  • Luo, Mingcheng
  • You, Frank M
  • Coleman-Derr, Devin
  • Dubcovsky, Jorge
  • Anderson, Olin D
  • et al.

To better understand the molecular evolution of the large alpha-gliadin gene family, a half-million bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library clones from tetraploid durum wheat, Triticum turgidum ssp. durum (2n = 4x = 28, genome AB), were screened for large genomic segments carrying the alpha-gliadin genes of the Gli-2 loci on the group 6 homoeologous chromosomes. The resulting 220 positive BAC clones--each containing between one and four copies of alpha-gliadin sequences--were fingerprinted for contig assembly to produce contiguous chromosomal regions covering the Gli-2 loci. While contigs consisting of as many as 21 BAC clones and containing up to 17 alpha-gliadin genes were formed, many BAC clones remained as singletons. The accuracy of the order of BAC clones in the contigs was verified by Southern hybridization analysis of the BAC fingerprints using an alpha-gliadin probe. These results indicate that alpha-gliadin genes are not evenly dispersed in the Gli-2 locus regions. Hybridization of these BACs with probes for long terminal repeat retrotransposons was used to determine the abundance and distribution of repetitive DNA in this region. Sequencing of BAC ends indicated that 70% of the sequences were significantly similar to different classes of retrotransposons, suggesting that these elements are abundant in this region. Several mechanisms underlying the dynamic evolution of the Gli-2 loci are discussed.

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