Genetic and in silico comparative mapping of the polyphenol oxidase gene in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L)
Polyphenol oxidases (PPOs) are involved in the time-dependent darkening and discolouration of Asian noodles and other wheat end products. In this study, a doubled haploid (DH) population derived from Chara (moderately high PPO activity)/WW2449 (low PPO activity) was screened for PPO activity based on L-DOPA and Ltyrosine assays using whole seeds. Both these assays were significantly genetically correlated (r=0.91) in measuring the PPO activity in this DH population. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) analysis utilising a skeleton map enabled us to identify a major QTL controlling PPO activity based on LDOPA and L-tyrosine on the long arm of chromosome 2A. The simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker GWM294b explained over 82% of the line mean phenotypic variation from samples collected in both 2000 and 2003. Four SSR markers were validated for PPO linkage in genetically diverse backgrounds and proven to correctly predict the PPO activity in more than 92% of wheat lines. Physical mapping using deletion lines of Chinese Spring has confirmed the location of the GWM294b, GWM312 and WMC170 on chromosome 2AL, between deletion breakpoints 2AL-C to 0.85. In order to identify functional gene markers, data searches for alignments between rice BAC/PAC clones assembled on chromosome 1 and 4, chromosome 7, and (1) the wheat expressed sequence tags mapped in deletion bin (2AL-C to 0.85) and (2) the coding sequence of a previously cloned wheat PPO gene were made and found significant sequence similarities with the PPO gene or common central domain of tyrosinase. Available PPO gene sequences in the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database have revealed that there is a significant molecular diversity at the nucleotide and amino acid level in the wheat PPO genes.
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