J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2023, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (12): 2587-2603.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13574

• Functional Omics and Systems Biology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Paternally imprinted LATE-FLOWERING2 transcription factor contributes to paternal-excess interploidy hybridization barriers in wheat

Guanghui Yang1†, Man Feng1†, Kuohai Yu1†, Guangxian Cui1, Yan Zhou1, Lv Sun1, Lulu Gao1, Yumei Zhang2, Huiru Peng1, Yingyin Yao1, Zhaorong Hu1, Vincenzo Rossi3, Ive De Smet4,5, Zhongfu Ni1, Qixin Sun1 and Mingming Xin1*   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory for Agrobiotechnology, Key Laboratory of Crop Heterosis Utilization(MOE), Beijing Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China;
    2. Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao 266109, China;
    3. Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Research Centre for Cereal and Industrial Crops, Bergamo 24126, Italy;
    4. Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, Ghent B-9052, Belgium;
    5. VIB Center for Plant Systems Biology, Ghent B-9052, Belgium
    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence:Mingming Xin(mingmingxin@cau.edu.cn)
  • Received:2023-09-20 Accepted:2023-10-16 Online:2023-10-17

Abstract: Interploidy hybridization between hexaploid and tetraploid genotypes occurred repeatedly during genomic introgression events throughout wheat evolution, and is commonly employed in wheat breeding programs. Hexaploid wheat usually serves as maternal parent because the reciprocal cross generates progeny with severe defects and poor seed germination, but the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we performed detailed analysis of phenotypic variation in endosperm between two interploidy reciprocal crosses arising from tetraploid (Triticum durum, AABB) and hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum, AABBDD). In the paternal- versus the maternal-excess cross, the timing of endosperm cellularization was delayed and starch granule accumulation in the endosperm was repressed, causing reduced germination percentage. The expression profiles of genes involved in nutrient metabolism differed strongly between these endosperm types. Furthermore, expression patterns of parental alleles were dramatically disturbed in interploidy versus intraploidy crosses, leading to increased number of imprinted genes. The endosperm-specific TaLFL2 showed a paternally imprinted expression pattern in interploidy crosses partially due to allele-specific DNA methylation. Paternal TaLFL2 binds to and represses a nutrient accumulation regulator TaNAC019, leading to reduced storage protein and starch accumulation during endosperm development in paternal-excess cross, as confirmed by interploidy crosses between tetraploid wild-type and clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated protein 9 generated hexaploid mutants. These findings reveal a contribution of genomic imprinting to paternal-excess interploidy hybridization barriers during wheat evolution history and explains why experienced breeders preferentially exploit maternal-excess interploidy crosses in wheat breeding programs.

Key words: imprinting, interploidy cross, wheat

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