Author(s): Pearce S, Saville R, Vaughan SP, Chandler PM, Wilhelm EP,
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Abstract The introduction of the Reduced height (Rht)-B1b and Rht-D1b semidwarfing genes led to impressive increases in wheat (Triticum aestivum) yields during the Green Revolution. The reduction in stem elongation in varieties containing these alleles is caused by a limited response to the phytohormone gibberellin (GA), resulting in improved resistance to stem lodging and yield benefits through an increase in grain number. Rht-B1 and Rht-D1 encode DELLA proteins, which act to repress GA-responsive growth, and their mutant alleles Rht-B1b and Rht-D1b are thought to confer dwarfism by producing more active forms of these growth repressors. While no semidwarfing alleles of Rht-A1 have been identified, we show that this gene is expressed at comparable levels to the other homeologs and represents a potential target for producing novel dwarfing alleles. In this study, we have characterized additional dwarfing mutations in Rht-B1 and Rht-D1. We show that the severe dwarfism conferred by Rht-B1c is caused by an intragenic insertion, which results in an in-frame 90-bp insertion in the transcript and a predicted 30-amino acid insertion within the highly conserved amino-terminal DELLA domain. In contrast, the extreme dwarfism of Rht-D1c is due to overexpression of the semidwarfing Rht-D1b allele, caused by an increase in gene copy number. We show also that the semidwarfing alleles Rht-B1d and Rht-B1e introduce premature stop codons within the amino-terminal coding region. Yeast two-hybrid assays indicate that these newly characterized mutations in Rht-B1 and Rht-D1 confer "GA-insensitive" dwarfism by producing DELLA proteins that do not bind the GA receptor GA INSENSITIVE DWARF1, potentially compromising their targeted degradation.
This article was published in Plant Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology