RFLP-based analysis of three RbcS subfamilies in diploid and polyploid species of wheat

Research paper by S. Galili, Y. Avivi, E. Millet, M. Feldman

Indexed on: 01 May '00Published on: 01 May '00Published in: Molecular & general genetics : MGG


The RbcS multigene family of hexaploid (bread) wheat, Triticum aestivum (genome BBAADD), which encodes the small subunit of Rubisco, comprises at least 22 genes. Based on their 3′ non-coding sequences, these genes have been classified into four subfamilies (SFs), of which three (SF-2, SF-3 and SF-4) are located on chromosomes of homoeologous group 2 and one (SF-1) on homoeologous group 5. In the present study we hybridized three RbcS subfamily-specific probes (for SF-1, SF-2 and SF-3) to total DNA digested with four restriction enzymes and analyzed the RFLP patterns of these subfamilies in eight diploid species of Aegilops and Triticum, and in two tetraploid and one hexaploid species of wheat (the diploid species are the putative progenitors of the polyploid wheats). The three subfamilies varied in their level of polymorphism, with SF-2 being the most polymorphic in all species. In the diploids, the order of polymorphism was SF-2 > SF-3 > SF-1, and in the polyploids SF-2 > SF-1 > SF-3. The RbcS genes of the conserved SF-1 were previously reported to have the highest expression levels in all the wheat tissues studied, indicating a negative correlation between polymorphism and gene expression. Among the diploids, the species with the D and the S genomes were the most polymorphic and the A-genome species were the least polymorphic. The polyploids were less polymorphic than the diploids. Within the polyploids, the A genome was somewhat more polymorphic than the B genome, while the D genome was the most conserved. Among the diploid species with the A genome, the RFLP pattern of T. urartu was closer to that of the A genome of the common wheat cultivar Chinese Spring (CS) than to that of T. monococcum. The pattern in Ae. tauschii was similar to that of the D genome of CS. Only partial resemblance was found between the RFLP patterns of the species with the S genome and the B genome of CS.