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The environment exerts a greater influence than the transgene on the transcriptome of field-grown wheat expressing the Pm3b allele

Quijano, C.D., Brunner, S., Keller, B., Gruissem, W., Sautter, C.

Wheat provides 20 % of the calories consumed worldwide. Powdery mildew infections of wheat can result in more than 30 % yield loss but it has been demonstrated that wheat overexpressing Pm3b, an allele of the R gene Pm3, has enhanced resistance against powdery mildew under field conditions. A gene expression profile study using GeneChip Wheat Genome Array and Fluidigm 96.96 Dynamic Arrays was performed to obtain insights into the mode of action of Pm3b and to elucidate the molecular basis of pleiotropic effects observed in three out of four independent transgenic events under field conditions. A cluster analysis of the microarray data and a principal component analysis of the Fluidigm 96.96 Dynamic Arrays data showed that transgenic lines and null segregants grouped together. The microarray analysis of samples from fungicide-treated plants revealed that significantly fewer genes were differentially expressed in Pm3b#1 than in Pm3b#2, which had a pleiotropic phenotype in the field, compared to their null segregants. Together, our data provide evidence that the environment influenced gene expression in the Pm3b lines more than the transgene itself.

Citation

Quijano, C.D., Brunner, S., Keller, B., Gruissem, W., Sautter, C. "The environment exerts a greater influence than the transgene on the transcriptome of field-grown wheat expressing the Pm3b allele" Transgenic Research (2014): 87–97