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Tamft-A1 is Associated with Seed Germination Sensitive to Temperature in Winter Wheat

Lei, Lei
The ability of seed to germinate under favorable environmental regimes is critical for seedling emergence, plant establishment, subsequence development and growth of adult plants. It is controlled by internal genetic factors and external environmental factors. Winter wheat in the southern Great Plains is often planted six weeks before the optimal planting date to produce more biomass for cattle grazing during the winter season. High germinability in this higher soil temperature environment is required for this specific management system. In this study, a major QTL for temperature-sensitive germination was mapped on the short arm of chromosome 3A (QTsg.osu-3A) in a RIL population generated from two winter wheat cultivars. Furthermore, TaMFT-A1, previously reported to regulate seed dormancy and pre-harvest sprouting in spring wheat cultivars, was mapped tightly associated with the peak of QTsg.osu-3A. However, allelic variation in TaMFT-A1 between the two winter wheat cultivars differed from that was observed in spring wheat cultivars. There were 87 SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) and 12 indels (insertions/deletions) in TaMFT-A1 between the Jagger allele for high germination and the 2174 allele for low germination in the after-ripened seeds, in comparison with 2 SNPs between the two alleles for differential pre-harvest sprouting in spring wheat cultivars. The Jagger TaMFT-A1 allele is a novel haplotype and appears extensively in winter wheat cultivars. TaMFT-A1 transcript levels were up-regulated by high temperature but down-regulated by low temperature or seed storage time. These findings suggest that TaMFT-A1 may invoke different mechanisms for controlling seed dormancy/germination among winter wheat cultivars.