TaDrAp1andTaDrAp2, partner genes of a transcription repressor, coordinate plant development and drought tolerance in spelt and bread wheat

Lyudmila Zotova, Nasgul Shamambaeva, Katso Lethola, Badr Alharthi, Valeriya Vavilova, Svetlana E. Smolenskaya, Nikolay P. Goncharov, Akhylbek Kurishbayev, Satyvaldy Jatayev, Narendra K. Gupta, Sunita Gupta, Carly Schramm, Peter A. Anderson, Colin L.D. Jenkins, Kathleen L. Soole, Yuri Shavrukov

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Down-regulator associated protein, DrAp1, acts as a negative cofactor (NC2α) in a transcription repressor complex together with another subunit, down-regulator Dr1 (NC2β). In binding to promotors and regulating the initiation of transcription of various genes, DrAp1 plays a key role in plant transition to flowering and ultimately in seed production. TaDrAp1 and TaDrAp2 genes were identified, and their expression and genetic polymorphism were studied using bioinformatics, qPCR analyses, a 40K Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) microarray, and Amplifluor-like SNP genotyping in cultivars of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and breeding lines developed from a cross between spelt (T. spelta L.) and bread wheat. TaDrAp1 was highly expressed under non-stressed conditions, and at flowering, TaDrAp1 expression was negatively correlated with yield capacity. TaDrAp2 showed a consistently low level of mRNA production. Drought caused changes in the expression of both TaDrAp1 and TaDrAp2 genes in opposite directions, effectively increasing expression in lower yielding cultivars. The microarray 40K SNP assay and Amplifluor-like SNP marker, revealed clear scores and allele discriminations for TaDrAp1 and TaDrAp2 and TaRht-B1 genes. Alleles of two particular homeologs, TaDrAp1-B4 and TaDrAp2-B1, co-segregated with grain yield in nine selected breeding lines. This indicated an important regulatory role for both TaDrAp1 and TaDrAp2 genes in plant growth, ontogenesis, and drought tolerance in bread and spelt wheat.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8296
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Down-regulator associated protein (DrAp1)
  • Drought
  • Gene expression
  • Microarray 40K SNP assay
  • Negative cofactor 2 (NC2)
  • Nuclear factor Y (NF-Y)
  • Plant genotyping
  • Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)
  • Transcription factor (TF)
  • Wheat (bread and spelt)


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