Identification of a novel ERF gene, TaERF8, associated with plant height and yield in wheat
BMC Plant Biology
Ethylene Responsive Factor (ERF) is involved in various processes of plant development and stress responses. In wheat, several ERFs have been identified and their roles in mediating biotic or abiotic stresses have been elucidated. However, their effects on wheat plant architecture and yield-related traits remain poorly studied. In this study, TaERF8, a new member of the ERF family, was isolated in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Three homoeologous TaERF8 genes, TaERF8-2A, TaERF8-2B and TaERF8-2D
... 8-2B and TaERF8-2D (named according to sub-genomic origin), were cloned from the common wheat cultivar Chinese Spring. The three homoeologs showed highly similar protein sequences, with identical AP2 domain. Whereas homoeologs sequence polymorphism analysis allowed the establishment of ten, two and three haplotypes, respectively. Expression analysis revealed that TaERF8s were constitutively expressed through entire wheat developmental stages. Analysis of related agronomic traits of TaERF8-2B overexpressing transgenic lines showed that TaERF8-2B plays a role in regulating plant architecture and yield-related traits. Association analysis between TaERF8-2B haplotypes (Hap-2B-1 and Hap-2B-2) and agronomic traits showed that TaERF8-2B was associated with plant height, heading date and 1000 kernel weight (TKW). The TaERF8-2B haplotypes distribution analysis revealed that Hap-2B-2 frequency increased in domesticated emmer wheat and modern varieties, being predominant in five major China wheat producing zones. These results indicated that TaERF8s are differentially involved in the regulation of wheat growth and development. Haplotype Hap-2B-2 was favored during domestication and in Chinese wheat breeding. Unveiling that the here described molecular marker TaERF8-2B-InDel could be used for marker-assisted selection, plant architecture and TKW improvement in wheat breeding.