, Volume 168, Issue 3, pp 385–394 | Cite as

What can the Viviparous-1 gene tell us about wheat pre-harvest sprouting?



Pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) of wheat greatly reduces the quality and economic value of grain, and PHS tolerance is one of the most important traits in wheat breeding. Two new Vp-1B alleles were identified in wheat genotypes with distinct PHS tolerance and ABA responsiveness and designated as Vp-1Bb and Vp-1Bc. These alleles had an insertion of 193-bp and a deletion of 83-bp in the third intron in the region of B3 domain, respectively. Further analysis indicated that different Vp-1B alleles showed different expression and responsiveness to ABA exposure at transcriptional level, implying that they may regulate PHS tolerance. Based on these alleles, a STS marker Vp1B3 was developed and validated among a set of 89 Chinese wheat accessions. The results indicated that Vp1B3 may be useful as an efficient and reliable co-dominant marker in the evaluation of wheat germplasm for PHS tolerance and marker-assisted breeding for PHS tolerant cultivars. Moreover, analysis of a collection of 490 EU winter wheat varieties revealed not only the prevalence of Vp-1B alleles but also a new allele Vp-1Bd which does not occur in Chinese wheats.


Triticum aestivum L. Pre-harvest sprouting Viviparous-1 Allele 



Pre-harvest sprouting




Recommended list


National list



This project was partly funded by the National High-Tech Research Program (2006AA10Z115) and the National Basic Research Program (2009CB118300). Rothamsted Research receives grant-aided support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) of the United Kingdom.


  1. Bailey PC, McKibbin RS, Lenton JR (1999) Genetic map location for orthologous VP1 genes in wheat and rice. Theor Appl Genet 98:281–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carson CB, Hattori T, Rosenkrans L, Vasil V, Peterson PA, McCarty DR (1997) The quiescent/colorless alleles of viviparous1 show that the conserved B3 domain of Vp1 is not essential for ABA-regulated gene expression in the seed. Plant J 12:1231–1240PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chang S, Puryear J, Cairney J (1993) A simple and efficient method for isolating RNA from pine trees. Plant Mol Bio Rep 11:113–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Devos KM, Dubcovsky J, Dvorak J, Chinoy CN, Gale MD (1995) Structural evolution of wheat chromosome 4A, 5A and 7B and its impact on recombination. Theor Appl Genet 91:282–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Domon E, Fujita M, Ishikawa N (2002) The insertion/deletion polymorphisms in the waxy gene of barley genetic resources from East Asia. Theor Appl Genet 104:132–138PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Erkkilä MJ, Ahokas H (2001) Special barley β-amylase allele in a Finnish landrace line HA52 with high grain enzyme activity. Hereditas 134:91–95PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fiume E, Christou P, Giani S, Beviarion D (2004) Introns are key regulatory elements of rice tubulin expression. Planta 218:693–703PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Flintham JE (2000) Different genetic components control coat-imposed and embryo-imposed dormancy in wheat. Seed Sci Res 10:43–50Google Scholar
  9. Flintham JE, Adlam R, Bassoi M, Holdsworth M, Gale M (2002) Mapping genes for resistance to sprouting damage in wheat. Euphytica 126:39–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fu D, Szücs P, Yan L, Helguera M, Skinner JS, von Zitzewitz J, Hayes PM, Dubkovskii J (2005) Large deletion within the first intron in VRN-1 are associated with spring growth habit in barley and wheat. Mol Genet Genomics 273:54–65PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gale MD, Lenton JR (1987) Preharvest sprouting in wheat: a complex genetic and physiological problerm affecting breadmaking quality in UK wheat. Asp Appl Biol 15:115–124Google Scholar
  12. Gale KR, Ma W, Zhang W, Rampling L, Hill AS, Appels R, Morris P, Morrel M (2001) Simple high-throughput DNA markers for genotyping in wheat. In: Eastwood R et al (eds) 10th Australian Wheat Breeding Assembly Proceedings, pp 26–31Google Scholar
  13. Giraudat J, Hauge BM, Valon C, Smalle J, Parcy F, Goodman HM (1992) Isolation of the Arabidopsis ABI3 gene by positional cloning. Plant Cell 4:1251–1261PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Groos C, Gay G, Perretant MR, Gervais L, Bernard M, Dedryver F, Charmet G (2002) Study of the relationship between pre-harvest sprouting and grain color by quantitative trait loci analysis in a white × red grain bread-wheat cross. Theor Appl Genet 104:39–47PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hattori T, Vasll V, Rosenkrans L, Hannah LC, McCarty DA, Vasil IK (1992) The Viviparous-1 gene and abscisic acid activate the C7 regulatory gene for anthocyanin biosynthesis during seed maturation in maize. Genes Dev 6:609–618PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hattori T, Terada T, Hamasuna ST (1994) Sequence and functional analysis of the rice gene homologous to maize Vp1. Plant Mol Biol 24:805–810PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hill A, Nantel A, Rock CD, Quatrano RS (1996) A Conserved Domain of the viviparous-1 Gene Product Enhances the DNA Binding Activity of the bZIP Protein EmBP-1 and Other Transcription Factors. J Biol Chem 271:3366–3374PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Himi E, Noda K (2004) Isolation and location of three homoeologous dihydroflavonol-4-reductase (DFR) genes of wheat and their tissue-dependent expression. J Exp Bot 55:365–375PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Himi E, Noda K (2005) Red grain colour gene (R) of wheat is a Myb-type transcription factor. Euphytica 143:239–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Himi E, Mares DJ, Yanagisawa A, Noda K (2002) Effect of grain color gene (R) on grain dormancy and sensitivity of the embryo to abscisic acid (ABA) in wheat. J Exp Bot 53:1569–1574PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hoecker U, Vasil IK, McCarty DR (1995) Integrated control of seed maturation and germination programs by activator and repressor functions of Viviparous-1 of maize. Genes Dev 9:2459–2469PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Humphreys DG, Noll J (2002) Methods for characterization of preharvest sprouting tolerance in a wheat breeding program. Euphytica 126:61–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jones HD, Peters NC, Holdsworth MJ (1997) Genotype and environment interact to control dormancy and differential expression of the VIVIPAROUS 1 homologue in embryos of Avena fatua. Plant J 12:911–920PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kato K, Nakamura W, Tabiki T, Miura H (2001) Detection of loci controlling seed dormancy on group 4 chromosome of wheat and comparative mapping with rice and barley genomes. Theor Appl Genet 102:980–985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lenton J (2001) Opportunities for the manipulation of development of temperate cereals. Adv Bot Res 34:127–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Li CD, Ni PX, Francki M, Hunter A, Zhang Y, Schibeci D, Li H, Tarr A, Wang J, Cakir M, Yu J, Bellgard M, Lance R, Appels R (2004) Genes controlling seed dormancy and pre-harvest sprouting in a rice-wheat- barley comparison. Funct Integr Genomics 4:84–93PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lohwasser U, Röder MS, Börner A (2005) QTL mapping of the domestication traits pre-harvest sprouting and dormancy in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Euphytica 143:247–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mares D, Mrva K, Cheong J, Williams K, Watson B, Storlie E, Sutherland M, Zou Y (2005) A QTL located on chromosome 4A associated with dormancy in white- and red-grained wheats of diverse origin. Theor Appl Genet 111:1357–1364PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McCarty DR, Carson CB, Stinard PS, Robertson DS (1989) Molecular analysis of VIVIPAROUS-1: an abscisic acid insensitive mutant of maize. Plant Cell 1:523–532PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McCarty DR, Hattori T, Carson CB, Vasil V, Lazar M, Vasil IK (1991) The Viviparous-1 developmental gene of maize encodes a novel transcriptional activator. Cell 66:895–905PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McIntosh RA, Devos KM, Dubcovsky J, Morris CF, Rogersa WJ (2003) Catalogue of gene symbols for wheat : 2003 supplement, published online at:
  32. McKibbin RS, Wilkinson MD, Bailey PC, Flintham JE, Andrew LM, Lazzeri PA, Gale MD, Lenton JR, Holdsworth MJ (2002) Transcripts of Vp-1 homologues are misspliced in modern wheat and ancestral species. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99:10203–10208PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nakamura S, Toyama T (2001) Isolation of a VP1 homologue from wheat and analysis of its expression in embryos of dormant and non-dormant cultivars. J Exp Bot 52:875–876PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nambara E, Keith K, McCourt P, Naito S (1994) Isolation of an internal deletion mutant of the Arabidopsis thaliana ABI3 gene. Plant Cell Physiol 35:509–513PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Patron NJ, Smith AM, Fahy BF, Hylton CM, Naldrett MJ, Rossnagel BG, Denyer K (2002) The altered pattern of amylose accumulation in the endosperm of low-amylose barley cultivars is attributable to a single mutant allele of granule-bound starch synthase I with a deletion in the 5-non-coding region. Plant Physiol 130:190–198PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Robertson DS (1955) The genetics of vivipary in maize. Genetics 40:745–760PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Rohde A, Prinsen E, Rycke De, Engler G, Van MM, Boerjan W (2002) PtABI3 impinges on the growth and differentiation of embryonic leaves during bud set in poplar. Plant Cell 14:1885–1901PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Roy JK, Prasad M, Varshney RK (1999) Identification of a microsatellite on chromosomes 6B and a STS on 7D of bread wheat showing an association with pre-harvest sprouting tolerance. Theor Appl Genet 99:336–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sjakste TG, Zhuk AF (2006) Novel haplotype description and structural background of the eventual functional significance of the barley β-amylase gene intron III rearrangements. Theor Appl Genet 113:1063–1079PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Suzuki M, Kao CY, Mctarty DR (1997) The conserved B3 domain of VIVIPAROUS1 has a cooperative DNA binding activity. Plant Cell 9:799–807PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Suzuki M, Ketterling MG, Li QB, McMarty DR (2003) Viviparous1 alters global gene expression patterns through regulation of abscisic acid signaling. Plant Physiol 132:1664–1677PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tan MK, Sharp PJ, Lu MQ, Hows N (2006) Genetics of grain dormancy in a white wheat. Aust J Agric Res 57:1157–1165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Walker-Simmons MK (1988) Enhancement of ABA responsiveness in wheat embryos at higher temperature. Plant Cell Environ 11:769–775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wilkinson M, Lenton J, Holdsworth M (2005) Transcripts of VP-1 homologues are alternatively spliced within the Triticeae tribe. Euphytica 143:243–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Xia LQ, Ganal MW, Shewry PR, He ZH, Yang Y, Roder M (2008) Evaluation of the Viviparous-1 gene alleles in the European wheat varieties. Euphytica 159:411–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Xiao SH, Zhang XY, Yan CS, Lin H (2002) Germplasm improvement for preharvest sprouting resistance in Chinese white-grained wheat: An overview of the current strategy. Euphytica 126:35–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lewin B (2007) Genes IX. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, Massachusetts, USA, pp 521–569Google Scholar
  48. Yang Y, Ma YZ, Xu ZS, Chen XM, He ZH, Yu Z, Wilkinson M, Jones DH, Shewry RP, Xia LQ (2007a) Isolation and characterization of Vp-1 genes in wheat varieties with distinct pre-harvest sprouting tolerance and ABA sensitivity. J Exp Bot 58(11):2863–2871PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Yang Y, Zhao XL, Xia LQ, Chen XM, He ZH, Roder MS (2007b) Development and validation of a Vp-1 STS marker for pre-harvest sprouting in Chinese wheats. Theor Appl Genet 115:971–980PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zhang HP, Chang C, Xiao SH (2006a) Proteomic analysis on abscisic acid signal transduction in embryo dormancy of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Acta Agro Sin 32:690–697Google Scholar
  51. Zhang XR, Garreton V, Chua NH (2006b) The AIP2 E3 ligase acts as a novel negative regulator of ABA signaling by promoting ABI degradation. Genes Dev 19:1532–1543CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Q. Xia
    • 1
  • Y. Yang
    • 1
  • Y. Z. Ma
    • 1
  • X. M. Chen
    • 1
  • Z. H. He
    • 1
  • M. S. Röder
    • 2
  • H. D. Jones
    • 3
  • P. R. Shewry
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Crop Science/The National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic ImprovementChinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK)GaterslebenGermany
  3. 3.Crop Performance Improvement DivisionRothamsted ResearchHertfordshireUK

Personalised recommendations