A review of the occurrence of Grain softness protein-1 genes in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
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Grain softness protein-1 (Gsp-1) is a small, 495-bp intronless gene found throughout the Triticeae tribe at the distal end of group 5 chromosomes. With the Puroindolines, it constitutes a key component of the Hardness locus. Gsp-1 likely plays little role in grain hardness, but has direct interest due to its utility in phylogeny and its role in arabinogalactan peptides. Further role(s) remain to be identified. In the polyploid wheats, Triticum aestivum and T. turgidum, the gene is present in a homoeologous series. Since its discovery, there have been conflicting reports and data as to the number of Gsp-1 genes and the level of sequence polymorphism. Little is known about allelic variation within a species. In the simplest model, a single Gsp-1 gene is present in each wheat and Aegilops tauschii genome. The present review critically re-examines the published and some unpublished data (sequence available in the NCBI nucleotide and MIPS Wheat Genome Databases). A number of testable hypotheses are identified, and include the level of polymorphism that may represent (and define) different Gsp-1 alleles, the existence of a fourth Gsp-1 gene, and the apparent, at times, high level of naturally-occurring or artifactual gene chimeras. In summary, the present data provide firm evidence for at most, three Gsp-1 genes in wheat, although there are numerous data that suggest a more complex model.
KeywordsGrain softness protein-1 Puroindolines PCR jumping Gene chimeras Wheat
Stacey Sykes and Shawna Vogl assisted in the preparation and publication of this manuscript.
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