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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2019, Vol. 18 Issue (5): 939-947    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(18)61958-6
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Characterization of TaCOMT genes associated with stem lignin content in common wheat and development of a gene-specific marker
FU Lu-ping1, XIAO Yong-gui1, YAN Jun2, LIU Jin-dong1, WEN Wei-e1, ZHANG Yong1, XIA Xian-chun1, HE Zhong-hu1, 3 
1 National Wheat Improvement Center/Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, P.R.China
2 Institute of Cotton Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Anyang 455000, P.R.China
3 International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) China Office, Beijing 100081, P.R.China
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Stem lignin content (SLC) in common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) contributes to lodging resistance.  Caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a key enzyme involved in lignin biosynthesis.  Characterization of TaCOMT genes and development of gene-specific markers could enable marker-assisted selection in wheat breeding.  In the present study, the full-length genomic DNA (gDNA) sequences of TaCOMT genes located on chromosomes 3A, 3B, and 3D were cloned by homologous cloning.  Two allelic variants, TaCOMT-3Ba and TaCOMT-3Bb, were identified and differed by a 222-bp insertion/deletion (InDel) in the 3´-untranslated region (3´-UTR).  A co-dominant gene-specific marker based on this InDel was developed and designated as TaCOMT-3BM.  A total of 157 wheat cultivars and advanced lines grown in four environments were used to validate the associations between allelic patterns and SLC.  The SLC of cultivars with TaCOMT-3Ba was significantly (P<0.01) higher than that of those with TaCOMT-3Bb, and the marker TaCOMT-3BM could be effectively used in wheat breeding.
Keywords:  Triticum aestivum L.        caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase        stem lignin content        gene-specific marker        lodging resistance  
Received: 19 January 2018   Accepted:
Fund: This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31161140346 and 31461143021), the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Project, China (D151100004415003), the National Key Technology R&D Program of China (2014BAD01B05), and the earmarked fund for China Agriculture Research System (CARS-3-1-3).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence HE Zhong-hu, Tel/Fax: +86-10-82108547, E-mail:   
About author:  FU Lu-ping, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

FU Lu-ping, XIAO Yong-gui, YAN Jun, LIU Jin-dong, WEN Wei-e, ZHANG Yong, XIA Xian-chun, HE Zhong-hu. 2019. Characterization of TaCOMT genes associated with stem lignin content in common wheat and development of a gene-specific marker. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18(5): 939-947.

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