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    The domestication gene Q is largely responsible for the widespread cultivation of wheat because it confers multiple domestication traits. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of how Q regulates these domestication traits remain unclear. In this study, we identify a Q-interacting protein TaLAX1, a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, through yeast two-hybrid assays. Using biochemical and genetic approaches, we explore the roles of TaLAX1 in regulating wheat domestication traits. Overexpression of TaLAX1 produces phenotypes, reminiscent of the q allele; loss-of-function Talax1 mutations confer compact spikes, largely similar to the Q-overexpression wheat lines. The two transcription factors TaLAX1 and Q disturb each other's activity to antagonistically regulate the expression of the lignin biosynthesis-related gene TaKNAT7-4D. More interestingly, a natural variation (InDel, +/- TATA), which occurs in the promoter of TaLAX1, is associated with the promoter activity difference between the D subgenome of bread wheat and its ancestor Aegilops tauschii accession T093. This study reveals that the transcription factor TaLAX1 physically interacts with Q to antagonistically regulate wheat domestication traits and a natural variation (InDel, +/- TATA) is associated with the diversification of TaLAX1 promoter activity. © 2021 The Authors New Phytologist © 2021 New Phytologist Foundation.


    Guanhua He, Yunwei Zhang, Pan Liu, Yexing Jing, Lichao Zhang, Yingfang Zhu, Xiuying Kong, Huixian Zhao, Yun Zhou, Jiaqiang Sun. The transcription factor TaLAX1 interacts with Q to antagonistically regulate grain threshability and spike morphogenesis in bread wheat. The New phytologist. 2021 May;230(3):988-1002

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    PMID: 33521967

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