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    The cytokinins, which are N6 -substituted adenine derivatives, control key aspects of crop productivity. Cytokinin levels are controlled via biosynthesis by isopentenyl transferase (IPT), destruction by cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX), and inactivation via glucosylation by cytokinin glucosyl transferases (CGTs). While both yield components and tolerance to drought and related abiotic stressors have been positively addressed via manipulation of IPT and/or CKX expression, much less attention has been paid to the CGTs. As naming of the CGTs has been unclear, we suggest COGT, CNGT, CONGT and CNOGT to describe the O-, N- and dual function CGTs. As specific CGT mutants of both rice and arabidopsis showed impacts on yield components, we interrogated the wheat genome database, IWGSC RefSeq v1.0 & v2.0, to investigate wheat CGTs. Besides providing unambiguous names for the 53 wheat CGTs, we show their expression patterns in 70 developmental tissues and their response characteristics to various stress conditions by reviewing more than 1000 RNA-seq data sets. These revealed various patterns of responses and showed expression generally being more limited in reproductive tissues than in vegetative tissues. Multiple cis-regulatory elements are present in the 3 kb upstream of the start codons of the 53 CGTs. Elements associated with abscisic acid, light and methyl jasmonate are particularly over-represented, indicative of the responsiveness of CGTs to the environment. These data sets indicate that CGTs have potential value for wheat improvement and that these could be targeted in TILLING or gene editing wheat breeding programmes. © 2021 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


    Lei Chen, Jing Zhao, Jiancheng Song, Paula E Jameson. Cytokinin glucosyl transferases, key regulators of cytokinin homeostasis, have potential value for wheat improvement. Plant biotechnology journal. 2021 May;19(5):878-896

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    PMID: 33811433

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