HomeEvolutionThe profitable transaction between wheat and transposons

The profitable transaction between wheat and transposons

Curiosity initially: why wheat has excessive plasticity?

Wheat is among the commonest staple meals on this planet. Many of the wheat we see right now is hexaploid, having undergone two rounds of hybridization and polyploidization occasions between three diploid ancestors that adapt to totally different environments. As a result of merge of the three genomes, widespread wheat has three synergistic and divergent subgenomes, which can enable it to unfold quickly around the globe with excessive environmental plasticity in comparison with its diploid ancestors. Because the launch of high-quality hexaploid wheat genome meeting by the Worldwide Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) in 2018, our staff invested a number of effort through the years, specializing in subgenome-diversified and -coordinated regulation from the next factors:

  1. Demonstrated subgenome-dominant TE households related to sustaining subgenome-specific chromatin territories in widespread wheat[1].
  2. Constructed the epigenomic profile of widespread wheat and recognized regulatory cis-elements on a genome-wide scale[2].
  3. Detected subgenome uneven regulation in widespread wheat at totally different development and developmental levels[3].
  4. Profiled the bindings of tons of of transcription elements (TFs) and demonstrated lineage-specific TEs rewired the wheat transcriptional regulatory community[4].

The facility of TEs shouldn’t be underestimated

It was not our authentic intention to deal with the contribution of TEs to the wheat genome evolution and adaptation. However as our analysis progressed, most of the “whys” have been deposited on TEs. To take care of genomic stability, TEs are typically repressed by DNA methylation, with low chromatin accessibility. Nonetheless, there are additionally distinctive instances displaying that TEs may be concerned in regulatory networks. Most Triticeae species, together with Secale cereale, Hordeum vulgare, diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid wheat, have plentiful TEs of their genome (~80%), and TEs could make a particular contribution to genome evolution and have some necessary implications for the difference of Triticeae species. Based mostly on our outcomes talked about above, we started to deal with how TEs that contribute to sequence variety have an effect on the regulatory plasticity amongst subgenomes, which can consequence within the excessive environmental adaptability of widespread wheat.

The enlargement of paleo- and neo-TEs contributes to the excessive plasticity of wheat

In our paper, we obtained the binding information for 189 functionally necessary TFs utilizing DAP-seq. We discovered that subgenome-specific TFBSs share vital sequence similarity inside subgenomes and are related to subgenome-specific TE expansions, suggesting that TEs particularly expanded in diploid progenitors contribute to subgenome-specific regulatory enlargement.

Intriguingly, regardless of the intergenic areas are practically turned over by TEs and are extremely divergent amongst subgenomes, TEs additionally contribute to synergistic transcription amongst subgenomes. We discovered that within the triads with balanced TFBSs amongst three subgenomes, TE-TFBS largely presents in just one subgenome, elevating an attention-grabbing query of why subgenome-unbalanced TE insertion is accompanied by the balanced TF binding. The reply is that the wheat genome has undergone rounds of TEs bursts and degeneration, however some inner TFBSs have been topic to parallel choice and have been extremely conserved throughout subgenomes. In consequence, some TEs now not had the classical TE construction and solely the TFBSs have been preserved. By tracing the insertion time of those decayed TEs, we noticed that paleo-expansion occurred within the widespread ancestor of diploid wheat (about 5 million years in the past). The above outcomes recommend that the traditional enlargement of TEs contributes to the convergent regulation in widespread wheat.

In abstract, we found the contributions of historic and up to date TE expansions to the regulation of subgenome divergence and convergence in widespread wheat, and demonstrated how the plasticity of TE repertoires impacts the plasticity of polyploidy regulation.

For particulars, please check with our paper at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-34290-w.

Photograph: Yilin Xie


  1. Jia, J., et al., Homology-mediated inter-chromosomal interactions in hexaploid wheat result in particular subgenome territories following polyploidization and introgression. Genome Biol, 2021. 22(1): p. 26.
  2. Li, Z., et al., The bread wheat epigenomic map reveals distinct chromatin architectural and evolutionary options of useful genetic parts. Genome Biol, 2019. 20(1): p. 139.
  3. Wang, M., et al., An atlas of wheat epigenetic regulatory parts reveals subgenome divergence within the regulation of improvement and stress responses. Plant Cell, 2021. 33(4): p. 865-881.
  4. Zhang, Y., et al., Evolutionary rewiring of the wheat transcriptional regulatory community by lineage-specific transposable parts. Genome Res, 2021.


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