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Rustenholz C, Choulet F, Laugier C, Safár J, Simková H, Dolezel J, Magni F, Scalabrin S, Cattonaro F, Vautrin S, Bellec A, Bergès H, Feuillet C, Paux E.

Plant Physiol. 2011 Oct 27.


To improve our understanding of the organization and regulation of the wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) gene space, we established the first transcription map of a wheat chromosome (3B) by hybridizing a newly developed wheat expression microarray with BAC pools from a new version of the 3B physical map as well as with cDNA probes derived from 15 RNA samples. Mapping data for almost 3000 genes showed that the gene space spans the whole chromosome 3B with a twofold increase of gene density towards the telomeres due to an increase in the number of genes in islands. Comparative analyses with rice and Brachypodium revealed that these gene islands are composed mainly of genes likely originating from interchromosomal gene duplications. Gene ontology and expression profile analyses for the 3000 genes located along the chromosome revealed that the gene islands are enriched significantly in genes sharing the same function or expression profile, thereby suggesting that genes in islands acquired shared regulation during evolution. Only a small fraction of these clusters of cofunctional and coexpressed genes was conserved with rice and Brachypodium indicating a recent origin. Finally, genes with the same expression profiles in remote islands (coregulation islands) were identified suggesting long-distance regulation of gene expression along the chromosomes in wheat.