Rapid evolution and complex structural organization in genomic regions harboring multiple prolamin genes in the polyploid wheat genome

Plant Mol Biol. 2007 Sep;65(1-2):189-203. doi: 10.1007/s11103-007-9208-1. Epub 2007 Jul 16.


Genes encoding wheat prolamins belong to complicated multi-gene families in the wheat genome. To understand the structural complexity of storage protein loci, we sequenced and analyzed orthologous regions containing both gliadin and LMW-glutenin genes from the A and B genomes of a tetraploid wheat species, Triticum turgidum ssp. durum. Despite their physical proximity to one another, the gliadin genes and LMW-glutenin genes are organized quite differently. The gliadin genes are found to be more clustered than the LMW-glutenin genes which are separated from each other by much larger distances. The separation of the LMW-glutenin genes is the result of both the insertion of large blocks of repetitive DNA owing to the rapid amplification of retrotransposons and the presence of genetic loci interspersed between them. Sequence comparisons of the orthologous regions reveal that gene movement could be one of the major factors contributing to the violation of microcolinearity between the homoeologous A and B genomes in wheat. The rapid sequence rearrangements and differential insertion of repetitive DNA has caused the gene islands to be not conserved in compared regions. In addition, we demonstrated that the i-type LMW-glutenin originated from a deletion of 33-bps in the 5' coding region of the m-type gene. Our results show that multiple rounds of segmental duplication of prolamin genes have driven the amplification of the omega-gliadin genes in the region; such segmental duplication could greatly increase the repetitive DNA content in the genome depending on the amount of repetitive DNA present in the original duplicate region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Duplication
  • Genes, Plant / genetics*
  • Genome, Plant / genetics*
  • Gliadin / genetics
  • Gliadin / metabolism
  • Glutens / chemistry
  • Glutens / genetics
  • Glutens / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Phenylpropanolamine / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Polyploidy*
  • Prolamins
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Time Factors
  • Triticum / genetics*
  • Triticum / metabolism


  • Plant Proteins
  • Prolamins
  • Phenylpropanolamine
  • Glutens
  • Gliadin
  • glutenin