Altered expression of TaRSL4 gene by genome interplay shapes root hair length in allopolyploid wheat

New Phytol. 2016 Jan;209(2):721-32. doi: 10.1111/nph.13615. Epub 2015 Sep 3.


Polyploidy is a major driving force in plant evolution and speciation. Phenotypic changes often arise with the formation, natural selection and domestication of polyploid plants. However, little is known about the consequence of hybridization and polyploidization on root hair development. Here, we report that root hair length of synthetic and natural allopolyploid wheats is significantly longer than those of their diploid progenitors, whereas no difference is observed between allohexaploid and allotetraploid wheats. The expression of wheat gene TaRSL4, an orthologue of AtRSL4 controlling the root hair development in Arabidopsis, was positively correlated with the root hair length in diploid and allotetraploid wheats. Moreover, transcript abundance of TaRSL4 homoeologue from A genome (TaRSL4-A) was much higher than those of other genomes in natural allopolyploid wheat. Notably, increased root hair length by overexpression of the TaRSL4-A in wheat led to enhanced shoot fresh biomass under nutrient-poor conditions. Our observations indicate that increased root hair length in allohexaploid wheat originated in the allotetraploid progenitors and altered expression of TaRSL4 gene by genome interplay shapes root hair length in allopolyploid wheat.

Keywords: TaRSL4; gene expression; homoeologue; polyploid wheat; root hair length.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Biomass
  • Diploidy
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Genome, Plant
  • Plant Roots / anatomy & histology
  • Plant Roots / genetics*
  • Plant Shoots / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Polyploidy*
  • Triticum / genetics*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • RSL4 protein, Arabidopsis