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iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomic analysis reveals the lateral meristem developmental mechanism for branched spike development in tetraploid wheat (Triticum turgidum L.)

Shulin Chen, Juan Chen, Fu Hou, Yigao Feng, Ruiqi Zhang
BMC Genomics 2018 April 2, 19 (1): 228
29606089

BACKGROUND: Spike architecture mutants in tetraploid wheat (Triticum turgidum L., 2n = 28, AABB) have a distinct morphology, with parts of the rachis node producing lateral meristems that develop into ramified spikelete (RSs) or four-rowed spikelete (FRSs). The genetic basis of RSs and FRSs has been analyzed, but little is known about the underlying developmental mechanisms of the lateral meristem. We used isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) to perform a quantitative proteomic analysis of immature spikes harvested from tetraploid near-isogenic lines of wheat with normal spikelete (NSs), FRSs, and RSs and investigated the molecular mechanisms of lateral meristem differentiation and development. This work provides valuable insight into the underlying functions of the lateral meristem and how it can produce differences in the branching of tetraploid wheat spikes.

RESULTS: Using an iTRAQ-based shotgun quantitation approach, 104 differential abundance proteins (DAPs) with < 1% false discovery rate (FDR) and a 1.5-fold change (> 1.50 or < 0.67) were identified by comparing FRS with NS and RS with NS genotypes. To determine the functions of the proteins, 38 co-expressed DAPs from the two groups were annotated using the Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analytical tools. We discovered that proteins involved in "post-embryonic development" and "metabolic pathways" such as carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism could be used to construct a developmentally associated network. Additionally, 6 out of 38 DAPs in the network were analyzed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and the correlation coefficient between proteomics and qRT-PCR was 0.7005. These key genes and proteins were closely scrutinized and discussed.

CONCLUSIONS: Here, we predicted that DAPs involved in "post-embryonic development" and "metabolic pathways" may be responsible for the spikelete architecture changes in FRS and RS. Furthermore, we discussed the potential function of several vital DAPs from GO and KEGG analyses that were closely related to histone modification, ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, transcription factors, carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism and heat shock proteins (HSPs). This work provides valuable insight into the underlying functions of the lateral meristem in the branching of tetraploid wheat spikes.

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