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A unique drought adaptation mechanism in wild barley published by Prof. Dai from Zhang Guoping group in PNAS

Editor: Date:2018-05-03 Hits:14

On 30th April, 2018, Prof. Dai in Zhang Guoping group from Institute of Crop Science, Zhejiang University, published a research paper on line in PNAS entitled “Genomic adaptation to drought in wild barley is driven by edaphic natural selection at the Tabigha Evolution Slope”.

Microsite evolution involving ecological divergence due to geological, edaphic, or climatic conditions requires adaptive complexes to environmental stresses. The higher drought tolerance of wild barley populations inhabiting Terra Rossa soil at the Tabigha Evolution Slope, located north of the Lake of Galilee, Israel, has been described, but the underlying genetic mechanisms remain unknown. Based on the latest released barley reference genome by Prof. Zhang Guoping group in Nature and Plant Biotechnology Journal, the authors re-sequenced the genomes of seven and six wild barley genotypes inhabiting the Terra Rossa and Basalt soils, respectively, and identified a total of 69,192,653 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and InDels. The results revealed dramatically different selection sweep regions relevant to drought tolerance driven by edaphic natural selection, within 2,577 selected genes in these regions including key drought-responsive genes associated with ABA synthesis and degradation, ABA receptor complex. The unique mechanisms for drought adaptation of the wild barley from the Tabigha Evolution Slope may be useful for the crop improvement, particularly for breeding of barley cultivars with high drought tolerance, which set a solid foundation for future work on gene discovery and of drought adaptation mechanisms in barley related to the rhizosphere environment.

Related Links:

Nature (2017): https://www.nature.com/articles/nature22043

PBJ (2018): https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/pbi.12826

PNAS (2018): http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2018/04/25/1721749115