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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(6), 14181-14193; doi:10.3390/ijms160614181

Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Hull-Caryopsis Adhesion/Separation Revealed by Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of Covered/Naked Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)

Key Laboratory of Cold and Arid Regions Stress Physiology and Ecology in Gansu Province, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
National Key Laboratory Breeding Base for Innovation and Utilization of Plateau Crop Germplasm, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, China
College of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Qinghai University, Xining 810016, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marcello Iriti
Received: 15 May 2015 / Revised: 14 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 June 2015 / Published: 23 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Molecular Biology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1100 KB, uploaded 23 June 2015]   |  


The covered/naked caryopsis trait of barley is an important agronomic trait because it is directly linked to dietary use. The formation of covered/naked caryopsis is controlled by an NUD transcription factor, which is involved in pericarp cuticle development. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this trait remains so far largely unknown. In this study, comparative transcriptomes of grains three weeks after anthesis of Tibetan Hulless barley landrace Dulihuang and covered barley Morex were analyzed using RNA-seq technique. A total of 4031 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. The Nud gene was overexpressed in Morex, with trace expression in Dulihuang. Among seventeen cuticle related DEGs, sixteen were down regulated and one up regulated in Morex. These results suggest that the Nud gene in covered caryopsis might down regulate cuticle related genes, which may cause a permeable cuticle over pericarp, leading to a hull-caryopsis organ fusion. A functional cuticle covering the pericarp of naked caryopsis might be the result of deletion or low expression level of the Nud gene. The functional cuticle defines a perfect boundary to separate the caryopsis from the hull in naked barley. View Full-Text
Keywords: barley; transcriptome; RNA-seq; covered/naked caryopsis; plant cuticle barley; transcriptome; RNA-seq; covered/naked caryopsis; plant cuticle

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Duan, R.; Xiong, H.; Wang, A.; Chen, G. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Hull-Caryopsis Adhesion/Separation Revealed by Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of Covered/Naked Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 14181-14193.

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