Organization and evolution of the chalcone synthase gene family in bread wheat and relative species

Anastasia Y. Glagoleva, Nikita V. Ivanisenko, Elena K. Khlestkina

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Flavonoid compounds are secondary plant metabolites, having a functional importance in plant development, protection from pathogens and unfavorable environmental factors. Chalcone synthase (CHS) is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of flavonoids; it is involved in biosynthesis of all classes of flavonoid compounds. Nevertheless, the Chs gene family in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) has been not characterized yet. The aim of the current study was to investigate structural and functional organization of the Chs genes and evolution of this gene family in bread wheat and relative species. Results: The nucleotide sequences of the eight Chs copies in T. aestivum were identified. Among them, two homoeologous sets of the Chs genes were located on the short (Chs-A1, -B1, -D1) and the long (Chs-A4, -B4, -D4) arms of homoeologous group 2 chromosomes. Two paralogous gene copies in the B-genome (Chs-B2, -B3) were located in the distal regions of 2BS chromosome. To clarify the origin of Chs duplications in the B-genome the phylogenetic analysis with the Chs sequences of Triticum and Aegilops species carrying ancestral genomes was conducted. It was estimated that the first duplication event occurred in the genome of the common ancestor of Triticum and Aegilops genera about 10-12 million years ago (MYA), then another copy was formed in the ancestor of the B-genome about 6-7 MYA. A homology modeling revealed high sequence similarity of bread wheat CHS enzymes. A number of short deletions in coding regions of some Chs sequences are not expected to have any significant functional effects. Estimation of transcriptional activity of the Chs copies along with a comparative analysis of their promoters structure suggested their functional specialization, which likely contributed to the maintaining of the duplicated Chs genes in wheat genome. Conclusions: From possible ten Chs copies in bread wheat genome, eight members of this family retained their intact structure and activity, while two copies appear to be lost at the level of diploid and tetraploid ancestors. Transcriptional assay along with a comparative analysis of the cis-regulatory elements revealed their functional diversification. The multiple functions supported by the Chs family are assumed to be a driving force for duplications of the Chs gene and their retention in plant genome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Pages (from-to)30
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Genetics
Issue numberSuppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2019


  • Aegilops
  • Chalcone synthase
  • CHS
  • Flavonoid biosynthesis
  • Gene duplication
  • Triticum


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