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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal Clermont Auvergne University

UMR GDEC

Joint Research Unit 1095 Genetics, Diversity and Ecophysiology of Cereals

Claire Guerin

2019 April - Characterization of transcription factors of the NAC family in bread wheat (Triticum Aestivum) and their involvement in reponse to abiotic stress

Bread wheat, Triticum aestivum, is one of the most cultivated cereal in the world. The climate change that is currently developing strongly constrains crops and impairs their yield. Understanding the wheat response mechanisms to abiotic stresses is therefore a current issue. Several major families of transcription factors, including the NAC family, are involved in the plant development and its response to environmental stresses. This thesis, structured in three parts, is focused on the study of the NAC family in bread wheat (TaNAC). First, we studied the genomic and phylogenetic structure of the 488 members of the TaNAC family identified from the latest database of bread wheat. We also studied the evolutionary history of this family, which was marked by duplication and retroposition events. Finally, an analysis of its allelic diversity allows us to identify genes with SNP showing a strong association with storage protein accumulation parameters in the grain.

In a second part, we studied the expression of these 488 TaNAC genes in several organs and in response to heat and drought. An overall analysis was performed using bioinformatic data, followed by an in planta study of the expression of a selection of 23 genes. The expression profiles revealed that four TaNAC genes, never described in the literature, are involved in the wheat grain development but also in its adaptive response to several abiotic stresses. In a third part, we focused on the genetic, molecular and physiological characterization of these four TaNAC transcription factors. They belong to a clade gathering sequences with genomic and structural similarities. Moreover, they are localized in the nucleus and their expression profiles are similar, with a variable level between genes and between homeologs for each gene. In response to moderate heat stress, this expression profile is accelerated during grain development and a key stage at 120°Cj was identified, it shows the greatest difference in genes expression level between control and stressed conditions. For technical reasons, the production of transgenic plants over- and under-expressing these genes did not validate the involvement of these 4 TaNAC in grain development and in its temperature response. An association genetic analysis, however, showed a link between molecular markers located in these genes and the storage proteins accumulation. Overall, the results showed that members of the TaNAC family are involved in the bread wheat development and its response to abiotic stresses. In particular, four TaNAC transcription factors appear to play a key role in grain protein accumulation in response to a moderate heat stress. 

Keywords : bread wheat, transcription factors, NAC family, genes expression, abiotic stresses.