The extensive adaptability of polyploidy wheat is attributed to its complex genome, and accurately controlling heading stage is a prime target in wheat breeding process. Wheat heading stage is an essential growth and development processes since it starts at a crucial point in the transition from vegetative phase to reproductive phase.
Heading stage is mainly decided by vernalization, photoperiod, hormone (like gibberellic acid, GA), and earliness per se (Eps). As a polyploidy species, common wheat possesses the abundant genetic variation, such as allelic variation, copy number variation etc., which have a strong effect on regulation of wheat growth and development. Therefore, understanding genetic manipulation of heading stage is pivotal for controlling the heading stage in wheat. In this review, we summarized the recent advances in the genetic regulatory mechanisms and abundant variation in genetic diversity controlling heading stage in wheat, as well as the interaction mechanism of different signals and the contribution of different genetic variation. We first summarized the genes involved in vernalization, photoperoid and other signals cross-talk with each other to control wheat heading stage, then the abundant genetic variation related to signal components associated with wheat heading stage was also elaborated in detail.
Our knowledge of the regulatory network of wheat heading can be used to adjust the duration of the growth phase for the purpose of acclimatizing to different geographical environments.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.