Dmc1 is a candidate for temperature tolerance during wheat meiosis

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We initially assessed the effects of low temperature on meiotic chromosome synapsis and crossover formation in the hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) variety ‘Chinese Spring’. At low temperatures, asynapsis and chromosome univalence have been observed before in Chinese Spring lines lacking the long arm of chromosome 5D (5DL), which led to the proposal that 5DL carries a gene (Ltp1) that stabilises wheat chromosome pairing at low temperatures. In the current study, Chinese Spring wild type and 5DL interstitial deletion mutant plants were exposed to low temperature in a controlled environment room during a period from premeiotic interphase to early meiosis I. A 5DL deletion mutant was identified whose meiotic chromosomes exhibit extremely high levels of asynapsis and chromosome univalence at metaphase I after 7 days at 13 °C, suggesting that Ltp1 is deleted in this mutant. Immunolocalisation of the meiotic proteins ASY1 and ZYP1 on ltp1 mutants showed that low temperature results in a failure to complete synapsis at pachytene. KASP genotyping revealed that the ltp1 mutant has a 4-Mb deletion in 5DL. Of 41 genes within this deletion region, the strongest candidate for the stabilisation of chromosome pairing at low temperatures is the meiotic recombination gene Dmc1. The ltp1 mutants were subsequently treated at 30 °C for 24 h during meiosis and exhibited a reduced number of crossovers and increased univalence, though to a lesser extent than at 13 °C. We therefore renamed our ltp1 mutant ‘ttmei1’ (temperature-tolerant meiosis 1) to reflect this additional loss of high temperature tolerance.