TEOSINTE BRANCHED1 Regulates Inflorescence Architecture and Development in Bread Wheat (Triticum aestivum).
The flowers of major cereals are arranged on reproductive branches known as spikelets, which group together to form an inflorescence. Diversity for inflorescence architecture has been exploited during domestication to increase crop yields, and genetic variation for this trait has potential to further boost grain production. Multiple genes that regulate inflorescence architecture have been identified by studying alleles that modify gene activity or dosage; however, little is known in wheat. Here, we show TEOSINTE BRANCHED1 (TB1) regulates inflorescence architecture in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) by investigating lines that display a form of inflorescence branching known as "paired spikelets." We show that TB1 interacts with FLOWERING LOCUS T1 and that increased dosage of TB1 alters inflorescence architecture and growth rate in a process that includes reduced expression of meristem identity genes, with allelic diversity for TB1 found to associate genetically with paired spikelet development in modern cultivars. We propose TB1 coordinates formation of axillary spikelets during the vegetative to floral transition and that alleles known to modify dosage or function of TB1 could help increase wheat yields.