The Rec8-like cohesin is a cohesion protein essential for orderly chromosome segregation in meiosis. Here, we cloned two Rec8-like homoeologous genes (homoeoalleles) from tetraploid wheat (TtRec8-A1 and TtRec8-B1) and one from hexaploid wheat (TaRec8-D1), and performed expression and functional analyses of the homoeoalleles. Also, we identified other two Rec8 homoeoalleles in hexaploid wheat (TaRec8-A1 and TaRec8-B1) and the one in Aegilops tauschii (AetRec8-D1) by comparative analysis. The coding DNA sequences (CDS) of these six Rec8 homoeoalleles are all 1,827 bp in length, encoding 608 amino acids. They differed from each other primarily in introns although single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected in CDS. Substantial difference was observed between the homoeoalleles from the subgenome B (TtRec8-B1 and TaRec8-B1) and those from the subgenomes A and D (TtRec8-A1, TaRec8-A1, and TaRec8-D1). TtRec8-A1 expressed dominantly over TtRec8-B1, but comparably to TaRec8-D1. Therefore, the Rec8 homoeoalleles from the subgenomes A and D may be functionally more active than the one from the subgenome B in wheat. The structural variation and differential expression of the Rec8 homoeoalleles indicate a unique cross-genome coordination of the homoeologous genes in the polyploid, and imply the distinction of the wheat subgenome B from other subgenomes in the origin and evolution.
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