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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Develop Improved Plant Genetic Resources to Enhance Pasture and Rangeland Productivity in the Semiarid Regions of the Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Current efforts to develop perennial wheat and domesticate Thinopyrum intermedium as a perennial grain

Authors
item Dehaan, Lee -
item Wang, Shuwen -
item Larson, Steven
item Cattani, Douglas -
item Zhang, Xiaofei -
item Viinanen, Traci -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 30, 2013
Publication Date: May 1, 2014
Citation: Dehaan, L.R., Wang, S., Larson, S.R., Cattani, D.J., Zhang, X., Viinanen, T. 2014. Current efforts to develop perennial wheat and domesticate Thinopyrum intermedium as a perennial grain. Meeting Abstract.

Technical Abstract: The Land Institute is developing a new perennial grain by domesticating the perennial grass Thinopyrum intermedium (intermediate wheatgrass). In 1983, intermediate wheatgrass was selected for domestication by the Rodale Research Center (Kutztown, Penn., USA). Nearly 100 species of perennial grasses were evaluated for promise as a perennial grain before choosing intermediate wheatgrass to domesticate. The Rodale Research Center performed two cycles of selection, beginning in 1988. Using selections made by Rodale, breeding work began at The Land Institute (Salina, Kan., USA) in 2002. Selection has been for yield per head, increased seed mass, free threshing ability, reduced height, and early maturity. Two cycles of selection at The Land Institute have increased seed yield by about 77% and seed mass by 23%, when grown in a solid stand. Selected materials have been found to possess a higher harvest index and reduced plant spread. Molecular tools are being developed for intermediate wheatgrass. A combination of EST-SSR and AFLP markers will be used to genotype an experimental mapping population comprised of 268 full-sib progeny derived from a reciprocal cross of two experimental genotypes. Genotyping by sequencing is also being used to identify ~3000 high quality SNPs in a population derived from one selfed individual. Phenotype data have been collected and will be used to identify QTL associated with SNPs. Using gene cloning, protein separation and identification, and sequence alignments, we were able to identify five high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS) genes and their allelic variants in intermediate wheatgrass plants. Since 2001, we have also been working to develop perennial wheat by crossing wheat (Triticum spp.) with perennial Thinopyrum species. We have obtained a few stable lines with one set (12-14) Thinopyrum chromosomes and 42 wheat chromosomes. These have better agronomic performance in Kansas than other materials, but lack perenniality. Crosses between winter durum wheat and Thinopyrum intermedium have been recently developed, and they are promising in terms of perenniality, seed weight, winter hardiness, and vigor. To study the impact of annual/perennial genome dosage on perenniality and agronomic performance, we have crossed diploid and tetraploid wheat lines with tetraploid and hexaploid Thinopyrum species. All F1 plants are perennial, and many have been doubled with colchicine. Wheat chromosome-specific markers have been used to characterize 94 plants that were perennial in the field. Plants with more wheat chromosomes eliminated tended to be more perennial, but specific chromosomes were not associated with perenniality or annuality.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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