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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Plant Science Research » Research » Research Project #432431

Research Project: Coordinated Agricultural Project (WheatCAP): Validation, Characterization and Deployment of QTL for Grain Yield Components in Wheat

Location: Plant Science Research

Project Number: 6070-22000-018-009-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 1, 2016
End Date: Nov 14, 2021

1) Validation of QTL for grain yield components identified in previous studies; 2) Dissection of QTL by map-based cloning; 3) Validations of candidate genes using mutant and transgenic approaches; 4) Deployment of useful QTL in public wheat breeding programs; and 5) Training a new cohort of plant breeders.

Approach obj 1: QTL for grain yield components identified in the wheat AM panels will be evaluated in different environments using previously genotyped populations. All information will be deposited in the T3 database and integrated with GrainGenes. Approaches obj 2: Once a QTL is validated in a bi-parental population, lines heterozygous for the target regions will be selected from advanced generations to develop heterogeneous inbred families or HIFs. We will use exome capture to identify polymorphisms in HIFs coding regions. KASP markers flanking the target QTL region will be developed to characterize >2,000 segregating progeny from each HIF. Informative recombinants will be tested in highly replicated field trials. This information will be used to delimit the QTL region in the current draft wheat genome and to identify candidate genes. Approaches obj 3: Candidate genes will be validated using mutagenesis and transgenic approaches. Mutants in different homoeologs will be combined to study the effects of loss-of-function mutations on yield components. CRISPR-CAS9 genome editing will be used for winter wheats and in spring wheat if no mutations are found in the TILLING populations. T3 will develop tools to facilitate the integration of phenotypic and genomics data. .Approaches obj 4: PhD students will be assigned a QTL or mutant to study and deploy in his/her home breeding program using backcross and forward breeding. Regional genotyping labs will facilitate deployment across regions and breeding programs. Genomic selection approaches will be explored to combine multiple QTL. We established collaboration with CIMMYT to test and distribute worldwide the beneficial alleles identified in this study. Approaches obj 5: We will provide an integrated training to PhD students including field breeding, experimental design, genomics, bioinformatics and plant physiology. We will emphasize training in bioinformatics and statistics through online conferences and courses, short workshops, student seminars, and support for travel to conferences.