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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Crop Improvement and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318991

Research Project: Enhancement of Wheat through Genomic and Molecular Approaches

Location: Crop Improvement and Genetics Research

Title: Quantitative trait loci associated with phenological development, low temperature tolerance, grain quality, and agronomic characters in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

item FOWLER, BRIAN - University Of Saskatchewan
item N-DIAYE, AMADOU - University Of Saskatchewan
item L Chingcuanco, Debbie
item POZNIAK, CURTIS - University Of Saskatchewan

Submitted to: PLoS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2016
Publication Date: 3/28/2016
Citation: Fowler, B., N-Diaye, A., Chingcuanco, D.L., Pozniak, C. 2016. Quantitative trait loci associated with phenological development, low temperature tolerance, grain quality, and agronomic characters in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). PLoS One. 11:e0152185.

Interpretive Summary: Low temperature is one of the environmental stresses that limit the geographical distribution of crop plants. In wheat, plants planted in spring (spring habit) have been largely isolated from those planted in autumn (winter habit) in temperate regions. This isolation suggests that it might be useful to identify and transfer genes of value between the spring and winter wheat gene pools. In this paper, we report the identification of regions in wheat chromosomes that are associated with low-temperature tolerance, grain quality and plant growth characteristics. We used the newly developed 90K wheat Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) array to detect differing gene versions in three bi-parental mapping populations. The identified regions can be used to generate molecular markers useful in breeding new and improved varieties of wheat.

Technical Abstract: Plants must respond to environmental cues and schedule their development in order to react to periods of abiotic stress and commit fully to growth and reproduction under favorable conditions. This study was initiated to identify SNP markers for characters expressed from the seedling stage to plant maturity in spring and winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes adapted to western Canada. Three doubled haploid populations with the winter cultivar ‘Norstar’ as a common parent were developed and genotyped with a 90K Illumina iSelect SNP assay and a 2,998.9 cM consensus map with 17,541 markers was constructed. Significant QTL were detected for each of the 15 traits examined. Of special note was a QTL on chromosome 6A for minimum final leaf number, which determines the rate of phenological development in the seedling stage. It was closely linked to QTL for low-temperature tolerance, grain quality, and agronomic characters expressed up to the time of maturity, suggesting that phenological development plays a critical role in programming subsequent outcomes for many traits. Transgressive segregation was observed for the lines in each population and QTL with additive effects were identified, suggesting that genes for desirable traits could be stacked using Marker Assisted Selection (MAS). QTLs were identified for characters that could be transferred between the largely isolated western Canadian spring and winter wheat gene pools. These results highlight the opportunities offered by MAS to act as a bridge in the identification and transfer of useful genes among related genetic islands while minimizing the drag created by less desirable genes.