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Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Small Grains for Biotic and Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Characterization of Pathogen Populations

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: Allelic variation in developmental genes and effects on winter wheat heading date in the U.S. Great Plains

Author
item GROGAN, SARAH - Colorado State University
item Brown-Guedira, Gina
item HALEY, SCOTT - Colorad0 State University
item McMaster, Gregory
item REID, SCOTT - Colorad0 State University
item Smith, Jared
item BYRNE, PATRICK - Colorad0 State University

Submitted to: PLoS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2016
Publication Date: 4/8/2016
Citation: Grogan, S., Brown Guedira, G.L., Haley, S., Mcmaster, G.S., Reid, S., Smith, J.H., Byrne, P. 2016. Allelic variation in developmental genes and effects on winter wheat heading date in the U.S. Great Plains. PLoS One. 11(4):e0152852.

Interpretive Summary: Flowering time in wheat and other small grain cereals is affected by the need for cold temperature prior to flowering (vernalization) and day length (photoperiod). The reduced-height loci also have an effect on growth and development. Heading date was evaluated in a population of 299 hard winter wheat entries representative of the U.S. Great Plains region, grown in nine environments during 2011–12 and 2012–13. The lines were evaluated with DNA markers for candidate genes at vernalization (Vrn-A1, Vrn-B1, and Vrn-D1), photoperiod (Ppd-A1, Ppd-B1 and Ppd-D1), and reduced-height (Rht-B1 and Rht-D1) loci using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR (KASP) assays. Our objectives were to determine allelic variants known to affect flowering time, assess the effect of allelic variants on heading date, and investigate changes in the geographic and temporal distribution of alleles and haplotypes. Our analyses enhanced understanding of the roles developmental genes have on the timing of heading date in wheat under varying environmental conditions, which could be used by breeding program to improve breeding strategies under current and future climate scenarios. Among the loci we evaluated, most of the variation in heading date was explained by Ppd-D1, Ppd-B1, and their interaction. The prevalence of the photoperiod sensitive alleles Ppd-A1b, Ppd-B1b, and Ppd-D1b has gradually decreased in U.S. Great Plains germplasm over the past century. There is also geographic variation for photoperiod sensitive and reduced-height alleles, with germplasm from breeding programs in the northern Great Plains having greater incidences of the photoperiod sensitive alleles and lower incidence of the semi-dwarf alleles than germplasm from breeding programs in the central or southern plains.

Technical Abstract: Heading date in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and other small grain cereals is affected by the vernalization and photoperiod pathways. The reduced-height loci also have an effect on growth and development. Heading date was evaluated in a population of 299 hard winter wheat entries representative of the U.S. Great Plains region, grown in nine environments during 2011–12 and 2012–13. The germplasm was evaluated for candidate genes at vernalization (Vrn-A1, Vrn-B1, and Vrn-D1), photoperiod (Ppd-A1, Ppd-B1 and Ppd-D1), and reduced-height (Rht-B1 and Rht-D1) loci using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Kompetitive Allele Specific PCR (KASP) assays. Our objectives were to determine allelic variants known to affect flowering time, assess the effect of allelic variants on heading date, and investigate changes in the geographic and temporal distribution of alleles and haplotypes. Our analyses enhanced understanding of the roles developmental genes have on the timing of heading date in wheat under varying environmental conditions, which could be used by breeding program to improve breeding strategies under current and future climate scenarios. The significant main effects and two-way interactions between the candidate genes explained an average of 44% of variability in heading date at each environment. Among the loci we evaluated, most of the variation in heading date was explained by Ppd-D1, Ppd-B1, and their interaction. The prevalence of the photoperiod sensitive alleles Ppd-A1b, Ppd-B1b, and Ppd-D1b has gradually decreased in U.S. Great Plains germplasm over the past century. There is also geographic variation for photoperiod sensitive and reduced-height alleles, with germplasm from breeding programs in the northern Great Plains having greater incidences of the photoperiod sensitive alleles and lower incidence of the semi-dwarf alleles than germplasm from breeding programs in the central or southern plains.