Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Cereal Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #394163

Research Project: Improvement of Biotic Stress Resistance in Durum and Hard Red Spring Wheat Using Genetics and Genomics

Location: Cereal Crops Research

Title: Identification of stable QTL controlling multiple yield components in a durum x cultivated emmer population under field and greenhouse conditions

item PETERS HAUGRUD, AMANDA - Orise Fellow
item ZHANG, QIJUN - North Dakota State University
item GREEN, ANDREW - North Dakota State University
item Xu, Steven
item Faris, Justin

Submitted to: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2022
Publication Date: 10/17/2022
Citation: Peters Haugrud, A., Zhang, Q., Green, A., Xu, S.S., Faris, J.D. 2022. Identification of stable QTL controlling multiple yield components in a durum x cultivated emmer population under field and greenhouse conditions. Genes, Genomes, Genetics. 13(2).

Interpretive Summary: With the growing global population and decrease in land available for farm use, crop yields need to increase to meet the demand. Durum wheat, which is used to make pasta, is a crop of global importance. Many factors are involved in determining grain yield including a complex genetic network involving many genes. However, in durum wheat, little research has been done to discover the genes associated with yield or to investigate durum wheat ‘relatives’ to determine if they may contain genes that could be used to improve yield in modern durum varieties. Here researchers conducted genetic experiments involving a modern durum wheat variety and a semi-wild, but close relative of durum called emmer wheat. The results revealed multiple genes associated with yield, and some of the genes that had desirable effects on yield were present in emmer but not durum. The researchers showed that the yield-related genes from emmer wheat can be used to increase grain yields in modern durum varieties through conventional hybridization. These findings provide a means for durum breeding programs to expedite the development of higher yielding durum varieties, which will not only benefit farmers and producers, but will also assist in meeting the demands of the global population and providing food security.

Technical Abstract: Crop yield gains are needed to keep pace with a growing global population and decreasing resources to produce food. Wheat (Triticum ssp.) is a major calorie source for a large proportion of the global population. Numerous studies have identified yield component genes in hexaploid wheat; however, fewer studies have been performed in tetraploid wheat under field and greenhouse conditions. Here, we evaluated a tetraploid recombinant inbred line population derived from a cross between the North Dakota durum wheat variety Divide and the cultivated emmer wheat accession PI 272527. The population was evaluated in three field experiments and two greenhouse experiments to identify stable QTL associated with 11 yield-related traits. We identified 27 stable QTL in two or more field environments and 17 QTL that were present under greenhouse conditions and multiple field environments. The previously cloned genes Q and FT-B1, which are known to be associated with development and morphology, were found to consistently be associated with multiple traits across environments. PI 272527 contributed to increased days to heading, plant height, spikelets per spike, thousand kernel weight, kernel area, kernel width, kernel length, kernel circularity, and kernel length: width ratio. The findings from this study provide knowledge regarding stable and robust QTL in both durum and cultivated emmer along with tools breeders can use to introgress these traits into breeding lines for improving yield in durum wheat.