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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Cereal Crops Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #404832

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 robust yield quantitative trait loci derived from cultivated emmer for durum wheat improvement

item Peters Haugrud, Amanda
item SAINI SHARMA, JYOTI - University Of Minnesota
item ZHANG, QIJUN - North Dakota State University
item GREEN, ANDREW - North Dakota State University
item Xu, Steven
item Faris, Justin

Submitted to: The Plant Genome
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/2023
Publication Date: 10/24/2023
Citation: Peters Haugrud, A.R., Saini Sharma, J., Zhang, Q., Green, A., Xu, S.S., Faris, J.D. 2023. Identification of robust yield QTL derived from cultivated emmer for durum wheat improvement. The Plant Genome.

Interpretive Summary: The world population is increasing, resulting in more people to feed and less land available for crop growth. Pasta, which is derived from durum wheat, is a major source of calories for many people. To feed more people, we need to increase crop yields, which are influenced by many factors, such as complex genetic networks of genes along with environmental influences. Little research has been done to identify genes associated with yield in durum wheat. Additionally, others have found that durum wheat relatives may contain useful genes for improving yield in modern durum varieties. Here, research was conducted on modern durum wheat varieties and the closely related relative known as emmer wheat. Multiple genomic regions associated with yield were identified, with some of the genes contributing to increased yield coming from emmer wheat. This research demonstrated that emmer can be used to increase grain yield in durum wheat through conventional hybridization. Findings and lines identified in this study provide the means and tools for durum breeding programs to increase yield in durum varieties, which will benefit not only farmers and producers, but consumers across the globe and could reduce food prices and provide food security.

Technical Abstract: Durum wheat is an important world food crop used to make pasta products. Compared to bread wheat, fewer studies have been conducted to identify genetic loci governing yield-component traits in durum wheat. A potential source of diversity and variation for durum is its immediate progenitor, cultivated emmer. Here, we evaluated two biparental populations of recombinant inbred lines derived from crosses between the durum lines Ben and Rusty and the cultivated emmer wheat accessions PI 41025 and PI 193883, referred to as the BP025 and RP883 populations, respectively. Both populations were evaluated under field conditions in three seasons with an aim to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with yield components and seed morphology that were expressed in multiple environments. A total of 44 and 34 multi-environment QTL were identified in the BP025 and RP883 populations, respectively. As expected, genetic loci known to govern domestication and development were associated with some of the QTL, but novel QTL derived from the cultivated emmer parents and associated with yield components including spikelet number, grain weight, and grain size were identified. These QTL offer new target loci for durum wheat improvement, and toward that goal, we identified five recombinant inbred lines with increased grain weight and size compared to the durum parents. These materials along with the knowledge of stable QTL and associated markers can help to expedite the development of superior durum varieties.