Submitted to: International Crop Science Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/20/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L., 2n = 4x = 28; AABB genomes) is widely used for making semolina, pasta and unleavened flat breads, and thus forms an important component of human food. Although attempts at improving common bread wheat (T. aestivum L., 2n = 6x = 42; AABBDD) by classical cytogenetic and biotechnological techniques have yielded some fruitful results, these techniques have not been adequately applied for durum wheat improvement. Two different approaches were adopted to transfer value-added alien genes into durum wheat. First, hybridizations were made between durum wheat cultivars (Lloyd, Langdon and Durox) and perennial wild grasses. Several intergeneric Lloyd 4x Thinopyrum junceiforme hybrids and their BC1 and BC2 progeny were generated. Some of the BC1 and BC2 progeny had partial to complete fertility. Hybrids with other cultivars and their derivatives showed partial fertility. Molecular markers were used to characterize alien chromatin/DNA fragments incorporated into the reconstituted durum wheat genome. In the second approach, an efficient in vitro system for regenerating plants was established using isolated scutella from immature embryos of durum wheat. This regeneration system was then used for direct delivery of alien genes into some agronomically superior cultivars of durum wheat. Using a Biolistic device and isolated scutella as target cells, we have successfully introduced a selectable marker gene, bar (resistant to gluphosinate), into durum wheat genome and studied its expression in the T0 and T1 generations using molecular and biochemical methods. Some of these results will be presented and their breeding implications highlighted.