, Volume 116, Issue 3, pp 343-354
Date: 29 Nov 2007

Analysis of TaALMT1 traces the transmission of aluminum resistance in cultivated common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

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Allele diversities of four markers specific to intron three, exon four and promoter regions of the aluminum (Al) resistance gene of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) TaALMT1 were compared in 179 common wheat cultivars used in international wheat breeding programs. In wheat cultivars released during the last 93 years, six different promoter types were identified on the basis of allele size. A previous study showed that Al resistance was not associated with a particular coding allele for TaALMT1 but was correlated with blocks of repeated sequence upstream of the coding sequence. We verified the linkage between these promoter alleles and Al resistance in three doubled haploid and one intercross populations segregating for Al resistance. Molecular and pedigree analysis suggest that Al resistance in modern wheat germplasm is derived from several independent sources. Analysis of a population of 278 landraces and subspecies of wheat showed that most of the promoter alleles associated with Al resistance pre-existed in Europe, the Middle East and Asia prior to dispersal of cultivated germplasm around the world. Furthermore, several new promoter alleles were identified among the landraces surveyed. The TaALMT1 promoter alleles found within the spelt wheats were consistent with the hypothesis that these spelts arose on several independent occasions from hybridisations between non-free-threshing tetraploid wheats and Al-resistant hexaploid bread wheats. The strong correlation between Al resistance and Al-stimulated malate efflux from the root apices of 49 diverse wheat genotypes examined was consistent with the previous finding that Al resistance in wheat is conditioned primarily by malate efflux. These results demonstrate that the markers based on intron, exon and promoter regions of TaALMT1 can trace the inheritance of the Al resistance locus within wheat pedigrees and track Al resistance in breeding programmes.

Communicated by M. Bohn