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Identification and mapping of genetic loci affecting the free-threshing habit and spike compactness in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)


Recombinant inbred lines of the International Triticeae Mapping Initiative (ITMI) mapping population were used to localize genetic loci that affect traits related to the free-threshing habit (percent threshability, glume tenacity, and spike fragility) and to spike morphology (spike length, spikelet number, and spike compactness) of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The ITMI population was planted in three environments during 1999 and 2000, and phenotypic and genotypic data were used for composite interval mapping. Two quantitative trait loci (QTL) that consistently affected threshability-associated traits were localized on chromosomes 2D and 5A. Coincident QTL on the short arm of 2D explained 44% of the variation in threshability, 17% of the variation in glume tenacity, and 42% of the variation in rachis fragility. QTL on chromosomes 2D probably represent the effect of Tg, a gene for tenacious glumes. Coincident QTL on the long arm of 5A explained 21% and 10% of the variation in glume tenacity and rachis fragility, respectively. QTL on 5A are believed to represent the effect of Q. Overall, free-threshing-related characteristics were predominantly affected by Tg and to a lesser extent by Q. Other QTL that were significantly associated with threshability-related traits in at least one environment were localized on chromosomes 2A, 2B, 6A, 6D, and 7B. Four QTL on chromosomes 1B, 4A, 6A, and 7A consistently affected spike characteristics. Coincident QTL on the short arm of chromosome 1B explained 18% and 7% of the variation in spike length and spike compactness, respectively. QTL on the long arm of 4A explained 11%, 14%, and 12% of the variation in spike length, spike compactness, and spikelet number, respectively. A QTL on the short arm of 6A explained 27% of the phenotypic variance for spike compactness, while a QTL on the long arm of 7A explained 18% of the variation in spikelet number. QTL on chromosomes 1B and 6A appear to affect spike dimensions by modulating rachis internode length, while QTL on chromosomes 4A and 7A do so by affecting the formation of spikelets. Other QTL that were significantly associated with spike morphology-related traits, in at least one environment, were localized on chromosomes 2B, 3A, 3D, 4D, and 5A.

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Fig. 1A–F.


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We thank Dr. C. J. Peterson for use of field facilities and Elizabeth Yoon, Ryan Millimaki, and Jumnit Hong for their technical assistance. A graduate scholarship to C. Jantasuriyarat from the Royal Thai Government and funding from the Oregon Wheat Commission are gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to O. Riera-Lizarazu.

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Communicated by J. Dvorak

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Jantasuriyarat, C., Vales, M.I., Watson, C.J.W. et al. Identification and mapping of genetic loci affecting the free-threshing habit and spike compactness in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Theor Appl Genet 108, 261–273 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-003-1432-8

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  • Quantitative Trait Locus
  • Major Quantitative Trait Locus
  • Spike Length
  • Spikelet Number
  • Minor Quantitative Trait Locus