A QTL located on chromosome 4A associated with dormancy in white- and red-grained wheats of diverse origin
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Improved resistance to preharvest sprouting in modern bread wheat (Triticum aestivum. L.) can be achieved via the introgression of grain dormancy and would reduce both the incidence and severity of damage due to unfavourable weather at harvest. The dormancy phenotype is strongly influenced by environmental factors making selection difficult and time consuming and this trait an obvious candidate for marker assisted selection. A highly significant Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) associated with grain dormancy and located on chromosome 4A was identified in three bread wheat genotypes, two white- and one red-grained, of diverse origin. Flanking SSR markers on either side of the putative dormancy gene were identified and validated in an additional population involving one of the dormant genotypes. Genotypes containing the 4A QTL varied in dormancy phenotype from dormant to intermediate dormant. Based on a comparison between dormant red- and white-grained genotypes, together with a white-grained mutant derived from the red-grained genotype, it is concluded that the 4A QTL is a critical component of dormancy; associated with at least an intermediate dormancy on its own and a dormant phenotype when combined with the R gene in the red-grained genotype and as yet unidentified gene(s) in the white-grained genotypes. These additional genes appeared to be different in AUS1408 and SW95-50213.
Financial support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research is gratefully acknowledged.
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