Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 114, Issue 7, pp 1173–1183 | Cite as

Molecular mapping of genes for Coleoptile growth in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

  • G. J. Rebetzke
  • M. H. Ellis
  • D. G. Bonnett
  • R. A. Richards
Original Paper


Successful plant establishment is critical to the development of high-yielding crops. Short coleoptiles can reduce seedling emergence particularly when seed is sown deep as occurs when moisture necessary for germination is deep in the subsoil. Detailed molecular maps for a range of wheat doubled-haploid populations (Cranbrook/Halberd, Sunco/Tasman, CD87/Katepwa and Kukri/Janz) were used to identify genomic regions affecting coleoptile characteristics length, cross-sectional area and degree of spiralling across contrasting soil temperatures. Genotypic variation was large and distributions of genotype means were approximately normal with evidence for transgressive segregation. Narrow-sense heritabilities were high for coleoptile length and cross-sectional area indicating a strong genetic basis for differences among progeny. In contrast, heritabilities for coleoptile spiralling were small. Molecular marker analyses identified a number of significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) for coleoptile growth. Many of the coleoptile growth QTL mapped directly to the Rht-B1 or Rht-D1 dwarfing gene loci conferring reduced cell size through insensitivity to endogenous gibberellins. Other QTL for coleoptile growth were identified throughout the genome. Epistatic interactions were small or non-existent, and there was little evidence for any QTL × temperature interaction. Gene effects at significant QTL were approximately one-half to one-quarter the size of effects at the Rht-B1 and Rht-D1 regions. However, selection at these QTL could together alter coleoptile length by up to 50 mm. In addition to Rht-B1b and Rht-D1b, genomic regions on chromosomes 2B, 2D, 4A, 5D and 6B were repeatable across two or more populations suggesting their potential value for use in breeding and marker-aided selection for greater coleoptile length and improved establishment.


Quantitative Trait Locus Quantitative Trait Locus Detection Coleoptile Length Dwarf Gene Single Quantitative Trait Locus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors would like to thank Anke Lehmensiek (University of Southern Queensland), Lynette Rampling and Gulay Mann (CSIRO) for providing genetic maps.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. J. Rebetzke
    • 1
  • M. H. Ellis
    • 1
  • D. G. Bonnett
    • 1
  • R. A. Richards
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Plant IndustryCanberraAustralia

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