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Identification and validation of quantitative trait loci for grain protein concentration in adapted Canadian durum wheat populations

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Grain protein concentration (GPC) is one of the most important factors influencing pasta-making quality. Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var durum) cultivars with high GPC produce pasta with increased tolerance to overcooking and greater cooked firmness. However, the large environmental effect on expression of GPC and the negative correlation with grain yield have slowed genetic improvement of this important trait. Understanding the genetics and identification of molecular markers associated with high GPC would aid durum wheat breeders in trait selection at earlier generations. The objectives of this study were to identify and validate molecular markers associated with quantitative trait loci (QTL) for elevated GPC in durum wheat. A genetic map was constructed using SSR and DArT® markers in an F1-derived doubled haploid (DH) population derived from the cross DT695 × Strongfield. The GPC data were collected from replicated trials grown in six Canadian environments from 2002 to 2005. QTL associated with variation for GPC were identified on the group 1, 2, and 7 chromosomes and on 5B and 6B, but only QGpc.usw-B3 on 2B and QGpc.usw-A3 on 7A were expressed consistently in four and six environments, respectively. Positive alleles for GPC at these loci were contributed by the high-GPC parent Strongfield. The QGpc.usw-A3 QTL was validated in a second DH population, and depending on environment, selection for the Strongfield allele at barc108 resulted in +0.4% to +1.0% increase in GPC, with little effect on yield in most environments. Given the consistent expression pattern in multiple populations and environments, barc108 could be useful for marker-assisted selection for high GPC.

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We gratefully acknowledge the technical assistances of A. Tomita, L. Yaworsky, K. Wiebe, V. Tang, N. Hirji, J. Ross, and M. Olfert and funding of this work provided by the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Matching Investment Initiative. Special thanks to the Technological and Professional Skill Development Project (TPSDP) of the Ministry of National Education, Indonesia, at the Universitas Jenderal Soedirman, Purwokerto, Central Java, Indonesia for Suprayogi’s Ph.D. program scholarship.

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Correspondence to Curtis Jerry Pozniak.

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Communicated by M. Kearsey.

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Suprayogi, Y., Pozniak, C.J., Clarke, F.R. et al. Identification and validation of quantitative trait loci for grain protein concentration in adapted Canadian durum wheat populations. Theor Appl Genet 119, 437–448 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-009-1050-1

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  • Quantitative Trait Locus
  • Simple Sequence Repeat Marker
  • Double Haploid
  • Durum Wheat
  • Quantitative Trait Locus Analysis