Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 1–10 | Cite as

Functional markers in wheat: current status and future prospects

  • Yanan Liu
  • Zhonghu He
  • Rudi Appels
  • Xianchun Xia


Functional markers (FM) are developed from sequence polymorphisms present in allelic variants of a functional gene at a locus. FMs accurately discriminate alleles of a targeted gene, and are ideal molecular markers for marker-assisted selection in wheat breeding. In this paper, we summarize FMs developed and used in common wheat. To date, more than 30 wheat loci associated with processing quality, agronomic traits, and disease resistance, have been cloned, and 97 FMs were developed to identify 93 alleles based on the sequences of those genes. A general approach is described for isolation of wheat genes and development of FMs based on in silico cloning and comparative genomics. The divergence of DNA sequences of different alleles that affect gene function is summarized. In addition, 14 molecular markers specific for alien genes introduced from common wheat relatives were also described. This paper provides updated information on all FMs and gene-specific STS markers developed so far in wheat and should facilitate their application in wheat breeding programs.


Wheat Cultivar Leaf Rust Common Wheat Stripe Rust Wheat Breeding 
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 are very grateful to Prof. Robert McIntosh, University of Sydney, Australia, for reviewing this manuscript. These works were supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (31161140346 and 30830072).

Supplementary material

122_2012_1829_MOESM1_ESM.doc (373 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 373 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Wheat Improvement Centre, The National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Institute of Crop ScienceChinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)BeijingChina
  2. 2.International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) China OfficeBeijingChina
  3. 3.Centre for Comparative GenomicsMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia

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