The distal portion of the short arm of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) chromosome 5D controls endosperm vitreosity and grain hardness
Kernel vitreosity is an important trait of wheat grain, but its developmental control is not completely known. We developed back-cross seven (BC7) near-isogenic lines in the soft white spring wheat cultivar Alpowa that lack the distal portion of chromosome 5D short arm. From the final back-cross, 46 BC7F2 plants were isolated. These plants exhibited a complete and perfect association between kernel vitreosity (i.e. vitreous, non-vitreous or mixed) and Single Kernel Characterization System (SKCS) hardness. Observed segregation of 10:28:7 fit a 1:2:1 Chi-square. BC7F2 plants classified as heterozygous for both SKCS hardness and kernel vitreosity (n = 29) were selected and a single vitreous and non-vitreous kernel were selected, and grown to maturity and subjected to SKCS analysis. The resultant phenotypic ratios were, from non-vitreous kernels, 23:6:0, and from vitreous kernels, 0:1:28, soft:heterozygous:hard, respectively. Three of these BC7F2 heterozygous plants were selected and 40 kernels each drawn at random, grown to maturity and subjected to SKCS analysis. Phenotypic segregation ratios were 7:27:6, 11:20:9, and 3:28:9, soft:heterozygous:hard. Chi-square analysis supported a 1:2:1 segregation for one plant but not the other two, in which cases the two homozygous classes were under-represented. Twenty-two paired BC7F2:F3 full sibs were compared for kernel hardness, weight, size, density and protein content. SKCS hardness index differed markedly, 29.4 for the lines with a complete 5DS, and 88.6 for the lines possessing the deletion. The soft non-vitreous kernels were on average significantly heavier, by nearly 20%, and were slightly larger. Density and protein contents were similar, however. The results provide strong genetic evidence that gene(s) on distal 5DS control not only kernel hardness but also the manner in which the endosperm develops, viz. whether it is vitreous or non-vitreous.
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