Genetic and environmental control of dormancy in white-grained wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
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Grain dormancy in wheat is an important component of resistance to preharvest sprouting and hence an important trait for wheat breeders. The significant influence of environment on the dormancy phenotype makes this trait an obvious target for marker-assisted-selection. Closely related breeding lines, SUN325B and QT7475, containing a major dormancy QTL derived from AUS1408 located on chromosome 4A, but substantially different in dormancy phenotype, were compared with a non-dormant cultivar, Hartog, in a range of controlled environments. As temperature increased, dormancy at harvest-ripeness decreased particularly for QT7475. The dormancy phenotypes of reciprocal F1 grains involving all possible combinations of Hartog, QT7475 and SUN325B were also compared in two environments with different temperatures. The results were consistent with the presence of QTL in addition to 4A in SUN325B, compared with QT7475, at least one of which was associated with the seed coat. Genetic analysis of a doubled haploid population derived from SUN325B × QT7475 identified a highly significant QTL located on chromosome 3BL, close to the expected position of the mutant allele of the red seed coat colour gene in white-grained wheat, R-B1a. When the lines in the population were grouped according to the parental alleles at marker loci flanking the 3B QTL, the dormancy phenotype frequency distribution for the SUN325B group was shifted towards greater dormancy compared with the QT7475 group. However, significant variation for dormancy phenotype remained within each group. Lines representing the extremes of the range of phenotypes within each group maintained their relative ranking across seven environments consistent with the presence of another unidentified QTL contributing to dormancy in SUN325B.
KeywordsGermination index QTL Reciprocal crosses
Quantitative trait locus
Research funding provided by the Grains Research and Development Corporation is gratefully acknowledged. Assistance with ANOVA provided by Michael Quinn is gratefully acknowledged.
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