, Volume 168, Issue 3, pp 311–318 | Cite as

Genetic and environmental control of dormancy in white-grained wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

  • Daryl Mares
  • Judith Rathjen
  • Kolumbina Mrva
  • Judy Cheong


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.


Germination index QTL Reciprocal crosses 



Quantitative trait locus


Germination index



Research funding provided by the Grains Research and Development Corporation is gratefully acknowledged. Assistance with ANOVA provided by Michael Quinn is gratefully acknowledged.


  1. Biddulph TB, Plummer JA, Setter TL, Mares DJ (2008) Seasonal conditions influence dormancy and preharvest sprouting tolerance in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Field Crops Res 107:116–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. DePauw RM, McCaig TN (1983) Recombining dormancy from RL4137 with white seed colour. In: Kruger JE, LaBerge DE (eds) Third International Symposium on Preharvest Sprouting in Cereals, Westview Press, Bo, Colorado, pp 251–259Google Scholar
  3. Flintham J, Adlam R, Bassoi M, Holdsworth M, Gale M (2002) Mapping genes for resistance to sprouting damage in wheat. Euphytica 126:39–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Groos C, Gay G, Perretant M-R, Gervais L, Bernard L, Dedryver F, Charmet G (2002) Study of the relationship between pre-harvest sprouting and grain color by quantitative trait loci analysis in a white × red grain bread-wheat cross. Theor Appl Genet 104:39–47PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Himi E, Noda K (2005) Red grain colour gene (R) of wheat is a Myb-type transcription factor. Euphytica 143:239–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Himi E, Mares DJ, Yanagisawa A, Noda K (2002) Effect of grain colour gene, R, on grain dormancy and sensitivity of the embryo to abscisic acid (ABA) in wheat. J Exp Bot 53:1569–1574PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kammholtz SJ, Campbell AW, Sutherland MW, Hollamby GJ, Martin PJ, Eastwood RF, Barclay I, Wilson RE, Brennan PS, Sheppard J (2001) Establishment and characterisation of wheat genetic mapping populations. Aust J Agric Res 52:1079–1088CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kato K, Nakamura W, Tabiki T, Miura H, Sawada S (2001) Detection of loci controlling seed dormancy in group 4 chromosomes of wheat and comparative mapping with rice and barley genomes. Theor Appl Genet 102:980–985CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kulwal PL, Kumar N, Gaur A, Khurana P, Khurana JP, Tyagi AK, Balyan HS (2005) Mapping of a major QTL for pre-harvest sprouting tolerance on chromosome 3A in bread wheat. Theor Appl Genet 111:1052–1059PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Manly KF, Cudmore RH Jr, Meer JM (2001) Map Manager QTX, cross-platform software for genetic mapping. Mamm Genome 12:930–932PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mares DJ (1983) Preservation of dormancy in freshly harvested wheat grain. Aust J Agric Res 34:33–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mares DJ (1987) Preharvest sprouting in white grained wheats. In: Fourth International Symposium on Preharvest Sprouting in Cereals. Mares DJ (ed) Westview Press Inc., Boulder, pp 64–74Google Scholar
  13. Mares DJ (1989) Preharvest sprouting damage and sprouting tolerance: Assay methods and instrumentation. In: Derera NF (ed) Preharvest field sprouting in cereals. CRC Press Inc, Boca Raton, pp 129–170Google Scholar
  14. Mares DJ (1996) Dormancy in white wheat: mechanism and location of genes. In: Noda K, Mares DJ (eds) Preharvest sprouting in cereals 1995. Centre for Academic Societies Japan, Osaka, pp 179–184Google Scholar
  15. Mares DJ (1999) The seed coat and dormancy in wheat grains. In: Weipert D (ed) Eighth International Symposium on preharvest sprouting in cereals 1998. Association of Cereal Research. Federal Centre for Cereal, Potato and Lipid Research. Detmold, Germany, pp 77–81Google Scholar
  16. Mares DJ, Mrva K, Cheong J, Williams K, Watson B, Storlie E, Sutherland M, Zou Y (2005) A QTL located on chromosome 4A associated with dormancy in white- and red-grained wheats of diverse origin. Theor Appl Gen 111(7):1357–1364CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Miyamoyo T, Everson EH (1958) Biochemical and physiological studies of wheat seed pigmentation. Agron J 50:733–744Google Scholar
  18. Mori M, Uchino N, Chono M, Kato K, Miura H (2005) Mapping QTLs for grain dormancy on wheat chromosome 3A and the group 4 chromosomes and their combined effect. Theor Appl Genet 110:1315–1323PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Noda K, Matsuura T, Maekawa M, Taketa S (2002) Chromosomes responsible for sensitivity of embryo to abscisic acid and dormancy in wheat. Euphytica 123:203–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Noll JS, Dyck DL, Czarnecki E (1982) Expression of RL4137 type of dormancy in F1 seeds of reciprocal crosses in common wheat. Can J Plant Sci 62:345–349Google Scholar
  21. Osa M, Kato K, Mori M, Shindo C, Torada A, Miura H (2003) Mapping QTLs for seed dormancy and the Vp1 homologue on chromosome 3A in wheat. Theor Appl Genet 106:1491–1496PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Paterson AH, Sorrells ME (1990) Inheritance of grain dormancy in white-kernelled wheat. Crop Sci 30:25–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Stoy V, Sundin K (1976) Effects of growth regulating substances in cereal seed germination. Cereal Res Commun 4:157–163Google Scholar
  24. Trethowan RM (1995) Evaluation and selection of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) for preharvest sprouting tolerance. Aust J of Agric Res 46:463–474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Walker-Simmons MK (1988) Enhancement of ABA responsiveness in wheat embryos at higher temperature. Plant Cell Environ 11:769–775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Warner RL, Kurdna DA, Spaeth SC, Jones SS (2000) Dormancy in white-grained mutants of Chinese Spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Seed Sci Res 10:51–60Google Scholar
  27. Zadoks JC, Chang TT, Konzak CF (1974) A decimal code for growth stages of cereals. Weed Res 14:415–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zhou Y (1999) Screen white-grained Preharvest sprouting resistance germplasm from landraces growing in high rainfall Yangtze valley. In: Eighth International Symposium on Preharvest Sprouting in Cereals 1998. Weipert D (ed) Association of Cereal Research. Federal Centre for Cereal, Potato and Lipid Research. Detmold, pp 180–187Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daryl Mares
    • 1
  • Judith Rathjen
    • 1
  • Kolumbina Mrva
    • 1
  • Judy Cheong
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Agriculture, Food & WineUniversity of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia
  2. 2.SARDIThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations