, 214:128 | Cite as

Genetic analysis of heading date in winter and spring wheat

  • Mao Huang
  • Nafeti Mheni
  • Gina Brown-Guedira
  • Anne McKendry
  • Carl Griffey
  • David Van Sanford
  • Jose Costa
  • Clay SnellerEmail author


Climate change will have severe effects on wheat production, but crop phenology can be an important component of wheat adaptation. In this study, elite soft winter wheat and hard spring wheat (HSW) populations were phenotyped for heading date (HD) in North America and Tanzania (HSW only). All lines were genotyped with common single nucleotide polymorphism markers to compare the genetics and prediction accuracy of genomic selection (GS) for HD in winter and spring wheat. Lines were tested under diverse environments and the HSW germplasm was assessed for their early maturity performance in Africa. Two clusters of environments were formed for each population. One cluster consisted of southern environments and the other consisted of northern environments. The latter produced a more narrow range of HD than the southern cluster. Thirteen highly significant (p < 0.0005) quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for HD were detected in two populations. Within each population, the QTL effects were consistent between clusters of environments. Within each population, GS model developed using data from one cluster of environments could predict HD in the other cluster. The prediction accuracy of GS between two populations was minimal. Similarly, only a few minor effects QTL were in common between the two populations. Additionally, we identified 15 spring wheat genotypes with HD earlier than commercial Tanzanian wheat varieties. These genotypes could be used as a resource for creating early HD wheat varieties for Tanzania.


Clustering of environments Genomic selection Heading date Kompetitive allelic specific polymerase chain reaction (KASP) Quantitative trait loci Vrn and Ppd genes 



We thank members of the Sneller laboratory for their help with field data collection in Ohio; the Dr. Luther Talbert lab at Montana State University for contributing to the plant materials; and Jorge Dubcovsky, Curtis Pozniak, and Pierre Hucl for contributing to the HSW phenotypic data. The research was funded in part by the Triticeae Coordinated Agricultural Project (2011-68002-30029) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors of this study declare that there is no conflict of interest for this study.

Ethical standard

This research complies with the current laws of the United States of America.

Supplementary material

10681_2018_2199_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mao Huang
    • 1
  • Nafeti Mheni
    • 2
  • Gina Brown-Guedira
    • 3
  • Anne McKendry
    • 4
  • Carl Griffey
    • 5
  • David Van Sanford
    • 6
  • Jose Costa
    • 7
  • Clay Sneller
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Ohio Agriculture Research and Development CenterThe Ohio State UniversityWoosterUSA
  2. 2.Selian Agriculture Research InstituteArushaTanzania
  3. 3.Agricultural Research Service Eastern Regional Small Grains Genotyping LaboratoryUS Department of AgricultureRaleighUSA
  4. 4.University of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  5. 5.Virginia Tech UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  6. 6.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  7. 7.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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