, 214:209 | Cite as

QTL for flag leaf size and their influence on yield-related traits in wheat

  • Chunhua Zhao
  • Yinguang Bao
  • Xiuqin Wang
  • Haitao Yu
  • Anming Ding
  • Chunhui Guan
  • Junpeng Cui
  • Yongzhen Wu
  • Han Sun
  • Xingfeng Li
  • Dongfeng Zhai
  • Linzhi Li
  • Honggang WangEmail author
  • Fa CuiEmail author


Flag leaf-related traits (FLRTs) are determinant traits affecting plant architecture and yield potential in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). In this study, three related recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations with a common female parent were developed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for flag leaf width (FLW), length (FLL), and area (FLA) in four environments. A total of 31 QTL were detected in four environments. Two QTL for FLL on chromosomes 3B and 4A (QFll-3B and QFll-4A) and one for FLW on chromosome 2A (QFlw-2A) were major stable QTL. Ten QTL clusters (C1–C10) simultaneously controlling FLRTs and yield-related traits (YRTs) were identified. To investigate the genetic relationship between FLRTs and YRTs, correlation analysis was conducted. FLRTs were found to be positively correlated with YRTs especially with kernel weight per spike and kernel number per spike in all the three RIL populations and negatively correlated with spike number per plant. Appropriate flag leaf size could benefit the formation of high yield potential. This study laid a genetic foundation for improving yield potential in wheat molecular breeding programs.


Flag leaf-related traits Yield potential Quantitative trait loci QTL clusters 



Flag leaf-related traits


Flag leaf width


Flag leaf length


Flag leaf area


Yield-related traits


Thousand-kernel weight


Kernel length


Kernel width


Kernel number per spike


Spike number per plant


Kernel weight per plant


Kernel weight per spike


Heading date


Recombinant inbred line population derived from the cross between Weimai 8 and Luohan 2


Recombinant inbred line population derived from the cross between Weimai 8 and Yannong 19


Recombinant inbred line population derived from the cross between Weimai 8 and Jimai 20



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31701505, 31471573, 31671673), Shandong Provincial Science Foundation for Outstanding Youth (ZR2017JL017), and Natural Science Foundation of Lu dong University (33060301, 33140301).

Authors’ Contribution

HW and FC designed research; CZ, AD, and YB conducted genotyping of the three RIL populations; CZ, XW, HY, CG, JC, DZ, LL and XL conducted phenotyping of the three populations; CZ, FC, HS and YW analyzed data and wrote the paper; HW and XL had primary responsibility for final content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

All of the authors have read and have abided by the statement of ethical standards for manuscripts submitted to Euphytica.

Supplementary material

10681_2018_2288_MOESM1_ESM.png (379 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 Comparing the effects of FLRTs on YRTs using 20 RILs each ranked top-20 and ranked bottom-20 of the flag size. WL, WY and WJ represent the population derived from crosses between Weimai 8 × Luohan 2, Weimai 8 × Yannong 19, and Weimai 8 × Jimai 20, respectively. FLL: Flag leaf length; FLW: Flag leaf width; FLA: Flag leaf area; TKW: Thousand-kernel weight; KNPS: Kernel number per spike; KWPS: kernel weight per spike; SNPP: Spike number per plant; KWPP: Kernel weight per plant (PNG 378 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunhua Zhao
    • 1
  • Yinguang Bao
    • 2
  • Xiuqin Wang
    • 3
  • Haitao Yu
    • 4
  • Anming Ding
    • 5
  • Chunhui Guan
    • 1
  • Junpeng Cui
    • 1
  • Yongzhen Wu
    • 1
  • Han Sun
    • 1
  • Xingfeng Li
    • 2
  • Dongfeng Zhai
    • 6
  • Linzhi Li
    • 7
  • Honggang Wang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Fa Cui
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of AgricultureLudong UniversityYantaiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Shandong Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, Tai’an Subcenter of National Wheat Improvement Center, College of AgronomyShandong Agricultural UniversityTai’anChina
  3. 3.Zaozhuang Academy of Agricultural SciencesZaozhuangChina
  4. 4.Weifang Academy of Agricultural SciencesWeifangChina
  5. 5.Key Laboratory for Tobacco Gene ResourcesTobacco Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesQingdaoChina
  6. 6.Shandong Denghai Seeds Company, LimitedLaizhouChina
  7. 7.Yan’tai Academy of Agricultural SciencesYant’aiChina

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