Skip to main content
Log in

The distribution, in European winter wheats, of genes that influence ecoclimatic adaptability whilst determining photoperiodic insensitivity and plant height

  • Published:
Euphytica Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The adaptability of wheat varieties to precise environmental conditions is known to be influenced to a large extent by photoperiod sensitive genes determining ear emergence time and by the gibberelic acid insensitive dwarfing genes that are regularly used to reduce plant height. A range of European winter wheat varieties were examined to establish whether breeders in different countries have selected genotypes carrying allelic variants of photoperiodic and dwarfing genes that would be expected to provide the best levels of adaptability. In most areas modern cultivars were seen to carry the genotypes predicted to promote good levels of adaptability. Varieties cultivated in Germany however are still predominately of conventional height and late flowering lacking genes that would be expected to enhance adaptability and yield.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Austin, R.B., J. Bingham, R.D. Blackwell, L.T. Evans, M.A. Ford, C.L. Morgan & M. Taylor, 1980. Genetical improvements in winter wheat yields since 1900 and associated physiological changes. J. Agric. Sci., Camb. 94: 675–689.

    Google Scholar 

  • Börner, A., A.J. Worland, J. Plaschke, Erika Schumann & C.N. Law, 1993. Pleiotropic effects of genes for reduced height (Rht) and day-length insensitivity (Ppd) on yield and its components for wheat grown in middle Europe. Plant Breeding 111: 204–216.

    Google Scholar 

  • Capron, H., 1873. Agriculture in Japan. In report of the Commissioner of Agriculture for the year 1873. USDA pp. 369.

  • Dalrymple, D.G., 1986. Development and spread of high yielding wheat varieties in developing countries. Agency for International Development, Washington, USA, pp. 99.

    Google Scholar 

  • Flood, R.G. & G.M. Halloran, 1983. The influence of certain chromosomes of the hexaploid wheat cultivar Thatcher on time to ear emergence in Chinese Spring. Euphytica 32: 121–124.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gale, M.D., G.A. Marshall & M.V. Rao, 1981. A classification of the Norin 10 and Tom Thumb dwarfing genes in British, Mexican, Indian and other hexaploid bread wheat varieties. Euphytica 30: 355–361.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gale, M.D., C.N. Law, G.A. Marshall, J.W. Snape & A.J. Worland, 1982. The analysis and evaluation of semi-dwarfing genes in wheat with particular reference to semi-dwarfism in the variety Sava. In semi-dwarf cereal mutants and their use in cross breeding. IAEA TECDOC 268, IAEA, Vienna, Austria pp. 7–23.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gale, M.D. & S. Youssefian, 1985. Dwarfing genes in wheat. In: G.E. Russell (Ed.) Progress in Plant Breeding 1. pp. 1–35 Butterworths and Co. London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoogendoorn, J., 1984. The basis of variation in date of ear emergence under field conditioning amongst the progeny of a cross between two winter wheat varieties. J. Agric. Sci. Camb. 104: 493–500.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoogendoorn, J., 1985a. The reciprocal F1 monosomic analysis of the genetic control of time of ear emergence, number of leaves and number of spikelets in wheat (Triticum aestivum L). Euphytica 34: 545–558.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hoogendoorn, J., 1985b. The physiology of variation in the time of ear emergence amongst wheat varieties from different regions of the world. Euphytica 34: 559–571.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kertesz, Z., J.E. Flintham & M.D. Gale, 1991. Effects of Rht dwarfing genes on wheat grain yield and its components under Eastern European conditions. Cereal Res. Comm. 19: 297–304.

    Google Scholar 

  • Law, C.N., J. Sutka & A.J. Worland, 1978. A genetic study of day length response in wheat. Heredity 41: 185–191.

    Google Scholar 

  • Law, C.N., A.J. Worland, A. Börner & S. Petrovié, 1994. The utilisation of photoperiodic response genes in breeding winter wheat varieties adapted to specific European ecoclimatic conditions. In Proc. 8th Int. Wheat Genet. Symp. Beijing China 1993. In Press.

  • Law, C.N., C. Dean & G. Coupland, 1993. Genes controlling flowering and strategies for isolation and characterisation. Mol. Bio Flowering Ed. Brian Jordan. CAB Inst. pp 47–68.

  • Lupton, F.G.H., 1989. History of wheat breeding. In: F.G.H. Lupton (Ed.) Wheat breeding, its scientific basis, pp. 51–70 Chapman and Hall London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lupton, F.G.H., 1992. Changes in Varietal Distribution of Cereals in Central and Western Europe, Agro-ecological Atlas of Cereal Growing in Europe. Vol. IV Pudoc. Wageningen. Netherlands.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martinić, Z., 1975. Life cycle of common wheat varieties in natural environments as related to their response to shortened photoperiod. Z. Pflanzenzüchtung 75: 237–251.

    Google Scholar 

  • Micheals, P.J., 1982. The response of the ‘Green Revolution’ to climatic variability. Climatic variability. Climatic change 4: 255–271.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scarth, R. & C.N. Law, 1983. The location of the photoperiodic gene, Ppd2 and an additional genetic factor for ear-emergence time on chromosome 2B of wheat. Heredity 51: 607–619.

    Google Scholar 

  • Strampelli, N., 1932. Early ripening wheats and the advance of Italian wheat production. Tipografia Failli, Rome pp. 5–7.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sutka, J. & J.W. Snape, 1989. Location of a gene for frost resistance on chromosome 5A of wheat. Euphytica 42: 41–44.

    Google Scholar 

  • Welsh, J.R., D.L. Keim, B. Pirasteh & R.D. Richards, 1973. Genetic control of photoperiod response in wheat. Proc. 4th Int. Wheat Genet. Symp. Missouri. pp. 879–884.

  • Worland, A.J., 1986. Gibberellic acid insensitive dwarfing genes in Southern European wheats. Euphytica 35: 857–866.

    Google Scholar 

  • Worland, A.J. & C.N. Law, 1985. An effect of temperature on the fertility of wheats containing the dwarfing genes Rht1, Rht2 and Rht3. Annual Rep. Plant Breeding Inst. 1984: 69–71.

    Google Scholar 

  • Worland, A.J., C.N. Law & S. Petrovié, 1990. Height reducing genes and their importance to Yugoslavian winter wheat varieties. Savremena Poljoprivreda 38: 245–258.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zeven, A.C. & N.Ch. Zeven-Hissink, 1976. The genealogies of 14000 wheat varieties. Issued by the Netherlands Cereal Centre Wageningen and CIMMYT, Mexico, 121 pages.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Worland, A.J., Appendino, M.L. & Sayers, E.J. The distribution, in European winter wheats, of genes that influence ecoclimatic adaptability whilst determining photoperiodic insensitivity and plant height. Euphytica 80, 219–228 (1994).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words