Rht24 reduces height in the winter wheat population ‘Solitär × Bussard’ without adverse effects on Fusarium head blight infection

Abstract

Key message

The dwarfing gene Rht24 on chromosome 6A acts in the wheat population ‘Solitär × Bussard’, considerably reducing plant height without increasing Fusarium head blight severity and delaying heading stage.

Abstract

The introduction of the Reduced height (Rht)-B1 and Rht-D1 semi-dwarfing genes led to remarkable increases in wheat yields during the Green Revolution. However, their utilization also brings about some unwanted characteristics, including the increased susceptibility to Fusarium head blight. Thus, Rht loci that hold the potential to reduce plant height in wheat without concomitantly increasing Fusarium head blight (FHB) susceptibility are urgently required. The biparental population ‘Solitär × Bussard’ fixed for the Rht-1 wild-type alleles, but segregating for the recently described gibberellic acid (GA)-sensitive Rht24 gene, was analyzed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for FHB severity, plant height, and heading date and to evaluate the effect of the Rht24 locus on these traits. The most prominent QTL was Rht24 on chromosome 6A explaining 51% of genotypic variation for plant height and exerting an additive effect of − 4.80 cm. For FHB severity three QTL were detected, whereas five and six QTL were found for plant height and heading date, respectively. No FHB resistance QTL was co-localized with QTL for plant height. Unlike the Rht-1 semi-dwarfing alleles, Rht24b did not significantly affect FHB severity. This demonstrates that the choice of semi-dwarfing genes used in plant breeding programs is of utmost consideration where resistance to FHB is an important breeding target.

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Acknowledgements

We highly appreciate the excellent technical support of the teams at KWS LOCHOW and University of Hohenheim. We want to acknowledge Prof. Dr. H. F. Utz, Institute of Plant Breeding, Seed Science and Population Genetics, University of Hohenheim, for his committed assistance in QTL mapping. This research was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Grant no. 031B0011A+E) in the framework of Bioeconomy International (FusResist). The responsibility of the content of this publication rests with the authors.

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Correspondence to Thomas Miedaner.

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Communicated by Hermann Buerstmayr.

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Herter, C.P., Ebmeyer, E., Kollers, S. et al. Rht24 reduces height in the winter wheat population ‘Solitär × Bussard’ without adverse effects on Fusarium head blight infection. Theor Appl Genet 131, 1263–1272 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-018-3076-8

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