Molecular Genetics and Genomics

, Volume 293, Issue 2, pp 451–462 | Cite as

Exploring the genetics of fertility restoration controlled by Rf1 in common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using high-density linkage maps

  • Manuel Geyer
  • Theresa Albrecht
  • Lorenz Hartl
  • Volker Mohler
Original Article


Hybrid wheat breeding has the potential to significantly increase wheat productivity compared to line breeding. The induction of male sterility by the cytoplasm of Triticum timopheevii Zhuk. is a widely discussed approach to ensure cross-pollination between parental inbred lines in hybrid wheat seed production. As fertility restoration in hybrids with this cytoplasm is often incomplete, understanding the underlying genetics is a prerequisite to apply this technology. A promising component for fertility restoration is the restorer locus Rf1, which was first detected on chromosome 1A of the restorer accession R3. In the present study, we performed quantitative trait locus (QTL) analyses to locate Rf1 and estimate its effect in populations involving the restorer lines R3, R113 and L19. Molecular markers linked to Rf1 in these populations were used to analyse the genomic target region in T. timopheevii accessions and common wheat breeding lines. The QTL analyses revealed that Rf1 interacted with a modifier locus on chromosome 1BS and the restorer locus Rf4 on chromosome 6B. The modifier locus significantly influenced both the penetrance and expressivity of Rf1. Whereas Rf1 exhibited expressivity higher than that of Rf4, the effects of these loci were not additive. Evaluating the marker haplotype for the Rf1 region, we propose that the restoring Rf1 allele may be derived exclusively from T. timopheevii. The present study demonstrates that interactions between restorer and modifier loci play a critical role in fertility restoration of common wheat with the cytoplasm of T. timopheevii.


Cytoplasmic male sterility Hybrid wheat Triticum timopheevii 



We acknowledge the excellent technical assistance of Ruth Torrijos Polo, Andreas Klankermeier, Petra Greim, Sabine Schmidt and the working group Wheat and Oat Breeding Research of the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture. We thank Finn Borum for providing the analysed restorer germplasm. The valuable suggestions of Adalbert Bund, Annette Block, Bianca Büttner, and Günther Schweizer are highly appreciated. The authors thank the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium ( for providing pre-publication access to IWGSC RefSeq v1.0. The present study was part of the project “CMS-Hybridweizen” (AZ-1066-13) supported by the Bavarian Research Foundation.

Compliance with ethical standards


This study was funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation (AZ-1066-13).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

438_2017_1396_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (303 kb)
Supplementary figures (PDF 303 KB)
438_2017_1396_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (34.9 mb)
Supplementary tables (XLSX 35722 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Crop Science and Plant BreedingBavarian State Research Center for AgricultureFreisingGermany

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