Breeding opportunities for early, free-threshing and semi-dwarf Triticum monococcum L.
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Einkorn wheat, Triticum monococcum L. (2n = 2x = 14, AmAm genome), is a primitive, cultivated form of diploid wheat. The shortcoming of einkorn is that it lacks the free-threshing habit. Early heading and semi-dwarf traits are also required to fit modern agricultural practice. In the present study we developed T. monococcum pre-breeding germplasm having early, free threshing traits by utilizing an early heading source, two sources of soft glume (spike) and three sources of semi-dwarfism to combine their phenotypes into pre-breeding materials. We found two different genes determined free threshing of einkorn wheat. One of them was the sog (soft glume) gene from Triticum sinskajae Filat. et Kurkiev (2n = 2x = 14, AmAm genome) and another was the sos (soft spike) gene, which was completely linked or pleiotropic with the gene for semi-dwarfism. The genes sos, spd (short peduncle) and sd17654 (semi-dwarf CItr 17654) were utilized to develop semi-dwarf T. monococcum lines. Field performance of 6 early and free-threshing pre-breeding materials with sos and spd genes were tested over three crop seasons. Five semi-dwarf pre-breeding materials (PBMs) were obtained. However, these materials had slightly less grain yield than #252 (tall and hulled check) and PBM-1 (tall free-threshing check). Harvest index of the pre-breeding materials was improved due to the presence of sos and spd genes. If optimized cultivation practice is performed, these pre-breeding materials can be utilized as sources of early, free-threshing and semi-dwarf traits to produce modern T. monococcum varieties.
KeywordsEarliness Free threshing Pre-breeding materials Semi-dwarfism Soft spike Triticum monococcum L. Triticum sinskajae A. Filat. et Kurk
NW acknowledges Dr. H. S. Dhaliwal and the National Small Grain Collection (NGSC), Aberdeen, Idaho, USA to provide me the seed of T. monococcum. NW thanks Dr. D. L. Klindworth, USDA-ARS, Northern Crop Science Laboratory, Fargo, for helpful comments on the manuscript.
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Conflict of interest
The author declares that they have no conflicts of interest.
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