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Marker-assisted transfer of PinaD1a gene to develop soft grain wheat cultivars

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Abstract

Grain softness has been a major trait of interest in wheat because of its role in producing flour suitable for making high-quality biscuits, cookies, cakes and some other products. In the present study, marker-assisted backcross breeding scheme was deployed to develop advanced wheat lines with soft grains. The Australian soft-grained variety Barham was used as the donor parent to transfer the puroindoline grain softness gene Pina-D1a to the Indian variety, DBW14, which is hard grained and has PinaD1bPinbD1a genes. Foreground selection with allele-specific PCR-based primer for Pina-D1a (positive selection) was used to identify heterozygous BC1F1 plants. Background selection with 173 polymorphic SSR primers covering all the 21 chromosomes was also carried out, in the foreground-selected BC1F1 plants. BC1F2 plants were selected by ascertaining the presence of Pina-D1a (positive selection) and absence of Pina-D1b (negative selection). Using the approach of positive, negative and background selection with molecular markers, 15 BC1F2 and 31 BC2F1 plants were finally selected. The 15 BC1F2 plants were selfed and the 31 BC2F1 plants were further backcrossed and selfed to raise BC3F1 and BC2F2 progenies, respectively. A part of the BC2F2 seed of each of the 31 plants was analyzed for grain hardness index (GHI) with single-kernel characterization system. The GHI varied from 12.1 to 37.1 in the seeds borne on the 31 BC2F1 plants. The reasons for this variation and further course of action are discussed.

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Acknowledgements

AR acknowledges the senior research fellowship granted to her by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research for carrying out the work as part of her Ph.D. thesis. AMS acknowledges the funding support provided by the ICAR under the Indo-Australian Project on marker-assisted wheat breeding. Interactions with Drs Karen Cane and Howard Eagles during marker protocols exchange were helpful for this work and are acknowledged.

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AMS was involved in planning and supervision of experiments, mentoring, financial facilitation and editing of manuscript. AR contributed to execution of experiments, molecular breeding and analysis of data and drafting of the manuscript. KR created F1’s and edited the manuscript. PS and TJK ran molecular markers (SSRs) in BC progenies. AKA contributed to grain hardness analysis. SKS, DG, MS and RBS were involved in field work in main and off-seasons. All the authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Anju Mahendru-Singh.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest in the publication.

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Rai, A., Mahendru-Singh, A., Raghunandan, K. et al. Marker-assisted transfer of PinaD1a gene to develop soft grain wheat cultivars. 3 Biotech 9, 183 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-019-1717-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13205-019-1717-5

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