Ninety percent of wheat varieties grown worldwide have a semi-dwarf phenotype controlled by three major genes Rht-B1 (formerly Rht1), Rht-D1 (formerly Rht2) and Rht8. The objective of this study was to determine their frequency in modern wheat varieties grown in Germany. Ninety-five winter wheat varieties that were registered in Germany in 2004 were screened with PCR-based markers for Rht-B1 and Rht-D1 and with the microsatellite WMS261 for Rht8. The Rht8 allele for plant height reduction was not found in any of the varieties, which confirms previous studies. Rht-B1b or Rht-D1b alleles were present in 44% of the screened varieties, but only 6% contained Rht-B1b, which predominates in northern Europe. Rht-D1b was found in 38% of the varieties, which were planted on 34% of the total area of wheat in Germany. Wheat varieties with Rht-D1b were shorter and higher yielding than wheat varieties without this allele, but more susceptible to Fusarium head blight, which could limit their productivity.
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Knopf, C., Becker, H., Ebmeyer, E. et al. Occurrence of Three Dwarfing Rht Genes in German Winter Wheat Varieties. CEREAL RESEARCH COMMUNICATIONS 36, 553–560 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1556/CRC.36.2008.4.4
- semi-dwarf gene
- height reduction