RFLP Mapping in Wheat — Progress and Problems

  • Michael D. Gale
  • Shiaoman Chao
  • Peter J. Sharp
Part of the Stadler Genetics Symposia Series book series (SGSS)


The genetic linkage map of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L. em Thell., 2n = 6x = 42) has always been less well developed than those of diploid cereals such as maize (Zea mays L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Progress in wheat has been hindered by several problems inherent in it being an inbreeding hexaploid species of recent origin. Most importantly, recessive mutations such as morphological and pigment variants, male steriles and lethals, which comprise the backbone of genetic maps in diploid plants have not often been available to wheat geneticists. Although a few have been recognised, and presumably many have been generated in mutation studies, their phenotypic expression is usually masked by effective alleles at the homoeoloci in the other two genomes. In addition, linkages between the few recessive mutations obtained are rare, as wheat has a relatively large number of linkage groups, having 21 pairs of chromosomes. Moreover, naturally occurring variation between varieties as measured at conventional biochemical marker loci appears to be less common in wheat than in many other crops. This is as expected in an inbreeding species that may have arisen from a single entirely homozygous spontaneously doubled tri-haploid only some 10,000 years ago.


Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Hexaploid Wheat Wheat Genome Homoeologous Group Chiasma Frequency 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Gale
    • 1
  • Shiaoman Chao
    • 1
  • Peter J. Sharp
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Plant Science ResearchCambridge LaboratoryTrumpington, CambridgeUK

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