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Identification and validation of genomic regions associated with pre-harvest sprouting resistance in white-grained wheat (triticum aestivum L.)



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Pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the major abiotic constraints influencing the production of high quality grain. The flour milled from sprouted wheat grains has increased Ą-amylase activity as compared to non-sprouted grain. PHS negatively affects the properties of flour with deleterious effects on bread and noodle quality. White-grained wheat is generally more susceptible to PHS damage than red-grained wheat. The objectives of this study were to identify a suitable method for phenotyping PHS resistance and to identify PHS resistance genomic regions and markers that could be used for marker-assisted selection in wheat improvement programs. A doubled haploid (DH) mapping population from a cross between two white-grained spring wheat genotypes, Argent (non-dormant) and W98616 (dormant) was used in this study. Forty DH lines (20 dormant and 20 non-dormant) were evaluated for germination frequency, Falling Number, and Ą-amylase activity in dry and water-imbibed seeds and spikes. The germination test was the most reliable method for measurement of PHS resistance, whereas the Falling Number and Ą-amylase activity in dry harvested seeds could not be correlated to dormancy levels. However, a positive association (r = 0.60***) was detected between germination frequency and Ą-amylase activity in imbibed seeds. To identify the genomic regions associated with PHS resistance, a genetic linkage map with a total genome coverage of 2,577 cM was developed. The map was constructed from 913 scored markers (356 SSR, 290 AFLP, 258 DArT and 9 EST) with an average marker density of 3.7 cM/marker. Five genomic regions on chromosomes 1A, 3A, 4A, 7A and 7D were associated with PHS resistance by interval mapping and all regions were contributed by the dormant parent W98616. A total of 60 Canadian wheat cultivars and experimental lines were screened with three SSR markers, DuPw004, barc170 and wmc650, located under the major quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 4A. The SSR markers explained 60-75% of the total variation in germination frequency among different wheat genotypes. By using the DuPw004 marker in marker-assisted back crossing, the population size in the BC1F1 and BC2F1 generations were reduced by 41% and 59%, respectively. Thus, the 4A QTL markers have been proven useful for marker-assisted selection of PHS resistance for wheat improvement.



Pre-harvest sprouting, QTL, Triticum aestivum, genetic mapping, marker validation



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Plant Sciences


Plant Sciences


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