In wheat, exotic genotypes harbor a broad range of spike-related traits, and can be used as a source of new genes for germplasm enhancement in wheat breeding programs. In the present study, a population of 163 recombinant inbred lines was derived from a cross between an elite line (WCB414) and an exotic line (WCB617) with branched spike (supernumerary spikelet; SS) head morphology. The population was evaluated over four to six environments to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with nine spike-related traits and 10 agronomic traits. A genetic map consisting of 939 diversity arrays technology (DArT) markers was constructed. Composite interval mapping identified a total of 143 QTL located on 17 different wheat chromosomes and included 33 consistent and definitive QTL. The amount of phenotype variation explained (PVE) by individual QTL ranged from 0.61 to 91.8%. One major QTL for glume pubescence was located in a QTL-rich region on the short arm of chromosome 1A, where loci for other traits such as for kernels per spike (KS) and spike length (SL) were also identified. Similarly, a cluster of QTL associated with yield-related, agronomic and spike-related traits contributing up to 40.3% of PVE was found on the short arm of chromosome 2D, in the vicinity of a major QTL for SS-related traits. Consistent and major QTL identified in the present study may be useful in markerassisted breeding programs to facilitate transfer of desirable alleles into other germplasm. Desirable QTL alleles were also contributed by the exotic line, suggesting the possibility of enriching the breeding germplasm with alleles from SS genotypes.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Crop Science Society of America.