Development of a High-Density SNP-Based Linkage Map and Detection of QTL for β-Glucans, Protein Content, Grain Yield per Spike and Heading Time in Durum Wheat.Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Jun 21; 18(6)IJ
High-density genetic linkage maps of crop species are particularly useful in detecting qualitative and quantitative trait loci for important agronomic traits and in improving the power of classical approaches to identify candidate genes. The aim of this study was to develop a high-density genetic linkage map in a durum wheat recombinant inbred lines population (RIL) derived from two elite wheat cultivars and to identify, characterize and correlate Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) for β-glucan, protein content, grain yield per spike and heading time. A dense map constructed by genotyping the RIL population with the wheat 90K iSelect array included 5444 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers distributed in 36 linkage groups. Data for β-glucan and protein content, grain yield per spike and heading time were obtained from replicated trials conducted at two locations in southern Italy. A total of 19 QTL were detected in different chromosome regions. In particular, three QTL for β-glucan content were detected on chromosomes 2A and 2B (two loci); eight QTL controlling grain protein content were detected on chromosomes 1B, 2B, 3B (two loci), 4A, 5A, 7A and 7B; seven QTL for grain yield per spike were identified on chromosomes 1A, 2B, 3A (two loci), 3B (two loci) and 6B; and one marker-trait association was detected on chromosome 2A for heading time. The last was co-located with a β-glucan QTL, and the two QTL appeared to be negatively correlated. A genome scan for genomic regions controlling the traits and SNP annotated sequences identified five putative candidate genes involved in different biosynthesis pathways (β-glucosidase, GLU1a; APETALA2, TaAP2; gigantea3, TaGI3; 14-3-3 protein, Ta14A; and photoperiod sensitivity, Ppd-A1). This study provides additional information on QTL for important agronomic traits that could be useful for marker-assisted breeding to obtain new genotypes with commercial and nutritional relevance.