Identification and validation of a major chromosome region for high grain number per spike under meiotic stage water stress in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).PLoS One. 2018; 13(3):e0194075.Plos
Grain number is a major trait for wheat yield under dryland farming. An International Triticeae Mapping Initiative (ITMI) mapping population comprising 105 recombinant inbred lines (RIL) developed from a cross between a Synthetic hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum) 'W7984' and a spring wheat variety 'Opata M85' was used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with grain number per spike under two treatment conditions, normal watering and water stress during meiosis. Two major QTL for grain number per spike on the main stem Q.Gnu.uwa-5A-1 and Q.Gnu.uwa-5A-2 with phenotypic variations of 25.71% and 24.93%, respectively, were detected on the long arm of chromosome 5A when plants were exposed to water stress during meiosis. One QTL (Q.Gnu.uwa-2A) with a LOD score of 2.8 was detected on the long arm of chromosome 2A under normal watering condition. The alleles associated with higher grain number per spike under different treatment conditions came from the Synthetic W7984 parent. Two populations developed from crosses Synthetic W7984 × Lang and Synthetic W7984 × Westonia were used to validate the identified QTL under water stress during meiosis. SSR markers Xbarc230 and Xbarc319 linked with the identified QTL on chromosome 5AL were validated in the two F2:4 segregating populations. These closely linked SSR markers could potentially be utilized in marker-assisted selection to reduce yield loss in regions where water stress during meiosis occurs frequently. The identified QTL can be incorporated into elite lines / cultivars to improve wheat grain yield.