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Assessment of genetic diversity in bread wheat genotypes for tolerance to drought using AFLPs and agronomic traits

Moghaddam, M. Esmaeilzadeh, Trethowan, R. M., William, H. M., Rezai, A., Arzani, A., Mirlohi, A. F.
Euphytica 2005 v.141 no.1-2 pp. 147-156
cultivars, amplified fragment length polymorphism, drought tolerance, wheat, water stress, agronomic traits, chromosome mapping, genotype, Triticum aestivum, genetic variation, genetic markers, Iran, Mexico
Moisture stress greatly limits the productivity of wheat in many wheat-growing regions of the world. Knowledge of the degree of genetic diversity among parental materials for key selection traits will facilitate the development of high yielding, stress tolerant wheat cultivars. The objectives of this study were to: (i) use amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) to assess genetic diversity among bread wheat lines and cultivars with different responses to drought stress in two distinct environments and, (ii) compare genetic diversity estimated by AFLPs with diversity evaluated on agronomic performance under drought stress. Twenty-eight genotypes, 14 from Iran and 14 developed or obtained by CIMMYT, were evaluated in the study. Phenotypic data on the 14 Iranian lines were obtained in Iran, and data on the 14 CIMMYT lines were collected in Mexico. Ten AFLP primer pairs detected 335 polymorphic bands among the 28 cultivars. At the 5th fusion level of the resulting dendrogram, 6 genotype clusters were identified. Thirteen of the 14 CIMMYT genotypes grouped into one cluster while 4 of the remaining groups were comprised only of Iranian genotypes. When the agronomic performance of the Iranian materials was compared with the AFLP diversity analysis, 5 of the 6 drought susceptible genotypes clustered together in the agronomic dendrogram, and were located in the same cluster in the AFLP dendrogram. However, the drought tolerant Iranian materials did not show the same degree of relationship. The CIMMYT materials did not demonstrate a significant association between agronomic performance and genetic diversity determined using AFLPs. Clearly these data show that there are genotypes with similar agronomic performance and different genetic constitutions in this study that can be combined in a breeding program to potentially improve tolerance to drought stress.