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Identifying wheat genomic regions for improving grain protein concentration independently of grain yield using multiple inter-related populations

Bogard, Matthieu, Allard, Vincent, Martre, Pierre, Heumez, Emmanuel, Snape, John W., Orford, Simon, Griffiths, Simon, Gaju, Oorbessy, Foulkes, John, Le Gouis, Jacques
Molecular breeding 2013 v.31 no.3 pp. 587-599
chromosomes, grain protein, grain yield, marker-assisted selection, quantitative trait loci, wheat
Grain yield (GY) and grain protein concentration (GPC) are two major traits contributing to the economic value of the wheat crop. These are, consequently, major targets in wheat breeding programs, but their simultaneous improvement is hampered by the negative correlation between GPC and GY. Identifying the genetic determinants of GPC and GY through quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis would be one way to identify chromosomal regions, allowing improvement of GPC without reducing GY using marker-assisted selection. Therefore, QTL detection was carried out for GY and GPC using three inter-connected doubled haploid populations grown in a large multi-environment trial network. Chromosomes 2A, 2D, 3B, 7B and 7D showed co-location of QTL for GPC and GY with antagonistic effects, thus contributing to the negative GPC–GY relationship. Nonetheless, genomic regions determining GPC independently of GY across experiments were found on chromosomes 3A and 5D and could help breeders to move the GPC–GY relationship in a desirable direction.