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An intercalary translocation from Agropyron cristatum 6P chromosome into common wheat confers enhanced kernel number per spike

Zhang, Jing, Zhang, Jinpeng, Liu, Weihua, Wu, Xiaoyang, Yang, Xinming, Li, Xiuquan, Lu, Yuqing, Li, Lihui
Planta 2016 v.244 no.4 pp. 853-864
germplasm, fluorescence in situ hybridization, inflorescences, substitution lines, phenotype, seeds, chromosomes, wheat, agronomic traits, chromosome mapping, genes, progeny, chromosome translocation, irradiation, Agropyron cristatum, genetic markers
MAIN CONCLUSION : This study explored 6P chromosomal translocations in wheat, and determined the effects of 6P intercalary chromosome segments on kernel number per wheat spike. Exploiting and utilising gene(s) from wild relative species has become an essential strategy for wheat crop improvement. In the translocation line Pubing2978, the intercalary 6P chromosome segment from Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn. (2n = 4x = 28, PPPP) carried valuable multi-kernel gene(s) and was selected from the offspring of the common wheat plant Fukuho and the irradiated wheat-A. cristatum 6P disomic substitution line 4844-8. Genomic in situ hybridisation (GISH), dual-colour fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH), and molecular markers were used to detect the small segmental 6P chromosome in the wheat background and its translocation breakpoint. Cytological studies demonstrated that Pubing2978 was a T1AS-6PL-1AS·1AL intercalary translocation with 42 chromosomes. The breakpoint was located near the centromeric region on the wheat chromosome 1AS and was flanked by the markers SSR12 and SSR283 based on an F₂ linkage map. The genotypic data, combined with the phenotypic information, implied that A. cristatum 6P chromosomal segment plays an important role in regulating the kernel number per spike (KPS). By comparison, the mean value of KPS in plants with translocations was approximately 10 higher than that in plants without translocations in three segregated populations. Moreover, the improvement in KPS was likely achieved by increasing both the spikelet number per spike (SNS) and the kernel number per spikelet. These excellent agronomic traits laid the foundation for further investigation of valuable genes and make the Pubing2978 line a promising germplasm for wheat breeding.