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Mapping QTLs for seedling root traits in a doubled haploid wheat population under different water regimes

Liu, Xiulin, Li, Runzhi, Chang, Xiaoping, Jing, Ruilian
Euphytica 2013 v.189 no.1 pp. 51-66
drought, field experimentation, gels, grain yield, haploidy, loci, marker-assisted selection, phenotypic variation, quantitative trait loci, root systems, roots, seedlings, surface area, water stress, wheat
A deep and thick root system has a positive effect on wheat yield, particularly in drought environments. A doubled haploid (DH) population of 150 lines derived from the cross Hanxuan 10 × Lumai 14 was used to map QTLs for seedling root characteristics. The DH lines were cultivated in an agarose gel-chamber under well-watered (WW) and water-stressed (WS) regimes. Water stress was simulated by adding mannitol to the agarose gel. The seminal root traits, including maximum root length (MRL), seminal root number, total root length, project root area, root surface area, and seminal root angle were measured after 6 days of seedling development. Grain yields (GY) were measured in a field experiment. A total of 29 QTLs were identified for seedlings cultured under WW regimes, and 23 QTLs under WS regimes. Individual QTL accounted for phenotypic variations ranging from 4.98 to 24.31 %. The QTLs were distributed on 17 chromosomes, except 1D, 4D, 6B and 6D. Seven consistently expressed QTLs were detected for all the traits tested except MRL under both water regimes. The QTLs for root traits were unevenly distributed among chromosomes, and clustered in eight loci on seven chromosomes, showing pleiotropic effects on target traits. One region in the interval Xgwm644.2–P6901.2 on chromosome 3B contained 9 QTLs affecting most root traits. The present data provide an insight into the genetic basis of seedling root development under different water regimes and may benefit breeding programs using marker-assisted selection (MAS) for root traits.