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Evaluation of genetic markers for prediction of pre-harvest sprouting tolerance in hard white winter wheats

Robert A Graybosch, Paul St Amand, Guihua Bai
Plant breeding 2013 v.132 no. pp. 359-366
alleles, genetic background, genetic improvement, genetic markers, hard white wheat, loci, marketing, prediction, preharvest treatment, quantitative trait loci, selection criteria, sprouting
Pre-harvest sprouting of wheat results in significant financial loss at all steps in the production and marketing chain. Due to its intermittent nature in many wheat growing regions, direct selection for tolerance to pre-harvest sprouting is difficult. DNA markers linked to genes conditioning tolerance offer a more consistent and reliable approach to genetic improvement in tolerance. This investigation assessed the value of previously identified markers linked to quantitative trait loci contributing to tolerance, across multiple genetic backgrounds. A significant contribution to tolerance was demonstrated for QPhs.pseru-3AS, previously identified from the hard white winter wheat Rio Blanco. Marker alleles for this locus were associated with enhanced tolerance in three of four investigated populations. In addition, positive contributions of QPhs.pseru-2B1 and QPhs.pseru-2B2 also were documented. Simultaneous selection for putative marker alleles at two independent loci resulted in significantly higher mean tolerance scores, usually mediated by additive gene action. DNA markers linked to loci contributing to variation in pre-harvest sprouting tolerance offer an efficient and effective alternative to direct phenotypic selection.