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Natural variation in photoperiodic flowering pathway and identification of photoperiod-insensitive accessions in wild wheat, Aegilops tauschii

Koyama, Kayo, Okumura, Yurika, Okamoto, Emi, Nishijima, Ryo, Takumi, Shigeo
Euphytica 2018 v.214 no.1 pp. 3
Aegilops tauschii, flowering date, genes, heading, hexaploidy, loci, mutation, phenotype, photoperiod, plant breeding, quantitative trait loci, vernalization, wheat, Eurasia
The D-genome progenitor of hexaploid wheat, Aegilops tauschii Coss., has a wide natural species range in central Eurasia and possesses wide natural variation in heading and flowering time. Here, we report identification of two Ae. tauschii accessions insensitive to short day length. Similarly to a loss or reduced degree of vernalization requirement, the photoperiod-insensitive mutations were found only in the early flowering sublineage (TauL1b) of Ae. tauschii. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analyses using two F₂ mapping populations showed that a QTL for heading time on the long arm of chromosome 5D was related to the early heading phenotype of the photoperiod-insensitive accessions under short-day conditions. In the photoperiod-insensitive accession, expression patterns of two flowering-related genes were altered under short-day conditions compared with the patterns in photoperiod-sensitive accessions. This study indicates that analysis of natural variations in the Ae. tauschii population is useful to find novel genetic loci controlling agronomically important traits.