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Efficacy of pyramiding elite alleles for dynamic development of plant height in common wheat

Zhang, Bin, Shi, Wei, Li, Weiyu, Chang, Xiaoping, Jing, Ruilian
Molecular breeding 2013 v.32 no.2 pp. 327-338
additive effect, alleles, breeding, haploidy, loci, plant development, quantitative trait loci, wheat
Plant height is an important botanical feature closely related to yield. Two populations consisting of 118 and 262 accessions respectively were used to identify elite alleles for plant height and to validate their allelic effects. Plant height was measured from the early booting to the flowering stages. Simple sequence repeat markers for candidate quantitative trait locus (QTL) regions with large effects identified in a doubled haploid (DH) population (Hanxuan 10 × Lumai 14) were selected for further verification by association analysis. Nine loci significantly (P < 0.001) associated with plant height were detected 13 times in the population with 118 accessions. Three loci (Xgwm11-1B, Xwmc349-4B and Xcfd23-4D) were identified in three, two and two periods of plant height growth, respectively. Markers Xbarc168-2D, Xgwm249-2D, Xwmc349-4B, Xcfd23-4D and Xgwm410-5A located at or near additive QTL regions in the DH population proved to coincide with known Rht loci. The results showed a consistency between linkage analysis and association mapping, and also confirmed the value of fine mapping of QTL through combined linkage and association analyses. For final plant height, the alleles Xgwm11-1B ₂₀₈ , Xwmc349-4B ₁₀₃ and Xcfd23-4D ₂₀₂ exhibited negative effects, i.e. reducing plant height; Xwmc349-4B ₁₀₁ and Xcfd23-4D ₂₀₅ showed significant positive effects. A second larger population (262 accessions) was used to validate the effects of these large-effect alleles and the efficacy of pyramiding in eight environments (year × site × water regime combinations). Strong correlations between final plant height and numbers of large-effect alleles indicated that the alleles contributed additively to plant height. The additive effects showed that pyramiding elite alleles for target traits has significant potential for wheat breeding.