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QTL identification and KASP marker development for productive tiller and fertile spikelet numbers in two high-yielding hard white spring wheat cultivars

Wang, Rui, Liu, Yuxiu, Isham, Kyle, Zhao, Weidong, Wheeler, Justin, Klassen, Natalie, Hu, Yingang, Bonman, J. Michael, Chen, Jianli
Molecular breeding 2018 v.38 no.11 pp. 135
chromosomes, doubled haploids, genetic background, high-yielding varieties, inbred lines, marker-assisted selection, phenotypic selection, pleiotropy, polymerase chain reaction, quantitative trait loci, spikelets, spring wheat, tillers
Selecting high-yielding wheat cultivars with more productive tillers per unit area (PTN) combined with more fertile spikelets per spike (fSNS) is difficult. QTL mapping of these traits may aid understanding of this bottleneck and accelerate precision breeding for high yield via marker-assisted selection. PTN and fSNS were assessed in four to five trials from 2015 to 2017 in a doubled haploid population derived from two high-yielding cultivars “UI Platinum” and “SY Capstone.” Two QTL for PTN (QPTN.uia-4A and QPTN.uia-6A) and four QTL for fSNS (QfSNS.uia-4A, QfSNS.uia-5A, QfSNS.uia-6A, and QfSNS.uia-7A) were identified. The effects of the QTL were primarily additive and, therefore, pyramiding of multiple QTL may increase PTN and fSNS. However, the two QTL for PTN were positioned in the flanking regions for the two QTL for fSNS on chromosomes 4A and 6A, respectively, suggesting either possible pleiotropic effect of the same QTL or tightly linked QTL and explaining the difficulty of selecting both high PTN and fSNS in phenotypic selection. Kompetitive allele-specific PCR (KASP) markers for all identified QTL were developed and validated in a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from the same two cultivars. In addition, KASP markers for three of the QTL (QPTN.uia-6A, QfSNS.uia-6A, and QfSNS.uia-7A) were further validated in a diverse spring wheat panel, indicating their usefulness under different genetic backgrounds. These KASP markers could be used by wheat breeders to select high PTN and fSNS.