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Flowering time in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.): a key factor for global adaptability

Kamran, Atif, Iqbal, Muhammad, Spaner, Dean
Euphytica 2014 v.197 no.1 pp. 1-26
Triticum aestivum, alleles, crops, diet, early development, flowering, food security, grain yield, photoperiod, quantitative trait loci, soil temperature, soil water, vernalization, wheat
Wheat is one of the most widely cultivated crops and, being the staple diet of more than 40 countries, it plays an imperative role in food security. Wheat has remarkable genetic potential to synchronize its flowering time with favourable environmental conditions. This ability to time its flowering is a key factor for its global adaptability and enables wheat plant to produce satisfactory grain yield under very diverse temperature and soil moisture conditions. Vernalization (Vrn), photoperiod (Ppd) and earliness per se (Eps) are the three genetic systems controlling flowering time in wheat. The objective of this review is to provide comprehensive information on the physiological, molecular and biological aspects of the three genetic constituents of flowering and maturity time in wheat. Reviews written in the past have covered either one of the aspects; and generally focused on one of the three genetic constituents of the flowering time. The current review provides (a) a detailed overview of all three gene systems (vernalization, photoperiod and earliness per se) controlling flowering time, (b) details of the primer sequences, their annealing temperatures and expected amplicon sizes for all known markers of detecting vernalization and photoperiod alleles, and (c) an up to date list of QTLs affecting flowering and/or maturity time in wheat.