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Allelic Variants of Glutamine Synthetase and Glutamate Synthase Genes in a Collection of Durum Wheat and Association with Grain Protein Content

Nigro, Domenica, Fortunato, Stefania, Giove, Stefania Lucia, Mangini, Giacomo, Yacoubi, Ines, Simeone, Rosanna, Blanco, Antonio, Gadaleta, Agata
Diversity 2017 v.9 no.4
Triticum turgidum, chromosome mapping, crop production, crops, durum wheat, genes, genotype, germplasm, glutamate-ammonia ligase, glutamic acid, grain protein, loci, marker-assisted selection, phenotype, protein content, quantitative trait loci, regression analysis, tetraploidy, Mediterranean region
Wheat is one of the most important crops grown worldwide. Despite the fact that it accounts for only 5% of the global wheat production, durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. subsp. durum) is a commercially important tetraploid wheat species, which originated and diversified in the Mediterranean basin. In this work, the candidate gene approach has been applied in a collection of durum wheat genotypes; allelic variants of genes glutamine synthetase (GS2) and glutamate synthase (GOGAT) were screened and correlated with grain protein content (GPC). Natural populations and collections of germplasms are quite suitable for this approach, as molecular polymorphisms close to a locus with evident phenotypic effects may be closely associated with their character, providing a better physical resolution than genetic mapping using ad hoc constituted populations. A number of allelic variants were detected both for GS2 and GOGAT genes, and regression analysis demonstrated that some variations are positively and significantly related to the GPC effect. Additionally, these genes map into homoeologous chromosome groups 2 and 3, where several authors have localized important quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for GPC. The information outlined in this work could be useful in breeding and marker-assisted selection programs.