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Mol Breed. 2013;32:327-338. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

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

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  • 1National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081 China ; Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, 100081 China.


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.


Association mapping; Development; Elite allele; Gene pyramiding; Plant height; Triticum aestivum

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