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Theor Appl Genet. 2009 Mar;118(5):881-9. doi: 10.1007/s00122-008-0946-5. Epub 2009 Jan 8.

Genetic loci associated with stem elongation and winter dormancy release in wheat.

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Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 368 Agricultural Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.


In winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), the stem begins to elongate after the vernalization requirement is satisfied during winter and when favorable temperature and photoperiod conditions are attained in spring. In this study, we precisely measured elongation of the first extended internode on 96 recombinant inbred lines of a population that was generated from a cross between two winter wheat cultivars, Jagger (early stem elongation) and 2174 (late stem elongation). We mapped a major locus for stem elongation to the region where VRN-A1 resides in chromosome 5A. Visible assessment of winter dormancy release was concomitantly associated with this locus. VRN1 was previously cloned based on variation in vernalization requirement between spring wheat carrying a dominant Vrn-1 allele and winter wheat carrying a recessive vrn-1 allele. Both of two winter wheat cultivars in this study carry a recessive vrn-A1 allele; therefore, our results suggest that either VRN-A1 might invoke a new regulatory mechanism or a new gene residing close to VRN-A1 plays a regulatory role in winter wheat development. Phenotypic expression of the vrn-A1a allele of Jagger was more sensitive to the year of measurement of stem elongation than that of the vrn-A1b allele of 2174. In addition to QSte.osu.5A, several loci were also found to have minor effects on initial stem elongation of winter wheat. Seventeen of nineteen locally adapted cultivars in the southern Great Plaints contained the vrn-A1b allele. Hence, breeders in this area have inadvertently selected this allele, contributing to later stem elongation and more conducive developmental patterns for grain production.

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