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Theor Appl Genet. 2012 Jan;124(1):207-21. doi: 10.1007/s00122-011-1699-0. Epub 2011 Sep 30.

Identification of genetic factors controlling kernel hardness and related traits in a recombinant inbred population derived from a soft × 'extra-soft' wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cross.

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Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University, 107 Crop Science Building, Corvallis, OR 97331-3002, USA.


Kernel hardness or texture, used to classify wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) into soft and hard classes, is a major determinant of milling and baking quality. Wheat genotypes in the soft class that are termed 'extra-soft' (with kernel hardness in the lower end of the spectrum) have been associated with superior end-use quality. In order to better understand the relationship between kernel hardness, milling yield, and various agronomic traits, we performed quantitative trait mapping using a recombinant inbred line population derived from a cross between a common soft wheat line and a genotype classified as an 'extra-soft' line. A total of 47 significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) (LOD ≥ 3.0) were identified for nine traits with the number of QTL affecting each trait ranging from three to nine. The percentage of phenotypic variance explained by these QTL ranged from 3.7 to 50.3%. Six QTL associated with kernel hardness and break flour yield were detected on chromosomes 1BS, 4BS, 5BS, 2DS, 4DS, and 5DL. The two most important QTL were mapped onto orthologous regions on chromosomes 4DS (Xbarc1118-Rht-D1) and 4BS (Xwmc617-Rht-B1). These results indicated that the 'extra-soft' characteristic was not controlled by the Hardness (Ha) locus on chromosome 5DS. QTL for eight agronomic traits occupied two genomic regions near semi-dwarf genes Rht-D1 on chromosome 4DS and Rht-B1 on chromosome 4BS. The clustering of these QTL is either due to the pleiotropic effects of single genes or tight linkage of genes controlling these various traits.

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