The reduced height genes do not affect the root penetration ability in wheat uri icon

abstract

  • Root penetration (RP) ability into compacted soil is an important breeding target for drought avoidance by durum (Triticum turgidum L. var. durum) and bread wheat (T aestivum L.) in regions with compacted soils and water deficits. However, it is said generally that yield of the current cultivars introduced the reduced height gene (Rht-Blb or Rht-Dlb) are more sensitive to drought stress than that of old landraces. This study investigated the effect of the Rht genes on RP ability using the seedlings of near-isogenic lines (NILs) of Rht genes of 'LD222' durum wheat and 'April Bearded' bread wheat, and 110 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of durum wheat derived from the cross between the tall landrace (Jennah Khetifa; Rht-Bla Rht-Bla) and semi-dwarf cultivar (Cham1; Rht-Blb Rht-Blb). One seedling of each genotype was grown in a pot (6 cm diameter, 15 cm height) with a disc of 3 mm thickness made from paraffin and Vaseline mixture (PV) in 10 cm depth, as a substitute for a compacted soil layer. The RP index [number of roots penetrating through the PV disc per plant (PVRN)/total number of seminal and crown roots per plant (TRN)] was measured at eight weeks after sowing and used as the indicator of RP ability of seedling. In NILs, the shoot length decreased significantly because of the introduction of either Rht-Blb or Rht-Dlb dwarfing genes, but the RP index was similar to those of tall parents. In RILs, although the RP index and shoot length were higher in Jennah Khetifa than in Cham1, the relationship between RP index and shoot length was not significant (r = 0.156). Both results indicate that RP ability of wheat does not link to dwarfness regulated by Rht genes. We suppose therefore that it would be possible to develop a high yielding semi-dwarf cultivar with excellent RP ability.

publication date

  • 2005
  • 2005