Assessment of genetic diversity in synthetic hexaploid wheats and their Triticum dicoccum and Aegilops tauschii parents using AFLPs and agronomic traits uri icon

abstract

  • Synthetic hexaploid wheats are of interest to wheat breeding programs, especially for introducing new genes that confer resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. A group of 54 synthetic hexaploid wheats derived from crosses between emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum, source of the A and B genomes) and goat grass (Aegilops tauschii, D genome donor) were investigated for genetic diversity. Using the AFLP technique, dendrograms revealed clear grouping according to geographical origin for the T. dicoccum parents but no clear groups for the Ae. tauschii parents. The geographical clustering of the T. dicoccum parents was also reflected in the dendrogram of their derived synthetic hexaploids. Diversity of the T. dicoccum parents and their derived synthetic hexaploids was further evaluated by measuring 18 morphological and agronomic traits on the plants. Clustering based on morphological and agronomic data also reflected geographical origin. However, comparison of genetic distances obtained from AFLP and agronomic data showed no correlation between the two diversity measurements. Nevertheless, similarities among major clusters with the two systems could be identified. Based on percentage of polymorphic markers, the synthetic hexaploids had a considerably higher level of AFLP diversity (39%) than normally observed in cultivated hexaploid wheat (12-21%). This suggests that synthetic hexaploid wheats can be used to introduce new genetic diversity into the bread wheat gene pool.

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003
  • 2003