Genetic analysis of physiological traits to increase grain partitioning in high biomass cultivars in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Sierra-Gonzalez, Aleyda (2020) Genetic analysis of physiological traits to increase grain partitioning in high biomass cultivars in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Wheat (Triticum spp.) is the second most grown crop in the world, being used as a raw ingredient in different foods making this cereal an essential component of the global food security. FAO estimates that for 2050, the global population could reach between 9.3 to 10 billion people (Peña-Bautista et al., 2017). The current global rate of yield increase in wheat is approximately 1% per year (FAOSTAT, 2013); however, to meet predicted future demand and avoid price hikes, taking into consideration unpredictable climate, genetic gains in grain yield potential are required of 1.5% per year (Fischer & Edmeades, 2010). To achieve this, it is essential to expand current understanding of how physiological traits are associated with genetic gains in yield potential and to adopt phenotypic and genotypic approaches to increase crop productivity (Aisawi et al., 2015).

On this thesis the overall objective was to identify grain partitioning traits and genomic regions associated to maximize yield potential in high biomass elite backgrounds. With the use of a high biomass spring wheat association panel in NW Mexico (High Biomass Association Panel: HIBAP) and a doubled-haploid winter wheat population (Savannah x Rialto DH: SxR DH) in the UK. Field results over two seasons (Y15: 2015-15 & Y16: 2016-17) confirmed that spike partitioning index (SPI: spike dry matter / above-ground dry matter) at seven days after anthesis (GS65) and fruiting efficiency (FE: grain number / spike dry matter at GS65+7d) were positively associated with harvest index (HI: portion of biomass partitioned into grain) and grain number per m2 (GN), which in turn (HI and GN) were linearly related to grain yield. Higher SPI and HI were correlated with a shorter length of stem internode 2 (internode below peduncle) and internode 3 and reduced dry-matter partitioning to stem internode 2 and internode 3. Detailed within spike dry-matter (DM) partitioning analysis at GS65+7d revealed that FE was associated with decreased awn DM partitioning and lower rachis DM partitioning with higher grain weight (GW) and grain yield (GY). Therefore, selecting for these traits would contribute to maximising SPI and FE and, thus, HI and GN.

Different molecular analysis were used within each experiment (panel/DH) depending on the sequencing data available. For the spring wheat high biomass association panel (HiBAP) using the 35K breeders’ array it was possible to identify genetic regions for grain partitioning traits on chromosomes 1A, 2B, 5A, 6A, 6B and 7A. These regions allowed the identification of candidate genes for grain partitioning traits for validation in further studies. On the other hand, for the DH winter wheat population (SxR DH) stable quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to spike fertility and internode lengths were found on 3A, 6A and 6D using a SNP map based on KASP assays which will be useful for further fine-mapping studies.

In order to test further that shortening internodes 2 and 3 (from terminal spikelet initiation to anthesis) enables more assimilates to be partitioned to the spike during stem elongation and spikelet development (pre-anthesis stage) increasing HI an experiment was carried out where plant growth regulator (PGR: Moddus 250EC) was applied as soon as the second internode was at least one centimetre (GS31-2) in 12 genotypes of the HiBAP during one season (Y17: 2016-17). Results suggested that using the adequate concentration and timing of application of PGR is possible to reduce internode lengths but further study is needed in order to make definite conclusions on effects on HI.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Foulkes, John
Molero, Gemma
Reynolds, Matthew
Keywords: Grain number, Spike fertility, Fruiting efficiency, Harvest index, Wheat, Physiological breeding, Internode length, Molecular markers, GWAS, QTLs, PGR
Subjects: Q Science > QK Botany
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Biosciences
Item ID: 60157
Depositing User: Sierra Gonzalez, Aleyda
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2020 04:40
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2022 04:30

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