Phenotyping pipeline reveals major seedling root growth QTL in hexaploid wheat

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Abstract

Seedling root traits of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) have been shown to be important for efficient establishment and linked to mature plant traits such as height and yield. A root phenotyping pipeline, consisting of a germination paper-based screen combined with image segmentation and analysis software, was developed and used to characterize seedling traits in 94 doubled haploid progeny derived from a cross between the winter wheat cultivars Rialto and Savannah. Field experiments were conducted to measure mature plant height, grain yield, and nitrogen (N) uptake in three sites over 2 years. In total, 29 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for seedling root traits were identified. Two QTLs for grain yield and N uptake co-localize with root QTLs on chromosomes 2B and 7D, respectively. Of the 29 root QTLs identified, 11 were found to co-localize on 6D, with four of these achieving highly significant logarithm of odds scores (>20). These results suggest the presence of a major-effect gene regulating seedling root vigour/growth on chromosome 6D.

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Atkinson, J. A., Wingen, L. U., Griffiths, M., Pound, M. P., Gaju, O., Foulkes, M. J., … Wells, D. M. (2015). Phenotyping pipeline reveals major seedling root growth QTL in hexaploid wheat. Journal of Experimental Botany, 66(8), 2283–2292. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erv006

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