Wild related Triticum species have been and will be a useful reservoir of genetic diversity for solving problems in the development of improved durum (Triticum turgidum L. var. durum) and bread wheat (T. aestivum L.) cultivars. The alien germplasm may be used to reduce vulnerability of cultivars to pests, and improve agronomic fitness and grain quality. However, lack of genetic recombination and hybrid sterility are two obstacles to the use of alien germplasms. Nuclear-cytoplasmic (NC) incompatibility is known to exist between the T. longissimum S. & M. cytoplasm and T. turgidum nucleus. A two-gene system has been found that restores fertility in this situation: the species cytoplasm specific (scs) gene and the vitality (Vi) gene. This gene system can also be used for the production of hybrid wheat. Effects of these genes on euplasmic (true cytoplasm) durum wheat under a field environment had not been previously investigated. In this study, lines with two copies of the scs ti gene, derived from T. timopheevii Zhuk., were compared to lines without the copy of the gene, the parents, and four durum cultivars for five agronomic characteristics: days to heading, plant height, lodging resistance, grain yield, and kernel test weight. Comparison of genotypes homozygons for the scsti gene and those containing no scsti gene indicated minor differences among them, confirming that the scsti gene does not confer any detrimental effects in the euplasmic situation. Thus, the scs ti gene could be useful in the production of hybrids in durum wheat.
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