Map-based analysis of genes affecting the brittle rachis character in tetraploid wheat (Triticum turgidum L.)

Vamsi J. Nalam, M. Isabel Vales, Christy J.W. Watson, Shahryar Kianian, Oscar Riera-Lizarazu

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93 Scopus citations


The mature spike rachis of wild emmer [Triticum turgidum L. ssp. dicoccoides (Körn, ex Asch. and Graebner) Thell.] disarticulates spontaneously between each spikelet leading to the dispersion of wedge-type diaspores. By contrast, the spike rachis of domesticated emmer (Triticum turgidum L. ssp. turgidum) fails to disarticulate and remains intact until it is harvested. This major distinguishing feature between wild and domesticated emmer is controlled by two major genes, brittle rachis 2 (Br-A2) and brittle rachis 3 (Br-A3) on the short arms of chromosomes 3A and 3B, respectively. Because of their biological and agricultural importance, a map-based analysis of these genes was undertaken. Using two recombinant inbred chromosome line (RICL) populations, Br-A2, on chromosome 3A, was localized to a ∼11-cM region between Xgwm2 and a cluster of linked loci (Xgwm666.1, Xbarc19, Xcfa2164, Xbarc356, and Xgwm674), whereas Br-A3, on chromosome 3B, was localized to a ∼24-cM interval between Xbarc218 and Xwmc777. Comparative mapping analyses suggested that both Br-A2 and Br-A3 were present in homoeologous regions on chromosomes 3A and 3B, respectively. Furthermore, Br-A2 and Br-A3 from wheat and Btr1/ Btr2 on chromosome 3H of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) also were homoeologous suggesting that the location of major determinants of the brittle rachis trait in these species has been conserved. On the other hand, brittle rachis loci of wheat and barley, and a shattering locus on rice chromosome 1 did not appear to be orthologous. Linkage and deletion-based bin mapping comparisons suggested that Br-A2 and Br-A3 may reside in chromosomal areas where the estimated frequency of recombination was ∼ 4.3 Mb/cM. These estimates indicated that the cloning of Br-A2 and Br-A3 using map-based methods would be extremely challenging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-381
Number of pages9
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


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