Wild-type alleles of Rht-B1 and Rht-D1 as independent determinants of thousand-grain weight and kernel number per spike in wheat Academic Article uri icon


  • The utilization of dwarfing genes Rht-B1b and Rht-D1b in wheat significantly increased grain yield and contributed to the “green revolution”. However, the benefit of Rht-B1b and Rht-D1b in drought environments has been debated. Although quantitative trait loci (QTL) for kernel number per spike (KN) and thousand-grain weight (TGW) have been found to be associated with Rht-B1 and Rht-D1, the confounding effect of environmental variation has made a direct association difficult to find. In this study, we used a doubled haploid population (225 lines) of Westonia� ×� Kauz, in which both Rht-B1b (Kauz) and Rht-D1b (Westonia) segregated. The purpose of the study was to determine the interaction of Rht-B1 and Rht-D1 with grain yield components, namely KN and TGW, and to investigate genotype-by-environment interactions in glasshouse and field trials conducted in 2010 and 2011 in Western Australia. A genetic map of 1,156 loci was constructed using 195 microsatellite markers, two gene-based markers for Rht-B1 and Rht-D1, and 959 single nucleotide polymorphisms. The major QTL for TGW and KN were strongly linked to Rht-B1 and Rht-D1 loci and the positive effects were associated with the wild-type alleles, Rht-B1a and Rht-D1a. The major QTL of TGW were on chromosome 2D and 4B. The significant genetic effects (14.6–22.9� %) of TGW indicated that marker-assisted selection for TGW is possible, and markers gwm192a (206� bp) or gwm192b (236� bp) can be used as indicators of high TGW. For KN, one major QTL was detected on chromosome 4D in the analysis across three environments. The association of the wild-type alleles Rht-B1a and Rht-D1a in drought environments is discussed.


  • Zhang, Jingjuan
  • Dell, Bernard
  • Biddulph, Ben
  • Drake-Brockman, Fiona
  • Walker, Esther
  • Khan, Nusrat
  • Wong, Debbie
  • Hayden, Matthew
  • Appels, Rudi

publication date

  • December 2013