Image_1_Phenotypic Parent Selection Within a Khorasan Wheat Collection and Genetic Variation in Advanced Breeding Lines Derived by Hybridization With Durum Wheat.tif
Tetraploid relatives of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. subsp. durum (Desf.) Husnot) represent an important reservoir of economically useful genes for development of new wheat cultivars. Two field experiments were conducted at Foggia (Italy), in the 2004 to 2006 and 2012 to 2015 growing seasons. In the first, 77 Khorasan wheat [T. turgidum subsp. turanicum (Jakubz.) Á. Löve & D. Löve] accessions from 23 countries of four geographic regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, and others) were evaluated to explore breeding opportunities. Seven agronomic traits were used to describe the diversity among the accessions: days to heading (HT), plant height (PH), grain yield (GY), specific weight (SW) as an indication of the density of the grain, 1000-grain weight (TGW), protein content, and gluten content. The total Shannon–Weaver diversity index was used to estimate phenotypic diversity, which ranged from monomorphic for PC (0.39) to highly polymorphic for TGW (0.67). A high level of total variation (87%) was attributed to the within-region diversity. The accessions grouped into six clusters, and seven elite accessions were selected as parents for crosses with durum wheat. In the second experiment, ten parents (seven Khorasan accessions and three durum wheat cultivars) and 790 F6 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from the different T. durum × T. turgidum subsp. turanicum crosses were included to study genotypic and phenotypic variability of the same agronomic traits, plus the susceptibility index (SI) for disease. The genotypic coefficients of variation were lower than the phenotypic ones for all of the traits, which showed an environment effect on expression of these traits. High broad-sense heritability (h2b > 86%) was recorded for all traits, and high h2b coupled with high genetic gain as percentage of the mean (ΔG) was observed for HT, PH, GY, and SW, and for SI. This suggests that selection for these traits will provide good responses. Four principal components explained 70% of the total variation, and the genotypes were clustered into 20 groups. According to the results, some lines could be tested in varietal registration trials, and/or could be used as a significant breeding pool for durum wheat cultivar development in Mediterranean area.