Image_1_QTL Mapping of Six Spike and Stem Traits in Hybrid Population of Agropyron Gaertn. in Multiple Environments.pdf

Most Agropyron Gaertn. species are excellent sources of forage. The derivative lines of wheat-Agropyron cristatum show elite agronomic traits, and some are valuable for wheat breeding. The species of Agropyron Gaertn. was mainly recognized by the spike morphology in traditional taxon. Six traits, including spike length (SL), ear stem length (ESL), the second internodes length (SIL), spikelet number per spike (SNS), floret number per spikelet (FNS), and grain number per spikelet (GNS), are vital to morphology studies and also influences the forage crop yield. To elucidate the genetic basis of spike and stem traits, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis was conducted in a cross-pollinated (CP) hybrid population derived from a cross between two diverse parents, Agropyron mongolicum Keng Z2098 and A. cristatum (L.) Gaertn. Z1842, evaluated across three ecotopes (Langfang, Changli, and Guyuan of Hebei, China) over 3 years (from 2014 to 2016). Construction of a high-density linkage map was based on 1,023 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, covering 907.8 cM of the whole Agropyron genome. A total of 306 QTLs with single QTL in different environments explaining 0.07–33.21% of the phenotypic variation were detected for study traits. Seven major-effect QTLs were identified, including one for ESL on chromosome 3, one for SIL on chromosome 5, three for SL (two on chromosome 2 and one on chromosome 4), and two for SNS on chromosomes 3 and 7. Also, seven stable QTLs, including four for ESL, one for SL, one for GNS, and one for FNS, were mainly mapped on chromosomes 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7, respectively, elucidating 0.25–14.98% of the phenotypic variations. On the use of Agropyron CP hybrid population to identify QTL determining spike and stem traits for the first time, these QTLs for six traits would provide a theoretical reference for the molecular marker-assisted selection in the improvement of forage and cereal crop species.