Two new papers are published.

Appraisal of wheat genomics for gene discovery and breeding applications:a special emphasis on advances in Asia

Awais Rasheed, Shigeo Takumi, Muhammad Adeel Hassan, Muhammad Imtiaz, Mohsin Ali, Alex I. Morgunov, Tariq Mahmood, Zhonghu He.

Published:January 02, 2020


Wheat research community is making significant progress to bridge genotype-to-phenotype gap and then applying this knowledge in genetic improvement. The advances in genomics and phenomics have intrigued wheat researchers in Asia to make best use of this knowledge in gene and trait discovery. These advancements include, but not limited to, map-based gene cloning, translational genomics, gene mapping, association genetics, gene editing and genomic selection. We reviewed more than 57 homeologous genes discovered underpinning important traits and multiple strategies used for their discovery. Further, the complementary advancements in wheat phenomics and analytical approaches to understand the genetics of wheat adaptability, resilience to climate extremes and resistance to pest and diseases were discussed. The challenge to build a gold standard reference genome sequence of bread wheat is now achieved and several de novo reference sequences from the cultivars representing different gene pools will be available soon. New pan-genome sequencing resources of wheat will strengthen the foundation required for accelerated gene discovery and provide more opportunities to practice the knowledge-based breeding.

Introgression of chromosomal segments conferring early heading date from wheat diploid progenitor, Aegilops tauschii Coss., into Japanese elite wheat cultivars

Shigeo Takumi , Seito Mitta, Shoya Komura, Tatsuya M. Ikeda, Hitoshi Matsunaka, Kazuhiro Sato, Kentaro Yoshida, Koji Murai

Published: January 27, 2020


The breeding of agriculturally useful genes from wild crop relatives must take into account recent and future climate change. In Japan, the development of early heading wheat cultivars without the use of any major gene controlling the heading date is desired to avoid overlap of the harvesting time before the rainy season. Here, we backcrossed two early heading lines of a synthetic hexaploid wheat, derived from a crossing between durum wheat and the wild wheat progenitor Aegilops tauschii, with four Japanese elite cultivars to develop early heading lines of bread wheat. In total, nine early heading lines that showed a heading date two to eight days earlier than their parental cultivars in field conditions were selected and established from the selfed progenies of the two- or three-times backcrossed populations. The whole appearance and spike shape of the selected early heading lines looked like their parental wheat cultivars. The mature grains of the selected lines had the parental cultivars’ characteristics, although the grains exhibited longer and narrower shapes. RNA sequencing-based genotyping was performed to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms between the selected lines and their parental wheat cultivars, which revealed the chromosomal regions transmitted from the parental synthetic wheat to the selected lines. The introgression regions could shorten wheat heading date, and their chromosomal positions were dependent on the backcrossed wheat cultivars. Therefore, early heading synthetic hexaploid wheat is useful for fine-tuning of the heading date through introgression of Ae. tauschii chromosomal regions.

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