Characterisation of a 4a QTL for metribuzin resistance in wheat by developing near‐isogenic lines

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Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production is constantly affected by weeds in the farming system. Chemical‐based weed management is widely practiced; broad‐spectrum herbicides such as metribuzin have been successfully used to control weeds in Australia and elsewhere of the world. Breeding metribuzin‐resistant wheat through genetic improvement is needed for effective control of weeds. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) mapping efforts identified a major QTL on wheat chromosome 4A, explaining up to 20% of the phenotypic variance for metribuzin resistance. The quantitative nature of inheritance of this QTL signifies the importance of near‐isogenic lines (NILs), which can convert a quantitative trait into a Mendelian factor for better resolution of the QTL. In the current study, NILs were developed using a heterogeneous inbred family method combined with a fast generation‐cycling system in a population of Chuan Mai 25 (resistant) and Ritchie (susceptible). Seven pairs of NILs targeting the 4A QTL for metribuzin resistance were confirmed with a molecular marker and phenotyping. The resistant allele from the resistant parent increased metribuzin resistance by 63–85% (average 69%) compared with the susceptible allele from the susceptible parent. Segregation analysis in the NIL pairs for thousand grain weight (TGW) (g), biomass per plant (kg), tillers per plant, plant height (cm), yield per plant, and powdery mildew visual score (0–9) indicated that these traits were linked with metribuzin resistance. Similarly, TGW was observed to co‐segre-gate with metribuzin resistance in most confirmed NILs, signifying that the two traits are controlled by closely linked genes. The most contrasting NILs can be further characterised by transcriptomic and proteomic analyses to identify the candidate genes responsible for metribuzin resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1856
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


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