Grain protein content (GPC) is an important factor in pasta and breadmaking quality, and in human nutrition. It is also an important trait for wheat growers because premium prices are frequently paid for wheat with high GPC. A promising source for alleles to increase GPC was detected on chromosome 6B of Triticum turgidum var. dicoccoides accession FA-15-3 (DIC). Two previous quantitative trait locus (QTL) studies found that the positive effect of DIC-6B was associated to a single locus located between the centromere and the NorB2 locus on the short arm of chromosome 6B. Microsatellite markers Xgwm508 and Xgwm193 flanking the QTL region were used in this study to develop 20 new homozygous recombinant substitution lines (RSLs) with crossovers between these markers. These 20 RSLs, plus nine RSLs developed in previous studies were characterized with four new RFLP markers located within this chromosome segment. Grain protein content was determined in three field experiments organized as randomized complete block designs with ten replications each. The QTL peaks for protein content were located in the central region of a 2.7-cM interval between RFLP markers Xcdo365 and Xucw67 in the three experiments. Statistical analyses showed that almost all lines could be classified unequivocally within low- and high- protein groups, facilitating the mapping of this trait as a single Mendelian locus designated Gpc-6B1. The Gpc-6B1 locus was mapped 1.5-cM proximal to Xcdo365 and 1.2-cM distal to Xucw67. These new markers can be used to reduce the size of the DIC chromosome segment selected in marker-assisted selection programs. Markers Nor-B2 and Xucw66 flanking the previous two markers can be used to select against the DIC segment and reduce the linkage drag during the transfer of Gpc-6B1 into commercial bread and pasta wheat varieties. The precise mapping of the high GPC gene, the high frequency of recombinants recovered in the targeted region, and the recent development of a tetraploid BAC library including the Gpc-6B1 DIC allele are the first steps towards the map-based cloning of this gene.
- Genetic map
- Grain protein content
- Triticum turgidum var. Dicoccoides