Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 133, Issue 1, pp 119–131 | Cite as

Grain protein content and thousand kernel weight QTLs identified in a durum × wild emmer wheat mapping population tested in five environments

  • Andrii Fatiukha
  • Naveh Filler
  • Itamar Lupo
  • Gabriel Lidzbarsky
  • Valentyna Klymiuk
  • Abraham B. Korol
  • Curtis Pozniak
  • Tzion FahimaEmail author
  • Tamar KrugmanEmail author
Original Article


Key message

Genetic dissection of GPC and TKW in tetraploid durum × WEW RIL population, based on high-density SNP genetic map, revealed 12 GPC QTLs and 11 TKW QTLs, with favorable alleles for 11 and 5 QTLs, respectively, derived from WEW.


Wild emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides, WEW) was shown to exhibit high grain protein content (GPC) and therefore possess a great potential for improvement of cultivated wheat nutritional value. Genetic dissection of thousand kernel weight (TKW) and grain protein content (GPC) was performed using a high-density genetic map constructed based on a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from a cross between T. durum var. Svevo and WEW acc. Y12-3. Genotyping of 208 F6 RILs with a 15 K wheat single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array yielded 4166 polymorphic SNP markers, of which 1510 were designated as skeleton markers. A total map length of 2169 cM was obtained with an average distance of 1.5 cM between SNPs. A total of 12 GPC QTLs and 11 TKW QTLs were found under five different environments. No significant correlations were found between GPC and TKW across all environments. Four major GPC QTLs with favorable alleles from WEW were found on chromosomes 4BS, 5AS, 6BS and 7BL. The 6BS GPC QTL coincided with the physical position of the NAC transcription factor TtNAM-B1, underlying the cloned QTL, Gpc-B1. Comparisons of the physical intervals of the GPC QTLs described here with the results previously reported in other durum × WEW RIL population led to the discovery of seven novel GPC QTLs. Therefore, our research emphasizes the importance of GPC QTL dissection in diverse WEW accessions as a source of novel alleles for improvement of GPC in cultivated wheat.


High-density genetic map QTL analysis Grain protein content Wild emmer wheat Gpc-B1 Homoeologous QTLs 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/ 2007–2013) under the Grant Agreement No. FP7- 613556, Whealbi project; Carmel LTD and Kaiima Bio-Agritech Ltd, the Israeli Science Foundation (2289/16), BARD Research Project IS-5196–19, and the Israeli field crops organization. We greatly acknowledge R. Jing-Jun and O. Chernjavska for their excellent technical assistance.

Author contribution statement

AF, ABK, CP, TF, and TK designed the research; NF, IL, GL performed field experiment and sample processing; AF and NF performed the data analysis; and AF, VK, TK, and TF wrote the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

122_2019_3444_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1016 kb)
Supplementary file1 (DOCX 1016 kb)
122_2019_3444_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (435 kb)
Supplementary file2 (XLSX 435 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of EvolutionUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Evolutionary and Environmental BiologyUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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