Association mapping for quality traits in soft winter wheat

Theor Appl Genet. 2011 Mar;122(5):961-70. doi: 10.1007/s00122-010-1502-7. Epub 2010 Dec 14.


Improvement of end-use quality in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) depends on a thorough understanding of the genetic basis of important quality traits. The main goal of our study was to investigate the genetic basis of 1,000-kernel weight, protein content, sedimentation volume, test weight, and starch concentration using an association mapping approach. We fingerprinted 207 diverse European elite soft winter wheat lines with 115 SSR markers and evaluated the genotypes in multi-environment trials. The principal coordinate analysis revealed absence of a clear population but presence of a family structure. Therefore, we used linear mixed models and marker-based kinship matrices to correct for family structure. In genome-wide scans, we detected main effect QTL for all five traits. In contrast, epistatic QTL were only observed for sedimentation volume and test weight explaining a small proportion of the genotypic variation. Consequently, our findings suggested that integrating epistasis in marker-assisted breeding will not lead to substantially increased selection gain for quality traits in soft winter wheat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Breeding*
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Chromosomes, Plant
  • Epistasis, Genetic
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Genotype
  • Phenotype
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*
  • Seasons
  • Starch / analysis
  • Triticum / genetics*


  • Genetic Markers
  • Starch