Grain shape and size are involved in the main components of the domestication syndrome in cereals. Wheat grain shape has been dramatically altered at each stage of the domestication of tetraploid wheat and through common wheat speciation. To elucidate the evolutionary change of wheat grain shape, principal component (PC) analysis of grain shape-related traits was first conducted using wild and cultivated tetraploid, synthetic hexaploid, and common wheat accessions. The synthetic hexaploid wheat lines were previously produced through interspecific crosses between two common wheat progenitors, tetraploid wheat and Aegilops tauschii, and produced grains similar to those of cultivated tetraploid wheat. To identify genetic loci related to the difference in grain shape between common wheat and the synthetic wheat, the 15 traits related to grain and spikelet shape were measured in 108 F2 individuals between Norin 61 and a synthetic wheat line, and the first three PC values for the 15 traits, PC1, PC2 and PC3, were mapped as quantitative traits in the F2 population. In total, six QTLs, found on chromosomes 1A, 5A, 1D, 2D and 7D, showed significant LOD scores. Among them, a QTL for PC2, located on the 2DS chromosomal region near the Ppd-D1 locus, mainly contributed to the phenotypic difference in grain shape. Tg-D1, controlling tenacious glume phenotype, was located at a similar region to the 2DS QTL, which suggested that the Tg-D1 locus pleiotropically affects not only glume toughness but also spikelet and grain shape in hexaploid wheat. Therefore, it was predicted that wheat grains were rapidly improved toward a shorter and rounder phenotype accompanied with free-threshing wheat formation.
2012 by The Genetics Society of Japan