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Wheat individual grain-size variance originates from crop development and from specific genetic determinism

Abstract : Wheat grain yield is usually decomposed in the yield components: number of spikes / m(2), number of grains / spike, number of grains / m(2) and thousand kernel weight (TKW). These are correlated one with another due to yield component compensation. Under optimal conditions, the number of grains per m(2) has been identified as the main determinant of yield. However, with increasing occurrences of post-flowering abiotic stress associated with climate change, TKW may become severely limiting and hence a target for breeding. TKW is usually studied at the plot scale as it represents the average mass of a grain. However, this view disregards the large intra-genotypic variance of individual grain mass and its effect on TKW. The aim of this study is to investigate the determinism of the variance of individual grain size. We measured yield components and individual grain size variances of two large genetic wheat panels grown in two environments. We also carried out a genome-wide association study using a dense SNPs array. We show that the variance of individual grain size partly originates from the pre-flowering components of grain yield; in particular it is driven by canopy structure via its negative correlation with the number of spikes per m(2). But the variance of final grain size also has a specific genetic basis. The genome-wide analysis revealed the existence of QTL with strong effects on the variance of individual grain size, independently from the other yield components. Finally, our results reveal some interesting drivers for manipulating individual grain size variance either through canopy structure or through specific chromosomal regions.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 11:38:01 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 4, 2022 - 9:42:15 AM


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Aurore Béral, Renaud Rincent, Jacques Le Gouis, Christine Girousse, Vincent Allard. Wheat individual grain-size variance originates from crop development and from specific genetic determinism. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2020, 15 (3), pp.1-19. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0230689⟩. ⟨hal-02906056⟩



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