Wheat cytogenetics in the genomics era and its relevance to breeding

Gupta, P. K. ; Kulwal, P. L. ; Rustgi, S. (2005) Wheat cytogenetics in the genomics era and its relevance to breeding Cytogenetic and Genome Research, 109 (1-3). pp. 315-327. ISSN 1424-8581

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Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000082415


Hexaploid wheat is a species that has been subjected to most extensive cytogenetic studies. This has contributed to understanding the mechanism of the evolution of polyploids involving diploidization through genetic restriction of chromosome pairing to only homologous chromosomes. The availability of a variety of aneuploids and the ph mutants (Ph1 and Ph2) in bread wheat also allowed chromosome manipulations leading to the development of alien addition/substitution lines and the introgression of alien chromosome segments into the wheat genome. More recently in the genomics era, molecular tools have been used extensively not only for the construction of molecular maps, but also for identification/isolation of genes/QTLs (including epistatic QTLs, eQTLs and PQLs) for several agronomic traits. It has also been possible to identify gene-rich regions and recombination hot spots in the wheat genome, which are now being subjected to sequencing at the genome level, through development of BAC libraries. In the EST database also, among all plants wheat ESTs are the highest in number, and are only next to those for human, mouse, Ciona intestinalis (a chordate), rat and zebrafish genomes. These ESTs and sequences of several genomic regions have been subjected to a variety of applications including development of perfect markers and establishment of microcollinearity. The technique of in situ hybridization (including FISH, GISH and McFISH) and the development of deletion stocks also facilitated the preparation of physical maps. Molecular markers are also used for marker-assisted selection in wheat breeding programs in several countries. Construction of a wheat DNA chip, which will also become available soon, may further facilitate wheat genomics research. These enormous resources, knowledge base and the fast development of additional molecular tools and high throughput approaches for genotyping will prove extremely useful in future wheat research and will lead to development of improved wheat cultivars.

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