Rapid and targeted introgression of genes into popular wheat cultivars using marker-assisted background selection

Harpinder S. Randhawa, Jasdeep S. Mutti, Kim Kidwell, Craig F. Morris, Xianming Chen, Kulvinder S. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A marker-assisted background selection (MABS)-based gene introgression approach in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was optimized, where 97% or more of a recurrent parent genome (RPG) can be recovered in just two backcross (BC) generations. A four-step MABS method was developed based on 'Plabsim' computer simulations and wheat genome structure information. During empirical optimization of this method, double recombinants around the target gene were selected in a step-wise fashion during the two BC cycles followed by selection for recurrent parent genotype on non-carrier chromosomes. The average spacing between carrier chromosome markers was <4 cM. For non-carrier chromosome markers that flanked each of the 48 wheat gene-rich regions, this distance was ∼12 cM. Employed to introgress seedling stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici) resistance gene Yr15 into the spring wheat cultivar 'Zak', marker analysis of 2,187 backcross-derived progeny resulted in the recovery of a BC2F2:3 plant with 97% of the recurrent parent genome. In contrast, only 82% of the recurrent parent genome was recovered in phenotypically selected BC4F7 plants developed without MABS. Field evaluation results from 17 locations indicated that the MABS-derived line was either equal or superior to the recurrent parent for the tested agronomic characteristics. Based on these results, MABS is recommended as a strategy for rapidly introgressing a targeted gene into a wheat genotype in just two backcross generations while recovering 97% or more of the recurrent parent genotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere5752
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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