Drought is the major factor limiting wheat productivity worldwide. The gene pool of wild emmer wheat, Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides, harbours a rich allelic repertoire for morpho-physiological traits conferring drought resistance. The genetic and physiological bases of drought responses were studied here in a tetraploid wheat population of 152 recombinant inbreed lines (RILs), derived from a cross between durum wheat (cv. Langdon) and wild emmer (acc# G18-16), under contrasting water availabilities. Wide genetic variation was found among RILs for all studied traits. A total of 110 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were mapped for 11 traits, with LOD score range of 3.0-35.4. Several QTLs showed environmental specificity, accounting for productivity and related traits under water-limited (20 QTLs) or well-watered conditions (15 QTLs), and in terms of drought susceptibility index (22 QTLs). Major genomic regions controlling productivity and related traits were identified on chromosomes 2B, 4A, 5A and 7B. QTLs for productivity were associated with QTLs for drought-adaptive traits, suggesting the involvement of several strategies in wheat adaptation to drought stress. Fifteen pairs of QTLs for the same trait were mapped to seemingly homoeologous positions, reflecting synteny between the A and B genomes. The identified QTLs may facilitate the use of wild alleles for improvement of drought resistance in elite wheat cultivars.
- G × E interaction
- Homoeologous QTLs
- Quantitative trait loci
- Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides
- Water stress