Genetic loci linking improved heat tolerance in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to lower leaf and spike temperatures under controlled conditions Academic Article uri icon


  • Heat stress adversely affects wheat production in many regions of the world and is particularly detrimental during reproductive development. The objective of this study was to identify novel quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with improved heat tolerance in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and to confirm previous QTL results. To accomplish this, a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population was subjected to a three-day 38C daytime heat stress treatment during early grain-filling. At maturity, a heat susceptibility index (HSI) was calculated from the reduction of three main spike yield components; kernel number, total kernel weight, and single kernel weight. The HSI, as well as temperature depression (TD) of the main spike and main flag leaf during heat stress were used as phenotypic measures of heat tolerance. QTL analysis identified 14 QTL for HSI, with individual QTL explaining from 4. 5 to 19. 3% of the phenotypic variance. Seven of these QTL co-localized for both TD and HSI. At all seven loci, the allele for a cooler flag leaf or spike temperature (up to 0. 81C) was associated with greater heat tolerance, indicated by a lower HSI. In a comparison to previous QTL results in a RIL population utilizing the same source of heat tolerance, seven genome regions for heat tolerance were consistently detected across populations. The genetic effect of combining three of these QTL, located on chromosomes 1B, 5A, and 6D, demonstrate the potential benefit of selecting for multiple heat tolerance alleles simultaneously. The genome regions identified in this study serve as potential target regions for fine-mapping and development of molecular markers for more rapid development of heat tolerant germplasm. 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

published proceedings

  • Euphytica

author list (cited authors)

  • Esten Mason, R., Mondal, S., Beecher, F. W., & Hays, D. B.

citation count

  • 59

complete list of authors

  • Esten Mason, R||Mondal, Suchismita||Beecher, Francis W||Hays, Dirk B

publication date

  • July 2011