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Title: High-throughput phenotyping and genetic mapping of rooting depth in bread wheat
Author: Acamovic, Triona Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 6512
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) is an important food source for billions of people globally and is grown on more hectares of land than any other cereal. Given this, it is important that wheat yields are maintained and improved. Rooting depth is a highly valuable trait that has significant implications contributing to yield under different environmental conditions. Deep rooting varieties are better able to maintain yield in drought conditions and to take up take up applied nitrogen before it leaches from the system. Rooting depth is advantageous to select for in many environments and yet is probably one of the most challenging to traits screen. The plasticity of the root system and the presence of genotype by environment interactions can make high throughput screens for any aspect of root system architecture difficult. To overcome these difficulties, a simple technique for the high throughput screening of root depth in soil using a buried layer of the herbicide, Diuron, was adapted for wheat. Measurements of fluorescence were used to detect symptoms of herbicide exposure. The results of the herbicide screen were compared and verified with comparisons to a hydroponic screen, root washing screen and 1.2m rhizotron screen, with traits related to rooting depth being significantly correlated with results from herbicide screen. The buried herbicide method for screening rooting depth was used to screen three wheat populations; the Avalon and Cadenza doubled-haploid population, an 8-parent MAGIC population and a spring wheat collection. QTLs for rooting depth were identified for each population, with a QTL on chromosome 1A being present in all three populations. Several potential candidate genes were identified for QTLs identified in the buried herbicide screen of the MAGIC population. The buried herbicide method for screening rooting depth shows great potential for use in identifying deep rooting cultivars of wheat in a cheap and high throughput manner. This could improve the exploitation of natural variation within the wheat germplasm and improve selective breeding for this trait.
Supervisor: Price, Adam ; Ouwerkerk, Pieter Sponsor: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Wheat ; Gene mapping ; Roots (Botany)