Genetic factors associated with favourable pollinator traits in the wheat cultivar Piko

Takashi Okada, J. E.A.Ridma M. Jayasinghe, Paul Eckermann, Nathan S. Watson-Haigh, Patricia Warner, Mark E. Williams, Marc C. Albertsen, Ute Baumann, Ryan Whitford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Hybrid breeding in wheat has the potential to boost yields. An efficient hybrid seed production system requires elite pollinators however, such germplasm is limited among modern cultivars. Piko, a winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivar, has been identified as a superior pollinator and has been used in Europe. Piko has favourable pollinator traits for anther extrusion, anther length, pollen mass and hybrid seed set. However, the genetic factors responsible for Piko's favourable traits are largely unknown. Here, we report on the genetic analysis of a Piko-derived F2 mapping population. We confirmed that Piko's Rht-D1a allele for tall stature is associated with large anthers and high anther extrusion. However, Rht-D1 was not found to be associated with anther filament length, confirmed by near isogenic lines. Piko's photoperiod sensitive Ppd-B1b allele shows an association with increased spike length, more spikelets and spike architecture traits, while the insensitive Ppd-B1a allele is linked with high anther extrusion and larger anthers. We identified an anther extrusion quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 6A that showed significantly biased transmission of the favourable Piko allele amongst F2 progenies. The Piko allele is completely absent in the distal 6AS region and the central 6A region revealed a significantly lower ratio (<8%) of F2 with homozygous Piko alleles. Our study provided further evidence for the effects of Rht-D1 and Ppd-B1 loci on multiple pollinator traits and a novel anther extrusion QTL that exhibits segregation distortion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-447
Number of pages14
JournalFunctional Plant Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Ppd - 1
  • Rht - 1
  • anther
  • flowering
  • pollinator
  • wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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