Motzo, Rosella and Giunta, Francesco and Deidda, Mauro (2003) Expression of a tiller inhibitor gene in the progenies of interspecific crosses Triticum aestivum L.×T. turgidum subsp. durum. Field Crops Research, Vol. 85 (1), p. 15-20. ISSN 0378-4290. Article.
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The genetic inhibition of tillering in wheat can be useful for two reasons: firstly, to control leaf area development and hence water use in water limited environments; secondly, to reduce the incidence of unproductive tillers. Bread wheat lines (Triticum aestivum L.) carrying the major gene tin responsible for both reduced tillering and gigas features, were crossed with durum wheat cultivars (Triticum turgidum subsp. durum) to evaluate the pleiotropic effects of the tin gene in the new genetic background. Phenotypic and genetic correlations were calculated on data recorded in F3 and F4 generations. HI was negatively correlated with the number of culms both phenotypically (rP=−0.73**) and genetically (rA=−0.50**), and increased from 0.31 in freely tillering plants to 0.35 in uni- and bi-culm plants. Low tillering was also associated with greater grain yields per ear, mainly resulting from a greater spikelet fertility (up to 3.5 kernels per fertile spikelet) and a lower incidence of sterile spikelets. The presence of the tin gene also resulted in some negative effects, namely an increase in chaff weight more than proportional to the increase in ear fertility, and a greater culm density. These negative effects were responsible for the less than expected increase in HI. No substantial differences were observed in the pleiotropic effects of the tin gene in the studied progenies in comparison with bread wheat.
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