Trait phenotyping and genic/random SSR markers characterization for breeding early maturing wheat’s for Western-Himalayas
The study involves evaluation of 96 wheat genotypes for early maturity and related traits and molecular characterization of trait specific candidate genotypes using 26 (20 random and 6 genic) SSR markers. Trait characterization revealed significant variation for early maturity and related traits. The analysis of genotypic data of 26 markers led to the detection of 166 alleles ranging from 2 to 8 alleles with an average of 3.8 alleles per locus. Separate analysis of genotypic data of 20 random and 06 trait specefic markers led to the identification of 118 and 51 alleles, respectively. Sub-population-wise allelic diversity in early and late maturing populations could detect a total of 167 and 144 alleles, respectively. Higher gene diversity was detected in early maturing sub-population (0.135) when compared to late maturing sub-population (0.071). Single marker analysis (SMA) revealed significant association of 05 random and 02 trait specific markers already reported for early maturity. Therefore, two trait specific markers (Xwmc1 and Xgwm271) have been validated during the present study and contributed 21.36% and 10.94% phenotypic variation for early maturity, respectively. In order to breed for early maturity for Western-Himalayas, F2 segregating populations were also developed by making crosses among spring × spring and spring × winter wheat genotypes and several important recombinants/ segregants for early maturity and related traits were identified. Overall, the findings of the present study will prove useful in future wheat improvement programs leading to development of early maturing wheat varieties.