Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 November 2015
Genetic diversity and relationship of 92 bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes from India and exotic collections were examined using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and phenotypic traits to identify new sources of diversity that could accelerate the development of improved wheat varieties better suited to meet the challenges posed by heat stress in India. Genetic diversity assessed by using 82 SSR markers was compared with diversity evaluated using five physiological and six agronomic traits under the heat stress condition. A total of 248 alleles were detected, with a range of two to eight alleles per locus. The average polymorphic information content value was 0.37, with a range of 0.04 (cfd9) to 0.68 (wmc339). The heat susceptibility index was determined for grain yield per spike, and the genotypes were grouped into four categories. Two dendrograms that were constructed based on phenotypic and molecular analysis using UPGMA (unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean) were found to be topologically different. Genotypes characterized as highly heat tolerant were distributed among all the SSR-based cluster groups. This implies that the genetic basis of heat stress tolerance in these genotypes is different, thereby enabling wheat breeders to combine these diverse sources of genetic variability to improve heat tolerance in their breeding programmes.
Present address: ICAR-Indian Institute of Oilseeds Research, Hyderabad 500030, India