Grain quality is an important determinant of market value of wheat in southern Australia and in many other parts of the world. Identification of the genes that influence grain quality traits and estimation of effects of alleles of these genes can improve the effectiveness of wheat breeding. An efficient method for estimating the effects of alleles of recently discovered genes is to use mixed-model analyses in large plant breeding datasets that have already been characterised for previously known genes. We used this method to estimate the effects of two alleles of Spa-B1, a storage protein activator gene that is linked to Glu-B1, on grain quality traits. Alleles of the two genes tracked together as haplotypes for generations, but recombination events were identified. These recombination events were used to enhance confidence in identification of the alleles. The effects of the alleles of Spa-B1 were small and statistically not significant for all of the grain quality traits in our population.
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