Starch in wheat is an important component of flour and is related to grain yield and wheat end-products. In this study, a doubled haploid (DH) population with 168 lines derived from a cross of elite Chinese wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars Huapei 3 and Yumai 57 was used to identify dynamic quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for total starch content (TSC), amylose (AMS) and amylopectin (AMP) in wheat grain. Traits were measured at stages, grown under three treatments in two seasons, and were assessed by unconditional and conditional QTL analyses. Thirty-three additive QTLs and 21 pairs of epistatic QTLs for TSC, AMS and AMP were detected by unconditional mapping, whereas 19 additive QTLs and 15 pairs of epistatic QTLs were identified by conditional mapping. Of these, QTsc4A.1 and QAms4A.1 were detected continuously at five stages under three treatments in two seasons by unconditional mapping, indicating that the accumulated effects of these QTLs were expressed stably from 12 days after flowering (DAF) and were little affected by nitrogen and water agronomic treatment. These two QTLs also showed net expression from 12 to 22 DAF by conditional mapping. The results indicate that the two loci play an important role in starch synthesis. Most of the epistatic QTLs belonged to a minor QTL, but played an important role in the target traits. Therefore, the development of starch is mainly affected by additive effects besides the epistasis effect. The data are useful for potential marker-assisted selection and cloning of the target gene in further fine mapping, and provide a foundation to understand the genetic mechanism underlying the development of starch in wheat and to increase yield.
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Vol. 66 • No. 5