Flowering is a critical period in the life cycle of flowering plant species, resulting in an irreversible commitment of significant resources. Wheat is photoperiod sensitive, flowering only when daylength surpasses a critical length; however, photoperiod insensitivity (PI) has been selected by plant breeders for >40 years to enhance yield in certain environments. Control of flowering time has been greatly facilitated by the development of molecular markers for the Photoperiod-1 (Ppd-1) homeoloci, on the group 2 chromosomes. In the current study, an allelic series of BC2F4 lines in the winter wheat cultivars 'Robigus' and 'Alchemy' was developed to elucidate the influence on flowering of eight gene variants from the B- and D-genomes of bread wheat and the A-genome of durum wheat. Allele effects were tested in short, natural, and extended photoperiods in the field and controlled environments. Across genetic background and treatment, the D-genome PI allele, Ppd-D1a, had a more potent effect on reducing flowering time than Ppd-B1a. However, there was significant donor allele effect for both Ppd-D1a and Ppd-B1a, suggesting the presence of linked modifier genes and/or additional sources of latent sensitivity. Development of Ppd-A1a BC2F4 lines derived from synthetic hexaploid wheat provided an opportunity to compare directly the flowering time effect of the A-genome allele from durum with the B- and D-genome variants from bread wheat for the first time. Analyses indicated that the reducing effect of Ppd-A1a is comparable with that of Ppd-D1a, confirming it as a useful alternative source of PI.
- Plant Proteins/genetics