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Hybridization of wheat and Aegilops cylindrica: development, karyomorphology, DNA barcoding and salt tolerance of the amphidiploids

The development of salt‐tolerant genotypes is key to a better utilization of salinized irrigated lands. Given the relatively low genetic diversity within the cultivated wheats for salt tolerance, exploring the Aegilops cylindrica's genetic diversity for salt tolerance is thus crucial to breed wheat for saline environments. In the current study, wheat genotypes were hybridized with Ae. cylindrica (a hyper salt-tolerant genotype), and amphidiploid plants were produced using embryo rescue and chromosome doubling techniques. Crossability and cytological examinations of amphidiploids and BC1 were performed before sequencing the ITS4/5 and trnE/trnF DNAs to explore the phylogenetic relationships of the amphidiploids and their parents. Finally, amphidiploids were assessed for salt tolerance. Only two common wheat cultivars (‘Chinese Spring’ and ‘Roshan’) were crossable with Ae. cylindrica. The resultant intergeneric hybrids possessed 70 chromosomes, and morphologically either were similar to the male parent in ‘Chinese Spring’ × Ae. cylindrica or tended to be intermediate between parents in ‘Roshan’ × Ae. cylindrica. The phylogenetic tree divided the genotypes into two groups, in which Clade I contained Ae. cylindrica and three amphidiploids, and Clade II consisted of female parents and one amphidiploid. Amphidiploids exhibited significantly higher tolerance to salt stress compared to the female parents (wheat cultivars) in terms of a higher dry matter, lower accumulation of Na, higher K, and higher K/Na ratio in their root and leaf tissues. Taken together, the amphiploid plants might contain valuable salt tolerance factors.

Journal Papers

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