QTL mapping of genes controlling Na+ and K+ concentration in roots and shoots of wheat under normal and salt stress conditions

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student, Department of plant breeding, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Prof., Department of Molecular Physiology, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), Karaj, Iran

3 Associate Prof., Department of Genomics, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), Karaj, Iran

4 Professors, Department of plant breeding, The University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

5 Prof., and Assistant Prof., Department of Molecular Physiology, Agricultural

6 Instructor, Seed and Plant Research Institute, Karaj, Iran


In wheat Na+ exclusion and K+/Na+ have shown to be associated with salinity tolerance, therefore in order to identify QTLs with additive effect for Na+ and K+ concentration traits in roots and shoots of wheat, 319  bread wheat recombinant inbred lines (RIL F7), derived from a cross between Roshan cultivar (salt tolerant) and Falat cultivar (salt sensitive), along with their parents and 2 checks (Arg and Moghan3) were studied in 2 separate randomized complete block designs (normal and stress) with 3 replications in greenhouse in 2012. Traits measured included shoot and root Na+ and K+ concentration, K+/Na+ ratio in root and shoot and root to shoot Na+ and K+ concentrations. Linkage map was constructed with 730 markers (709 DArt markers and 21 SSR markers). The linkage map spanned 4505.71 cM with an average distance of 6.17 cM between adjacent markers. A total of 31 additive QTLs were identified by QTL Cartographer program using single-environment phenotypic values. Results indicated that the biochemical pathways for Na+ and K+ accumulation are highly likely to be independent. Also, results indicated that shoot Na+ concentration and root to shoot Na+ and K+ concentrations could be used as selection criteria between tolerant and sensitive cultivars in salt stress condition.


  1. Abel, G. H., & MacKenzie, A.J. (1964). Salt tolerance of soybean varieties (Glycine max L. Merril) during germination and later growth. Crop Sciences. 4, 157-161.
  2. Ashraf, M., & Khanum, A. (1997). Relationship between ion accumulation and growth in two spring wheat lines differing in salt tolerance at different growth stages. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. 178,39–51.
  3. Ashraf, M., & McNeilly, T. (1988). Variability in salt tolerance of nine spring wheat cultivars. Journal Agron Crop Sciences. 160:14–21
  4. El-Hendawy, S.E., Hu, Y.C., Yakout, .  G.M., Awad, A.M., Hafiz, S.E., & Schmidhalter, U. (2005). Evaluating salt tolerance of wheat genotypes using multiple parameters. European Journal of Agronomy. 22, 243–253.
  5. Flowers, T.J. (2004). Improving crop salt tolerance. Journal of Experimental Botany, 55: 307–319.
  6. Flowers, T.J., & Yeo, A.R. (1995). Breeding for salinity resistance in crop plants: where next? Australia Journal Plant Physiology, 22:875–884
  7. Foolad, M.R., & Jones, R.A. (1993). Mapping salt tolerance genes in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) using trait-based marker analysis. Theoretical Applied Genetics, 87:184–192
  8. Garcia, A., Rizzo, C.A., & Ud-Din, J. (1997). Sodium and potassium transport to the xylem are inherited independently in rice and the mechanisms of sodium: potassium selectivity differs between rice and wheat. Plant Cell Environ, 20:1167–1174.
  9. Garthwaite, A.J., von Bothmer, R. & Colmer, T.D. (2005). Salt tolerance in wild Hordeum species is associated with restricted entry of Na+ and Cl into the shoots. Journal of Experimental Botany, 56, 2365–2378.
  10. Genc, Y., Oldach, K., Verbyla, A.P., Lott, G., Hassan, M., Tester, M., Wallwork, H., & McDonald, G.K. (2010). Sodium exclusion QTL associated with improved seedling growth in bread wheat under salinity stress. Theoretical Applied Genetics, 121(5):877–894.
  11. Hoagland, D., & Arnon, D. (1950). The water culture method for growing plants without soil. California Agricultural Experiment Station Circular: 347.
  12. Hollington, P.A. (2000). Technological breakthroughs in screening/ breeding wheat varieties for salt tolerance. In: Gupta SK, Sharma SK, Tyagi NK (eds) National conference on salinity management in agriculture. Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal, pp 273–289.
  13. James, R. A., Davenport, R.J., & Munns, R. (2006). Physiological characterization of two genes for Na exclusion in durum wheat, Nax1 and Nax2. Plant Physiology, 142:1537–1547
  14. Jones, H.G. (2007). Monitoring plant and soil water status: established and novel methods revisited and their relevance to studies of drought tolerance. Journal of Experimental Botany, 58: 119–131.
  15. Kazemi Arbat, H., (1995). Private Cultivation;First Volume: Cereals; University Publication Center.(In Persian).
  16. Kingsbury, R.W., & Epstein, E. (1986).Salt sensitivity in wheat- A case for specific ion toxicity. Plant Physiology. 88, 651-654.
  17. Kingsbury, R.W., Epstein, E., & Pearcy, R.W. (1984). Physiological responses to salinity in selected lines of wheat. Plant Physiology, 74, 417-423.
  18. Koyama, M.L., Levesley, A., & Koebner, R.M.D. (2001). Quantitative trait loci for component physiological traits determining salt tolerance in rice. Plant Physiology, 125:406–422.
  19. Kumar, N., Kulwal, P.L., Balyan, H.S., & Gupta, P.K. (2007). QTL mapping for yield and yield contributing traits in two mapping populations of bread wheat. Molecular Breeding, 19(2): 163–177.
  20. Lin, H.X., Zhu, M.Z., Yano, M.J., Gao, P., & Liang, Z.W. (2004). QTLs for Na and K uptake of the shoots and roots controlling rice salt tolerance. Theoretical Applied Genetics, 108: 253–260.
  21. Munns, R. (2006). Approaches to increasing the salt tolerance of wheat and other cereals. Journal of Experimental Botany, 57: 1025–1043.
  22. Munns, R. & James, R.A. (2003). Screening methods for salinity tolerance: a case study with tetraploid wheat. Plant and Soil, 253,201–218.
  23. Peleg, Z., Fahima, T., Krugman,T., Abbo, S., Yakir, D., Korol, A.B., & Saranga, Y. (2009). Genomic dissection of drought resistance in durum wheat X wild emmer wheat recombinant inbred line population. Plant, Cell Environ, 32(7): 758–779.
  24. Poustini K, Siosemardeh A (2004) Ion distribution in wheat cultivars in response to salinity stress. Field Crops Research, 85: 125-133.
  25. Quarrie, S.A., Steed, A., & Calestani, C. (2005). A high density genetic map of hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) from the cross Chinese Spring X SQ1 and its use to compare QTLs for grain yield across a range of environments. Theoretical Applied Genetics, 110(5):865–880.
  26. Quarrie, S.A., Quarrie, S.P., & Radosevic, R. (2006). Dissecting a wheat QTL for yield present in a range of environments: from the QTL to candidate genes. Journal Experimental Botany, 57(11):2627–2637.
  27. Rajendran, K., Tester, M., & Stuart, J.R. (2009). Quantifying the three main components of salinity tolerance in cereals. Plant Cell Environ, 32:237–249.
  28. Reynolds, M.P., Ortiz monasterio, J.L., & McNab, A. (2001). Application of physiology in wheat breeding. Mexico, D.F. CIMMYT. pp.101-110.
  29. Shahzad, A. (2007). Biochemical markers for screening wheat for salt tolerance . Ph.D thesis .University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.
  30. Shamaya, N., Tester, M., Shavrukov, Y., & Langridge, P. (2011).QTL study for salinity tolerance in Australian bread wheat. 21st International Triticeae Mapping Initiative Workshop. Mexico City, Mexico. Book of abstracts.
  31. Shannon, M.C., & Noble, C.L. (1990). Genetic approaches for developing economic salt tolerant crops. In: Tanji KK (ed) Agricultural salinity assessment and management. ACSE Manuals and reports on engineering practice No. 71. ASCE, New York, pp 165–185
  32. Storey, R. & Wyn Jones, R.G. (1978). Salt stress and comparative physiology in the Gramineae. I. Ion relations of two salt and water-stressed barley cultivars- California Mariout and Arimar. Australia Journal Plant Physiology, 5, 801-816
  33. Tanksley, S.D., (1993). Mapping polygenes. Annual Review Genetics, 27: 205-233.
  34. Tester, M., & Davenport, R. (2003). Na+ tolerance and Na+ transport in higher plants. Annals of Botany, 91, 503–527.
  35. Weimberg, R., (1987). Solute adjustments in leaves of two species of wheat at two different stages of growth in response to salinity. Physiology Plant, 78, 381-388.
  36. Winicov, I. (1998). New molecular approaches to improving salt tolerance in crop plants. Annual Botany, 82:703–710.
  37. Xu, Y.F., An, D.G., Liu, D.C., Zhang, A.M., Xu, H.X., & Li, B. (2012). Mapping QTLs with epistatic effects and QTL × treatment interactions for salt tolerance at seedling stage of wheat. Euphytica, 186:233–245.
  38. Yang, J., Zhu, J., & Williams, R.W. (2007). Mapping the genetic architecture of complex traits in experimental populations. Bioinformatics Original Paper,23(12): 1527-1536.
  39. Yeo, A.R., Yeo, M. E., Flowers, S.A., & Flowers, T.J. (1990). Screening of rice (Oryza sativa) cultivars for physiological characters contributing to salinity resistance, and their relationship to overall performance. Theoretical Applied Genetics, 79, 377-384.
  40. Yeo, A. R. & Flowers, T.J. (1982). Accumulation and localisation of sodium ions within the shoot of rice (Oryza sativa) varieties different in salinity resistance. Physiology Plant, 56, 342-348.
Volume 45, Issue 3 - Serial Number 3
October 2014
Pages 345-353
  • Receive Date: 16 April 2013
  • Revise Date: 19 May 2015
  • Accept Date: 12 October 2013
  • Publish Date: 23 September 2014