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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01347

Carotenoid pigment content in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. var durum): an overview of QTL and candidate genes

  • 1Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, Faculty of Agricultural Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy
  • 2Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy
  • 3Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile

Carotenoid pigment content is an important quality trait as it confers a natural bright yellow color to pasta preferred by consumers (whiteness vs. yellowness) and nutrients, such as provitamin A and antioxidants, essential for human diet. The main goal of the present review is to summarize the knowledge about the genetic regulation of the accumulation of pigment content in durum wheat grain and describe the genetic improvements obtained by using breeding approaches in the last two decades. Although carotenoid pigment content is a quantitative character regulated by various genes with additive effects, its high heritability has facilitated the durum breeding progress for this quality trait. Mapping research for yellow index and yellow pigment content has identified QTL on all wheat chromosomes. The major QTL, accounting for up to 60%, were mapped on 7L homoeologous chromosome arms and they are explained by allelic variations of the Phytoene Synthase (PSY) genes. Minor QTL were detected on all chromosomes and associated to significant molecular markers, indicating the complexity of the trait. Despite there is currently a better knowledge of the mechanisms controlling carotenoid content and composition, there are gaps that require further investigation and bridged to better understand the genetic architecture of this important trait. The development and the utilization of molecular markers in marker-assisted selection (MAS) programs for improving grain quality have been reviewed and discussed.

Keywords: durum wheat, Grain yellow pigment content, Carotenoids, yellow index, marker-assisted selection

Received: 12 Jun 2019; Accepted: 27 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Colasuonno, Marcotuli, Blanco, Maccaferri, Condorelli, Tuberosa, Parada Salazar, de Camargo, Schwember and GADALETA. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Andrés R. Schwember, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, 3580000, Santiago Metropolitan Region (RM), Chile,