Open Access Research article

Genetic dynamics underlying phenotypic development of biomass yield in triticale

Wenxin Liu1, Manje Gowda2, Jochen C Reif3, Volker Hahn2, Arno Ruckelshausen4, Elmar A Weissmann5, Hans Peter Maurer2 and Tobias Würschum2*

Author Affiliations

1 Crop Genetics and Breeding Department, China Agricultural University, 100193 Beijing, China

2 State Plant Breeding Institute, University of Hohenheim, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany

3 Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), 06466 Gatersleben, Germany

4 Competence Centre of Applied Agricultural Engineering COALA, University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany

5 Saatzucht Dr. Hege GbR Domäne Hohebuch, 74638 Waldenburg, Germany

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BMC Genomics 2014, 15:458  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-458

Published: 10 June 2014



The nature of dynamic traits with their phenotypic plasticity suggests that they are under the control of a dynamic genetic regulation. We employed a precision phenotyping platform to non-invasively assess biomass yield in a large mapping population of triticale at three developmental stages.


Using multiple-line cross QTL mapping we identified QTL for each of these developmental stages which explained a considerable proportion of the genotypic variance. Some QTL were identified at each developmental stage and thus contribute to biomass yield throughout the studied developmental phases. Interestingly, we also observed QTL that were only identified for one or two of the developmental stages illustrating a temporal contribution of these QTL to the trait. In addition, epistatic QTL were detected and the epistatic interaction landscape was shown to dynamically change with developmental progression.


In summary, our results reveal the temporal dynamics of the genetic architecture underlying biomass accumulation in triticale and emphasize the need for a temporal assessment of dynamic traits.

Dynamic QTL; Precision phenotyping; Biomass; Triticale; BreedVision