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The objective of this study was to develop an understanding about the genetics of terminal heat tolerance in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The minimum number of genes was assessed using Mendelian and quantitative genetic approach. Two crosses were made between heat tolerant and heat susceptible bread wheat cultivars: NW1014 × HUW468 and HUW234 × HUW468. Heat susceptible HUW468 was common in both the crosses. The F4, F5 and F6 generations were evaluated including F1 in two different dates of sowing (normal and very late) under field conditions in year 2006–07. The data was recorded for grain fill duration (GFD) and thousand-grain weight (TGW). Based on data of two dates, decline% and heat susceptibility index (HSI) of GFD and TGW were estimated. Heat tolerance in F1 showed absence of dominance. Estimation of genes using Mendelian approach in F4, F5 and F6 progenies (148–157) of the two crosses suggested that heat tolerance was governed by a minimum of three genes. Quantitative approach also indicated similar number of genes. The distribution of progeny lines in F4 and F6 supported the polygene nature of heat tolerance. These genes if mapped by molecular approach can play an important role through marker assisted selection (MAS) for developing improved thermo-tolerant lines of wheat.

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Use of high analysis fertilizers such as diammonium phosphate in place of ordinary superphosphate and urea in place of ammonium sulphate over years, sulphur application to crop fields has considerably decreased, which has led to widespread sulphur deficiency in Indian soils. Hence, considering this into account a field study for two years was conducted at the research farm of ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi to evaluate sulphur-coated urea (SCU) as a source of sulphur (S) and an enhanced efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer. Prilled urea (PU) coated with 4 to 5% S significantly increased wheat grain yield to the tune of 9.58 to 11.21% and nitrogen 19.06 to 23.94% and sulphur uptake 21.76 to 29.29% over prilled urea alone by wheat. However, net return and benefit: cost ratio was the highest and significant at 5% S coating onto PU. Five % SCU supplied 50% of the sulphur needs of the wheat crop and enhanced nitrogen recovery efficiency by 60% and is therefore recommended as sulphur as well as enhanced efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer for wheat in Indo-Gangetic plains of India. This is an important finding considering the environmental safety by increased nitrogen recovery and also productivity in present scenario.

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Ninety-nine wheat cultivars from six different agro-climatic zones of India were analyzed for the Vrn-1, Vrn-2, Vrn-B3, Vrn-4 and Ppd-D1 composition with DNA sequenced based allele specific or linked markers for the above-mentioned genes. A majority of the germplasm carried the dominant Vrn-A1a allele alone or in combination with Vrn-B1 and Vrn-D1. The three dominant genes were cumulatively present in 30 cultivars among all the zones, whereas double dominant combination, Vrn- A1/Vrn-B1 was identified in 18 cultivars, Vrn-A1/Vrn-D1 in 6 cvs and Vrn-B1/Vrn-D1 in 16 cvs. The combination of the dominant alleles of all three genes was most frequent in cvs of Northern Western Plains Zone. Northern Hill Zone had vrn-B1 and vrn-D1 alleles in higher proportions compared to the dominant alleles Vrn-B1 and Vrn-D1 indicating successful spring/winter wheat cross breeding. All of the cvs had the recessive Vrn-B3 allele. Most of the cvs had photoperiod insensitive allele in all the zones and only 9% cvs possessed the photoperiod sensitive allele (b) of the Ppd-D1 gene. This information will be useful in selecting parental lines for crossing to maximize diversity at these loci and for future molecular marker assisted breeding for cultivar improvement.

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Buerstmayr, H., Lemmens, M., Hartl, L., Doldi, L., Steiner, B., Stierschneider, M., Ruckenbauer, P. 2002. Molecular mapping of QTL for Fusarium head blight resistance in spring wheat. I. Resistance to fungal spread (type II resistance). Theor. Appl. Genet

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Fuentes, R.G., Mickelson, H.R., Busch, R.H., Dill-Macky, R., Evans, C.K., Thompson, W.G., Wiersma, J.V., Xie, W., Dong, Y., Anderson, J.A. 2005. Resource allocation and cultivar stability in breeding for Fusarium head blight resistance in spring wheat

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markers . Theor. Appl. Genet. 118 : 499 – 514 . Kant , L. , Mani , V.P. , Gupta , H.S. 2008 . Winter × spring wheat hybridization – A promising avenue for yield

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Literature Glinushkin , A. P. ( 2009 ): Wheat and bread: agroecological and technological protection efficiency of spring wheat in the steppe zone of the Southern Urals . Saratov, 198 p. (in Russian). Ignatov , A. N. , Knyazev , A. N

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properties were determined. Experimental Plant Material Investigations were carried out on twenty five wheat ( T. aestivum L.) varieties, including twelve of winter and thirteen of spring wheat varieties

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Chinese spring wheat . Am. J. Bot. 72 : 548 – 559 . Greenup , A. , Peacock , W.J. , Dennis , E.S. , Trevaskis , B. 2009 . The molecular biology of seasonal

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Chaudhary, H.K., Singh, S., Sethi, G.S. 2002. Interactive influence of wheat and maize genotypes on haploid induction in winter × spring wheat hybrids. J. of Genetics and Breeding 56 :259–266. Sethi GS

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