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To comprehensively understand the genetic basis of plant height (PH), quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis for internode lengths, internode component indices and plant height component index (PHCI) were firstly conducted in the present study. Two related F8:9 recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations comprising 485 and 229 lines were used. Two hundred and nine putative additive QTL for the eight traits were identified, 35 of which showed significance in at least three trials. Of these, at least 11 pairwise QTL were common to the two populations. PH components at the QTL level had different effects on PH, confirming our previous multivariate conditional analysis (Cui et al. 2011). Eleven major QTL that showed consistency in expression across environments should be of great value in the genetic improvement of PH in wheat. The results above will enhance the understanding of the genetic basis of PH in wheat.

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