Authors:A. F. Bálint, G. Kovács, A. Börner, G. Galiba, and J. Sutka
The relatively copper-tolerant wheat variety Chinese Spring (recipient), the copper-sensitive variety Cappelle Desprez (donor) and their substitution lines were screened for copper tolerance in a soil pot experiment under artificial growth conditions. Chromosomes 5A, 5B, 5D and 7D of Cappelle Desprez significantly decreased the copper tolerance of the recipient variety to varying extents. By contrast, the 6B and 3D chromosomes significantly increased the copper tolerance of Chinese Spring, suggesting that a wide range of allelic differences could be expected between wheat genotypes for this character. The significant role of homologous group 5 in copper tolerance was confirmed by testing wheat-rye substitution lines. The substitution of rye chromosome 5R (5R/5A substitution line) into a wheat genetic background significantly increased the copper tolerance of the recipient wheat genotype. The results suggest that chromosomes 5R and 5A probably carry major genes or gene complexes responsible for copper tolerance, and that the copper tolerance of wheat can be improved through the substitution of a single chromosome carrying the responsible genes. At the same time, it is also possible that the effect of homologous group 5 is not specific to copper tolerance, but that the genes located on these chromosomes belong to a general stress adaptation (frost, cold, vernalisation requirements, etc.) complex, which has already been detected on this chromosome. To answer this question further studies are needed to determine the real effect of these chromosome regions and loci on copper tolerance.