Indexed on: 17 Mar '10Published on: 17 Mar '10Published in: Protoplasma
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a staple food for half of the world. Its productivity and agronomical practices, especially for nitrogen supplementation, is governed by the nitrogen efficiency (NE) of the genotypes. We analyzed 16 popular cultivated Indian varieties of wheat for their NE and variability estimates using a set of 21 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, derived from each wheat chromosome. These genotypes were categorized into three groups, viz., low, moderate, and high nitrogen efficient. Of these 16 genotypes, we have reported six, eight, and two genotypes in high, moderate, and low NE categories, respectively. The differential NE in these genotypes was supported by nitrogen uptake and assimilation parameters. The values of average polymorphic information content and marker index for these SSR markers were estimated to be 0.32 and 0.59, respectively. The genetic similarity coefficient for all possible pairs of varieties ranged from 0.41 to 0.76, indicating the presence of considerable range of genetic diversity at molecular level. The dendrogram prepared on the basis of unweighted pair-group method of arithmetic average algorithm grouped the 16 wheat varieties into three major clusters. The clustering was strongly supported by high bootstrap values. The distribution of the varieties in different clusters and subclusters appeared to be related to their variability in NE parameter that was scored. Genetically diverse parents were identified that could potentially be used for their desirable characteristics in breeding programs for improvement of NE in wheat.