Key messageThis work reports the physical mapping of an important gene affecting spike compactness located in a low-recombination region of hexaploid wheat. This work paves the way for the eventual isolation and characterization of the factor involved but also opens up possibilities to use this approach to precisely map other wheat genes located on proximal parts of wheat chromosomes that show highly reduced recombination. Mapping wheat genes, in the centromeric and pericentromeric regions (~ 2/3rd of a given chromosome), poses a formidable challenge due to highly suppressed recombination. Using an example of compact spike locus (C-locus), this study provides an approach to precisely map wheat genes in the pericentromeric and centromeric regions that house ~ 30% of wheat genes. In club-wheat, spike compactness is controlled by the dominant C-locus, but previous efforts have failed to localize it, on a particular arm of chromosome 2D. We integrated radiation hybrid (RH) and high-resolution genetic mapping to locate C-locus on the short arm of chromosome 2D. Flanking markers of the C-locus span a physical distance of 11.0 Mb (231.0-242 Mb interval) and contain only 11 high-confidence annotated genes. This work demonstrates the value of this integrated strategy in mapping dominant genes in the low-recombination regions of the wheat genome. A comparison of the mapping resolutions of the RH and genetic maps using common anchored markers indicated that the RH map provides ~ 9 times better resolution that the genetic map even with much smaller population size. This study provides a broadly applicable approach to fine map wheat genes in regions of suppressed recombination.
- Agronomy and Crop Science