Breeding for solid-stemmed durum (Triticum turgidum L. var durum) and common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars is one strategy to minimize yield losses caused by the wheat stem sawfly (Cephus cinctus Norton). Major stem-solidness QTL have been localized to the long arm of chromosome 3B in both wheat species, but it is unclear if these QTL span a common genetic interval. In this study, we have improved the resolution of the QTL on chromosome 3B in a durum (Kofa/W9262-260D3) and common wheat (Lillian/Vesper) mapping population. Coincident QTL (LOD = 94-127, R2 = 78-92%) were localized near the telomere of chromosome 3BL in both mapping populations, which we designate SSt1. We further examined the SSt1 interval by using available consensus maps for durum and common wheat and compared genetic to physical intervals by anchoring markers to the current version of the wild emmer wheat (WEW) reference sequence. These results suggest that the SSt1 interval spans a physical distance of 1.6 Mb in WEW (positions 833.4-835.0 Mb). In addition, minor QTL were identified on chromosomes 2A, 2D, 4A, and 5A that were found to synergistically enhance expression of SSt1 to increase stem-solidness. These results suggest that developing new wheat cultivars with improved stem-solidness is possible by combining SSt1 with favorable alleles at minor loci within both wheat species.
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