Fine mapping of a yield-enhancing QTL cluster associated with transgressive variation in an Oryza sativa × O. rufipogon cross
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A high-resolution physical map targeting a cluster of yield-related QTLs on the long arm of rice chromosome 9 has been constructed across a 37.4 kb region containing seven predicted genes. Using a series of BC3F4 nearly isogenic lines (NILs) derived from a cross between the Korean japonica cultivar Hwaseongbyeo and Oryza rufipogon (IRGC 105491), a total of seven QTLs for 1,000-grain weight, spikelets per panicle, grains per panicle, panicle length, spikelet density, heading date and plant height were identified in the cluster (P ≤ 0.0001). All seven QTLs were additive, and alleles from the low-yielding O. rufipogon parent were beneficial in the Hwaseongbyeo background. Yield trials with BC3F4 NILs showed that lines containing a homozygous O. rufipogon introgression in the target region out-yielded sibling NILs containing Hwaseongbyeo DNA by 14.2–17.7%, and out-yielded the Hwaseongbyeo parent by 16.2–23.7%. While higher yielding plants containing the O. rufipogon introgression were also taller and later than controls, the fact that all seven of the QTLs were co-localized in the same 37.4 kb interval suggests the possibility that a single, pleiotropic gene acting as a major regulator of plant development may control this suite of agronomically important plant phenotypes.
This study was supported by grants to S.N.A. from the BioGreen 21 project (Code No. 20070301034034) of the RDA, from the Crop Functional Genomics Center of the 21st Century Frontier Research Program (Project no. CG3113), Republic of Korea.
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