Dissecting quantitative resistance against blast disease using heterogeneous inbred family lines in rice
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SHZ-2 is an indica rice cultivar that exhibits broad-spectrum resistance to rice blast; it is widely used as a resistance donor in breeding programs. To dissect the QTL responsible for broad-spectrum blast resistance, we crossed SHZ-2 to TXZ-13, a blast susceptible indica variety, to produce 244 BC4F3 lines. These lines were evaluated for blast resistance in greenhouse and field conditions. Chromosomal introgressions from SHZ-2 into the TXZ-13 genome were identified using a single feature polymorphism microarray, SSR markers and gene-specific primers. Segregation analysis of the BC4F3 population indicated that three regions on chromosomes 2, 6, and 9, designated as qBR2.1, qBR6.1, and qBR9.1, respectively, was associated with blast resistance and contributed 16.2, 14.9, and 22.3%, respectively, to the phenotypic variance of diseased leaf area (DLA). We further narrowed the three QTL regions using pairs of sister lines extracted from heterogeneous inbred families (HIF). Pairwise comparison of these lines enabled the determination of the relative contributions of individual QTL. The qBR9.1 conferred strong resistance, whereas qBR2.1 or qBR6.1 individually did not reduce disease under field conditions. However, when qBR2.1 and qBR6.1 were combined, they reduced disease by 19.5%, suggesting that small effect QTLs contribute to reduction of epidemics. The qBR6.1 and qBR9.1 regions contain nucleotide-binding sites and leucine rich repeats (NBS-LRR) sequences, whereas the qBR2.1 did not. In the qBR6.1 region, the patterns of expression of adjacent NBS-LRR genes were consistent in backcross generations and correlated with blast resistance, supporting the hypothesis that multiple resistance genes within a QTL region can contribute to non-race-specific quantitative resistance.
This work was supported in part by grants from the Generation Challenge Program (HL), USDA-NRI (DWG, JEL, HL), USAID Linkage Program grants, the MOST Key International Collaboration Project (2006DFB33320, BL, HL), NSFC-IRRI Project (30821140350, BL, HL), and the Guangdong International Collaboration Project (2007A050100037, BL).
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