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Molecularmarker diversity and hybrid sterility in indica-japonica rice crosses


 The partial sterility of hybrids between the indica and japonica rice subspecies of Asian cultivated rice is a serious constraint for utilizing inter-subspecific heterosis in hybrid rice breeding. In this study, we have investigated the relationship between molecular-marker polymorphism and indica-japonica hybrid fertility using a diallel set involving 20 rice accessions including 9 indica and 11 japonica varieties. Spikelet fertility of the resulting 190 F1s and their parents was examined in a replicated field trial. Intra-subspecific hybrids showed much higher spikelet fertility than inter-subspecific hybrids except in crosses involving wide-compatibility varieties. The parents were surveyed for DNA polymorphism using 96 RFLP and ten SSR markers, which revealed extensive genetic differentiation between indica and japonica varieties. A large number of markers detected highly significant effects on hybrid fertility. The chromosomal locations for many of the positive markers coincided well with previously identified loci for hybrid sterility. The correlation between hybrid fertility and parental distance was low in both intra- and inter-subspecific crosses. The results suggest that the genetic basis of indica-japonica hybrid sterility is complex. It is the qualitative, rather than the quantitative, difference between the parents that determines the fertility of hybrids.

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Received: 3 January 1997/Accepted: 17 January 1997

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Zhang, Q., Liu, K., Yang, G. et al. Molecularmarker diversity and hybrid sterility in indica-japonica rice crosses. Theor Appl Genet 95, 112–118 (1997).

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  • Key words Diallel cross
  • Hybrid rice
  • Oryza sativa
  • Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)
  • Simple sequence repeat (SSR)