Genetic bases of appearance quality of rice grains in Shanyou 63, an elite rice hybrid
Appearance quality of the rice grain represents a major problem of rice production in many rice-producing areas of the world, especially in hybrid rice production in China. In this study, we conducted a molecular marker-based genetic analysis of the traits that are determinants of the appearance quality of rice grains, including traits specifying grain shape and endosperm opacity. The materials used in the analysis included an F2:3 population and an F10 recombinant inbred line population from a cross between the parents of Shanyou 63, the most widely grown rice hybrid in China. Molecular marker-based QTL (quantitative trait locus) analyses revealed that grain length and grain width were each controlled by a major QTL accounting for a very large proportion of the genetic variation, plus one or two minor QTLs each explaining a small proportion of the genetic variation. The major QTLs can be detected in both the F2:3 and recombinant inbred line population using both paddy rice and brown rice, whereas the minor QTLs were detected only occasionally. The QTL located in the interval of RG393-C1087 on chromosome 3 is the major locus for grain length, and the one in the interval RG360-C734a on chromosome 5 plays a major role in determining grain width. Similarly, white belly, which largely determines the opacity of the endosperm, is almost entirely controlled by a major locus on chromosome 5, located in the same genomic region as the major QTL for grain width. The implications of the results with respect to hybrid rice improvement were discussed.
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