Development of gene-tagged markers for quantitative trait loci underlying rice yield components
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Higher yields of rice have always been a predominant goal in rice breeding techniques. However, the inheritances of rice yield and its components are still unknown, and no information regarding suitable alleles can be directly provided for improving the rice yield level until three major quantitative trait loci (QTLs) have been cloned and functionally characterized. These QTLs contain Gn1a for grain number per panicle and GS3 and GW2 for grain weight. It has been proven that these three genes show a potential in improving the rice yield level. However, the distribution of suitable alleles on these three loci in rice cultivars and germ plasm are yet to be elucidated, this retards the progress of the utilization of suitable alleles in rice breeding techniques to produce higher yields. In the present study, we developed a set of gene-tagged markers based on the gene mutation sites Gn1a-M1 and Gn1a-M2 for Gn1a, GW2-HapI for GW2, and GS3-PstI for GS3. The results demonstrated that these STS markers could clearly differentiate between the different alleles at each gene locus. A survey of the allele distributions of the abovementioned three genes was performed with 156 cultivars. It was observed that the 5150-Gn1a allele was absent on the Gn1a locus and only two type alleles (Ha-Gn1a and Ko-Gn1a) were present, of which 54.3% indica and 21.5% japonica cultivars contained the Ha-Gn1a allele. Two alleles (MH-GS3 and ZS-GS3) were detected on the GS3 locus, and 48.6% indica and 9.9% japonica cultivars harbored the suitable allele MH-GS3. Further, all the cultivars contained the FA-GW2 allele on GW2, whereas the WY-GW2 allele was not found. These results further suggested that some of the alleles residing in the indica subspecies have introgressed into the japonica group with a very low frequency. The gene-tagged markers developed in the present study can be directly used as a tool for marker-aided selection (MAS) in rice breeding techniques to produce higher yields.
KeywordsRice Yield component Gene-tagged marker Marker-aided selection
We give thanks to Dr. Lin HX (Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences) for his kindly providing the material WY3 and FAZ1, and critical suggestion. This research was in part supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30771323) and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (no. 2006AA10Z118 and no.2006CB101700).
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