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Genetic analysis of salinity tolerance in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

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The genetics of salinity tolerance in rice was investigated by a nine-parent complete diallel including reciprocals. Test materials involved susceptible (IR28, IR29, and MI-48), moderately tolerant (IR4595-4-1-13, IR9884-54-3-1E-P1, and IR10206-29-2-1), and tolerant (“Nona Bokra”, “Pokkali”, and SR26B) parents. Twoweek-old seedlings were grown in a salinized (EC = 12 dS/m) culture solution for 19 days under controlled conditions in the IRRI phytotron. Typical characteristics of salinity tolerance in rice were found to be Na+ exclusion and an increased absorption of K+ to maintain a good Na-K balance in the shoot. Genetic component analysis (GCA) revealed that a low Na-K ratio is governed by both additive and dominance gene effects. The trait exhibited overdominance, and two groups of genes were detected. Environmental effects were large, and the heritability of the trait was low. Our findings suggest that when breeding for salt tolerance, selection must be done in a later generation and under controlled conditions in order to minimize environmental effects. Modified bulk and single-seed descent would be the suitable breeding methods. Combining ability analysis revealed that both GCA and specific combining ability (SCA) effects were important in the genetics of salt tolerance. Moderately tolerant parents — e.g., IR4595-4-1-13 and IR9884-54-3-1E-P1 — were the best general combiners. Most of the best combinations had susceptible parents crossed either to moderate or tolerant parents. The presence of reciprocal effects among crosses necessitates the use of susceptible parents as males in hybridization programs. Large heterotic effects suggest the potential of hybrid rice for salt-affected lands.

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Communicated by G.S. Khush

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Gregorio, G.B., Senadhira, D. Genetic analysis of salinity tolerance in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Theoret. Appl. Genetics 86, 333–338 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00222098

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