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Identification of QTL for growth- and grain yield-related traits in rice across nine locations of Asia

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Rice double-haploid (DH) lines of an indica and japonica cross were grown at nine different locations across four countries in Asia. Genotype-by-environment (G × E) interaction analysis for 11 growth- and grain yield-related traits in nine locations was estimated by AMMI analysis. Maximum G × E interaction was exhibited for fertility percentage number of spikelets and grain yield. Plant height was least affected by environment, and the AMMI model explained a total of 76.2% of the interaction effect. Mean environment was computed by averaging the nine environments and subsequently analyzed with other environments to map quantitative trait loci (QTL). QTL controlling the 11 traits were detected by interval analysis using mapmaker/qtl. A threshold LOD of ≥3.20 was used to identify significant QTL. A total of 126 QTL were identified for the 11 traits across nine locations. Thirty-four QTL common in more than one environment were identified on ten chromosomes. A maximum of 44 QTL were detected for panicle length, and the maximum number of common QTL were detected for days to heading detected. A single locus for plant height (RZ730-RG810) had QTL common in all ten environments, confirming AMMI results that QTL for plant height were affected the least by environment, indicating the stability of the trait. Two QTL were detected for grain yield and 19 for thousand-grain weight in all DH lines. The number of QTL per trait per location ranged from zero to four. Clustering of the QTL for different traits at the same marker intervals was observed for plant height, panicle number, panicle length and spikelet number suggesting that pleiotropism and or tight linkage of different traits could be the possible reason for the congruence of several QTL. The many QTL detected by the same marker interval across environments indicate that QTL for most traits are stable and not essentially affected by environmental factors.

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We thank the Asian Rice Biotechnology Network and the Rockefeller Foundation, USA for the financial support (RF98001/698and 671 to SH). We are also grateful to all who have indirectly helped in conducting the trials at different locations.

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Correspondence to Shailaja Hittalmani.

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Communicated by H.C. Becker

The order of authors is in accordance with their contribution towards conducting trials, generating data, data analysis and preparation of the manuscript

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Hittalmani, S., Huang, N., Courtois, B. et al. Identification of QTL for growth- and grain yield-related traits in rice across nine locations of Asia. Theor Appl Genet 107, 679–690 (2003).

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