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Effects of genetic background and environment on QTLs and epistasis for rice (Oryza sativa L.) panicle number

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A double-haploid (DH) population and a recombinant inbred (RI) line population, derived from a cross between a tropical japonica variety, Azucena, as male parent and two indica varieties, IR64 and IR1552, as female parents respectively, were used in both field and pot experiments for detecting QTLs and epistasis for rice panicle number in different genetic backgrounds and different environments. Panicle number (PN) was measured at maturity. A molecular map with 192 RFLP markers for the DH population and a molecular map with 104 AFLP markers and 103 RFLP markers for the RI population were constructed, in which 70 RFLP markers were the same. Six QTLs were identified in the DH population, including two detected from field experiments and four from pot experiments. The two QTLs, mapped on chromosomes 1 and 12, were identical in both field and pot experiments. In the RI population, nine QTLs were detected, five QTLs from field conditions and four from the pot experiments. Three of these QTLs were identical in both experimental conditions. Only one QTL, linked to CDO344 on chromosome 12, was detected across the populations and experiments. Different epistasitic interaction loci on PN were found under different populations and in different experimental conditions. One locus, flanked by RG323 and RZ801 on chromosome 1, had an additive effect in the DH population, but epistatic effects in the RI population. These results indicate that the effect of genetic background on QTLs is greater than that of environments, and epistasis is more sensitive to genetic background and environments than main-effect QTLs. QTL and epistatic loci could be interchangeable depending on the genetic backgrounds and probably on the environments where they are identified.

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Received: 26 May 2000 / Accepted: 19 October 2000

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Liao, C., Wu, P., Hu, B. et al. Effects of genetic background and environment on QTLs and epistasis for rice (Oryza sativa L.) panicle number. Theor Appl Genet 103, 104–111 (2001).

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