, Volume 235, Issue 3, pp 641–647 | Cite as

Utilizing the genetic diversity within rice cultivars

  • Helen Belefant-Miller
  • Gordon H. Miller
  • Karen A. K. Moldenhauer
Emerging Technologies


Plant breeding of rice emphasizes improvement in yield, disease resistance, and milling quality. Numerous other traits (e.g., bran carotenoids) that historically have not been selected for could provide added value in expanding niche markets, as well as be useful tools for understanding the genetic control of these traits. Residual heterozygosity is present in many rice cultivars; therefore, it is possible to select for different alleles within an existing cultivar. By identifying and using cultivars with high levels of variability for a trait, we were able to develop separate lines from single cultivars that showed high and low levels of that trait. The rice cultivar RU9101001 and the warm- and cold-sprouting lines that were derived from it were used to demonstrate that residual heterozygosity was present within a cultivar and that the original heterozygosity was separated in the derived lines. Rice simple sequence repeat markers were heterozygous in the parent RU9101001 cultivar, but the cold-sprouting lines were homozygous for one set of alleles and the warm-sprouting lines were homozygous for the other set. Through detailed phenotypic screening, we developed lines that exhibited low and high levels of the following traits in the specified cultivars: cold-sprouting from RU9101001 and Bonnet 73, postharvest yellowing from Tominishiki, early tillering from Hei Jaio and Tominishiki, and bran carotenoid levels from Spring. If variability exists in a cultivar, then utilization of residual heterozygosity may provide a quicker and more efficient means to develop lines with special characteristics using cultivars that are already agronomically valuable or to develop near isogenic lines for genetic and biochemical investigations.


Carotenoids Residual heterozygosity Tillering Rice bran Cold-sprouting Stackburn 



Net integrated fluorescence intensity


Near isogenic lines


Postharvest yellowing


Restriction fragment length polymorphism


Recombinant isogenic lines


Simple sequence length polymorphisms


Simple sequence repeat


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KannapolisUSA
  2. 2.University of Arkansas Rice Research and Extension CenterStuttgartUSA

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