, 214:33 | Cite as

Further QTL mapping for yield component traits using introgression lines in rice (Oryza sativa L.) under drought field environments



To better understand the underlying mechanisms of agronomic traits related to drought resistance and discover candidate genes or chromosome segments for drought-tolerant rice breeding, a fundamental introgression population, BC3, derived from the backcross of local upland rice cv. Haogelao (donor parent) and super yield lowland rice cv. Shennong265 (recurrent parent) had been constructed before 2006. Previous quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping results using 180 and 94 BC3F6,7 rice introgression lines (ILs) with 187 and 130 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers for agronomy and physiology traits under drought in the field have been reported in 2009 and 2012, respectively. In this report, we conducted further QTL mapping for grain yield component traits under water-stressed (WS) and well-watered (WW) field conditions during 3 years (2012, 2013 and 2014). We used 62 SSR markers, 41 of which were newly screened, and 492 BC4F2,4 core lines derived from the fourth backcross between D123, an elite drought-tolerant IL (BC3F7), and Shennong265. Under WS conditions, a total of 19 QTLs were detected, all of which were associated with the new SSRs. Each QTL was only identified in 1 year and one site except for qPL-12-1 and qPL-5, which additively increased panicle length under drought stress. qPL-12-1 was detected in 2013 between new marker RM1337 and old marker RM3455 (34.39 cM) and was a major QTL with high reliability and 15.36% phenotypic variance. qPL-5 was a minor QTL detected in 2013 and 2014 between new marker RM5693 and old marker RM3476. Two QTLs for plant height (qPHL-3-1 and qPHP-12) were detected under both WS and WW conditions in 1 year and one site. qPHL-3-1, a major QTL from Shennong265 for decreasing plant height of leaf located on chromosome 3 between two new markers, explained 22.57% of phenotypic variation with high reliability under WS conditions. On the contrary, qPHP-12 was a minor QTL for increasing plant height of panicle from Haogelao on chromosome 12. Except for these two QTLs, all other 17 QTLs mapped under WS conditions were not mapped under WW conditions; thus, they were all related to drought tolerance. Thirteen QTLs mapped from Haogelao under WS conditions showed improved drought tolerance. However, a major QTL for delayed heading date from Shennong265, qDHD-12, enhanced drought tolerance, was located on chromosome 12 between new marker RM1337 and old marker RM3455 (11.11 cM), explained 21.84% of phenotypic variance and showed a negative additive effect (shortening delay days under WS compared with WW). Importantly, chromosome 12 was enriched with seven QTLs, five of which, including major qDHD-12, congregated near new marker RM1337. In addition, four of the seven QTLs improved drought resistance and were located between RM1337 and RM3455, including three minor QTLs from Haogelao for thousand kernel weight, tiller number and panicle length, respectively, and the major QTL qDHD-12 from Shennong265. These results strongly suggested that the newly screened RM1337 marker may be used for marker-assisted selection (MAS) in drought-tolerant rice breeding and that there is a pleiotropic gene or cluster of genes linked to drought tolerance. Another major QTL (qTKW-1-2) for increasing thousand kernel weight from Haogelao was also identified under WW conditions. These results are helpful for MAS in rice breeding and drought-resistant gene cloning.


Rice Drought tolerance Yield component traits Introgression lines QTL mapping 



This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFD0100101), the “948” program of Introducing International Super Agricultural Science and Technology from the Ministry of Agriculture of China (No. 2006–G51) and European Commission 6th Framework Program (ECFP6) INCO-2003-B1.2 (CEDROME-015468). We give special thanks to Jianqin Hao for helping with preparing materials.

Author contributions

Y.H.X. and H.Q.W. conceived the project and finished the final version of the manuscript. Y.H.X. and H.K.Z. phenotyped the agronomic traits. J.Q.H. and X.D.W. screened the SSR marker between Haogelao and Shennong265 and created the parent D123. Y.H.X. conducted the QTL mapping analysis and M.H. analyzed the phenotypic data. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Upland Rice Research Center, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Crop Genomics and Genetic Improvement Key Laboratory of Ministry of Agriculture, Crop Genetic Improvement Key Laboratory of BeijingChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina

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