Gene actions of QTLs affecting several agronomic traits resolved in a recombinant inbred rice population and two testcross populations

H W Mei, L J Luo, C S Ying, Y P Wang, X Q Yu, L B Guo, A H Paterson, Z K Li
TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik 2003, 107 (1): 89-101
To understand the types of gene action controlling seven quantitative traits in rice, QTL mapping was performed to dissect the main effect (M-QTLs) and digenic epistatic (E-QTLs) QTLs responsible for the trait performance of 254 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of "Lemont/Teqing", and two testcross (TC) F(1) populations derived from these RILs. The correlation analyses reveal a general pattern, i.e. trait heritability in the RILs was negatively correlated to trait heterosis in the TC hybrids. A large number of M-QTLs and E-QTLs affecting seven traits, including heading date (HD), plant height (PH), flag leaf length (FLL), flag leaf width (FLW), panicle length (PL), spikelet number per panicle (SN) and spikelet fertility (SF), were identified and could be classified into two predominant groups, additive QTLs detected primarily in the RILs, and overdominant QTLs identified exclusively in the TC populations. There is little overlap between QTLs identified in the RILs and in the TC populations. This result implied that additive gene action is largely independent from non-additive gene action in the genetic control of quantitative traits of rice. The detected E-QTLs collectively explained a much greater portion of the total phenotypic variation than the M-QTLs, supporting prior findings that epistasis has played an important role in the genetic control of quantitative traits in rice. The implications of these results to the development of inbred and hybrid cultivars were discussed.

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