Comparison of QTLs for rice seedling morphology under different water supply conditions

Bingsong Zheng, Ling Yang, Chuanzao Mao, Youjun Huang, Ping Wu
Journal of Genetics and Genomics 2008, 35 (8): 473-84
The variation of seedling characteristics under different water supply conditions is strongly associated with drought resistance in rice (Oryza sativa L.) and a better elucidation of its genetics is helpful for improving rice drought resistance. Ninetysix doubled-haploid (DH) rice lines of an indica and japonica cross were grown in both flooding and upland conditions and QTLs for morphological traits at seedling stage were examined using 208 restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and 76 microsatellite (SSR) markers. A total of 32 putative QTLs were associated with the four seedling traits: average of three adventitious root lengths (ARL), shoot height (SH), shoot biomass (SW), and root to shoot dry weight ratio (RSR). Five QTLs detected were the same under control and upland conditions. The ratio between the mean value of the seedling trait under upland and flooding conditions was used for assessing drought tolerance. A total of six QTLs for drought tolerance were detected. Comparative analysis was performed for the QTLs detected in this case and those reported from two other populations with the same upland rice variety Azucena as parent. Several identical QTLs for seedling elongation across the three populations with the positive alleles from the upland rice Azucena were detected, which suggests that the alleles of Azucena might be involved in water stress-accelerated elongation of rice under different genetic backgrounds. Five cell wall-related candidate genes for OsEXP1, OsEXP2, OsEXP4, EXT, and EGase were mapped on the intervals carrying the QTLs for seedling traits.

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