Mapping QTLs for plant phenology and production traits using indica rice (Oryza sativa L.) lines adapted to rainfed environment

K K Suji, K R Biji, R Poornima, K Silvas Jebakumar Prince, K Amudha, S Kavitha, Sumeet Mankar, R Chandra Babu
Molecular Biotechnology 2012, 52 (2): 151-60
Drought is a major abiotic stress limiting rice production and yield stability in rainfed ecosystems. Identifying quantitative trait loci (QTL) for rice yield and yield components under water limited environments will help to develop drought resilient cultivars using marker assisted breeding (MAB) strategy. A total of 232 recombinant inbred lines of IR62266/Norungan were used to map QTLs for plant phenology and production traits under rainfed condition in target population of environments. A total of 79 QTLs for plant phenology and production traits with phenotypic variation ranging from 4.4 to 72.8% were detected under non-stress and drought stress conditions across two locations. Consistent QTLs for phenology and production traits were detected across experiments and water regimes. The QTL region, RM204-RM197-RM217 on chromosome 6 was linked to days to 50% flowering and grain yield per plant under both rainfed and irrigated conditions. The same genomic region, RM585-RM204-RM197 was also linked to harvest index under rainfed condition with positive alleles from Norungan, a local landrace. QTLs for plant production and drought resistance traits co-located near RM585-RM204-RM197-RM217 region on chromosome 6 in several rice genotypes. Thus with further fine mapping, this region may be useful as a candidate QTL for MAB, map-based cloning of genes and functional genomics studies for rainfed rice improvement.

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