Identifying and confirming quantitative trait loci associated with heat tolerance at flowering stage in different rice populations

Changrong Ye, Fatima A Tenorio, May A Argayoso, Marcelino A Laza, Hee-Jong Koh, Edilberto D Redoña, Krishna S V Jagadish, Glenn B Gregorio
BMC Genetics 2015, 16: 41

BACKGROUND: Climate change is affecting rice production in many countries. Developing new rice varieties with heat tolerance is an essential way to sustain rice production in future global warming. We have previously reported four quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for rice spikelet fertility under high temperature at flowering stage from an IR64/N22 population. To further explore additional QTL from other varieties, two bi-parental F2 populations and one three-way F2 population derived from heat tolerant variety Giza178 were used for indentifying and confirming QTLs for heat tolerance at flowering stage.

RESULTS: Four QTLs (qHTSF1.2, qHTSF2.1, qHTSF3.1 and qHTSF4.1) were identified in the IR64/Giza178 population, and two other QTLs (qHTSF6.1 and qHTSF11.2) were identified in the Milyang23/Giza178 population. To confirm the identified QTLs, another three-way-cross population derived from IR64//Milyang23/Giza178 was genotyped using 6K SNP chips. Five QTLs were identified in the three-way-cross population, and three of those QTLs (qHTSF1.2, qHTSF4.1 and qHTSF6.1) were overlapped with the QTLs identified in the bi-parental populations. The tolerance alleles of these QTLs were from the tolerant parent Giza178 except for qHTSF3.1. The QTL on chromosome 4 (qHTSF4.1) is the same QTL previously identified in the IR64/N22 population.

CONCLUSION: The results from different populations suggest that heat tolerance in rice at flowering stage is controlled by several QTLs with small effects and stronger heat tolerance could be attained through pyramiding validated heat tolerance QTLs. QTL qHTSF4.1 was consistently detected across different genetic backgrounds and could be an important source for enhancing heat tolerance in rice at flowering stage. Polymorphic SNP markers in these QTL regions can be used for future fine mapping and developing SNP chips for marker-assisted breeding.

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