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TOND1 confers tolerance to nitrogen deficiency in rice

Zhang, Yangjun, Tan, Lubin, Zhu, Zuofeng, Yuan, Lixing, Xie, Daoxin, Sun, Chuanqing
The plant journal 2015 v.81 no.3 pp. 367-376
alleles, breeding, chromosomes, crops, cultivars, gene overexpression, grain yield, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, pollution, production technology, quantitative trait loci, rice
Nitrogen (N), the most important mineral nutrient for plants, is critical to agricultural production systems. N deficiency severely affects rice growth and decreases rice yields. However, excessive use of N fertilizer has caused severe pollution to agricultural and ecological environments. The necessity of breeding of crops that require lower input of N fertilizer has been recognized. Here we identified a major quantitative trait locus on chromosome 12, Tolerance Of Nitrogen Deficiency 1 (TOND1), that confers tolerance to N deficiency in the indica cultivar Teqing. Sequence verification of 75 indica and 75 japonica cultivars from 18 countries and regions demonstrated that only 27.3% of cultivars (41 indica cultivars) contain TOND1, whereas 72.7% of cultivars, including the remaining 34 indica cultivars and all 75 japonica cultivars, do not harbor the TOND1 allele. Over‐expression of TOND1 increased the tolerance to N deficiency in the TOND1‐deficient rice cultivars. The identification of TOND1 provides a molecular basis for breeding rice varieties with improved grain yield despite decreased input of N fertilizers.