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Genetic diversity in blast resistance of Bhutan rice landraces

Ghaley, Bhim Bahadur, Christiansen, Jørgen Lindskrog, Andersen, Sven Bode
Euphytica 2012 v.184 no.1 pp. 119-130
Oryza sativa, alleles, altitude, cluster analysis, cultivars, genetic techniques and protocols, genetic variation, heritability, inflorescences, landraces, leaves, microsatellite repeats, rice, Bhutan
With an objective to evaluate the Bhutan rice (Oryza sativa L.) landraces for genetic diversity in blast resistance, 402 accessions viz. 352 landraces, a differential set of 32 R gene lines and 18 modern cultivars were field-evaluated in three blast ‘hotspot’ sites followed by genetic analysis of the 352 landraces with 27 microsatellite markers. Across the sites, 19 landraces (5.4%) exhibited complete resistance with zero disease score and 203 (58%) and 163 (46%) landraces showed high partial resistance for early leaf and panicle blast, respectively, with disease score of four to six. Field evaluation for leaf and panicle blast at three experimental sites in Bhutan showed best cultivar discrimination in early leaf blast at the tillering stage (heritability, h2 = 0.32) and in the panicle blast at maturity (h2 = 0.44). Subdivision of the genetic variation into cultivar groups revealed the most variation for blast severity within the 352 landraces with h2 of 0.31 and 0.46 for early leaf and panicle blast, respectively. Cluster analysis of the landraces revealed two distinct rice cultivar groups, which separated at dissimilarity of 0.84 according to origin of the cultivars from low, mid and high altitude zones in Bhutan. All microsatellites were polymorphic with two to 21 different alleles per marker and a high polymorphic information content value of 0.61. The identified blast resistant landraces were genetically diverse originating from different rice cultivation zones. Further investigation of the resistant and partial resistant material may reveal specific blast resistance genes, which could be useful to mitigate blast incidence in rice-producing countries.