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Identification and validation of a novel major QTL for harvest index in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

Zhang, Shaohong, He, Xiuying, Zhao, Junliang, Cheng, Yongsheng, Xie, Zhimei, Chen, Yuehan, Yang, Tifeng, Dong, Jingfang, Wang, Xiaofei, Liu, Qing, Liu, Wei, Mao, Xingxue, Fu, Hua, Chen, Zhaoming, Liao, Yaoping, Liu, Bin
Rice 2017 v.10 no.1 pp. 44
Oryza sativa, additive effect, alleles, biomass, chromosomes, cultivars, grain yield, harvest index, heterozygosity, inbred lines, isogenic lines, marker-assisted selection, phenotype, phenotypic variation, quantitative trait loci, rice
BACKGROUND: Harvest index (HI) in rice is defined as the ratio of grain yield (GY) to biomass (BM). Although it has been demonstrated that HI is significantly related to yield and is considered as one of the most important traits in high-yielding rice breeding, HI-based high-yielding rice breeding is difficult due to its polygenic nature and insufficient knowledge on the genetic basis of HI. Therefore, searching for rice varieties with high HI and mapping genes associated with high HI can facilitate marker-assisted breeding for high HI in rice. RESULTS: Yuexiangzhan, a popular indica cultivar with good reputation of high HI was crossed with Shengbasimiao, an indica cultivar with lower HI to develop a recombinant inbred line population, and QTL mapping for HI and its component traits was conducted. In total, five QTLs for HI, three QTLs for GY, and six QTLs for BM were detected in two-year experiments. Among the three GY QTLs, one co-located with the HI QTL on chromosome 8, while the other two co-located with the two tightly-linked BM QTLs on chromosome 3. The co-located QTLs in each of the chromosomal regions produced additive effects in the same direction. Particularly, the HI QTL on chromosome 8, qHI-8, could be detected across two years and explained 42.8% and 44.5% of the phenotypic variation, respectively. The existence of qHI-8 was confirmed by the evaluation of the near isogenic lines derived from a residual heterozygous line, and this QTL was delimitated to a 1070 kb interval by substitution mapping. CONCLUSION: In the present study, the detected GY QTLs overlapped with both HI QTL and BM QTL, suggesting a positive relationship between GY and HI or BM, respectively. With an understanding of the genetic basis for grain yield, harvest index and biomass, it is possible to achieve higher yield through enhancing HI and BM by pyramiding the favorable alleles for the two traits via marker-assisted selection (MAS). As qHI-8 has a large phenotypic effect on HI and expresses stably in different environments, it provides a promising target for further genetic characterization of HI and MAS of high HI in rice breeding.