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Rapid and targeted introgression of fgr gene through marker-assisted backcrossing in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

Cheng, Acga, Ismail, Ismanizan, Osman, Mohamad, Hashim, Habibuddin, Mohd Zainual, Nur Samahah
Genome 2017 v.60 no.12 pp. 1045-1050
Oryza sativa, backcrossing, cost effectiveness, genes, genetic markers, grain quality, introgression, odors, parents, phenotype, rice, screening, Malaysia
While it is crucial for developing countries like Malaysia to achieve self-sufficiency in rice (Oryza sativa L.), it is equally critical to be able to produce high-quality rice, specifically fragrant rice, which demands are often met through importation. The present study was aimed at developing high-yielding fragrant rice, in a timely and cost-effective manner. A marker-assisted backcross (MABC) approach was optimised to introgress the fragrance gene (fgr) into two high-yielding Malaysian varieties, MR84 and MR219, within two years utilising less than 50 molecular markers. Coupled with phenotypic screening, one single foreground marker (fgr-SNP) and 48 background markers were selected and utilised, revealing recovery of at least 90% of recurrent parent genome (RPG) in merely two backcross generations. Collectively, the yield potential of the developed BC₂F₂ lines (BLs) was higher (P > 0.05) than the donor parent, MRQ74, and similar (P < 0.05) to both the recurrent parents, MR84 and MR219. In addition, some of the developed BLs showed good grain quality, such as having long grain. We believe that this is the first report comprising the validation and utilisation of the single functional marker system (fgr-SNP) in introgressing the fgr gene into different rice varieties.