[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cold stress is an important factor limiting rice yield in many areas of high latitude and altitude. Considerable efforts have been taken to genetically dissect cold tolerance (CT) in rice using DNA markers. Because of possible epistasis and gene x environment interactions associated with identified quantitative trait loci, the results of these genetic studies have unfortunately not been directly applicable to marker-assisted selection for improved rice CT. In this study, we demonstrated the utility of a selective introgression strategy for simultaneous improvement and genetic dissection of rice seedling CT.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abnormal heading in hybrid rice production has caused great economic loss in recent years, but the genetic basis of this phenomenon remains elusive. In this study, we developed four testcross populations using 38 introgression lines (ILs) from Shuhui 527 (SH527)/Fuhui 838 (FH838)//SH527 population as male parents and four male sterile lines (MSLs; namely II-32A, Xieqingzao A, Gang 46A and Jin 23A) as female parents. Progeny testing allowed us to identify 55 abnormal heading combinations in Hefei, but had late heading date in Hangzhou and Guangzhou of China. By one- and two-way analysis of variance, a total of 21 QTLs and 31 pairs of epistatic QTLs associated with photosensitivity were identified in the four populations, respectively. Genotypic analysis showed that the IL parent of most abnormal heading combinations showed some introgressions at markers RM331 and RM3395 on chromosome 8 (strongly associated with the known genes OsHAP3H/DTH8/Ghd8/LHD1) of donor FH838 alleles, and these two markers were also identified as affecting photosensitivity. The observation that the recipient parent (SH527), donor parent (FH838), their testcross combinations with four MSLs, and the IL parents of abnormal heading combinations had normal heading date in Hefei suggested that OsHAP3H/DTH8/Ghd8/LHD1 showed no independent regulation on abnormal heading in the abnormal heading combinations. It is noteworthy that complex epistasis among RM331 or RM3395 with other loci, including dominant × additive, additive × dominant, and dominant × dominant epistases, were identified only in the four testcross populations of the current study, but not in the SH527/FH838//SH527 population, suggesting the cause of abnormal heading in abnormal heading combinations in Hefei and delayed heading in Hangzhou and Guangzhou.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How to overcome yield stagnation is a big challenge to rice breeders. An effective method for quickly developing new cultivars is to further improve an outstanding cultivar. In this study, three advanced backcross populations under yield selection that consist of 123 BC2F2:4 introgression lines (ILs) were developed by crossing Minghui 86 (recurrent parent, RP) with three high-yielding varieties (donors), namely, ZDZ057, Fuhui 838, and Teqing, respectively. The progeny testing allowed the identification of 12 promising ILs that had significantly higher mean grain yields than Minghui 86 in two environments. A total of 55 QTLs that affect grain yield and its related traits were identified, which included 50 QTLs that were detected using the likelihood ratio test based on stepwise regression (RSTEP-LRT) method, and eight grain yield per plant (GY) QTLs were detected using chi-squared (c2) test. Among these QTLs, five QTLs were simultaneously detected in different populations and 22 QTLs were detected in both environments. The beneficial donor alleles for increased GY and its related traits were identified in 63.6% (35 out of 55) of the QTLs. These promising ILs and QTLs identified will provide the elite breeding materials and genetic information for further improvement of the grain yield for Minghui 86 through pyramiding breeding.
Agricultural Sciences in China 04/2013; 12(4):561–570. · 0.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Floral transition, which is referred to as a plant's transition from vegetative stage to reproductive stage, is considered to be a critical developmental switch in higher plants, for a timely flowering is a major factor of reproductive success. Endogenous and environmental cues, such as photoperiod, light quality, plant hormones concentrations and temperature, provide information to the plants whether the environment is favorable for flowering. These cues promote, or prevent, flowering through a complex genetic network, mediated by a careful orchestration of temporal and spatial gene expression. One of such cues is photoperiod. Rice (Oryza sativa L.) serves as a powerful model species for the understanding of flowering in higher plants, including flower development and photoperiodic control of flowering. In this review, we overviewed and discussed the flower development and its model. We also overviewed the photoperiodic pathways in rice flowering control, and summarized the pathways at molecular level.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Green Revolution (GR-I) included worldwide adoption of semi-dwarf rice cultivars (SRCs) with mutant alleles at GA20ox2 or SD1 encoding gibberellin 20-oxidase. Two series of experiments were conducted to characterize the pleiotropic effects of SD1 and its relationships with large numbers of QTLs affecting rice growth, development and productivity. The pleiotropic effects of SD1 in the IR64 genetic background for increased height, root length/mass and grain weight, and for reduced spikelet fertility and delayed heading were first demonstrated using large populations derived from near isogenic IR64 lines of SD1. In the second set of experiments, QTLs controlling nine growth and yield traits were characterized using a new molecular quantitative genetics model and the phenotypic data of the well-known IR64/Azucena DH population evaluated across 11 environments, which revealed three genetic systems: the SD1-mediated, SD1-repressed and SD1-independent pathways that control rice growth, development and productivity. The SD1-mediated system comprised 43 functional genetic units (FGUs) controlled by GA. The SD1-repressed system was the alternative one comprising 38 FGUs that were only expressed in the mutant sd1 backgrounds. The SD1-independent one comprised 64 FGUs that were independent of SD1. GR-I resulted from the overall differences between the former two systems in the three aspects: (1) trait/environment-specific contributions; (2) distribution of favorable alleles for increased productivity in the parents; and (3) different responses to (fertilizer) inputs. Our results suggest that at 71.4 % of the detected loci, a QTL resulted from the difference between a functional allele and a loss-of-function mutant, whereas at the remaining 28.6 % of loci, from two functional alleles with differentiated effects. Our results suggest two general strategies to achieve GR-II (1) by further exploiting the genetic potential of the SD1-repressed and SD1-independent pathways and (2) by restoring the SD1-mediated pathways, or 'back to the nature' to fully exploit the genetic diversity of those loci in the SD1-mediated pathways which are virtually inaccessible to most rice-breeding programs worldwide that are exclusively based on sd1.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 02/2013; · 3.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most abundant DNA markers in plant genomes. In this study, based on 54,465 SNPs between the genomes of two Indica varieties, Minghui 63 (MH63) and Zhenshan 97 (ZS97) and additional 20,705 SNPs between the MH63 and Nipponbare genomes, we identified and confirmed 1,633 well-distributed SNPs by PCR and Sanger sequencing. From these, a set of 372 SNPs were further selected to analyze the patterns of genetic diversity in 300 representative rice inbred lines from 22 rice growing countries worldwide. Using this set of SNPs, we were able to uncover the well-known Indica-Japonica subspecific differentiation and geographic differentiations within Indica and Japonica. Furthermore, our SNP results revealed some common and contrasting patterns of the haplotype diversity along different rice chromosomes in the Indica and Japonica accessions, which suggest different evolutionary forces possibly acting in specific regions of the rice genome during domestication and evolution of rice. Our results demonstrated that this set of SNPs can be used as anchor SNPs for large scale genotyping in rice molecular breeding research involving Indica-Japonica and Indica-Indica crosses.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 06/2011; 123(6):869-79. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Great progress has been made in genetic dissection of quantitative trait variation during the past two decades, but many studies still reveal only a small fraction of quantitative trait loci (QTLs), and epistasis remains elusive. We integrate contemporary knowledge of signal transduction pathways with principles of quantitative and population genetics to characterize genetic networks underlying complex traits, using a model founded upon one-way functional dependency of downstream genes on upstream regulators (the principle of hierarchy) and mutual functional dependency among related genes (functional genetic units, FGU). Both simulated and real data suggest that complementary epistasis contributes greatly to quantitative trait variation, and obscures the phenotypic effects of many 'downstream' loci in pathways. The mathematical relationships between the main effects and epistatic effects of genes acting at different levels of signaling pathways were established using the quantitative and population genetic parameters. Both loss of function and "co-adapted" gene complexes formed by multiple alleles with differentiated functions (effects) are predicted to be frequent types of allelic diversity at loci that contribute to the genetic variation of complex traits in populations. Downstream FGUs appear to be more vulnerable to loss of function than their upstream regulators, but this vulnerability is apparently compensated by different FGUs of similar functions. Other predictions from the model may account for puzzling results regarding responses to selection, genotype by environment interaction, and the genetic basis of heterosis.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e14541. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rice bacterial leaf blight (BB) caused by Xanthomonas
oryzae pv. oryzae and bacterial leaf streak (BLS) caused by X. oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) are two important diseases of rice that often outbreak simultaneously and constrain rice production in much of Asia and
parts of Africa. Developing resistant cultivars has been the most effective approach to control BB, however, most single resistance
genes have limited value in breeding programs because of their narrow-spectrum of resistance to the races of the pathogen.
By contrast, there is little progress in breeding varieties resistant to Xoc since BLS resistance in rice was a quantitative trait and so far only a few quantitative resistance loci have been identified.
We reported here the development of a high yield elite line, Lu-You-Zhan highly resistant to both BB and BLS by pyramiding
Xa23 with a wide-spectrum resistance to BB derived from wild rice and a non-host maize resistance gene, Rxo1, using both marker assisted selection (MAS) and genetic engineering. Our study has provided strong evidence that non-host
R genes could be a valuable source of resistance in combating those plant diseases where no single R gene controlling high
level of resistance exists and demonstrated that MAS combined with transgenic technologies are an effective strategy to achieve
high level of resistance against multiple plant diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant photosynthetic traits such as net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomata conductance (gs), transpiration rate (Tr), and intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), are known to relate to drought tolerance in plants, but the genetic basis of these traits remains largely uncharacterized because of the difficulty in phenotyping physiological traits in a large mapping population. In this study, a set of 55 overlapping introgression lines (ILs) in the Teqing (indica) background were used to genetically dissect several morph-physiological traits and their relationship with grain yield under water stress and non-stress conditions. These traits included specific leaf weight (SLW), chlorophyll content (CC), leaf stomata frequency (SF), Pn, gs, Tr, and Ci. A total of 40 QTLs affecting the measured traits were identified and mapped to 21 genomic regions in the rice genome. Clustered QTLs affecting Pn, gs, Tr, and Ci in the same genomic regions suggest common genetic bases for the physiological traits. Low or no phenotypic correlations between leaf morphological traits and photosynthetic traits and between morph-physiological traits and grain yield (GY) appeared to be due to inconsistence in QTL effect for clustered QTLs, unlinked QTLs affecting different traits, and to possible epistasis that could not be adequately addressed in this study. Our results indicate that improving drought tolerant (DT) of rice by selecting any single secondary traits is not expected to be effective and the identified QTLs for GY and related morph-physiological traits should be carefully confirmed before to be used for improving DT in rice by MAS.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drought tolerance (DT) in rice is known to be controlled by many quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and involved differential expression of large numbers of genes, but linking QTLs with their underlying genes remains the most challenging issue in plant molecular biology. To shed some light on this issue, differential gene expression in response to PEG simulated drought in 3 unique genetic materials (a lowland rice, IR64 and its derived line, PD86 which has 11 introgressed DT QTLs, and a upland rice IRAT109) was investigated using a PCR-based subtractive hybridization strategy. More than 300 unique subtracted cDNA sequences, covering genes of diverse cellular activities and functions, were identified and confirmed by semi-quantitative and quantitative RT-PCR. Detailed bioinformatics analyses of the data revealed two interesting results. First, the levels and mechanisms of DT of the three rice lines were associated with the number and types of differentially expressed genes, suggesting different DT mechanisms in rice are controlled by different sets of genes and different metabolic pathways, and most differentially expressed genes under drought were able to contribute to DT. Second, there appeared a high correspondence in genomic location between DT QTLs and clusters of differentially expressed genes in rice, suggesting some DT QTLs may represent clusters of co-regulated and functionally related genes. Thus, differential gene expression analyses using genetically characterized materials can provide additional insights into the molecular basis of QTLs and convergent evidence to shortlist the candidate genes for target QTLs.
Molecular and General Genetics 01/2008; 278(6):599-609. · 2.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tremendous efforts have been taken worldwide to develop genome-wide genetic stocks for rice functional genomic (FG) research since the rice genome was completely sequenced. To facilitate FG research of complex polygenic phenotypes in rice, we report the development of over 20,000 introgression lines (ILs) in three elite rice genetic backgrounds for a wide range of complex traits, including resistances/tolerances to many biotic and abiotic stresses, morpho-agronomic traits, physiological traits, etc., by selective introgression. ILs within each genetic background are phenotypically similar to their recurrent parent but each carries one or a few traits introgressed from a known donor. Together, these ILs contain a significant portion of loci affecting the selected complex phenotypes at which allelic diversity exists in the primary gene pool of rice. A forward genetics strategy was proposed and demonstrated with examples on how to use these ILs for large-scale FG research. Complementary to the genome-wide insertional mutants, these ILs opens a new way for highly efficient discovery, candidate gene identification and cloning of important QTLs for specific phenotypes based on convergent evidence from QTL position, expression profiling, functional and molecular diversity analyses of candidate genes, highlights the importance of genetic networks underlying complex phenotypes in rice that may ultimately lead to more complete understanding of the genetic and molecular bases of quantitative trait variation in rice.