Chemical- and irradiation-induced mutants of indica rice IR64 for forward and reverse genetics

Plant Mol Biol. 2005 Sep;59(1):85-97. doi: 10.1007/s11103-004-5112-0.


IR64, the most widely grown indica rice in South and Southeast Asia, possesses many positive agronomic characteristics (e.g., wide adaptability, high yield potential, tolerance to multiple diseases and pests, and good eating quality,) that make it an ideal genotype for identifying mutational changes in traits of agronomic importance. We have produced a large collection of chemical and irradiation-induced IR64 mutants with different genetic lesions that are amenable to both forward and reverse genetics. About 60,000 IR64 mutants have been generated by mutagenesis using chemicals (diepoxybutane and ethylmethanesulfonate) and irradiation (fast neutron and gamma ray). More than 38,000 independent lines have been advanced to M4 generation enabling evaluation of quantitative traits by replicated trials. Morphological variations at vegetative and reproductive stages, including plant architecture, growth habit, pigmentation and various physiological characters, are commonly observed in the four mutagenized populations. Conditional mutants such as gain or loss of resistance to blast, bacterial blight, and tungro disease have been identified at frequencies ranging from 0.01% to 0.1%. Results from pilot experiments indicate that the mutant collections are suitable for reverse genetics through PCR-detection of deletions and TILLING. Furthermore, deletions can be detected using oligomer chips suggesting a general technique to pinpoint deletions when genome-wide oligomer chips are broadly available. M4 mutant seeds are available for users for screening of altered response to multiple stresses. So far, more than 15,000 mutant lines have been distributed. To facilitate broad usage of the mutants, a mutant database has been constructed in the International Rice Information System (IRIS; http: // to document the phenotypes and gene function discovered by users.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • DNA, Plant / isolation & purification
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Epoxy Compounds / toxicity
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate / toxicity
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome, Plant
  • Genotype
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Mutagens / toxicity
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Oryza / drug effects*
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / radiation effects*
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Diseases / genetics
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Reproduction / genetics
  • Seeds / genetics


  • DNA, Plant
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Mutagens
  • diepoxybutane
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate