Food shortages have once again become a serious problem, not only because of world population growth but also as a result of escalating demand for crops as a substrate for biofuels. The production of improved plant varieties, especially major crops such as rice, is urgently required to increase yield. The completion of the sequencing of the rice genome has made it possible to clone and analyze quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Furthermore, the development of high-throughput sequencing and genotyping technologies has improved spectacularly the accuracy of QTL analysis. In this review article, we focus on the potential roles of major QTLs in the selection for agronomic traits in rice and discuss the application of high-throughput technologies for high-resolution genetic analysis.
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