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, 6 (1), 33

QTL Mapping Reveals a Tight Linkage Between QTLs for Grain Weight and Panicle Spikelet Number in Rice


QTL Mapping Reveals a Tight Linkage Between QTLs for Grain Weight and Panicle Spikelet Number in Rice

Xiao Luo et al. Rice (N Y).


Background: A number of QTL studies reported that one genomic region was associated with several traits, indicating linkage and/or pleiotropic effects. The question of pleiotropy versus tight linkage in these studies should be solved using a large-size population combined with high-density mapping. For example, if each of the 2 parents has a TGW-increasing or SPP-increasing QTL that is tightly linked, complementary combination of the 2 beneficial QTLs by using molecular markers could produce higher yields compared to the 2 parents. However, a pleiotropic QTL with opposite effects on the SPP and 1,000-grain weight (TGW) is complicated and challenging in terms of its application to rice improvement.

Results: In this study, using a series of BC5F4 nearly isogenic lines (NILs) that were derived from a cross between the Korean japonica cultivar Hwayeongbyeo and Oryza rufipogon, we demonstrated that 2 QTLs, qSPP5 for spikelets per panicle (SPP) and qTGW5 for grain weight (TGW), are tightly linked on chromosome 5. Alleles from the O. rufipogon parent increased the SPP and decreased TGW in the Hwayeongbyeo background. qSPP5 was located within a 803-kb interval between the simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers INDEL3 and RM18076. Based on the map position, qTGW5 seemed to be the same gene as qSW5, which controls grain morphology. The additive effect of the O. rufipogon allele at qSPP5 was 10-15 SPP, and 33.0% of the phenotypic variance could be explained by the segregation of the SSR marker RM18058. Yield trials with BC5F4 NILs showed that lines that contained a homozygous O. rufipogon introgression at the qSPP5 region out-yielded sibling NILs that contained Hwayeongbyeo DNA by 15.3% and out-yielded the Hwayeongbyeo parent by 7.3%.

Conclusion: Based on the finding that the O. rufipogon allele for the SPP was beneficial in the japonica and indica cultivar backgrounds, the qSPP5 allele could be valuable for improving rice yields. In addition, the NIL populations and molecular markers are useful for cloning qSPP5.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Development of genetic materials that were used in this study.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Graphical genotype of the BC3F4line, CR6. CR6 had, in total, 5 introgressed segments including the target segment on chromosome 5. HH: Hwayeongbyeo homozygote; WW: W1944 homozygote.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Frequency distribution of 4 traits in the BC5F2population. Three genotypes of the Hwayeongbyeo homozygous and heterozygous and O. rufipogon homozygous classes were identified using the simple sequence repeat marker RM194. HH: Hwayeongbyeo homozygote; WW: W1944 homozygote; and HW: heterozygote. P1 and P2 denote Hwayeongbyeo and CR7111-30, respectively.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Substitution mapping of qSPP5 and qTGW5 using two populations. A) Graphical genotypes of the BC5F3 lines that were used for the substitution mapping of qSPP5 and qTGW5. The white portions of the graph indicate homozygous Hwayeongbyeo chromosome segments, the black regions indicate homozygous O. rufipogon chromosomes, the gray areas indicate heterozygous regions, and the slashed areas are regions where crossing-over occurred. The table on the right of the graphical genotypes shows the mean values of 2 traits for each genotype. The broken vertical lines define the interval that contained 2 QTLs. &Number of lines in each group. #The numbers that are followed by different letters in each column were significantly different according to Tukey’s HSD test at 5%. B) Graphical genotypes of the BC5F4 lines that were used for the substitution mapping of qSPP5, qTGW5 and qCL5. HH and WW in the Group indicate Hwayeongbyeo and CR7111-30, respectively.

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