The basic premise of high yield in rice is to improve leaf photosynthetic efficiency and coordinate the source-sink relationship in rice plants. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) related to morphological traits and chlorophyll content of rice leaves were detected at the stages of heading to maturity, and a major QTL (qLSCHL4) related to flag leaf shape and chlorophyll content was detected at both stages in recombinant inbred lines constructed using the indica rice cultivar 93-11 and the japonica rice cultivar Nipponbare. Map-based cloning and expression analysis showed that LSCHL4 is allelic to NAL1, a gene previously reported in narrow leaf mutant of rice. Overexpression lines transformed with vector carrying LSCHL4 from Nipponbare and a near-isogenic line of 93-11 (NIL-9311) had significantly increased leaf chlorophyll content, enlarged flag leaf size, and improved panicle type. The average yield of NIL-9311 was 18.70% higher than that of 93-11. These results indicate that LSCHL4 had a pleiotropic function. Exploring and pyramiding more high-yield alleles resembling LSCHL4 for super rice breeding provides an effective way to achieve new breakthroughs in raising rice yield and generate new ideas for solving the problem of global food safety.
Keywords: QTL; panicle type; pleiotropism; qLSCHL4; rice breeding; yield potential..
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CSPB and IPPE, SIBS, CAS.