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, 10 (7), e0131846

Examining Two Sets of Introgression Lines in Rice (Oryza Sativa L.) Reveals Favorable Alleles That Improve Grain Zn and Fe Concentrations


Examining Two Sets of Introgression Lines in Rice (Oryza Sativa L.) Reveals Favorable Alleles That Improve Grain Zn and Fe Concentrations

Qin Xu et al. PLoS One.


In the modern world, the grain mineral concentration (GMC) in rice (Oryza sativa L.) not only includes important micronutrient elements such as iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn), but it also includes toxic heavy metal elements, especially cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb). To date, the genetic mechanisms underlying the regulation of GMC, especially the genetic background and G × E effects of GMC, remain largely unknown. In this study, we adopted two sets of backcross introgression lines (BILs) derived from IR75862 (a Zn-dense rice variety) as the donor parent and two elite indica varieties, Ce258 and Zhongguangxiang1, as recurrent parents to detect QTL affecting GMC traits including Fe, Zn, Cd and Pb concentrations in two environments. We detected a total of 22 loci responsible for GMC traits, which are distributed on all 12 rice chromosomes except 5, 9 and 10. Six genetic overlap (GO) regions affecting multiple elements were found, in which most donor alleles had synergistic effects on GMC. Some toxic heavy metal-independent loci (such as qFe1, qFe2 and qZn12) and some regions that have opposite genetic effects on micronutrient (Fe and Zn) and heavy metal element (Pb) concentrations (such as GO-IV) may be useful for marker-assisted biofortification breeding in rice. We discuss three important points affecting biofortification breeding efforts in rice, including correlations between different GMC traits, the genetic background effect and the G × E effect.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Fig 1
Fig 1. The integrated genetic map and distribution of QTL affecting grain mineral concentration (GMC) of Fe, Zn, Cd and Pb detected in the two sets of backcross introgression lines (BILs) derived from IR75862, a Zn dense variety as donor parent and two elite indica varieties, Ce258 and Zhongguangxiang1 as recurrent parents.
QTL on the left of the chromosomes show those detected in BILs of Ce258 × IR75862 whereas those on the right of the chromosomes in BILs of Zhongguangxiang1 × IR75862. Digits on the left and inside brackets under QTL bars represent LOD value and additive effect (in 103 mg kg-1) of QTL. Dotted line box stands for the genetic overlap regions affecting GMC of different mineral elements.

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Grant support

Harvest Plus Program (2014H8325.CAA); "863" project from the Chinese Ministry of Science & Technology(2012AA101101); the "948" project from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (2010-G2B); the Special Fund of Chinese Central Government for Basic Scientific Research Operations in Commonweal Research Institutes (2014JB04-012); and the "Green Super Rice" project from Bill & Melinda Gates’ Foundation (OPPGD1393). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.