Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 165–177 | Cite as

Genotypic variation in element concentrations in brown rice from Yunnan landraces in China

  • Yawen Zeng
  • Hongliang Zhang
  • Luxiang Wang
  • Xiaoying Pu
  • Juan Du
  • Shuming Yang
  • Jiafu Liu
Original Paper


The mineral elements present in brown rice play an important physiological role in global human health. We investigated genotypic variation of eight of these elements (P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, and Mn) in 11 different grades of brown rice on the basis of the number and distance coefficients of 282 alleles for 20 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Six-hundred and twenty-eight landraces from the same field in Yunnan Province, one of the largest centers of genetic diversity of rice (Oryza sativa L.) in the world, formed our core collection. The mean concentrations (mg kg−1) of the eight elements in brown rice for these landraces were P (3,480) > K (2,540) > Mg (1,480) > Ca (157) > Zn (32.8) > Fe (32.0) > Cu (13.6) > Mn (13.2). Mean P concentrations in brown rice were 6.56 times total soil P, so the grains are important in tissue storage of P, but total soil K is 7.82 times mean K concentrations in brown rice. The concentrations of the eight elements in some grades of brown rice, on the basis of the number and distance coefficients of alleles for 20 SSR markers for the landraces, were significantly different (P < 0.05), and further understanding of the relationship between mineral elements and gene diversity is needed. There was large variation in element concentrations in brown rice, ranging from 2,160 to 5,500 mg P kg−1, from 1,130 to 3,830 mg K kg−1, from 61.8 to 488 mg Ca kg−1, from 864 to 2,020 mg Mg kg−1, from 0.40 to 147 mg Fe kg−1, from 15.1 to 124 mg Zn kg−1, from 0.10 to 59.1 mg Cu kg−1, and from 6.7 to 26.6 mg Mn kg−1. Therefore, germplasm evaluations for Ca, Fe, and Zn concentrations in rice grains have detected up to sevenfold genotypic differences, suggesting that selection for high levels of Ca, Fe, and Zn in breeding for mass production is a feasible approach. Increasing the concentrations of Ca, Fe, and Zn in rice grains will help alleviate chronic Ca, Zn, and Fe deficiencies in many areas of the world.


Brown rice Core collection Element concentrations Genotypical difference SSR markers 





















Simple sequence repeat



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 30660092), Cooperation Program between Province and Zhejiang University from Yunnan Provincial Scientific and Technology Department (no. 2006YX12) and Yunnan Introduction and Foster Talent (no. 2005PY01-14). We are grateful for many valuable suggestions from Professor Chunlin Long, Professor Xiangkun Wang, and Professor Zichao Li. Mr Shiquan Shen assisted with some of the analyses. We also thank Krisa Fredrickson, a Native American from the California Academy of Sciences, for revising and editing the English.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yawen Zeng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hongliang Zhang
    • 5
  • Luxiang Wang
    • 4
  • Xiaoying Pu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Juan Du
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shuming Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jiafu Liu
    • 4
  1. 1.Biotechnology and Genetic Germplasm InstituteYunnan Academy of Agricultural SciencesKunmingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Agricultural Biotechnology of Yunnan ProvinceKunmingChina
  3. 3.Yunnan Agricultural UniversityKunmingChina
  4. 4.Institute of Quality Standards and Testing TechnologyYunnan Academy of Agricultural SciencesKunmingChina
  5. 5.Key Laboratory of Crop Genomics and Genetic Improvement, Ministry of Agriculture and Beijing Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic ImprovementChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina

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