Sensitivities of rice grain yield and other panicle characters to late-stage drought stress revealed by phenotypic correlation and QTL analysis
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A lowland rice variety (Zhenshan97B) was crossed with an upland variety (IRAT109) to construct a set of recombinant inbred lines (RILs). The population was evaluated under both well-watered (control) and drought-stress (drought) conditions for 2 years. Panicle water potential (PWP), panicle length (PL), grain number per plant (GNP), primary branch number (PBN), second branch number (SBN), spikelet density (SPD), and dry grain weight per plant (DGW) were measured. Phenotypic correlation and path analysis were used to interpret the ranking of importance of other panicle traits to grain yield. Comparison of such rankings under control and drought conditions showed varied responses of panicle traits to drought stress. It was indicated that GNP was an important contributor to DGW under control, and even more important under drought. Thirty-two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for panicle traits and dry grain weight were identified, with contribution rates ranging from 3.33% to 22.66%. Eleven epistatic QTLs were detected. Cases of collocated QTLs under control and drought were found for PL, SPD, GNP, PBN, and SBN, but not for DGW and PWP. The effectiveness of selection under normal and stressed conditions is discussed.
KeywordsOryza sativa L. Drought tolerance Panicle traits QTL mapping Correlation analysis
This study was jointly supported by grants from National Natural Science Foundation of China (30830071), Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (948 plan), Shanghai Municipal Agriculture Commission, and Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Commission (07ZR14095, 07QA14045, 09DJ1400501), Shanghai Postdoctoral Fund (08R214205), and China Postdoctoral Fund.
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