Identification of quantitative trait loci governing early germination and seedling vigor traits related to weed competitive ability in rice
Abstract: Weed competitive ability (WCA) is vital for the improvement of grain yield under direct-seeded and aerobic rice ecosystems where weeds are a major limiting factor. Early seed germination (ESG) and early seedling vigor (ESV) are the crucial traits for WCA. This study attempted to map the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and hotspot regions governing ESG and ESV traits. A total of 167 BC1F5 selective introgression lines developed from an early backcross population involving Weed Tolerant Rice 1 (WTR-1) as the recipient parent and Y-134 as the donor parent were phenotyped for ESG and ESV traits. Analysis of variance revealed significant differences in ESG-related traits except for root length and in ESV-related traits except for plant height at 7 days after sowing. A total of 677-high quality single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were used to analyze the marker-trait association from a 6 K SNP genotyping array. Forty-three QTLs were identified on all chromosomes, except on chromosomes 4 and 8. Thirty QTLs were contributed by a desirable allele from Y-134, whereas 13 QTLs were from WTR-1. Twenty-eight of the identified genetic loci associated with ESG and ESV traits were novel. Two QTL hotspot regions were mapped on chromosomes 11 and 12. The genomic regions of QTL hotspots were fine-tuned and a total of 13 putative candidate genes were discovered on chromosomes 11 and 12 collectively. The mapped QTLs will be useful in advancing the marker aided-selection schemes and breeding programs for the development of rice cultivars with WCA traits.
Keywords: Early seed germination / Early seedling vigor / Selective introgression lines / Quantitative trait loci / Single nucleotide polymorphism / Weed competitive ability
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