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Genetics. Jun 1995; 140(2): 745–754.
PMCID: PMC1206649

Dominance Is the Major Genetic Basis of Heterosis in Rice as Revealed by Qtl Analysis Using Molecular Markers


A set of 194 F(7) lines derived from a subspecific rice cross showing strong F(1) heterosis was backcrossed to the two parents. The materials (388 BC(1)F(7) lines, 194 F(8) lines, two parents, F(1)) were phenotyped for 12 quantitative traits. A total of 37 significant QTLs (LOD >/= 2.0) was detected through 141 RFLP markers in the BC(1)F(7) populations. Twenty-seven (73%) quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were detected in only one of the BC(1)F(7) populations. In 82% of these cases, the heterozygotes were superior to the respective homozygotes. The remaining 10 (27%) QTLs were detected in both BC(1)F(7) populations, and the heterozygote had a phenotype falling between those of the two homozygotes and in no instances were the heterozygotes found to be superior to both homozygotes. These results suggest that dominance complementation is the major genetic basis of heterosis in rice. This conclusion was strengthened by the finding that there was no correlation between most traits and overall genome heterozygosity and that there were some recombinant inbred lines in the F(8) population having phenotypic values superior to the F(1) for all of the traits evaluated--a result not expected if overdominance was a major contributor to heterosis. Digenic epistasis was not evident.

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Selected References

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