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PLoS One. 2012;7(12):e52538. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052538. Epub 2012 Dec 20.

Pleiotropism of the photoperiod-insensitive allele of Hd1 on heading date, plant height and yield traits in rice.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology and Chinese National Center for Rice Improvement, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou, China.


Five populations segregated in isogenic backgrounds and three sets of near isogenic lines (NILs) overlapping in a 362.3-kb region covering heading date gene Hd1 were developed from the indica rice cross Zhenshan97 (ZS97)/Milyang 46 (MY46). They were used to analyze the effects of Hd1 on heading date, plant height and yield traits. In a background of the parental mixtures, the photoperiod-sensitive allele derived from ZS97 functioned in promoting and delaying flowering in the natural short-day and long-day conditions, respectively. In the background of ZS97, no response to the photoperiod was observed, whereas the photoperiod-insensitive allele derived from MY46 functioned in delaying flowering, increasing plant height, and enhancing grain productivity. The additive effects estimated in two NIL sets were 6.14 and 6.14 d for heading date, 4.46 and 5.55 cm for plant height, 10.82 and 11.54 for the number of spikelets per panicle, 6.82 and 8.00 for the number of grains per panicle, and 2.16 and 2.23 g for grain yield per plant, which explained 94.1% and 96.3%, 70.5% and 84.8%, 52.4% and 55.2%, 28.9% and 39.2%, and 36.5% and 26.9% of the phenotypic variances, respectively. Since the photoperiod-insensitive allele of Hd1 confers a long vegetative phase, it is a good candidate for breeding rice varieties with high yielding potential for low latitudes.

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