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Theor Appl Genet. 2004 Mar;108(5):822-8. Epub 2003 Nov 21.

Synteny between a major heading-date QTL in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and the Hd3 heading-date locus in rice.

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Plant Genetics and Breeding Department., Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, SY23 3 EB, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, UK.


The genetic control of induction to flowering has been studied extensively in both model and crop species because of its fundamental biological and economic significance. An ultimate aim of many of these studies has been the application of the understanding of control of flowering that can be gained from the study of model species, to the improvement of crop species. The present study identifies a region of genetic synteny between rice and Lolium perenne, which contains the Hd3 heading-date QTL in rice and a major QTL, accounting for up to 70% of the variance associated with heading date in L. perenne. The identification of synteny between rice and L. perenne in this region demonstrates the direct applicability of the rice genome to the understanding of biological processes in other species. Specifically, this syntenic relationship will greatly facilitate the genetic dissection of aspects of heading-date induction by enabling the magnitude of the genetic component of the heading-date QTL in L. perenne to be combined with the sequencing and annotation information from the rice genome.

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