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Theor Appl Genet. 2005 Jan;110(2):205-11. Epub 2004 Dec 1.

Genetic dissection of embryo sac fertility, pollen fertility, and their contributions to spikelet fertility of intersubspecific hybrids in rice.

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National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and National Center of Plant Gene Research, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China.


The partial sterility of hybrids has been a major barrier for utilization of the strong heterosis expressed in hybrids between Oryza sativa ssp. indica and O. sativa ssp. japonica. Wide-compatibility varieties, comprising a special class of germplasm, are able to produce fertile hybrids when crossed to both indica and japonica varieties. However, all the work on wide compatibility and majority of studies on indica/japonica hybrid sterility reported so far were based only on spikelet fertility; thus, it is not known to what extent male and female gamete abortions influence hybrid sterility. In this study, we investigated pollen fertility, embryo sac fertility, and spikelet fertility in an F1 population of 202 true hybrid plants derived from a three-way cross ('02428'/'Nanjing 11'//'Balilla'). A partial regression analysis showed that the pollen and embryo sac fertility contributed almost equally to spikelet fertility. QTL analysis based on a linkage map of 191 polymorphic marker loci identified two QTLs for pollen fertility, one QTL for embryo sac fertility, and three QTLs for spikelet fertility. The S5 locus, previously identified as a locus for wide compatibility by spikelet fertility analysis, is a major locus for embryo sac fertility, and a QTL on chromosome 5 had a major effect on pollen fertility. These two loci coincided with the two major QTLs for spikelet fertility. The study also detected a QTL on chromosome 8, showing a large effect on spikelet fertility but no effect on either pollen or embryo sac fertility. Very little interaction among the QTLs was detected. The implications of the findings in rice breeding programs are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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