Background: Increasing rice yield potential is a major objective in rice breeding programs, given the need for meeting the demands of population growth, especially in Asia. Genetic analysis using genomic information and high-yielding cultivars can facilitate understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying rice yield potential. Chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) are a powerful tool for the detection and precise mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that have both large and small effects. In addition, reciprocal CSSLs developed in both parental cultivar backgrounds may be appropriate for evaluating gene activity, as a single factor or in epistatic interactions. Results: We developed reciprocal CSSLs derived from a cross between Takanari (one of the most productive indica cultivars) and a leading japonica cultivar, Koshihikari; both the cultivars were developed in Japan. Forty-one CSSLs covered most of the Takanari genome in the Koshihikari background and 39 CSSLs covered the Koshihikari genome in the Takanari background. Using the reciprocal CSSLs, we conducted yield trials under canopy conditions in paddy fields. While no CSSLs significantly exceeded the recurrent parent cultivar in yield, genetic analysis detected 48 and 47 QTLs for yield and its components in the Koshihikari and Takanari backgrounds, respectively. A number of QTLs showed a trade-off, in which the allele with increased sink-size traits (spikelet number per panicle or per square meter) was associated with decreased ripening percentage or 1000-grain weight. These results indicate that increased sink size is not sufficient to increase rice yield in both backgrounds. In addition, most QTLs were detected in either one of the two genetic backgrounds, suggesting that these loci may be under epistatic control with other gene(s). Conclusions: We demonstrated that the reciprocal CSSLs are a useful tool for understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying yield potential in the high-yielding rice cultivar Takanari. Our results suggest that sink-size QTLs in combination with QTLs for source strength or translocation capacity, as well as careful attention to epistatic interactions, are necessary for increasing rice yield. Thus, our findings provide a foundation for developing rice cultivars with higher yield potential in future breeding programs.
- Chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs)
- Quantitative trait locus (QTL)
- Yield potential
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science