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Bridging <i>sd1</i> molecular knowledge with recent breeding strategies for the improvement of traditional rice varieties - a <i>japonica</i> case-study

S Negrão
J Palaniappan
J Maroco
T Lourenço
D Mackill
MM Oliveira


The rice semidwarfing gene, sd1, also known as the “green revolution gene”, has been studied intensively due to its contribution to the increase of crop production. Although sd1 breeding was extensively applied since the 1960s, the recent advances in the molecular basis of this gene allowed
designing a more precise breeding strategy - marker assisted backcrossing (MAB) - to track sd1 introgression in two traditional rice varieties. For selection of sd1 plants we first confirmed the efficiency of specific markers based on Os200 x 2 gene sequence. Background selection was also
performed with the help of microsatellites markers (SSR) and a total of 7 breeding lines were recovered containing a higher percentage of recurrent parent genome (RPG). Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) using mean progenitor plant height as covariate was performed to compare several agronomic and quality-related parameters in two different environments. The results suggest that plant height differs significantly between the two environments F(1, 220) = 155.336; p < 0.001. From the total variability of
plant height we could conclude that 73% is due to the genotype, while 10.4% depends on the environment. In addition, the percentage of RPG seems negatively correlated with plant height (p < 0.005). MAB and background selection thus revealed as useful tools to assist breeding for
semidwarfism in traditional rice varieties.

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eISSN: 1684-5315