Zinc (Zn) is one of the essential mineral elements for both plants and humans. Zn deficiency in human is one of the major causes of hidden hunger, a serious health problem observed in many developing countries. Therefore, increasing Zn concentration in edible part is an important issue for improving human Zn nutrition. Here, we found that an Australian wild rice O. meridionalis showed higher grain Zn concentrations compared with cultivated and other wild rice species. The quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis was then performed to identify the genomic regions controlling grain Zn levels using backcross recombinant inbred lines derived from O. sativa ‘Nipponbare’ and O. meridionalis W1627. Four QTLs responsible for high grain Zn were detected on chromosomes 2, 9, and 10. The QTL on the chromosome 9 (named qGZn9), which showed the largest effect on grain Zn concentration was confirmed with the introgression line, which had a W1627 chromosomal segment covering the qGZn9 region in the genetic background of O. sativa ‘Nipponbare’. Fine mapping of this QTL resulted in identification of two tightly linked loci, qGZn9a and qGZn9b. The candidate regions of qGZn9a and qGZn9b were estimated to be 190 and 950 kb, respectively. Furthermore, we also found that plants having a wild chromosomal segment covering qGZn9a, but not qGZn9b, is associated with fertility reduction. qGZn9b, therefore, provides a valuable allele for breeding rice with high Zn in the grains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences