Genome-wide haplotype changes produced by artificial selection during modern rice breeding in Japan

Jun ichi Yonemaru, Toshio Yamamoto, Kaworu Ebana, Eiji Yamamoto, Hideki Nagasaki, Taeko Shibaya, Masahiro Yano

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47 Citations (Scopus)


During the last 90 years, the breeding of rice has delivered cultivars with improved agronomic and economic characteristics. Crossing of different lines and successive artificial selection of progeny based on their phenotypes have changed the chromosomal constitution of the ancestors of modern rice; however, the nature of these changes is unclear. The recent accumulation of data for genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in rice has allowed us to investigate the change in haplotype structure and composition. To assess the impact of these changes during modern breeding, we studied 177 Japanese rice accessions, which were categorized into three groups: landraces, improved cultivars developed from 1931 to 1974 (the early breeding phase), and improved cultivars developed from 1975 to 2005 (the late breeding phase). Phylogenetic tree and structure analysis indicated genetic differentiation between non-irrigated (upland) and irrigated (lowland) rice groups as well as genetic structuring within the irrigated rice group that corresponded to the existence of three subgroups. Pedigree analysis revealed that a limited number of landraces and cultivars was used for breeding at the beginning of the period of systematic breeding and that 11 landraces accounted for 70% of the ancestors of the modern improved cultivars. The values for linkage disequilibrium estimated from SNP alleles and the haplotype diversity determined from consecutive alleles in five-SNP windows indicated that haplotype blocks became less diverse over time as a result of the breeding process. A decrease in haplotype diversity, caused by a reduced number of polymorphisms in the haplotype blocks, was observed in several chromosomal regions. However, our results also indicate that new haplotype polymorphisms have been generated across the genome during the breeding process. These findings will facilitate our understanding of the association between particular haplotypes and desirable phenotypes in modern Japanese rice cultivars.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere32982
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 13 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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