Plant breeding programs aim to develop cultivars with high adaptability to the specific conditions in a local region. As a result, unique genes and gene combinations have been accumulated in local elite breeding populations during the long history of plant breeding. Genetic analyses on such genes and combinations may be useful for developing new cultivars with more-desirable agronomic traits. Here, we attempted to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) for rice blast resistance (BR) using a local breeding rice population from Hokkaido, Japan. Using genotyping data on single nucleotide polymorphisms and simple sequence repeat markers distributed throughout the whole genomic region, we detected genetic regions associated with phenotypic variation in BR by a genome-wide association mapping study (GWAS). An additional association analysis using other breeding cultivars verified the effect and inheritance of the associated region. Furthermore, the existence of a gene for BR in the associated region was confirmed by QTL mapping. The results from these studies enabled us to estimate potential of the Hokkaido rice population as a gene pool for improving BR. The results of this study could be useful for developing novel cultivars with vigorous BR in rice breeding programs.
2015 by JAPANESE SOCIETY OF BREEDING