2022 Volume 72 Issue 2 Pages 124-131
The development of crop varieties with high nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) is thought to be important in achieving sustainable cereal crop production. The high yield large-grain rice cultivar Oryza sativa L. ‘Akita 63’ (temperate japonica) has high physiological NUE (PNUE) for grain yield (GY). Our previous study revealed that a large-grain allele of GS3 is present in ‘Akita 63’. Here, we verified the influence of GS3 on the yield properties and PNUE for GY in ‘Akita 63’. The frequency distribution of brown rice length in F2 crosses of ‘Iwate 75’ and ‘Akita 63’ showed a continuous distribution that could be explained by GS3. A near-isogenic line was developed to substitute the GS3 segment of ‘Koshihikari’, which harbours a normal-sized grain allele, in the genetic background of ‘Akita 63’ and the line was designated as Akita63NILGS3-Koshihikari. Compared with Akita63NILGS3-Koshihikari, ‘Akita 63’ exhibited a significantly increased grain length, single brown grain weight and GY, although no significant differences were observed in the nitrogen content and above-ground biomass per unit of cultivated area. These results indicate that the GS3 large-grain allele is a contributing factor to high PNUE for GY in ‘Akita 63’. These findings will facilitate the development of nitrogen-efficient rice varieties.