Galactinol synthase (GolS) is considered to be a key regulator of the biosynthesis of Raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs). Accumulation of RFOs has been reported to play a role in protection against abiotic stresses. We identified two cDNAs encoding galactinol synthase from wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), which we designated as TaGolS1 and TaGolS2. Expression of the two TaGolS genes was induced by cold stress but not by drought, heat stress or ABA treatment in wheat. We generated transgenic lines of rice (Oryza sativa L.) constitutively overexpressing TaGolS1 or TaGolS2. These transgenic plants accumulated significantly higher levels of galactinol and raffinose than did wild-type plants and exhibited enhanced cold-stress tolerance. The results demonstrate the involvement of galactinol and raffinose in the development of chilling stress in rice and indicate that the genetic modification of the biosynthesis of RFOs by transformation with GolS genes could be an effective method for enhancing chilling-stress tolerance in rice.
Radiocesium is an extremely harmful radionuclide because of its long half-life; it is important to reduce its transfer from contaminated soil into crops. Here we surveyed genetic variation for seed cesium (Cs) concentration in soybean mini-core collections representing large genetic diversity. The collections grown over 3 years in rotational paddy fields exhibited varying seed Cs concentrations with significant year-to-year correlations, although the phenotypic stability of Cs concentration was lower than that of the congeners potassium (K) and rubidium (Rb). Although Cs is supposedly accumulated in plants via the K transport system, there was no apparent relationship between Cs and K concentrations, whereas a clear positive correlation was observed between Cs and Rb concentrations. Cs and K concentrations in seed showed slightly positive and negative correlations, respectively, with days to flowering. We selected several high or low Cs accumulator candidates on the basis of the 3 years of seed concentration data. These two groups showed significantly different seed Cs concentrations in another field. The differences could not be explained by flowering time alone. These results suggest that genetic variation for seed Cs concentration is present in soybean germplasm and would be useful for breeding low Cs-accumulating varieties.
We developed and evaluated the effectiveness of a new method to detect differences among rice cultivars in their resistance to kernel cracking. The method induces kernel cracking under laboratory controlled condition by moisture absorption to brown rice. The optimal moisture absorption conditions were determined using two japonica cultivars, ‘Nipponbare’ as a cracking-resistant cultivar and ‘Yamahikari’ as a cracking-susceptible cultivar: 12% initial moisture content of the brown rice, a temperature of 25°C, a duration of 5 h, and only a single absorption treatment. We then evaluated the effectiveness of these conditions using 12 japonica cultivars. The proportion of cracked kernels was significantly correlated with the mean 10-day maximum temperature after heading. In addition, the correlation between the proportions of cracked kernels in the 2 years of the study was higher than that for values obtained using the traditional late harvest method. The new moisture absorption method could stably evaluate the resistance to kernel cracking, and will help breeders to develop future cultivars with less cracking of the kernels.
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.
Optimum conditions for obtaining tetraploid were investigated in raphanobrassica, the intergeneric hybrid between radish (Raphanus sativus) and kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) by treating in vitro plants with an anti-mitotic agent, amiprophosmethyl (APM). Initially, no tetraploids but hexaploids and octaploids were induced by the treatments. Although the leaves of these polyploids of raphanobrassica showed chlorosis during subcultures in in vitro conditions, the chlorosis could be successfully prevented by the ethylene inhibitors, both AVG and AgNO3. Based on this result, AVG was added into medium used for the culture after the chromosome doubling treatment, which subsequently resulted in increased survival rates of the treated plant materials as well as increased production rates of polyploids including tetraploid. These polyploid plants showed obviously different characters from the original diploid plant. The tetraploid plant had bigger sizes in shoot, flower and leaf, and more number of leaves than the diploid. On the other hand, the hexaploid and octaploid plants had smaller sizes in shoots and leaves, and less number of leaves than the diploid. Concentration of glucosinolates, functional substances of Brassicaceae crops, did not significantly differ between diploid and tetraploid of raphanobrassica, but reduced in hexaploid and octaploid.
Plant breeding programs in local regions may generate genetic variations that are desirable to local populations and shape adaptability during the establishment of local populations. To elucidate genetic bases for this process, we proposed a new approach for identifying the genetic bases for the traits improved during rice breeding programs; association mapping focusing on a local population. In the present study, we performed association mapping focusing on a local rice population, consisting of 63 varieties, in Hokkaido, the northernmost region of Japan and one of the northern limits of rice cultivation worldwide. Six and seventeen QTLs were identified for heading date and low temperature germinability, respectively. Of these, 13 were novel QTLs in this population and 10 corresponded to the QTLs previously reported based on QTL mapping. The identification of QTLs for traits in local populations including elite varieties may lead to a better understanding of the genetic bases of elite traits. This is of direct relevance for plant breeding programs in local regions.
Seed storability in rice (Oryza sativa L.) is an important agronomic trait. Two segregating populations with N22 (indica) as a common parent, viz. a set of 122 backcross-inbred lines (BILs) derived from the backcross Nanjing35 (japonica)/N22//Nanjing35 and another population comprising 189 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from the cross of USSR5 (japonica) and N22, were studied to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling seed storability. Germination percentage (GP) was used to evaluate seed storability after aging treated under three different conditions, viz. natural, artificial and combined aging treatments. A total of seven QTLs were identified on chromosomes 1, 2, 5, 6 and 9. Among them, a major QTL, qSSn-9, was common in the two populations. In contrast, four QTLs (qSSnj-2-1, qSSn-2-2, qSSn-5 and qSSn-6) were detected in BILs and the QTL qSSn-1 was identified in RILs, which was a new QTL for seed storability. The N22-derived alleles increased the seed storability at all the loci except qSSnj-2-1. We also investigated the effect of QTLs using five selected lines with high storability from BILs and verified qSSn-5 with a near-isogenic line (NIL). These results provide an opportunity for pyramiding or map-based cloning major QTLs for seed storability in rice.
The rice cultivar ASD7 (Oryza sativa L. ssp. indica) is resistant to the brown planthopper (BPH; Nilaparvata lugens Stål) and the green leafhopper (Nephotettix virescens Distant). Here, we analyzed multiple genetic resistance to BPH and the green rice leafhopper (GRH; Nephotettix cincticeps Uhler). Using two independent F2 populations derived from a cross between ASD7 and Taichung 65 (Oryza sativa ssp. japonica), we detected two QTLs (qBPH6 and qBPH12) for resistance to BPH and one QTL (qGRH5) for resistance to GRH. Linkage analysis in BC2F3 populations revealed that qBPH12 controlled resistance to BPH and co-segregated with SSR markers RM28466 and RM7376 in plants homozygous for the ASD7 allele at qBPH6. Plants homozygous for the ASD7 alleles at both QTLs showed a much faster antibiosis response to BPH than plants homozygous at only one of these QTLs. It revealed that epistatic interaction between qBPH6 and qBPH12 is the basis of resistance to BPH in ASD7. In addition, qGRH5 controlled resistance to GRH and co-segregated with SSR markers RM6082 and RM3381. qGRH5 is identical to GRH1. Thus, we clarified the genetic basis of multiple resistance of ASD7 to BPH and GRH.
A total of 448 samples in five natural populations of wild rice (Oryza rufipogon) were collected in Cambodia. They were examined using 12 SSR and two chloroplast markers to evaluate the degree of variation among populations and the genetic structure within populations. In the two annual populations, the number of plants with homozygous alleles at all 12 SSR loci were high (66.3% and 79.5%), suggesting that these plants propagate mainly through self-pollination. In the three perennial populations, no individuals had all homozygous genotypes, but redundant genotypes resulted from clonal propagation were observed. Percentages of the redundant genotypes were highly varied (3.6%, 29.2% and 86.0%). This may be due to the different stable levels of environmental conditions. As for chloroplast genome, most of the wild plants showed the same chloroplast types as most Indica-type cultivars have. However, plants with different chloroplast types were maintained, even in the same population. In tropical Asian countries, many wild rice populations were observed under similar ecological conditions examined in this study. Therefore, the present results concerning population structure will be important to further elucidate genetic features of wild rice, and will also give strong clues to utilize and conserve wild natural genetic resources.
Indonesia is the third largest cocoa-producing country in the world. Knowledge of genetic diversity and parentage of farmer selections is important for effective selection and rational deployment of superior cacao clones in farmers’ fields. We assessed genetic diversity and parentage of 53 farmer selections of cacao in Sulawesi, Indonesia, using 152 international clones as references. Cluster analysis, based on 15 microsatellite markers, showed that these Sulawesi farmer selections are mainly comprised of hybrids derived from Trinitario and two Upper Amazon Forastero groups. Bayesian assignment and likelihood-based parentage analysis further demonstrated that only a small number of germplasm groups, dominantly Trinitario and Parinari, contributed to these farmer selections, in spite of diverse parental clones having been used in the breeding program and seed gardens in Indonesia since the 1950s. The narrow parentage predicts a less durable host resistance to cacao diseases. Limited access of the farmers to diverse planting materials or the strong preference for large pods and large bean size by local farmers, may have affected the selection outcome. Diverse sources of resistance, harbored in different cacao germplasm groups, need to be effectively incorporated to broaden the on-farm diversity and ensure sustainable cacao production in Sulawesi.
Development of kunitz trypsin inhibitor (KTI)-free soybean is crucial for soy-food industry as the heat inactivation employed to inactivate the anti-nutritional factor in regular soybean incurs extra cost and affects protein solubility. In the presented work, a null allele of KTI from PI542044 was introgressed into cultivar ‘JS97-52’ (recurrent parent) through marker assisted backcrossing. Foreground selection in BC1F2, BC2F2 and BC3F2 was carried out using the null allele-specific marker in tandem with SSR marker Satt228, tightly linked with a trypsin inhibitor Ti locus. Background selection in null allele-carrying plants through 106 polymorphic SSR markers across the genome led to the identification of 9 KTI-free lines exhibiting 98.6% average recurrent parent genome content (RPGC) after three backcrosses, which otherwise had required 5–6 backcrosses through conventional method. Introgressed lines (ILs) were free from KTI and yielded at par with recurrent parent. Reduction of 68.8–83.5% in trypsin inhibitor content (TIC) in ILs compared to the recurrent parent (‘JS97-52’) was attributed to the elimination of KTI.