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Cytoplasm affects grain weight and filled-grain ratio in indica rice

Dayun Tao, Peng Xu, Jiawu Zhou, Xianneng Deng, Jing Li, Wei Deng, Jiangyi Yang, Guifeng Yang, Qiong Li and Fengyi Hu*

Author Affiliations

Food Crops Research Institute, Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Kunming 650205, China

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BMC Genetics 2011, 12:53  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-12-53

Published: 1 June 2011



Cytoplasmic effects on agronomic traits -involving cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes of either different species or different cultivars - are well documented in wheat but have seldom been demonstrated in rice (Oryza sativa L.). To detect cytoplasmic effects, we introgressed the nuclear genomes of three indica cultivars - Guichao 2, Jiangchengkugu, and Dianrui 449 - into the cytoplasms of six indica cultivars - Dijiaowujian, Shenglixian, Zhuzhan, Nantehao, Aizizhan, and Peta. These 18 nuclear substitution lines were evaluated during the winter season of 2005 in Sanya, Hainan, China, and during the summer season of 2006 in Kunming, Yunnan, China. The effects of 6 cytoplasm sources, 3 nucleus sources, 2 locations and their interactions were estimated for plant height, panicle length, panicle number per plant, spikelet number per panicle, grain weight, filled-grain ratio, and yield per plot.


For five of the seven traits, analysis of variance showed that there were no significant cytoplasmic effects or interactions involving cytoplasmic effects. The effect of cytoplasm on 1000-grain weight was highly significant. Mean 1000-grain weight over the two locations in four of the six cytoplasms clustered close to the overall mean, whereas plants with Nantehao cytoplasm had a high, and those with Peta cytoplasm a low mean grain weight. There was a highly significant three-way interaction affecting filled-grain ratio. At Sanya, cytoplasms varied in very narrow ranges within nuclear backgrounds. Strong cytoplasmic effects were observed only at Kunming and in only two of the three nuclear backgrounds; in the Jianchenkugu nuclear background, there was no evidence of strong cytoplasmic effects at either location. In the Dianrui 449 and Guichao 2 nuclear background evaluated at Kunming, filled-grain ratios of the six cytoplasms showed striking rank shifts


We detected cytoplasmic variation for two agronomically important traits in indica rice. The cytoplasm source had a significant effect on grain weight across the two experimental locations. There was also a significant cytoplasmic effect on filled-grain ratio, but only in two of three nuclear background and at one of the two locations. The results extend our previous findings with japonica rice, suggesting that the selection of appropriate cytoplasmic germplasm is broadly important in rice breeding, and that cytoplasmic effects on some traits, such as filled-grain ratio, cannot be generalized; effects should be evaluated in the nuclear backgrounds of interest and at multiple locations.