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Comparative mapping of chalkiness components in rice using five populations across two environments

Bo Peng1, Lingqiang Wang1*, Chuchuan Fan1, Gonghao Jiang1, Lijun Luo2, Yibo Li1 and Yuqing He1*

Author Affiliations

1 National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, National Center of Plant Gene Research and National Center of Crop Molecular Breeding, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China

2 Shanghai Agrobiological Gene Center, Shanghai 201106, China

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BMC Genetics 2014, 15:49  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-15-49

Published: 26 April 2014



Chalkiness is a major constraint in rice production because it is one of the key factors determining grain quality (appearance, processing, milling, storing, eating, and cooking quality) and price. Its reduction is a major goal, and the primary purpose of this study was to dissect the genetic basis of grain chalkiness. Using five populations across two environments, we also sought to determine how many quantitative trait loci (QTL) can be consistently detected. We obtained an integrated genetic map using the data from five mapping populations and further confirmed the reliability of the identified QTL.


A total of 79 QTL associated with six chalkiness traits (chalkiness rate, white core rate, white belly rate, chalkiness area, white core area, and white belly area) were mapped on 12 chromosomes using five populations (two doubled haploid lines and three recombinant inbred lines) across two environments (Hainan in 2004 and Wuhan in 2004). The final integrated map included 430 markers; 58.3% of the QTL clustered together (QTL clusters), 71.4% of the QTL clusters were identified in two or more populations, and 36.1% of the QTL were consistently detected in the two environments. The QTL could be detected again and showed dominance (qWBR1, qWBR8, qWBR12, and qCR5) or overdominance effects (qWCR7) for the rate of the white belly or white core, respectively, and all four QTL clusters derived from Zhenshan 97 controlling white belly rate were stably and reliably identified in an F2 population.


Our results identified 79 QTL associated with six chalkiness traits using five populations across two environments and yielded an integrated genetic map, indicating most of the QTL clustered together and could be detected in different backgrounds. The identified QTL were stable and reliable in the F2 population, and they may facilitate our understanding of the QTL related to chalkiness traits in different populations and various environments, the relationships among the various chalkiness QTL, and the genetic basis for chalkiness. Thus, our results may be immediately used for map-based cloning of important QTL and in marker-assisted breeding to improve grain quality in rice breeding.

Oryza sativa L.; QTL; Rice; Chalkiness; Comparative mapping