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Quantitative trait loci identification, fine mapping and gene expression profiling for ovicidal response to whitebacked planthopper (Sogatella furcifera Horvath) in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

Yaolong Yang1, Jie Xu1, Yujia Leng1, Guosheng Xiong2, Jiang Hu1, Guangheng Zhang1, Lichao Huang1, Lan Wang1, Longbiao Guo1, Jiayang Li2, Feng Chen3, Qian Qian1 and Dali Zeng12*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Lab for Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 310006, P. R. China

2 Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

3 Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA

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BMC Plant Biology 2014, 14:145  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-145

Published: 28 May 2014



The whitebacked planthopper (WBPH), Sogatella furcifera Horváth, is a serious rice pest in Asia. Ovicidal resistance is a natural rice defense mechanism against WBPH and is characterized by the formation of watery lesions (WLs) and increased egg mortality (EM) at the WBPH oviposition sites.


This study aimed to understand the genetic and molecular basis of rice ovicidal resistance to WBPH by combining genetic and genomic analyses. First, the ovicidal trait in doubled haploid rice lines derived from a WBPH-resistant cultivar (CJ06) and a WBPH-susceptible cultivar (TN1) were phenotyped based on the necrotic symptoms of the leaf sheaths and EM. Using a constructed molecular linkage map, 19 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with WLs and EM were identified on eight chromosomes. Of them, qWL6 was determined to be a major QTL for WL. Based on chromosome segment substitution lines and a residual heterozygous population, a high-resolution linkage analysis further defined the qWL6 locus to a 122-kb region on chromosome 6, which was annotated to encode 20 candidate genes. We then conducted an Affymetrix microarray analysis to determine the transcript abundance in the CJ06 and TN1 plants. Upon WBPH infestation, 432 genes in CJ06 and 257 genes in TN1 were significantly up-regulated, while 802 genes in CJ06 and 398 genes in TN1 were significantly down-regulated. This suggests that remarkable global changes in gene expression contribute to the ovicidal resistance of rice. Notably, four genes in the 122-kb region of the qWL6 locus were differentially regulated between CJ06 and TN1 in response to the WBPH infestation, suggesting they may be candidate resistance genes.


The information obtained from the fine mapping of qWL6 and the microarray analyses will facilitate the isolation of this important resistance gene and its use in breeding WBPH-resistant rice.

Fine mapping; Gene expression profiling; Ovicidal response; qWL6; Sogatella furcifera Horváth; Whitebacked planthopper