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2022 Speakers

Enhancing yield in rice employing a systematic marker-assisted gene pyramiding

Lakshmi Narayana Vemireddy

Lakshmi Narayana Vemireddy, Speaker at
Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, India
Title : Enhancing yield in rice employing a systematic marker-assisted gene pyramiding


Rice (Oryza sativa L.) yields have been stagnated since the Green Revolution in the 1960s so much so that the average age of the high yielding varieties in India is 28 years. Hence, it is indeed a high time to enhance the global yield levels at least by 50% to feed the anticipated population of 9 billion by 2050. To address this issue, we have employed a systematic marker-assisted breeding approach to incorporate genes/QTLs into elite varieties for enhancing the yield. At the outset, we have transferred two important quantitative trait loci (QTLs) viz., (qDTY2.2 and qDTY4.1), which controls yield under moisture stress (DTY) into two elite varieties, i.e., MTU1010 and NLR34449 through marker-assisted breeding with appreciable recovery of recurrent parent genome content. The two-QTL introgressed lines (ILs) of MTU1010 and NLR34449 backgrounds (qDTY2.2 and qDTY4.1) have shown substantial yield advantage (32 to 84%) over the single-QTL ILs (either qDTY2.2 or qDTY4.1) under moisture stress conditions. In another study, we pyramided DTY QTLs and water use efficiency (WUE) QTLs from well-known drought tolerant cultivar Nagina22 and QTLs for yield component traits from mega variety, IR64 with the aid of marker-assisted pedigree breeding in order to improve the grain yield of rice under reproductive stage moisture stress conditions. We developed 14 pyramided lines at F7 generation with various combinations of targeted QTLs (4-11 QTLs) from two parents and demonstrated the yield advantage of up to 60.23% over the high yielding parent, IR64 under moisture stress condition.  Finally, we also pyramided four genes governing important yield component traits such as GS3, GS5, gw5 from MTU3626 and LP1 from NLR33892 into BPT5204, a fine grain variety with excellent cooking quality. The four gene pyramided line (PL) showed a maximum of 75% yield advantage over the BPT5204 compared to the single, two and three gene PLs. These QTL pyramided lines can be released as varieties besides being used as donors to introgress these QTL combinations into other elite cultivars. In conclusion, it was demonstrated that a systematic combination of important QTLs from selected parents through marker-assisted pedigree breeding has shown to be an excellent approach to supplement conventional phenotype-based breeding approach, especially to improve complex traits such as yield in rice.





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