Rice (Oryza sativa L.) productivity is affected by several biotic and abiotic stresses. The genetic variability for some of these stresses is limited in the cultivated rice germplasm. Moreover, changes in insect biotypes and disease races are a continuing threat to increased rice production. There is thus an urgent need to broaden the rice gene pool by introgressing genes for such traits from diverse sources. The wild species of Oryza representing AA, BB, CC, BBCC, CCDD, EE, FF, GG and HHJJ genomes are an important reservoir of useful genes. However, low crossability and limited recombination between chromosomes of cultivated and wild species limit the transfer of such genes. At IRRI, a series of hybrids and monosomic alien addition lines have been produced through embryo rescue following hybridization between rice and several distantly related species. Cytoplasmic male sterility and genes for resistance to grassy stunt virus and bacterial blight have been transferred from A genome wild species into rice. Similarly, genes for resistance to brown planthopper, bacterial blight and blast have also been introgressed across crossability barriers from distanly related species into rice. Some of the introgressed genes have been mapped via linkage to molecular markers. One of the genes Xa-21 introgressed from O. longistaminata has been cloned and physically mapped on chromosome 11 of rice using BAC library and flourescence in-situ hybridization. RFLP analysis revealed introgression from 11 of the 12 chromosomes of C genome species into rice. Introgression has also been obtained from other distant genomes (EE, FF, GG) into rice and in majority of the cases one or two RFLP markers were introgressed. Reciprocal replacement of RFLP alleles of wild species with the alleles of O. sativa indicates alien gene transfer through crossing over. The rapid recovery of recurrent phenotypes in BC2 and BC3 generations from wide crosses is an indication of limited recombination. Further cytogenetic and molecular investigations are required to determine precisely the mechanism of introgression of small chromosome segments from distant genomes in the face of limited homoeologous chromosome pairing. Future research should focus on enhancing recombination between homoeologous chromosomes. Introgression of QTL from wild species should be attempted to increase the yield potential of rice.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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