Crop Biotech Update

Identification of Gene Associated with Cold Tolerance at the Seedling Stage in Rice

April 12, 2017

Identification and cloning of cold-tolerant genes that can stably express under different cold environments are crucial for breeding for cold tolerance in rice. A previous study identified a cold-tolerant QTL at the seedling stage, qCTS-9, from a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population from the cold-tolerant Lijiangxintuanheigu (LTH) and the cold-sensitive Shanhuangzhan 2 (SHZ-2).

Junliang Zhao of the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences and a team of researchers identified eight candidate genes within the qCTS-9 interval through QTL mapping and expression profiling. Assays showed that only Os09g0410300 exhibited different expression patterns between LTH and SHZ-2 during cold stress. Furthermore, a significantly positive correlation was found between cold induction of Os09g0410300 and seedling cold tolerance in the RI lines. Os09g0410300 overexpression in rice plants exhibited enhanced cold tolerance at the seedling stage compared with the wildtype plants.

These results suggest that Os09g0410300 is the functional gene underlying qCTS-9. Identification of this functional gene and development of the gene-specific markers will advance molecular breeding for cold tolerance at the seedling stage in rice.

For more on this study, read the full article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.