Biotech Updates

Scientists Develop Marker System for Rice Kernel Length Elongation Traits

August 27, 2010

Kernel length in rice (Oryza sativa L.) is regulated by different stretches of DNA, wherein the gene GS3 is the most essential because it controls 80-90% of the variation in kernel length. Previous studies have shown that when the exon or the portion of DNA that codes information for protein synthesis of the GS3 is mutated, maximum variations in the kernel length were observed. M. S. Madhav and other scientists of the Directorate of Rice Research, India, developed a simple marker system named DRR-GL using polymerase chain reaction, a technique used to amplify a single or few copies of a piece of DNA, forming thousands to millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence. This was done to target small changes in the DNA sequence of GS3. The marker was validated using a segregating population and 152 rice varieties and was found to be associated with the kernel length and elongation after cooking. According to the scientists, the marker is easy to use, saves time and cost, and could also be utilized for large-scale marker-assisted selection for the kernel length trait.

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