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Crop Biotech Update

Evaluation of the Brown Planthopper Resistance Genes in Hybrid Rice

February 18, 2011

The brown planthopper (BPH) is one of the most devastating insect pests of rice in Asia. BPH is a sap-feeding insect that causes "hopper-burn" and could also be a vector for rice grassy stunt virus and ragged stunt virus. Use of pesticides to combat this pest is costly and could also cause the decrease in the population of other beneficial insects in the field. Rice variety Shanyou 63, which was widely cultivated in China, has decreased in production due to its susceptibility to pests such as BPH. To increase BPH resistance in rice hybrids like Shangyou 63, Jie Hu of Huazhong Agricultural University, China, and colleagues, used marker-assisted selection introgression of BPH resistance genes (Bph14 and Bph15).

Results of the study showed that improved hybrids introgressed with only one gene have enhanced resistance to BPH than the conventional varieties, but those introgressed with both genes have higher resistance. The researchers also found out that both genes are partial dominant genes meaning, no trait is fully dominant over another, thus, the genes could be used to breed BPH-resistant hybrids. Results of the field trials showed that the improved hybrids produce more yield.

For more details about this study, visit http://www.springerlink.com/content/d73422711562367n/.