Marker assisted pyramiding of drought yield QTLs into a popular Malaysian rice cultivar, MR219 uri icon


  • Background: Three drought yield QTLs, qDTY(2.2), qDTY(3.1), and qDTY(12.1) with consistent effect on grain yield under reproductive stage drought stress were pyramided through marker assisted breeding with the objective of improving the grain yield of the elite Malaysian rice cultivar MR219 under reproductive stage drought stress. Foreground selection using QTL specific markers, recombinant selection using flanking markers, and background selection were performed. BC1F3-derived lines with different combinations of qDTY(2.2), qDTY(3.1), and qDTY(12.1) were evaluated under both reproductive stage drought stress and non-stress during the dry seasons of 2013 and 2014 at IRRI.
  • Conclusion: We successfully developed drought-tolerant MR219 pyramided lines with a yield advantage of more than 1500 kg ha(-1). Differential yield advantages of different combinations of the qDTYs indicate a differential synergistic relationship among qDTYs. This is the first report on the successful effect of qDTYs in increasing the yield under drought in genetic backgrounds other than those in which the qDTYs were earlier identified.
  • Results: The grain yield reductions in the stress trials compared to non-stress trials ranged from 79 to 93 %. In the stress trials, delay in days to flowering and reduction in plant height were observed. In both seasons, MR219 did not produce any yield under stress, however it produced a yield of 5917 kg ha(-1) during the 2013 dry season and 8319 kg ha(-1) during the 2014 dry season under non-stress. Selected introgressed lines gave a yield advantage of 903 to 2500 kg ha(-1) over MR219 under reproductive stage drought stress and a yield of more than 6900 kg ha(-1) under non-stress during the 2014 dry season. Among lines with single qDTY, lines carrying qDTY(2.2) provided a higher yield advantage under reproductive stage drought stress in the MR219 background. Two qDTY combinations (qDTY(3.1+)qDTY(2.2) and qDTY(3.1+)qDTY(12.1)) performed better than lines with three qDTY combinations, indicating the absence of positive interactions between the three qDTYs.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016