Population Structure, Diversity and Trait Association Analysis in Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Germplasm for Early Seedling Vigor (ESV) Using Trait Linked SSR Markers
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Early seedling vigor (ESV) is the essential trait for direct seeded rice to dominate and smother the weed growth. In this regard, 629 rice genotypes were studied for their morphological and physiological responses in the field under direct seeded aerobic situation on 14th, 28th and 56th days after sowing (DAS). It was determined that the early observations taken on 14th and 28th DAS were reliable estimators to study ESV as compared to56th DAS. Further, 96 were selected from 629 genotypes by principal component (PCA) and discriminate function analyses. The selected genotypes were subjected to decipher the pattern of genetic diversity in terms of both phenotypic and genotypic by using ESV QTL linked simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. To assess the genetic structure, model and distance based approaches were used. Genotyping of 96 rice lines using 39 polymorphic SSRs produced a total of 128 alleles with the phenotypic information content (PIC) value of 0.24. The model based population structure approach grouped the accession into two distinct populations, whereas unrooted tree grouped the genotypes into three clusters. Both model based and structure based approach had clearly distinguished the early vigor genotypes from non-early vigor genotypes. Association analysis revealed that 16 and 10 SSRs showed significant association with ESV traits by general linear model (GLM) and mixed linear model (MLM) approaches respectively. Marker alleles on chromosome 2 were associated with shoot dry weight on 28 DAS, vigor index on 14 and 28 DAS. Improvement in the rate of seedling growth will be useful for identifying rice genotypes acquiescent to direct seeded conditions through marker- assisted selection.
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