Identification of genomic region(s) responsible for high iron and zinc content in rice.
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Micronutrient especially iron and zinc-enriched rice hold immense promise for sustainable and cost-effective solutions to overcome malnutrition. In this context, BC2F5 population derived from cross between RP-Bio226 and Sampada was used to localize genomic region(s)/QTL(s) for grain Fe (iron) and Zn (zinc) content together with yield and yield-related traits. Genotyping of mapping population with 108 SSR markers resulted in a genetic map of 2317.5 cM with an average marker distance of 21.5 cM. Mean grain mineral content in the mapping population across the two seasons ranged from 10.5-17.5 ppm for Fe and 11.3-22.1 ppm for Zn. Based on the multi-season phenotypic data together with genotypic data, a total of two major QTLs for Fe (PVE upto 17.1%) and three for Zn (PVE upto 34.2%) were identified. Comparative analysis across the two seasons has revealed four consistent QTLs for Fe (qFe(1.1), qFe(1.2), qFe(6.1) and qFe(6.2)) and two QTL for Zn content (qZn(1.1) and qZn(6.2)). Additionally, based on the previous and current studies three meta-QTLs for grain Fe and two for grain Zn have been identified. In-silico analysis of the identified QTL regions revealed the presence of potential candidate gene(s) such as, OsPOT, OsZIP4, OsFDR3, OsIAA5 etc., that were previously reported to influence grain Fe and Zn content. The identified QTLs could be utilized in developing high yielding, Fe and Zn denser varieties by marker assisted selection (MAS).
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