Grain size is a key factor influencing the grain yield in rice. To identify the as-yet-unknown genes regulating grain size in Korean japonica rice, we developed a recombinant inbred line population (n = 162) from a cross between Odae (large-grain) and Joun (small-grain), and measured six traits including the thousand-grain weights of unhulled and hulled seeds, grain area, grain length, grain width and grain length-to-width ratio using high-throughput image analysis at the F8 and F9 generations. A genetic map was constructed using 248 kompetitive allele-specific PCR (KASP) markers that were polymorphic between the parental genotypes, and 29 QTLs affecting the six traits were identified, of which 15 were stable in both F8 and F9 generations. Notably, three QTL clusters affecting multiple traits were detected on chromosomes 6, 7 and 11. We analyzed whole-genome resequencing data of Odae and Joun, and selected candidate genes for the stable QTLs in the identified clusters that have high- or moderate-impact variations between Odae and Joun and encode proteins the families of which have been reported to be related to grain size regulation. These results will facilitate the identification of genes underlying the QTLs and promote molecular breeding of high-yielding Korean japonica rice varieties.
Global warming has caused devastating damage to starch biosynthesis, which has led to the increase in chalky grains of rice. This study was conducted to characterize the qualities of chalky rice grains and to develop the estimation formulae for their quality damage degree. We evaluated the chalkiness of 40 Japonica rice samples harvested in 2019, in Japan. Seven samples with a high ratio of chalky rice grains were selected and divided into two groups (whole grain and chalky grain). As a results of the various physicochemical measurements, it was shown that the surface layer hardness (H1) of cooked rice grains from chalky grains was significantly lower, and their overall hardness was significantly lower than those from the whole grains. In addition, α- and β-amylase activities, and sugar contents of the chalky rice grains were significantly higher than those of the whole rice grains. The developed estimation formula for the degree of retrogradation of H1 based on the α-amylase activities and pasting properties, showed correlation coefficients of 0.84 and 0.81 in the calibration and validation tests, respectively. This result presents the formula that could be used to estimate and to characterize the cooking properties of the rice samples ripened under high temperature.
Flooding in rainfed lowlands greatly impairs the mutualistic relationship between indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and rice. In flooded soils, root colonization by AMF is arrested, but some AMF genera, defined as the core AMF, remain present. However, the core AMF in rainfed lowlands and their symbiotic roles remain unknown. Here, we showed that Acaulospora fungi were the core AMF in rice seedling roots of the Sangyod Muang Phatthalung (SMP) landrace rice variety grown in non-flooded and flooded paddy soils. Subsequently, indigenous Acaulospora spores were propagated by trap cultures using maize as the host plants. Therefore, to clarify the roles of cultured Acaulospora spores in a symbiotic partnership, the model japonica rice variety Nipponbare was grown in sterile soil inoculated with Acaulospora spores, and recolonized with a native microbial filtrate from the organic rice paddy soil. Our data demonstrated that the inoculation of Acaulospora spores in well-drained soil under a nutrient-sufficient condition for six weeks enabled 70 percent of the rice roots to be colonized by the fungi, leading to higher phosphate (Pi) accumulation in the mycorrhizal roots. Unexpectedly, the growth of rice seedlings was significantly suppressed by inoculation while photosynthetic parameters such as fractions of incoming light energy and relative chlorophyll content were unaltered. In the soil, the Acaulospora fungi increased soil phosphorus (P) availability by enhancing the secretion of acid phosphatase in the mycorrhizal roots. The findings of this work elucidate the symbiotic roles of the dominant Acaulospora fungi from lowland rice paddies.
The vascular bundles of rice panicles serve to connect the source and the sink, as well as serving as a channel for the transportation of materials. In this study, two homozygous japonica rice strains were used as materials. The vascular bundle structures of the branches in different positions within a rice panicle were observed, and their cross-sectional areas were calculated. In addition, the ultrastructure of the central large vascular bundle (LVB) phloem in the rachillae of superior spikelets (SS) and inferior spikelets (IS) was observed during the grain filling period. Moreover, the soluble sugar and protein contents of the SS and IS rachillae were also measured to study whether the differences in the structure of vascular bundles of the branches were related to the plumpness of grain at different positions. The results showed that vascular bundle cross-sectional areas of the basal primary branches were greater than those in the upper primary branches. Moreover, there was little difference in the areas of vascular bundles between the basal secondary branches and upper secondary branches. However, the vascular bundle areas of the IS rachillae were lower than those in the SS rachillae. Therefore, we believe that the poor vascular tissue channel of the IS rachillae could be the limiting factor in IS plumpness. The results also showed that a similar time course in the degradation pattern of some organelles of the sieve elements and companion cells in central LVB was observed in the SS rachillae and IS rachillae during the grain filling period. Compared with the IS rachillae, more abundant mitochondria and plasmodesmata were found in the companion cells of SS rachillae at the beginning of the filling stage, while no significant differences between SS and IS rachillae were identified at the middle and late filling stages, which implies that the SS rachillae were relatively more effective at transportation compared with the IS rachillae at the initial filling stage. Therefore, the undeveloped vascular bundles of the IS rachillae and their poor physiology and lack of ability to transport at the initial filling stages could be the limiting factor in IS plumpness.
In recent years, the compact polarimetric (CP) synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has become a hotspot of SAR Earth observation. Meanwhile, CP SAR provides both relatively rich polarization information and large swath-width for rice mapping. Fine classification of rice paddy plays an important role in growth monitoring, pest prevention and yield estimation of rice. In this study, the multi-temporal CP SAR data were firstly simulated by fully polarimetric RADARSAT-2 data, and 22 CP parameters from each of the six temporal CP SAR data were extracted. Then we built a rice height-sensitive index (RHSI). Furthermore, a decision tree (DT) method was established by using the optimal CP parameters based on RHSI. Finally, the classification results of rice paddy based on DT and support vector machine (SVM) methods were compared. Results showed that the RHSI-DT method could obtain better results, with an overall accuracy of 97.94% and a kappa coefficient of 0.973, which was 2% higher and 0.03 larger than those of the SVM method. Besides, we found that the surface scattering of m-χ decomposition (m-χ_s (0627)) and ΔShannon entropy intensity Hi(Hi (1015)-Hi (0627)) were highly effective parameters to distinguish paddies of transplanting hybrid rice (T-H) and direct-sown japonica rice (D-J).
Flash flooding is a major environmental stressor affecting rice production worldwide. DT3 is a drought-tolerant, recurrent parent with a good yield, edible quality, and agronomic traits akin to those of an elite Taiwanese variety, Taiken9 (TK9). Progenies carrying Sub1A can enhance submergence stress tolerance and can be selected using the marker-assisted backcross (MAB) breeding method. For foreground selection, Sub1A and SubAB1 were utilized as markers on the BC2F1, BC3F1, and BC3F2 generations to select the submergence-tolerant gene, Sub1A. Background selection was performed in the Sub1A-BC3F2 genotypes, and the percentages of recurrent parent recovery within individuals ranged from 84.7–99.55%. BC3F3 genotypes (N = 100) were evaluated for agronomic traits, yield, and eating quality. Four of the eleven BC3F4 lines showed good yield, yield component, grain, and eating quality. Four BC3F4 lines, SU39, SU40, SU89, and SU92, exhibited desirable agronomic traits, including grain quality and palatability, consistent with those of DT3. These genotypes displayed a high survival rate between 92 and 96%, much better compared with DT3 with 64%, and demonstrated better drought tolerance compared to IR64 and IR96321-345-240. This study provides an efficient and precise MAB strategy for developing climate-resilient rice varieties with good grain quality for flood-prone regions.