The upland rice variety Kalinga III is most popular in drought prone areas of India but it has poor rooting ability and weak stems. The feasibility of using marker assisted selection (MAS) for improving Kalinga III for root traits in a participatory plant breeding (PPB) programme was studied. The study revealed the existence of polymorphism at QTLs for root traits among 12 Indian varieties. Polymorphism at up to 4 useful QTLs for root traits was detected with 5 RFLP probes. At these QTLs Kalinga III was shown to have the Bala type markers and 9 Indian varieties were shown to have the Azucena type markers. Several promising varieties have been identified for crossing with Kalinga III. Vandana and Birsa Dhan 102 have already been crossed with Kalinga III in India for future work. The cross Sathi 34-36 x Kalinga III was identified as the most desirable for improving root traits of Kalinga III along with increasing plant height and straw strength. Useful markers for MAS have been detected on chromosomes 2, 7 and 11 that could be used to improve Kalinga III for root traits. The Sathi x Kalinga III cross has been (1) advanced to F5, (2) random mated in F3 to produce S3 lines, and backcrossed to Kalinga III to produce selfed lines. The F4 family bulks were evaluated by farmers in India and Nepal. Farmers have preferred the progeny of this cross for many superior traits.
Anon. Assessing the feasibility of using marker assisted selection for root characters to aid participatory plant breeding (PPB) in upland rice in India. Final Technical Report. (1999)