Localizing genes that contribute to drought avoidance in a quantitative way should enable the exploitation of these genes in breeding through marker-assisted selection, and may lead to the discovery of gene identity and function. Between 110 and 176 F6 recombinant inbred lines from a mapping population derived from a cross of upland rice varieties Bala and Azucena have been evaluated for indicators of drought avoidance in sites in the Philippines and West Africa over two dry seasons. A molecular map with 102 RFLP, 34 AFLP and six microsatellite markers has been used to map (by composite interval mapping) quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for the visual scores of leaf rolling and leaf drying and leaf relative water content. QTLs were mapped for each site and across sites. A total of 17 regions were identified which contained QTLs with a LOD score greater than 3.2. For leaf rolling, Bala was the parent contributing the majority of positive alleles whilst for the other traits, Bala and Azucena contributed more evenly. Six of the 17 regions influenced more than one trait, explaining the phenotypic correlations between traits that were observed. Three QTLs appeared to be specific to the Philippines experiments. One QTL had opposing effects in the Philippines and West Africa. QTLs for relative water content were detected on chromosome 8, congruent with an osmotic adjustment QTL identified in another population. Only three of the QTLs identified here have not been reliably identified in the two other populations that have been screened for drought avoidance. By using several populations assessed for drought avoidance in different sites, the distribution and utility of QTLs for drought avoidance in rice is being elucidated.
Price, A.H.; Townend, J.; Jones, M.P.; Audebert, A.; Courtois, B. Mapping QTLs associated with drought avoidance in upland rice grown in the Philippines and West Africa. Plant Molecular Biology (2002) 48 (5/6) 683-695. [DOI: 10.1023/A:1014805625790]