Phytate (inositol-hexa-phosphate) has an important role in plants but it also may have anti-nutritional properties in animals and humans. While there is debate within the plant breeding and nutrition communities regarding an optimum level in grain, there appears to be little information at the molecular level for the genetics of this trait, and its association with important trace elements, in particular, Fe and Zn. In this preliminary study, quantitative trait loci (QTL) for grain phytates, Zn and Fe in glasshouse-grown rice lines from an IR64 × Azucena doubled haploid population were identified. Correlations between phytate and essential nutrients were also studied. Transgressive segregation was found for most traits. Phytate and total P concentrations had one QTL in common located on chromosome five with the (high concentration) allele contributed from Azucena. There were significant positive correlations between phytate and inorganic phosphorus (P), total P, Fe, Zn, Cu and Mn concentrations for both grain concentration and content. However, the QTLs of phytate were not located on the same chromosomal regions as those found for Fe, Zn and Mn, suggesting that they were genetically different and thus using molecular markers in breeding and selection would modify the phytate level without affecting grain micronutrient density.
Euphytica (2007) 154 (3) 289-294 [doi: 10.1007/s10681-006-9211-7]