Upland rice grown in soil-filled chambers and exposed to contrasting water-deficit regimes II. Mapping quantitative trait loci for root morphology and distribution

Adam Huw Price, K. A. Steele, B. J. Moore, R. G. W. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)


Root morphological characteristics are known to be important in the drought resistance of some rice (Oryza sativa L.) varieties. The identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with root morphology and other drought resistance-related traits should help breeders produce more drought resistant varieties. Stability in the expression of root growth QTL across rooting environments is critical for their use in breeding programs. A greenhouse experiment in which a mapping population of 140 recombinant inbred lines and the parental varieties Bala and Azucena were grown in glass-sided soil chambers and evaluated for root growth and water uptake was conducted. In each of 2 years, two treatments were used; an early water-deficit (WD0) in which seeds were sown into wet soil but received no more water, and a late water-deficit (WD49) in which the plants were watered for 49 days and then received no water for a week. The major differences between treatments and years in dry matter partitioning and root growth traits are reported elsewhere. Here, the identification of QTLs for root growth traits by composite interval mapping is described. At LOD > 3.2, there were six QTLs for the weight of roots below 90 cm and maximum root length, 11 for root to shoot ratio, 12 for the number of roots past 100 cm, and 14 for root thickness. A total of 24 regions were identified as containing QTLs (these regions often contained several QTLs identified for different root traits). Some were revealed only in individual experiments and/or for individual traits, while others were common to different traits or experiments. Seven QTLs. on chromosomes 1, 2, 4, 7, 9 (two QTLs) and 11, where considered particularly noteworthy. The complex results are discussed in the context of previously reported QTLs for root growth in other populations, the interaction between QTL with the environment and the value of QTLs for breeding. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-43
Number of pages18
JournalField Crops Research
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • root growth
  • drought resistance
  • genotype x environment interactions
  • soil moisture
  • QTLS
  • MAP

Cite this