Epistasis plays an important role as the genetic basis of heterosis in rice
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Epistasis plays an important role as the genetic basis of heterosis in rice Yu, S. B., J. X. Li, C. G. Xu, Y. F. Tan, Y. J. Gao, X. H. Li, Q. Zhang and M. A. Saghai Maroof. 1998. Science in China (Ser. C) 41:293-302. ABSTRACT The genetic basis of heterosis in rice was studied in a cross between Zhenshan 97 and Minghui 63, the parents of the best hybrid widely used in rice production in China. Field data for yield and yield components traits were collected over two years from 240 F2:3 families of this cross planted in replicated field trials. These families were assayed with 151 marker loci that were polymorphic between the parents and a linkage map was constructed with Mapmaker analysis. A total of 32 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified for yield and the three component traits; 12 QTLs were detected in both years and the remaining 20 QTLs were observed in only one year. A search of the entire genome by using two-way analyses of variance with all possible two-locus combinations detected a very large number of significant digenic interactions involving both the QTLs resolved by single- locus analysis and loci that did not show significant effects by single-locus analysis. Many of the interactions were simultaneously detected in both years. Partitioning of the epsitatic interactions recovered all three types of interactions, i. e., additive by additive, additive by dominance and dominance by dominance, for all the traits. Some of the epistatic interactions even showed pleiotropic effects by simultaneously affecting two or more traits. The results clearly indicate that epistasis plays a significant role in the inheritance of yield traits as well as in the genetic basis of heterosis. Key words hybrid rice, molecular marker, quantitative trait loci, interaction between loci.