Impact of seasonal changes on spikelets per panicle, panicle length and plant height in rice (Oryza sativa L.)
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Temperature and photoperiod fluctuate rapidly in different seasons of the year, and analyzing their effects on rice yield components is crucial for adaptation of rice under various climatic conditions. To study the effects of seasonal changes on yield components, 168 recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between two Oryza sativa L. indica varieties, Zhenshan 97 and Zhongzao 18 were grown for phenotype collection, in three different seasons, within a year. The results implied that temperatures across the three seasons played a crucial role in
determining the trait effects. Spikelets per panicle (SPP), panicle length (PL) and plant height (PH) traits increased with high temperatures in middle season. Genetic analysis detected major quantitative trait loci (QTLs) qSPP10, qPL10 and qPH10 for SPP, PL and PH in the interval between markers RM1375 and RM3229 on chromosome 10, in all the three seasons. Two-way ANOVA showed that genotype by environment and QTL by environment interactions for these traits were highly significant (P\0.0001). The region with a cluster of QTLs detected in all
three seasons could be the preferred target to breeders in developing rice varieties that can be accustomed to different seasonal changes.