108 research outputs found

    Magnesium supply alleviates iron toxicity-induced leaf bronzing in rice through exclusion and tissue-tolerance mechanisms

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    Introduction: Iron (Fe) toxicity is a widespread nutritional disorder in lowland rice causing growth retardation and leaf symptoms referred to as leaf bronzing. It is partly caused by an imbalance of nutrients other than Fe and supply of these is known to mitigate the toxicity. But the physiological and molecular mechanisms involved are unknown. Methods: We investigated the effect of magnesium (Mg) on Fe toxicity tolerance in a field study in the Central Highlands of Madagascar and in hydroponic experiments with excess Fe (300 mg Fe L-1). An RNA-seq analysis was conducted in a hydroponic experiment to elucidate possible mechanisms underlying Mg effects. Results and discussion: Addition of Mg consistently decreased leaf bronzing under both field and hydroponic conditions, whereas potassium (K) addition caused minor effects. Plants treated with Mg tended to have smaller shoot Fe concentrations in the field, suggesting enhanced exclusion at the whole-plant level. However, analysis of multiple genotypes showed that Fe toxicity symptoms were also mitigated without a concomitant decrease of Fe concentration, suggesting that increased Mg supply confers tolerance at the tissue level. The hydroponic experiments also suggested that Mg mitigated leaf bronzing without significantly decreasing Fe concentration or oxidative stress as assessed by the content of malondialdehyde, a biomarker for oxidative stress. An RNA-seq analysis revealed that Mg induced more changes in leaves than roots. Subsequent cis-element analysis suggested that NAC transcription factor binding sites were enriched in genes induced by Fe toxicity in leaves. Addition of Mg caused non-significant enrichment of the same binding sites, suggesting that NAC family proteins may mediate the effect of Mg. This study provides clues for mitigating Fe toxicity-induced leaf bronzing in rice

    Mechanisms of genotypic differences in tolerance of iron toxicity in field-grown rice

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    Iron (Fe) toxicity is a major constraint to rice yields in much of the world due to the greater solubility of reduced ferrous Fe in paddy soils compared with ferric Fe in aerobic soils and resulting excess uptake into the plants. There is genotypic variation in tolerance in Oryza gene pools, but so far only weak-effect alleles have been identified, largely because multiple critical physiological processes determine the tolerance. Most past research has been done in nutrient solution screens at the seedling stage, and not under field conditions over the full life cycle. We investigated tolerance mechanisms in a diverse set of genotypes under field conditions in a highly iron toxic soil in the Central Highlands of Madagascar. We made repeated plant samplings of young and old tissues throughout the growth period until maturity. Multiple mechanisms were involved, and the importance of different mechanisms changed between growth stages. Higher grain yields were mainly due to healthy vegetative growth, achieved either by reducing Fe uptake (exclusion) or by minimizing the effect of excess uptake through compartmentalization in older tissues and tissue tolerance. Exclusion mechanisms were relaxed during reproductive growth, leading to increased Fe accumulation in shoots. But tolerant genotypes were nonetheless able to grow well through a combination of Fe compartmentalization and tissue tolerance, so that grain filling could proceed relatively unimpeded. Tissue phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) concentrations were close to or below deficiency limits throughout growth. Exclusion by ferrous Fe oxidation in the rhizosphere will impede access of P and K ions to roots, but the differences in their tissue concentrations were much smaller than differences in growth rates, so growth rates evidently drove the uptake differences and responses to Fe toxicity were the more important constraints. There was no relation between grain yield and visual symptoms. To identify useful donors and markers for breeding it is important to develop screening protocols that capture the individual tolerance mechanisms, allowing for the effects of growth stage on their relative importance and expression, and possible interactions with other factors such as mineral nutrition. Selection for tolerance based on visual symptoms, particularly at the seedling stage, is overly simplistic, though it can be useful in the study of specific tolerance mechanisms

    QTL mapping for early root and shoot vigor of upland rice (Oryza sativa L.) under P deficient field conditions in Japan and Madagascar

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    Upland rice production is limited by the low phosphorus (P) availability of many highly weathered tropical soils and P deficiency is likely to become increasingly limiting in future drier climates because P mobility decreases sharply with soil moisture. Good seedling root development will be crucial to cope with the combined effects of low P and water availability. Upland rice genebank accession DJ123 was used as a donor for P efficiency and root vigor traits in a cross with inefficient local variety Nerica4 and a set of backcross lines were used to characterize the seedling stage response of upland rice to low P availability and to identify associated QTL in field trials in Japan and Madagascar. Ten QTL were detected for crown root number, root, shoot and total dry weight per plant in a highly P deficient field in Japan using the BC1F3 generation. Of these, qPef9 on chromosome 9 affected multiple traits, increasing root number, root weight and total biomass, whereas a neighboring QTL on chromosome 9 (qPef9-2) increased shoot biomass. Field trials with derived BC1F5 lines in a low-P field in Madagascar confirmed a highly influential region on chromosome 9. However, qPef9-2 appeared more influential than qPef9, as the shoot and root biomass contrast between lines carrying DJ123 or Nerica4 alleles at qPef9-2 was +23.8% and +13.5% compared to +19.2% and +14.4% at qPef9. This advantage increased further during the growing season, leading to 46% higher shoot biomass at the late vegetative stage. Results suggest an introgression between 8.0 and 12.9 Mb on chromosome 9 from P efficient donor DJ123 can improve plant performance under P-limited conditions. The QTL identified here have practical relevance because they were confirmed in the target genetic background of the local variety Nerica4 and can therefore be applied directly to improve its performance

    Phenotyping of a rice (Oryza sativa L.) association panel identifies loci associated with tolerance to low soil fertility on smallholder farm conditions in Madagascar.

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    Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is a staple food of Madagascar, where per capita rice consumption is among the highest worldwide. Rice in Madagascar is mainly grown on smallholder farms on soils with low fertility and in the absence of external inputs such as mineral fertilizers. Consequently, rice productivity remains low and the gap between rice production and consumption is widening at the national level. This study evaluates genetic resources imported from the IRRI rice gene bank to identify potential donors and loci associated with low soil fertility tolerance (LFT) that could be utilized in improving rice yield under local cultivation conditions. Accessions were grown on-farm without fertilizer inputs in the central highlands of Madagascar. A Genome-wide association study (GWAS) identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) for total panicle weight per plant, straw weight, total plant biomass, heading date and plant height. We detected loci at locations of known major genes for heading date (hd1) and plant height (sd1), confirming the validity of GWAS procedures. Two QTLs for total panicle weight were detected on chromosomes 5 (qLFT5) and 11 (qLFT11) and superior panicle weight was conferred by minor alleles. Further phenotyping under P and N deficiency suggested qLFT11 to be related to preferential resource allocation to root growth under nutrient deficiency. A donor (IRIS 313-11949) carrying both minor advantageous alleles was identified and crossed to a local variety (X265) lacking these alleles to initiate variety development through a combination of marker-assisted selection with selection on-farm in the target environment rather than on-station as typically practiced

    Breeding rice for a changing climate by improving adaptations to water saving technologies

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    Climate change is expected to increasingly affect rice production through rising temperatures and decreasing water availability. Unlike other crops, rice is a main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions due to methane emissions from flooded paddy fields. Climate change can therefore be addressed in two ways in rice: through making the crop more climate resilient and through changes in management practices that reduce methane emissions and thereby slow global warming. In this review, we focus on two water saving technologies that reduce the periods lowland rice will be grown under fully flooded conditions, thereby improving water use efficiency and reducing methane emissions. Rice breeding over the past decades has mostly focused on developing high-yielding varieties adapted to continuously flooded conditions where seedlings were raised in a nursery and transplanted into a puddled flooded soil. Shifting cultivation to direct-seeded rice or to introducing non-flooded periods as in alternate wetting and drying gives rise to new challenges which need to be addressed in rice breeding. New adaptive traits such as rapid uniform germination even under anaerobic conditions, seedling vigor, weed competitiveness, root plasticity, and moderate drought tolerance need to be bred into the current elite germplasm and to what extent this is being addressed through trait discovery, marker-assisted selection and population improvement are reviewed

    Rice increases phosphorus uptake in strongly sorbing soils by intra-root facilitation

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    Upland rice (Oryza sativa) is adapted to strongly phosphorus (P) sorbing soils. The mechanisms underlying P acquisition, however, are not well understood, and models typically underestimate uptake. This complicates root ideotype development and trait-based selection for further improvement. We present a novel model, which correctly simulates the P uptake by a P-efficient rice genotype measured over 48 days of growth. The model represents root morphology at the local rhizosphere scale, including root hairs and fine S-type laterals. It simulates fast- and slowly reacting soil P and the P-solubilizing effect of root-induced pH changes in the soil. Simulations predict that the zone of pH changes and P solubilization around a root spreads further into the soil than the zone of P depletion. A root needs to place laterals outside its depletion- but inside its solubilization zone to maximize P uptake. S-type laterals, which are short but hairy, appear to be the key root structures to achieve that. Thus, thicker roots facilitate the P uptake by fine lateral roots. Uptake can be enhanced through longer root hairs and greater root length density but was less sensitive to total root length and root class proportions.Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC): BB/R020388/

    Genomic prediction of zinc-biofortification potential in rice gene bank accessions

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    International audienceKey message A genomic prediction model successfully predicted grain Zn concentrations in 3000 gene bank accessions and this was verified experimentally with selected potential donors having high on-farm grain-Zn in Madagascar. Abstract Increasing zinc (Zn) concentrations in edible parts of food crops, an approach termed Zn-biofortification, is a global breeding objective to alleviate micro-nutrient malnutrition. In particular, infants in countries like Madagascar are at risk of Zn deficiency because their dominant food source, rice, contains insufficient Zn. Biofortified rice varieties with increased grain Zn concentrations would offer a solution and our objective is to explore the genotypic variation present among rice gene bank accessions and to possibly identify underlying genetic factors through genomic prediction and genome-wide association studies (GWAS). A training set of 253 rice accessions was grown at two field sites in Madagascar to determine grain Zn concentrations and grain yield. A multi-locus GWAS analysis identified eight loci. Among these, QTN_11.3 had the largest effect and a rare allele increased grain Zn concentrations by 15%. A genomic prediction model was developed from the above training set to predict Zn concentrations of 3000 sequenced rice accessions. Predicted concentrations ranged from 17.1 to 40.2 ppm with a prediction accuracy of 0.51. An independent confirmation with 61 gene bank seed samples provided high correlations ( r = 0.74) between measured and predicted values. Accessions from the aus sub-species had the highest predicted grain Zn concentrations and these were confirmed in additional field experiments, with one potential donor having more than twice the grain Zn compared to a local check variety. We conclude utilizing donors from the aus sub-species and employing genomic selection during the breeding process is the most promising approach to raise grain Zn concentrations in rice

    Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Upland-Rice Root Architecture in Relation to Phosphate: 3D Simulations Highlight the Importance of S-Type Lateral Roots for Reducing the Pay-Off Time

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    The rice root system develops a large number of nodal roots from which two types of lateral roots branch out, large L-types and fine S-types, the latter being unique to the species. All roots including S-types are covered by root hairs. To what extent these fine structures contribute to phosphate (P) uptake under P deficiency was investigated using a novel 3-D root growth model that treats root hairs as individual structures with their own Michaelis-Menten uptake kinetics. Model simulations indicated that nodal roots contribute most to P uptake followed by L-type lateral roots and S-type laterals and root hairs. This is due to the much larger root surface area of thicker nodal roots. This thickness, however, also meant that the investment in terms of P needed for producing nodal roots was very large. Simulations relating P costs and time needed to recover that cost through P uptake suggest that producing nodal roots represents a considerable burden to a P-starved plant, with more than 20 times longer pay-off time compared to S-type laterals and root hairs. We estimated that the P cost of these fine root structures is low enough to be recovered within a day of their formation. These results expose a dilemma in terms of optimizing root system architecture to overcome P deficiency: P uptake could be maximized by developing more nodal root tissue, but when P is growth-limiting, adding more nodal root tissue represents an inefficient use of the limiting factor P. In order to improve adaption to P deficiency in rice breeding two complementary strategies seem to exist: (1) decreasing the cost or pay-off time of nodal roots and (2) increase the biomass allocation to S-type roots and root hairs. To what extent genotypic variation exists within the rice gene pool for either strategy should be investigated

    Below-ground plant-soil interactions affecting adaptations of rice to iron toxicity

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    Iron toxicity is a major constraint to rice production, particularly in highly weathered soils of inland valleys in sub-Saharan Africa where the rice growing area is rapidly expanding. There is wide variation in tolerance of iron toxicity in the rice germplasm. However, introgression of tolerance traits into high-yielding germplasm has been slow owing to the complexity of the tolerance mechanisms and large genotype-by-environment effects. We review current understanding of tolerance mechanisms, particularly those involving below-ground plant–soil interactions. Until now these have been less studied than above-ground mechanisms. We cover processes in the rhizosphere linked to exclusion of toxic ferrous iron by oxidation, and resulting effects on the mobility of nutrient ions. We also cover the molecular physiology of below-ground processes controlling iron retention in roots and root-shoot transport, and also plant iron sensing. We conclude that future breeding programmes should be based on well-characterized molecular markers for iron toxicity tolerance traits. To successfully identify such markers, the complex tolerance response should be broken down into its components based on understanding of tolerance mechanisms, and tailored screening methods should be developed for individual mechanisms
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