Epistasis for three grain yield components in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Academic Article uri icon


  • The genetic basis for three grain yield components of rice, 1000 kernel weight (KW), grain number per panicle (GN), and grain weight per panicle (GWP), was investigated using restriction fragment length polymorphism markers and F4 progency testing from a cross between rice subspecies japonica (cultivar Lemont from USA) and indica (cv. Tequing from China). Following identification of 19 QTL affecting these traits, we investigated the role of epistasis in genetic control of these phenotypes. Among 63 markers distributed throughout the genome that appeared to be involved in 79 highly significant (P < 0.001) interactions, most (46 or 73%) did not appear to have "main" effects on the relevant traits, but influenced the trait(s) predominantly through interactions. These results indicate that epistasis is an important genetic basis for complex traits such as yield components, especially traits of low heritability such as GN and GWP. The identification of epistatic loci is an important step toward resolution of discrepancies between quantitative trait loci mapping and classical genetic dogma, contributes to better understanding of the persistence of quantitative genetic variation in populations, and impels reconsideration of optimal mapping methodology and marker-assisted breeding strategies for improvement of complex traits.

published proceedings

  • Genetics

author list (cited authors)

  • Li, Z., Pinson, S. R., Park, W. D., Paterson, A. H., & Stansel, J. W.

citation count

  • 315

complete list of authors

  • Li, Z||Pinson, SR||Park, WD||Paterson, AH||Stansel, JW

publication date

  • February 1997