Genomic architecture of heterosis for yield traits in rice

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Abstract

Increasing grain yield is a long-term goal in crop breeding to meet the demand for global food security. Heterosis, when a hybrid shows higher performance for a trait than both parents, offers an important strategy for crop breeding. To examine the genetic basis of heterosis for yield in rice, here we generate, sequence and record the phenotypes of 10,074 F2 lines from 17 representative hybrid rice crosses. We classify modern hybrid rice varieties into three groups, representing different hybrid breeding systems. Although we do not find any heterosis-associated loci shared across all lines, within each group, a small number of genomic loci from female parents explain a large proportion of the yield advantage of hybrids over their male parents. For some of these loci, we find support for partial dominance of heterozygous locus for yield-related traits and better-parent heterosis for overall performance when all of the grain-yield traits are considered together. These results inform on the genomic architecture of heterosis and rice hybrid breeding.

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