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      Combinations of Ghd7, Ghd8, and Hd1 determine strong heterosis of commercial rice hybrids in diverse ecological regions.

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          Heterosis of grain yield is closely associated with heading date in crops. Gene combinations of the major heading date genes Ghd7, Ghd8, and Hd1 play important roles in enhancing grain yield and adaptation to ecological regions in rice. However, the predominant three-gene combinations for a specific ecological region remain unclear in both three-line and two-line hybrids. In this study, we sequenced these three genes of 50 cytoplasmic male sterile/maintainer lines, 31 photo-thermo-sensitive genic male sterile lines, and 109 restorer lines. Sequence analysis showed that hybrids carrying strong functional alleles of Ghd7 and Hd1 and non-functional Ghd8 are predominant in three-line hybrids and are recommended for rice production in the subtropics around 30°N/S. Hybrids carrying strong functional Ghd7 and Ghd8 and non-functional Hd1 are predominant in two-line hybrids and are recommended for low latitude areas around 23.5°N/S rich in photothermal resources. Hybrids carrying strong functional Ghd7 and Ghd8 and functional Hd1 were not identified in commercial hybrids in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, but they have high yield potential in tropical regions because they have the strongest photoperiod sensitivity. Based on these findings, two genic sterile lines, Xiangling 628S and C815S, whose hybrids often head very late, were diagnosed with these three genes, and Hd1 was targeted to be knocked out in Xiangling 628S and replaced with hd1 in C815S. The hybrids developed from both modified sterile lines in turn had appropriate heading dates and significantly improved grain yield. This study provides new insights for breeding design to develop hybrids for various regions.

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          Author and article information

          J Exp Bot
          Journal of experimental botany
          Oxford University Press (OUP)
          October 26 2021
          : 72
          : 20
          [1 ] National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070,China.
          [2 ] College of Agriculture, Yangtze University, Jingzhou 434023,China.
          [3 ] Rice Research Institute, Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Naning 530007,China.
          [4 ] College of Life Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072,China.
          [5 ] Key Laboratory of Southern Rice Innovation & Improvement, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Hunan Engineering Laboratory of Disease and Pest Resistant Rice Breeding, Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Co., Ltd, Changsha 410128,China.
          © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

          Breeding design,gene diagnosis,gene editing,heading date,heterosis,rice (Oryza sativa L.),three-gene combination


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