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1.  Characterization of a rice variety with high hydraulic conductance and identification of the chromosome region responsible using chromosome segment substitution lines 
Annals of Botany  2010;106(5):803-811.
Background and Aims
The rate of photosynthesis in paddy rice often decreases at noon on sunny days because of water stress, even under submerged conditions. Maintenance of higher rates of photosynthesis during the day might improve both yield and dry matter production in paddy rice. A high-yielding indica variety, ‘Habataki’, maintains a high rate of leaf photosynthesis during the daytime because of the higher hydraulic conductance from roots to leaves than in the standard japonica variety ‘Sasanishiki’. This research was conducted to characterize the trait responsible for the higher hydraulic conductance in ‘Habataki’ and identified a chromosome region for the high hydraulic conductance.
Hydraulic conductance to passive water transport and to osmotic water transport was determined for plants under intense transpiration and for plants without transpiration, respectively. The varietal difference in hydraulic conductance was examined with respect to root surface area and hydraulic conductivity (hydraulic conductance per root surface area, Lp). To identify the chromosome region responsible for higher hydraulic conductance, chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) derived from a cross between ‘Sasanishiki’ and ‘Habataki’ were used.
Key Results
The significantly higher hydraulic conductance resulted from the larger root surface area not from Lp in ‘Habataki’. A chromosome region associated with the elevated hydraulic conductance was detected between RM3916 and RM2431 on the long arm of chromosome 4. The CSSL, in which this region was substituted with the ‘Habataki’ chromosome segment in the ‘Sasanishiki’ background, had a larger root mass than ‘Sasanishiki’.
The trait for increasing plant hydraulic conductance and, therefore, maintaining the higher rate of leaf photosynthesis under the conditions of intense transpiration in ‘Habataki’ was identified, and it was estimated that there is at least one chromosome region for the trait located on chromosome 4.
PMCID: PMC2958790  PMID: 20810742
Chromosome segment substitution lines; diffusive conductance; hydraulic conductance; photosynthetic rate; quantitative trait locus; rice; Oryza sativa; root hydraulic conductivity
2.  A genetic resource for early-morning flowering trait of wild rice Oryza officinalis to mitigate high temperature-induced spikelet sterility at anthesis 
Annals of Botany  2010;106(3):515-520.
Background and Aims
High temperatures over 32–36 °C at anthesis induce spikelet sterility in rice. The use of a germplasm with an early-morning flowering (EMF) trait has been hypothesized as a way of avoiding this problem. In this study, the effect of the EMF trait on avoiding high temperature-induced sterility at anthesis by flowering at a cooler temperature in the early morning was evaluated.
The EMF trait was introgressed from wild rice (Oryza officinalis) into the rice cultivar ‘Koshihikari’ (O. sativa). First, spikelets of the EMF line and Koshihikari were subjected to rising temperatures during the daytime in the greenhouse to test for differences in spikelet sterility. Secondly, spikelets of both plants were exposed to 26, 34 and 38 °C at anthesis and to 38 °C beginning at least 1 h after flowering, in the growth chambers at 70 % relative humidity, to test for differences in tolerance to high temperatures.
Key Results
Spikelets of the EMF line started and completed flowering a few hours earlier than Koshihikari. In a greenhouse experiment, spikelets of Koshihikari opened after the air temperature reached 35 °C, but those of the EMF line could open at cooler temperatures. Under these conditions, spikelet sterility significantly increased in Koshihikari, but did not in the EMF line. The number of sterile spikelets increased as their flowering time was delayed in Koshihikari. Furthermore, the chamber experiments revealed that 60 % of the spikelets from both lines were sterile when exposed to 38 °C at anthesis, indicating that tolerance of high temperature was similar in both genotypes.
Reduced sterility in the EMF line subjected to rising temperatures at anthesis in the greenhouse was attributed to an earlier flowering time compared with Koshihikari. The EMF trait of wild rice is effective in mitigating anticipated yield loss due to global warming by escaping high-temperature stress at anthesis during the daytime.
PMCID: PMC2924824  PMID: 20566680
Early-morning flowering; high-temperature stress; spikelet sterility; Oryza officinalis; Oryza sativa; rice; wild rice

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