The magnitude of heterosis in F1 hybrids is related not only to the performance of parents per se but also to the genetic diversity between two parents. The extent of genotypic divergence between hybrid rice parents was investigated at the molecular level, using two subsets of rice materials: a subset of doubled haploid (DH) lines derived from an Indica x Japonica cross (Gui630/02428) and another subset of Indica or Japonica lines representative of a broad spectrum of the Asian cultivated rice gene pool, including landraces, primitive cultivars, historically important cultivars, modern elite cultivars, super rice and parents of superior hybrids. 57 entries deliberately selected from the 81-DH lines (in total) were testcrossed to two widely used rice lines in China, photoperiod-sensitive genic male sterile (PGMS) N422s and thermo-sensitive genic male sterile (TGMS) Petai64s. Results of the two sets of test-cross F1 populations showed congruently that parental genotypic divergence has a relatively low impact on heterosis for the two yield components, i.e., panicle number and 1000-grain weight, but it has a great bearing on fertility parameters, i e., filled grains per plant and seedset. Heterosis for grain yield in the two test-cross populations exhibited a sharp maximum when the proportion of Japonica alleles in the male parent was between 50 and 60%, so was the heterosis for fertility parameters correspondingly. Thus fertility parameters were the most sensitive and important factors which were influenced by the extent of parental genotypic divergence. Moreover, our results showed that parents with moderate extent of genotypic divergence played an important role in the use of inter-subspecific rice heterosis.
- Extent of genotypic divergence
- Oryza sativa L.