Potential of rice landraces with strong culms as genetic resources for improving lodging resistance against super typhoons
It is generally believed that rice landraces with long culms are susceptible to lodging, and have not been utilized for breeding to improve lodging resistance. However, little is known about the structural culm strength of landraces and their beneficial genetic loci. Therefore, in this study, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were performed using a rice population panel including Japanese rice landraces to identify beneficial loci associated with strong culms. As a result, the landraces were found to have higher structural culm strength and greater diversity than the breeding varieties. Genetic loci associated with strong culms were identified, and it was demonstrated that haplotypes with positive effects of those loci were present in a high proportion of these landraces. These results indicated that the utilization of the strong culm-associated loci present in Japanese rice landraces may further improve the lodging resistance of modern breeding varieties that have relied on semi-dwarfism.