Development of molecular markers for the Australian Rice Breeding Program

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Qingsheng, J, Waters, DLE, Cordeiro, GM, Henry, RJ & Reinke, R 2004, 'Development of molecular markers for the Australian Rice Breeding Program', paper presented to the Plant and Animal Genomes XII Conference, San Diego CA, USA.


The Australian rice industry is the most productive in the world per unit land area. This high productivity can be attributed in part to the development of rice varieties that are adapted to the conditions of the Australian rice growing regions. Southern Cross University, through the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics, is collaborating with the Australian rice breeders to develop and implement molecular markers which will assist in breeding rice varieties which have both desirable agronomic and quality traits in addition to being adapted to the environment of the rice growing areas of Australia. Currently, molecular markers are being sought for several traits including fragrance, grain elongation on cooking, and disease resistance, gelatinisation temperature and chalkiness. Both microsatellite and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) are being pursued as potential markers. A highly polymorphic microsatellite marker and a SNP marker have been developed for fragrance. A mixture of potential microsatellite and SNP markers have been developed for blast disease resistance, grain elongation on cooking, and gelatinisation temperature. The utility of these markers will be confirmed in populations segregating for each of these traits.