1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The goal of this research is to identify the major genes involved in Al tolerance in rice and provide a better understanding of the physiological mechanisms of Al tolerance. Our preliminary work demonstrates that as a species, rice is capable of growing at Al3+ activities that are between 5-15 times higher than that for maize, sorghum, and wheat, leading us to hypothesize that rice may be a source of novel Al tolerance genes.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
1) Fine scale mapping of a novel and major rice Al tolerance QTL we have recently identified, with the goal of cloning the tolerance gene responsible for this QTL.
2) Whole genome association mapping of rice Al tolerance will be conducted via phenotyping our rice association panel for Al tolerance and genotyping the panel with the 44k rice SNP chip developed in the McCouch lab.
3) Investigate the role of cell wall proteins in rice Al tolerance via studying the effect of Al on rice cell wall properties (extensibility) using rice root cell wall preparations reconstituted with isolated rice wall proteins.
In FY 2012, the second year of this grant, we are studying a number of candidate rice aluminum tolerance genes that appear to explain much of the variation in aluminum tolerance in rice lines from different subpopulations and may be a useful resource for the future breeding of improved cereal Al tolerance. Thus the research conducted under this project is yielding useful genetic and molecular resources for improving cereal crops grown on acid soils.