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Detection of bacterial blight resistance genes in basmati rice landraces

Author(s): I. Ullah, S. Jamil, M.Z. Iqbal, H.L. Shaheen, S.M. Hasni, S. Jabeen, A. Mehmood and M. Akhter

Aromatic basmati rice is vulnerable to bacterial blight disease. Genes conferring resistance to bacterial blight have been identified in coarse rice; however, their incorporation into basmati varieties compromises the prized basmati aroma. We identified bacterial blight resistance genes Xa4, xa5, Xa7, and xa13 in 52 basmati landraces and five basmati cultivars using PCR markers. The Xa7 gene was found to be the most prevalent among the cultivars and landraces. The cultivars Basmati-385 and Basmati-2000 also contained the Xa4 gene; however, xa5 and xa13 were confined to landraces only. Ten landraces were found to have multiple resistance genes. Landraces Basmati-106, Basmati-189 and Basmati-208 contained Xa4 and Xa7 genes. Whereas, landraces Basmati-122, Basmati-427, Basmati-433 were observed to have xa5 and Xa7 genes. Landraces Basmati-48, Basmati-51A, Basmati-334, and Basmati-370A possessed Xa7 and xa13 genes. The use of landraces containing recessive genes xa5 and xa13 as donor parents in hybridization with cultivars Basmati-385 and Basmati-2000, which contain the genes Xa4 and Xa7, will expedite efforts to develop bacterial blight-resistant basmati rice cultivars through marker assisted selection, based on a pyramiding approach, without compromising aroma and grain quality.