This study presents a comprehensive study of the genetic bases controlling variation in the rice ionome employing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with a diverse panel of indica accessions, each genotyped with 5.2 million markers. GWAS was performed for twelve elements including B, Ca, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, P, and Zn and four agronomic traits including days to 50% flowering, grain yield, plant height and thousand grain weight. GWAS identified 128 loci associated with the grain elements and 57 associated with the agronomic traits. There were sixteen co-localization regions containing QTL for two or more traits. Fourteen grain element quantitative trait loci were stable across growing environments, which can be strong candidates to be used in marker-assisted selection to improve the concentrations of nutritive elements in rice grain. Potential candidate genes were revealed including OsNAS3 linked to the locus that controls the variation of Zn and Co concentrations. The effects of starch synthesis and grain filling on multiple grain elements were elucidated through the likely involvement of OsSUS1 and OsGSSB1 genes. Overall, our study provides crucial insights into the genetic basis of ionomic variations in rice and will facilitate improvement in breeding for trace mineral content.
- genome-wide association studies
- grain ionome
- agronomic traits
- Oryza sativa subsp. indica