Is there a second fragrance gene in rice?

Melissa A. Fitzgerald, N. Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, Mariafe N. Calingacion, Harrie A. Verhoeven, Vito M. Butardo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Aromatic rice is highly prized by most rice consumers, and many countries cultivate traditional and improved aromatic varieties. 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP) is the major aromatic compound in rice, and is believed to accumulate because of an eight-base-pair (8-bp) deletion in an allele at the fragrance locus. In this study, 2AP was quantified and the presence or absence of the fragrance allele (fgr) was determined in 464 samples of traditional varieties of rice from the T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Centre at the International Rice Research Institute. It was shown that a number of aromatic varieties, primarily from South and South-East Asia, do not carry the 8-bp deletion, but 2AP was identified in both raw and cooked rice of these varieties. We suggest that the 8-bp deletion in fgr is not the only cause of aroma, and at least one other mutation drives the accumulation of 2AP. The amount of 2AP in most uniform fgr genotypes was not significantly different from that in aromatic nfgr genotypes, but several fgr genotypes, primarily from South Asia, reproducibly accumulated exceptionally large amounts of 2AP. We suggest that the mutation leading to 2AP in aromatic nfgr varieties possibly originated several times and, through either domestication or evolution, the fgr gene and other alleles leading to 2AP have combined in South Asia, leading to several highly aromatic traditional varieties. The identification of multiple mutations for 2AP will enable rice breeding programmes to select actively for multiple genetic sources of 2AP, leading to the development of highly aromatic and, consequently, high-quality varieties of rice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-423
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Biotechnology Journal
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

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