Rice (Oryza sativa L.) ovicidal response to the whitebacked planthopper (Sogatella furcifera Horváth) is characterized by formation of watery lesions and production of an ovicidal substance benzyl benzoate, which results in high egg mortality of whitebacked planthopper. A gene with ovicidal activity to whitebacked planthopper, designated Ovc, and four ovicidal quantitative trait loci (QTLs), qOVA-1-3, qOVA-4, qOVA-5-1 and qOVA-5-2 were identified using near isogenic lines with reciprocal genetic backgrounds of a non-ovicidal Indica variety IR24 and an ovicidal Japonica variety Asominori. Ovc and the four QTLs were mapped on chromosomes 6, 1, 4, 5 and 5, respectively. Ovc is the first gene identified that kills insect eggs in plants. The Asominori allele at Ovc was essential for increasing egg mortality and responsible for production of benzyl benzoate and formation of watery lesions. The Asominori alleles at qOVA-1-3, qOVA-5-1 and qOVA-5-2 increased egg mortality in the presence of Ovc. In contrast, the Asominori allele at qOVA-4 suppressed egg mortality, indicating that qOVA-4 caused transgressive segregation for egg mortality. It was concluded that Ovc and four ovicidal QTLs accounted for the majority of the phenotypic variance for the ovicidal response to whitebacked planthopper in Asominori.
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