Rice plays an important role in feeding the world’s population, especially the people who live in developing countries. More than 90 percent of world’s rice is produced and consumed in Asia. Blast disease caused by Magnaporthe Oryzae is one of the most important diseases of rice in the world. This study evaluated the Power of 10 blast-specific SSR markers in determination of genetic diversity among 30 cultivars of Indica rice. The phenotypic evaluation was also performed using Magnaporthe Oryzae at the stage of three or four leaves. A total of 23 effective alleles with an average of 2.21 alleles per locus were found. The total of 28 alleles was also observed per locus with an average of 2.8. Also, the average of PIC for the studied markers was estimated as 0.42. RM204 and RM413 showed the highest (0.60) and the lowest (0.081) PIC respectively. The UPGMA-based dendrogram obtained from the binary SSR data divided 30 studied genotypes into three groups. In phenotypic testing, the observed phenotypic similarities corresponded to those in UPGMA-based dendrogram with some intermixing. Phenotypic evaluation also divided the population into three groups. According to Student t-test for comparing the phenotypic and genotypic data, SSR markers RM277 and RM8225 were found to be linked to semi-susceptible and resistant phenotypes respectively.
Keywords: Blast disease, Genetic diversity, Magnaporthe Oryzae, Rice, and SSR markers