Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Tolerance of anaerobic germination: a key trait to boost direct-seeded rice

An IRRI Seminar

By Endang Septiningsih
Molecular Geneticist
Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology Division

1.15 - 2.15pm, Thursday, 12 December 2013
Havener Auditorium, IRRI


Tolerance for flooding during germination, referred to as anaerobic germination (AG), is an important trait for direct-seeded rice ecosystems. Most rice varieties fail to germinate or survive under anaerobic conditions with standing water in the fields after direct seeding, resulting in poor crop establishment. Solving this problem will remove a major constraint in direct-seeded systems.

Several landraces that have an exceptional capability to overcome this stress are being explored through QTL mapping. Selected major QTLs have been fine-mapped and the molecular dissection of AG tolerance is now providing insights into the complexity of this trait.  Simultaneously, promising QTLs provide targets for marker-assisted backcrossing to transfer AG tolerance into high-yielding varieties.  Selected donors and near isogenic lines (NILs) have also been used in our pre-breeding program leading to AG tolerant breeding lines.

In this seminar, Septi will present the recent progress made in identifying the molecular basis of AG tolerance in rice. She will explore this trait’s major potential impact in direct-seeded rice systems and discuss how AG and the SUB1 gene can provide more resilient varieties to cope with the future challenges of global climate change.

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