By Nese Sreenivasulu
Grain Quality and Nutrition Center (GQNC)
3 December 2015
Acceptance of new rice genotypes by producers and consumers hinges not only on their potential for higher yield. Recent emphasis has also been on premium-value genotypes that have the ability to satisfy consumer preferences for grain quality. Advances in quality profiling and -omics technologies have provided efficient approaches to identify the key genes and biochemical markers involved in rice quality traits. Emphasis has been given to the holistic understanding of grain quality and attributes derived from sensory evaluation to leverage integrative gene discovery strategies that enable breeding programs to efficiently tap the huge genetic diversity in rice for novel genes that enhance its quality. An essential component to improve the efficiency of breeding operations is to integrate multi-tiered fingerprinting data (grain quality, sensory, and metabolome inferences) from diverse collections that differ in grain quality with the underpinning value of genetics and genomics to ensure the breeding of mega-varieties with superior grain quality and optimum yield. This holistic approach helps to (1) identify and measure the sensory attribute of interest, (2) relate quality indicators associated with the sensory attribute in a high-throughput manner, and (3) trace the metabolic pathways leading to grain quality associations.