Location: Plant Science Research
Project Number: 3640-21000-026-00
Start Date: Apr 14, 2008
End Date: Mar 30, 2011
Genetic resources of wildrice (Zizania palustris) with improved seed shattering resistance, disease resistance, panicle type, and reduced height will be developed by identifying and selecting from existing genetic variability in wild rice populations using conventional breeding methods including recurrent selection. Phenotypic data from controlled crosses will be analyzed to characterize qualitative and quantitative inheritance patterns. Molecular markers and candidate genes for shattering resistance will be identified using QTL analysis based on comparative genomics with Oryza sativa and for resistance to two major wildrice diseases, fungal brown spot caused by Bipolaris oryzae and stem rot caused by Nakataea sigmoidea, by comparative genomics and gene expression analyses. The developed germplasm, genetic information, and molecular markers will be used to breed wildrice cultivars that have greater production efficiency including reduced height and lodging, reduced grain shattering losses, and reduced impact on productivity by diseases and other yield-limiting factors using both conventional and marker-assisted selection. The plant phenotyping and breeding research will be conducted at the University of Minnesota, North Central Research and Outreach Center, Grand Rapids, MN, and the molecular marker and gene expression research with collaborators on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus.