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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stuttgart, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center » Research » Research Project #442912

Research Project: iCORP: Increasing Coastal Organic Rice Production in South Carolina Using Salt Tolerant Cultivars

Location: Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center

Project Number: 6028-21000-012-004-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2021
End Date: Sep 30, 2025

1. Evaluate the impact of deteriorated irrigation water quality by ocean water intrusion and native weed pressure on plant vigor among diverse rice cultivars/germplasm in greenhouse. 2. Validate salt stress tolerance and compare performance of selected cultivars in coastal organic research plot trials. 3. Evaluate agronomic performance of salt stress tolerant rice cultivars in organic farms of coastal South Carolina. 4. Develop enterprise budgets for organic rice production in the coastal region. 5. Evaluate soil and water quality improvements under organic rice production. 6. Develop salt-tolerant pre-breeding recombinant inbred lines with ‘Carolina Gold’ type agronomic traits. This is an ARS investigator specific objective.

Based on preliminary experiments done by Clemson researchers with ARS consultation, a panel of 12 cultivars/ germplasm was created. This diverse germplasm panel will be screened in Clemson University greenhouses to evaluate the impact of varying concentrations of ocean water and native weed pressure on the rice plant vigor when grown organically under controlled environmental conditions. Top performing cultivars under these conditions will further be tested in organic research plots with supplementing irrigation with tidal ocean water. Top performing lines will be advanced to an organic farm trial in coastal South Carolina. During the research plot and farm trials, soil and water quality will continuously be tested for any improvements or deteriorations. This information will be used to develop an enterprise budget for organic rice production in coastal South Carolina. During this time, efforts will be made to develop high yielding ‘Carolina Gold’ type rice breeding lines with salt-tolerance and desirable agronomic traits for organic production in South Carolina. In this direction, ‘Charleston Gold’ and/or ‘Carolina Gold,’ which are highly desirable varieties for organic production in this region, will be crossed with 'M202' and/or one other germplasm, which were identified in preliminary experiments at Clemson University as the most salt-tolerant germplasm in the USDA mini-core collection. The crosses will be made at the USDA-ARS, Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center (DBNRRC), Stuttgart, Arkansas. Approximately 250-300 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) will be generated. F3 generation of the RILs will be evaluated for salt tolerance in Clemson University Greenhouses using tidal ocean-water for two years. Simultaneously, the F3 generation will be advanced to F6/F7 at USDA-ARS, DBNRRC. Based on salt tolerance and agronomic traits, top performing lines can be selected for germplasm release and to the ARS rice breeding program.