Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2003
Publication Date: 3/1/2004
Citation: McClung, A.M., Fjellstrom, R.G., Bergman, C.J., Bormans, C.A., Park, W.D., Marchetti, M.A. 2004. Registration of Saber rice. Crop Science. 44:693-694. Interpretive Summary: Saber is a new long grain rice variety that has been developed by ARS for production in the southern growing region of the US. The unique features of Saber include a combination of superior milling quality and disease resistance along with good yield potential. The superior resistance to blast, sheath blight, and narrow brown leaf spot diseases, will help farmers to reduce their input costs be reducing their need for using fungicides to protect their crop. Since milling quality determines the value of the crop per pound of rice that is harvested by the farmer, Saber will increase their economic returns. Thus, the package of traits found in Saber will benefit rice growers and millers in the southern US.
Technical Abstract: 'Saber' is a new long grain rice cultivar that has been released and which possesses a unique combination of traits that include good main and ratoon crop potential, excellent milling yield and improved resistance to several major diseases of rice that occur in the Southern U.S. Saber is a semidwarf variety that has excellent lodging resistance and high tillering capacity. It is an early maturing variety and can be harvested in about 114 days. It has produced main crop yields that are similar to other commercial cultivars but appears to have a higher ratoon crop potential. Saber has very stable whole grain milling yields even under low harvest moisture. It is the first U.S. cultivar known to possess a new major resistance gene (Pi-b) that has resulted in improved resistance to all races of blast that are known to occur in the U.S. Saber also has the best resistance to sheath blight disease of any long grain cultivar available in the southern U.S. Saber is highly resistant to narrow brown leaf spot disease which can negatively impact milling quality and ratoon potential. It appears that the level of disease resistance present in Saber will preclude the use of fungicides in most situations. Thus, Saber possesses a promising combination of improved traits that should reduce input costs and production risks while increasing profit for southern rice growers.