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Genetic Improvement Using Diverse Rice Species - project page
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Project objective:

The rice ancestral species which are closely related to the cultivated rice as it is grown today, contain genes lost during the domestication process.  The ultimate aim of this research is to identify these "lost" genes and incorporate them into currently grown U.S. rice varieties.  To rediscover these genes, we are examining both a collection of ancestral rice species (Oryza species) and the "Rice Diversity Panel 1", a collection of 421 rice varieties from around the world.  Studies are being performed to identify genes associated with yield, disease resistance, seedling cold tolerance and in the future, salt tolerance.

In the photo above, rice chromosomes are being examined using a microscope and digital imaging software. Cytogenetics is the branch of genetics involved with the study of chromosomes. 

Identifying Novel Disease Resistance Genes in Ancestral Rice Species


The ancestral rice species, Oryza nivara and Oryza rufipogon, are the potential source of new (novel) genes for resistance to the most devastating rice diseases, sheath blight and leaf blast. (Click here for more information.)


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Developing Chromosome Segment Substitution Lines to Understand Transgressive Variation (including hybrid vigor) 


Photos of the two cultivated rice varieties, Cybonnet and IR64, and three different ancestral rice species being used as parents and crossed to develop six different sets (libraries) of chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs).  When complete these CSSLs will be used to evaluate hybrid vigor, or transgressive variation, for higher yield.   (Click here for more information.)


Evaluating Japonica Rice Mapping Population for Yield Enhancing Traits



Photo of the Estrela x NSFTV199 population growing in the field.  This population will be used to identify genes related to improving yield in the Japonica types of cultivated rice that are grown in the United States. (Click here for more information.)

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