Crop Biotech Update

Vast Differences Between Asian Rice Subpopulations, Study Finds

September 15, 2011

A comprehensive study of 413 diverse Oryza sativa varieties from 82 countries based on genotyping 44,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) shows that the five subpopulations of Asian rice: indica, aus, temperate, aromatic and tropical japonica have different genetic structures, so diverse that they are almost like different species.

Thirty-four traits related to size, shape, plant development and agronomic performance were determined and were analyzed as to which particular traits are associated with the SNPs. Understanding the SNPs that would confer specific traits would help breeders in predicting what crosses to make for yield, grain size, or drought tolerance.

See the original article at http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Sept11/RiceNature.html