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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Report Resequenced Vietnamese Rice Genome

June 23, 2021
Photo Source: Earlham Institute

An international team of researchers from Earlham Institute, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), genebanks, and rice breeders from Vietnam has generated new genomic data from the local rice varieties of Vietnam that could be a source of novel genes to help breed crops with higher resistance to climate change.

The researchers have analyzed 672 Vietnamese rice genomes, 612 of which are newly sequenced, from the different rice varieties grown in various regions of Vietnam. They compared the new genetic data with the previous global study on rice diversity consisting of 15 worldwide Asian subpopulations from 89 countries. The researchers found that they have previously overlooked four Japonica and five Indica subpopulations that are locally grown and have not been used before in producing elite rice varieties. Researchers called it Indica-5 subpopulation (I5) which was related to the global Asian data set.

The results of the study have discovered the I5 subpopulation as a valuable genetic resource from the highly diverse varieties of rice in Vietnam. The newly sequenced genome could help breeders create high-yielding and sustainable rice varieties that can adapt to extreme environmental conditions such as unpredictable weather, high salinity, and drought in high-altitude places. The genomic data could also provide solutions to lessen the greenhouse gas emission on rice farming that causes global warming.

For more details, read the news article from Earlham Institute and the journal article in Rice.

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