Can the Wild Perennial, Rhizomatous Rice Species Oryza longistaminata be a Candidate for De Novo Domestication?

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As climate change intensifies, the development of resilient rice that can tolerate abiotic stresses is urgently needed. In nature, many wild plants have evolved a variety of mechanisms to protect themselves from environmental stresses. Wild relatives of rice may have abundant and virtually untapped genetic diversity and are an essential source of germplasm for the improvement of abiotic stress tolerance in cultivated rice. Unfortunately, the barriers of traditional breeding approaches, such as backcrossing and transgenesis, make it challenging and complex to transfer the underlying resilience traits between plants. However, de novo domestication via genome editing is a quick approach to produce rice with high yields from orphans or wild relatives. African wild rice, Oryza longistaminata, which is part of the AA-genome Oryza species has two types of propagation strategies viz. vegetative propagation via rhizome and seed propagation. It also shows tolerance to multiple types of abiotic stress, and therefore O. longistaminata is considered a key candidate of wild rice for heat, drought, and salinity tolerance, and it is also resistant to lodging. Importantly, O. longistaminata is perennial and propagates also via rhizomes both of which are traits that are highly valuable for the sustainable production of rice. Therefore, O. longistaminata may be a good candidate for de novo domestication through genome editing to obtain rice that is more climate resilient than modern elite cultivars of O. sativa.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Issue number1
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023. The Author(s).

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