The African rice Oryza glaberrima: Agronomic and Genetic Importance

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Genetic Improvement of African Rice

Oryza glaberrima Steud, the African rice is the second cultivated rice species domesticated 3,500 years ago.

Since, it has developed adaptive and protective mechanisms to challenge harsh environment, it represents a potential source for resistance to multiples rice stresses.

Several ecotypes expressing many unique agronomic and physiologic assets with good responses to climatic change negative effects were identified.

These characters were highlighted in the successful NERICA varieties (New Rice for Africa).

Here, we established a validated core collection (160 landraces) representing the wide phenotypic diversity of O.

glaberrima (2,300 landraces) collected from 22 African countries based on quantitative and eco-geographical parameters.

In addition to the interspecific molecular profiling, the phenotypical and cytological difference between O.

glaberrima and O.

sativa (Asian species)was updated.

Then, the screening of both intra-specific lines and the core collection against rice pathogenic virus, paved the way for conventional and modern breeding using biotechnology, Multi-Environment Testing (MET) and Participative Varietal Selection (PVS) to improve rice production in Africa

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