Breeding for perennial growth and fertility in an Oryza sativa/O. longistaminata population

E. J. Sacks, M. P. Dhanapala, D. Y. Tao, M. T. Sta. Cruz, R. Sallan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of perennial cultivars (CVs) of upland rice would give farmers a new tool to reduce soil erosion from hilly fields, thereby mitigating a problem of regional concern in Southeast Asia. Oryza longistaminata is an undomesticated, perennial, rhizomatous relative of domesticated Asian rice (Oryza sativa). Using five sets of 4 × 2 factorial mating designs, we crossed rhizomatous interspecific genotypes (IGs) from an intermated O. sativa/O. longistaminata population with male-fertile IG selections from the intermated population, and with O. sativa CVs. Parents and progeny were planted in an upland field at IRRI using a randomized complete block design and evaluated for rhizome expression, survival after 1 year, vigor of the survivors, and yield. For the IG parents, rhizome expression was variable and penetrance of most genotypes was incomplete, but genotypes that demonstrated the potential for moderate rhizome expression had high penetrance (89% average). The CV parents yielded 11.0 g/plant on average but none produced rhizomes or survived 1 year. The IG parents averaged yields of 3.1 g/plant, 57% rhizomatous and 36% survival. The IG/IG progeny averaged yields of 4.2 g/plant, 32% rhizomatous and 37% survival. The IG/CV progeny averaged yields of 6.0 g/plant, 18% rhizomatous and 16% survival. Nine IG/IG progeny and six IG/CV progeny were rhizomatous, perennial, and yielded at least 5 g/plant, and five of these yielded more than 10 g/plant. For the IG parents and IG/IG progeny, rhizome presence and expression were positively associated with survival and vigor of the survivors. General combining ability effects were significant for percent survival and yield but not percent rhizomatous. Specific combining ability effects were significant for percent rhizomatous, percent survival and yield. By selecting female parents for long rhizomes and male parents for fertility, considerable gains in rhizome expression, survival and yield were made. The development of perennial upland rice CVs should be feasible via introgression of genes from O. longistaminata.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalField Crops Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 8 2006


  • Clonal performance
  • Fertility
  • Interspecific crosses
  • Oryza longistaminata
  • Oryza sativa
  • Perennial upland rice
  • Rhizome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

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