Advances in Molecular Genetics and Genomics of African Rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud) uri icon

abstract

  • African rice (Oryza glaberrima) has a pool of genes for resistance to diverse biotic and abiotic stresses, making it an important genetic resource for rice improvement. African rice has potential for breeding for climate resilience and adapting rice cultivation to climate change. Over the last decade, there have been tremendous technological and analytical advances in genomics that have dramatically altered the landscape of rice research. Here we review the remarkable advances in knowledge that have been witnessed in the last few years in the area of genetics and genomics of African rice. Advances in cheap DNA sequencing technologies have fuelled development of numerous genomic and transcriptomic resources. Genomics has been pivotal in elucidating the genetic architecture of important traits thereby providing a basis for unlocking important trait variation. Whole genome re-sequencing studies have provided great insights on the domestication process, though key studies continue giving conflicting conclusions and theories. However, the genomic resources of African rice appear to be under-utilized as there seems to be little evidence that these vast resources are being productively exploited for example in practical rice improvement programmes. Challenges in deploying African rice genetic resources in rice improvement and the genomics efforts made in addressing them are highlighted.

publication date

  • 2019
  • 2019