Research Area: Rice genetics
Institution: University of Aberdeen
Summary of Research Area:
We are aiming to improve the sustainability, resilience and quality of rice. The main approach is exploring natural variation, mapping loci that affect important traits and identifying genes and alleles responsible for improved performance. Major tools are mapping populations, exploiting the Bala x Azucena population made in the 1990s, and the Bengal and Assam Aus Panel for association mapping, made in the late 2010s. Traits include abiotic stress resistance (drought, salinity, heat), biotic stress resistance (rice blast, Striga and nematodes), nutrient use efficiency, root growth and grain element composition (especially arsenic, cadmium and iron). We also research plant physiology including plant water relations (e.g. root hydraulic conductance) and root growth, and rice interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Sequencing and bioinformatics are also a mainstay of our current activity.