Genetics of Submergence Tolerance in Rice


Flooding, resulting in soil water logging and in many situations even complete submergence of plants, is an important abiotic stress in many regions worldwide. The number of floods has increased in recent decades and the severity of floods is expected to increase further in many regions of the world. Flooding reduces agricultural production, and floods shape many natural plant communities (e.g. floodplains, wetlands, salt marshes). A spectacular example of an important natural ecosystem shaped by flooding is the Amazon Floodplain forests, in which seasonal floods are deep and prolonged.

Rainfed lowland and deep-water rice together account for approximately 33% of global rice farmlands (50 million hectares of the estimated 150 million hectares of rice fields worldwide in 2004"2006 (IRRI Social Statistics Database; Huke and Huke 1997). Distribution of rice grown in upland, irrigated, rainfed lowland, and deep-water environments. Oftentimes, transient submergence is repeated or followed by a period of stagnant partial flooding. When partially or completely submerged, most rice varieties display a moderate capacity to elongate leaves and the portion of stems that are trapped underwater. This elongation growth leads to a spindly plant that easily lodges when floodwaters recede. If the flood is deep, underwater elongation growth can exhaust energy reserves, causing death within a matter of days.

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I am currently pursuing MSc in Agricultural Biotechnology from Assam Agricultural University .