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Progress and prospects in harnessing wild relatives for genetic enhancement of salt tolerance in rice
Saturday, 2024/02/24 | 07:15:14

Guntupalli PadmavathiUmakanth BangaleK Nagendra RaoDivya BalakrishnanMelekote Nagabhushan ArunRakesh Kumar SinghRaman Meenakshi Sundaram

Front Plant Sci.; 2024 Jan 31: 14:1253726. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2023.1253726. 


Salt stress is the second most devastating abiotic stress after drought and limits rice production globally. Genetic enhancement of salinity tolerance is a promising and cost-effective approach to achieve yield gains in salt-affected areas. Breeding for salinity tolerance is challenging because of the genetic complexity of the response of rice plants to salt stress, as it is governed by minor genes with low heritability and high G × E interactions. The involvement of numerous physiological and biochemical factors further complicates this complexity. The intensive selection and breeding efforts targeted towards the improvement of yield in the green-revolution era inadvertently resulted in the gradual disappearance of the loci governing salinity tolerance and a significant reduction in genetic variability among cultivars. The limited utilization of genetic resources and narrow genetic base of improved cultivars have resulted in a plateau in response to salinity tolerance in modern cultivars. Wild species are an excellent genetic resource for broadening the genetic base of domesticated rice. Exploiting novel genes of underutilized wild rice relatives to restore salinity tolerance loci eliminated during domestication can result in significant genetic gain in rice cultivars. Wild species of rice, Oryza rufipogon and Oryza nivara, have been harnessed in the development of a few improved rice varieties like Jarava and Chinsura Nona 2. Furthermore, increased access to sequence information and enhanced knowledge about the genomics of salinity tolerance in wild relatives has provided an opportunity for the deployment of wild rice accessions in breeding programs, while overcoming the cross-incompatibility and linkage drag barriers witnessed in wild hybridization. Pre-breeding is another avenue for building material that are ready for utilization in breeding programs. Efforts should be directed towards systematic collection, evaluation, characterization, and deciphering salt tolerance mechanisms in wild rice introgression lines and deploying untapped novel loci to improve salinity tolerance in rice cultivars. This review highlights the potential of wild relatives of Oryza to enhance tolerance to salinity, track the progress of work, and provide a perspective for future research.


See https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38371332/


Figure 1: Gene pools of rice representing various wild and related species.

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