Climate-smart flood and salinty tolerant African rice

In this application to Danida, we propose to identify novel genes or QTLs involved in flood and salinity tolerance of rice using African rice germplasm such as Oryza glaberrima and wild relatives. Three underlying knowledge gaps for achieving the overall objective are i) the role of the root barrier to radial O2 loss (ROL) in protecting against tissue intrusion of soil phytotoxins and salt (NaCl), ii) the genotypes and role of superhydrophobic leaf cuticles resulting in formation of leaf gas films during submergence and the consequences for sustaining gas exchange and protecting against salt intrusion and iii) the prevalence of the trait of anaerobic germination. We propose to use promising genotypes of wild relatives from wetland habitats to uncover these trait capacities.

The fact that this proposal has been granted, will hopefully lead to a productive collaboration between the involved partners in Kenya and Tanzania and here in Copenhagen it will greatly expand our capacity and understanding of the mechanism leading to flood and salt tolerance in rice.