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Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering >> 2024, Volume 11, Issue 1 doi: 10.15302/J-FASE-2023521

Isolating higher yielding and more stable rice genotypes in stress environments: fine-tuning a selection method using production and resilience score indices

Received: 2023-03-27 Accepted: 2023-11-06 Available online: 2023-11-06

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In Asia, the rice crop sustains millions of people. However, growing demand for this crop needs to be met while simultaneously reducing its water consumption to cope with the effects of climate change. Lowland cropping systems are the most common and productive but have particularly high water requirements. High-yielding rice genotypes adapted to drier environments (such as rainfed or aerobic rice ecosystems) are needed to increase the water use efficiency of cropping. Identifying these genotypes requires fast and more accurate selection methods. It is hypothesized that applying a new quantitative selection method (the score index selection method), can usefully compare rice yield responses over different years and stress intensities to select genotypes more rapidly and efficiently. Applying the score index to previously published rice yield data for 39 genotypes grown in no-stress and two stress environments, identified three genotypes (ARB 8, IR55419-04 and ARB 7) with higher and stable yield under moderate to severe stress conditions. These genotypes are postulated to be better adapted to stress environment such as upland and aerobic environments. Importantly, the score index selection method offers improved precision than the conventional breeding selection method in identifying genotypes that are well-suited to a range of stress levels within the target environment.

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