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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2003 Apr;6(2):139-46.

Diversity in the Oryza genus.

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National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Kannondai 2-1-2, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan.


The pan-tropical wild relatives of rice grow in a wide variety of habitats: forests, savanna, mountainsides, rivers and lakes. The completion of the sequencing of the rice nuclear and cytoplasmic genomes affords an opportunity to widen our understanding of the genomes of the genus Oryza. Research on the Oryza genus has begun to help to answer questions related to domestication, speciation, polyploidy and ecological adaptation that cannot be answered by studying rice alone. The wild relatives of rice have furnished genes for the hybrid rice revolution, and other genes from Oryza species with major impact on rice yields and sustainable rice production are likely to be found. Care is needed, however, when using wild relatives of rice in experiments and in interpreting the results of these experiments. Careful checking of species identity, maintenance of herbarium specimens and recording of Genbank accession numbers of material used in experiments should be standard procedure when studying wild relatives of rice.

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