Development and adaptation of rice (DAR)

Context and challenges

Last update: 16 March 2016

The aim of the Adaptive Development of Rice (DAR) team is to understand the cellular and molecular bases of root system development mechanisms in rice.

Climate change and the rice root system

It will be possible to use this knowledge to improve the plant tolerance to mineral deficiencies and to environmental constraints linked to on-going climate change, such as drought or the salinization of soils. We combine molecular genetics, cell biology, dynamic imaging, bioinformatics and quantitative genetics approaches to identify the networks of genes involved in root formation and growth. In this respect, we are developing novel tools for phenotyping, 4D cell imaging and targeted genome modification by the CRISPR/CAS9 technology in rice.

Leading cereal for human consumption

Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is a plant of considerable sociological, economic and cultural importance. It is grown on more than 150 million hectares, for 600 million tons produced annually, making it the leading cereal for human consumption. A 50% increase in yields is needed in the next 20 years on non-extendable arable lands and in an unstable climate context.

A model system for cereals

Rice is a monocot and the model cereal for maize, sorghum and wheat. Rice possesses some remarkable genetic resources with 22 wild species and over 100,000 samples of cultivated accessions. It has some favourable biological characteristics, being a short-cycle self-fertilizing plant; its genome displays macro-colinearity and micro‑colinearity with that of some other cereals; there exist numerous molecular resources, and an extensive scientific community. Rice is grown in a wide range of cropping systems, water regimes (upland, rainfed lowland, irrigated and floating) and environments, and the genetic resources of this species form a considerable and original reservoir of alleles for adapting rice to different constraints.

Last update: 16 March 2016

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