Rice Field

Rice Breeding Breakthrough to Feed Billions

An international team has succeeded in propagating a commercial hybrid rice strain as a clone through seeds with 95% efficiency. This could lower the cost of hybrid rice seed, making high-yielding, disease resistant rice strains available to low-income farmers worldwide. The work was published Dec. 27 in Nature Communications.

In 2019, a team led by Professor Venkatesan Sundaresan and Assistant Professor Imtiyaz Khanday at the UC Davis departments of Plant Biology and Plant Sciences achieved apomixis (producing seeds that are clones of the mother plant) in rice plants, with about 30% of seeds being clones.

Sundaresan, Khanday and colleagues in France, Germany and Ghana have now achieved a clonal efficiency of 95%, using a commercial hybrid rice strain, and shown that the process could be sustained for at least three generations. The results could be applied to other food crops that constitute major food staples for the world.

Read the full article here.