Screening Water-Efficient and Climate-Resilient Rice Parental Lines for the Australian Rice Industry

Swinburne University of Technology

  • Project code: PRO-013062

  • Project stage: Current

  • Project start date: Monday, February 28, 2022

  • Project completion date: Friday, March 14, 2025

  • National Priority: RIC-Optimised genetic improvement


The adaptation of rice to delayed permanent water (DPW) and other dry farming cultivation is dependent on efficient water uptake, reduced water loss and duration of farming. Some irrigated Australian rice varieties were successfully adapted to DPW with no adverse impact on rice grain quality and yield. However, climate variability and water scarcity are becoming the norm in the Australian rice farming regions. Therefore, the identification of water-efficient and climate-resilient pre-breeding materials adapted to DPW is urgently needed to maintain the sustainability and global competitiveness of the Australian rice industry. In this project, we will evaluate pre-breeding materials from the Yanco Rice Diversity panel that can withstand water and high-temperature stresses, determine genetic and metabolomic markers associated with water use efficiency even at elevated temperature, and validate these molecular markers to enable the development of water use efficient Australian rice cultivars. A high throughput screening method for rice diversity panel will be used where root emergence, formation and architecture will be characterised under optimal water regime, simulated water-limited conditions and elevated temperature. Genome-wide and metabolome-wide association studies will be conducted to identify molecular markers responsible for water use efficiency and water or high-temperature stress tolerance. Five lines that are susceptible or tolerant will be selected for detailed metabolic and physiological validation under water and/or elevated temperature stresses. At the end of the project, we will identify pre-breeding materials and molecular markers for the Australian rice breeding program to enable the development of climate-resilient, water-efficient rice cultivars for the Australian rice industry. 



Research Organisation

Swinburne University of Technology