Traits of importance for aerobic ‘DryRice’ varieties for the Riverina region

The University of Queensland

  • Project code: PRJ-011067

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Saturday, June 30, 2018

  • Project completion date: Thursday, June 9, 2022

  • Journal Articles From Project: QTL Validation and Development of SNP-Based High Throughput Molecular Markers Targeting a Genomic Region Conferring Narrow Root Cone Angle in Aerobic Rice Production Systems. Plants (Issue: 10 on 3/10/2021), Stable and Novel Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) Confer Narrow Root Cone Angle in an Aerobic Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Production System Rice (Issue: 14:28 on 7/3/2021), Factors Determining Genotypic Variation in the Speed of Rice Germination Agronomy (Issue: 11 on 13/8/2021), Effect of germination level on properties of flour paste and cooked brown rice texture of diverse varieties Journal of Cereal Science (Issue: 102 on 5/10/2021), Relationship of root cone angle with key physiological traits and grain yield of rice grown in aerobic production systems Agronomy system solutions for Complex problems Proceedings of the 20th Australian Society of Agronom (Issue: 20 on 6/2/2022), Genotypic variation in transpiration and grain yield in a japonica rice diversity set grown under aerobic conditions Agronomy system solutions for Complex problems. Proceedings of the 20th Australian Society of Agrono (Issue: 20 on 6/2/2022), Designing rice to improve water productivity for temperate production Agronomy system solutions for Complex problems Proceedings of the 20th Australian Society of Agronom (Issue: 20 on 6/2/2022), Reduced grain yield under aerobic rice production is associated with reduced nitrogen uptake Agronomy system solutions for Complex problems. Proceedings of the 20th Australian Society of Agrono (Issue: 20 on 6/2/2022)

  • National Priority: RIC-Optimised genetic improvement


The Australian rice production system in southern NSW has been reliant on flooded conditions and hence consumes large amounts of water. With increasing irrigation costs and water limitations to rice crops, varieties adapted to aerobic growing conditions are required. This project aims to develop screening methods to evaluate genetic variation in key traits (eg root morphology and transpiration) that contribute to aerobic adaptation and identify key donor varieties for the breeding program. The project aims to link phenotype to genotype and identified traits to genomic regions for the direct incorporation into the breeding program to maximize productivity of rice adapted to a new reduced water input system.
In addition to aerobic adaptation traits, varieties will need to be cold tolerant.
Thus, the proposed aerobic project will build on the outputs of the RIRDC-UQ ‘Cold tolerant traits and QTLs for improved efficiency of rice breeding program’ (PRJ-007580) project, which will end in May 2018. The aerobic project will utilise the highly successful UQ cold screen to evaluate new populations and novel genetic material supplied by NSW-DPI, in addition the new project would harness the established capability, knowledge, and skills and cold tolerant germplasm outputs. This new pre-breeding project will combine physiology with genomics to gain an understanding of the genetic basis for traits contributing to adaptation to aerobic conditions. Assuming an underlying cold tolerance and in combination with appropriate agronomy this will lead to opportunities for commercial aerobic production and improvement in water productivity at the farm level in southern Australia.



Research Organisation

The University of Queensland

Objective Summary

It is proposed that with optimal genotypes and best management practices, the yield level of aerobic rice can approach that of flooded systems, with the advantage of reduced irrigation water and hence higher water productivity.
The main aim of this project is to identify donor varieties and traits/QTL that are associated with well-watered aerobic conditions under drill seeding, which leads to development of sound screening methods for selecting rice genotypes adapted to such conditions. This pre-breeding project will take a multidisciplinary approach to identify genetic variation in key traits (eg. root morphology and transpiration)/QTL that contribute to aerobic adaptation for the southern Australian production environment. The NSW-DPI rice breeding program would then exploit identified donor varieties/traits/QTL for cold tolerance and aerobic adaptation by introgression into elite Australian germplasm.
Furthermore, there is scope for the UQ Gatton research field site to be considered as a managed environment facility targeting Aerobic ‘DryRice’ production.
The specific objectives are to identify:
1. genotypic variation and donor varieties for adaptation to aerobic conditions
2. the physiological mechanisms/traits related to adaptation of rice to aerobic conditions under drill seeding;
3. genomic regions and molecular markers that link genotype to phenotype;
4. evaluate agronomic performance of selected genotypes for aerobic rice systems for southern Australia;
5. UQ Gatton research field site as a ‘DryRice’ site for physiology research and variety selection for aerobic adaptation.
These objectives would be achieved via activities conducted across 4 years in Gatton and Southern NSW field sites and UQ controlled temperature glasshouse facilities.