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Advances in Molecular Genetics and Genomics of African Rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud)

1
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Genetic Resources Research Institute, P.O. Box 30148 – 00100, Nairobi, Kenya
2
M’bé Research Station, Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), 01 B.P. 2551, Bouaké 01, Ivory Coast
3
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(10), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8100376
Received: 23 August 2019 / Revised: 23 September 2019 / Accepted: 25 September 2019 / Published: 26 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics in Rice)
African rice (Oryza glaberrima) has a pool of genes for resistance to diverse biotic and abiotic stresses, making it an important genetic resource for rice improvement. African rice has potential for breeding for climate resilience and adapting rice cultivation to climate change. Over the last decade, there have been tremendous technological and analytical advances in genomics that have dramatically altered the landscape of rice research. Here we review the remarkable advances in knowledge that have been witnessed in the last few years in the area of genetics and genomics of African rice. Advances in cheap DNA sequencing technologies have fuelled development of numerous genomic and transcriptomic resources. Genomics has been pivotal in elucidating the genetic architecture of important traits thereby providing a basis for unlocking important trait variation. Whole genome re-sequencing studies have provided great insights on the domestication process, though key studies continue giving conflicting conclusions and theories. However, the genomic resources of African rice appear to be under-utilized as there seems to be little evidence that these vast resources are being productively exploited for example in practical rice improvement programmes. Challenges in deploying African rice genetic resources in rice improvement and the genomics efforts made in addressing them are highlighted. View Full-Text
Keywords: African rice; climate change; genomic resources; genetic potential; genome sequencing; domestication; transcriptome and chloroplast African rice; climate change; genomic resources; genetic potential; genome sequencing; domestication; transcriptome and chloroplast
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Wambugu, P.W.; Ndjiondjop, M.-N.; Henry, R. Advances in Molecular Genetics and Genomics of African Rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud). Plants 2019, 8, 376.

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