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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2011, Article ID 543237, 9 pages
Review Article

Plasticity of Tiller Dynamics in Wild Rice Oryza rufipogon Griff.: A Strategy for Resilience in Suboptimal Environments

School of Life Science, Sambalpur University, Jyoti Vihar, Sambalpur 768019, India

Received 29 March 2011; Accepted 11 May 2011

Academic Editor: Rodomiro Ortiz

Copyright © 2011 Pravat K. Mohapatra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Rice cultivation in tropical Asia is susceptible to drought and flood and the need is high for stress resistant genes. Wild rice Oryza rufipogon Griff., grows in close sympatric association with cultivated rice in various habitats across the globe and possesses traits for survival under challenging environments. The species adapts according to the level of soil moisture available and modifies phenology, biomass production and grain yield. Variation in tiller dynamics of the species between contrasting environments gives an estimate of the adaptation. The species possesses AA genome, which permits genetic compatibility for cross breeding with cultivated rice. Utility of the species as possible repository of stress resistant genes is evaluated in this review by examining variation in assimilate partitioning between different classes of tillers of ecotypes growing across a gradation of habitats against background knowledge available for cultivated rice. Models have been constructed to explain mechanisms of tillering and tiller dynamics, and reveal the genotypic permissibility for resilience in sub-optimal environments. It is concluded that environmentally cued alteration in assimilate production and partitioning mask genetic potential for tiller production and survival. Tiller number in excess of resource capacity is corrected by senescence of late-tillers possibly through an ethylene-mediated signal.