How to increase the storability of rice in dry conditions?
Rice is a vital food staple in the world, with over 50% of the global population depending on this source of nutrients (fao.org, 2023). Ensuring that the quality of rice seeds is maintained is crucial for food security and sustainability. One of the quality metrics of rice is seed longevity. The adequate storability of rice allows for a more sustainable and efficient supply chain that impacts farmers, traders, and the end consumer.
One of the determinants of seed longevity is its deterioration levels. The decay of seed quality can be caused by genetic markups, and, additionally, by storage conditions such as temperature, moisture, or oxygen. Agricultural researchers are currently conducting studies to achieve better longevity of hybrid seeds with a focus on genomic regions that would allow for a prolonged shelf life of rice (GWAS) (Wang et al., 2022; Zhao et al., 2022; Yano et al., 2016).
Seed aging in dry conditions and spectral imaging analysis
A recent study has investigated genetic variations of rice (Oryza sativa L.) under dry EPPO experimental aging to imitate long-term dry storage in comparison to ambient control conditions (Prasad et al., 2023). A collection of 300 rice accessions coming from a variety of regions, as well as different production years (2009 to 2016) were used to ensure the validity of this study.
An elevated partial pressure of oxygen (EPPO) method was used to mimic and quicken dry seed aging (Buijs et al., 2020). The researchers observed that one of the main causes of accelerated seed aging is the presence of free–radical oxygen species, and, thus, concentrated on genes that could counteract this process.
Among other tools used in this thorough study, the VideometerLab and VideometerLab Software were utilized to measure the agronomic traits of the seeds, such as seed length or width. The researchers took also into consideration germination and viability measures of rice seeds against aging treatment.
The analysis showed that the RC gene is responsible for a significant seed restrainment against elevated oxygen levels in dry conditions, that in result makes seeds less vulnerable to oxidative damage – increasing their longevity levels.
The results of this research will help breeders in genetic engineering to achieve more resistant, sustainable rice seed hybrids that will have longer longevity – a key component of seed quality. By improving the storability of rice, researchers can help ensure a more sustainable and efficient food supply chain, and ultimately contribute to global food security.
- Prasad C. T., M., Kodde, J., Angenent, G.C., Hay, F.R., McNally, K.L. & Groot, S.P.C. (2023) Identification of the rice Rc gene as a main regulator of seed survival under dry storage conditions. Plant, Cell & Environment, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.14581
- Buijs, G., Willems, L. a. J., Kodde, J., Groot, S. P., & Bentsink, L. (2020). Evaluating the EPPO method for seed longevity analyses in Arabidopsis. Plant Science, 301, 110644. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2020.110644
- Prasad, C. M., Kodde, J., Angenent, G. C., Hay, F. R., McNally, K. L., & Groot, S. P. (2023). Identification of the rice Rc gene as a main regulator of seed survival under dry storage conditions. Plant Cell and Environment. https://doi.org/10.1111/pce.14581
- Wang, Y., Wang, X., Sun, S., Jin, C., Su, J., Wei, J., Luo, X., Wen, J., Wei, T., Sahu, S. K., Zou, H., Hongyun, C., Mu, Z., Zhang, G., Liu, X., Xu, X., Gram, L., Yang, H., Wang, E., & Liu, H. (2022). GWAS, MWAS and mGWAS provide insights into precision agriculture based on genotype-dependent microbial effects in foxtail millet. Nature Communications, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-33238-4
- Yano, K., Yamamoto, E., Aya, K., Takeuchi, H., Lo, P. J., Hu, L., Yamasaki, M., Yoshida, S., Kitano, H., Hirano, K., & Matsuoka, M. (2016). Genome-wide association study using whole-genome sequencing rapidly identifies new genes influencing agronomic traits in rice. Nature Genetics, 48(8), 927–934. https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.3596
- Zhao, F., Wang, N., Bao, F., Zhao, G., Jing, L., Wang, G., Han, Q., Hao, Z., & Chen, B. (2022). Genome-Wide Association Study Reveals Genetic Basis of Trace Elements Accumulation in Maize Kernels. Agriculture, 12(2), 262. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12020262