Key Scientific Findings

    • The genome-wide association study on indices of stress response on ion mass fractions in the leaves using a classical mixed model controlling structure and kinship was conducted within this GreenRice project. The results reveal the salinity tolerance of accessions with a temperate japonica background. Although the detected QTLs must be confirmed by other approaches, the number of associations linked to candidate genes involved in calcium-mediated ion homeostasis highlights pathways to explore in priority to understand the salinity tolerance of temperate rice. Read more in: Frouin J, Languillaume A, Mas J, Mieulet D, Boisnard A, Labeyrie A, et al. (2018) Tolerance to mild salinity stress in japonica rice: A genome-wide association mapping study highlights calcium signaling and metabolism genes. PLoS ONE 13(1): e0190964.
    • Genome-Wide Analysis of japonica Rice Performance under Limited Water and Permanent Flooding Conditions. Low water specific associations were identified for several agronomic traits including days to maturation, days from flowering to maturation, leaf traits, plant height, panicle and seed traits, hundred grain weight, yield and tillering.The analysis of genes annotated in the Nipponbare reference sequence and included in the regions associated to traits related to plant morphology, grain yield, and physiological parameters allowed the identification of genes that were demonstrated to affect the respective traits.Read more in: Volante A, Desiderio F, Tondelli A, Perrini R, Orasen G, Biselli C, Riccardi P, Vattari A, Cavalluzzo D, Urso S, Ben Hassen M, Fricano A, Piffanelli P, Cozzi P, Biscarini F, Sacchi GA, Cattivelli L and Valè G (2017) Genome-Wide Analysis of japonica Rice Performance under Limited Water and Permanent Flooding Conditions. Front. Plant Sci. 8:1862. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01862
    • A Rice GRAS Gene has an impact on the Success of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Colonization.  OsAM18 is a rice protein likely to have an impact not only on the colonization process and AM functionality, but also on the systemic effects of the AM symbiosis. You can read more in: Fiorilli, V., Volpe, V., Zanini, S., Vallino, M., Abbà, S. and Bonfante, P. (2015) A Rice GRAS Gene Has an Impact on the Success of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Colonization. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 6, 1905-1915.
    • Under AWD treatment, rice plants showed an increased root branching, mostly involving the large lateral roots. The arbuscular mycorrhizal phenotype was nicely maintained, even if the colonization success was slightly more limited than under purely aerobic conditions. Molecular analysis revealed that a phosphate transporter was highly upregulated in AWD plants.
    • GBS and bulk segregant analysis were used to map a major gene for complete nematode resistance to chr 11 by crossing a resistant Sri Lankan cultivar LD24 with an Italian variety Vialone Nano.
    • The GreenRice panel of 240 European accessions was characterized for its salinity tolerance and GWAS used to map candidate genes for salinity tolerance.
    • Field trials carried out at the Ebro Delta in 2016 showed an increase in productivity in mycorrhizal rice plants (30% increase) compared to non-mycorrhizal plants when grown under PFS. Under controlled greenhouse conditions, the mycorrhiza-induced protection against blast infection is dependent on the host genotype. Results on blast resistance in field-grown mycorrhizal rice plants were not conclusive due to a low blast incidence in the 2016 rice cropping season.


Sustainable and environmental friendly rice cultivation systems in Europe is funded by the FACCE-ERA-NET+ on Climate Smart Agriculture.