Improving low-temperature tolerance in rice

Christopher Proud1, Jaquie Mitchell1, Bradley Campbell1, Zuziana Suzanti1,2, Ian Godwin1, Ben Ovenden3, Peter Snell3 and Shu Fukai1    

1 The University of Queensland, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, St Lucia, QLD, 4072, Email:, 2 Indonesian Centre for Rice Research, Agency for Agricultural Research and Development,Jalan Raya 9 Sukamandi, Subang, West-Java.3 Department of Primary Industries, Yanco Agricultural Institute, Yanco, 2703, NSW, Australia.


The occurrence of low temperature (15-19oC) events particularly during the young microspore stage (YMS) is a major constraint facing the temperate rice industry leading to reduced fertility and yield. A series of experiments have been conducted to improve our understanding of low-temperature tolerance in terms of underlying physiological mechanisms and the molecular basis of traits involved in low-temperature tolerance at the YMS in populations pertinent to the Australian breeding program. Our research has identified that anther dehiscence is a floral trait critical to ensuring low-temperature tolerance. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified utilising genome wide association analysis with 6 putative QTL identified for spikelet sterility that co-located with number of dehisced anthers. The use of putative markers for spikelet fertility and underlying floral traits will lead to increased efficiency in breeding for low-temperature tolerance in rice.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

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David Marland Photography Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

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