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Phenotypic Characterization of Oryza nivara (Sharma et Shastry) Collected from Different Ecological Niches of Sri Lanka

Salinda Sandamal1,2,3,#, Asanka Tennakoon1,#, Parakkrama Wijerathna1, Song Ge2,3, DABN Amarasekera4, Buddhi Marambe5, Sara M. Elwany6, Sobhy Sorour6, Ayman El Sabagh6, Mohamed M. Hassan7, Disna Ratnasekera1,*
1 Department of Agricultural Biology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Matara, 81100, Sri Lanka
2 State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100093, China
3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
4 Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Matara, 81100, Sri Lanka
5 Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Kandy, 20400, Sri Lanka
6 Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafrelsheikh, 33516, Egypt
7 Department of Biology, College of Science, Taif University, Taif, 21944, Saudi Arabia
* Corresponding Author: Disna Ratnasekera. Email: disnar@agbio.ruh.ac.lk
# These authors contributed equally to this work
(This article belongs to this Special Issue: High-Yield Rice Physiology & Genetics)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany https://doi.org/10.32604/phyton.2022.018983

Received 27 August 2021; Accepted 14 December 2021; Published online 08 February 2022


Information on the genetic diversity of wild rice species in Sri Lanka is relatively meagre, though it plays a key role in crop improvement programs of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.). The present study was carried out to identify the morphological variation pattern of the wild populations of O. nivara in Sri Lanka. Seven populations (P1 to P7) collected from different agro-ecological regions were characterized in a common garden based on nine morphological traits. The findings revealed a high level of phenotypic variation between populations when compared to within a population. The most variable traits were the flag leaf panicle neck length (FLPNL) and flag leaf angle (FLA), whereas the least variable trait was the flag leaf length (FLL). Box plots clearly illustrated the large differentiation of phenotypic traits in the entire distribution of wild rice populations. The cumulative values of the two principal components, i.e., FLPNL and FLA, explained 58.7% of the total variance. Populations from similar natural habitats clustered together. The P7 was adapted to intercept more sunlight by increasing flag leaf width (FLW) and FLA to compete with weeds and other shrubs. P2 and P5 were the most closely related populations representing approximately similar ecological conditions of the dry zone. The P3 population from the intermediate zone showed a vigorous plant growth with the highest plant height, culm girth and awn length (P < 0.05). Knowledge of such morphological diversity would facilitate designing conservation strategies and basic information for the proper utilization of wild resources in rice genetic improvement.


AA-genome; morphological traits; natural habitats; population differentiation; wild rice
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