Agrogenomics Research Center

Rice Applied Genomics Research Unit

Genetic and genomic characterization of rice genes controlling useful agronomic traits and development of a novel rice breeding strategy

 Rice shows numerous morphological and physiological differences that are observed as phenotypic variations in rice grown around the world. Some variations have been used as genetic resources to improve rice plants to satisfy human needs. Phenotypic variations are considered to be genetically controlled by the collective functions of a large number of genes in the rice genome. However, the genetic basis and biological functions of most of these genes are still unknown, which limits the wider practical use of rice germplasm variability.
 The Rice Applied Genomics Research Unit exploits useful phenotypic variations from different germplasm and, with the aid of recent advances in genome information technology, elucidates the relationships between the genes involved and their biological functions. Also, the Unit tries to develop new breeding materials and to propose more effective breeding methodology. Through these research activities, the Unit aims to establish a continuous pathway from genome information of rice germplasm to actual breeding.

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    "Tomohonami", a new blast-resistant cultivar with high eating quality

    Tomohonami, carrying the resistant pi21 allele, has slight damage that supports normal panicle growth, while the leading cultivar Koshihikari has no panicles due to severe infection by blast disease.

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    Genetic recombination experiments for clarification of rice genes potentially involved in natural phenotypic variation.