Understanding rice domestication and implications for cultivar improvement. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 2013,16:xx–yy

Understanding rice domestication and implications for cultivar improvement
Tao Sang1,2 and Song Ge1
Considerable insights were recently gained into the history and process of rice domestication. It becomes increasingly clear that artificial and natural selections coupled with extensive introgression have shaped the genomes of cultivated rice. The interplay of these evolutionary forces gave rise to the cultivated species, Oryza sativa, with divergent genomic backgrounds from two wild species, O. rufipogon and O. nivara, governed by a set of domestication alleles which had originated primarily at one location of initial cultivation. The mechanistic understanding of domestication suggests that the combination of quantitative trait locus mapping, genome-wide association study, and genome scan will be effective means for discovering potentially valuable alleles from the cultivated and wild species. The accumulation and appropriate sampling of germplasm collections for these analyses should effectively grow the useful allele pool, which combined with molecular breeding may get to a point literally triggering the re- domestication of rice varieties for sustainable food production.

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