Genetic diversity associated with conservation of endangered Dongxiang wild rice (Oryza rufipogon)

J. Xie*, H. A. Agrama, D. Kong, J. Zhuang, B. Hu, Y. Wan, W. Yan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


The wild progenitor species (Oryza rufipogon) of Asian cultivated rice (O. sativa L.) is located in Dongxiang county, China which is considered its the northernmost range worldwide. Nine ex situ and three in situ populations of the Dongxiang wild rice (DXWR) and four groups of modern cultivars were genotyped using 21 SSR markers for study of population structure, conservation efficiency and genetic relationship. We demonstrated that the ex situ conservation of the DXWR failed to maintain the genetic identity and reduced genetic diversity. Therefore, in situ conservation is absolutely necessary to maintain the genetic identity, diversity and heterozygosity. Also, in situ conservation is urgently needed because natural populations in DXWR have decreased from nine to three at present due to farming activity and urban expansion. In DXWR, the three surviving in situ populations had greater expected heterozygosity than any cultivated rice, and were genetically closer to japonica than either the male-sterile maintainer or restorer lines, or indica. Japonica has the lowest genetic diversity of cultivated rice. As a result, DXWR is a rich gene pool and is especially valuable for genetic improvement of japonica rice because these O. rufipogon accessions are most closely related to the japonica as compared to O. rufipogon collected anywhere else in the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-609
Number of pages13
JournalGenetic Resources and Crop Evolution
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Dongxiang wild rice
  • Genetic diversity
  • In situ and ex situ conservation
  • Oryza rufipogon
  • Plant germplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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