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A simple, rapid and reliable bioassay for evaluating seedling vigor under submergence in indica and japonica rice (Oryza sativa L.)

Manangkil, Oliver E., Vu, Hien Thi Thu, Yoshida, Shinya, Mori, Naoki, Nakamura, Chiharu
Euphytica 2008 v.163 no.2 pp. 267-274
Oryza sativa, rice, seedling growth, seedlings, vigor, flooding tolerance, flooded conditions, bioassays, cultivars
Submergence is a major stress causing yield losses particularly in the direct-seeded rice cultivation system and necessitates the development of a simple, rapid and reliable bioassay for a large scale screening of rice germplasms with tolerance against submergence stress. We developed two new bioassay methods that were based primarily on the seedling vigor evaluated by the ability of fast shoot elongation under submerged conditions, and compared their effectiveness with two other available methods. All four bioassay methods using cultivars of 7 indica and 6 japonica types revealed significant and consistent cultivar differences in seedling vigor under submergence and/or submergence tolerance. Japonica cultivars were more vigorous than indica cultivars, with Nipponbare being the most vigorous. The simplest test tube method showed the highest correlations to all other methods. Our results suggest that seedling vigor serves as a submergence avoidance mechanism and confers tolerance on rice seedlings to flooding during early crop establishment. A possible relationship is discussed between seedling vigor based on fast shoot elongation and submergence tolerance defined by recovery from submergence stress.