HomeInternational Rice Research Notesvol. 29 no. 2 (2004)

Two outstanding rice varieties developed through selection from naturally occurring genetic variation in Sri Lanka

D. Sumith De Z. Abeysiriwardena

Discipline: Agriculture, Plant Genetics



Crop improvement is based on creating genetic variability and using it through selection. Natural outcrossing and mutation are the main forces that create natural genetic variability in rice. As rice is a self-pollinated crop, incidences of natural outcrossing are rare and mutation is also one in a million. Therefore, the occurrence of natural genetic variability is rare and, as a result, use of such genetic variability has not been given much emphasis in rice. However, finding rare genetic combinations is possible in populations where genetic variability has occurred naturally. Two rice varieties–Lanka Samurdhi and Bg 250–having such rare genetic combinations have been developed through selections from naturally occurring genetic variation in Sri Lanka. Thus, the importance of naturally occurring genetic variability cannot be ignored and should be given due consideration in rice improvement.