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Genetic Diversity of Sabah Traditional Rice
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Rica, Oryza sativa L. is one of the staple foods for more than half of the world population. It is planted all over the world, including Malaysia except Antartica and Artic. According to a previous report by Garris et al. (2005), rice has been domesticated since 5-10000 years ago, a similar time for wheat and maize. Rice is predominantly autogamous and, therefore, gene flow is restricted. As a result, geographically or ecologically distinct groups of rice are expected to show greater genetic differentiation than would be the case in an outcrossing species. A substantial proportion of genetic diversity is reported to be residing between homozygous lines within a landrace or traditional rice cultivars. The traditional cultivars are also reported to have several important agronomical traits which are useful for modern rice breeding. Such traits are tolerance to abiotic stresses (i.e. salt, drought, climate and iron deficiency), and resistance to diseases and pests (i.e blast, bacterial blight, planthoppers and tungro). To date, there have been more than 500 accessions of Sabah traditional rice recorded at the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) under Sabah Agriculture Department and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). However, details of the genetic information on important agronomical traits are not available on these varieties. A systematic planning and strategy to explore the useful genes residing within the Sabah traditional rice germplasm are needed. This effort is probably beneficial for future rice improvement programmes in Sabah.

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Centre of Postgraduate Studies, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Beg Berkunci 2073,
88999 Kota Kinabalu

Full Name [1]
Mariam Abd. Latiphee Fong Tyng