The RiceCAP grant has completed its funding cycle and active management of the web site has ceased.
The genome, or DNA genetic code, of rice is composed of approximately 50,000 “pieces” of DNA, called genes, which control all plant traits including yield and pest resistance. The sequence information is now publicly available to rice researchers worldwide. For the rice industry to use this valuable resource effectively, rice researchers need to begin to understand the function of these genes and how they impart economically valuable attributes to commercial rice. A better understanding of these genes will enable researchers to develop a hardier and more productive rice crop.
Two attributes that have been difficult to improve through traditional plant breeding efforts are milling yield and disease resistance to sheath blight, one of the most pervasive and destructive diseases of rice worldwide. The RiceCAP project aims to develop a set of biotechnology-based tools to improve these two attributes in U. S. rice varieties. The tools being developed will help rice researchers identify genes that control these important agronomic traits as well as determine their function in the rice plant. This biotechnology toolbox will allow traditional rice breeders to address problems that they have been unable to address adequately in the past.
The RiceCAP project is a multi-institution and multi-state program with a strong research component as well as teaching and extension efforts to fully engage the rice community on the potential benefits of the overall effort. The project will advance the utility of the biotechnology information available for rice, train traditional rice breeders in the usefulness of biotechnology based tools, and educate a broader audience on the merits of such an approach to improve rice cultivars.
The management of this project will receive significant input from scientific and stakeholder advisory boards, with the stakeholder advisory board composed of industry representatives from the rice community.