Collection, classification, and conservation of cultivatedand wild rices of the Lao PDR


The Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) lieswithin the center of domestication of Asian rice(Oryza sativa L.). Many traditionalvarieties are grown in the rainfed lowland and rainfed uplandecosystems, but there is a danger of genetic erosion, particularly inthe lowlands, as farmers adopt improved varieties. The Lao Ministryof Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and the InternationalRice Research Institute (IRRI) jointly explored most of therice growing areas between October 1995 and April 2000 and collected13192 samples of cultivated rice, and 237 samples of six wild ricespecies. Cultivated samples were classified according to ecosystem,endosperm type and maturity. The numbers of samples collected fromthe northern, central and southern regions were 5915(44.8%), 4625 (35.1%) and 2652(20.1%) respectively. More samples(55.9%) were collected from the uplands than fromlowland sites. Most samples (85.5%) had glutinousendosperm. Almost half the samples were medium maturing(47.1%), with approximately an equal number of earlyand late maturing forms. Apart from some localized areas whereaccessibility was restricted, the collection is representative of therice genetic resources of the whole country. A genebank formedium-term storage was established near Vientiane. Forlong-term conservation, duplicate samples were sent to theInternational Rice Genebank at IRRI in the Philippines.

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Appa Rao, S., Bounphanousay, C., Schiller, J. et al. Collection, classification, and conservation of cultivatedand wild rices of the Lao PDR. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 49, 75–81 (2002).

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  • Classification
  • Conservation
  • Endosperm
  • Germplasm collection
  • Oryza
  • Rice