Genomics of Plant Genetic Resources pp 233-248
Maintaining Food Value of Wild Rice (Zizania palustris L.) Using Comparative Genomics
Wild rice (Zizania palustris) is a naturally-occurring, aquatic plant species that is important to wildlife, aquatic biological systems and humans. Populations of Z. palustris across the geographic range continue to decline in their natural habitat. In some cases, natural populations are being lost. Sometimes referred to as American wild rice, it is genetically similar to Oryza sativa, or cultivated Asian rice. This similarity coupled with modern advances in rice genomics have allowed for comparative genetics and genomics studies between Z. palustris and O. sativa and genetic diversity studies, which have been useful for characterizing the available natural genetic resources. The ongoing wild rice breeding program has been successful in supporting and expanding the cultivated wild rice industry. The incorporation of modern molecular genetics approaches to selection have improved the ability to breed for cultivated wild rice varieties that are more resistant to seed shattering, which has contributed to increased grain production.