The African Rice Oryza glaberrima Steud: Knowledge Distribution and Prospects

  •  Yves Agnoun    
  •  Samadori Biaou    
  •  M. Sié    
  •  R. Vodouhè    
  •  A. Ahanchédé    


This paper presents a consolidated balance-sheet on the botanical and historical evidence for the role of the cultivated African rice species (Oryza glaberrima Steud) in West and Central Africa as well as its geographical distribution. Because Oryza glaberrima has survived without the help and interference from human, it has developed adaptive and protective mechanisms for resisting major biotic and abiotic stresses. Oryza glaberrima is also very plastic with two major ecotypes: the floating and the non floating, and presents natural hybridization and admixture with its wild parents and the Asian cultivated rice Oryza sativa. Several ecotypes showed good aptitude in response to climatic change effects such as drought, flood, pests and diseases. This review presents several phenotypic diversity aspects on O. glaberrima and highlights its ecological and genetic structuring as well as the management of its diversity. Even if the African rice has undergone less diversification than the Asian rice in their evolutionary process, it presents some interesting assets which are being suggested to exploit through varietal improvement programs.

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