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In Situ Conservation of Wild Rice Populations: A Targeted Study of Common Wild Rice Oryza rufipogon from China

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DOI: 10.4236/ajps.2012.37103    5,106 Downloads   7,873 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Although great accomplishments of in situ conservation have been made during the last decade throughout the world, there is an urgent need to conduct more targeted research to explore many basic questions about crop wild relatives (CWR) in situ conservation such as how to better identify and manage the target in situ conservation populations of CWR. In this study, we performed an extensive field investigation of 201 natural populations or habitats of O. rufipogon, a seriously endangered wild progenitor of cultivated rice in China. Our updated information suggests that: 1) the majority of the natural populations have been extinct throughout China, which leads to serious fragmentation of the population system as a whole; and 2) the survived populations have become small in size and thus fragmented within the population as a result of the loss of subpopulations. To assess the relationships between the biodiversity education and conservation of wild rice, we employed participatory approaches in the field investigation. Our data indicate that the continuous rapid decline of biodiversity education seemed closely related to the extinction of wild rice germplasm. These findings imply the potential necessity and huge challenge for making in situ conservation plans in the future. By means of our understanding of ecogeography, sociology and culture, and population genetics of the species, we propose a strategy for selecting in situ conservation locations as well as priority sites for establishing in situ conservation practices in China.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

L. Gao, D. Li, X. Wu, W. Chen, Z. Huang and X. Wei, "In Situ Conservation of Wild Rice Populations: A Targeted Study of Common Wild Rice Oryza rufipogon from China," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2012, pp. 854-868. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.37103.

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