Weedy rice is conspecific, the most troublesome weed of cultivated rice identified as a threat to global rice production. The weed has inherited high reproductive ability and high dormancy by outcrossing with modern rice cultivars and wild cultivars, respectively. Traits such as rapid growth, high tillering, enhanced ability to uptake fertilizers, asynchronous maturation, seed shattering, and long dormancy periods make weedy rice more competitive than cultivated rice. Weedy rice infesting rice fields are morphologically diverse with different hull color, awn length, plant height, and variable tiller number. Morphological diversity in weedy rice can be attributed to its high genetic diversity. Introgression of alleles from cultivated rice into weedy has resulted in high genetic and morphological diversity in weedy rice. Although variations among weedy rice populations make them difficult to control, on the brighter side, competitive nature of weedy rice could be considered as raw genetic materials for rice breeding program to develop vigorous rice plants able to tolerate high biotic and abiotic stresses.
Part of the book: Integrated View of Population Genetics