Hybrid rice has demonstrated promises of yield gain for over several decades since its conception and massive deployment in China. One of the common bottlenecks of hybrid rice is the availability of suitable breeding lines as parents to produce marketable rice grains. Due to limitation of genetic diversity of breeding parent, hybrid rice is extremely vulnerable to rice blast disease caused by the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. M. oryzae is a highly adaptive fungus that often gains new virulence to reduce crop resistance resulting in massive yield loss and crop failure. To secure yield gain of hybrid rice, identification and integration of diverse sources of resistance genes into hybrid rice are super critical. In this chapter, we will present strategies to identify, characterize, and stack effective blast resistance genes in hybrid rice breeding in China.
Part of the book: Protecting Rice Grains in the Post-Genomic Era