Rice crops in a changing climate
Protecting the future of this vital staple food by generating genomics data and training breeders.
Led by: Jose De Vega
UKRI Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Council (BBSRC) Grant Award BB/N013735/1
The British Council’s Newton Fund Institutional Links (Project 172732508)
Almost half of the world’s burgeoning population relies on rice for staple calorie intake. However, climate change is threatening the availability of this healthy, versatile, and cheap carbohydrate.
In Vietnam, rice production is of enormous value - both as an export commodity and a daily food staple for the more than 96 million people who live there. Vietnam’s unique geography makes it particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. With most of the highly productive rice-growing regions found on the coast, rising temperatures and sea levels mean it is imperative that we can breed varieties more tolerant to salt and drought.
Researchers at the Earlham Institute are helping to sustain rice crops and farming in the face of climate change through multiple channels. This vital work includes generating improved genomic data, in order to help breed more resilient rice crops, and working with international partners to help train Vietnamese breeders in bioinformatics and molecular breeding techniques.
Rice is a staple crop in some of the most severely food-stricken regions of the planet, providing a significant proportion of the calorie intake for some of the world’s poorest people.
The new genomic data we are generating will significantly support efforts to breed more resilient rice crops, contributing to global food security.