Plant Genetic Resources

Research Article

Whole grain morphology of Australian rice species

S. Kasema1a2, D. L. E. Watersa2, N. Ricea1a2a3, F. M. Shaptera2 and R. J. Henrya1a2 c1

a1 Grain Foods CRC, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia

a2 Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia

a3 Australian Plant DNA Bank Ltd, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia


The grain morphology of 17 wild rice relatives were studied by light and scanning electron microscopy and compared to two cultivated rice varieties (Oryza sativa cv. Nipponbare and O. sativa cv. Teqing). Observations were made of the grain colour, size and shape. Grains from wild rice species exhibited a variety of colours that have potential aesthetic and nutritional value. The grains of these species exhibited a wide array of sizes and shapes, but still fell within the standard classification scale that rice breeders use for routine breeding evaluation. These results highlight the potential of these species as whole grain foods or as sources of novel alleles in conventional rice breeding programmes.

(Received August 20 2009)

(Accepted October 30 2009)

(Online publication November 19 2009)


c1 Corresponding author. E-mail:


Abbreviations: SEM, scanning electron microscopy; L/W, length/width ratio