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|Complexity and adaptability of a traditional agricultural system: Case study of a gall midge resistant rice landrace from northern Thailand
|Agricultural and Biological Sciences;Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
|Adaptability of traditional agricultural systems is suggested by their success over time, but documentation of how this happens is rare. This paper shows how genetic diversity in a rice landrace enables rice farming system of northern Thailand to adapt to a constraint of an insect pest, microenvironments of mountainous landscape and people's different tastes in rice. Resistance to laboratory-reared gall midge varied among accessions the rice landrace Muey Nawng and gall midge populations. Higher rice yield in farmers' fields reflected adaptation to local environment as well as resistance to gall midge. Microsatellite variation of the accessions correlated negatively with their gall midge resistance, but there was also variation in heading time and endosperm starch. Presence of non-waxy endosperm in glutinous rice provides opportunity to select for rice that is cooked into non-glutinous rice preferred by minority groups who live at higher elevations, where the gall midge is emerging as a new threat, possibly because of climate change. These data show how genetic diversity of a rice landrace coupled with seed management by farmers enabled a rice farming system to adapt to the varied microenvironment of a mountainous landscape under the constraint of an insect pest and people's different tastes in rice. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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|CMUL: Journal Articles
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