Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Reddy, K. Raja

Committee Member

Redona, Edilberto D.

Committee Member

Bi, Guihong

Committee Member

Phillips, J. Mike

Committee Member

Tesng, Te-Ming (Paul)

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Agricultural Science (Agronomy)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Holistic and growth stage-specific screening is needed for identifying tolerant genotypes and for formulating strategies to mitigate the negative effects of abiotic stresses on crops. The objectives of this study were to characterize the genetic variability of 100 rice lines for early-season vigor, growth and physiological plasticity, and drought and temperature tolerance. Five studies were conducted to accomplish these objectives. In study 1 and 2, 100 rice genotypes consisting of several cultivars and experimental breeding lines were characterized for early-season vigor using several shoot and root morphological, physiological, and yield related traits. In study 3, low- and high-temperature tolerance assessed on select rice cultivars/hybrids during early-season. In study 4, genotypic variability in response to drought stress tolerance using morpo-physiological traits including roots was assessed under pot-culture conditions in a mini-greenhouse conditions. In study 5, the 100 rice genotypes were used to identify and validate SNP markers, and genome-wide association study (GWAS) to generate genotypic and phenotypic data with the objective of identifying new genetic loci controlling drought stress traits. Significant variability was recorded among rice genotypes and treatments for many traits measured. Early-season cumulative vigor response indices (CVRI) developed by summing individual responses indices for each trait varied among the rice genotypes, 21.36 (RU1404196) to 36.17 (N-22). Based on means and standard deviation of the CVRI, rice genotypes were classified as low- (43) and moderately low- (33), high- (16), and very high-vigor (5) groups. Total low-temperature response index values ranged from 18.48 to 23.15 whereas total high-temperature responses index values ranged from 42.01 to 48.82. Antonio, CLXL 745, and Mermentau were identified as sensitive to cold- and heat, and XL 753 was highly cold and heat tolerant genotypes tested. A cumulative drought stress response index (CDSRI) values varied between 14.7 (CHENIERE) and 27.9 (RU1402174) among the genotypes tested. This preliminary analysis of GWA indicated that substantial phenotypic and genotypic diversity exists in the 100 rice genotypes, despite their narrow genetic pool. The stress tolerant and high vigor rice genotypes will be valuable for rice breeders for developing new genotypes best suited under growing environments prone to early-season drought and temperature.



Genetic variability||Temperature||Drought||Rice||and Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms SNP||Genome Wide Association Study GWAS||Vigor index