Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Te-Ming Tseng

Committee Member

Daniel B. Reynolds

Committee Member

Edilberto Redona

Committee Member

Shien Lu

Committee Member

Daniel G. Peterson

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Weed Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Rice (Oryza sativa) is the staple food for more than 3.5 billion people worldwide. As the population continues to grow, rice yield will need to increase by 1% every year for the next 30 years to keep up with the growth. In the US, Arkansas accounts for more than 50% of rice production. Over the last 68 years, rice production has continued to grow in Mississippi, placing it in fourth place after Arkansas, Louisiana, and California. Due to increasing rice acreage, regionally and worldwide, the need to develop abiotic stress-tolerant rice has increased. Unfortunately, current rice breeding programs lack genetic diversity, and many traits have been lost through the domestication of cultivated rice. Currently, stressors stemming from the continued effects of climate change continue to impact rice. To counteract the impacts of climate change, research has shifted to evaluating wild and weedy relatives of rice to improve breeding techniques. Weedy rice (Oryza sativa ssp.) is a genetically similar, noxious weed in rice with increased competitive ability. Studies have demonstrated that weedy rice has increased genetic variability and inherent tolerance to abiotic stressors. The aims of this study were to 1) screen a weedy rice mini-germplasm for tolerance to cold, heat, and complete submergence-stress, 2) utilize simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and single nucleotide polymorphisms to evaluate the genetic diversity of the weedy rice population, and 3) use genome-wide association (GWAS) to identify SNPs associated with candidate genes within the population.