Anther Culture


Preparing to remove anthers


Anthers removed from rice florets


Anthers plated on media


Plantlets regenerated from anther callus

The Anther Culture program at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station is an integral part of our rice variety development efforts. The goal of the Anther Culture program is the production of regenerated double haploid plants for use by the rice breeders. These double haploid plants are uniform and non-segregating and thus can be entered directly into yield testing. The use of anther culture allows lines to be entered into yield testing in a much shorter period of time than needed in conventional breeding efforts. Each summer over 200 different lines are sampled (primarily from F2 populations). These populations represent the various breeding objectives on the station. During the summer program, more than 500,000 anthers are plated, resulting in the regeneration of close to 10,000 plants. These plants are maintained in the greenhouses. After field evaluation and selection, these plants will be introduced into the breeding program’s preliminary yield and agronomic tests.

The Anther Culture program is not limited to summer field sampling only. There is also a winter cycle in which plants are grown in the greenhouses or brought in from the field for sampling. The anthers of these lines will be plated and plants regenerated through the winter months using the same methods as the summer cycle.

The timeframe for the development of new varieties can be cut by several years using the double haploid plants produced through anther culture. The Anther Culture program at the H. Rouse Caffey Rice Research Station is the largest and most productive of its kind in the United States.

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