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Oryza sativa

Why are the seeds of this species difficult? The seeds of some sub-species may have physiological dormancy. The seeds are relatively short-lived, so may not remain viable for a long time in storage.

Oryza sativa (Image: S. Wood, RBG Kew)

Seed Storage

This species has Orthodox seeds - dry to 15-20% eRH and store at -20ºC, or as cool as possible.

The seeds are relatively Short-lived. Monitor viability at least every five years, and more frequently once viability begins to decline. When viability falls close to the regeneration standard, the collection will need to be re-generated or re-collected.

Germination Requirements

Germinate on agar, germination paper (top of paper or between paper) or sand at a constant temperature of 25ºC, or use an alternating temperature regime of 30/20ºC. An alternative germination method is to use a flood test: sow the seed in moist sand and add water to a depth of ¼ inch above the sand level on the seventh day of the test.

The seeds of some sub-species may be Physiologically Dormant. If germination is low, use a moist pre-heat treatment (e.g. 50ºC), before germinating the seeds at their optimum temperature.

Seed Morphology

See more images of this species at the Digital Atlas of Economic Plants.

Oryza sativa section
(Image: S. Wood, RBG Kew)



Accepted name: Oryza sativa L.

Synonyms: various

Common name: rice

References and Links

  • Association of Official Seed Analysts (2010). Volume 1: Principles and Procedures. Rules for Testing Seeds. AOSA Inc., Ithaca, USA.
  • Baskin, C.C. and Baskin J.M. (1998). Seeds: ecology, biogeography, and evolution of dormancy and germination. Academic Press, USA.
  • Ellis, R.H. and Hong, T.D. (2007). Quantitative response of the longevity of seed of twelve crops to temperature and moisture in hermetic storage. Seed Science and Technology, Vol 35 (2): pp432-444.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (1994). Genebank Standards. FAO/IPGRI, Rome, Italy.
  • International Seed Testing Association (2010). International Rules for Seed Testing: edition 2010. ISTA, Bassersdorf, Switzerland.
  • Rao, N.K., Hanson, J., Dulloo, M.E., Ghosh, K., Nowell, D. and Larinde, M. (2006). Manual of seed handling in genebanks. Handbooks for Genebanks No. 8. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy.
  • Walters, C., Wheeler, L.M., Grotenhuis, J.M. (2005). Longevity of seeds stored in a genebank: species characteristics. Seed Science Research, Vol 15 (1): pp1-20.
  • AFPD (African Flowering Plants Database) - Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Switzerland, and South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, RSA: Oryza sativa.
  • PROTAbase (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) - Wageningen, Netherlands: Oryza sativa.
  • SID (Seed Information Database) - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK: Oryza sativa.
  • Tropicos - Missouri Botanical Garden, USA: Oryza sativa.
  • Kew species profile: Oryza sativa