This project focuses on the development of a sustainable innovative way to enhance the productivity of rice (Oryza sativa) under resource-limiting, sub-optimal environmental conditions. The research activity aims at investigating the co-cultivation of rice with Azolla spp., an aquatic pteridophyte that has co-evolved with Anabaena azollae, a symbiotic nitrogen fixing cyanobacteria inhabiting the fern leaflets. The benefits of Azolla spp. have been already well documented through decades of agronomic studies. However, the nature of molecular interactions, particularly the effects of volatile organic compounds (VOC)released by Azolla–Anabaena on rice remain unknown and unexplored. The project features a multidisciplinary approach to unravel the interaction between rice and Azolla spp. in order to identify in rice the genes and the regulatory pathways that respond to Azolla co-cultivation. This knowledge will allow breeding of rice cultivar with increased benefits from Azolla spp. co-cultivation.
Project leader: Federico Brilli
IPSP personnel: Srikanta Dani Kaidala Ganesha (assegnista di ricerca)