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Variations in rice grain quality traits across locations in Africa
J. MANFUL (1), K. Saito (1), S. Graham-Acquaah (1) (1) Africa Rice Center, Cotonou, Benin.

Rice breeding efforts in sub-Saharan Africa have been largely skewed towards yield enhancement and stress tolerance to the detriment of grain quality traits, as such the quality of locally produced varieties remain variable. This study sought to assess variations in the grain quality traits of rice varieties including predominantly grown ones in this region and to identify those with both high grain quality and high yield that could serve as potential donors in breeding. Forty five (45) varieties were grown under irrigated lowland conditions in Benin and Senegal with two trials in each country. Wide variations in grain quality traits were observed among varieties. Cluster analysis was performed using, paddy yield, head rice yield (HRY) and chalkiness across the four trials. About 68% of total variation was explained by 5 groupings. One group having seven varieties (Sahel 108, WITA 10, IR64, Afrihikari, BG90-2, WAT339-TGR-5-2 and WAT311-WAS-B-B-23-7-1) was characterized by high HRY and low chalkiness across the trials. In this group, Sahel 108 generally had the highest paddy yield in the four trials, and IR64 and Afrihikari had intermediate and low amylose content respectively, with the rest being high amylose varieties. Another group of eight varieties consisting of B6144F-MR-6-0-0, C74, IR31851-96-2-3-2-1, ITA222, Jaya, Sahel 305, WITA 1 and WITA 2 was characterized by high paddy yield but poor grain quality. There is potential within existing varieties for improving quality of rice cultivated in West Africa.