Floods have destroyed over 2000 acres of rice in Uganda which affected yield and caused losses to farmers. This problem is more pronounced when fields are not well leveled, and the mode of irrigation is by surface flooding. Majority of lowland rice fields in East African region are of this nature and are thus prone to yield losses. There are no submergence tolerance varieties identified in Uganda, so far. To address this problem, breeding for submergence tolerance is the most ideal and promising strategy in rice. As a first step, genotypes tolerant to submergence need to be identified which is the objective of this study. 29 rice genotypes were morphological characterized in screen house and field conditions while 34 rice genotypes were molecularly characterized. Results suggested significant differences in the performance of genotypes both in the screen house and under field conditions in which varieties Swarna, IRRI SUPA 3 and KOMBOKA showed approximately 80% and above survival rate with Swarna variety ranking first. Molecular characterization of rice genotypes revealed that, out of 34 genotypes, 30 genotypes scored presence for Sub 1A-2 allele while, four genotypes were neither Sub1A-1 nor Sub 1A-2 alleles. None of the tested genotypes were carrying Sub 1A-1 allele.
Key words: Flash floods, submergence, tolerance, sub1, swarna
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