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Naming of traditional rice varieties by farmers in the Lao PDR


The Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF)and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)jointly collected rice germplasm in the Lao PDR between 1995 and2000. Among the 13192 samples collected, there are 3169 distinctvariety names. Sometimes, the same variety is called by differentnames by different ethnic groups; furthermore clearly differentvarieties have the same name. Lao farmers assign names to traditionalvarieties that relate to the production ecosystem, endosperm type,and maturity. The name also often indicates a variety'sparticular morphological features or other unique characteristics.Varieties are also named for plants, flowers, fruits and animals.Resistance to or tolerance for commonly occurring stress factors likedrought, floods, lodging, birds, weeds and adaptation to soils arealso reflected in some rice variety names. Use of this informationcan help select germplasm for rice improvement.

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Correspondence to M.T. Jackson.

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Appa Rao, S., Bounphanousay, C., Schiller, J. et al. Naming of traditional rice varieties by farmers in the Lao PDR. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 49, 83–88 (2002).

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  • Diversity
  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Oryza
  • Rice
  • Variety names