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Effects of competition from California weedy rice (Oryza sativa f. spontanea) biotypes on a cultivated rice variety

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 March 2020

Elizabeth Karn
Staff Research Associate, University of California Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Cooperative Extension Sutter-Yuba Counties, Yuba City, CA, USA
Teresa De Leon
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA
Luis Espino
Cooperative Extension Advisor, University of California Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Cooperative Extension Colusa County, Colusa, CA, USA
Kassim Al-Khatib
Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA
Whitney Brim-DeForest*
Cooperative Extension Advisor, University of California Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Cooperative Extension Sutter-Yuba Counties, Yuba City, CA, USA
Author for correspondence: Whitney Brim-DeForest, Associate Cooperative Extension Advisor, University of California Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources, Cooperative Extension Sutter-Yuba Counties, 142A Garden Hwy, Yuba City, CA95991. (Email:


Weedy rice is an emerging problem of cultivated rice in California. Infestations of weedy rice in cultivated rice result in yield loss and reduced grain quality. In this study, we aimed to evaluate growth and yield components of a widely grown cultivated rice variety in California in response to weedy rice competition. Greenhouse competition experiments in an additive design were conducted in 2017 and 2018 to determine the growth and yield components of ‘M-206’ rice and five weedy rice biotypes found in California at varying weed densities. M-206 rice initially grew at a faster relative growth rate of 0.53 cm−1 wk−1 under competitive conditions compared with 0.47 cm−1 wk−1 in the absence of weedy rice, but absolute and relative growth rates declined more rapidly under competitive conditions as plants approached maturity. At harvest, M-206 plant height was reduced 13% under competitive conditions, and M-206 tiller number was reduced 23% to 49%, depending on the weedy rice biotype it was competing with. Except for 100-grain weight, the growth traits and grain yield components of M-206 rice were reduced with increasing density of weedy rice. At the highest weed density measured, 40 plants m−2, M-206 rice had yield losses of 69% grain yield plant−1, 69% panicle weight, 59% fresh and dry biomass, 55% grain yield panicle−1, and 54% panicle number. The five evaluated weedy rice biotypes varied widely in early growth rates, height, biomass production, and grain yield, indicating differing competitive strategies. Most weedy rice biotypes produce plants with greater plant height, tiller number, panicle number, and above- and below-ground biomass compared with cultivated rice. Weedy rice biotypes produced 45% to 57% higher grain yield per plant than M-206 rice under competitive conditions.

Research Article
© Weed Science Society of America, 2020

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Associate Editor: Eric Webster, Louisiana State University AgCenter


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