Oryza rufipogon 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Poales Poaceae

Scientific Name: Oryza rufipogon Griff.
Common Name(s):
English Red Rice, Wild Rice
Oryza fatua J. Koenig ex Trin., nom. nud.
Oryza sativa L. var. fatua Prain
Taxonomic Source(s): USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2017. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) [Online Database]. Available at: (Accessed: January).
Taxonomic Notes: Oryza rufipogon Griff. is a primary wild relative of cultivated rice (O. sativa L.) and African rice (O. glaberrima Steud.) (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2017).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-06-15
Assessor(s): Watve, A., Phillips, J. & Yang, L.
Reviewer(s): Goettsch, B.
Contributor(s): Molur, S. & Vaughan, D.
Oryza rufipogon is the wild species from which the cultivated rice, Oryza sativa, has been domesticated. It is wide spread and is considered a weed in rice fields, as it easily crosses with the cultivated rice. The population is stable and no serious threats have been reported for the species. Hence it is listed in the category Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Oryza rufipogon is a widely distributed tropical plant. It has been recorded in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China (Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan, Yunnan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian), India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam) Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Countries occurrence:
Australia; Bangladesh; Cambodia; China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi, Yunnan); Colombia; Ecuador; Guyana; Hong Kong; India (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal); Indonesia (Jawa, Kalimantan, Papua, Sulawesi); Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:2472Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:248024191.481
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is widely distributed across tropical Asia to Australia where subpopulations can be very large (D.A.Vaughan pers. comms. 2017).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:No
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Oryza rufipogon grows in shallow water, irrigated rice fields, pools, ditches and sites with stagnant or slow, running water. It occurs at altitudes from 0 to 1400 m asl and is suited to clay/loam soil (Vaughan 1994). Subpopulations have also been recorded in Asian deltas (D.A.Vaughan pers. comms. 2017).

Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

This species is a primary genetic relative and is a probable progenitor of cultivated rice and African rice (USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program 2017).  The species is a confirmed genetic donor for abiotic stress agronomic traits, fertility traits, morphological traits, phenological traits and quality traits (Vincent et al. 2013)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The species is being actively controlled in many areas as it competes with cultivated rice.

This species is vulnerable in areas of high development and population increase, particularly in China, south Asia and mainland southeast Asia. The species may also be negatively affected by climate change due to rising sea levels and consequently salt water intrusion into populations located in deltas (D.A.Vaughan pers. comms. 2017).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

The genus Oryza is listed in Annex 1 of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as part of the rice gene pool.  

According to Genesys (2017) there are 1,142 ex situ accessions of the species stored in genebank worldwide with 989 of these duplicated and stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.  The majority of the accessions are of wild origin and were collected within the native range of the species (Genesys 2017).

O. rufipogon has been found in the Parambikulam Game Reserve, Kerala, India (IRRI, 1989). 

In China, a program on in situ conservation has been started. Chinese crop wild relative subpopulations are declining so rapidly that it was listed in the Chinese Red Data Book of Plant Species: Rare and Endangering Plants (Zhiping Song et al.2005)

Citation: Watve, A., Phillips, J. & Yang, L. 2017. Oryza rufipogon. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T176902A61524992. . Downloaded on 19 August 2018.
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