Rice grassy stunt virus (RGSV) is a plant pathogenic virus. In the 1970s, the grassy stunt virus decimated rice harvests across Asia because the majority of Asia was planting few species: IRRI (the International Rice Research Institute) had bred several rice species which gave a high yield (the press dubbed the species "miracle rice"), but were susceptible to disease . When RGSV struck, it was a catastrophe for thousands of Asian farmers.
To breed a resistant crop, IRRI had to find a wild variety which happened to have the desired trait which provided it with resistance. They screened 6273 varieties: only one was luckily found to be resistant, a relatively feeble Indian variety, known to science only since 1966 . It was hybridised with other varieties and is now widely grown worldwide.
This episode highlights the importance of biodiversity in crop systems - if there hadn't been a pool of 6273 wild varieties to choose from, the rice industry could have been permanently damaged. This Stunt virus has greatly affected the rice industries chance to grow crops.
Annotated ESTs from various tissues of the brown planthopper Nilaparvata lugens : A genomic resource for studying agricultural pests.(Research article)(expressed sequence tag)
Mar 03, 2008; Authors: Hiroaki Noda (corresponding author) ; Sawako Kawai ; Yoko Koizumi ; Kageaki Matsui [1,3]; Qiang Zhang ;...