Dr. Cindy Vigueira, associate professor of biology, and Dr. Patrick Vigueira, assistant professor of biology, both in the Wanek School of Natural Sciences, recently published the article “Weedy Rice from South Korea Arose from Two Distinct De-Domestication Events” in the Frontiers in Agronomy journal.
Weedy rice is an aggressive weed of rice cultivation worldwide. Populations of weedy rice are the result of de-domestication events where cultivated rice varieties “go feral” and become weedy in the field. The Vigueiras’ research has been focused on studying the evolution of weedy rice populations in different world regions. In this publication, they sequenced genes from several weedy rice plants that were collected in South Korea and compared those sequences to weedy rice plants from the United States. They found that weedy rice populations from South Korea are genetically distinct populations that evolved independently from weedy rice populations in the United States.
“Publication is an important portion of the scientific process,” says Dr. Cindy Vigueira. “When my work is published, it allows scientists from around the world to incorporate my findings into their hypotheses for future work. Each publication is an incremental step toward a better understanding of the world around us. I am always excited to be part of that process.”