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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 51 No. 2, p. 651-655
    Received: Jan 27, 2011

    * Corresponding author(s): lamojim@gmail.com
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A New Cheap and Efficient Single-Grain Shatter Tester for Use in Rice Breeding

  1. Jimmy Lamo *a,
  2. Pangirayi Tongoonab,
  3. Patrick Okoric,
  4. John Dererab,
  5. Roelof Hendricksb and
  6. Mark Laingb
  1. a National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), P.O. Box 7084, Kampala, Uganda
    b African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI), Univ. of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
    c Dep. of Crop Science, Makerere Univ., P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda


Grain shattering, also called grain shedding, is the relative ease with which rice (Oryza sativa L.) seed is dislodged from the pedicel at maturity. Several qualitative methods have been used to assess grain shattering and they tend to underestimate yield loss. Equipments available for quantitative assessment of grain shattering are mostly laboratory based. However, a recently developed prototype in Japan for fieldwork can be used, but the cost is prohibitive. An improved grain-shattering tester that uses a hand-held device has been developed and reported here. It is an improvement over the stationary laboratory device. It has the following modifications: a crocodile clip instead of a bench clamp and a helical spring for testing tensile material instead of tension gauge. The new device is affordable, handy for fieldwork, and effective for large experimental trials. This equipment was designed and developed at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) mechanical workshop (Pietmeritzburg, South Africa). Its efficiency was tested at the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) at Namulonge, Uganda. The efficiency was tested by first estimating yield loss in selected test plants using a method that involves shaking panicles. This finding was compared with the minimum force required to dislodge the grains using this new device and a high correspondence of R 2 = 99.9% was found. This new equipment has therefore been recommended for field assessment of grain shattering.

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