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Scientific Classification
  • O. barthii (Barth's rice)
  • O. glaberrima (African rice)
  • O. latifolia (broadleaf rice)
  • O. longistaminata (longstamen rice)
  • O. punctata (red rice)
  • O. rufipogon (brownbeard rice)
  • O. sativa(rice)
Oryza sativa.jpg
Oryza Sativa

Rice is the most popular grain consumed globally. It comes from the genus Oryza found in the grass family Poaceae. It is the most diverse grain grown, making it so you can have it with almost any meal. It is grown all over the world, but survives best in areas that have high rainfall. Not only is rice used for consumption but it can also be used for medical reasons and in some areas of the world art. White rice is the kind that we all have become most accustomed to eating, but there are over seven thousand different species that are grown throughout the world.


Oryza Panicles

All Oryza plants have the same basic anatomy which consist of tillers, roots, stems, nodes, internodes, leafs, leaf blades, leaf sheaths, leaf collars, panicles, and flag leafs. In every species, all of these parts are located and shaped differently but to truly be rice, it must consist of all the above. There are many more parts, however, that are included within the plant. Within each panicle there are flag leafs, pendulces, rachis, primary branch, rachilla, and spikelets. A spikelet is the ultimate and congested inflorescence branch of the grasses. With that, it too has a lot stored inside of it, such as, pedicels, rudimentary glumes, rachilla, sterile lemmas, florets, lemmas, paleas, awns, the stamen, the anther, filaments, the pistil, the stigma, and the ovary. Based on that we can tell that the spikelet is where the reproduction of this plant takes place. [1] For such a tiny plant it has so many complicated, but necessary parts that make the plant live and grow.


Rice is reproduced sexually through two steps, meiosis and fertilization. Meiosis is when the forming of haploid spore and gametes occurs. It is characterized by a single section of premeiotic DNA that replicates and then it’s followed by two non stop segments of chromosome segregation. An essential part of meiosis is called homologous recombination, that is when new haplotypes are generated by shuffling alleles. Fertilization, on the other hand, is obtained by the mixing of two gametes and results in new genotypes of diploid cells called zygotes.[2] Rice can also be grown through farming. To grow rice, the fields have to be flooded, completely, with water because it takes so much for the rice to grow. After the seeds are soaked in the water is when they are ready to be planted. It takes about three months to grow and it must be harvested at the right time. If too early it doesn’t cook well, but if too late the seeds fall off when picked.[3]


Oryza Distribution Map

Rice can be grown in all sorts of different habitats, depending on the availability of water. Rice cultivation is best suited in the regions and countries with low labor costs and high rainfall. It’s usually grown as an annual plant but in tropical areas it survives as a perennial and can produce for up to 20 years as a ratoon crop. [4] This means that rice grows all over the world. In some countries in Asia they devote more than 300 million acres of their land to the growing of rice. It grows best in warm places, the temperature at the lowest of 75 degrees. [5]


With such a variety of rice, there’s no surprise that one of it’s most used purposes is cooking. It is cooked by boiling water or steaming, and as it cooks it absorbs the water. It is used in many different dishes that are cooked all around the world.Rice is very healthy for a number of reasons. It is a complex carbohydrate, meaning that starch and fiber are contained in it. Another reason, for rice, being a complex carbohydrate is a good thing is that it digests slowly, allowing the energy to be used by the body for longer periods of time. Also it is low in sodium and contains B vitamins, thiamine, potassium and niacin. People looking to reduce their fat intake are usually found looking to rice because it has a very small amount of fat and absolutely no cholesterol. [6]Rice is the primary dietary staple for half the world’s population. It is the most popular grain globally, as well as America’s favorite. It is gluten free and out of all the grains we eat it is the least allergenic. When you eat it, it triggers the neurotransmitter serotonin in our brains that help regulate or even improve your mood. Research shows also that people who eat rice in a day consume less saturated fat and unhealthy sugars, and have a lower risk of obesity and high blood pressure. So not only is it the most popular grain throughout the world, it’s also one of the most healthy. [7]


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See Also