School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
Dr Surya Bhattarai: Professor Kerry Walsh, Dr Ben Ovenden
Doctor of Philosophy
Charissa Rixon

Research Details

Thesis Name

Characterisation of morphological, physiological and biochemical traits for heat tolerance in aerobic rice

Thesis Abstract

Heat stress during flowering in tropical rice can cause spikelet sterility (SS) resulting in yield penalties. The thesis research utilises both field and controlled environment experiments to examine physiological, morphological and biochemical traits conferring heat tolerance in rice germplasm. Twenty-seven rice genotypes were screened under ambient and controlled temperature regimes and the SS for the genotypes ranged from 0.8% (Hayayuki) to 74.3% (Vandana) whereas the commercial variety Doongara recorded SS of 13.2% in controlled environment. Future evaluation of genotypes under flooded and aerobic conditions is necessary to establish heat tolerance under different water management systems for rice production.

Why my research is important/Impacts

Traditionally Australian rice has been grown in the Riverina, in a traditional paddy system. With the recent droughts experienced across Australia and outside economic pressures, the quantity of rice being grown in Australia has been extremely volatile. With increasing pressure on existing water resources in the Riverina, there has been expansion into North Queensland as an aerobic farming system. Rice crops in NQ experience heat stress that limits yield potential, reducing commercial production. All northern rice varieties need to be heat tolerant under aerobic conditions to protect against loss of grain yield, to encourage further expansion of the industry.


CQUniversity Research Stipend Scholarship (Women)


  1. NSW Department of Primary Industries
  2. Rice Research Australia Pty Ltd