Cultural practices for characterization of cultivated rice

Contributors to this page: T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Centre-IRRI, Los Baños, Philippines (Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, Ken McNally, Flora de Guzman, Renato Reaño, Soccie Almazan, Adelaida Alcantara, Elizabeth Naredo); WARDA, Cotonou, Benin (Ines Sánchez); UPLB-University of the Philippines at Los Baños (Teresita Borromeo).

Planting and cultural practices


Characterization trial of rice (photo: IRRI)

Note: In rice agriculture, the terms ‘upland’ and ‘lowland’ conventionally refer to the type of cultivation, not to the elevation of the land. Thus it is possible (and common) to have ‘upland’ rice in the lowlands and ‘lowland’ rice in the uplands.

‘Upland’ = on sloping land never inundated in water.

‘Lowland’ = on level ground periodically inundated, by rainfall or by irrigation water, to control weeds.

Soil type



Plot size

Sampling area/border area

Plant density


Standard check cultivars

Frequency of standard checks

Time of day for data collection

Consult the general rice characterization page for information about descriptors, or recording of information during characterization.

References and further reading

Hanson J. 1985. Practical Manuals for Genebanks: Procedures for handling seeds in genebanks. IBPGR, Rome, Italy. HTML version available from: Date accessed: 10 June 2010.

Rao NK, Jackson MT. 1996a. Seed longevity of rice cultivars and strategies for their conservation in genebanks. Annals of Botany 77:251–260.

Rao NK, Jackson MT. 1996b. Seed production environment and storage longevity of japonica rices (Oryza sativa L.). Seed Science Research 6:17–21.

Rao NK, Jackson MT. 1996c. Effect of sowing date and harvest time on longevity of rice seeds. Seed Science Research 7:13–20.

Rao NK, Hanson J, Dulloo ME, Ghosh K, Nowel D, Larinde M. 2006. Manual of seed handling in genebanks. Handbooks for Genebanks No. 8. Bioversity International, Rome, Italy. Available in English (1.5 MB),  Spanish (1.4 MB) and French (1.9 MB).

Reaño R, Pham JL. 1998. Does cross-pollination between accessions occur during seed regeneration at the International Rice Genebank? International Rice Research Notes 23(3):5–6.

Reed BM, Engelmann F, Dulloo ME, Engels JMM. 2004. Technical guidelines for the management of field and in vitro germplasm collections. Handbook for Genebanks No. 7. IPGRI, Rome, Italy. Available here.

Sackville-Hamilton NRS, Chorlton KH. 1997. Regeneration of accessions in seed collections: a decision guide. Handbook for Genebanks No. 5. IPGRI, Rome, Italy. Available here.

Van Soest LJM. 1990. Plant Genetic Resources: Safe for the future in genebanks. Impact of Science on Society 158:107-120.

The Genebanks

The 11 CGIAR genebanks currently conserve 730,000 of cereals and grain legumes, forage crops, tree species, root and tuber crops, bananas and crop wild relatives.