Australian Oryza are an understudied and underexploited genetic resource for rice improvement. Four species are indigenous: Oryza rufipogon, Oryza meridionalis, Oryza australiensis are widespread across northern Australia, whereas Oryza officinalis is known from two localities only. Molecular analysis of these wild populations is required to better define the distinctness of the taxa and the extent of any gene flow between them and rice. Limited collections of these wild populations are held in seed and DNA banks. These species have potential for domestication in some cases but also have many traits of potential value in the improvement of domesticated rice. Stress tolerance (biotic and abiotic) and grain quality characteristics in these populations may be useful. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010.