Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Direct-seeded rice areas to get boost from rice that can germinate in anaerobic conditions

The inception and planning meeting for the BMZ-supported project, Increasing productivity of direct-seeded rice areas by incorporating genes for tolerance of anaerobic conditions during germination, was held at IRRI on 13–14 August 2013.

The BMZ-supported project provides IRRI an opportunity to better understand the mechanisms underlying tolerance of anaerobic germination (AG) stress in order to develop rice varieties that can survive flooded conditions right after sowing, and to test improved crop management practices in direct-seeded conditions.

IRRI partners with three institutions for the project—the Max Plank Institute (MPI) for Developmental Biology in Germany; the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice); and the Rice Research and Development Institute (RRDI) in Sri Lanka.

Eero Nissila, head of IRRI’s Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology division, said that improved AG-tolerant varieties and the corresponding crop and weed management is very much needed in each of the participating countries.

Discussed during the inception meeting were the occurrence of flooding during germination and weed problems in each of the participating countries, and the need to test newly developed AG-tolerant varieties along with crop and weed management practices.

The participants, who drafted research work plans for each country, were Oliver Manangkil and Rolando Cruz (Philippines); D.S. Kalukandara and R.S.K. Keerthisena (Sri Lanka); and Abdelbagi Ismail, Berta Miro, Bhagirath Chauhan, Carlos Casal, Eero Nissila, Endang Septiningsih, Evangeline Ella, Frederickson Entila, James Quilty, John Carlos Ignacio, Leigh Vial, Margaret Pelayo, Ofelia Namuco, Swarna Herath, Swe Myint Thien, Teodoro Migo, Thahir Awan, and Tobias Kretzschmar (IRRI).

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