Wednesday, April 16, 2014

IRRI participates in 49th Annual Rice Research meetings in India

IRRI staff members led by DDG-R Matthew Morell attended the 49th Annual Rice Research Meetings held at the Directorate of Rice Research (DRR) in Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, India, last 6-8 April. One important item on the agenda was to review the progress of the IRRI-India Work Plan (2013-16). IRRI researchers and their Indian counterparts joined in discussions on 24 projects across the six themes of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP). More than 450 rice researchers from across India attended the three-day event and took the opportunity to interact with the visiting IRRI staff.

Attending his first DRR meeting, Dr. Morell summed up the experience as a very useful process, adding that he was pleased to see that many IRRI-India interactions are very strong, although there are some areas in which strengthening is needed. He thanked the DRR for sharing its research during the meetings and stated that he looks forward to continuous engagement over the next years of the current work plan.

The milestone 50th annual rice meeting will take place in April 2015 and IRRI plans to be a part of the DRR’s celebration by inviting to a special alumni reunion of all Indians who were or are IRRI staff members, scholars, or BOT members over the last half century.

Photos, clockwise starting in upper right: 1) Swapan Datta, deputy director general (crop science), Indian Council of Agricultural Research, and former IRRI tissue culture specialist and plant biotechnologist (1993-2005), welcomes the delegates on Sunday morning. 2) During a break, Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton, IRRI GRC head, discusses the work plan with E.A. Siddiq, IRRI plant breeder based in Egypt (1983-86), DRR director (1987-94), and IRRI BOT member (2000-06).  3) During the work plan discussions, Dr. Morell makes a point with B.C. Viraktamath, DRR project director. 4) During a trip to nearby field plots, R.M. Sundaram, DRR senior scientist in biotechnology, presents his work on the development of biotic stress resistance in rice through marker assisted selection to (from left) Lanie Reyes, Rice Today managing editor; Dr. Sackville Hamilton; J.K. Ladha, principal scientist and IRRI representative (India and Nepal);
Dr. Morell; and Bas Bouman, GRiSP director.

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