Tuesday, March 3, 2015

IRRI-NARO holds symposium on development and deployment of resistant rice varieties

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Japanese National Agricultural Food Research Organization (NARO) held a symposium to forge collaboration between the two parties toward the development and deployment of pest- and disease-resistant rice varieties at IRRI Headquarters on 25 February.

Members of the NARO contingent presented their work on resistance to brown planthoppers (Masaya Matsumura) and resistance to leaf and panicle blast (Tomomori Kataoka and Hiroyuki Sato). Sachiyo Sanada-Morimura and Hiroshi Wada presented insecticide resistance in small brown planthopper, and the physiological mechanisms leading to chalky rice under drought conditions.

IRRI scientists gave updates on their ongoing research at IRRI, including rice resistance to planthoppers (Finbarr Horgan), the role of endophytes in resistance to insects (Buyung Hadi), resistance to blast and bacterial blight (Ricardo Oliva), and tungro resistance (Il-Ryong Choi).

The event was also an opportunity for students and interns at IRRI to present the results of their research. Entomologists Rina Racmawati, Suja Thanga Srinivasan, Mahardika Gama, Vu Quynh, and James Villegas presented topics ranging from the role of bacterial endosymbionts in the breakdown of planthopper resistance, to the use of soil amendments to increase resistance against hoppers and stemborers. Plant pathologists Jaymee Encabo, Eula Oreiro, and Sylvestre Dossa presented the mechanisms of rice resistance to tungro virus, screening for sheath blight, and the efficacy of bacterial blight resistance genes under conditions of drought, respectively.

The participants discussed the worrisome trend of pest and disease adaptation to resistance genes during round table talks, and devised mechanisms to improve collaboration and research toward understanding and curtailing this adaptation. An agenda for building parallel research on common interests was also highlighted at the symposium.

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