A total of 2,500 breeding lines were selected by members of the Hybrid Rice Development Consortium (HRDC) during its 8th annual meeting annual meeting at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Headquarters on 25-27 March. Hybrid rice is a key technology for closing yield gaps as well as raising the yield potential, and through that increasing the income of rice farmers as well as that of consumers who depend on buying rice as a staple food. The selected IRRI hybrid rice germplasm, identified by 90 participants from the private and public sectors, will be used in rice breeding programs all over the world.
Dr. Fangming Xie. HRDC coordinator and senior scientist, also presented a proposal on heterotic study and hybrid rice training, research updates, and a report on the consortium’s multi-location replicated yield trials (MRYT). Dr. Remy Bitoun, new head of IRRI’s Public-Private Engagement Office, discussed proposed revisions in the HRDC guidelines while Charisse Grace Piadozo-Arlegui, HRDC Assistant Coordinator, delivered a general report.
In addition, scientists from IRRI and the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) presented the latest developments in hybrid rice breeding:
• 3K genome and International Rice Informatics Consortium, Concept and Operation (Dr. Nickolai Alexandrov, IRRI bioinformatics specialist)
• GRiSP Phenotyping Network (Dr. Michael Dingkuhn, IRRI crop physiologist)
• Grain quality research update (Dr. Nese Sreenivasulu, head, IRRI Grain Quality and Nutrition Center)
• Private and Public Partnership at IRRI (Dr. Remy Bitoun)
• Hybrid Rice in Africa (Dr. Raafat El-Namaky, AfricaRice hybrid rice breeder)
The participants also visited IRRI’s hybrid rice advanced yield trial and CMS demonstration plots, the phenotyping network field of the Global Rice Science Partnership, the newly built hybrid rice cold water facility, and the Consortium’s MYRT field.