Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Scientists discuss latest research developments at annual hybrid rice meeting

Participants in the 9th annual meeting of the HRDC, 30 March-1 April 2016
LOS BAÑOS, Philippines—Some of the world’s top rice scientists presented the latest developments in rice research during the 9th annual meeting of the Hybrid Rice Development Consortium (HRDC) held 30 March-1 April, at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).  

Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, IRRI’s new deputy director general for research, welcomed 81 participants including consortium members from the private and public sectors. They selected more than 2,000 hybrid breeding lines for use in their own breeding programs.

Dr. Fangming Xie, HRDC coordinator and senior scientist, presented research updates on hybrid rice and reported on progress with the multilocation replicated yield trial. Charisse Grace Piadozo-Arlegui, HRDC assistant coordinator and assistant manager, also provided updates.

IRRI scientists presented the latest developments in rice research that have potential applications in hybrid rice breeding, including:

  • mitigating abiotic stresses through breeding for yield stability (Dr. Arvind Kumar),
  • market research for targeted breeding (Dr. Matty Demont),
  • how improved crop management practices can enhance genetic gains from breeding (Dr. Sarah Beebout),
  • breeding for durable resistance to important fungal diseases in rice (Dr. Bo Zhou), and
  • technologies for precision breeding at IRRI (Dr. Tobias Kretzschmar).
On the participants' schedule were visits to IRRI’s hybrid rice yield trial and the CMS (cytoplasmic male sterility) demonstration plot, the consortium’s multilocation field trial, the rainout shelter for drought tolerance of rice, and the newly built Lloyd T. Evans Plant Growth Facility.

Through the partnership platform of the HRDC, IRRI works with national agricultural research and extension systems and the private hybrid rice seed sector in promoting research on hybrid rice. Formed in 2008, the consortium aims to make better hybrids more widely available to rice farmers to raise the income of farmers, make rice production more efficient and sustainable, and keep rice affordable for millions of people who depend on it as a staple food.

(This article was written by Charisse Piadozo Arlegui, IRRI.) 

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