Tuesday, April 19, 2016

IRRI Board member joins Young Researchers' Lunch for April 2016

The Young Researchers' Lunch for April hosted Dr. Karen Moldenhauer (at right center in photo), a new member of the Board of Trustees of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). A professor of Crops, Soils, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Arkansas, she holds the university's Rice Industry Chair for Variety Development.

Dr. Moldenhauer has conducted applied research in rice breeding. During her tenure as project leader for the rice breeding and cultivar development program at the University of Arkansas, 28 rice cultivars have been released to producers, which have had a substantial impact on rice production in the U.S. state. 

She shared her perspectives on the art of plant breeding, which involves visual field evaluation. "This is very important," she said, "since genotyping work is not yet at the stage to explain all of a plant's response in the field.”  

Dr. Moldenhauer discussed her breeding strategies for selecting plants based on their promising appearance rather than keeping only the plants that fit the specified trait criteria. She also explained her approach to improving the purity of  breeder's seed by preserving some of the original material in cold storage for later distribution.

Luncheon participants included Arnel Pocsedio, Lenie Quiatchon, Erwin Tandayu, Aubrey Fabro, Subir Bairagi, Kouassi Amani, and Xiaoqian Wang.

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