Friday, October 14, 2022

IRRI visiting scholar wins 1st place at the Pennsylvania State University Biology Student Research Showcase 2022

With funding from the United States Department of Agriculture and support from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), this researcher is making strides in his Ph.D. journey. 

Christian F. Cantos, a Plant Biology Ph.D. student at Pennsylvania State University (PSU), won first place for a poster presentation entitled, “Natural variant of rice G proteins subunit, RGA1, shows high performance under drought stress.” The study aims to utilize the natural variation of rice G-protein (Gα) subunits across the rice 3K panel and to determine its field performance under drought stress.  
An ongoing collaboration between IRRI and PSU, in which both organizations are testing the agronomic performance of G-proteins natural variants in the field, enabled Cantos to come to the Philippines as a visiting scholar. He performed physiological measurements last April- May 2022 with the help of Dr. Amelia Henry and her team. 
“Rice research has been the cornerstone of my career. I was excited because I believe this work will have a great application for crop improvement and rice breeding with favorable traits, especially under drought stress which can potentially help alleviate food security worldwide,” Cantos said. 
When asked how the IRRI team helped him with his study, Cantos said, “Dr. Amelia Henry has been supportive of our ideas about the project. Her research staff are hardworking, especially during my visit, where they managed to help me with all the field measurements I conducted. Despite the pandemic, we accomplished two field trials (2021 and 2022).”  
Christian has previously worked at IRRI for several years under Dr. Inez Slamet-Loedin’s team on gene editing in rice. 
Congratulations, Christian!


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