Biotechnology and the future of rice production


Rice breeders are looking to basic bioscience and biotechnology for help in the solution of important problems that conventional breeding methods have not satisfactorily solved. Among these problems are durable resistance to recalcitrant pests and diseases such as yellow stem borer, gall midge, sheath blight, bacterial leaf blight, blast and tungro virus, and tolerance of abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity and submergence. Nutrient use efficiency, yield potential and efficient hybrid rice production are additional problems for which biotechnology solutions are envisioned. IRRI's biotechnology program emphasizes techniques such as molecular markers, anther culture and DNA fingerprinting that accelerate conventional breeding, and also techniques such as wide hybridization and genetic engineering that broaden the gene pool that breeders can exploit. IRRI's experience in adopting and adapting biotechnology for use in its own breeding program is shared with the national agricultural research systems of Asia through the Asian Rice Biotechnology Network.

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Bennett, J. Biotechnology and the future of rice production. GeoJournal 35, 333–335 (1995).

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  • Rice Production
  • Anther Culture
  • Conventional Breeding
  • Hybrid Rice
  • Sheath Blight