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Agrobiodiversity / / Stronger collaboration in upland rice breeding

Stronger collaboration in upland rice breeding

Aerobic or upland rice offers the key advantage of less dependence on large amount of natural resources like – water and nitrogen, adaptation to acid soils and ecological friendliness – lower methane emissions compared to irrigated rice, since upland fields are not flooded. It is only in recent times, modern upland varieties have reached greater yield owing to a better exploitation of the species genetic potential, and today upland rice has widened its range of adaptation from strict rainfed upland conditions to favorable aerobic conditions and to some extent anaerobic soils, but the major drawback still remains from a lower productivity of upland rice in comparison with irrigated rice. With all its major advantages, the efforts are taken to combine high-yielding characteristics with good grain quality, resistance to pests and diseases and tolerance to abiotic stresses, like drought.

To review progress in addressing these constraints, rice researchers from French Agricultural Research for Development (Cirad) and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) met with the CIAT rice research team at Center headquarters in mid-October for presentations and discussions on upland rice breeding strategies.

Titled “Population breeding through recurrent selection and breeding for aerobic rice,” the 3-day workshop examined the status of upland rice breeding and advances with phenotyping methods as well as progress with recurrent selection – a cyclic process involving plant, evaluation, selection and interbreeding for crop improvement – including molecular breeding approaches. The event was supported by the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), also known as the CGIAR Research Program on Rice.


The presentations and discussions gave particular attention to trait development in upland rice breeding which encompasses evaluation of disease resistance, grain quality, tolerance to abiotic stresses, and the integration of molecular tools to speed-up the breeding process. Participants also visited the Center’s rice research facilities, including the grain quality and plant pathology laboratories, phenotyping platform, and field rice breeding facilities.

In addition, the workshop focused on strengthening collaboration between CIAT, Cirad and Embrapa in upland rice breeding through recurrent selection and concluded with an overview presentation by Flavio Breseghello, director general of Embrapa Rice and Beans, titled “Embrapa rice and beans as a hub for the Embrapa network.”

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  • Reinhardt Howeler: Thanks, Keith. It was a pleasure writing this book as it brought back so many good memories of working with cassava, both in Latin America and in Asia. I was lucky that the Nippon Foundation suggested that I write this book and financed its publication. They also wanted a simplified version for farmers and extension workers that could be translated into various languages. The English version of this new book is now going to press in Hanoi, while the Khmer and Vietnamese translations are also ready for printing and the Thai and Chinese translations are still being worked on. In case you are interested in the English version, let me know. My email address is still And let me know where you are working now and what you are doing. Reinhardt
  • Peter de Vroome: Great invention! Could be very usefull in our research in fast detecting CFSD in our planting material. Is this kit already for sale? Peter de Vroome phytopathologist Centre for Agricultural Research in Suriname (C.E.L.O.S.)
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  • Keith Fuglie: An impressive publication! Reinhardt Howeler has done an incredible job of summarizing lessons from nearly 30 years of work on cassava improvement in Asia. This very successful collaboration between CIAT and national research programs demonstrates what can be achieved through modest but persistent investment in agricultural research, even with a relatively neglected crop grown primarily by poor farm families in marginal environments.
  • Unraveling the genetic secrets of the insect ve...: […] Jeff Stuart, an insect molecular geneticist from Purdue University, USA, is bringing new ideas to unravel the genetic secrets of insect vectors of crop virus diseases (RT @CGIAR: News: Unraveling the genetic secrets of the insect vectors of crop virus...  […]
  • Kellan: i am also working on ppd on cassava. can you please help me find find a suitable protocol to analyse ppd.
  • ALI SALEM IBRAHIM: Hi we looking to start collaborations with ciat center if it,s possible.
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