By Glenn Gregorio
Senior scientist, plant breeding
Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology Division
International Rice Research Institute
Thursday, 14 February 2010
Havener Auditorium, IRRI
Why does salinity pose such a difficult problem for plant breeders?
For several decades, many scientists were not optimistic about developing rice varieties that can be tolerant to salinity and readily adapted by farmers. Now, we have rice varieties to demonstrate that rice plants can defy salt.
However, every type of stressed environment demands that a rice plant have unique trait combinations to be adaptable. This is complicated by changes associated with climate that include increased temperature, sea level rise, and changes in rainfall distribution. It is not easy to assemble all desired traits in one variety. We need innovative ways to design rice varieties and build multiple tolerance traits into them.
Dr. Gregorio will discuss the achievements and new challenges in the development of the new class of salt-proof rice varieties.