Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A fresh look at a dry problem: The relevance of upstream molecular biology to drought tolerance

An IRRI Seminar

By Ajay Kohli
Senior scientist
Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology Division
International Rice Research Institute

1:15-2:15 P.M., Thursday, 16 May 2013
Havener Auditorium, IRRI

Over the last five years or so, research on rice yield under drought has come of age at IRRI. The molecular breeding group led by Arvind Kumar and the physiology group led by Amelia Henry has intermittently recounted the impressive QTLs and the interesting morphophysiology for yield under drought. The genes underlying these successes have been the missing link in a story that we have hoped to tell as a three-way collaborative team.

In this seminar, I will try to redress that imbalance and present our  current understanding of the molecular workings of one of the outstanding QTLs as an example. Our relatively short journey of delving deep and far upstream with molecules has been at once arduous and exciting. We have established not just a reasonable understanding of what makes this QTL tick but, along the way, discovered novel aspects of drought tolerance that herald the beginning of a very exciting future for upstream research in general and drought tolerance research in particular. Our results pave the way to making upstream molecular biology more relevant to product delivery.

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