Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Adventures in the world of rice diversity: An update on the International Rice Genebank

An IRRI Seminar

By Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton
Senior scientist, evolutionary biologist, and
Head of the T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Center
International Rice Research Institute

1.15–2.15 P.M., Thursday, 6 June 2013
Havener Auditorium, IRRI


The Genebank at IRRI is the world’s greatest resource underpinning rice science and the whole future of rice agriculture. How effectively do we make this resource available to help you develop better rice? For 40 years, we have been floundering in a quagmire of power struggles, inadequate technologies, and disputes over sovereign rights, intellectual property rights, and what the acceptable and unacceptable ways are to use crop diversity to improve agriculture. Political solutions and emerging scientific opportunities are now finally taking us out onto firmer ground. This seminar will start with the story of how rice evolved to become a source of so many valuable genes and, from there, wade into the managerial, political, and legal framework that now regulates how we conserve, share, and use rice. It will end with a peek into an envisioned new IRRI, in which the Genebank will empower a new generation of creative rice breeders to design new virtual rice genomes and breed them efficiently from Genebank accessions.

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