By: Nickolai Alexandrov
T.T. Chang Genetic Resources Center (TTCGRC)
24 September 2015
Rice bioinformatics exploded when the 3,000 rice genome sequencing project was completed last year. An unprecedented amount of sequence data required immediate attention—it had to be reliably stored, carefully quality-controlled, properly organized in data structures, and thoroughly analyzed. Not everything went smoothly and there were unexpected delays and a few mistakes. Nevertheless, the main results from this project have been made available to the rice community via a friendly and interactive web portal.
How does this data help breeders and other rice scientists in their work? What have we achieved and what new discoveries should we expect in the near future? How should we be prepared to meet new challenges in rice bioinformatics? More questions will be discussed and some of them will be answered in this seminar.
By Kei Kajisa
Professor - Aoyama Gakuin University
03 September 2015
The Central Luzon Loop Survey, started by IRRI in 1966 on the eve of the Green Revolution, is perhaps the longest continuous survey in rice farming and of rice farm families in existence. The dataset is suitable for documenting long-term structural changes and drawing lessons for the future. Topics covered by this seminar will include the (1) lack of successors and aging of farm families, (2) progress of mechanization and outsourcing, (3) history of varietal adoption, (4) emerging problems in wet-season rice farming, (5) possible recurrence of insecticide use, and (6) changes in the beneficiaries of the Green Revolution. Future research agendas will also be discussed.
Bob and Matthew take the platform together in a conversation with IRRI staff to exchange ideas on the continuity of mission, the stability of IRRI as it seeks to diversify its sources of funding, and a shared vision for the next decade and beyond.
The presentation summarizes recent adoption and impact assessment studies on stress-tolerant rice varieties in South Asia, more specifically focusing on their dissemination in Eastern India and Bangladesh. Area estimates of stress-tolerant rice and other varieties based on the 2014 survey of more than 7,000 households in Bangladesh and India will be presented. Farmers' sequential use of Swarna-Sub1 over two years, rice variety replacement behavior and preference on all varieties, and awareness and past use of stress-tolerant rice and other varieties will also be discussed.
The rainfed rice ecosystem spreads 55 million hectares in South and Southeast Asia, where rice growth is often hampered by water problems (drought and floods). In many cases, other problems related to soil and water, such as salinity and nutrient disorder, accompany them. Fortunately, breeders from IRRI and NARES have already developed a series of stress-tolerant rice varieties and have disseminated them to farmers’ fields. One of our challenges now is to make full use of these materials.
However, as experts themselves, Asian farmers already have an independent opinion on how they could make their crops adapt better to stress-prone environments. They are the ones to give a final review of any "innovative" option, and ready-made recommendations may not often work. In this seminar, I will briefly introduce how we've tried to address these issues in the Rainfed Lowland Agronomy team for the last two years, seeking for both basic understanding of and interaction with farmers.