Preserving and using rice biodiversity
With access to the world’s largest and genetically most diverse collection of wild and cultivated rices, the Genetic Resources Center (GRC) has a unique opportunity to study this plant's biodiversity.
The GRC's research facilities include laboratories for cytogenetics and molecular markers, and a small tissue culture facility to support the unit's conservation activities. The GRC focuses on the growth conditions for multiplication and regeneration of rice germplasm in Los Baños, as well as aspects of seed dormancy of the wild rice species.
The GRC continues to study the biosystematics and genetic diversity of the wild rices, using morphological and molecular approaches, supported by studies of the hybridization between species.
In partnership with national programs, and regional and international organizations worldwide, we endeavor
- to ensure the long-term preservation of rice biodiversity and to add value to this biodiversity through research,
- and to deliver germplasm and related information to users, including public and private sector organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), individual scientists, and farmers, in a timely and safe manner.
- To collect, conserve, characterize, and ensure the continued availability and exchange of rice genetic resources, and ecogeographic and agronomic data related to the germplasm in the International Rice Genebank Collection, in accordance with international conventions, agreements, and policies.
- To enhance the capacity of national agricultural research systems (NARS) to conserve, utilize and improve rice germplasm, to broaden the genetic diversity and the genetic base of rice varieties used by farmers.
- To assess and validate important traits of superior germplasm, including resistance to or tolerance for stresses and quality characteristics, and its adaptation across locations.
- To determine the biosystematic relationships of the genus Oryza and the extent of diversity, to facilitate conservation and use of rice genetic resources, particularly in situ conservation.
- To understand the genetic and social dynamics of farmer-managed rice cultivation as a strategy for genetic conservation, and develop alternative methodologies for the dynamic conservation of cultivated rice thereby enhancing benefit for farmers.
For more information about IRRI's Genetic Resources Center, contact