Bertrand Collard

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Bertrand CollardBert is a rice breeder who specialized in developing new high-yielding irrigated varieties and germplasm for Southeast Asia. He was involved in revolutionizing IRRI’s new rice breeding activities under the Institute’s Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology (PBGB) division.

Bert’s main research interests include increasing the yield potential of rice, developing improved high-yielding indica germplasm, and evaluating germplasm for direct seeding. In 2011–12, he led the development of new rice varieties for flood-prone areas in Asia, and continues to find ways to improve flood tolerance in irrigated rice.

As a postdoctoral research fellow, Bert was involved in developing new Sub1 varieties using marker-assisted backcrossing.

Bert has published many research articles on the application of DNA markers in plant breeding, including several widely-read review articles on the topic. He has been invited as guest lecturer for several courses in genetics, molecular biology and crop genetics by several institutions in Australia and Asia. He also coordinated IRRI’s rice breeding training courses and served as a resource person for some of these. He was on the editorial board of the SABRAO Journal of Breeding and Genetics.


  • Rice breeding
  • Gene/quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping
  • Molecular breeding
  • Training the next generation of rice breeders


  • PhD in agricultural science, University of Melbourne, Australia (1998–2002 )
  • Bachelor of science (honours), University of Melbourne, Australia (1993–1997)


  • Durum wheat breeder/National Program Leader, Department of Primary Industries NSW, Australia (2009–2011)
  • Research scientist, Department of Primary Industries (Victoria), Australia (2008)
  • Research scientist, Department of Primary Industries (Queensland), Australia (2006–2007)
  • Postdoctoral research fellow, IRRI (2005–2006)
  • Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Southern Queensland, Australia (2003–2004)
  • Research assistant, RMIT University, Victoria, Australia (2000–2002)


  • Australian Postgraduate Award


  1. Collard BCY, Septiningsih EM, Das SR, Carandang JJ, Pamplona AM, Sanchez DL, Kato Y, Ye G, Reddy JN, Singh US, Iftekharuddaula KM, Venuprasad R, Vera-Cruz CN, Mackill DJ, Ismail AM. 2013. Developing new flood-tolerant varieties at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). SABRAO J Breed Genet. 45 (1):42–56.
  2. Collard BCY and Mackill DJ. 2008..Marker-assisted selection: an approach for precision plant breeding in the 21st century. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B 363:557–572.
  3. Raghavan C and Collard BCY. 2012. Effect of small mapping population sizes on reliability of quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping. African Journal of Biotechnology 11:10661–10674.
  4. Islam MR, Gregorio GB, Salam MA, Collard BCY, Tumimbang-Raiz E, Adorada DL, Mendoza RD, Singh RK, Hassan L. 2011. Validation of a major QTL for salinity tolerance on chromosome 1 of rice in three different breeding populations. Agrochimica 55:355–366.
  5. Iftekharuddaula KM, Newaz MA, Salam MA, Ahmed HU, Mahbub MAA, Septiningsih EM, Collard BCY, Sanchez DL, Pamplona AM, Mackill DJ. 2011. Rapid and high-precision marker assisted backcrossing to introgress the SUB1 QTL into BR11, the rainfed lowland rice mega variety of Bangladesh. Euphytica 178:83–97.
  6. Collard BCY, Mace ES, McPhail M, Wenzl P, Cakir M, Fox GP, Poulsen D, Jordan DR. 2009. How accurate are the marker orders in crop linkage maps generated from large marker datasets? Crop and Pasture Science 60:362–372.
  7. Collard BCY and Mackill DJ. 2009. Start codon targeted (SCoT) polymorphism: a simple, novel DNA marker technique for generating gene-targeted markers in plants. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 27:86–93.
  8. Neeraja CN, Maghirang-Rodriguez R, Pamplona A, Heuer S, Collard BCY, Septiningsih EM, Vergara G, Sanchez D, Xu K, Ismail AM, Mackill DJ. 2007. A marker-assisted backcross approach for developing submergence-tolerant rice cultivars. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 115:767–776.
  9. Collard BCY, Grams RA, Bovill WD, Percy CD, Jolley R, Lehmensiek A, Wildermuth GB, Sutherland MW. 2005. Development of molecular markers for crown rot resistance in wheat: mapping of QTLs for seedling resistance in a ‘2-49’ x ‘Janz’ population. Plant Breeding 124:532–537.
  10. Collard BCY, Pang ECK, Ades PK, Taylor PWJ. 2003. Preliminary investigation of QTLs associated with seedling resistance to ascochyta blight from Cicer echinospermum, a wild relative of chickpea. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 107:719–729.