Casiana Vera Cruz

  • About

  • Contact info

  • Related items

Casiana Vera Cruz

Casiana or "Nollie" is a plant pathologist (Senior Scientist II) at Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology (PBGB) Division. With expertise on plant pathology, she is responsible for researches on host plant resistance to diseases, and performs services for bacterial and fungal disease screening in breeding programs of different rice ecosystems. She also leads the IRRI-DA Heirloom Rice Project which aims to raise productivity and enrich the legacy of traditional rice through empowering communities in unfavorable rice-based ecosystem.


  • Disease resistance to bacterial and fungal pathogens
  • Molecular host-pathogen interactions
  • Candidate genes/QTLs association with disease resistance
  • Development of markers and their application in marker-assisted selection for rice improvement
  • Population biology/structure of plant pathogen
  • Seed health management and diagnostics of seedborne pathogens in rice
  • Root health in relation to aerobic rice


  • PhD in Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, USA (1996)
  • MS in Plant Pathology, University of the Philippines Los Baños, College, Laguna, Philippines (1984)
  • BS in Ariculture, major in microbiology, University of the Philippines Los Baños, College, Laguna, Philippines (1974)


  • Senior Scientist II, Plant Pathology, Plant Breeding, Genetics & Biotechnology Division, IRRI, (2011-present)
  • Senior Scientist, Plant Pathology, Plant Breeding, Genetics & Biotechnology Division, IRRI (2006-2010)
  • Senior Scientist, Plant Pathology, Entomology & Plant Pathology Division, IRRI, (2004-2006)
  • Plant Pathologist, Entomology and Plant Pathology Division, IRRI (2000-2003)
  • Consultant, Asian Rice Biotechnology Network, Entomology and Plant Pathology Division, IRRI (1998-2000)
  • Associate Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, UPLB, College, Laguna, Philippines (1997-2000)
  • Assistant Scientist, Plant Pathology Division, IRRI (1991)
  • Senior Research Assistant, Plant Pathology Division, IRRI (1985-1991)
  • Research Assistant, Department of Plant Pathology, IRRI (1979-1984)
  • Research Aide, Department of Plant Pathology, IRRI (1975-1978)
  • Researcher, Food Terminal, Inc., Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines (1974-1975)


  • Pest Management Award for Research, given by the Pest Management Council of the Philippines during the 43rd Anniversary and Annual Scientific Convention, Mallberry Suites Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City, 8-11 May (2012)
  • Distinguished Alumna Award for Rice Pest Research, given by the UPLB College of Agriculture Alumni Association during the 93rd Loyalty Day and Alumni Homecoming, 09 October (2011)
  • Crop Science Society of the Philippines, Inc. (CSSP) Honorary Fellow Award, given at Siliman University, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines (2009)
  • M.S. Swaminathan Outstanding Research Award - a team member award on the project entitled "Marker-Aided Pyramiding of Bacterial Blight Resistance Genes in Maintainer Lines of Hybrid Rice" with L. Borines, E. Redoña, M. Natural, B. Porter, F. White, and H. Leung conferred by Los Baños Science Community Foundation non 18 July during the celebration of the NationaTechnology Week, Manila, Philippines (2003)
  • G.O. Ocfemia Award for Outstanding Plant Pathologist, Philippine Phytopathological Society (PPS), 33rd Annual Meeting of the Pest Management Council of the Philippines, Davao City, Philippines (2002)
  • Balik-Scientist Award, given by Balik-Scientist Program of the Dept. of Science and Technology, Philippines (1997-2000)
  • Performance Recognition Award, IRRI Recognition Day, IRRI, Dec. 21 (1990)


  1. De Vleesschauwer D, E Van Buyten, K Satoh, J Balidion, R Mauleon, IR Choi, C Vera-Cruz, S Kikuchi, M Höfte. 2012. Brassinosteroids antagonize gibberellin- and salicylate-mediated root immunity in rice. Plant Physiology. February 21, 2012, DOI:10.1104/pp.112.193672.
  2. Van Buyten E, CGB Banaay, C Vera Cruz and M Höfte. 2012. Identity and variability of Pythium species associated with yield decline in aerobic rice cultivation in the Philippines. Plant Pathology. Doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3059.2012.02607.
  3. Shi BH, Zhang JH, Zheng YM, Liu YQ, Vera Cruz CM, Zheng TQ, and Zhao MF. 2012. Identification of a new resistance gene Pi-Da(t) from Dacca6 against rice blast fungus (Magnaporthe oryzae) in Jin23B background. Molecular Breeding. DOI 10.1007/s11032-011-9695-2
  4. Xu, MR, CM Vera Cruz, BY Fu, LH Zhu, YL Zhou, ZK Li. 2011. Different patterns of gene expression in rice varieties undergoing a resistant or susceptible interaction with bacterial leaf streak pathogen. African J Biotechnology. 10(65):14419-14438.
  5. Verdier V, C Vera Cruz, JE Leach. 2011. Controlling rice bacterial blight in Africa: needs and prospects. J Biotechnology. DOI:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2011.09.020
  6. Bogdanove AJ, R Koebnik, H Lu, A Furutani, SV Angiuoli, PB Patil, MA Van Sluys, RP Ryan, DF Meyer, S-W Han, G Aparna, M Rajaram, AL Delcher, AM Phillippy, D Puiu, MC Schatz, M Shumway, DD Sommer, C Trapnell, F Benahmed, G Dimitrov, R Madupu, D Radune, S Sullivan, G Jha, H Ishihara, S-W Lee, A Pandey, V Sharma, M Sriariyanun, B Szurek, CM Vera-Cruz, KS Dorman, PC Ronald, V Verdier, JM Dow, RV Sonti, S Tsuge, V Brende, PD Rabinowicz, JE Leach, FF White, and SL Salzberg. 2011. Two new complete genome sequences offer insight into host and tissue specificity of plant pathogenic Xanthomonas spp. Journal of Bacteriology. 193:5450-5464.
  7. De Vleesschauwer D, Y Yang, CM Vera Cruz, and M Höfte. 2010. Abscisic acid-induced resistance against the brown spot pathogen Cochliobolus miyabeanus in rice involves MAPK-mediated repression of ethylene signaling. Plant Physiology. 152:2036-2052 DOI:10.1104/ pp.109.152702
  8. Webb KM, I Ona, J Bai, KA Garrett, T Mew, CM Vera Cruz and JE Leach. 2010. A benefit of high temperature: increased effectiveness of a rice bacterial blight disease resistance gene. New Phytologist. 185: 568–576 doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.03076.
  9. Lang J, PJ Hamilton, MGQ Diaz, MA Van Sluys, MRG Burgos, CM Vera Cruz, CR Buell, NA Tisserat, JE Leach. 2010. Genomics-based diagnostic marker development for Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae and X. oryzae pv. oryzicola. Plant Dis. 94:311-319.
  10. Carrillo MGC, PH Goodwin, JE Leach, H Leung, and CM Vera Cruz. 2009. Phylogenomic relationships of rice oxalate oxidases to the cupin superfamily and their association with disease resistance QTL. Rice. 2:67-79. DOI: 10.1007/s12284-009-9024-0
  11. Collard B.C.Y., C.M. Vera Cruz, K.L. McNally, P.S. Virk, D.J. Mackill. 2008. Rice molecular breeding laboratories in the genomics era: current status and future considerations. International Journal of Plant Genomics. Vol 2008, Article ID 524847, 25 pages doi:10.1155/2008/524847
  12. Telebanco-Yanoria MJ, T. Imbe, H. Kato, H. Tsunematsu, LA Ebron, C.M. Vera Cruz, N. Kobayashi, Y. Fukuta. 2008. A set of standard differential blast isolates (Magnaporthe grisea (Hebert) Bar.) from the Philippines for rice (Oryza nivara L.) resistance. JARQ 42(1):23-34.
  13. T.W. Mew, H. Leung, S. Savary, C.M. Vera Cruz, and J.E. Leach. 2004. Looking ahead in rice disease research and management. Crit. Rev Plant Sci. 23:1-25.
  14. J. Ramalingam, C.M. Vera Cruz, K. Kukreja, J.M. Chittoor, J.-L. Wu, S.W. Lee, M. Baraoidan, M.L. George, M.B. Cohen, S.H. Hulbert, J.E. Leach, and H. Leung. 2003. Candidate defense genes from rice, barley, and maize and their association with qualitative and quantitative resistance in rice. MPMI. 16(1):14-24.
  15. Vera Cruz, C.M., Jianfa Bai, I. Oña, H. Leung, R.J. Nelson, T.W. Mew and J.E. Leach. 2000. Predicting durability of a disease resistance gene based on an assessment of the fitness loss and epidemiological consequences of avirulence gene mutation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97:13500-13505.

Casiana Vera Cruz
Dr. Casiana Vera Cruz

Senior Scientist II - Plant Pathology

International Rice Research Institute
Los Baños, Laguna

+63 2 580 5600
ext 2610