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January, 2016
  • Thursday, January 07, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar One IRRI-Many Futures

    Matthew Morell
    Director General
     :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, January 11, 2016 11:00am - 12:00pm
    Special Seminar_PBGB Rice sensory and nutritional qualities:
    Genetic variation and improvement for human health

    Liu Qiaoquan
    Yangzhou University
    PR China :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, January 12, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    PPE and DRPC's meeting with Syngenta  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, January 14, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Heirloom Rice Project Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, January 14, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Business models and value chains in postharvest: A retrospective look with lessons for the future


    ​​​Alfred Schmidley
    Business Model and Value Chain Specialist
    Crop and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD)


    In his exit seminar, Dr. Schmidley takes a retrospective look at his cross-sector journey with business models and value chains, including his seven years in rice postharvest work at IRRI. He will explore the development of business models and their piloting in a value-chain context using rice-sector examples from South and Southeast Asia. In doing so, he will provide an overview on recent work on business models for adoption and delivery of postharvest technologies, particularly under the Phase II initiatives of the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia in India and Bangladesh. He will also enumerate key lessons learned that will aid in better understanding the ongoing complexities and challenges in sustainably delivering technologies as part of IRRI’s public sector value-driven mission. :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, January 18, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    IRRI Science Week  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, January 19, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    IRRI Science Week  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, January 20, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    IRRI Science Week  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, January 20, 2016 10:30am - 01:00pm
    meeting of country representatives and research coordinators  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, January 21, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    IRRI Science Week  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, January 22, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    IRRI Science Week  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, January 22, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    (Special) Thursday Seminar IRRI's irrigated breeding program: past, present, and future


    Bertrand Collard
    Senior Scientist, Irrigated Rice Breeder/Acting INGER-MET Coordinator
    Plant Breeding Division (PBD)


    Fifty years ago, IRRI released IR8, the first rice variety of the Green Revolution. Many other irrigated varieties were subsequently released and disseminated all over the world, including the mega-varieties IR36 and IR64, which have covered tens of millions of hectares to date. New irrigated rice varieties developed from the program at headquarters continue to be released in different countries across the world through national release systems.

    However, in recent years, there have been many challenges to the irrigated breeding program’s continued operation. Furthermore, there has been concern that genetic gain (or rate of yield improvement from new varieties over time) has not reached expectations to meet future projected demands for rice.

    In response to several drivers of change, the irrigated breeding program was completely redesigned in 2012 to be quicker, more cost-effective and resource-use efficient, and more product-oriented. Activities have been conducted within a new 5-year project, which began in late 2013, called Transforming Rice Breeding (TRB) funded by the Gates Foundation. Recent progress, current activities, and constraints will be described in this seminar. Finally, some ideas on priorities for the future will also be presented. :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, January 25, 2016 08:00am - 04:30pm
    GRiSP Oversight Committee Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, January 26, 2016 08:00am - 04:30pm
    GRiSP Oversight Committee Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, January 27, 2016 08:00am - 09:30am
    Candidate Seminars_Manager - Research Support (Transgenic Stewardship) position  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, January 27, 2016 02:00pm - 03:30pm
    Plant Breeding Town Hall meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, January 28, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Hands-on Session on M&E for GRiSP II (CESD)  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, January 28, 2016 09:00am - 10:30am
    Candidate Seminars for Scientist I - Molecular Genetics position  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, January 28, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar In pursuit of an African Green Revolution: views from rice and maize farmers' fields

    Keijiro Otsuka
    Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Tokyo

    Given the pressure of an increasing population on increasingly limited cultivable land, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) needs a green revolution. This study explores which crops are promising and what should be done to realize a green revolution in SSA. Based on analyses of country and regional yield data and farm household data collected in Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, and Senegal, lowland rice is arguably the most promising crop because of the high transferability of technology and agronomic practices from Asia to SSA. Thus, it is strongly recommended that extension capacity for rice cultivation be strengthened. Furthermore, considering the utmost importance of maize as a staple crop, a green revolution on maize must also be pursued. An integrated maize-based farming system is recommended, based on the emergence of a promising farming system in the highlands of Kenya. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, January 29, 2016 10:00am - 11:00am
    Seminar: SSD Global Futures & Strategic Foresight: Quantitative modeling to inform decision making in the CGIAR and its partners

    Dr. Keith Wiebe
    Senior Research Fellow
    International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
    Washington DC

    Achieving and maintaining global food security is challenged by changes in population, income and climate, among other socioeconomic and biophysical drivers. Assessing these challenges and possible solutions over the coming decades requires a systematic and multidisciplinary approach. The Global Futures and Strategic Foresight (GFSF) program, a CGIAR initiative led by IFPRI in collaboration with IRRI and the 13 other CGIAR research centers, is working to improve tools and conducting ex ante assessments of promising technologies, investments and policies under alternative global futures to inform decision making in the CGIAR and its partners. This seminar will describe the GFSF program, share results from work in progress, and conclude with thoughts on opportunities for future collaboration and impact. :: IRRI Events

February, 2016
  • Monday, February 01, 2016 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    ASEAN 201  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, February 04, 2016 10:00am - 11:00am
    Seminar: SSD LAI estimation using the Soil-Leaf-Canopy (SLC) radiative transfer model for irrigated rice: an exercise for Suphan Buri rice crop in the wet season of 2013

    Dr. Nguyen Ha
    SSD Consultant
    RIICE Project

    The leaf area index (LAI) is an important biophysical parameter in terrestrial ecosystem models. LAI can be retrieved from remotely sensed data using either statistical or physical approach. While the former is mostly based on an empirical relationship between in-situ LAI and Vegetation Indices (i.e. NDVI), the later relies on the inversion of a canopy radiative transfer model (RTM). The inversion of canopy RTM can be sub-categorised into numerical optimisation look-up-table (LUT), and artificial neural network approaches.

    In this study, an approach using LUT was used to reconstruct time series of LAI for rice growing areas in Suphanburi, Thailand. A specific RTM model known as Soil-Leaf-Canopy (SLC) was employed to generate LAI values for the rice fields in the wet season of 2013 using MODIS 8-day surface reflectance data (MOD09A1). Since the in-situ LAIs were measured at nearly every 25 days which almost didn’t coincide with MOD09A1 observations, interpolation had to be applied on SLC estimated 8-day LAIs in order to compare them with the ground measurement and to generate the daily LAI product. With Fourier time-series interpolation algorithm, estimated LAIs were found moderately correlated with in-situ LAIs (r= 0.74), though they were slightly underestimated. Meanwhile effort is still being made to use a more mechanistic function called Baret’s algorithm, which interpolates LAIs as an exponential function of cumulative daily temperature. The later function has the advantage of capturing the LAI evolutions throughout the whole season. The ultimate goal of this exercise is to be able to generate spatial LAI information that can be linked into the ORYZA crop growth model in order to be able to reconstruct historical yield at certain spatial aggregation level (such as at district level). Such information can be used to evaluate rice yield volatility for a given rice growing area and useful for the insurance component of the RIICE project. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, February 04, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Reducing mineral and vitamin deficiencies through biofortification: progress and future strategy under HarvestPlus

    Howarth Bouis
    Director, HarvestPlus

    Agriculture plays a key role in reducing malnutrition. Mineral and vitamin deficiencies (most importantly in iron, zinc, and vitamin A), in particular, are very significant public health problems, causing untold misery with high economic costs.
    Biofortification, the process of using plant breeding techniques to develop high-yielding and nutrient-dense food crops, is now widely recognized as a highly cost-effective intervention that works to reduce deficiency in iron, zinc, and vitamin A. Through the collaboration of HarvestPlus with a number of research and implementing agencies, biofortified crop varieties have now been released in 30 countries and are in multi-location trials in another 25 countries.
    An estimated 15 million people have been reached directly through HarvestPlus-funded delivery in eight target countries. However, this is only the beginning. HarvestPlus has recently set a goal of reaching 1 billion people with biofortified crops. This number can only be reached if rice is the lead crop; therefore, IRRI's role is crucial.
    This seminar will review the justification for biofortification, and progress and future strategy under HarvestPlus, with an emphasis on high-zinc rice. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, February 05, 2016 09:00am - 12:00pm
    Golden Rice Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, February 09, 2016 10:00am - 12:00pm
    Procurement Committee Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Rice diversity: balancing needs and rights to feed the world

    Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton
    Senior Scientist - Evolutionary Biology
    Genetics and Biotechnology

    In this seminar, passionately held conflicting views about the use of genetic resources to solve the challenges of climate change, population growth, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation will be presented. Ruaraidh will attempt to shed light on some of these differing views, particularly on inter-governmental debates, that determine how rice is conserved, distributed, and improved. He will also present how IRRI has created a solution that allows the institute to do what needs to be done while complying with international obligations. Finally, an update will be given on recent developments that require even more careful consideration, and impending changes that may need further adaptation.  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, February 12, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    2016 Southern Tagalog Regional Quiz Bowl  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, February 12, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Special Seminar: CESD CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute-
    10 years of Impact through Rice Research in India

    Dr. Debasis Chakrabarty
    Academic Editor: PLOS One
    Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group)
    Consulting Editor: Journal of Environmental Biology,
    Journal of Botanical Sciences
    Genetics and Molecular Biology Div.
    CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute
    Rana Pratap Marg, Lucknow-226001

    Abstract. 1) Rice functional genomics for drought stress: Comparative analysis of root transcriptome profiles of drought-tolerant and susceptible rice under drought stress led to identification of several putative candidate genes involved in drought response. The identification and validation of candidate genes for molecular breeding depends on acquiring data for some of the following gene features: expression pattern, chromosomal position, perceived biological function, and behavior of alleles under phenotypic selection. For this reason, we have already initiated the Rice Functional Genomics Program to develop tools and resources for functional genomics and to characterize essential genes for rice molecular breeding and genetic improvement.
    2) Arsenic in rice: Biotechnological approach to reduce arsenic level in grains: Arsenic (As) contamination of the environment has emerged as a serious problem. Consequently, there is an urge to understand plants’ responses to As. Our study offers an understanding the molecular basis of arsenic toxicity and accumulation in plant parts. We have identified several candidate genes that are involved in arsenic metabolism in rice. We have generated several transgenic rice plants that accumulate less arsenic in their grains. Although measurable success, in terms of application in the field, has so far not been achieved, transgenic research has yielded promising results, which shed light on the approaches to be taken up in future endeavour. This will have tremendous societal impact related to public health consequences.
    3) Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) mediated drought stress amelioration in rice. As an alternative to the transgenic or breeding approach, we are using stress tolerant PGPR to ameliorate the negative effects of drought stress. We have isolated a number of PGPR with ability to survive and ameliorate the abiotic stresses subjected to host plants (salt, drought and pathogen stress for rice). Recently, we have demonstrated the role of PGPR Bacillus amyloliquefaciens in rice for salt stress amelioration. Apart from it, we are also performing the microbial diversity analysis by using carbon source utilization pattern and metagenomics approach to evaluate the effects of our PGPR based bioformulations inoculation on the host rhizosphere native microflora. :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - Wednesday, February 17, 2016
    ICON2 International Workshop  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, February 16, 2016 09:00am - 11:00am
    candidate seminars: Scientist I - Plant Breeding position  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, February 17, 2016 09:00am - 10:00am
    candidate seminar: Scientist I - Plant Breeding position  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, February 18, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Public-private engagement at IRRI

    Remy Bitoun
    Head, Public-Private Engagement Office

    The Public-Private Engagement (PPE) Office was established a year ago in order to assist IRRI in interacting constructively and productively with the private sector.
    This seminar will present our efforts for public-private engagement in the past year, PPE’s recent achievements, some of the challenges we face, and our vision for PPE contribution to IRRI's mission. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, February 19, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar: SSD Women’s empowerment and gender equity in agriculture: A different perspective from Southeast Asia

    Dr. Pieter Rutsaert
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Social Sciences Division

    Women’s empowerment is considered a “prerequisite” to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Gender systems, however, are diverse and complex. The nature and extent of gender inequality and the conditions necessary to empower women vary across countries, communities and regions. The study of different gender systems is thus eminent to capture the cross-cultural variations in gender specific needs and constraints. Although the status of women in agriculture has received an extensive attention in the literature in the recent decade, research gap persists regarding the state of gender equality in Southeast Asian agriculture. The current paper contributes to the geographical scope of the literature by presenting empirical evidence of gender equity from four Southeast Asian countries, namely Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Using the framework recommended by the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), 37 focus group discussions were conducted with 290 women farmers in the abovementioned countries. The results reveal regional trends that contradict the conventional narratives of gender equality in agriculture. In all four countries, women appeared to have equal access to productive resources such as land and inputs; and a greater control over household income than men. Important intra-regional heterogeneity was observed in terms of community level empowerment. While women played an active role in agricultural groups in Thailand and in the Philippines, this was predominantly men’s territory in Indonesia and Myanmar. These findings imply that region specific gender intervention framework is necessary to effectively address gender gaps in developing countries. :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, February 23, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Pickup exhibit objects at PhilRice (Paul & Nina)  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, February 25, 2016
    People Power Anniversary  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, February 29, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Weeds General Meeting  :: IRRI Events

March, 2016
  • Thursday, March 03, 2016 05:30pm - 07:30pm
    AFSTRI Turn Over Ceremony  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, March 04, 2016 03:00pm - 05:30pm
    ECDC General Assembly  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, March 07, 2016 03:00pm - 05:00pm
    IFSA General Assembly  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, March 08, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    International Women's Day and Health and Wellness Fair  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, March 08, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar: CESD RCM Agro-Advisory Service for Enhanced Delivery of
    Science-Based Rice Technologies

    Ms. Rowena Castillo
    Manager, Product Development and Deployment
    Soils Group – Crop and Environmental Sciences Division

    Abstract: Rice Crop Manager (RCM) is an ICT-based tool that provides farmers with a pre-season nutrient and crop management recommendation in the form of a one-page printed guideline tailored to specific field conditions. The Department of Agriculture of the Philippines has been supporting its nationwide deployment to farmers, and about 648,000 recommendations have been generated for farmers since its release in November 2013. Starting from mid 2015, RCM also provides mid-season reminders to farmers through a short messaging service (SMS) to reinforce the pre-season recommendation. By mid 2016, a beta version of a Rice Health Care (RHC) tool will complement the existing RCM by providing farmers with SMS during the season to help farmers manage pests and other field problems that arise. RCM and RHC will create the RCM agro-advisory service, which provides science-based recommendations as simple and practical messages for farmers throughout the cropping season. This seminar will demonstrate how RCM agro-advisory service can serve as a conduit to provide farmers with best science-based management practices from research, which can be implemented by farmers and are compatible with NARES recommendations. It will also present strategies to sustain information flow to farmers through professional extension. :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, March 09, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Health and Wellness Fair  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, March 09, 2016 11:00am - 01:00pm
    UPLB-IRRI JMC Meeting Note: If you have any agenda for our meeting, please send it to me. :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, March 09, 2016 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    PB&GB Joint Division Seminar Unraveling the molecular basis
    of durable disease resistance in cereals

    Simon Georg Krattinger
    Independent Group Leader (Ambizione fellow)
    University of Zurich

    1400-1500H, Wednesday, 09 March 2016
    PBGB Conference Room 1


    Pathogenic fungi are a serious threat to agriculture. In hexaploid bread wheat a small set of genes has been identified that confer durable field resistance against multiple fungal diseases. One of them is Lr34 which encodes an ABC transporter protein. Lr34 is one of the most important sources for wheat resistance breeding and the gene is present in more than half of the modern wheat cultivars. Interestingly, the resistant Lr34 allele only evolved after wheat domestication as a result of two spontaneous gain-of-function mutations. Hence, the resistant Lr34 version can only be found in cultivated wheat but not in wild wheat progenitors. In addition, an Lr34-like disease resistance has so far not been reported in other globally important cereals like barley, rice or maize. However, Lr34 is functionally transferrable into rice where the gene conferred increased resistance against the fungal disease rice blast. Besides being an important food crop, rice is also a model plant for cereal genomics. We therefore used Lr34-expressing rice lines to study the molecular function of this durable resistance gene. In this seminar I will provide an insight into the lessons learned from these experiments. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, March 10, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Thursday Seminar
    March 10, 2016
    1:15-2:15 p.m.
    Havener Auditorium

    New fragments of old molecules

    by: Andrey Grigoriev
    Professor, Biology Department
    Center for Computational and Integrative Biology
    Rutgers University

    I will present rather unusual suspects in the world of gene regulation: transfer RNA fragments (tRFs). Such fragments have previously escaped detection or have been generally ignored as noise due to their low number count in small RNA libraries. While the focus in the analysis of such libraries has been primarily on microRNAs (miRNAs), recent studies have reported findings of tRFs across a range of organisms. Previously, we had described age-related dynamics of miRNA loading into different RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISC) of Drosophila melanogaster using small RNA-Seq data. In this seminar, I will focus on tRFs found in the same transcriptome libraries, and their structural and functional features that make these fragments surprisingly similar to miRNAs. We found Drosophila tRF reads mapped to tRNA genes for all 20 amino acids, and detected fragments of both nuclear and mitochondrial tRNAs. Following the similarities with miRNAs, and based on complementarity with conserved Drosophila genome regions, we described potential seed sequences found in the most abundant tRFs and identified their possible targets with matches in the Drosophila melanogaster 3'UTR regions. There have been reports of finding tRFs in plant transcriptomes, suggesting the involvement of these molecules in the RNA interfering pathway across the animal and plant worlds. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, March 11, 2016 06:00pm - 08:00pm
    IFSA Talent Night  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, March 14, 2016 02:00pm - 04:00pm
    Candidate Seminars: Head- Communication 9:00AM-10:00AM Ms. Temina Shariff
    10:00AM-11:00AM Ms. Shira Tabachnikoff :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, March 16, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    CESDialogue: Issues and Concern (Dialogue between CESD OU Head and CESD Staff)  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, March 17, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Moving rice out of the water: a huge evolution for the plants

    ​by: Benoit Clerget

    Senior Scientist - Crop Physiology
    Crop and Environmental Sciences Division

    Water is a limited resource in many areas in Asia areas where rice is grown as a staple. A crop of flooded rice consumes at least twice the water needed by any other cereal crop. Much-improved water efficiency while maintaining yield potential will be a high priority for future rice crops in many situations. However, IRRI’s improved indica rice varieties for tropical regions do not like this evolution, yielding less when grown without a water layer above the soil (flooded) even when soil is maintained close from water-saturation (aerobic conditions).

    Since 2011, we have been comparing the behavior of rice plants under flooded and aerobic water management. We found that in direct-seeded aerobic crops, the rate of plant development decreased because a specific reaction to transplanting was lost and, very marginally, because of the effects of watering and sowing density. Stems were always smaller, and with smaller leaves and panicles. Tiller density in the direct-seeded crop was higher at maximum tillering but similar with the flooded crop at harvest time, thus, not compensating for the smaller panicles.

    Possibly a key trait in plant adaptation to aerobic conditions, rate of plant development was studied more closely and its variability evaluated in a 300-variety core collection planted each in flooded and aerobic environments. Grain yields of 8–9 t/ha were regularly observed in the flooded crop against 6–7 t/ha in the aerobic crop. Yield under aerobic conditions came to 8 t/ha once, due to a high-quality seedbed that induced better plant growth from seedling stage to harvest.

    At this stage of the work, questions about reduction in size of every organ and regulation of tillering appear crucial in improving the yield potential of future varieties for aerobic conditions. In addition, adapted practices in crop management, such as seedbed preparation or weed control, must be taken into account and applied. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, March 18, 2016 01:00pm - 02:00pm
    Interim SCC meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, March 18, 2016 05:30pm - 08:00pm
    IFSA Homecoming  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, March 21, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Workshop on Mushroom Production on Rice Straw  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, March 22, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    MC Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, March 22, 2016 10:00am - 11:00am
    Seminar: SSD “Are all GMOs the same? Consumer Acceptance of Cisgenic Rice in India”

    Lawton Lanier Nalley
    Associate Professor
    Department of Agricultural Economics
    University of Arkansas
    Fayetteville, AR 72701

    India has more than 215 million food-insecure people, many of whom are farmers. Genetically modified (GM) crops have the potential to alleviate this problem by increasing food supplies and strengthening farmer livelihoods. For this to occur, two factors are critical: (i) a change in the regulatory status of GM crops, and (ii) consumer acceptance of GM foods. There are generally two classifications of GM crops based on how they are bred: cisgenically bred, containing only DNA sequences from sexually compatible organisms; and transgenically bred, including DNA sequences from sexually incompatible organisms. Consumers may view cisgenic foods as more natural than those produced via transgenesis, thus influencing consumer acceptance. This premise was the catalyst for our study—would Indian consumers accept cisgenically bred rice and if so, how would they value cisgenics compared to conventionally bred rice, GM-labelled rice and ‘no fungicide’ rice? In this willingness-to-pay study, respondents did not view cisgenic and GM rice differently. However, participants were willing-to-pay a premium for any aforementioned rice with a ‘no fungicide’ attribute, which cisgenics and GM could provide. Although not significantly different (P = 0.16), 76% and 73% of respondents stated a willingness-to-consume GM and cisgenic foods, respectively :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, March 30, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    GSR Phase III Inception Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, March 31, 2016
    PRISM Annual Executive Meeting (tentative date) The Philippine Rice Research Institute will spearhead the organization of this event.
    We also plan to invite members of the press.

    Program to follow :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, March 31, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    9th HRDC Annual Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, March 31, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    GSR Phase III Inception Meeting  :: IRRI Events

April, 2016
  • Monday, April 04, 2016 - Friday, April 08, 2016
    ORYZA Training Program for Basic Applications  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, April 07, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Improvement of rice storability: compositions of tocol homologues in lipids

    Jeom-Sig Lee
    Senior Scientist seconded from RDA Korea
    Plant Breeding

    During storage, the physicochemical and biological properties of rice, such as seed germination ratio, change. These changes are influenced by starch, proteins, and lipids and the interactions between them. Among these, lipids are a component easily changed by hydrolysis and oxidation during the storage period.
    In this seminar, lipid substances related to rice storability will be described based on relative germination rate and the oxidative stability of rice variety oils with different compositions of tocol homologues. Some ideas on priorities for the future will also be discussed. :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, April 11, 2016 09:00am - 11:00am
    IRRI-PNR MOA Signing  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, April 11, 2016 11:00am - 12:00pm
    Seminar: Dr. Peter Brothers (Candidate, Head - IRRI Rice Science Academy) Topic: "How to Build the Rice Science Academy to Help Achieve IRRI's Mission and Mobilize Research Funding Through Capacity Building Services" :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - Friday, April 15, 2016
    Board Of Trustees Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, April 13, 2016 05:30pm - 06:30pm
    Genetic Resources Seed Processing Laboratory Opening Ceremony  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, April 14, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Rice Breeding Program
    Karen Moldenhauer
    BOT Member
    Professor, Crops Soils and Environmental Science University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture & Rice Industry Chair for Variety Development

    Karen Moldenhauer, Xueyan Sha, and Ehsan Shakiba

    In 2014, Arkansas accounted for 51% of rice production and 53% of the rice grown in the U.S. The state’s rice production has been steadily increasing over time, with a state record of 8,467 kg/ha in 2013 and 2014. There has been a shift in the type of cultivars grown in Arkansas and the southern U.S. with the advent of Clearfield technology and hybrid rice.
    The rice breeding program in Arkansas has similar objectives to those of other U.S. crops. These include increasing production through higher yielding cultivars, conferring resistance to/tolerance of biotic and abiotic stresses via genetic resources, and improving seed quality characteristics. Cultivar development is a team approach that involves breeders, geneticists, pathologists, entomologists, agronomists, economists, soil scientists, food scientists, weed scientists, physiologist statisticians, and extension specialists with inputs from producers, consumers, and the rice industry.
    Plant breeding, broadly defined, is the art and science of improving the genetic pattern of plants in relation to their economic use (D.C. Smith, 1966). As in so many areas of science today, there is an art to the techniques and the interpretation of data. Data comes from visual selection, agronomic measurements, and molecular information.
    Plant breeders are always looking to the future because it takes at least 8 to 10 years to develop a new cultivar and get it to producers. In the words of Henry Beachell (2001), “We need to anticipate future needs and strive for goals not easily pictured by others—farsightedness and tolerance of uncertainty are useful attributes; long-term commitment and patience are required.” In the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture rice breeding program, hybrid rice is one of our future goals. We also consider improving disease resistance, earliness, and quality characteristics as intermediate goals. Since majority of U.S. rice cultivars belong to the tropical japonica subspecies, our long-term goal is to increase the genetic diversity of these cultivars through the introduction of new germplasm from all available sources, including indica subspecies and other species, to develop a new generation of high-yielding cultivars that show resistance to/tolerance of biotic and abiotic stresses.  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, April 15, 2016 10:00am - 11:00am
    Seminar: SSD Urban-Rural Landscapes: Planning Desakota Futures

    Prof. Stephen Cairns
    Program Director
    Future Cities Laboratory
    Singapore-ETH Centre

    This talk will outline research recently begun at Future Cities Laboratory on ‘Urban-Rural Systems’. It is focused on the complex patterns of set­tlement emerging in the hinterlands of many large cities in Southeast Asia, the Indian sub-continent and China.

    All cities have their hinterlands of one kind or another. This study is specifi­cally interested in the hinterlands of cities surrounded by tropical, wet-rice agriculture. It has this interest in part because many cities in Asia are surrounded by this kind of agriculture. More importantly, such hinterlands have very specific ecological, economic and demographic character­istics, which mean they interact with nearby urban centres in distinctive ways. Most notably, wet-rice agriculture sup­ports relatively high population densities with fine-grained land-use patterns. When cities encroach upon such areas, the rural does not immediately give way to the urban and instead a hybrid rural-urban typology emerges. Sometimes dubbed desakota landscapes (Indonesian for ‘village’ and ‘city’), they are neither strictly urban nor rural in character, but a mixture of both.  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, April 19, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar:CESD Measuring the impact of water-saving technologies on rice pests and the environment

    Mr. Jerico Stefan R. Bigornia
    Assistant Scientist
    Climate Change Group

    Abstract: The ongoing shift in agricultural change (labor and water scarcity) will favor the development of water saving technologies like direct seeded rice (DSR) and alternate wetting and drying technology (AWD). The technologies will have an effect on the importance of crop health problems in rice paddies. A series of on-farm trials and surveys was conducted to analyze how water saving technologies will influence rice crop health and the potential environmental risk associated with pesticide application. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, April 21, 2016
    Grand Graduation Ceremonies for AgRiDOC Training Program (Regional Clusters 1, 2, 3 & 4)  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, April 21, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar A pathway from basic science to a GM rice product and edited (non GM?) rice for a healthier rural community

    Inez Hortense Slamet-Loedin
    Senior Scientist
    Genetics and Biotechnology

    Collaborative research between IRRI rice transformation specialists, molecular biologists and breeders have successfully identified candidate genes for tolerance to drought, phosphorus-deficiency, anaerobic germination condition and higher yield under low fertilizer regime. Knowledge on these has been used to develop gene-based markers for breeding purposes. A challenging question for IRRI now is whether we will aim for another genetically modified (GM) product aside from Golden Rice and C4 rice.

    Over two billion people are deficient in iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn). Polished grains of popular rice varieties have low micronutrient concentration. Improving iron and zinc content in rice is a potential approach to alleviate Fe and Zn deficiency, complementing other approaches. The HarvestPlus breeding programs for biofortified rice are targeting 13 µg g-1 Fe and 28 µg g-1 Zn in milled rice to reach approximately 30% of the estimated average requirement (EAR).

    In response to this, IRRI and CIAT have investigated more than 16,000 rice accessions and found a limited variation for Fe in milled rice. Therefore, Fe biofortification was selected as the next GM trait to be developed. There have been a number of reports on different approaches in engineering Fe content in rice since the first pioneer work of Goto et al (1999), but the lack of translational science studies hindered the product development of Fe biofortified rice.

    Here, in IRRI, we have successfully developed transgenic events, field evaluated in two countries, that show 15 μg g-1 Fe and 45.7 μg g-1 Zn in polished grain. The in-vitro cell assay indicated that Fe is bioavailable. Our findings proved that Fe and Zn biofortification targets could be achieved under field conditions without yield penalty. We have also developed back-up events through random integration, cisgenesis, and genome editing.  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, April 21, 2016 06:00pm - 08:00pm
    IRRI Duets  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, April 22, 2016 01:30pm - 04:00pm
    Wonderama Committee Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, April 25, 2016 - Tuesday, April 26, 2016
    Responsible Business Forum on Food & Agriculture The 3rd Responsible Business Forum on Food & Agriculture will bring together more than 350 global leaders from business, government, media and NGOs to discuss how greater collaboration between ASEAN countries can create more equitable growth for farmers and all stakeholders in the regions food, beverage and agriculture sector. Delegates will produce recommendations for increasing productivity across six key commodities in the ASEAN region’ with a focus on improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers while reducing environmental impacts.

    Website: http://www.responsiblebusiness.com/events/responsible-business-forum-jakarta :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, April 26, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar: CESD Resilient rice for water limited and high temperature stress environments

    Dr. Bheemanahalli Raju
    Heat Stress Physiology

    Abstract: Drought and heat stresses are increasingly becoming a major threat to food security worldwide. Sustaining rice yield under these environments is perhaps a major challenge that needs to be addressed to achieve both current and future global food security.
    Development of climate smart rice varieties along with saving irrigation water from flooded rice cultivation by employing direct or aerobic rice cultivation has emerged as promising strategies. For rice grown under water limited (saving technologies) efficient water mining, enhanced water use efficiency and cellular level tolerance traits are considered to be highly relevant. Using high throughput phenotyping tools, we have explored the genetic variability of these traits, identified several trait donor lines for use in breeding programs at the Department Crop Physiology, UAS, and Bangalore. Our hypotheses and efforts to improve adaptation of rice to water limited conditions will be discussed.
    Increase in frequency and intensity of extreme heat events typically short in duration coinciding with the highly temperature-sensitive flowering stage in rice lowers spikelet fertility significantly, even under resource sufficient conditions. In collaborative efforts between IRRI and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (Coimbatore, India) successful efforts were made to explore the phenotypic and genetic bases of tolerance to heat stress in rice. In this direction, PRAY (Phonemics of Rice Adaptation and Yield Potential) panel was phenotyped for heat escape, avoidance and tolerance mechanisms related traits. In this presentation, some of our initial findings on traits variations in response to high temperatures stress will be discussed.
     :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, April 28, 2016
    STRASA Phase III Review and Planning Workshop Year 3  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, April 28, 2016 09:00am - 03:00pm
    Joint Department Circular on Genetic Modification (Stakeholders' Meeting)  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, April 28, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar: Heat Illness Prevention: Working Safely Under the Sun Heat Illness Prevention: Working Safely Under the Sun

    Lifeline EMS Academy, Inc.
    Training school of current Emergency Services provider Lifeline Ambulance Rescue, Inc.

    The IRRI Joint Occupational Safety and Health Committee recognizes that there is a need to protect field workers from the effects of increased ambient air temperatures and high humidity. Practical knowledge on the Health Effects of Heat, How to Respond to Symptoms and Preventing Heat Exhaustion is important for field workers, including Research Technicians, Researchers, on-site supervisors of manpower service providers and other stakeholders, especially those who frequent research fields. :: IRRI Events

May, 2016
  • Monday, May 02, 2016 - Friday, May 06, 2016
    IRRI Common Week  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, May 02, 2016 - Friday, May 06, 2016
    Basic Experimental Design and Data Analysis (BEDDA) (c/o NextGen Project)  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, May 05, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Overview of Research Infrastructure and Operations function

    Gururaj Kulkarni
    Manager, Research Infrastructure and Operations

    About Dr. Gururaj Kulkarni
    Dr. Guru has a doctorate in Entomology and has completed his Postgraduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). He has been awarded as Life Fellow of the Entomological Society of India (FESI) and has 15 years of experience in research and product development through roles in research infrastructure, operations, management of research experiment stations, fixing trials in product biology, PVP/IP, and in regulatory and biotech affairs functions.

    About Research Infrastructure and Operations
    As head of the new Research Infrastructure and Operations (RIO) function of the institute, Dr. Guru will coordinate the operations and development of research support services at IRRI, which are required to deliver a large global research agenda in collaboration and compliance with regulatory requirements of international best-practice standards. Under IRRI’s deputy director general for research, Dr. Guru will provide leadership to research support, including the Seed Health Unit, the glasshouse and plant growth facilities, Analytical Services, Research Data and Records, GM stewardship functions, and Occupational Health and Safety (within research operations). Dr. Guru will work closely with senior research and site management teams to develop short-, medium-, and long-term plans for the development and rejuvenation of IRRI's research infrastructure. He will also contribute to the development of infrastructure funding proposals.  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, May 06, 2016 11:00am - 12:00pm
    Candidate Seminar: IRRI India Representative position  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, May 10, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    IRRI Management Committee Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, May 11, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    2016 RMQA Review & Planning Workshop  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, May 11, 2016 01:30pm - 04:00pm
    LBSCFI Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, May 12, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Back to School Bazaar (c/o SINOP)  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, May 12, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Filled rice bowls: renewed complacency?

    Bas Bouman
    Director, Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP)

    Bas Bouman, Sam Mohanty
    As IRRI prepares for its new strategic plan and we peer into the future, one of the key questions we ask is: How much rice will the world need? In this IRRI seminar, we will look into the past, analyze the present, and peek into the future. What has been the track record of feeding the world with rice? How did we do since the first Green Revolution? And how did we do more recently since the crisis of 2008? What is the supply-demand situation at the moment and, given the current severe droughts, should we be worried? How does the medium-long term outlook look like?
    IRRI is predicting that the world’s demand for rice will keep increasing at least in the coming decade, whereas critics say that IRRI is biased and that the world will soon eat less rice than it does today. Drivers of change include population growth, economic growth, and related shifts in dietary preferences.
    Based on our analyses, we warn against a return to complacency. In 1997, Prabu Pingali (former program leader at IRRI) revealed that the good years of the 1980s and early 1990s had induced a general sense of complacency that could lead to a return of the food crises in the 1960-70s. Now, almost ten years after a successful recovery from the 2008 rice/food crisis, the world is in danger of becoming complacent yet again, with all its possible dire consequences. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, May 13, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Back to School Bazaar (c/o SINOP)  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, May 13, 2016 01:30pm - 03:30pm
    Wonderma Exhibit Committee Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, May 16, 2016 - Friday, May 20, 2016
    Training on Experimental Design and Data Analysis (EDDA) (c/o NextGen Proejct)  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, May 16, 2016 01:00pm - 03:00pm
    HR Info Sessions  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, May 16, 2016 01:30pm - 04:00pm
    GRS Spouse/Partner Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, May 18, 2016 01:00pm - 03:00pm
    HR Info Session  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, May 19, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Investment games: A new approach in eliciting farmers’ preferences for rice breeding products

    Matty Demont
    Senior Scientist, Market and Value Chain Research

    What if we could put farmers in donors’ shoes? In which areas would they invest if they became shareholders of public rice breeding programs? To answer this question, we created a real (but temporary) investment market and invited farmers to invest in public rice breeding through an interactive tablet interface. The newly developed “Investment Game Application” (IGA) enables eliciting farmers’ preference trade-offs among varietal trait improvements (grain quality, agronomic, stress tolerance, and by-product traits). We discuss in detail how the IGA was developed and present the results of the first IGA experiments conducted in eastern India and the Philippines. The IGA experiments generated a wealth of data on optimal product profiles and investment shares disaggregated among gender, seasons, regions, and different levels of information on market and climate change trends. This information can assist breeders and donors in their efforts to make rice breeding programs more cost-efficient, market-driven, client- and product-oriented, and forward looking. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, May 19, 2016 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    HR Info Session  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, May 20, 2016 10:00am - 11:00am
    SSD-Training Center Joint Seminar "The CGIAR Capacity Development Community of Practice: Past, Present and Future"

    Iddor Dror, Ph.D.
    Head of Capacity Development
    International Livestock Research Institute

    In CGIAR, approaches to – and overall focus on – capacity development have evolved significantly since the group was established in 1971. As an overall trend, capacity development has gradually shifted its focus from central research support services such as the training programs of the 1970s and 1980s to capacity development elements mainstreamed across individually funded research projects and programs. Another important challenge to CGIAR capacity development is related to the fact that CGIAR donors have demonstrated increased interest in funding CGIAR research for the development results it contributes to rather than for research results. The growing interest of linking funding to demonstrated development results has increased incentives for CGIAR Centers and CRPs to increase – to the extent possible – the degree of control and influence they have over uptake and application of their research products and, ultimately, over the development outcomes for ultimate beneficiaries their research is intended to contribute to. The CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework 2016 - 2030 (SRF), (re)affirms Capacity Development (CapDev) as a strategic enabler of impact for both CGIAR and its partners. In the SRF, CapDev is a cross-cutting issue, with a dedicated section, and linked to explicit Intermediate Development Outcomes (IDOs) and sub-IDOs. This holistic view of CapDev, which “goes far beyond the transfer of knowledge and skills through training, and cuts across multiple levels –individual, organizational and institutional”, is in line with these broader donor-driven expectations from the CGIAR to ensure greater downstream delivery of development outcomes.

    Against this background, a Capacity Development Community of Practice (CapDev CoP) was established in 2013 by several CG Centers to collectively discuss and work on strategic CapDev matters across the system. With a first task to bring a community together, and a first concrete emerging in 2015 with the publishing of CGIAR Capacity Development Framework that now guides the formulation of capacity development elements in second phase proposals for CRPs, and ongoing work on CapDev indicators for the CRP2. Iddo Dror, Head of Capacity Development for ILRI, and current Chair of the CapDev CoP steering committee, will share some of the process that led the group till date, some of its current activities, and plans for the CRP2 phase.

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     :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - Thursday, May 26, 2016
    CURE's 15th Annual Steering Committee Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, May 26, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Impact Acceleration: enabling vibrant and empowered rural communities within a vital rice industry

    Noel Magor
    Head, Impact Acceleration Unit

    The rice industry is transforming rapidly through vertical integration and the transformation of production and marketing. This presents both an opportunity and a risk for more marginal farm households. In order for the benefits of rice science to reach more marginal farmers, for excitement in farming to be instilled in the youth, and for women to be able to participate as they desire, IRRI needs to be a catalyst by embracing the opportunities of last mile delivery. The increased demand of donors and the state for inclusive impact to scale has led IRRI to form the Impact Acceleration Unit.
    The Impact Acceleration Unit will not only draw on the collective of IRRI’s research divisions, the communication and partnerships offices, and the new Rice Science Academy, but will also create an action and reflection environment that enables people to engage and contribute. The principles, in their early formation, are articulated, but these will evolve over time with the collective experience across IRRI itself and its partnerships and networks. For innovation, there are technological, economic, social, and organizational components; however, often, the organizational components are not addressed.
    Important pillars for impact acceleration within IRRI are: networks and partnerships for collective impact to scale, purposeful inclusion of poorer households, women and youth, innovations with the private sector for expansion of inclusive market opportunities, innovations in scaling that may be technology specific, capacity building in knowledge and practice for rural advisory service professionals and informal village extension agents, and the strengthening of knowledge pathways through information technology for rapid scaling-out of new technologies and enterprises and market information. Information communication technology will strengthen grassroots communication. Policy and rural investment will be driven by evidence-based impact to scale and through the visible strengthening of the value chain and its various actors. Careful attention is given to the business of extension and farming, underpinned by a commitment to the processes that empower rural communities within the rice industry.  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, May 27, 2016 10:00am - 11:30am
    "Early Retirement" Information Session  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, May 27, 2016 05:00pm - 07:00pm
    AFSTRI Film Showing  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, May 31, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar: CESD Physiological elucidation, genetic, architecture, and metabolic landscape of tolerance to flooding during germination in rice

    Frederickson D. Entila
    Plant Physiology Group

    Abstract: As the arable land is declining, weather is unfavorably changing, and natural resources are continually deteriorating, with the demands of dramatically bloating population, food scarcity is imminent. Furthermore, food production suffers from increasing urbanization and negative impact of climate change through loss of land, its productivity, and decline in labor forces for agricultural purposes. These emerging problems substantiate the urgent need to enhance adaptation of agriculture crops through intensification of cultivation, sustainable food systems, and augmented genetic gains. Intensification of rice production through direct-seeded rice (DSR) has been progressively practiced but wide implementation is hampered due to limited germination and poor crop establishment of existing varieties under flooded conditions. Identifying donors of tolerance to anaerobic germination (AG) will facilitate varietal improvement for DSR and will result to enhanced and ecological agriculture. The Rice Diversity Panel 1 (343 accessions) consisting of 5 subpopulations was screened for AG tolerance. Analyses revealed that most of the tolerant varieties are japonicas, with some indicas and admixed. Tolerance is attributed to fast shoot growth but substantial root extension under flooding. Relating genotypic and phenotypic components showed that the tolerance is controlled differently across subpopulations suggestive of existence of various tolerance mechanisms. Genome wide association mapping revealed that most traits had association peaks at chromosomes 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, and 11: some co-localized with known QTLs and others were novel. Candidate gene ontology analysis implied that most genes are involved in metabolic processes and functions as catalyst and in binding. However, transcriptomic network analysis revealed significant module-specific enrichments like carbohydrate metabolism*, GTPase activity*** and calcium ion homeostasis*. Upon metabolite profiling of germinating seeds under AG and normoxia, 1232 metabolites were detected, 63 were significantly up-regulated and 54 significantly down-regulated. This study provides a systems-level approach for underpinning physiological mechanism of AG: elucidating phenotypic heterogeneity, genetic architecture, transcriptomic network, and metabolic signatures from a genome-wide perspective. Apparently, populations were being developed from identified donors to facilitate breeding platform towards enhanced and sustainable rice production.
    Keywords: direct seeding, anaerobic germination, genome-wide association mapping, metabolite profiling :: IRRI Events

June, 2016
  • Wednesday, June 01, 2016 10:30am - 11:30am
    Employee Wellness Activity: Managing Transitions  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 02, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Workshop on Best Practices in Marker-Assisted Plant Breeding  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 02, 2016 12:00pm - 01:00pm
    Young Researchers' Lunch for June: Dr. Rex Bernardo, Univ. of Minnesota  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 02, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Bandwagons I, too, have known


    Rex Bernardo
    Professor and Endowed Chair in Corn Breeding and Genetics, University of Minnesota, USA

    A bandwagon is an idea, activity, or cause that becomes increasingly fashionable as more and more people adopt it. In a 1991 article entitled Bandwagons I Have Known, Professor N.W. Simmonds described several bandwagons that he encountered in his career, beginning with induced polyploidy and mutation breeding and ending with the then-new field of biotechnology. In this seminar, I will review and speculate about post-1990s bandwagons in plant improvement, including transgenic cultivars, quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, association mapping, genome-wide (or genomic) selection, phenomics, envirotyping, and genome editing. The life cycle of a bandwagon includes an excitement phase of hype and funding; a realization phase when the initial hype is either tempered or the initial expectations are found to have been too low; and a reality phase when the useful aspects of a bandwagon become part of mainstream thinking and practice, or when an unsuccessful bandwagon is largely abandoned. During the realization phase, a new bandwagon that draws our attention and gives us renewed optimism typically arises. The most popular bandwagons, such as QTL mapping, are those for which the needed experimental resources are accessible, the required technical knowledge and skills can be easily learned, and the outputs can almost always be reported. Our community of plant scientists needs to be continually diligent in welcoming new bandwagons, but also in hopping off from those that do not prove useful. :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, June 08, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Employee Wellness Activity: Taking Charge of Your Finances  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 09, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    FSSP Coordination Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 09, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Physiological modeling of phenotype for rice improvement in the genomics era: A philosophy, examples, and proposals
    Michael Dingkuhn (IRRI)

    The biological sciences, including their application in breeding, are undergoing fundamental changes with great cognitive and practical opportunities. In the past, we tried to infer genetic control from phenotype variation alone (Mendel’s peas); now, we know the genotype better than the phenotype and must try to understand what happens between them. We want to predict phenotype from the genome, as well as phenotypic plasticity (adaptability) from genome × environment information. Models are the currency that mediates these three realms: environment, phenotype, and genome. But our crop models are rooted in physiological, not genetic, knowledge of phenotype. How should these evolve?
    Distinct model applications in support of breeding are (1) predicting optimal ideotypes as breeding targets and (2) extracting “hidden” adaptation traits from phenomics × environment data to discover their genomic control through association studies. Thereby, (1) is a forward application and (2) is a reverse application called heuristics. Phenotype prediction (1) currently falls into two approaches: (1.1) physiology-based ideotype optimization, considered “mechanistic” by some; and (1.2) genome optimization, statistically predicting the best-performing genotype by comparing sequence variation with phenotype variation (e.g., GS models). Approaches (1.1) and (1.2) appear worlds apart but should gradually converge, for example, through machine learning.
    Recent progress in crop model adaptation is presented, thus:
    Approach (1.1): Using a physiological model (SAMARA, capable of simulating phenotypic plasticity), a virtual breeding exercise provided optimal trait combinations that would increase rice yield potential in current and future climate scenarios. It was guided by existing trait diversity (phenomics), but we cannot yet link the model’s parameters to genes.
    Approach (2): A simpler physiological model was used in reverse mode to assist in phenotyping (RIDEV). This increased the power of genomewide association studies (GWAS) and led to the discovery of QTLs controlling thermal adaptation and acclimation, including probable epigenetic mechanisms.
    We propose a new research thrust that pulls together model-derived ideotype blueprints, a wealth of available phenomics and genomics data for key traits, and genome editing technologies to “assemble” higher-yielding, climate-smart, and lodging-resistant rice varieties. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 09, 2016 01:30pm - 04:00pm
    Wonderama Exhibit Committee Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, June 10, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    FSSP Coordination Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, June 10, 2016 08:00am - 09:00am
    Philippine Independence Day Celebration: "Ganda ng Pilipinas, Ganda ng Pilipino"  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, June 14, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar: CESD Lodging Resistance of Rice and its Component Traits

    Dr. Suchit Shrestha
    Post-Doctoral Fellow
    Crop Physiology Group

    Abstract: Lodging is a weak point of most high-yielding varieties in high-input systems and high-density plant populations. Lodging begins locally on a plot and spreads to larger surfaces through a mechanical domino effect. Lodging causes direct yield losses due to grain filling impeded by reduced photosynthesis of the collapsed canopy, indirect yield losses caused by reduced grain recovery in mechanized harvesting systems, and grain quality problems caused by pathogens complexes benefiting from high humidity in the collapsed canopy. The best-performing crops are frequently affected by lodging because they are top-heavy. Lodging usually happens during grain filling and is associated with heavy panicles and several environmental factors (wind force, wetting of plants by rain, soft soil providing poor anchorage), crop management and nutritional factors such as high nitrogen inputs, close spacing resulting in weak stem, low silica availability, sheath blight, constitutive stem morphology (long internodes and thin stem wall), stem chemical composition (fiber, lignin, and nonstructural carbohydrate), and stem anatomy (sheath thickness, stem deformation, porosity and culm thickness). Lodging resistance consist of several component traits, some of which may have positive or negative trade-offs with yield potential. The contribution of these traits to effective lodging resistance under wet conditions and exposure to mechanical forces will be presented.  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2016 10:30am - 11:30am
    Employee Wellness Activity: Planning Your Career  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2016 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    Joint Seminar: PB and GB Targeted mutagenesis and targeted gene insertion in rice using engineered TAL effector nucleases

    Kurniawan Rudi Trijatmiko
    Project Scientist
    Genetic Transformation Laboratory
    Genetics and Biotechnology Division, IRRI

    1400-1500H, Wednesday, 15 June 2016
    Room A
    Umali Building

    Plant molecular geneticists have long dreamed of the ability to create targeted mutation and to insert the desirable gene to the target locus. Customizable sequence-specific nucleases (SSNs) can be used to create gene knockouts, which are valuable for studying gene function and for accelerating breeding for certain traits. Targeted insertion of the desirable gene to a specific genomic location suitable for stable gene expression without disrupting any endogenous gene can be facilitated by simultaneous expression of SSNs and delivery of the heterologous donor molecule. This seminar will present current progress of the work by IRRI-GTL team on the use of engineered TAL effector nucleases (TALENs) to create mutation on the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4G (eIF4G) gene for improving rice tungro spherical virus (RTSV) resistance and to add multiple iron-biofortification genes at a predefined rice genomic site. This seminar will also describe briefly other works on QTL mapping in a population derived from a transgenic high-iron and high-zinc rice line and a high-yielding rice variety from Bangladesh, Golden Rice project and DREB project.  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 16, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar "The times, they are a changin’”


    Matthew Morell
    Director General :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, June 20, 2016
    UP System, UPLB and CGIAR Centers' Collaboration Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2016 08:00am - 01:30pm
    CGIAR Centers Collaborative Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, June 21, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar: CESD Variability of the reaction of 300 indica rice accessions to change in soil environment from flooded to aerobic conditions

    Dr. Jiang Yang
    Ph.D. Scholar
    Ecophysiology Group

    Abstract: Increasing physical water scarcity is a main constraint for irrigated rice production. “Aerobic rice culture” is an emerging cultivation system that aims to maximize crop water productivity. However, “moving” rice from flooded to aerobic environment will change the plant development rate as previously shown by our team. The leaf appearance rate is a convenient and sensitive indicator for objectively documenting the status of development throughout the season, and for evaluating the growth response to various environmental conditions.
    Appeared leaf number of a pre-indica panel with 304 varieties grown under flooded and aerobic environment was recorded weekly on 5 consecutive plants in each plot. Leaf appearance rates were compared by dissecting the 5 parameters of the bilinear model used. Other related traits and yield were also investigated.
    Leaf appearance rate was generically slower in aerobic environment resulting to a lower number of leaves per stem. No variety x cropping system interaction was clearly observed and consequently no variety has shown lower reaction on the rate of leaf appearance to the change of environment.
    Though leaf appearance rate was modified in aerobic environment, it currently seems that there is no usable variety difference in the reaction of the leaf appearance kinetics to the aerobic environment within the indica panel.
     :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - Friday, June 24, 2016
    ADB Food Security Forum  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, June 22, 2016 09:00am - 05:00pm
    Employee Wellness Activity: Blood Letting Activity  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, June 22, 2016 01:00pm - 04:00pm
    Employee Wellness Activity: Stress Management Seminar  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 23, 2016
    PRISM Website Launching and Usability Assessment Workshop  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 23, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar The physiology of drought-QTL pyramiding
    Amelia Henry
    Scientist II – Drought Physiology, CESD

    Over the last few years, IRRI drought research has been successful in improving yield under drought, and several high-yielding, drought-tolerant varieties have been released in South and Southeast Asia and in East Africa. This has been achieved by crossing drought-tolerant traditional varieties with high-yielding but drought-susceptible modern varieties, selection based on grain yield under both drought and irrigated conditions, and identifying the regions of the genome (QTLs) responsible for yield under drought. In the drought physiology group, we have been working on identifying physiological mechanisms related with the drought-yield QTLs. Interestingly, each drought-yield QTL has shown a different combination of related traits, many of which appear to be drought-induced. Now, with the aim to further improve rice yield under drought, the drought breeding group has developed “QTL-pyramided” lines with multiple drought-yield QTLs in the same variety. From a physiology perspective, these newly developed genotypes allow us to test hypotheses on what QTLs and traits work best together to improve rice yield under drought. This seminar will present the progress achieved by dissecting the physiological mechanisms behind different pyramided combinations of drought-yield QTLs identified at IRRI. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 23, 2016 02:30pm - 04:00pm
    PB Town Hall: "The Art of Swimming"  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 23, 2016 05:00pm - 07:00pm
    AFSTRI Social Hour  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, June 24, 2016 08:00am - 01:00pm
    IRRI MC Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, June 24, 2016 04:30pm - 06:00pm
    IFSA Fun Run  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, June 27, 2016 03:30pm - 05:30pm
    Program for IBM CSC Delegation in IRRI Proposed program
    3:30 - 4:00pm : Presentation on IRRI -- mission, programs c/o Dr. Morell
    4:00 - 5:00-pm : presentation of the mentors on their projects c/o Dr. Tolentino, Dr. Alexandrov, Gerry Lavina, Lea delos Reyes
    5:00- 5:30pm : IRRI Riceworld tour c/o EVO :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016 08:00am - 09:45am
    IBMers Volunteer's Orientation Hi, All.

    HRS (specifically Dharyll Aquino) and I are arranging the orientation of the 11 arriving IBM volunteers and Melody on June 28th, 1:30pm - 4:00pm after the kick-off activity in Searca and before they are formally deployed to their mentors.

    Pencil booking you already for the following topics:

    ● IRRI Code of Conduct by HRS

    ● IRRI’s Policy on Intellectual Property Rights by Camille of PPE

    ● IRRI Network Users’ Code of Conduct by MIS

    ● Occupational Health and Safety Policy by Security

    Thank you so much.

    Kris :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016 10:30am - 11:30am
    Special Seminar: CESD Spatial variability in soil N supply as affected by bulk density and soil water in non-puddled soil
    Setia Sari Girsang
    Research Affiliate Scholar
    Soil Science Group

    Spatial variations in soil type, soil water, and topography could have even greater effects on optimal fertilizer management and rice productivity in non-puddled than puddled soils. Site-specific nutrient management is needed to reduce production costs and enable more environmentally friendly agriculture. The study area was located in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines (14.15º N and 121.246º E) on non-puddled soil in the Experiment Station of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). The objectives were to (1) measure spatial variation in bulk density, soil water, indigenous N supply, rice response to N, and infiltration rate across 36 locations in a 3.3-hectare rice field with non-puddled soil; and (2) assess whether indigenous N supply — as determined from soil inorganic N and yield in minus N plots —, bulk density, soil water, and soil infiltration rate could serve as predictive indicators of plant accumulation of N, grain yield with N fertilization, and N fertilizer requirements. Among soil properties, bulk density and anaerobic N mineralization (ANM) were most related to indigenous N supply and grain yield with N fertilizer. Low bulk density and high ANM were associated with high grain yield, plant N, and N use efficiency (NUE). Lower water-filled pore space and volumetric water were associated with accumulation of soil nitrate-N. Saturated hydraulic conductivity was inversely related to ANM, grain yield, and plant N across a 3.3-hectare rice field with non-puddled soil. Based on rice response in rice to N and an assumed target agronomic efficiency for N fertilizer of 12 kg ha-1, the optimal fertilizer N requirement ranged from 81 to 290 kg ha-1 with a mean 174 kg N ha-1 across 36 locations. The response of rice to N and hence the estimated optimal fertilizer N requirement were not correlated with inorganic soil N, bulk density, or anaerobic N mineralization at the start of the season. The results cast doubts on the likelihood of developing a robust soil measure at the start of a season for predicting N fertilizer requirements across variable soils. :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016 02:00pm - 04:00pm
    GB Division Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 30, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Tracking RICE indicators: results-based monitoring, evaluation, and learning for RICE

    Hope Webber
    Senior Scientist, Monitoring Evaluation & Learning Specialist

    Over the past two years, the monitoring, evaluation, and learning (ME&L) team started developing a results-based monitoring and evaluation system for IRRI and GRiSP (now RICE). Achievements have been made in establishing a prototype online system to comprehensively track research M&E data for accountability and management decision-making. Initial training on the implementation of the system has been successfully provided to scientists and key M&E practitioners. Results-based management means managing for outcomes. RICE has identified its research outcomes along the impact pathways and the CGIAR strategy and results framework: sub-intermediate development outcomes (sub-IDO), IDO, and system-level outcomes (SLO). Indicators for sub-IDOs have been formulated to track the progress toward outcomes targets. This seminar will present the current progress of work on the metrics and indicators for tracking in GRiSP (MISTIG) survey conducted among smallholder rice farm households in South and Southeast Asia. The initial purpose of the baseline survey was to monitor progress toward the intermediate development outcomes of GRiSP but, because of the new CRP phase II, the gender disaggregated data have been realigned to track the progress of RICE sub-IDOs indicators and to provide insights on the adoption of rice technologies, constraints to adoption, evaluation, and impact assessment. In addition, the seminar will present the progress on the implementation of the management information system at IRRI, and current discussion by the CGIAR’s monitoring and evaluation community of practice on harmonizing development outcome indicators and future ME&L activities in the pipeline. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, June 30, 2016 05:00pm - 07:00pm
    AFSTRI Film Showing  :: IRRI Events

July, 2016
  • Monday, July 04, 2016 08:00am - 12:00pm
    CURE's meeting with Dr. Bresciani from IFAD  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, July 07, 2016 12:00pm - 02:00pm
    SINoP Seminar Series - Personal Finance  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, July 07, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Global adoption and impact of shorter rice breeding cycles: Evidence from Rapid Generation Advance

    Matty Demont
    Senior Scientist, Market and Value Chain Research, SSD
    Bert Lenaerts
    KU Leuven University, Belgium

    Has public rice breeding become the victim of its own success? Shortening of breeding cycles has long been overlooked by breeders in Asia and elsewhere. The ongoing Transforming Rice Breeding (TRB) project proposed Rapid Generation Advance (RGA) as a way to accelerate public rice breeding programs. However, little is known about the potential impact of RGA and even less about the breeders who are expected to adopt this technology. In this seminar, we present the first results of a global potential impact and adoption study of RGA. First, we calculate the multiplicator effects of RGA on benefit creation of conventional rice breeding programs and apply this on a meta-analysis of impact studies. We complement this picture with a cost analysis based on current breeding operations at IRRI. Second, we characterize the global population of rice breeders (demographics, environmental conditions, resources, institutional factors, etc.) and survey their awareness, knowledge, attitudes, adoption intentions, and effective adoption of the RGA. We show that the decision to adopt the RGA is not only determined by personal characteristics of rice breeders, but also by institutional and management factors. This information helps in developing a targeted approach for disseminating the RGA technology among global rice breeders to accelerate impacts of public rice breeding programs around the world. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, July 08, 2016 10:00am - 11:00am
    Special Seminar: CESD Title: We the Killers and Guardians of the Earth
    Speaker: Dr. Chia-Wei Li
    Chair Professor, Dept. of Life Science, National Tsing Hua University,
    President, National Museum of Natural Science Foundation and CEO of Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation and Environmental Protection Foundation

    With a current population of 7.3 billion, an ecological crisis triggered by a super-greenhouse appears imminent. As the outlook on climate change remains pessimistic, conservation efforts to prevent the decline of biodiversity needs to be stepped up. So how do we safeguard mother Earth? Join Professor Li as he discusses a full scale plan to overcome the challenges.  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, July 11, 2016 - Wednesday, July 13, 2016
    IRRI-GOBII Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - Tuesday, July 19, 2016
    Training and Workshop on Productivity and Efficiency Analysis of Agro-ecosystem Data  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, July 14, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Productivity, Efficiency, and Resource (Financial) Constraint

    Subal C. Kumbhakar
    University Distinguished Professor, Department of Economics, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, USA

    The term efficiency is widely used by almost everyone (not just economists), often without having a precise meaning. Similarly, productivity and efficiency are often interchangeably used. Although somewhat similar, these two concepts are not identical in meaning in that lower productivity does not necessarily mean lower efficiency. The notion of single vs multiple technologies is emphasized in discussing (estimating) productivity and efficiency. We define these terms more formally based on microeconomic foundation. We then decompose productivity change into various components, including efficiency change. Profitability change is shown to be related to productivity change plus components related to changes in output and input prices. Finally, we emphasize the role of resource (financial) constraint on efficiency, productivity, and profitability.  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, July 18, 2016 - Wednesday, July 20, 2016
    Agriculture to Nutrition Conference  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, July 19, 2016 10:00am - 11:00am
    Special Joint Division Seminar: PB and GB NIAB and rice, a non-UK crop

    Lesley Boyd
    Senior Researcher and Plant Pathologist
    National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB)
    Cambridge  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, July 21, 2016 01:00pm - 03:30pm
    Thursday Seminar IBM Corporate Service Corps 16 Closing Ceremonies

    IBM Corporate Service Corps 16

    IBM Corporate Service Corps 16 (CSC 16) culminates it's month-long Los Banos, Laguna program with a Closing Ceremonies, a celebration of the CSC 16 teams' collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Southeast Asia Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). Members of the CSC 16 will share their personal journeys working with IRRI and SEARCA, with projects focused on Knowledge Management, Big Data, Digital Library, Country Dossiers, and the Rice Science Academy. Representatives from partner organizations are also present to share their learnings and stories as well.  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, July 21, 2016 03:45pm - 04:45pm
    Press Conference: IRRI and IBM  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, July 25, 2016 - Friday, July 29, 2016
    Super National Science and Technology Week 2016 "Juan Science, One Nation"  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, July 27, 2016 08:30am - 12:00pm
    30th Anniversary of Cambodia-IRRI Partnership and Signing of the Cambodia-IRRI Host Country Agreement  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, July 27, 2016 01:30pm - 06:30pm
    Southeast Asia Regional Consultation Workshop: Developing IRRI's 10-year Strategic Plan  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, July 28, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    2nd Review and planning Workshop on the USAID Funded Project "Accelerating the Adoption of Stress Tolerant Rice Varieties by Small Holder Farmers in Nepal and Cambodia  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, July 28, 2016 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    PB and GB Joint Seminar Speaker: Dr. Gloria Burow Research Geneticist, Cropping Systems Research Laboratory, USDA-ARS
    Title: “Transitional genomics and improvement of abiotic stress tolerance in sorghum” :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, July 28, 2016 05:30pm - 07:00pm
    AFSTRI Social Hour  :: IRRI Events

August, 2016
  • Wednesday, August 03, 2016 09:00am - 10:00am
    Candidate Seminar: IRRI Representative- South Asia  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, August 04, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar A 40-year journey through mud: Past, present, and future

    Roland J. Buresh
    Principal Scientist, Soil Science

    “Mud” for this presentation is defined as “submerged soil,” which, by nature of its saturation, is devoid of oxygen resulting in distinctive biogeochemical processes and a unique environment for plant growth. I had the good fortune to obtain my PhD with Prof. William H. Patrick, Jr., an eminent expert on the biogeochemistry of submerged soils. I will review some of the state of knowledge provided by Dr. Patrick to me 40 years ago as his student, and then through lectures later in his career. Through this, I will explore whether we have followed his scientific legacy by ‘reinventing the wheel’, chipping away at the edges of existing knowledge, or doing more. This will be presented in the context of the opportunities for innovative research and serving as an agent for change, which are provided to a soil scientist by an international organization such as IRRI. I will then outline some thoughts on opportunities for the next generation of research on rice soils. :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, August 08, 2016 - Friday, August 12, 2016
    IRRI Common Week  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, August 11, 2016 08:30am - 09:30am
    Candidate Seminar: IRRI Representative- South Asia  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, August 11, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Drought Adaptation, GxE and Crop Breeding

    John McKay
    Associate Professor
    College of Agriculture
    Colorado State University, U.S.A

    The long-term goal of my research is to provide a detailed functional knowledge of mechanisms and mutations that regulate genotype by environment interactions underlying adaptation. I have largely focused on drought responses, including water-use physiology and sensitivity of growth, fitness, and yield to variation in available soil moisture. My research combines field trials and high-throughput and detailed physiological screens in segregating families with statistical and evolutionary genomics to identify causal polymorphisms underlying differences in drought adaptation.

    I will report on the results of using natural variation in drought adaptation among diverse lines of Arabidopsis and will also discuss ongoing collaborations with IRRI on applying field-based, high-throughput phenotyping to drought in rice, toward discovering mutations underlying G × E interactions. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, August 12, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Management Committee Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, August 12, 2016 05:00pm - 07:30pm
    AFSTRI International Food Festival 2016  :: IRRI Events

  • Sunday, August 14, 2016 - Friday, August 19, 2016
    7th Crop Science Congress International Crop Science Congress (ICSC) is a regular forum for crop scientists from around the world to integrate current knowledge into a global context and international applications. The Congress is organized about every four years beginning in July, 1992. :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, August 15, 2016
    CCADS-RR 1st Annual Review and Planning Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, August 16, 2016
    CAAS-IRRI Agreement Signing Ceremony and Partnerships Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, August 17, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Defining Leadership course (for Scientists I & II)  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, August 18, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Defining Leadership course (for Scientists I & II)  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, August 18, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Craig Jamieson, International Bioenergy Consultant & Co-ordinator of the
    IRRI-SUPERGEN Rice Straw Energy Project
    Martin Gummert - Senior Scientist, Postharvest and Value Adding
    Nguyen Van Hung - Post Doctoral Researcher
    IRRI Postharvest Unit (CESD)

    After rice harvest, the straw remains in or around the field, with few viable alternatives for use. As a result, around 300 million tons of it are burned as waste each year across Asia. If rice straw could be collected and used as fuel, it would be one of the most abundant bioenergy resources on earth. However, gathering it from sometimes muddy rice fields and transporting it is a costly and challenging operation. In addition, its composition makes it a very poor solid fuel. Hence, few successful demonstrations exist in using rice straw for clean energy provision. This, in turn, adds to the risk, the cost of financing a project, and the shortage of relevant skills and knowledge. How can this deadlock be broken?
    A joint research project was undertaken between IRRI and the UK SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub to identify and better understand these barriers, along with promising options to overcome them. Possible solutions have been summarized as: a) logistical advances, such as baling machines; b) suitable energy conversion technologies, such as anaerobic digestion to make biogas; and c) institutional innovations, such as pro-poor business models. Lessons will be shared from the IRRI-SUPERGEN project and case studies from around the world, as well as opportunities for future development and scaling out, will be presented.
    Keywords: Rice straw, agricultural residues, bioenergy, biogas, sustainability :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, August 19, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Defining Leadership course (for Scientists I & II)  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, August 22, 2016 - Thursday, August 25, 2016
    ASEAN SOM-AMAF+3 Meetings  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, August 22, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Training:Defining Leadership - Module 3 (Batch 1)  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, August 22, 2016 09:00am - 10:15am
    Candidate Seminar: Senior Scientist - Soil and Nutrient Management  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, August 23, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Training:Defining Leadership - Module 3 (Batch 1)  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, August 23, 2016 09:30am - 10:50am
    Candidate Seminar: Senior Scientist- Soil and Nutrient Management position  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, August 24, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Training:Defining Leadership - Module 3 (Batch 1)  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, August 24, 2016 08:30am - 10:00am
    Candidate Seminar: Senior Scientist - Soil and Nutrient Management  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, August 25, 2016 08:00am - 07:00pm
    Forum on Biotechnology  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, August 25, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar What Changes in Rice Cultivation are on the Horizon?

    J.K. Ladha
    Principal Scientist
    Crop and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD)

    Rice is grown globally in more than 100 million ha of land through transplanting of seedlings on puddled (wet-tilled) soil. Although this practice of growing rice is capital- and energy-intensive, it survived for centuries because of certain advantages, notably, weed control. It is argued that this is the most sustainable crop production system on earth but the question remains on whether, under the emerging scenarios of acute water and labor shortages, it would maintain sustainability in the future. In addition, land consolidation, with fewer and relatively young farmers that would likely be in a future scenario, would force the way rice is cultivated. In this seminar, I will discuss potential change scenarios and go in detail on alternatives to unfriendly environments for puddling and rice transplanting. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, August 25, 2016 03:00pm - 04:00pm
    PB and GB Joint Seminar PB & GB
    Special Joint Division Seminar

    Genome editing basics - reagents and methods, utility, and challenges

    Adam Bogdanove
    Professor, Plant Pathology & Plant-Microbe Biology, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University

    1500-1600H, Thursday, 25 August 2016
    Seminar Room A, DL Umali Bldg.  :: IRRI Events

September, 2016
  • Friday, September 02, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar: SSD Assessment of Neighborhood and Spillover Effects on Technical Efficiency of Irrigated Rice Farmers

    Donald Villanueva
    Associate Scientist
    Social Sciences Division

    Neighborhood and spillover effects on technical efficiency were investigated among 270 randomly drawn farming households from 18 irrigated villages of Guimba, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. “Two-step” procedure was used where in the first stage, stochastic frontier production function was used to estimate farmer’s technical efficiency then in the second stage, appropriate spatial econometric models on the technical efficiency were estimated. Hot spot analysis was also conducted and results show that there is significant clustering of high and low values of technical efficiency in the study site, which can be attributed to the proximity of the residence or farm location of the farmer to the sources of inputs, credit, and information on rice production. Spatial econometric models adopted in this study found that spatial dependency on technical efficiency was detected in the error term of the spatial model across seasons and locations, which can be associated to unobserved factors that similarly influence farmers’ technical efficiencies at the same time. Farm size, income, and regular contact and consultation with agricultural technicians are found to be significantly affecting technical efficiency. Results on spatial regression also show that owner-cultivator and loamy soil tend to increase technical efficiency. The results of this study can be used by the local government of Guimba in the formulation of agricultural policies and implementation of essential interventions that would improve the technical efficiency of rice farmers. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, September 02, 2016 04:00pm - 05:00pm
    Rainbow School Orientation  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, September 05, 2016 - Tuesday, September 06, 2016
    Project Completion and Evaluation Workshop on Increasing productivity of direct-seeded rice areas by incorporating genes for tolerance of anaerobic conditions during germination  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, September 05, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Presentation Skills Workshop - Batch 1 & 2  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, September 05, 2016 09:00am - 10:15am
    Candidate Seminar: Scientist - Strategic Information Development position  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, September 06, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Presentation Skills Workshop - Batch 1 & 2  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, September 06, 2016 09:00am - 10:15am
    Candidate Seminar: Scientist - Strategic Information Development position  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, September 07, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Presentation Skills Workshop - Batch 1 & 2  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, September 07, 2016 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    Seminar: PB Division Overview of rice research in the USA

    Michael Thomson
    Professor, Soil and Crop Sciences and H.M. Beachell Rice Chair
    Texas A&M University

    1400-1500H, Wednesday, 07 September 2016
    Room A, Umali Building

    A vibrant plant research community in the US has made great strides in developing genomics tools and advancing basic research across major crop species, including rice. In addition to structural and functional genomics activities, future efforts will include initiatives in genome editing, digital phenotyping and phenomics, “big data” analytics, and exploring the plant microbiome. As a land-grant university in a rice-producing state, Texas A&M has a long history of contributing to rice science, with an active research program aiming to translate basic research to applications in rice improvement. This seminar will provide an overview of rice research and breeding programs in Texas and the US, and explore opportunities for closer interactions between IRRI and TAMU to accelerate the application of genomics tools for international rice improvement. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, September 08, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Presentation Skills Workshop - Batch 1 & 2  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, September 08, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar "Nothing in [plant breeding] makes sense except in the light of evolution."

    Joshua N. Cobb
    Scientist II: Rice Breeder - Irrigated SEAsia
    Plant Breeding (PB)

    The majesty and grandeur of biological diversity on planet Earth is a miraculous consequence of an extremely elegant system of evolutionary biology. Plant breeding is, fundamentally, a manipulation of that natural system for the benefit of humanity. The irrigated lowland breeding program at IRRI has been recognized as one of the primary drivers of the mid-20th century's Green Revolution, but has struggled to make similar contributions to yield potential in the decades that followed. This seminar will attempt to highlight some of the recent successes that the irrigated program has achieved and to articulate a new breeding philosophy, rooted in principles of evolutionary biology, which will form the foundation of the program's contributions to the early 21st century and beyond. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, September 09, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Presentation Skills Workshop - Batch 1 & 2  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, September 09, 2016 09:00am - 10:15am
    Candidate Seminar: Scientist - Strategic Information Development position  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, September 13, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    AEW Training (Batch 1) c/o PRISM Crop Health Team  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, September 13, 2016 10:30am - 01:00pm
    Meeting:IRRI-UPLB Joint Management Committee (JMC)  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, September 14, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    AEW Training (Batch 1) c/o PRISM Crop Health Team  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, September 15, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    AEW Training (Batch 1) c/o PRISM Crop Health Team  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, September 15, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar From breeding to genome editing: strategies to prevent gambling with rice health

    Ricardo Oliva
    Scientist II - Plant Pathology and Host Plant Resistance
    Crop and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD)

    We can no longer afford to neglect rice health. Every time a resistance variety is overcome, adoption is compromised and the impact of other important traits is hindered. Despite efforts to generate resistance varieties, durability is under continuous threat by fast-evolving pathogen populations. Preventing disease epidemics therefore is not only a breeding exercise but also an interdisciplinary approach that requires a deeper understanding of the systems. To make informed decisions, we need to recognize the factors that account for pathogen dynamics, locally effective resistance genes, and conducive environments. In this presentation, we will discuss our strategies to connect resistance breeding, pathogen genomics, epidemiology, and deployment of resistance genes. We will also explain our attempts to explore artificial evolution using genome-editing tools (CRISPR and TALEN), the mining of rice diversity panels to capture novel sources of resistance, and the progress in microbiome research. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, September 16, 2016 08:00pm - 09:00pm
    Pnv  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, September 19, 2016 03:00pm - 04:00pm
    IRRI Clinic Info Session  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, September 20, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    AEW Training (Batch 2) c/o PRISM Crop Health Team  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, September 21, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    AEW Training (Batch 2) c/o PRISM Crop Health Team  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, September 21, 2016 02:15pm - 03:15pm
    IRRI Town hall  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, September 22, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    AEW Training (Batch 2) c/o PRISM Crop Health Team  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, September 26, 2016 - Thursday, September 29, 2016
    International Symposium on Rice Functional Genomics (ISRFG)  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, September 26, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Workshop for Transformational Leadership (Module 1) for Agridoc  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, September 27, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Workshop for Transformational Leadership (Module 1) for Agridoc  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, September 28, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Workshop for Transformational Leadership (Module 1) for Agridoc  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, September 29, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Managing our water resources: A never ending challenge.
    Among all the natural resources water has become the most precious.
    (Rachel Carson, 1961. The Silent Spring)

    Randolph Barker
    Cornell University Professor Emeritus; IRRI Emeritus

    In this seminar we will discuss two water management projects in which IRRI was involved and Vietam’s experience in managing the Mekong. We conclude discussing what IRRI is doing in water management (abiotic stresses) and what we might do (training and capacity building) panels to capture novel sources of resistance, and the progress in microbiome research. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, September 29, 2016 05:00pm - 07:00pm
    AFSTRI Social Hour  :: IRRI Events

October, 2016
  • Monday, October 03, 2016 - Thursday, October 06, 2016
    PB Division Fall Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, October 03, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    RICE Foresight and Priority Setting Workshop  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, October 04, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    RICE Foresight and Priority Setting Workshop  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, October 05, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    RICE Foresight and Priority Setting Workshop  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, October 06, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar IRRI's Eastern and Southern Africa Plant Breeding Plans: 2016-2021 Challenges and Opportunities

    Alexis Ndayiragije
    Senior Scientist, Plant Breeding

    Rice is an important strategic crop in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA), which has experienced a rapid increase in consumption ( more than 20% increases for ESA from 2008-2015) vastly outstripping production capacity. Hence, there is a need for significant quantities of imported rice at a cost of more than USD 400 million for the region. In contrast, average rice yields in the region are less than 2 tons per ha due to the combined effects of high disease pressure in different ecologies and widespread drought and cold stresses. IRRI's breeding program for Eastern and Southern Africa is poised to address these constraints and contribute to greater productivity. This seminar will detail the breeding program in Eastern and Southern Africa, and discuss how we are going to overcome the problems mentioned and achieve our vision by developing ESA country-based product profiles, enhancing the breeding scheme and plant pathology strategies, as well as developing and forging strong partnerships throughout the region. :: IRRI Events

  • Sunday, October 09, 2016 - Friday, October 14, 2016
    7th International Rice Blast Conference Rice blast disease remains the most destructive disease of cultivated rice worldwide. Considering that rice is the staple food for more than half of the human population, the disease is a significant threat to food security for many nations. It is, therefore, imperative to devise the novel and stable control strategies for the disease, which requires an understanding of the pathogen, rice blast fungus, and its interaction with rice or other host plants. The International Rice Blast Conference (IRBC) has been the forum to foster collaboration in rice blast research among scientists around the world. Not surprisingly, much progress has been made on the research of the biology, genomics, host-pathogen interactions, resistance, and disease management of rice blast since the last IRBC in Jeju, South Korea, in 2013. To share recent advancements in the scientific research and broaden our understanding of the disease, we host the IRBC07 in Manila, Philippines.

    Event site: http://irbc07.irri.org :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, October 10, 2016 - Thursday, October 13, 2016
    7th International Rice Blast Conference Rice blast disease remains the most destructive disease of cultivated rice worldwide. Considering that rice is the staple food for more than half of the human population, the disease is a significant threat to food security for many nations. It is, therefore, imperative to devise the novel and stable control strategies for the disease, which requires an understanding of the pathogen, rice blast fungus, and its interaction with rice or other host plants. The International Rice Blast Conference (IRBC) has been the forum to foster collaboration in rice blast research among scientists around the world. Not surprisingly, much progress has been made on the research of the biology, genomics, host-pathogen interactions, resistance, and disease management of rice blast since the last IRBC in Jeju, South Korea, in 2013. To share recent advancements in the scientific research and broaden our understanding of the disease, we host the IRBC07 in Manila, Philippines.

    Event site: http://irbc07.irri.org :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, October 11, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar: CESD Lotus LysM receptors and their role in microbial perception

    Sheena Ricafranca Rasmussen
    Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology and Genetics
    Aarhus University, Denmark

    Abstract: Plants are constantly exposed to both beneficial and pathogenic microbes, and the interaction with these microorganisms may be vital for plant survival. Characterization of legume mutants has shown that a common genetic program is required for interaction with both rhizobia and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi leading to symbiotic nitrogen fixation or mycorrhizal root colonization that enhance the plants nitrogen and phosphor uptake, respectively. Recent results show that plant receptor proteins containing the carbohydrate-binding LysM-motif are involved in the recognition and discrimination of rhizobia from pathogenic microbes while recognition of AM fungi have remained unknown. A large family of LysM receptor-like kinases has been identified in the model legume Lotus japonicus. Many of these genes have not yet been functionally characterized, however, the two LysM receptor-like kinases (LjNFR1 and LjNFR5) are key molecular components required for perception of the lipochitooligosaccharide (LCO) signalling molecules (Nod factors) produced by rhizobia, and for the initiation of signalling events leading to symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Recent studies revealed that AM fungi also produce LCOs and short-chain chitin oligomers that are recognized by legume hosts, and elicit similar physiological responses in plant cells as Nod factors. However, the receptor(s) for these AM produced signalling molecules remain unknown.
    I will present our current understanding and latest results on the involvement of LysM receptors during root-symbiosis with AM fungi.  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - Friday, October 14, 2016
    IRRI Board of Trustees Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, October 13, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar October 13, 2016
    1:15-2:15 p.m.
    Umali Hall, Rooms ABC

    IRRI-CSIRO collaboration in cropping systems modelling: Research and development into climate change adaptation and sustainability of rice-based cropping systems

    Donald Gaydon
    Senior Research Scientist, Integrated Agricultural Systems Program
    Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

    With the increasing pressure on agricultural systems to meet the need of an increasing global population, sustainable intensification of diversified agri-food systems becomes an important focus for any program of research and development that address food security and nutrition. In addition to the unavoidable threats of climate change and competition with increasing urbanization, economic growth limits available resources and forces systems to adapt to low input and biophysical constraints. An integrative multidisciplinary approach is desirable to address the complexity of relevant interactions, and system modelling has proven to be a powerful tool in such field of research. CSIRO has the APSIM framework, which it has integrated with the IRRI rice model ORYZA2000, in early 2006. This initiated successful collaboration between the two institutes and has since developed into a range of joint research efforts advancing rice-based agricultural systems science to accelerate impact of development projects in improving small farmers’ livelihoods and adaptation to climate change. In this talk, we will share some examples of these collaborations drawn from ACIAR-funded projects in South and Southeast Asia. We will also present details of some ongoing work resulting from these examples and will discuss possibilities to expand and strengthen collaboration between IRRI and CSIRO in the future. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, October 14, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Resistance, Genomics and Molecular Diagnostics of Plant Pathogens Training/ Workshop  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, October 14, 2016 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    PB & GB Special Joint Division Seminar PB & GB Special Joint Division Seminar
    (Please click “Add to calendar” to mark it in your calendar. We will not circulate reminders)

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) in rice innate immunity

    Blanca San Segundo
    Professor of Research
    Spanish Research Council (CSIC)
    Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics

    1400-1500H, Friday, 14 October 2016
    PBGB Conference Room 1
    NC Brady Laboratory Bldg.


    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short regulatory non-coding RNAs that guide gene silencing by triggering sequence-specific cleavage or translational repression of target transcripts. Plant miRNAs are known to play important roles in a wide range of developmental processes and adaptive responses to abiotic stress (drought, cold, salinity and nutrient deficiency) and biotic stress (e.g. antibacterial resistance). During the last years, the adoption of high-throughput sequencing technologies has significantly contributed to uncover multiple miRNAs while allowing miRNA profiling in rice. Although a substantial fraction of the rice miRNA transcriptome has been shown to be responsive to infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, the exact role of most of these pathogen-regulated miRNAs in rice immunity remains elusive.
    To obtain a genome-wide survey of miRNAs in rice and their responsiveness to M. oryzae, we constructed small RNA libraries from rice leaves that have been treated, or not, with M. oryzae elicitors. This study allowed us to identify not only known miRNAs, but also previously unknown miRNAs (novel miRNAs) from rice whose expression is affected by treatment with fungal elicitors. The contribution of several elicitor-regulated miRNAs in resistance to blast disease has been confirmed in transgenic rice, including miRNAs controlling the expression of genes involved in nutrient homeostasis. Pathogen-regulated miRNAs can function as positive or negative regulators of the rice defense response to M. oryzae. Combined small RNA and degradome analyses revealed regulatory networks enriched in elicitor-regulated miRNAs supported by the identification of their corresponding target genes. Specifically, we identified an important number of miRNA/target gene pairs involved in small RNA pathways, hormone signaling and crosstalk among hormone pathways having great potential in regulating rice immunity. These findings support that miRNAs, and their corresponding target genes, represent an integral part of the rice response to infection by the blast fungus M. oryzae.  :: IRRI Events

  • Saturday, October 15, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Resistance, Genomics and Molecular Diagnostics of Plant Pathogens Training/ Workshop  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, October 17, 2016 - Wednesday, October 19, 2016
    5th International Conference on Bacterial Blight Bacterial blight (BB) of rice caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) is considered the most important bacterial disease of rice due to its high epidemic potential, especially in extreme climate variation, and its destructiveness to high-yielding but susceptible cultivars. Despite attempts to control the disease by incorporating genetic resistance into high-yielding cultivars, the disease remains a major constraint to rice production in favorable and unfavorable rice environments throughout Asia. Its occurrence in the 1970s in Africa has added a new dimension to concerns about its dissemination.

    The International Conference on Bacterial Blight of Rice (ICBB) is held every three years--previously in Tsukuba (2004), Nanjing (2007), Seoul (2010), and Hyderabad (2013). Significant gains have been made in understanding BB through analysis of the interactions between Xoo and rice at many levels, including studies focused on the epidemiology, population biology, physiology, cell biology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, and effectors involved in the rice-Xoo interaction. With recent advances in new tools and sequencing resources in rice and Xoo, tremendous knowledge has been generated in a shorter time frame. Thus, moving forward since the 4th ICBB, these advances and new innovations will be highlighted in the ICBB05 as we look into future strategies to manage this important disease.

    Event site: http://icbb05.irri.org :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, October 19, 2016 01:30pm - 02:45pm
    Seminar: SSD Rice Monitoring Surveys in South Asia: Progress-report 2014-2016

    Dr. Takashi Yamano
    Sr. Scientist – Impact Assessment Specialist
    Social Sciences Division

    Since 2014, large-scale farm surveys have been conducted under the Rice Monitoring Surveys in South Asia. Along the surveys, rice seed samples were collected from 20% of the sample farmers for DNA fingerprinting to identify varieties. The initial results from the DNA fingerprinting will be discussed in the seminar. Area estimates under rice varieties, including Swarna-Sub1 and BR11-Sub1, will be presented along with policy implications. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, October 20, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    CIW-IRRI Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, October 20, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Whole-genome sequencing and comparative genomic analysis reveal novel allelic variations unique to a purple-colored rice landrace (Oryza sativa ssp.indica cv. Purpleputtu)

    V.B. Reddy Lachagari
    Chief Scientific Officer-Plant Genomics
    AgriGenome Labs Pvt Ltd
    A subsidiary of SciGenom Labs

    Nutraceutical foods containing anthocyanins, which confer red, purple, and black colour to seed and other plants, and other flavonoids (conferring hues of yellow), are increasingly being considered to be beneficial for human health. Though wild progenitor rice such as O.rufipogon is colored, most, if not all, of the present-day high-yielding modern rice cultivars are completely devoid of anthocyanins in seed and plants. In a comparative genomic approach, we have analysed allelic variations in Purpleputtu (Oryza sativa, ssp indica var Purpleputtu), which is a unique rice landrace/cultivar that exhibits purple color in all parts of the plant, except the inter-nodes and pollen, and accumulates anthocyanins in seed and plant parts. Nextgen sequencing and comparative genomic analysis was carried out between Purpleputtu and colored and colorless rice lines belonging to both indica and japonica types, in addition to that of wild progenitors. Variant prediction confirms that the Purpleputtu genome is marked by the absence of a 14-bp deletion within the Rc gene, a key regulatory gene of the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway, in contrast to its ubiquitous presence in white pericarp rice lines. All the four major anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway genes were found to have several novel variants unique to Purpleputtu. Furthermore, the Purpleputtu genome also showed a well conserved 4.5-Mbp region on Chromosome 5. This region harbors several loci associated with domestication of rice. Phylogenetic analysis, with other majorly anthocyanin-producing species and genera, indicates a distinct clade and close proximity to progenitor species rufipogon and nivara. Comparison with 3,023 lines of rice SNP-Seek database shows 1,633,845 SNPs in Purpleputtu that could be utilized in forward breeding approaches such as GWAS and genomic prediction. The results may help in understanding the genomic changes caused in target gene loci during the long history of domestication/non-domestication, selection, and modern breeding processes in rice. The details along with other initiatives of the SciGenom group for Plant Genomics will be discussed :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, October 21, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar: SSD The challenge of managing water for agriculture in the Mekong Basin of Vietnam

    Dr. Randy Barker
    Social Sciences Division

    In this seminar I will trace the development of agriculture in the Mekong basin of Vietnam from 1975 to the present. I will focus on water management and crop production in Vietnam where global climate change will simply exacerbates serious existing water management problems. :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - Wednesday, October 26, 2016
    20thCouncil for Partnership on Rice Research in Asia (CORRA) Meeting Council for Partnership on Rice Research in Asia (CORRA) Meeting :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, October 25, 2016 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    PB Town Hall  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, October 26, 2016 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    Seminar: PB Division Molecular breeding for multi-trait improvement in rice

    Dr. R.M. Sundaram
    Principal Scientist (Biotechnology)
    Indian Institute of Rice Research (IIRR)
    India  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, October 27, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Is "Sustainable Rice" sustainable throughout the value chain?

    Sarah Beebout,
    Senior Scientist – Soil Chemistry, CESD
    and Matty Demont
    Senior Scientist – Market and Value Chain Research, SSD

    Although traditional rice value chains have managed to provide food security for Asian populations for millennia at relatively low population densities, the intensification of these systems to maintain food security for much larger urbanized populations has resulted in amazing technological advances in agriculture, accompanied inevitably by risks to sustainability. For example, the big Asian river deltas that have served as rice bowls for the world in the past half century, through intensified production of high-yielding rice varieties with increasing input of water, nutrients and energy, have now been identified as significantly vulnerable to climate change. Since 2013, the CORIGAP* project has been tackling this challenge through a combination of biophysical and socioeconomic strategies: (i) evaluating "best management practices" through the lens of an international sustainable production standard in cooperation with the Sustainable Rice Platform; (ii) promoting adoption of better practices through public and private governance, and the development of markets for sustainably produced rice. In March 2014, Pieter Rutsaert and Sarah Beebout presented a data-free seminar outlining their ideas about defining and valuing rice sustainability. After several years of research, these ideas have now been refined based on data from farmers' fields, and experiments with consumers and stakeholders throughout the value chain. In this sequel seminar, we explain the evidence so far, and identify opportunities for internalizing sustainable production standards throughout Asian rice value chains.
    *CORIGAP= Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprint, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) :: IRRI Events

November, 2016
  • Friday, November 04, 2016 09:00am - 10:15am
    Candidate Seminar: SRP Technical Coordinator position  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, November 08, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Seminar: CESD Viable Methodologies for Phenomics and High-throughput Chemical Analysis: Adaptations and Applications

    Ma. Rebecca C. Laza
    Senior Associate Scientist II

    Abstract: Phenotyping a large number of genotypes across environment provides add-on information on GxE interactions for a given trait. However, phenotyping for many traits especially on highly diverse accessions such as the indica panel is quite tedious, slow, and sometimes complicated. This seminar highlights some viable methodologies for field phenomics and high throughput chemical analyses that we have developed/adapted since the beginning of the Global Rice Phenotyping Network of the GRiSP. Empirical application and examples of results will be presented. A wealth of phenomics data has been generated for traits related to yield potential and lodging resistance. These data will be used for genome wide association studies to identify candidate genes associated with desirable traits and identify donor materials carrying them.
     :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, November 10, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Workshop on Benchmarking Research Capacity for Skill Competency Enhancement  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, November 10, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Algae to biocrude: One holistic perspective

    Dr Ajit Sapre
    President, Renewable Energy and VP Biofuel
    Reliance Industries Ltd.

    The process of natural photosynthesis forms the fundamental basis for any biofuel production effort. Algae, in particular, are highly efficient converters of sunlight to energy. Advances in synthetic biology can enable increases in productivity of even highly efficient photosynthetic organisms. Coupled with the availability of different high-throughput technology platforms and innovative engineering breakthroughs, algae can potentially provide opportunities to significantly impact different facets of human life and civilization. To be commercially competitive, improvements in cultivation systems, biology, harvesting, and maximizing oil yield from biomass are still needed.
    Reliance Industries has committed significant R&D resources to be a part of this exciting journey of renewable energy. This presentation will cover learnings from our algae research and will feature an amalgamation of engineering and biology. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, November 11, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    Workshop on Benchmarking Research Capacity for Skill Competency Enhancement  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, November 11, 2016 05:00pm - 08:00pm
    AFSTRI Cultural Night  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, November 14, 2016 - Friday, November 18, 2016
    IRRI Common Week  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    CESD Seminar CESDivision Seminar
    (Please mark your calendar, click “Add to calendar”. We make only one announcement per seminar and will not circulate reminders.)

    Date: 15 November 2016, Tuesday: 1-15-2:15pm
    Venue: CESD Conference Room 1, DL Umali Bldg.

    Title: How do you keep a sensitive yet cannibalistic stem borer species happy and healthy?

    Speaker: Josie Lynn Catindig, Associate Scientist

    Abstract: Resistance breeding against yellow stem borer requires a reliable population of insects at a given time and stage. The lack of a steady supply of the yellow stem borer larvae hampers the breeding process. Use of field-collected individual is not recommended since their availability fluctuates within and across seasons. Rearing the insect pest on its natural host is a sub-optimal option because it requires high cost, labor, time, and space requirements. In the past, IRRI and other organizations had had success in developing artificial diets and rearing systems for other stem borer species such as striped stem borer. To date, no artificial diet and rearing system is available for yellow stem borer. Recently, IRRI entomology has started to tackle the challenge of developing an artificial diet and rearing system for this important lepidopteran pest. The iterative methodology and some preliminary results on the development of artificial diet and rearing system for the yellow stem borer will be discussed in this seminar.

    All are cordially invited. :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - Friday, November 18, 2016
    IRRI Common Week  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, November 16, 2016 01:30pm - 03:00pm
    Seminar: PB & GB Divisions Title: "Zooming in rice genetic diversity: isozymes, molecular markers and genome sequences"
    Speaker: Dr. Jean-Christophe Glaszmann of CIRAD
    Time: 1:30pm- 3:00pm :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, November 17, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar November 17, 2016
    1:15-2:15 p.m.
    Havener Auditorium

    CRISPR system-mediated genome editing in rice: present status and future perspective
    Dr Anindya Bandyopadhyay
    Scientist II-Molecular Biology
    Genetics and Biotechnology

    Genome editing using the CRISPR system has opened an interesting area of precision genome targeting in the field of gene/genome engineering research. CRISPR system with nucleases such as Cas9, Cpf1, and C2C2 provide a convenient tool for manipulating DNA in vivo through the pathway of a double strand break (DSB) and subsequent non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homology directed exchange. We have used codon-optimized CAS9 and Cpf1 suitable for rice, and knocked out an epidermal patterning factor gene, EPFL9. Epidermal patterning factor genes are important as they regulate stomatal biogenesis. Stomata are the pores in the plant epidermis that facilitate CO2 uptake and water loss. Thus, they play a vital role in controlling global carbon and water cycles. DNA edits generated by CRISPR/CAS9 in the epidermal patterning factor gene were stably transmitted for several generations and it was found that the Cas9 gene could be segregated out in the T3 generation. Homozygous EPFL9 mutant plants showed the expected phenotype with a drastic reduction of their leaf stomatal density when compared to wild type rice. CRISPR-Cpf1–mediated editing of the same gene, for the first time, shows that CPF1 could also be used in the plant system. This will increase the horizon of genome editing as Cpf1 could target the A/T-rich area of the genome, whereas CRISPR-Cas9 is only limited to G/C-rich locations. :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, November 18, 2016 01:30pm - 02:30pm
    Special Seminar: PB The MATRILINEAL gene triggers in vivo (seed based) haploid induction in maize

    Dr. Timothy Joseph Kelliher
    Reproductive Biology Lead, Reproductive Biology
    Syngenta Crop Protection

    1400-1500H, Friday, 18 November 2016
    Room A, Umali Building


    Reproduction in flowering plants involves double fertilization. Modern plant breeders increasingly seek to circumvent this process to produce doubled haploid (DH) individuals, which derive from the chromosome-doubled cells of the haploid gametophyte. Costly, genotype-dependent tissue culture methods are employed in many crops, while seed-based in vivo DH systems are rare in nature and difficult to manage in breeding programs. The multi-billion dollar maize hybrid seed business, however, is supported by industrial DH pipelines utilizing intra-specific crosses to in vivo haploid inducer males derived from Stock 6, first reported in 1959, followed by colchicine treatment. Despite decades of use, the mode of action remains controversial. Through fine mapping, genome sequencing, genetic complementation and gene editing we establish that haploid induction in maize is triggered by a frame-shift mutation in MATRILINEAL (MTL), and that novel edits lead to a 6.7% haploid induction rate. Pollen RNA-seq profiling identified a suite of pollen-specific genes over-expressed during haploid induction, some of which may mediate the formation of haploid seed. These findings highlight the importance of male gamete components to reproductive success and male genome transmittance. Given the conservation of MTL in the grasses, this discovery may enable development of in vivo haploid induction systems to accelerate breeding in crop plants such as rice. :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, November 21, 2016 - Wednesday, November 23, 2016
    PRISM 2nd Convention: Ensuring a Smooth Transition from Research to Operation  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, November 21, 2016
    IR8 50th Anniversary: Rice That Changed the World  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, November 22, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Division Seminar: CESD Sustainability Quantified: A comparison across intensive rice production areas in six countries

    Dr. Krishna Devkota
    Post-doctoral Fellow, Cropping Systems Agronomy

    Abstract: Quantifying sustainability is a goal of a wide variety of stakeholders for an equally wide set of purposes. The sustainability of rice production can be holistically measured based on economic, environmental and social indicators. The “Closing Rice Yield Gaps in Asia with Reduced Environmental Footprint” (CORIGAP) project is working in six Asian countries to strengthen food security while reducing the environmental footprint of rice production. During 2013-14, CORIGAP activities included a baseline survey in more than 1500 households from intensive irrigated production sites across Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Guangdong Province (China). Simultaneously, the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) went through a consultative process to select 12 performance indicators for quantifying the sustainability of rice cultivation. In this seminar, we will present results from our analysis of the CORIGAP survey data with respect to the SRP indicators, including an assessment of the indicators as well as an assessment of the sustainability trade-offs across the six sites.  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, November 23, 2016 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    Division Seminar: PB QTL identification for reproductive-stage salinity tolerance in rice using high-density SNP linkage map

    Mostafa Ahmadizadeh
    PhD Student, Plant Breeding: Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University (SANRU), Iran & PB Division, IRRI


    Rice is one of the major food crops but its productivity is adversely affected by salinity stress. Reproductive stage salinity tolerance is most important as it is translated into grain yield. Due to the complexity of the trait and the lack of reliable stage-specific phenotyping techniques, mechanisms pertains to physiological and genetic complexity of reproductive stage salinity tolerance traits are not studied in details, thus, significantly slow down the progress of developing stress-tolerant cultivars. In the current research, 188 RILs derived from a cross between CSR28 and Sadri were used to identify quantitative trait loci for reproductive stage salinity tolerance, based on agro-morphological and physiological traits. Salt stress equivalent to EC 10 dSm-1 was imposed to rice plants. For genotyping and construction a linkage map 6K SNP chips was used. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) with LOD values ranging from 2.98 to 4.46 were identified on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 11, explaining 5.9–10.54 % of the phenotypic variation. The study reports the novel QTLs for reproductive-stage salt tolerance in rice using leaf clipping phenotyping approach and high density SNPs markers that could be useful in rice breeding programs for salt-tolerance. :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, November 24, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar Cracking the Genetic Code of Brown Planthopper Resistance Gene BPH18

    Dr K.K. Jena
    Principal Scientist
    Plant Breeding Division

    Brown planthopper (BPH), Nilaparvata Lugens Stål is a major insect pest that greatly reduces rice yield every year. The destruction of rice crops happens not only in the tropics, but also in temperate rice-growing countries in Asia. Host-plant resistance to the sap-sucking BPH is the strategy of choice to combat the damage to rice crops because it is environmentally friendly and economical for farmers. To date, 30 BPH resistance genes have been genetically identified. At IRRI, we have isolated the broad-spectrum resistance gene, BPH18, using map-based cloning to unravel the defense function of the gene against BPH attack. The resistance gene, BPH18, from the wild rice O. australiensis (EE genome), is located on chromosome 12. This BPH18 gene enables the rice plant to produce two proteins in its tissues, which prevent the insect from feeding. Thus, the introduction of the BPH18 gene into elite rice cultivars will help limit the damage of BPH attacks. Let us listen to the story of the discovery of this important resistance gene at IRRI and how it will lead to a more stable rice production.  :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, November 28, 2016 01:00pm - 05:00pm
    Knowledge Sharing and Learning for the Department of Agriculture Regional Executive Directors (REDs) and Regional Technical Directors for Research (RTDs)  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, November 29, 2016
    50th Anniversary of IR8  :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, November 29, 2016
    Farmers and Partners' Day  :: IRRI Events

December, 2016
  • Thursday, December 01, 2016 10:00am - 11:30am
    IRRI Internal FSSP Coordination Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, December 01, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    Thursday Seminar The C4 Rice trilogy: the story continues
    HsiangChun Lin and Robert Coe
    Postdoctoral Fellow-Applied Photosynthesis and Scientist I-Plant Physiology
    Genetics and Biotechnology

    The C4 Rice Project is one of the scientific “Grand Challenges” of the 21st Century. With Phase 3 now well underway, the C4 project has undergone some dramatic changes. We may appear leaner but our mission to supercharge the rice engine remains steadfast. In this latest installment to the C4 rice story, we scale down the hype to provide an honest and frank assessment of the progress made at IRRI so far. We will share our successes with engineering C4 biochemistry into rice, the difficulty in the search for genes controlling C4 leaf anatomy, and the promise of our latest novel high-throughput mutant screens. We will discuss with you the numerous technical and scientific challenges that have had to be addressed. These include how to measure C4 metabolic fluxes in rice and new ways of identifying the genes controlling C4 leaf anatomy. We present the use of phenomics tools in our genetic screens and discuss the potential application of these across IRRI. There remains much more work to be done before we can deliver upon the potential grain yield increases that C4 photosynthesis offers. We give some perspectives on the results to date, together with some of the wider contributions of the project to the future of rice research. We extend a warm invitation to you all. :: IRRI Events

  • Monday, December 05, 2016 - Friday, December 09, 2016
    GR Project Annual Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, December 07, 2016 03:00pm - 08:00pm
    IRRI Family Fun Day and IRRI Service Awards  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, December 08, 2016 10:00am - 11:30am
    Information Session on the fundamentals of IRRI's payment procedure  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, December 08, 2016 01:15pm - 02:15pm
    DG's Year End Report  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, December 09, 2016 02:00pm - 03:00pm
    Joint PB & CESD Division Seminar PB & CESD
    Joint Division Seminar
    (Please click “Add to calendar” to mark it in your calendar. We will not circulate reminders)

    Manipulation of inositol metabolic pathway in plants for induction of abiotic stress tolerance

    Prof. A.N. Lahiri Majumder
    INSA Senior Scientist
    Division of Plant Biology
    Bose Institute, Kolkata

    9 December 2016
    DL Umali Rooms B&C
    2:00-3:00 pm :: IRRI Events

  • Tuesday, December 13, 2016 05:00pm - 06:30pm
    AFSTRI Turn Over Ceremony  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, December 14, 2016 04:00pm - 05:00pm
    IRRI -Cirad Bilateral Partnership Meeting (Polycom)  :: IRRI Events

  • Wednesday, December 14, 2016 06:00pm - 08:00pm
    SINOP Thanksgiving Concert  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, December 15, 2016 10:00am - 12:00pm
    The IRRI School Christmas Presentation  :: IRRI Events

  • Friday, December 16, 2016 08:00am - 05:00pm
    IRRI-Taiwan Steering Committee Meeting  :: IRRI Events

  • Thursday, December 22, 2016 10:00am - 12:00pm
    Rainbow School Christmas Presentation  :: IRRI Events