Better rice varieties

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IRRI develops rice varieties for the benefit of rice farmers and consumers. We conduct research and training to improve rice for better grain quality and higher yield, resistance to pests and diseases, tolerance of environmental stresses, and less farm input requirement. We focus on the major rice ecosystems: irrigated, rainfed lowland, and upland systems.

We employ conventional breeding and new tools in genetics and genomics—such as marker-assisted selection—as well as genetic modification.

We develop genetically superior and elite rice breeding lines and hybrid varieties. IRRI shares these breeding lines with our research and extension partners in rice-producing countries. We are part of the International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER) that facilitates the evaluation and multilateral exchange of rice products and information including elite breeding lines. This helps our partners develop varieties in their own breeding programs. To date, IRRI has produced 843 rice varieties that have been released in 77 countries.

IRRI's rice breeding work is part of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), Theme 2: Accelerating the development, delivery and adoption of improved rice varieties.


Climate change-ready rice
IRRI is developing rice varieties that can withstand conditions forecast to become more frequent and intense with climate change including drought, flood, heat, cold, and soil problems like high salt and iron toxicity.

Hybrid rice
Hybrid rice is a type of rice that has been bred from two very different parents. It can signficantly outyield other rice varieties and IRRI is working with its partners to develop new and improved hybrid rice varieties.

Aerobic rice
Aerobic rice is a production system where rice is grown in well-drained, non-puddled, and non-saturated soils.

Disease- and pest-resistant rice
IRRI develops rice varieties that are resistant to major insect pests and diseases such as blast, bacterial blight, sheath blight, and tungro virus.

Healthier rice varieties
IRRI is developing rice with more iron, zinc, and beta carotene to help people get enough important micronutrients and address major public health issues.

Rice for intensive production systems
We develop high-yielding rice varieties for irrigated areas in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Breeding informatics
We use an integrated breeding platform that has an efficient information system for managing breeding logistics and information from different sources.

Improved donors and genes
Breeding rice resistant to insects and diseases requires knowledge on resistance mechanisms, genetics, and epidemiology, to deploy efficient resistances that reduce crop losses.