June 23, 2018, 10:25 am
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Two Pinoy scientists cited for work in rice breedung

TWO Filipino genetics scientists from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) will receive one of the country’s highest agricultural awards in recognition for their work in rice breeding.
 
Edilberto D. Redoña and  Glenn B. Gregorio will receive the 2014 Achievement Awards for Research and  for Research Management, respectively, from the Crop Science Society of the Philippines (CSSP).
 
CSSP, the  largest association of crop scientists, will open today its 44th CSSP Scientific Conference, with the theme “Harnessing Biodiversity and Biotechnology for Climate Change Adaptation.”
 
A breeder of rice tolerant to higher temperatures, Redoña’s research work is described as “highly relevant and contemporary outputs generating huge impact to Philippines and international agriculture.”
 
His work includes pioneering breeding and genetics research on rice varieties tolerant to climate change and heat stresses; refining the development of irrigated rice varieties through a new multi-environment testing strategy to gauge specific location and adaptation; applying molecular markers in inbred and hybrid rice breeding; and pioneering the development of hybrid rice technology leading to the development of the hybrid rice seed industry in the country.
 
Redoña is global coordinator of the International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER), the world’s flagship varietal evaluation and exchange network. 
 
His task is to coordinate the multilateral sharing, testing and utilization of rice breeding lines through the conduct of international nurseries for major rice ecosystems. 
 
Redoña develops partnerships with breeding programs of international centers and national agricultural research systems in over 60 countries to ensure the widest dissemination of elite rice breeding products for greatest impact.
 
As a rice breeder, he initiated a new international variety development effort for tolerance to hot and dry, and hot and humid environments. 
 
This is to mitigate the negative effects of higher temperatures resulting from climate change. 
 
Heat tolerance and avoidance in rice are being mapped in the genetic background of Asia’s rice for eventual use in marker aided breeding of elite high-yielding varieties.
 
Gregorio who is recognized for his work as a respected international rice breeder, is Deputy Division Head of IRRI’s Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology Division where he is a key player in transforming rice breeding to increase efficiency and to produce market-oriented rice varieties. 
 
An adjunct professor on plant breeding and genetics at the University of the Philippines and Central Mindanao University, Gregorio specializes in rice breeding and the genetics of rice grown in salins and problematic soils. 
 
He is IRRI’s principal investigator on developing stress-tolerant rice for Asia and Africa and led the team which released more than 10 rice varieties  for saline, cold and  micronutrient dense rice.
 
The 2014 CSSP Achievement Awards will also be given to Dr. Maribel L. Dionisio-Sese of UPLB (Teaching); Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines (Extension); and the Philippine Coconut Authority Coconut Sap Sugar Team (Technology Development).
 
Dr. Frisco M. Malabanan will receive the 2014 Sant S. Virmani Hybrid Rice Award for launching the Department of Agriculture’s Hybrid Rice Program that led to the development of the hybrid rice seed industry.
 
The 2014 CSSP Honorary Fellow Awards will go to Dr. Teotimo M. Aganon, vice president for research, extension and training at the Central Luzon State University, for his work  in rodent biology, protected cultivation and insect pest management; and Dr. Segfredo R. Serrano, Agriculture undersecretary for policy, planning, research and development, for his stewardship of the Department of Agriculture’s Biotechnology Program and the Philippine regulatory system for genetically modified crops that is recognized as a model for developing countries.
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