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IRRI conducts trial of transgenic rice in Philippines

(Thursday, Sept. 12, 2002 -- CropChoice news) --

- IRRI Bulletin (http://www.irri.org), via AgBioView: Transgenic rice variety IR72 with the Xa21 gene (TT103) has shown good agronomic performance in Muņoz, Philippines. These materials were examined last week at Muņoz by IRRI-PhilRice experts and members of the Institute Biosafety Committee. The material was developed previously at IRRI and has shown excellent protection against available races of bacterial blight in Asia under screenhouse conditions at IRRI (1998-99). The photo at right shows (standing from left) Mr. Norman Oliva, Dr. Swapan Datta, Dr. D.S Brar, Dr. Tom Mew, Dr. R. Aldemita, Dr. Marle Palacpac, Ms. I. Ona, Mr. F. Nuque, Mr. Mayank Rai, and a student working in the field.

It took several years to transfer this material for open-field evaluation, which has been coordinated by Dr. Aldemita at PhilRice. The transgenic rice was developed under supervision of Dr. Swapan Datta. Currently, several elite indica lines including materials for hybrid rice are being developed with Xa21 and Bt genes for bacterial blight and stem borer resistance. Following IBC and NCBP guidelines and cooperation, IRRI-PhilRice will continue such field testing with other materials in the future. Successful demonstration of field-evaluated genetically improved rice including hybrid rice will benefit Asian farmers significantly