Biotech Updates

Flood-Tolerant Rice Variety Released in the Philippines

August 7, 2009

The Philippine Seed Industry Council (NSIC) has approved the release of the first flood tolerant rice variety in the country. NSIC Rc194, also known as Submarino 1, is IR64 infused with submergence tolerance gene that was discovered by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the University of California-Davis from an Indian rice variety, FR13A.

The new rice variety, which was developed through conventional breeding, is good news for farmers in a country frequently visited by typhoons. Submarino 1 has the same yield performance as IR64, around 4.5 t/ha, but it can grow and develop even after 10 days of complete submergence in water.

The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), which is distributing Submarino 1, has allotted 0.3 ha for the production of breeder seeds and 0.5 ha for foundation seeds this 2009 wet season (WS). PhilRice said that more commercial seeds will be made available to target farmers by 2010 WS.

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