Good harvest under drought condition is now possible
Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said that good harvest under drought condition is now possible with the development of five breeding lines that can thrive well even with less water in rainfed areas.
Developed by PhilRice, the drought-screened (DrS) lines include DrS 1062, DrS 1085, DrS 1061, DrS 1042, and DrS 1057.
The lines, which are identified under moderate to severe drought conditions, were developed from NSIC Rc 9 (Apo), an upland drought tolerant rice variety with poor grain quality.
“To improve its adaptability to rainfed areas, yield performance, and grain quality, our team conducted series of studies from induced mutation, line traits characterization, drought tolerance screening, and field performance evaluation,” said Jonathan S. Concepcion, science research analyst.
Induced mutation is a process that alters the genetic make-up of a plant.
The identified five DrS lines have so far performed well in Nueva Ecija, Iloilo, and Samar, with an average yield of 3.978, 3.928, and 3.423 tons per hectare (/ha) respectively. These amount of yields are higher than 2.9 t/ha national average of Rc 9.
The research team used ‘In vitro mutagenesis’ (IVM) to develop these elite mutant breeding lines.
IVM is a process of combining tissue culture technique with gamma irradiation, which enhances genetic variation to improve plant traits and quality.
In 2016, almost 200,000 local farmers have been affected with drought with 54 percent rice farmers.
“This will help the farmers get more profit, especially those cultivating in rainfed areas that are often subjected to drought,” Concepcion said.