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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Submergence rice withstood Typhoons

Farmers in Victoria Tarlac tapped in variety field testing reported the resiliency of PSB Rc 18-Sub 1 in withstanding the 14-hour flash flood brought about by the recent Typhoon Quiel.

According to Edwin de Jesus, a farmer who had been evaluating the rice line in 378 sq 2-plot since June observed that PSB Rc 18-Sub 1 did not turn brownish and was spared from pests and stunted growth after being submerged in 1.5-m deep flood.

He also observed that submergence did not also affect the grain’s density usually experienced by farmers in popular varieties. The line also withstood the four-day flood caused by Typhoon Juaning last July.

PSB Rc 18 is a variety of rice for irrigated lowland with an average yield of 5 t/ha. It was infused with submergence tolerance gene or Sulo 1 to have an improved variety that can survive, grow and develop even after 14 days of complete water submergence at vegetative stage.

Rice line testing is being conducted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the country’s lead agency in rice science and development.

Project implementation is until 2014 and also covers Cambodia, India, Indonesia, and Nepal.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the University of California-Davis discovered the Sub1 gene from an Indian rice variety FR13A.

Meanwhile, IRRI, PhilRice, and the local government unit of Victoria are implementing the project. Improving Livelihoods and Overcoming Poverty in Drought-prone Lowlands of South and Southeast Asia to identify, adapt, and validate improved rice technologies suited in some of the town’s drought-prone areas, are some of the objectives of the project. Ester Z. Gallardo, PSciJourn MegaManila

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