Written by the Web Team
Hybrid parent lines from Mestiso 1 and 3 could withstand bacterial leaf blight attacks with the successful incorporation of resistance genes using gene pyramiding. This is the result of a research done by a team led by Dr. Dindo A. Tabanao, a plant breeder at PhilRice.
Tabanao and his team conducted gene pyramiding or the introduction of multiple target genes from different parental donors into a single genotype. Thus, the varieties now contain two to three bacterial blight resistance genes providing better options for farmers in managing bacterial blight.
Released in 2002, Mestiso 3 or NSIC Rc116H has a maximum yield of 8.6 t/ha and matures in 106 days while Mestiso 1 or PSB RC72H, released in 1997, can yield up to 9.9 t/ha with 123 days of maturity.
However, studies showed that susceptibility of hybrid rice to bacterial blight is one of the major constraints in the success of hybrid rice technology as it could cause 30 to 40% yield loss. Symptoms include having water-soaked to yellowish stripes on leaf blades starting at leaf tips, which start to manifest at two to six weeks after seedling stage.
Tabanao’s study, which won 3rd place in the best poster competition during the 21st Scientific Conference of the Federation of Crop Science Societies of the Philippines, Inc, is also being conducted with Jovelyn Unay, Edwin Rico Jr of PhilRice, Lucia Borines of Visayas State University, and Casiana Vera Cruz of the International Rice Research Institute.