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Farmers tapped in variety field testing in Victoria, Tarlac have reported the resiliency of PSB Rc18-Sub1 in withstanding the 14-hour flash flood brought about by the recent Typhoon Quiel.

Edwin de Jesus, a farmer who had been evaluating the rice line in a 378 sq2-plot since June, said PSB Rc18-Sub1 did not turn brownish and was spared from pests and stunted growth after being submerged in 1.5-m deep. The line also withstood the four-day flood caused by Typhoon Juaning last July.

De Jesus said submergence did not also affect the grain’s density usually experienced by farmers’ popular varieties.

PSB Rc18, a variety for irrigated lowland with an average yield of 5 t/ha, is infused with submergence tolerance gene or Sub1 for the improved variety to 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.

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.

To be implemented until 2014, the project also covers Cambodia, India, Indonesia Laos, and Nepal.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute