RICE BREEDING INNOVATIONS

The Rice Breeding Innovations (RBI) platform of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), in collaboration with national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES) partners, develops and deploys innovative breeding strategies, tools, and technologies to sustainably enhance the genetic potential of rice for higher yield and its ability to tolerate pest and diseases infestations, soil and environmental stresses due to drought, salinity, and sodicity, and lower temperatures while improving its grain and nutritional qualities resulting to delivery of improved varieties and products to farmers, consumers, and other end-users in a fast and effective manner.


RBI has been actively engaged in the modernization of IRRI's breeding programs to meet the needs of farmers and consumers. To that end, it has been engaged in the development of market segments and product concepts, development of relative maturity system, product management, development of multilocation testing networks in collaboration with NARES partners. It utilizes a unified breeding strategy, dubbed as 'OneRice,' for standardization, utilizing genomic selections and predictions, and reducing breeding cycle time through Rapid Generation Advancement. Underpinning these are pre-breeding activities such as deployment of major native genes into elite materials, disease resistance stewardship, making marker-assisted selection (MAS) more reliable, digitization of data through proprietary databases, and intellectual property records.


The RBI Program Management ensures communications, delivery of project outcomes, and fulfillment of reporting requirements. The Platform conducts all its activities in compliance with IRRI’s policies and procedures to ensure minimal environmental footprint. The Rice Breeding Risk management team works with staff and liaises with the IRRI risk management team to ensure a safe working environment and implementation of safety compliance and mitigation strategies. All seeds are transferred nationally and internationally through “safe seed transfer” processes and procedures by testing them rigorously at the Seed Health Unit based at IRRI prior to subjecting them for inspections and certification for phytosanitary and quarantine requirements. All seeds are only sent through FAO-developed Standard Material Transfer Agreement and IRRI’s Material Transfer Agreements to comply with CGIAR Intellectual Property policies and procedures.

Latest News

IRRI capacitates AfricaRice on Enterprise Breeding System adoption


Breeders, research assistants, research technicians, and laboratory technicians from AfricaRice attended the EBS Adoption Training Workshop from 10-22 October at AfricaRice's headquarters in Bouake, Côte d'Ivoire, to learn more about the Enterprise Breeding System (EBS) and adopt it for research experiments.

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IRRI organizes workshop to address unprecedented outbreak of transboundary rice viral disease in India

In August 2022, alarming news of paddy dwarfing endangering Indian rice farmers were reported in various publications in India. Research revealed that the dwarfism is caused by the southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV) transmitted by the white-backed planthopper (Sogatella furcifera). This is the first time that the SRBSDV has been found in India, specifically in the states of Punjab and Haryana, where the severity of the infection ranges from 20% to 50%.

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IRRI’s Direct Seeded Rice project gets COP27 spotlight

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)-Bayer-United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project on direct seeded rice (DSR) was one of two innovation sprints announced on November 11 November at the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) at the Food and Agriculture Pavilion during the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

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SpeedBreed: A crop breeding center built for speed

The time it takes to develop new varieties of economically important crops like rice, wheat and maize is not fast enough to keep up with the demand in a rapidly changing environment. The need for new varieties is particularly critical with the changes in climate patterns. Delayed monsoon, drought, or too much rain is disrupting global cropping cycles, providing opportunities for emerging new pests and diseases and farm operations leading to declining food security.

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