Monday, August 27, 2012

How Submarino Rice Survives Floods? HOPE of Filipino Rice Farmers

Submarino Rice (IR64 Sub1) vs. Regular Rice Before and After Flooding

Philippines is in the typhoon belt and we are vulnerable to change in weather conditions like typhoons and flooding creating loss of lives and agricultural products worth of millions of pesos including rice.

To help farmers in this times of flood and typhoon, latest Submarino rice variety (NSIC RC194) was already released in our country since 2009. Today, Filipino rice farmers already adapted the new variety across our country, thanks to Department of Agriculture (DA) and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

Submarino rice can be planted under normal and submerged conditions with average yield of 3.5t/ha (normal) and 2.5t/ha (submerged) respectively.

How Submarino Rice Survives Floods?

Submarino rice was bred by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and they can survive underwater for 14 days. 

Rice can grow well in wet conditions but not submerged or underwater. During flooding, rice plants elongates it's leaves and stems to escape submergence. Deep water varieties are able to do this very rapidly but not on modern rice variety.

Scientist were able to identify the gene that control the submergence tolerance. SUB1A gene was isolated from Indian rice variety and activates when the plants are submerged making it dormant and conserve energy up to 14 days.

After the flood recedes, due to energy reserves new development of leaves are possible for continued growth of the rice plants.

With latest technology in rice breeding and genetics, a new hope arises for Filipino farmers to sustain rice productions amidst flooding in our country.

IRRI Seeds of Hope
Submergence Tolerance Gene SUB1A

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