Plant breeding holds key to better crops

12 MAY 2009

It’s hoped a trip to the Philippines will contribute knowledge towards research currently underway into plant breeding for disease resistance. E H Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation research student Mr Ray Cowley will travel to the major rice producing country this Saturday 16 May to participate in a three-week workshop into the practical aspects of plant breeding at the headquarters of the International Rice Research Institute. “The challenges faced by plant breeders are common across many agricultural crops and I’m hoping to learn the practical aspects of plant breeding and genetics and how they manage the breeding and plant selection process in rice,” Mr Cowley said. “Despite focusing on lupins, the research addresses universal problems relating to breeding crops which are disease resistant.” He said the outcome of this type of research can mean the development of better plant varieties which leads to improved crop yields, which in turn improves the livelihood of farmers, not only in Australia but overseas.

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