Development of Selection Criteria and Strategies for Organic Rice Breeding

Alvin D. Palanog, Cherryl U. Seville, Cielo Luz C. Mondejar*,
Le-Ann G. Dogeno, Gerald E. Bello, Albert Christian S. Suñer,
May Osano-Palanog, and Leo T. Sta. Ines

Philippine Rice Research Institute Negros Branch Station (PhilRice Negros)
Cansilayan, Murcia, Negros Occidental 6129 Philippines

*Corresponding Author: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





Organic agriculture is still largely dependent on the varieties produced in the conventional system, which may or may not be suitable for the practice. A two-year study was conducted to assess the performance of various rice genotypes under different input systems [conventional (CS), organic (OS), and zero (ZS)] and in various farmers’ organic practices. The study examined genotypes by organic management practices (GxE) interaction and investigated the need for a separate breeding program for organic rice. This study is very useful to plant breeders in developing rice varieties suited for organic production system. Analysis of grain yield revealed a highly significant genotypic variance in each input system and GxE variance. The response of genotypes differs on each input system. Genotypic and phenotypic correlation analysis between OS and CS showed low correlation. The low indirect correlated response implies that selection for organic rice is effective if conducted under OS rather than CS. These support the need for a separate breeding program for organic rice varieties. The GxE interaction for grain yield across farmers’ organic management practices showed a highly significant effect, indicating a very variable response of genotypes across management practices, which emphasized the importance of developing varieties specific for the unique practices of organic farmers. Direct phenotypic selection for grain yield would not be very effective due to the moderately low broad sense heritability (H) values (53–56%). Path analysis showed that the number of spikelets has the highest direct effect (0.70) to grain yield during the wet season, whereas plant height (0.47) and biomass (0.46) hold sway during the dry season. Direct phenotypic selection for these traits, given their high H value and genetic advance, will significantly contribute to grain yield but seasonal variation should be considered.




Organic agriculture is defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization as a system that eliminates the use of synthetic inputs such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, veterinary drugs, genetically modified seeds and breeds, preservatives, additives, and irradiation. The Organic Agriculture Act or Republic Act No. 10068 in the Philippines also defines the term “organic” to a particular farming and processing system that becomes unique with its refraining from the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and pharmaceuticals. The unsustainable practices and growing concerns on the environment of the conventional high-input system are the core reasons for the increasing popularity of organic agriculture. Organic agriculture aims to achieve optimum yield without depleting the environmental resources. In input aspect, conventional agriculture intensively used commercial inputs produced from fossil-fuel-based processes compared to organic agriculture, which utilizes resources available within the bio-system. The large population of the country and geography (i.e., lack of river deltas) are the merits of intensive agriculture despite its perceived unsustainability. . . . read more




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