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“Marker-assisted selection for precision plant breeding: The case of submergence-tolerant rice"

Prof. David J. Mackill
Department of Plant Pathology
University of California
United States

David J. Mackill is currently a rice specialist with Mars Inc. and an adjunct professor in plant sciences at UC Davis. He served as a scientist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines for 20 years and as a USDA-ARS geneticist based at UC Davis for 10 years. At IRRI, he served as plant breeder for rainfed lowland rice, head of the Division of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology, and program leader for Rainfed Environments. He was appointed as an IRRI Principal Scientist in 2010. He has developed over 20 rice varieties and published research on the genetics of resistance to rice blast disease and submergence and drought tolerance. He and his colleagues identified a gene from traditional rice varieties that conferred tolerance to 2 weeks or more submergence. They transferred this SUB1 gene into popular Asian varieties, and these new flood-tolerant varieties have been adopted on over 2 million hectares since 2009. In addition to his leadership and research work, he has supervised the thesis research of 22 graduate students. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society of Agronomy, and the Crop Science Society of America. He received the Award of Distinction from the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis in 2010.


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