The Molecular Rice Breeding Program for the Mekong Region was launched in 2004 by the Rice Gene Discovery Unit, a specialized lab jointly set up by BIOTEC and Kasetsart University, with the aim to promote the implementation of marker aided selection (MAS) into the current rice breeding program in the Mekong region, particularly Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar through a comprehensive hands-on training program and sharing of genomic information (genetic data for several traits and the molecular markers for several genes) and research facilities.

The first phase of this endeavor took place over the period of two years in 2004-2006 with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Kasetsart University and BIOTEC. Four sets of workshops were held in Thailand, with participants achieving BC2 and BC3 generations. From 2007 onwards, the project obtained funding from the Generation Challenge Program (GCP) to continue the development of backcross introgression lines, capacity building program through workshops and graduate program scholarships as well as an upgrade of research facilities in partner institutes.

Partners of this Program include the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, (CARDI), National Agricultural and Forestry Institute (NAFRI) from Laos, the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) from Myanmar and the Ubon Ratchathani University from Thailand.

Click here to visit the project’s website.