Mississippi: MSU Hires International Rice Breeder

    Mississippi State University increased its support of the state’s rice industry in the state with the recent appointment of  Ed Redona as rice breeder at the Delta Research and Extension Center.

    Redona started July 1 as a research professor with the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. He came to MSU from the nonprofit International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, where he was a senior scientist.

    “The rice industry needs to have rice varieties to fulfill the requirements of the market,” said Jeff Johnson, director of the Stoneville research station. “Dr. Redona has a wealth of experience that he can bring to bear on the needs of consumer and producers in Mississippi.”

    Redona has been involved professionally for more than 20 years in rice research and breeding. He has experience in both pureline and hybrid rice breeding as well as applications of molecular marker technology in rice varietal improvement.

    He said the use of genetic markers allows researchers to become more efficient and targeted with rice breeding, while reducing the length of time it takes to develop superior varieties.

    “I would like to be able to expand the genetic base of Mississippi rice varieties to make them higher yielding and more tolerant of biotic stresses, such as disease and pest resistance, and abiotic stresses, such as heat, salinity and drought, and with superior grain quality traits,” Redona said. “We can achieve that using modern tools and better selection strategies.”

    Redona earned a master’s and doctorate degree in genetics from the University of California at Davis. He has a second master’s degree in plant breeding from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos, and a bachelor’s degree from Silliman University in the Philippines.

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