Our Vision

Engineering Bacterial Blight Resistance in Rice


Rice is the poor man’s staple food. 90% of rice farmers are smallholders who produce rice for their own food security. Even small yield decreases can threaten their basic food security. Crop yield is highly dependent on the healthy plants. Bacterial blight disease is one of the major biological constraints of rice production, because it causes up to 70% yield losses.


We exploit natural variation of both rice plants and Xanthomonas bacteria to deliver sustainable and durable resistance to bacterial blight for smallholder farmers in Asia and Africa.


undefinedWe aim to achieve significant yield increases for smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia by providing resistant rice varieties that can be introgressed with local elite lines.

To do so, we received a $US 6 million undefinedGrand Challenges Exploration grant from the undefinedBill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop blight-resistant rice varieties in a consortium of universities and leading CGIAR centres. These resistant rice varieties will be available as a free resource for rice breeders in developing countries who can introgress them in local elite varieties.








Picture credit: https://www.vecteezy.com 

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Wolf B. Frommer

Project Coordinator

Dr. Sarah M. Schmidt

Responsible for the content: E-MailProf. Dr. Wolf B. Frommer