Filipino leads Asian plant research group

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna: A Filipino has been elected president of an international society dedicated to basic and applied aspects of breeding research in economically important plants.

Glenn Gregorio, National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) academician, is the new president of the Society for the Advancement of Breeding Research in Asia and Oceania (Sabrao) and will serve from 2019 to 2023.

Gregorio is also the director of Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca), an inter-government treaty organization hosted by the Philippine government on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

Leah Lyn Domingo, Searca public relations specialist, said Gregorio takes the helm from, Sang-Nag Ahn, a professor at the Chungnam National University in South Korea.

Domingo said Sabrao was formed in 1968 at a time when many countries did not have strong government agencies focused on agricultural research or national programs for major crops.

Sabrao holds conferences and its general assembly every four years, often in collaboration with a national breeding society.

"The latest of which was the 14th International Conference on Plant Breeding for Sustainable Development held on July 2-5 in Gwangju, Korea," Domingo said.

The conference was jointly organized by Sabrao the Korean Society of Breeding Science (KSBS) and coincided with the 50th anniversary of KSBS.

The society has an official publication called the Sabrao Journal of Breeding and Genetics that was first published in 1969.

The journal operates on a not-for-profit basis and focuses on plant species or topics that are relevant to developing countries in Asia and Oceania.