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New rice breeder joins Division of Agriculture at Rice Research and Extension Center

Christian De Guzman joins RREC as rice breeder

By Fred Miller – Oct. 5, 2020

RICE BREEDER — Christian De Guzman has joined the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station as a rice breeder and geneticist. (U of A System Division of Agriculture photo by Ricky Blair)

STUTTGART, Ark. — Christian De Guzman has joined the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture as an assistant professor and rice breeder at the Rice Research and Extension Center.

De Guzman was a rice breeder and researcher at Southeast Missouri State University’s Rice Research Farm in Malden for four years before joining the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the Division of Agriculture research arm. While there, he focused mostly on long-grain rice, including making crosses for heat and drought tolerance.

“Arkansas is the number one rice producing state in the nation, producing about half of the rice grown in the U.S.,” said Nathan Slaton, associate vice president for agriculture and assistant director of the experiment station.

Rice contributed $1.021 billion in cash farm receipts to Arkansas’ agricultural economy in 2018, according to the 2020 Arkansas Agricultural Profile, published by the Division of Agriculture.

“The Division of Agriculture is committed to supporting Arkansas’ agricultural economy,” Slaton said. “We have a long tradition of rice research and breeding to support the state’s growers. I’m confident that Dr. De Guzman will continue that tradition as we look to develop new, improved rice cultivars, in long- and medium-grain varieties and advance our work in hybrid rice.”

De Guzman began working in agricultural research in 2001 as a technical assistant. Later he was a junior plant breeder for corn at East-West Seed Company in the Philippines. After that he was a visiting research associate at the LSU AgCenter before beginning his doctoral studies.

He earned his bachelor of science degree in agriculture at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Laguna, and his Ph.D. in agronomy, with an emphasis on plant breeding, at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge.

After completing his Ph.D., De Guzman joined Southeast Missouri State University before coming to Arkansas.

While focusing primarily on long-grain rice breeding and genetics, De Guzman will also collaborate with RREC rice breeding colleagues Xueyan Sha and Ehsan Shakiba to advance medium-grain and hybrid varieties.

De Guzman brings with him a scientific protocol he developed at Missouri to screen breeding lines for heat tolerance, an essential trait for improving grain quality during periods of high nighttime air temperatures. He also began making crosses to develop drought tolerance while at Missouri. He said such rice would be well-suited to row rice production.

He is already on the job at RREC after moving to Stuttgart with his wife, Jennifer, and their 7-year-old twins, Dathan and Nasya.

To learn more about the Division of Agriculture Research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website. Follow us on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch and Instagram at ArkAgResearch.

 

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Media Contact

Fred Miller

U of A System Division of Agriculture
Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station
(479) 575-5647 | fmiller@uark.edu

RICE BREEDER — Christian De Guzman has joined the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station as a rice breeder and geneticist. (U of A System Division of Agriculture photo by Ricky Blair)

Media Contact

Fred Miller

U of A System Division of Agriculture
Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station
(479) 575-5647 | fmiller@uark.edu