Rice Blast Control and Polyvarietal Planting in the Philippines: A Study in Genotype by Environment Biogeography

Daniel J. Falvo


Current approaches to biogeography are based on organismic biology. Certain biogeographical phenomena, however, cannot be fully understood using organismic approaches to biogeography. I employed an approach based on molecular biology and biochemistry that I call genotype by environment biogeography in order to provide a more complete understanding of why the dispersal of rice blast disease is less efficient in fields planted with mixtures of rice varieties. In a case study of an upland ricefield in the Philippines, I found that planting varietal mixtures results in a form of effective blast control that I call intrafield gene deployment. I suggest that intrafield gene deployment be used to design more effective methods of blast control in intensive rice agriculture.

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