The activity of the Biotechnology Laboratory of INIA Treinta y Tres is framed in the areas of genetic improvement and eco-physiology of the National Research Program on Rice Production. The Laboratory participates in the Associative Mapping Project coordinated by the Biotechnology Unit, with emphasis on the identification of markers associated with resistance to stem and sheath diseases in rice. It also carries out a backcrossing program, assisted by molecular markers, for the incorporation of rice genes conferring resistance to Pyricularia oryzae (blast) into most of the varieties planted in Uruguay. Anther culture technique is also used to produce doubled haploids.
In December 2011, the Laboratory began to provide biotechnology services to rice producers, this being the first biotechnological service provided by INIA to the rice sector. This service allows users of the Clearfield® (BASF) rice system to timely identify herbicide resistant genes of cultivars resistant to red rice or weed, thus contributing to extend the useful life of this technology, which is key for this sector. The molecular methods used are subject to inter-laboratory validation involving the University of Arkansas (USA), USDA-ARS, the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, and INTA Concepción del Uruguay. The project received funding from the National Research and Innovation Agency (ANII) to strengthen the Laboratory facilities.