Kshirod Jena

  • About

  • Contact info

  • Related items

Principal Scientist Kshirod Jena

Kshirod is a Principal Scientist at IRRI's Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology Division (PBGB). He focuses his research on breaking yield barrier of rice using genomics strategy and transferring novel genes from wild Oryza species for biotic and abiotic stress resistance into rice.

Kshirod’s research aims to identify novel resistance genes to pests and diseases such as brown planthopper (BPH), blast and bacterial leaf blight. This is done by identifying novel genes from wild species through molecular tagging and transferring the resistance genes/QTLs using marker-assisted backcross breeding strategy. His research goal is to develop new rice varieties by using newly discovered yield enhancing genes and modern plant breeding methods, and share the new breeding lines/products with scientists to improve indica rice lines.

He is using genomics strategies to incorporate yield enhancing traits and genes for improving indica rice plant architecture to enhance yield potential.

Kshirod collaborates with advanced research laboratories to clone and characterize two high-value resistance genes, Bph18 and Pi40, and developed gene-based markers. This is also to enable scientists, in different countries, to share new germplasm for rice breeding. He is also the group leader (blast disease resistance) of the Temperate Rice Research Consortium (TRRC). He manages collaboration among the scientists of 20 TRRC member countries towards developing temperate rice with blast disease resistance breeding.


  • Breeding for biotic stress resistance
  • Breeding for abiotic stress tolerance
  • Yield potential and grain quality
  • Molecular breeding
  • Interspecific gene transfer
  • Gene cloning and characterization


  • PhD in Plant breeding and genetics, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, India (1983)
  • MSc in Genetics and cytogenetics, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, India (1976)
  • BSc in Botany (with honors and distinction), Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, India (1974)


  • Principal Scientist, Plant Bleeder (2014-present)
  • Principal Investigator for GRiSP-New Frontier Project on Yield Potential (2012-present)
  • Product Team Leader of GRiSP Product Lines of Innovation Rice Breeding and Biotic Stress Resistance (Theme 2, PL 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.2.3, 2.4.1)
  • Senior Scientist II, Plant Breeder (2010-2013)
  • Temperate Rice Breeder & IRRI representative for Korea (2001-2011)
  • Research Coordinator & Head, Barwale Foundation, Hyderabad, India (1995-2001)
  • Associate Professor, Genetics, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India (1992-1995)
  • Visiting faculty, University of Georgia, Athens, USA (1989-1992)
  • Collaborative Research Scientist, Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology Division, IRRI (1986-1989)
  • Robert S. McNamara Post Doctoral Fellow of World Bank, Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology Division, IRRI (1983-1985)
  • Senior Scientific Assistant, Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, India (1976-1983)


  • Letter of Appreciation Award to foreign individuals for having great contribution towards the agricultural development of Vietnam, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hanoi, Vietnam (2012)
  • Outstanding Agricultural Research Award, Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea (2010)
  • Man of the Year Award in Biotechnology, North Carolina State University, USA (1997)
  • Award of Rockefeller Foundation post doctoral fellow (1989)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Award for outstanding PhDresearch in Plant Breeding and Genetics by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Government of India (1984)
  • Robert S. McNamara Fellow award by the World Bank, USA (1983)


  • Permanent member, Association of Rice Research Workers, National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, Odisha, India
  • Member, Agronomy Society, USA


  1. Suh J.P., Y.C. Cho, J.H. Lee, S.B. Lee, J.Y. Jung, I.S. Choi, M.K. Kim, C.K. Kim, K.K. Jena. 2013. SSR analysis of genetic diversity and cold tolerance in temperate rice germplasm. Plant Breed. Biotech. 1(2): 103-110.
  2. Hossain M.K., O.S. Tze, K. Nadarajah, K.K. Jena, M.A.R. Bhuiyan, W. Ratnam. 2014. Identification and validation of sheath blight resistance in rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivars against Rhizoctonia solani. Canad J. Phytopath. 36(4): 482-490
  3. Kim S., J.P. Suh, C.K. Lee, J.H. Lee, Y.G. Kim, K.K. Jena. 2014. QTL mapping and development of candidate gene-derived DNA markers associated with seedling cold tolerance in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Mol. Genet. Genomics. 289: 333-343.
  4. Angeles –Shim R.B., R. Vinarao, B. Marathi, K.K. Jena. 2014. Molecular analysis of Oryza latifolia Desv. (CCDD genome)-derived introgression lines and identification of value-added traits for rice (O. sativa L.) improvement. J. of Heredity 105:676-689.
  5. Marathi B., K.K. Jena. 2015. Floral traits to enhance out-crossing for higher hybrid seed production in rice: present status and future prospects. Euphytica. 201: 1-14
  6. Marathi B., J. Ramos, S.L. Hechanova, R.H. Oane, K.K. Jena. 2015. SNP genotyping and characterization of pistil traits revealing a distinct phylogenetic relationship among the species of Oryza. Euphytica. 201: 131-148
  7. Ram Kumar G., G.D. Prahalada, S.L. Hechanova, R. Vinarao, K.K. Jena. 2015. Development and validation of SNP-based functional codominant markers for two major disease resistance genes in rice (O. sativa L.). Mol. Breed. 35: 129-139
  8. Kim S.M., J.P. Suh, Y. Qin, T.H. Noh, R.F. Reinke, K.K. Jena. 2015. Identification and fine mapping of a new resistance gene, Xa40, conferring resistance to bacterial blight races in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Theor Appl. Genet. (Online) DOI: 10.1007/s00122-015-2557-2

Principal Scientist Kshirod Jena
Dr. Kshirod Jena

Principal Scientist

International Rice Research Institute
Los Baños, Laguna

+63 2 580 5600
ext 2702