Gurdev S. Khush is Adjunct Professor Emeritus, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California Davis. Dr Khush is a plant geneticist known for his work on tomato cytogenetics and rice breeding and genetics. He was Head, Division of Plant breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) at Los Banos, Philippines for 35 years (1967-2002). He led the development of high yielding varieties of rice which led to green revolution in rice farming. Upon his retirement from IRRI he was appointed as an adjunct professor at University of California. Dr Khush was born at Rurkee, Punjab India and graduated from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. He received Ph D degree at University of California, Davis in 1960 and continued as a postdoctoral fellow for 7 years before joining IRRI in 1967.

Research Interests

Dr. Khush carried out cytogenetic investigations of tomato genome for seven years and determined the location of numerous genes as well as centromeres on respective chromosomes. At IRRI, he spearheaded the rice breeding program. He developed numerous high yielding varieties. These varieties are resistant to diseases and insects and have short growth duration. Farmers in Asia started growing two crops of rice where only one was grown. Because they are resistant to diseases and insects farmers could grow rice without pesticides. This resulted in reduction in production costs and contributed to environmental sustainability. Wide scale adoption of these varieties led to major increases in rice production. World rice production increased from 250 million tons in 1965 to 600 million tons in 2000. Increased rice production led to reduction in the cost of rice which helped poor rice consumers. Food security resulted in miracle of development in Asia.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 62: Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 26: Genetics