Benito Vergara

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Benito S. Vergara (June 23, 1934-October 24, 2015) was a National Scientist who specialized on the field of plant physiology. He was known for his work on rice research.



  • B.S. (Botany), University of the Philippines, 1955
  • M.S. (Botany), University of Hawaii, 1959
  • Ph.D. (Plant Physiology), University of Chicago, 1960

Career and Contributions

Dr. Vergara contributed significantly on rice research, particularly on studies on deep water rice, flood-tolerant rice, and cold-resistant rice, varieties which are valuable to increased rice production. He also focused on the physiology of rice plant flowering, and developed rapid generation methods for rice. He also clarified basic principles involved in the photoperiodism of the rice plant. He worked at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) from 1961 to 1995.

In addition, Dr. Vergara published a technical bulletin on the flowering response of the rice plant, which became a major reference for agriculturists and a model for growth phases of other crops. He also authored the Illustrated Farmer's Primer on growing rice, which has been translated into more than 40 languages. He also contributed in the development of the Riceworld Museum and the Philippine Science Heritage Center.

Awards and recognition

For his outstanding efforts, Dr. Vergara received the Outstanding Phi Sigma award in 1977; the BIOTA Achievement award in 1980; and in 1986 he became a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy. He finally was conferred as a National Scientist in 2001.


Vergarad died on October 24, 2015 at the age of 81. The cause of death is not immediately clear.

External Link




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