Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka

Ministry of Plantation Industries

Genetics & Plant Breeding Department

Main objective of this department is to develop clones with high yield potential combined with desirable secondary characters.  In order to achieve this, clones are produced by hand pollinating and resulting new genotypes are tested first under small scale and then in collaboration with estates and also under smallholder conditions.  Among the secondary characteristics; growth vigour, tolerance to diseases resistance to wind damage and brown bast, timber volume etc are considered important.  Also introduction, maintenance, scientific evaluation of the IRRDB germplasm collection and judicial use of promising genotypes will increase the efficiency of the present breeding programme by providing more genetic variability for the select upon.  Therefore, Scientific evaluation of the Hevea germplasm collection and all recommended clones to classify the genotypes according to genetic parameters and use of molecular markers to identify promising genotypes for future breeding programme are aimed.



Mrs S P Withanage, BSc Agric (SL), MSc (India),  PhD (Malaysia)
pamuditharama[at], rrigpb[at]
Current research interests

In current planting material use in Sri Lanka is showing close genetic relatedness and resulted slow yield increment. Also expansion of rubber cultivation in nontraditional areas has given interest in looking stress tolerant genotypes. Thus creation of genetic variability is important in rubber breeding to select and developed genetically improved superior genotypes for both increased productivity as well as for the safe guard of the industry. Therefore, thorough investigation of Hevea IRRDB Germplasm and Wickham collection to identification of stress tolerance genes, characterization of those genotypes and incorporation of new gens to Hevea gene pool are interest.


Geneticist and Plant Breeder (SRO)

K K Liyanage, BSc Agric (SL) MPhil (SL)
lkapila[at], kapilakliyanage[at], rrigpb[at]
Current research interests

Development of improved genetic materials through conventional and molecular biology techniques and conduct yearly artificial cross pollination programme of Hevea to create genetic variability of existing population to select genetically improved planting materials. Conservation of germplasm collection and selection of superior cultivars and make use of such material in plant breeding programme to develop a clones that are more suitable to local condition as well as growers requirements is also researched. Clone identification based on morphological characters available and evaluates them by using molecular techniques.


Geneticist and Plant Breeder (RO)

Miss P V A Anushka, BSc Agric (SL)
Anushpva83[at],  rrigpb[at]
Current research interests

Preliminary evaluation of new Hevea genotypes (Hand pollinated progenies), evaluation of new genetic materials in small scale level to identify superior genotypes for planting, evaluation of clones and new Hevea genotypes in different agro ecological zones to find out the performance of them in particular environment, characterization and evaluation of wild Hevea germplasm collection which consists of 6000 genotypes and selection of superior cultivars and make use of  such material in plant breeding programme to develop more suitable new clones to both local conditions and farmer requirements and marker assisted selection for superior genotypes.


Geneticist and Plant Breeder (RO)

Mrs T T D Dahanayake, BSc Agric (SL)
  • Analysis of antioxidant genes expression in tapping panel dryness (TPD) affected trees.
  • Cloning and characterization of distal promoter sequence of the rubber elongation factor gene from high yielding and low yielding clones
  • Multilateral clone exchange programme. : received 12 clones from India, Thailand and Myanmar
  • Received 2014 new developmental project for six years: Multiplication and Evaluation of Germplasm collection of Hevea obtain from 1981 IRRDB expedition to the Amazon
  • Patents / Industrial Designs
  • Released the latest revision of clone recommendation ( Revised 2013 November)
  • Released new clone   RRISL 2100  under group III
  • Selected  three genotypes from Small Scale Clonal trials for further ECT /RRI collaborative trials
  • Six  genotypes were  selected from ECT/ RRI trials for further characterization under Group III recommendation
  • Annual Hand Pollination programme and Maintenance of Hand Pollination progenies and development of new hand pollination techniques.         
  • Genotype and Environment interaction studies in Rubber    
  • Multiplication, Conservation, evaluation and utilization of the 1981 IRRDB Hevea germplasm    
  • Development of new rubber clones and screening of available clones for non-traditional areas    
  • Identification of molecular basis underlying tapping panel dryness (TPD) of Hevea brasiliensis  Muell Arg.    
  • The effect of genetic composition of rootstock on tapping parcel dryness (TPD) in Sri Lankan rubber clones Hevea  brasiliensis Muell Arg.    
  • Development of molecular markers for genetic fingerprinting of Hevea clones and identification of superior genotypes


  • Supervising postgraduate and undergraduate students
  • Training of students from technical colleges , various training institutions and Universities
  • Clone identifications services based on stake holders request.
  • Kodikara K.D.S.S, Withanage S.P. and Attanayake D.P.S.T.G. Genetic Diversity of Selected Recommended Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) Clones Using SSR markers (2011). Proceedings of 11thagricultural Research Symposium 16-20
  • Samanthi P. W.,  Mohd. Puad A., Suhaimi N.,  Kumar  S.M.  and Nor Aini A. In vitro shoot regeneration from leaf explants of Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) 2013 Sains Malaysiana (4) 1505-1510
  • Withanage, S.P., Peiris, H.P., Kariyawasam, L.S., Sarath Kumara, I.D.M.J., Gunasekara, T.M.S.K and. Baddewithana, B.W.A.N (2014) Use of Yield-Yield Correlation for Early Selection of Newly- developed Hevea Genotypes ( 2014) .In A.P.Keerthipala (ed) Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on Plantation Crop Research- “ Towards a Green Plantion Economy “ Sugarcane Research institute, Uda Walawe, 70190, Sri Lanka. Pp 11-19
  • Liyanage K.K. Sumanasinghe V.A,. Attanayake, D.P.T.S.G. and Baddewithana, B.W.A.N. (2014) Identification of Recommended Hevea brasiliensis Clones Grown in Sri Lanka by RAPD Analysis,Tropical Agricultural
  • Liyanage K.K. Sumanasinghe V.A,. Attanayake, D.P.T.S.G. and Baddewithana, B.W.A.N. (2013) Phenotypic diversity of rubber clones grown in Sri Lanka at their immature stage based on the available morphological descriptors, Tropical Agricultural Research, 24 (2); 112 – 127
    Withanage  Evaluation and Utilization of the Hevea Germplasm collected   from 1981 IRRDB expedition to the Amazon; a review Journal of Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka Vol 95

  • Liyanage, K. K., Khan, S., Mortimer, P. E., Hyde, K. D., Xu, J., Brooks, S., Ming, Z., (2016). Powdery mildew disease of rubber tree. Forest Pathology 46(2), 90-103.
    Liyanage, K.K., Khan, S., Brooks, S., Mortimer, P.E., Karunarathna, S.C., Xu, J., Hyde, K.D., (2017). Taxonomic revision and phylogenetic analyses of rubber powdery mildew fungi. Microbial Pathogenesis 105,185-195
    Liyanage, K.K., Baddewithana, B.W.A.N, (2015) Phenotypic diversity of Sri Lankan rubber clones at their immature stage, Journal of the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka  95, 14-23
    Liyanage KK, Khan S, Brooks S,Mortimer PE, Karunarathna SC, Xu J, Hyde KD, (2018). Morpho-Molecular Characterization of Two Ampelomyces spp. (Pleosporales) Strains Mycoparasites of Powdery Mildew of Hevea brasiliensis. Front. Microbiol. 9:12.doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.00012.

For Information

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Contact Info

  • Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka.
  • Dartonfield, Agalawatta. 12200
  • 034 - 2247426, 034 - 2247383
  • 034 - 2248459, 034 - 2295540
  • 034 - 2247427