Gurdev Khush
  • 2000 Wolf Prize in Agriculture


Internationally renowned geneticist and breeder. In 2000, Dr. Khush was awarded Wolf Prize in Agriculture for his extraordinary contribution to theoretical research in plant genetics, evolution and breeding especially of rice, with regard to food production and alleviation of hunger.

Education and Work Experience

1955, B.Sc. at Punjab Agricultural University 1960, Ph.D. in Genetics, UC Davis
1967-2002, Plant Breeder, Head of Plant Breeding Department (1972), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

Honors and Awards

1996, World Food Prize
2000, Wolf Prize in Agriculture
2001, International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Award, China 2007, Golden Sickle Award

Major Academic Achievements

Dr. Khush is recognized as world’s premier rice breeder. He is considered one of the heroes of the green revolution. He has made remarkable contributions to rice
cytogenetics and genetics. The far-seeding aspect of Dr. Khush’s research activities centers on the development of a New Plant Type of rice (sometimes labeled “super rice”). During his 35-year career at IRRI, he spearheaded the program for developing high yielding and disease and insect resistant varieties of rice which ushered in the green revolution in rice farming. More than 300 rice varieties developed under his leadership have been released in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. IRRI bred varieties or their progenies are now grown on 60 % of the world’s rice land. Most of the major rice-growing countries became self- sufficient in rice production and several have an exportable surplus.