High yielding,disease-resistant rice varieties being developed

Tags: rice, Agriculture
Aiming to help the farming community plagued by crop diseases and escalating cost of cultivation, the Directorate of Rice Research (DRR) here is working on developing rice varieties and hybrids which are high yielding, resistant to diseases and environment-friendly.

"The objective is to come out with varieties and hybrids with higher yield plus in-built resistance (to threats)," DRR Director B C Viraktamath told PTI here.

It may take another three-four years to come out with various such products, he said.

The DRR, in collaboration with the city-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), has already developed a rice variety- Improved Samba Masuri- which is resistant to bacterial blight, a serious disease that affects the rice crop in India and a number of other countries.

Bacterial blight is caused by the bacterial pathogen xanthomonas oryzae pv. Oryzae (Xoo) and results in yield losses of up to 50 per cent.

As effective chemicals are not available for controlling yield loss, development of a host plant (resistant) varieties is supposed to be the most effective way.

The Improved Samba Masuri variety has already been appreciated by farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, where the disease is common.

Viraktamath said the effort is now to develop a variety that can withstand other diseases like blast fungus and BPH as well.

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