GENET archive


GMO-FREE REGIONS & PRODUCTS: Non-GE rice with bacterial leaf blightresistance genes developed

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  ICAR identifies fice new rice varieties
SOURCE: Indian Council of Agricultural Research, India
AUTHOR: Press Release
DATE:   20.04.2007

ICAR identifies fice new rice varieties
New improved rice varieties: An alternate for PUSA BASMATI 1 and SAMBA MAHSURI

The farmers of the traditional Basmati growing areas of Haryana, Punjab,
J&K, Delhi and Uttarakhand will get new rice variety having higher yield
(37 q/ha) than Pusa Basmati 1. Pusa 1460 (IET 18990) is developed by
pyramiding bacterial leaf blight (BLB) resistance genes (xa13 & Xa21) in
the background of Pusa Basmati 1 through marker assisted backcross
breeding. Similarly, the farmers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa,
Chhatisgarh and Uttar Pradesh will also have new variety, RP BIO 226
(IET 19046) which is improved variety and provides an alternative for
popular fine-grained variety Samba Mahsuri.

ICAR has identified five new improved varieties and hybrid of rice for
release in different agro-climatic regions of the country. It includes
four new improved varieties and one hybrid of rice. These were
identified during the 42nd All India Rice Research Group Meeting held
recently in Hyderabad after considering various proposals. More than 400
delegates comprising the cooperators of various ICAR centres, Directors
of Research of State Agriculture Universities, representatives of
private sector and non government organizations participated in the meeting.

Pusa 1460 (IET 18990), a semi dwarf type plant is suitable for irrigated-
transplanted production condition. It is developed by Delhi based Indian
Agricultural Research Institute under ICAR. Pusa 1460 is the Basmati
type product developed using molecular marker assisted selection. It has
a flowering duration of 103 days with significantly yield advantage over
Tarorai Basmati with yield and quality features on par with Pusa Basmati
1 identified for the traditional Basmati growing areas.

The new variety provides an alternative for most popular Basmati
variety, Pusa Basmati 1 in the region. This variety is highly
susceptible to bacterial blight and has mild aroma. Pusa 1460 is
resistance to bacterial leaf blight (BLB) which is severe disease and is
one of the major constraints. Basmati or aromatic rice lines are highly
susceptible to bacterial blight. Pusa 1460 is the resistant genotype
having Basmati quality traits developed through molecular marker. It has
strong aroma, less chalky grains and other quality attributes on par
with recurrent parent Pusa Basmati 1.

Pusa 1460 has long slender aromatic grains with good KLAC (13.73 mm),
intermediate amylose (23.9%), which is highly preferred. It has been
rated overall as an acceptable culture in the panel test on account of
strong aroma, tenderness on touching and taste. It has less chalky
grains as compared to check variety and recurrent parent Pusa Basmati 1.
It recorded 28.6 per cent higher yield than Pusa Basmati 1 in Haryana,
the heart land of Basmati. Pusa 1460 recorded yield of on par with the
national check Pusa Basmati 1 and 23.5 per cent higher yield than
Taraori Basmati during Kharif season.

Another rice variety, RP BIO 226 (IET 19046) is developed by Hyderabad
based Directorate of Rice Research. This variety is a near isogenic line
containing the bacterial blight resistance genes, Xa21, xa13 and xa5
developed in the genetic background of an elite fine grained rice
variety, Samba Mahsuri. It is developed through marker assisted
backcross breeding.

RP BIO 226 (IET 19046) gives an average yield 46.3 q/ha and is suitable
for bacterial leaf blight endemic areas Southern, parts of Eastern and
Western zones where fine-grained varieties like Samba Mahsuri, Sona
Mahsuri, PKV HMT, etc are grown. These are susceptible to bacterial leaf
blight which is a major disease in rice.

RP BIO 226 has excellent grain and cooking quality. Considering the
equivalence in terms of grain and cooking quality, it could serve as a
replacement to Samba Mahsuri. The fine grained variety, Samba Mahsuri is
presently occupying 3.3 per cent of rice growing area in the country
spread over five states, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa, Chhatisgarh
and Uttar Pradesh. Samba Mahsuri gets very high premium price of Rs
600-800 per quintal as against other varieties which get Rs 300-400 per

Tailoring Samba Mahsuri with built-in-resistance to bacterial leaf
blight without causing any change in its agro-morphological and physio-
chemical characters for which it gets the price and consumer preference
are the special features of the RP BIO 226 (IET 19046). It is also
developed through marker assisted backcross breeding.

The rice variety MTU 1075 (IET 18482) has shown superior performance for
yield (56.3q/ha), resistance to major diseases/pests and with excellent
grain and cooking quality characteristic. MTU 1075 is developed by
Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, Andhra Pradesh. The variety
provides alternative/replacement for medium duration varieties during
kharif season in the Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat,
Maharashtra and West Bengal.

The variety UPR 2870 (IET 17544) developed by GB Pant University of
Agriculture and Technology. IET 17544, a culture of high yield (70q/ha)
potential which surpassed Jaya, NDR 359 and KRH 2 in north western
region, also recorded superior yields in western region. It possesses
resistance to leaf blast, moderate resistance to BLB, sheath rot, stem
borer and leaf folder.

Hybrid Rice International, Hyderabad has developed HRI-152 (IET-18815)
for the states of Punjab and Tamil Nadu. The mid-early duration of this
hybrid HRI-152 would best fit in cropping pattern viz. rice-wheat, thus
increasing productivity of both the crops. Also, its mid-early duration
of this hybrid would also contribute in saving the water and uses
without reducing the yield. It is high tolerant to leaf blast with a
potential to give average yield of 65.8 q/ha.

Rice plays a pivotal role in Indian economy as the staple food for two
thirds of the population. Globally, India ranks first in area, 43.6
million ha and second in production (91.7 million t). While almost all
the states grow rice, the top seven rice producing states are West
Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.

Rice in India is grown under diverse conditions. It is cultivated
exclusively as rainfed crop in areas with precarious monsoon and
unpredictable rainfall distribution. It is also raised in areas where
water level reaches 5 metres or more. The rice culture in Kuttanad
district of Kerala is below the sea level, while in the states of J&K,
it is grown almost upto an altitude of 2000 msl.

-------------------- archived at --------------------

                                 PART II
------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  Environment friendly HYV paddy can ensure food security
SOURCE: The Daily Star, Bangladesh
AUTHOR: M Z Hussain Arzu
DATE:   11.05.2007

Environment friendly HYV paddy can ensure food security

The society and civilization of human beings are about eight thousand
years old. We have observed great changes in religion, dress, habitat as
well as culture but without any significant ones in food habits. For
example, rice or paddy still occupies a great part in our life style as
a means of satiating hunger. Paddy is the oldest staple crop in
Bangladesh and still regarded as the principal food of the people here.

But it is a matter of great regret that Bangladesh has to import six lac
tons of rice every year now to meet the household demand. In the sixties
of the last century, multifarious laudable attempts were taken both at
government and private levels. The attempts included planned irrigation,
high quality seeds, insecticide, fertilizer and mechanisation of
agriculture. But it was very difficult to keep pace with population
increase. Although the growth rate of population has reduced to 2 per
cent, the production of agricultural crops have failed to mitigate the
hunger of millions of people. According to the Bureau of Statistics of
Bangladesh, in the fiscal year 2004-2005 about five lac tons of rice has
been imported from Thailand, America, Australia and other countries
under both government and private initiative to meet the demand.

It needs to be mentioned that many attempts have been taken over a long
period to increase the production of rice. In this regard tireless
efforts of the paddy researchers and officials of the Bangladesh Rice
Research Institute (BRRI) deserve well-certified appreciation.

Here we can refer to the production of a Boro paddy which has been grown
on experimental basis at the Bashundhara agricultural farm in Gazipur. A
Sichuan based research centre of agricultural institution of China had
expressed interest for marketing its high yielding paddy seeds in
Bangladesh. This private agricultural institution has good relation with
the professors and scientists of the agri-university of their country
(China). In all consideration, marketing of a new seed in a new country
is really tough. So, a proposal was raised to the chairman of
Bashundhara group in this connection. In turn, the Chinese agro-seed
institution also received some from the Bashundhara group. It was
decided that steps be been taken to cultivate this high-yielding paddy
seed in the light of direct experience so that we can get over all
conception about this miracle seed.

If it is found that this seed can be cultivated/grown here without any
harm/problem, then institution for producing such kind of seed will be
set up in Bangladesh.

Mainly for two reasons this very high-yielding paddy-seed ufasi has been
chosen on experimental basis cultivation. First, the Sichuan province of
China, the birth place of this seed/paddy, has great similarity with
Bangladesh in weather or climate. On the other hand, the composition of
soil and geographical characteristics are also very much similar. As a
result, the local entrepreneurs have begun to believe firmly about the
success of cultivation of this paddy. The belief of the seed inventors/
providers was that this seed could produce 32 to 40 maund rice per
bigha. This information worked as a great incentive to test such new
paddy seed.

Any bad omen could not create any drawback for this 140-day paddy.
Conventional outlook or prejudice could not create any barrier either.
The extreme controversy of the occidental and the oriental Genetically
Modified Organism (GMO) could not create any impact otherwise on the
cultivation of this paddy. Now it has become clear that it is a paddy of
new trend with very high yielding capacity.

We had been given four types of Chinese paddy seeds either for marketing
or experimental cultivation. For example: a) SL 1-D, b) S1 2-C, c) SL-3C
and d) SL-4-D. These seeds required 30 to 35 days to sprout. Very
satisfactory result was found in case of sprouting; 95 per cent of the
used seeds sprouted very easily. However, proper care, nourishment and
supervision were provided at rudimentary stage, but no particular or
sophisticated prescription was felt necessary. Rather, the care-
nourishment that the traditional indigenous paddy saplings receive at
the rudimentary stage was equally applicable for this foreign origin seeds.

For experiment 24.50 kg Chinese paddy saplings were planted per hectare.
At the time of final cultivation and physical growth, the worst
adversity came from the frequent electricity failure of Kaliakoire
upazila. Because of such unprecedented power failure, the field of the
planted saplings became severely cleft for want of irrigation. But the
instruction was that the paddy field in no way could be made waterless,
rather two months from the time of plantation at least one and half
inches water should always stand in the field.

Are these any reasons behind not welcoming this sort of new China born
paddy seed in Bangladesh? The most popular two types of paddy that we
grow in Bangladesh are BR-29 and BR-28. It has been published in a
magazine "Adhunik Dhaner Chas -- the Cultivation of Modern Rice" by
Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) that the average production of
BR-29 is 7.5 metric tons per hectare and the yield of BR-28 is 5.00
metric tons. But on the other hand, from our recent experience we have
come to see that the high-yielding Chinese paddy planted on the soil of
Kaliakoir has produced 9 metric tons of rice per hectare.

This Chinese paddy will occupy the land of farmers for 140 days in
total, while the local high-yielding paddy BR-29 needs at least 160
days. The land will not lose its fertility because of prominence of
using organic fertilizer. The same paddy can be cultivated year after
year without any sign of danger.

This new variety of Chinese paddy will require less food (pure nitrogen)
and less insecticide and is less costly in matters of weeds. The
application of bio-fertilizer in cultivating this paddy is very
important. Because of the use of bio-fertilizer, the phosphorus,
potassium of the soil will increase and it will increase the anti-body
resistance of crop. The Chinese paddy which can be produced during the
season of boro is of medium structure, white in colour and light in
weight. In this consideration it may appear similar to BR-29 and BR-28
in nature. The formal production of this paddy was launched in China in
2004. So, it can be said that we have rather taken a decision to keep
pace with the inventor country itself!

The experimental land for cultivation was far away from Dhaka. There are
lots of brick-fields. If the sky over that land is not washed by rain,
it always remains covered with dust or dark cloud. Despite that, it is
our firm conviction that this new paddy has assimilated and overcome
this climatic barrier.

At the time of plantation, firstly we had failed to follow the total
indication thoroughly. The finishing time of plantation of the boro
crops was from mid November to 30 November. But because of unavoidable
reasons we started our programme just after one month. The density of
plantation was 19cmX16cm. After visiting the plot, the seed inventor/
provider institution proposed that if the average density was 22cm X
19cm, it would be possible to produce 11 metric tons of rice per hectare!

Although we live in a precarious condition in matters of food security,
we tend to go to the remote past when the people were rich in agro-based
foods, and lament. But the system of cultivation of that ancient Bangla
can never be a model or a strategy to overcome the crisis we face now,
for obvious reasons.

It is the demand of time that a very high-yielding-paddy should be
cultivated to mitigate the hanger of vast population. We shall have to
adopt the advanced technology and developed seeds no matter where they
are invented, only if that suit our climate and are harmless to existing
environment. In this particular case, the tireless, relentless agro-
scientists, agro-officials and the institutions run under their
supervision if united with private enterprises in taking firm steps then
it can herald a golden agro-GDP like that in our neighbouring country.

-------------------- archived at --------------------


the news & information service of the
European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)

phone....... +49-531-5168746
fax......... +49-531-5168747
email....... hartmut.meyer(*)
skype....... hartmut_meyer