Better than the best

Disease-resistant rice varieties that even have a good yield

By Neha Dua
Published: Tuesday 31 August 2004

Hyderabad's Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (ccmb) and the Directorate of Rice Research (drr) have developed samba masuri and triguna rice lines (varieties) that are resistant to the bacterial leaf blight (blb) disease. blb is one of the biggest snags for rice growers in India, as it reduces yields by more than 15-20 per cent. No pesticide is available at present to combat the disease.

Two centres in India -- Ludhiana-based Punjab Agricultural University and Cuttack's Central Rice Research Institute -- have already developed rice varieties that are resistant to blb. But the ccmb-drr group has gone a step further -- their varieties are not only blb-resistant, but even have a good yield.

In limited greenhouse and field trials, the new lines were found to possess yield and morphological characteristics similar to that of the parental lines. Further trials are planned for the forthcoming growing season.

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