DRR, Agri Biotech to focus on disease resistant rice

Hyderabad: The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has launched a project to develop an enhanced defence system for Samba Masuri rice variety.  Such an initiative is expected to contribute to development of disease-resistant rice varieties.

In 2008, CCMB in collaboration with the Directorate of Rice Research (DRR) has developed a blight-resistant Samba Masuri rice variety.Later during extensive interactions with farmers the CCMB scientists have come to grips with the problems being faced by farmers and are making efforts to address them. 

The CCMB, DRR and Agri Biotech Foundation have decided to develop an enhanced defence system for Samba Masuri.  

Tripartite memorandum of understanding has been signed to launch the project, titled “Molecular crosstalk between defence pathways in rice: antagonism to synergism,” according to Dr M R Vishun Priya, Senior Principal Scientist and Head-planning of the CCMB.  

This project is funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to the extent of about Rs 1.4 crore.  The DRR will do all the field trials across the country and the CCMB do all the molecular biology work and the ABF take product the market.

Explaining how the CCMB embarked on the project to develop an enhanced defence system, Dr Vishnu Priya said because of the bacterial disease, there was yield loss up to about 60 per cent. Sometimes, in severe conditions whole crop could also be lost and the farmer may suffer severe loss, she said.

Referring to the outcome of the project, the Dr Vishnu Priya said it was a three-year project, and it may yield results in the coming one and half year. She said the problem was widespread in Telangana State. She expressed confidence that the project would help farmers increase their income.  

By:V Naveen Kumar

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