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Rice Research


Illinois study may improve rice productivity

Transnational rice study on photosynthesis could improve international food security 
University of Illinois researchers established the university's first rice paddy to test rice performance in Illinois and at Kyoto University in Japan. The two plots, which were planted on the same date, should reveal clues about what factors help the plants more efficiently convert the sun’s energy into food, known as photosynthetic performance.
This experiment is part of the Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) project, a five-year effort funded by a $25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to substantially improve the productivity of worldwide staple food crops.

Kyoto University visiting professor and study lead Yu Tanaka plants rice varieties in a paddy on the South Farms at Illinois
“Rice is the number one source of calories for humans, worldwide, and increasingly we are not producing enough,” said RIPE Director Stephen Long, Endowed Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences, who leads RIPE at the Institute for Genomic Biology. “This paddy is one of the first steps of a multinational attempt to achieve new innovations in improving rice production. Rice improvement is a major interest of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is funding a major effort to improve crop photosynthesis at the university.”
The experimental paddy, located on the South Farms at Illinois, is being used to provide a northerly limit in trials of some new rice genetic materials that are also being tested in warmer climates, including the plot at Kyoto University. 
While rice is not a crop we associate with Central Illinois, it is grown not so far away in Southeast Missouri. It is also grown extensively in places such as Northern Italy and Northern Japan, where summer climates are similar to that of Illinois, Long said.
The Illinois rice plot contains several varieties of rice, including wild varieties and mutant lines, which have different photosynthetic characteristics that may increase yields under various conditions.
“When we consider actual production, or the crops’ physiological responses and performance, it is really important that we grow the rice in the fields,” said Yu Tanaka, a visiting professor from Kyoto University who is leading the study at Illinois. “Without this feasibility experiment, we wouldn’t have a chance to grow the rice in a natural environment in Illinois, which would limit the RIPE project.”
Tanaka and his graduate student Yu Iwahashi conducted preliminary research in growth chambers that revealed that some of these mutants have a lower transpiration rate (a process that is akin to people sweating), which improves the crops’ drought tolerance.
“When rice is grown in a paddy field, there is definitely no shortage of water,” Tanaka said. “But in many parts of the world, rice is grown on upland fields. For those regions, drought tolerance would be critical. We are expecting to see these lines better conserve water throughout this summer.”
Tanaka is visiting Illinois to take part in progressive photosynthetic research with Long, where he has access to state-of-the-art laboratories, space to research transgenic ecology, and equipment that can more accurately detect photosynthetic performance.
“I was impressed by Steve Long's progress to achieve increased crop production through photosynthesis,” Tanaka said. “If we can combine the strong points of my work with transpiration physiology and Steve’s work with biochemical pathways—we can achieve better progress through this photosynthetic study.”
The RIPE project is also built upon a foundation of collaboration, bringing together world leaders in photosynthetic research from Australian National University, Rothamsted Research, University of Essex, Chinese Academy of Sciences-Max Planck Institute, Louisiana State University, University of California, Berkeley, and United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.
Written By: 

 Claire Sturgeon. 

Photo by Haley Ahlers.

Has tech fatigue hit rice research??

 Hyderabad, Aug. 20: 

Has technology fatigue hit rice research in India? Are we failing in producing varieties that can win hearts of farmers and people?

The experience of the last two decades shows that we have failed in delivering the blockbuster rice varieties, said a senior agricultural scientist .

While the country produced some 1,000 varieties in the last few decades, only handful of varieties that were developed before 1995 dominate the scene, Dr Aldas Janaiah, Head (Agri Business Management) of Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University, said. “About 30 varieties cover two-thirds of paddy area in the country. Five varieties developed by ANGRAU cover 15-20 per cent of the area. The impact of varieties developed after 1995 is very less,” he said, wondering whether it was a sign of technology fatigue.

He was addressing the day-long CII conference on the role of technology in sustainable agriculture here on Tuesday.

The country grew paddy on 44 million hectares, or 22 per cent of the cropped area.

Janaiah said that drip irrigation in paddy would become a reality in years to come. ANGRAU Vice-Chancellor A. Padma Raju said that there was a 95 per cent dependence on chemical fertilisers and increased usage of the same had harmed the soil’s nutrient quotient.

There was a need to increase the usage of bio fertilizers such as zinc soluble bacteria and phosphorous soluble bacteria.

Bayer Crop Science Country Head Satish Patil, who represented ABLE-AG (Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises-Agriculture Group), said the world would need to double food production by 2030 to meet the demand.

India would have to double the production by 2020.

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కరువులోనూ అధిక దిగుబడినిచ్చే వరి!

ఫలించిన జపాన్ శాస్త్రవేత్తల కృషి
  డీఆర్‌ఓ1 జన్యువుతో కూడిన సరికొత్త వంగడానికి రూపకల్పన
  తీవ్ర కరువు పరిస్థితుల్లోనూ సాధారణ వరి కన్నా మూడున్నర రెట్ల దిగుబడి..

 తీవ్రమైన కరువు పరిస్థితుల్లోనూ ధాన్యం దిగుబడి దారుణంగా తగ్గిపోతుందన్న భయం ఇక అక్కర్లేదు. కరువు పరిస్థితులతో నీటి కొరత నెలకొన్న సందర్భాల్లోనూ మూడున్నర రెట్ల వరకు దిగుబడిని అందించే అత్యాధునిక వరి వంగడం అందుబాటులోకి రానుంది. జపాన్ శాస్త్రవేత్తలు దీనిని రూపొందించారు. జన్యుమార్పిడి సాంకేతికత జోలికి పోకుండానే  వీరు ఈ ఘనతను సాధించడం విశేషం. సాధారణంగా వరి మొక్కల వేళ్లు భూమిలోకి మరీ ఎక్కువ లోతుకు వెళ్లవు. తక్కువ లోతులోనే పక్కలకు పాకుతాయి. అందువల్లే ఏమాత్రం పూర్తిస్థాయిలో నీటి తడులు అందకపోయినా తట్టుకోలేవు. ఫలితంగా ఇది దిగుబడిపై ప్రభావం చూపుతుంది.
 ఈ సమస్యను అధిగమించడంపై జపాన్‌లోని నేషనల్ ఇన్‌స్టిట్యూట్ ఆఫ్ ఆగ్రోబయోలాజికల్ సెన్సైస్‌కు చెందిన శాస్త్రవేత్తలు కృషి చేశారు. డీపర్ రూటింగ్ 1(డీఆర్‌ఓ1) అనే జన్యువును గుర్తించి ఈ సమస్యను అధిగమించారు. మామూలు వరి వంగడం వేళ్ల కన్నా.. ఈ జన్యువు కలిగి ఉన్న వరి వంగడాల వేళ్లు భూమిలోకి రెట్టింపు లోతు వరకూ చొచ్చుకెళతాయని ముఖ్య పరిశోధకుడు యుసకు యుగ తెలిపారు. లోతుకు వెళ్లిన ఈ వేళ్లు భూమి లోపలి పొరల్లో నుంచి నీటిని, పోషకాలను మొక్కకు అందిస్తాయని వివరించారు. ఒక మోస్తరు నీటికొరత ఉన్న పరిస్థితుల్లో సాధారణ వరితో పోల్చితే ఈ వరి వంగడం రెట్టింపు దిగుబడి ఇస్తోందని తెలిపారు. అదే తీవ్రమైన కరువు పరిస్థితుల్లో సాధారణ వరి దిగుబడి బాగా తగ్గిపోగా.. ఈ వంగడం దిగుబడి మాత్రం దానికంటే 3.6 రెట్లు ఎక్కువగా వచ్చిందని వెల్లడించారు. ‘‘డీఆర్‌ఓ1 జన్యువు 60కిపైగా వరి వంగడాల్లో ఉంది. అయితే ఇవన్నీ వేళ్లను లోతుగా చొప్పించగలిగే వంగడాలు కాదు. వేళ్లను లోతుగా చొప్పించలేని మేలు రకం వరితో డీఆర్‌ఓ1 జన్యువు ఉన్న వరి వంగడాన్ని సంకరం చేసి సరికొత్త వంగడాన్ని రూపొందించాం’’ అని ఆయన వివరించారు.
 భారత్‌కు ఉపయోగకరం..
 అంతర్జాతీయ వరి పరిశోధన సంస్థ(ఇరి) అంచనాల ప్రకారం విశ్వవిపణిలో బియ్యం ధరలను అదుపులో ఉంచాలంటే ఏటా 80 లక్షల నుంచి కోటి టన్నులను అదనంగా పండించాల్సి ఉంటుంది. దీనిని బట్టి.. కరువును సమర్థంగా ఎదుర్కొనేలా అధిక దిగుబడినిచ్చే వరి వంగడాల ఆవశ్యకత ఎంత ఉందనేది వేరే చెప్పనక్కర్లేదు. భారత్‌లోని కొన్ని రాష్ట్రాల్లో కరువువస్తే వరి దిగుబడి 40 శాతం వరకు పడిపోతూ ఉంటుంది. వాతావరణ మార్పుల నేపథ్యంలో కరువు పరిస్థితులు ఎప్పుడు ఏర్పడతాయో చెప్పలేని స్థితి నెలకొంది. అందువల్ల భారత్‌కు ఇటువంటి వంగడాలు ఎంతో ఉపయోగకరమని ‘ఇరి’ ప్రతినిధి సోఫీ క్లేటన్ పేర్కొన్నారు.                   

Courtesy :


New Rice Variety Developed in Kenya

The Kenya Agricultural Institute (KARI) has developed a new rice variety, IR522, in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Scientists involved in project claim that the new rice variety consumes up to 70% less water than most other varieties, and has a protein content of up to 40% more than in most Asian and African rice. They say that the yield of IR522 is high and the new variety could help Kenya reduce its dependency on rice imports significantly.

Currently, Kenya produces only about an eighth of its total rice consumption of around 480,000 tons. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, annual consumption of rice in the country is expected to increase at a rate of 12% due to growing popularity of rice.

Courtesy :


వరిలో సిరికి ఇరిశోధన

Courtesy : Eenadu Telugu News Paper. Dt:15.07.2013


'వరి' శోధకుడు

Courtesy : Eenadu Telugu News Paper. Date : 14.06.2013


सीएसएयू में होगी चावल की विभिन्न प्रजातियों पर रिसर्च

एजेंसी ॥ लखनऊ
यूपी के कानपुर स्थित चंद्रशेखर आजाद कृषि एवं प्रौद्योगिक विश्वविद्यालय (सीएसएयू) में अब अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर के चावल पर शोध किया जाएगा। इसके तहत चावल की विश्वस्तरीय प्रजातियों को यूनिवर्सिटी के परिक्षेत्र में आने वाले जिलों में उगाया जाएगा और उत्पादन परिणामों की जानकारी इकट्ठा की जाएगी।
इस मसले पर यूनिवर्सिटी में चावल शोध परियोजना के प्रभारी डॉ. विजय कुमार यादव ने बताया कि अंतर्राष्ट्रीय चावल अनुसंधान केंद्र (आईआरआरआई), फिलिपिंस द्वारा इस वर्ष शुरू की गई विश्वस्तरीय चावल शोध परियोजना (स्ट्रेस टोलेरेन्स राइस फोर अफ्रीका एंड साउथ एशिया) में यूनिवर्सिटी को शामिल किया गया है। उन्होंने बताया कि परियोजना का संचालन आईआरआरआई, बिल एंड मिलिण्ड गेट्स फाउंडेशन' और भारतीय कृषि अनुसंधान संस्थान द्वारा किया जा रहा है। इसका मुख्य उद्देश्य अफ्रीका एवं दक्षिण एशिया के लिए चावल की उन प्रजातियों की पहचान करना है, जो वहां की जलवायु एवं मिट्टी में कम लागत में अधिक उत्पादन दे।
परियोजना के तहत विश्व के अन्य देशों में बाढ़, सूखा एवं क्षारीय भूमि (ऊसर) पर उगाई जाने वाली प्रचलित धान की प्रजातियों का परीक्षण देश में विभिन्न प्रकार की मिट्टी में किया जाएगा और उनकी उत्पादक क्षमता को परखा जाएगा। देश की प्रचलित प्रजातियों के भी अंतर्राष्ट्रीय मृदाओं के गुणों को ध्यान में रखते हुए परीक्षण किए जाएंगे।
परीक्षण के आंकड़ों की जानकारी आईआरआरआई को भेजी जाएगी। इस प्रक्रिया में अन्य देशों के वैज्ञानिक भी यूनिवर्सिटी आएंगे। भारतीय वैज्ञानिक भी अन्य देशों में जाकर शोध कार्य में हिस्सा लेंगे। परियोजना के लिए आर्थिक अनुदान एवं अन्य सुविधाओं के बारे में अभी कोई सीमा निर्धारित नहीं की गई है।

Courtesy :


IRRI Tweaking Photosynthetic System of Rice to Improve Yield by 50%

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines is working on a project to tweak the photosynthetic system in rice plants so that they can require less water and produce more yields than the ones with conventional photosynthetic system.

 Conventional photosynthesis in most plants is based on a process known as the C3 carbon-fixation mechanism. IRRI scientists say that changing it to a C4 carbon-fixation mechanism could help trigger the second Green Revolution in the world. IRRI says that “calculations show that the cost-benefit ratio of C4 rice is likely to be of the same order as the ‘dwarf-cultivars’ produced in the first Green Revolution bringing benefits to hundreds of millions of people in the poorer parts of the world. Inserting the C4 photosynthetic pathway into rice should increase rice yield by 50%, double water-use efficiency, and use less fertilizer to achieve those improvements.”

In the future, to combat effects brought on by climate change, rice varieties will have to be more nutritious, and consume less water and nitrogen. This can happen only if the efficiency of photosynthetic system is increased, which is possible by developing a C4 rice plant, says the IRRI, which has been working on the project since 2008.

Courtesy :


Funding for research in wheat, rice breeding

 Texas AgriLife Research, an agency of the Texas A&M University System, and Monsanto Company have announced the call for applications for students interested in pursuing research in wheat or rice plant breeding.

Applications for Monsanto's Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program (MBBISP) are being accepted now through February 1, 2013. Funds are available for scholars pursuing a doctorate in wheat or rice plant breeding.  In addition to research funding, scholars will receive access to advanced breeding techniques and technology and participate in field experience in a developing country for one season.

The program recognizes the importance of rice and wheat as key staple crops in addressing global hunger. It honors the accomplishments of poineers in plant breeding and research in rice and wheat, by providing funding support to develop the next generation of scientific leaders.

In total, MBBISP has supported 52 students from 21 different countries since its formation in 2009. India tops the MBBISP list with four out of 14 global scholars in 2012 and also tops overall list with 14 scholars from 2009 till date. This application period marks the program's fifth year, with a total of $10 million of support by Monsanto.

Christopher Samuel, Director – Sustainability, CSR & Public Affairs, Monsanto India said, “We believe that improving ag improves lives. Meeting the growing food demand can be achieved through science and innovation, which is possible only by providing opportunity and education. This program is aimed at developing highly trained rice and wheat breeders who show dedication and promise as future leaders in the field of agriculture. Improving lives by enabling farmers to produce more and conserve more, that’s our focus for sustainable agriculture.”

Successful applicants will focus research on a critical constraint affecting rice or wheat production. Students can complete their PhD program at any university that grants a PhD in rice or wheat breeding. Students interested in applying can find more details at

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