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Prof EA Siddiq
  • One of the eminent scholars of our time, Padma Shri Prof. Siddiq writes for RKMP on "Rice Research in India" covering various aspects. This comprehensive paper covers different facets of rice research carried out in India since Independence. While going through this paper, we hope that you will experience the transformation that the country has seen in last five decades.
  • Welcome to the journey of Indian rice research!

Basic Research

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Basic Research

          Contribution of India to basic research on rice is no less. Extensive Review of so diverse areas and large volumes of research findings on crop breeding, crop production and protection and allied disciplines carried out by Indian scientists in the last 60 years would be beyond the scope of the present exercise. Yet, without highlighting some of the pioneering research contributions of our scientists, the exercise would be incomplete. Briefly, the outstanding pieces of work include (a) tracing the phylogenetic pathway of the Asian Cultivar Oryza sativa and subspecific differentiation of it into three subspecies viz indica, japonica and javanica (b) the role in the international initiative on rice genome sequencing and functional genomics leading to development of physical map of rice genome and mining of many new and novel gene/allele sources of value (c) Qualitative and quantitative genetic characterization of many traits of economic significance, especially rice quality indices, yield and its major component, and resistance to insect pests and diseases and their linking to molecular markers enabling genotype based selection (d) establishment at molecular level the distinct genetic identity of the traditional basmati rice of the subcontinent and development of molecular marker based diagnostic devices to ascertain the genetic purity of them (e) ingenius breeding strategies designed and used in the development of the high yielding basmati rice Pusa Basmati 1 and of restorer lines that led to the successful evolution of the basmati hybrid Pusa RH 10 (f) discovery and use of indigenous sources of temperature sensitive genic male sterility for development of 2-line hybrid breeding and wide compatibility gene loci to overcome inter-subspecific hybrid sterility (g) uncovering of yield genes/QTL remaining hidden in primitive cultivars and progenitor wild species in the area of crop improvement. Development of the concept of biotypes in gallmidge and their characterization on the basis of location and host genotype specific expression of virulifererce, identification of pest specific biocontrol agents, biopesticides and development of effective formulations against rice pests, biodegradation of chemical pesticides, development of chemical pesticide-free integrated pest management for production of basmati and organic rices, selective introgression of resistance genes against bacterial blight and blast in speciality rices like Pusa Basmati 1 and Samba Mahsuri in the field of crop protection. As for crop production area, development of water and nutrient management strategies for enhanced use efficiency, establishment that emission level of methane gas from rice paddies of the country was just one tenths of what was wrongly estimated earlier by the International Panel on Climate Change and development of agronomic practices for mitigation of methane emission, development of conservation tillage for sustainable rice-wheat cropping system in the Indo-gangatic Plains and estimation of total and input specific factor productivity trend in the intensively cropped irrigated and rainfed lowland ecologies are some of the important findings.

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Prof E.A.Siddiq
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