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Dr. Subramanian highlighting the strength of rice germplasm especially of secondary and tertiary gene pool, stressed the need for the identification and use of valuable gene sources available in them. India is rich in wild rices particularly in species such as O. nivara, O. rufipogon, O. officinalis and
O. granulata and a related genus Portersia coarctata. He also emphasized on the need for continued exploration and conservation of rices through ex situ and in situ (habitat protection and on-farm conservation) strategies.
Lecture 7 : "CRRI in the service of the Nation" by Dr. Anand Prakash
Dr. Prakash explained various activities and contributions to basic and applied research by the Central Rice Research Institute (CRRI) which was established in the year 1948. In the discussion that followed, emphasis was given to the continued enrichment, evaluation and conservations of rice germplasm. In breeding priorities, considering its location, it should place more emphasis on rainfed shallow lowland ecology and integrated farming system (rice-fish) for increased farm returns and livelihood security of the people inhabiting the region.
Lecture 8 : "History of Rice Germplasm Collection & conservation in India" by
Dr. Patra narrated the leadership efforts of the CRRI in collection and conservation of rice germplasm. It was felt focus should give added emphasis to evaluation and development of core collection. Genetic characterization of the donor sources and sharing the information are important for objective use by breeders.
Lecture 9 : "Integrated Breeding towards Finding New Yield Thresholds in Rice" by Dr. E.A. Siddiq
Dr. Siddiq, while optimistic about achieving the demand projections by 2025, drew the attention to the under-exploited potentials of the currently available higher yielding varieties and the scope of extensive adoption of the hybrid rice technology. He cautioned that meeting the demand by 2050 (doubling the production) would be a challenging task. This could be achieved according to him, if we adopt various integrated strategies involving molecular breeding approaches. He elaborated and discussed various such strategies which included development of super-hybrids in inter sub- specific and new plant type backgrounds. Identification and exploitation of unexplored yield genes/ QTLs, manipulation of plant architecture through genetic engineering and manipulating biosynthetic pathway of starch are very important.
X There is an urgent need for continued exploration and conservation of wild rices through ex situ and in situ (habitat protection and on-farm conservation) strategies.
X Added emphasis should be given for evaluation and development of core collection. Genetic characterization of the donor sources is important for objective use by breeders.
X The AICRIP, jointly with CRRI and select SAUs should genetically characterize germplasm for the breeders to make use of non-allelic gene sources through prebreeding for development of future varieties for tolerance/resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses by gene pyramiding with the use of marker assisted selection.
X The future rice improvement programmes should focus on breeding for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, input use efficiency especially, nutrients and water towards sustainable rice production.
X The CRRI, considering its location, should place more emphasis on rainfed shallow lowland ecology and integrated farming system (rice-fish) for increased farm returns and livelihood security of the people inhabiting the region.
X Various integrated strategies including development of inter sub-specific super-hybrids in new plant type backgrounds, identification and exploitation of unexplored yield genes/QTLs, manipulation of plant architecture through genetic engineering, manipulating biosynthetic pathway of starch etc should be adopted to meet the rice demand projections of 2050.
X The suggestions made included identifying QTLs in the background of popular variety, 2 to 3 QTLs for each variety and pyramiding them to get a higher yield. Availability of different QTLs for different traits and introgressing of QTLs in Vandana and IR 64 and development of their NILs for different traits may be shared for rice improvement.