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RICE HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT

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Plenary Session 1: RICE HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT

Chairman    :    Dr. EA. Siddiq

Co-Chairman  :    Dr. M. Rangaswamy

Rapporteurs    :    Dr. D. Sudhakar and Dr. A. John Joel

Lecture 1    :    "Memoirs and Milestones of Paddy Breeding Station" by

                         Dr. S.R. Sree Rangasamy

Dr. S.R. Sree Rangasamy narrated the evolution of Paddy Breeding Station (PBS) which was established in 1912 and high lighted the pioneering research efforts of Doyens of rice Science, Mr. F.R. Parnell, Mr.R.O.Iliffe and Dr. K. Ramaiah. He also narrated the pioneering work done in PBS highlighting evolution of the different breeding strategies adopted in developing series of improved CO varieties of rice especially of the pureline selection. GEB24, the first release which proved to be an excellent base for evolution of many rice varieties. The first ever drought tolerant variety CO 31 developed from inter specific crosses with the wild rice O. perennnis; blast resistant varieties CO4 and CO25; relatively more fertilizer responsive CO23 and the first hybrid rice CORH1 were other important milestones. He also presented the land mark genetic discovery research of PBS highlighting publication of first gene symbol, first linkage group, O. pernennis as the progenitor of the Asian cultivars and secondary polyploidy nature of rice. Living up to its traditions, the house was gratified of its continued endeavour of PBS to improve progressively rice by integrated breeding approaches involving traditional and molecular breeding strategies for the food security and prosperity of mankind.

Lecture 2    :    "Evolution of rice in Tamil Nadu - An ancient history" by
                         Mr. M. Murugan

Mr. Murugan, in his lecture, brought out through literary and historical and archeological evidences on how ancient Tamils were familiar with agriculture in general and rice in particular. His excellent presentation traced how Tamil language, Tamil civilization, Agriculture and Rice Culture were interlinked since over 3000 years ago. This work of this kind should be pursued and findings be published in reputed international journals.

Lecture 3    :    "All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project: Role of AICRIP in
                         Rice Improvement -History and Development" by Dr. B.C. Viraktamath

Dr. B.C. Viraktmath narrated comprehensively how the All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Programme (AICRIP), an experiment in applied research and collective wisdom in planning, generating knowledge and genetic material and Multi Location Evaluation of breeding lines has enabled the country to evolve close to 1000 varieties and hybrids for different rice ecologies and socio-economic demand. The coordinated project, taking advantage of a large number of cooperating centres and hotspot locations, should evaluate the entire germplasm for traits of economic significance. The programme, jointly with CRRI and select SAUs such as TNAU, should genetically characterize the germplasm for the breeders to make use of non-allelic gene sources for breeding future varieties for tolerance/resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses by gene pyramiding with the use of marker assisted selection.

Lecture 4    :    "Landmarks in Rice research globally and in Indian Context" by
                         Dr.B.N. Singh

Dr. B.N. Singh's narration on development of rice breeding research brought out some valuable information to the knowledge of rice breeders. It specifically identified dwarfing gene sources alternative to the widely used DGWG in Pankaj (IR5) and CR1009 through the induced dwarf mutants of Jangannath. He also emphasized that the future rice improvement programmes should focus on breeding for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, input use efficiency especially fertilizer, nutrients, water and towards sustainable rice production.

Lecture 5    :    "History, Development, Science and Scope of SRI" by
                         Dr. Norman Uphoff, USA

Dr. Norman Uphoff's presentation drew attention to the advantages of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method of rice cultivation in closing the yield gap and increasing, thereby production and productivity. Recognizing its limitations as widely adaptable technology across major rice growing ecologies, he emphasized the scope for continuously improving this technology for enhanced benefits.

Lecture 6    :    "Bio diversity of wild rices (Oryza sp)" by Dr.M.Subramanian

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. B.C.Patra

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.
Recommendations

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.

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