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Search for new yield thresholds has been one of the major long term research priorities in rice. After successful development of semidwarf varieties 50 years back and hybrid technology 30 years back in China there has been no sign of yet another breakthrough for long. This has been largely because of breeders’ excessive dependence on the cultivar germplasm for needed variability. Though related cultivar species and subspecies as well as wild/weedy genepools are known to possess large unfolded variability, hardly they have been searched for and exploited for enhancement and stability of yield. The recent developments demonstrating the potential of varieties and hybrids of inter-subspecific origin for finding new yield thresholds are encouraging. Given such technological opportunities and innovative means the new bioscience offers in the era of genomics, achievable ceiling to genetic yield may be still higher than what we conceive and believe today. This very feeling should make us optimistic on our ability to make the rice world sustainably food secure.
FOUR DECADES OF RICE BREEDING – ACHIEVEMENTS, IMPACT, FUTURE DEMANDS AND STRATEGIES -Dr.E.A.Siddiq