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B line

The fertile counterpart parent of a cytoplasmic male sterile ‘A’ line, which is used as male parent to maintain the ‘A’ line. It is also known as maintainer line.

b1, b2 (bc1, bc2)

The first and second backcrosses or backcross generations.


Bacillus is a genus of gram-positive rod-shaped bacteria. Bacillus species can be obligate aerobes or facultative anaerobes, and test positive for the enzyme catalase. Ubiquitous in nature, bacillus includes both free-living and pathogenic species.   

Back furrow

A raised ridge of soil formed when the furrow slice overlaps another slice, this ridge is slightly higher than the other ridges.   


1) A breeding method in which a desired character such as insect resistance is transferred into an improved variety carrying it as a recurrent parent to reinforce or increase the gene frequency of the character. 2) F1 hybrid which is again crossed to either of its parents.

Backcross breeding

A method of developing a new variety in which a simple inherited trait is transferred through the backcross method.

Backcross nursery

Breeding nursery where male sterile plants identified among the test crosses (CMS X Elite Maintainer Line) and their backcross progenies are crossed with the male parents with the objective of transferring cytoplasmic male sterility into the nuclear genotype of the elite maintainer line.

Backcross parent/recurrent parent

One of the parents of a hybrid with which the hybrid is repeatedly crossed.

Backcross ratio

The proportion of heterozygotes to recessive homozygotes expected in a backcross.


A depressed marshy area on a river floodplain behind the natural levees where surface drainage is hampered by surrounding higher land.


Unicellular micro-organisms of the class schizomycetes, occurring in a wide variety of forms, existing either as free-living organisms or as parasites, and having a wide range of biochemical, often pathogenic properties.

Bacterial leaf blight (BLB)

A disease of rice caused by the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris pv. oryzae. The early symptoms include yellow, undulating lesions along the margins of the upper portion of the leaf blades. The lesions develop rapidly parallel to the veins and extend laterally to the healthy regions. In extreme cases, a large portion of the entire leaf blade becomes infected, turns yellow or dirty white, and finally dies.

Bacterial leaf streak (BLS)

A bacterial disease of rice caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola. The organism attacks chiefly the parenchymatous tissue between the leaf veins. In the early stages, it remains confined to the interveinal spaces. It may enter the leaf through the stomata or through wounds which are mainly caused by storms. The symptoms manifested are the appearance of fine, interveinal, long or short lines which are water-soaked and grayish. The lesions extend and coalesce to form larger patches and become yellow. At this stage, the symptoms are difficult to distinguish from those of bacterial leaf blight. The disease is limited to the Tropics.


A chemical compound that kills bacteria.


Bactericidal substances produced by certain strains of bacteria and active against some other strains of the same or closely related species.


A virus that infects bacteria, usually with destruction or lysis of the host cell.


A chemical or physical agent that prevents multiplication of bacteria without killing them.


An irregular form of cells of certain bacteria.


The act of covering the reproductive parts of a plant to prevent cross pollination or physical damage.


A Japanese word meaning "foolish seedling," used to describe the seedborne disease that causes abnormal elongation of rice plants. Caused by the fungus Gibberella fujikuroi. Gibberellin, a growth hormone produced by the pathogen, is responsible for the abnormal plant elongation.

Balanced fertilization

Balanced fertilization does not mean a certain definite proportion of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash or other nutrients to be added in the form of fertilizer, but it has to take into account the availability of nutrients already present in the soil, crop requirement and other factors. It should take into account the crop removal of nutrients, the economics of fertilizers and profitability, farmers’ ability to invest, agro-techniques, soil moisture regime, weed control, plant protection, seed rate, sowing time, soil salinity, alkalinity, physical environment, microbiological condition of the soil, available nutrient status of soil, cropping sequence, etc. It is not a state but a dynamic concept.


A floating rice mixed crop of aus and aman rice, i.e., early and late varieties sown during the early part of the wet season. A practice frequently used in Assam, India.

Barbed wire fencing

It is a type of fencing wire constructed with sharp edges or points arranged at intervals along the strand(s).


A barometer is a scientific instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure. It can measure the pressure exerted by the atmosphere by using water, air, or mercury.


At, near, or toward the base or beginning.

Basal application

Broadcasting or applying fertilizer into the soil before seeding or transplanting the crop.

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