India Kerala Agricultural University held conference on trait improvement of rice through emerging technologies
Apr. 10, 2019
The symposium, jointly organised by KAU and SciGenome Research Foundation was inaugurated by R Chandra Babu, Vice-Chancellor, KAU.
In his address, Chandra Babu said that the need to disseminate information on emerging genome assisted breeding for crop improvement and enabling capacity building in their discriminate use have become imperative. Socio-economic development depends on sustainable agricultural production and rise in farmers’ income is the key to eradicate poverty. The twin elements of food safety and nutritional security needs crops with better productivity, quality and resistance to pests and diseases. The relevance of genomic editing and other tools linked with it offer much promise, he said.
According to Ramesh V Sonti, Director, National Institute of Plant Genome Research (NIPGR), the new set of tools with unprecedented capabilities for genome manipulation are becoming available for crop improvement and a judicial use of such tools are necessary to enhance productivity and quality of produce.
Narrating the sequential development of improved variety of Samba Mashuri, Sonti said identifying appropriate gene from vast pathogenic variability is the key to effective molecular breeding for biotic stress management in rice.
AK Singh, Head, Department of Genetics, Indian Agricultual Research Institute said that a novel recessive gene for bacterial blight resistance has been mapped and it will pave way for better cultivars resistant to the disease. The impact of pesticide residues in grains on export makes it imperative to induce disease tolerance through introgression of disease resistance genes. Bio fortification of rice varieties for higher protein and nutrients has also become pertinent, he said.
George Thomas, Chief Operating Officer, AgriGenome Labs, Kochi outlined the revolutionary changes in crop improvement achieved through breeding over the past 10 years with the application of technologies such as Marker Assisted Selection (MAS), Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes (Tilling), genome sequencing and genome editing.
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