Genetic resources of rice in the Western Himalayan region of India: current status

  • J. C. RanaEmail author
  • K. S. Negi
  • S. A. Wani
  • Sanjeev Saxena
  • K. Pradheep
  • Anjali Kak
  • S. K. Pareek
  • P. A. Sofi
Research Article


The Western Himalayan region of India possesses rich genetic diversity of rice (Oryza sativa L.). Rice landraces having withstood the rigors of biotic and abiotic stresses, suit to the local conditions of farms and reflect socio-cultural preferences can still be found in crop fields located distantly in rural and tribal areas. This region is known for growing World fame basmati in the foot hills and many varieties of red rices grown at higher elevations, known for cold tolerance and medicinal properties. Genetic resources of rice were collected for about 8 years (1999–2006) and 1069 germplasm accessions including 154 named landraces were collected. Prominent landraces such as Begumi, Ramjwain, Thapachini, Naurang, Hansraj, Tilakchandan, Lalsati, Jhini, Mushakbudji, Jattoo, Barpasso, Qadirbeigh, Safedbrez, Shahie known for their special quality attributes were collected. The change in land use, cropping patterns and aggressive introduction of modern varieties in the region has resulted in the loss of a large number of landraces especially from irrigated lands. The present paper looks at the status of rice genetic resources, genetic variability, genetic erosion and future strategies to conserve rice germplasm on farm and to maximize its use in rice breeding.


Erosion Genetic resources Landraces Rice Variability Western Himalaya 



We are grateful to the farmers of the region for their overwhelm response to our quarries, cooperation, and help rendered during field work. Special thanks to World Bank for funding National Agricultural Technology Project (Plant Biodiversity). We also thank Dr. BS Dhillon, the then Mission Leader NATP and Director, NBPGR and Dr SK Sharma, Director, NBPGR, for providing other logistics and guidance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Rana
    • 1
  • K. S. Negi
    • 2
  • S. A. Wani
    • 3
  • Sanjeev Saxena
    • 4
  • K. Pradheep
    • 1
  • Anjali Kak
    • 4
  • S. K. Pareek
    • 4
  • P. A. Sofi
    • 3
  1. 1.National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources Regional StationShimlaIndia
  2. 2.National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources Regional StationBhowaliIndia
  3. 3.Department of Plant BreedingSKUASTSrinagarIndia
  4. 4.National Bureau of Plant Genetic ResourcesNew DelhiIndia

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