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Genetic Improvement of Basmati Rice: Transcendence Through Molecular Breeding

  • A. K. Singh
  • S. Gopala Krishnan
  • R. K. Ellur
  • M. Nagarajan
  • K. K. Vinod
  • P. K. Bhowmick
  • B. Haritha
Chapter

Abstract

Basmati rice from the foothills of Himalayas is a connoisseurs’ delight. Basmati rice improvement began with germplasm collection and pureline selection among the landraces. Systematic Basmati rice improvement program at ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi (ICAR-IARI), led to a breakthrough with the release of first semidwarf high-yielding variety Pusa Basmati 1. Subsequently, the release of Pusa Basmati 1121, unique for its cooked kernel length and volume expansion, brought a significant change in Basmati cultivation. The total volume of Basmati rice exports quadrupled leading to 6.8 times increase in foreign exchange earnings during 2013–2014 (Rs. 29,299 crores). Furthermore, the development of Pusa Basmati 1509, the first early maturing Basmati rice variety, demonstrated that undesirable linkage between duration and yield can be broken, thus achieving better per day productivity while increasing profitability. Although better productivity and quality were achieved, these varieties were susceptible to various biotic and abiotic stresses. The beginning of the twenty-first century witnessed rice genome sequencing, which enabled the use of molecular tools for precision breeding in Basmati rice. Molecular marker-assisted selection has been effectively used in combination with phenotypic selection to develop Basmati rice varieties with resistance to diseases like bacterial blight and blast. The bacterial blight resistance genes xa13 + Xa21 were incorporated into the genetic background of Pusa Basmati 1, Pusa Basmati 1121, and Pusa Basmati 6 to develop Improved Pusa Basmati 1, Pusa Basmati 1718, and Pusa Basmati 1728, respectively. Similarly, Pusa Basmati 1637 carrying blast resistance gene Pi9 in the genetic background of Pusa Basmati 1 was also developed. In addition to the release of varieties, molecular breeding has helped in creating several genetic stocks in Basmati rice with resistance to biotic stresses such as BB, blast, sheath blight, and bakanae and tolerance to abiotic stresses such as salinity and drought. The high-yielding Basmati rice varieties developed have brought in a paradigm shift in Basmati rice cultivation, domestic consumption, and export to the tune of Rs. 25,000 crores annually, bringing prosperity to millions of Basmati rice farmers in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP); this success story can be appropriately described as “Basmati revolution.” This chapter describes five decades of concerted research efforts on genetic improvement of Basmati rice at the ICAR-IARI, India.

Keywords

Basmati rice Breeding Geographical indication Germplasm Grain and cooking quality Marker-assisted selection Stresses Variety 

Notes

Acknowledgment

The research work on Basmati rice improvement at the Division of Genetics, ICAR-IARI, New Delhi, is supported by a number of projects funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi; Department of Biotechnology, Government of India; and APEDA, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. K. Singh
    • 1
  • S. Gopala Krishnan
    • 1
  • R. K. Ellur
    • 1
  • M. Nagarajan
    • 2
  • K. K. Vinod
    • 2
  • P. K. Bhowmick
    • 1
  • B. Haritha
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of GeneticsICAR-Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Rice Breeding and Genetic Research Centre, Division of GeneticsICAR-Indian Agricultural Research InstituteAduthuraiIndia

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