Directorate of Rice Research, India
Suneetha Kota is working as scientist at Directorate of Rice Research, India
Agricultural progress has been a crucial factor in worldwide socio-economic change. Conventional flooded rice cultivation in Asia provides more than 75% of the world’s rice supply for half the earth’s main staple food. In Asia, flood-irrigated rice consumes more than 45% of total freshwater available. Rice transplanting is a time consuming, labour intensive and arduous operation which is about 25 per cent of the total labour requirement for the crop production. Many farmers are shifting from transplanting to direct sowing. Therefore, increasing energy prices, limited water and labour availability for transplanting necessitates development of alternate production systems for rice. Genetic improvement is one of the most efficient approaches to develop rice cultivars suited to conservation agriculture based technologies. Almost no varietal selection and breeding efforts have been made for developing rice cultivars amenable to resource conservation technologies suitable for unpuddled or reduced/zero-tillage soil conditions with direct seeding. Efforts at this Directorate of Rice Research (DRR) to identify the genotypes with specific traits for CA and to develop genotypes responsive to direct seeding have been initiated. Experiments on reduced tillage dry direct seeding and puddled transplanted condition as well as zero tillage were conducted during Rabi, 2010 to Kharif, 2013 at DRR, Hyderabad. Each year a set of genotypes were screened under direct seeding as well as puddled transplanted conditions. More than 4000 rice genotypes consisting of germplasm, released varieties as well as genetic stocks were screened to identify promising genotypes with specific traits under field condition as well as glass house condition. Through screening the germplasm as well as collating the performance of rice genotypes under direct seeding Sabita was identified to possess weed suppressive ability with early seedling vigor; RP5219-9-6-7-3-2-1-1 and RP 5214- 38-14-9-5-2-1-B with desirable plant type and higher yield, IURON 26 with stay green character, S-166 with thick and dark green leaves, higher number of grains per panicle and sturdy stem, Aathira, Swarna Prabha, Kalinga III, IET 22051 (RP 5125- 2-4) and B644F-MR-6-0-0(AYT 2) for their desirable plant type, higher yield and over all phenotypic acceptability, RP 5129-17-8-3-2, RP5214- 57-26-9-6-3-2-B for root characteristics. Of the 2500 germplasm lines screened, the accessions IC 463585, IC 352760, IC 350189, IC 466351, IC 577070 and IC 576974 found promising as these genotypes recorded more than 90% germination under anaerobic condition. Therefore, these genotypes which are performing better and possessing useful traits were utilized in the development of breeding material suitable for conservation agriculture. With continued breeding, future rice varieties will possess sufficient adaptation to resource conservation conditions such that they will consistently achieve yields comparable to the potential yield of conventional methods.
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