Coimbatore

TNAU to release ‘MGR 100’ today

Scientists hope new rice variety will provide better yield

The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) is releasing a new high-yielding fine rice variety – MGR 100 – in memory of M.G. Ramachandran coinciding with the late Chief Minister’s birth centenary celebrations in Thanjavur.

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami is all set to release the rice variety for popular use at the granary of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

‘MGR 100’ is the rechristened nomenclature of CO 52, which, in fact, is a derivative of the cross involving BPT 5204 and CO (R) 50.

The new variety was developed through marker-assisted pedigree breeding, combining quality, yield and blast resistance features of the two popular varieties.

Maturing in 130 to 135 days, MGR 100 is medium tall in stature and displays efficient tillering capacity and long droopy panicles with highly acceptable plant characters.

TNAU scientists hope this variety could be a good replacement for BPT 5204 due to its high yield, superior grain quality and pest and disease resistance.

The variety recorded a mean grain yield of 6,879 kg per hectare over three years of ‘station trials’ with 16.10% and 20.93 % improvement over CO (R) 49 and BPT 5204, respectively.

In multi-location trials conducted over the last six years, the variety registered steady increase in yield. Adaptive research trials for the CO 52 rice variety were conducted at 158 locations during 2013-14 and 2014-15 in 21 districts during which yields crossed 7,000 kg/ha in 24 locations, says V. Ravi, Director-in-charge, Aduthurai Rice Research Institute.

During the ‘annual rice meet’, the variety was recommended for large-scale demonstration based on its consistent high yield performances over the years.

Following that, the ‘on farm trials’ (OFT) were conducted with CO 52 during 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 in 36 locations across Tamil Nadu on one-acre plots.

Overall, the CO 52 rice variety recorded a mean productivity of 6,191 kg/ha in six years of trials with 11.29% increase over the existing BPT 5204 and 8.14 % over ADT 49.

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At Therku Kadayam village in Tirunelveli district, the variety recorded the highest yield of 10,416 kg/ha among the trials conducted, demonstrating the highest yield potential of this variety, according to K. Ganesamurthy, Director-in-charge, Centre for Plant Breeding and Genetics, TNAU.

Though the CO 52 is being released as MGR 100, the TNAU is awaiting the gazetting of the variety by the Central Seed Sub Committee for Variety Release and Notification, which is expected shortly.

“Releasing the new variety is welcome but we need to popularise it. The new rice variety will be acceptable to the farmers only if it delivers the promised yield. The release of new paddy varieties needs to be seen against the backdrop of the farmers’ current preference and penchant for traditional rice varieties for their innate strength,’’ said M.J. Prabhu, Programme Coordinator, Green Cause Foundation, Morappakkam, Kancheepuram district.

Earlier too, the TNAU had released rice varieties named after Chief Ministers. In 1970, it brought out Karuna (CO 33) by crossing IR 8 and ADT 27 which was a short duration paddy variety, while in 1993 it had come out with JJ 92 (ADT 41) that is a white aromatic rice and a mutant of Basmati.

In fact, way back in 1994, the TNAU had released MGR (COR H1), which is the first hybrid rice in India.

The new MGR 100 follows that variety from the TNAU lab.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2020 8:32:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/tnau-to-release-mgr-100-today/article21043222.ece

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