New disease-resistant paddy and castor seeds to be released soon

Scientists at the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS), Shivamogga, have developed disease-resistant varieties of paddy and castor seeds.

The new paddy variety is called as KPR (Karnataka Ponnampet Rice)-1. The yield of paddy has come down drastically in recent times in Malnad and central Karnataka regions owing to blast disease, which is caused by a fungus called Magnaporthe grisea.

The infection affects the plant’s growth and slows down the process of grain maturity.

The KPR-1 has been developed by the scientists at Agricultural and Horticultural Research Station of the university in Ponnampet. As part of the initial evaluation trial, a total of 1,450 paddy varieties were cultivated in plots prone to the blast disease. However, some IET-21214 plant variety is said to have shown stiff resistance to blast disease. The parentage of KPR-1 variety is from IET-21214 variety and it has been developed under breeding method.

The Tunga variety of paddy, which is also known for its resistance to blast disease, is most popular among the farmers in Malnad and central Karnataka region.

The yield of Tunga variety is found to be around 45 to 50 quintals an acre and it is 55 to 65 quintals an acre in the case of KPR-1 variety. T.H. Gowda, Director of Extension of UAHS, Shivamogga, told The Hindu that the field trial of KPR-1 was conducted on the plots owned by farmers in Virajpet, Ponnampet and Mudigere. The average yield in the case of KPR-1 is said to be about 20 per cent more than the Tunga and other blast-disease resistant varieties. The KPR-1 variety has shown resistance to brown hopper disease also, he said.

The castor seed oil, considered as one of the major industrial oil seeds variety, is widely cultivated in dry regions of Chitradurga, Davangere and Tumakuru districts. However, the yield of castor seed has been waning owing to fusarium wilt and white fly infection.

Scientists at zonal agricultural and horticultural research station of the university at Hiriyur have developed a disease-resistant and high-yield variety of castor seed named HCH (Hybrid Castor Hiriyur)-6, which is a fusion of DPC-9 and TMV-6 varieties. If cultivated as a solo crop, the yield of HCH-6 variety is said to be around 18 quintals a hectare of land, while it was around 13-14 quintals a ha in other existing varieties.

As part of the farm trial, Lakshmanappa, a farmer from Holalkere in Chitradurga district, who had cultivated HCH-6 variety of castor in his land, said that the yield had increased by around 22 per cent and the plants were free from wilt infection.P. Narayanaswamy, Director of Research, UAHS, Shivamogga, said that KPR-1 paddy and HCH-6 castor seeds would be released after getting approval from the State-level Variety Release Committee and the Central Sub-committee on Crop Standards, Notification and Release of Varieties. The seeds of both the varieties would be released by June, 2016, he said.

The new KPR-1 paddy and HCH-6 seeds have been developed by scientists at UAHS, Shivammoga

Yield in the case of traditional varieties said to be declining by the year owing to disease

Farm trial of new varieties have been completed

They are just awaiting official approval for release

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 5:04:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/new-diseaseresistant-paddy-and-castor-seeds-to-be-released-soon/article8031066.ece

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