Breakthrough achieved in developing rice hybrids

ELURU, AUG. 21. S. Raghava Reddy, Principal Scientist, Agricultural Research Station (ARS) at Maruteru in West Godavari district, on Saturday said that scientists involved in hybrid seed production programme have achieved a major breakthrough in development of rice hybrids.

New CMS lines

He told The Hindu that the ARS scientists had developed two new cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) lines (APMS 6-A and APMS 7-A) meant to be used as female parents in developing rice hybrids and were given for testing their stability.

He informed that the APMS 6-A CMS line was widely used for production of rice hybrids as it was found to have fine grain quality with stability for male sterility. The ARS had succeeded in its efforts to develop local and multiple cytosterile lines by acknowledging the need for different sources of CMS lines in order to save the rice hybrids during epidemic breakouts.

Rice seed dormancy

Mr. Reddy said the ARS had evolved methods to break rice seed dormancy in rabi, which was commonly observed in the cyclone-prone Godavari delta. The technique of nitric acid treatment for breaking seed dormancy, involving soaking of the seed in nitric acid solution for 24 hours, was widely accepted by farmers. He said the prevalence of paddy straw incorporation during kharif for want of adequate nitrogen supplies, had led to a slight decline in the yield.

Planting conditions

Early planting (up to third week of July) recorded highest yields in paddy during kharif while planting in August led to a relatively low yield, he said and added that Swarna and Chaitanya varieties withstood the late planting conditions and gave satisfactory yields when compared to other paddy varieties.