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Novel upland rice variety bred using marker-assisted selection and client-oriented breeding released in Jharkhand, India
Source: Plant Breeding News*, Edition 200
Contributed by Katherine Steele, CAZS Natural Resources, Bangor University
A novel upland rice variety, Birsa Vikas Dhan 111 (PY 84), has recently been released in the Indian state of Jharkhand. It was bred using marker-assisted backcrossing with selection for multiple quantitative trait loci (QTL) for improved root growth to improve its performance under drought conditions. It is an early maturing, drought tolerant and high yielding variety with good grain quality suitable for the direct seeded uplands and transplanted medium lands of Eastern India.
It is the first example of a rice variety bred through the combined use of marker-assisted selection and client-oriented breeding, and a rare success story for the use of marker-assisted selection to improve a quantitative trait. It out-yields the recurrent parent by 10% under rainfed conditions.
The variety was developed in a collaborative partnership between CAZS Natural Resources, Bangor University, UK; Gramin Vikas Trust, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India and Birsa Agricultural University (BAU), Ranchi, Jharkhand, India. The target QTL were first identified by Adam Price (now at Aberdeen University, UK) and Birgitte Courtois (CIRAD, France /IRRI, Philippines).
Three genomic regions carrying root growth QTL on chromosomes 2 (root length), 9 (root thickness) and 11 (root penetration) were transferred from the donor Philippines variety Azucena into the recurrent parent Kalinga III. Selected backcrossed lines were crossed to pyramid the QTL. Selection was made in early generations using RFLPs and in later generations using microsatellite markers flanking QTL on chromosomes 2 (RM221-RM213), 9 (RM242-RM201) and 11 (RM229-RM206). The maximum length of an introgressed region was 40 cm on chromosome 2. Background selection was made for Kalinga III alleles on target chromosomes but it was not complete across all other chromosomes.
Selection for phenotypic performance was made in the target environment of farmers' fields in Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal from 2001 and in low-fertility soil of GVT-BAU Research Farm, Ranchi.
The release of Birsa Vikas Dhan 111 has paved the way for certified seed production in the state of Jharkhand.
Jharkhand has a population of over 21 million people of whom 44% live in poverty. Rice is the staple food. About 46% of rice land is classified as rainfed upland where rice is grown by the small, resource-poor farmers (most have less than 2 ha of land) who are primarily dependent on agriculture and migrant work. Low and erratic rainfall cause frequent droughts across the region.
*Plant Breeding News
An Electronic Newsletter of Applied Plant Breeding
Clair H. Hershey, Editor
Sponsored by FAO/AGPC and Cornell University, Dept. of Plant Breeding and Genetics