New basmati variety can resist bacteria

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi, Feb 8 | Updated: Feb 9 2008, 06:45am hrs
The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has developed an improved variety of its Pusa Basmati-1 rice called Pusa-1460 resistant to bacterial leaf blight. "As the Pusa Basmati-1 developed by us was not resistant to bacterial leaf blight, we developed Pusa-1460 which has the same agronomic features of Pusa Basmati-1 in addition to being resistant to bacterial leaf blight," said the IARI director, S A Patil.

He said that IARI also developed many new cultivars, which were released for cultivation in different agronomic conditions. The high-yielding wheat variety HD2932 was released and notified for late sown variety of wheat for central and peninsular zone of the country. The LES-1-27 (Pusa Mustard-21) low cruces acid (single zero) variety of Indian mustard has been released by Central Varietal Release Committee for several states in northern India for timely sown irrigated conditions.

Two mustard varieties (Pusa Mustard 24 and Pusa Mustard-22) and one short duration pigeonpea variety, Pusa 2002 have also been identified for release. An extra early maturing variety of Hirsutum cotton, PSS2 (Arvinda) with determinate habit and tolerance to hot humid conditions has been released for West Bengal.

Among horticulture crops, Patil said that a variety of IARI's Pusa Ujwal - Ash gourd - has been identified for commercial cultivation in Zone VII. Several new hybrids in rose and gladiolus have been developed.

He said that several studies on identification and sequencing of novel genes and promoters, transgenic research and development and structural and functional genomics were taken up.

Entomopathogenic nematode for attracting and killing subterranean termites has been developed. A biopesticidal formulation 'Pusa Nema Gel' based on an indigenous heat tolerant entomopathogenic nematode, steinernema thermophilum, has been found to be highly efficacious against the subterranean termite infestation on maize and is ready for commercialisation.