Celebration of “Rice Germplasm Field Day” on 30th OCtober, 2018 at ICAR-NRRI

ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack organized “Rice Germplasm Field Day” on 30th October, 2018

30th October 2018, Cuttack

The ICAR-NRRI, Cuttack organized Rice Germplasm Field Dayon 30th October, 2018 under the auspices of Consortium Research Project on Agro-biodiversity jointly with ICAR-NBPGR for the benefit of rice research workers. More than 65 participants including scientists from ICAR Institutes from various parts of the country, State Agricultural Universities and State Govt. officials attended the programme. There are about 109,000 accessions of rice germplasm conserved in National Gene Bank which are being systematically characterised for agro-morphological traits at NRRI which is recognised as one of the National Active Germplasm Sites. During the current kharifseason, about 6000 diverse accessions of rice are grown in the field for characterization and preliminary evaluation. In addition, 1000 accessions are also grown for detailed evaluation against biotic (Blast, Bacterial blight and BPH) and abiotic (Submergence) stresses. This programme provided unique opportunity to the researchers across the country to have a glance of variability in rice germplasm accessions grown in the field and select desirable accessions for utilization in their respective breeding programmes. This in turn, will enhance the utilization of rice germplasm conserved in gene bank which were hitherto not accessible to breeders.

While inaugurating the programme, Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Director of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute gave an inspiring speech and emphasized on the importance of the gift of Nature in form of genetic resources of different crops to mitigate and sustain any type of climate aberrations. He congratulated both the Institutes for organizing Germplasm Field Dayand insisted that such programmes should be organized every year at appropriate time for the interest of rice breeders. On the occasion a Technology Bulletin on ‘Germplasm collection, conservation and evaluation for Rice improvement’ was released by him.

Earlier, Dr. B.C. Patra, Principal Scientist and Nodal Officer of CRP on Agro-biodiversity welcomed all the Scientists, delegates from different parts of the country, research scholars and other participants and stated that the ‘Rice Germplasm Field Day’ has been organised at NRRI for the first time in collaboration with NBPGR. He gave an introductory brief presentation on the activities and achievements of CRP-AB Project. Because of rapid genetic erosion due to anthropogenic activity and other socio-economic factors, most of the germplasm of the country have been collected on priority and conserved in National Gene Bank during last few decades. This genetic wealth now is being characterized and screened against major pests, diseases and abiotic stresses like submergence, drought, high and low temperature stress at multi locations of the country. Dr. Ashok Kumar, Head, Division of Germplasm Evaluation, NBPGR gave a stimulating speech on the collaborative approach to achieve the goal of sustainable agriculture by utilising the rice germplasm conserved in gene banks.

All the participants visited the experimental fields to observe and note thevariability, their morphological characteristics and other trait specific evaluation nurseries. Some of the participants   suggested that pre-breeding materials may be developed by the National Institutes to cater the need of the rice research stations for development of region specific varieties suitable to different ecologies. It was advised to the delegates to give the indent of their germplasm requirement with proper Accession No. which will be supplied to them after signing Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). The delegates also visited the Oryza Museum of the Institute. The delegates requested to hold this event annually for minimum of two days duration. The meeting ended with Vote of thanks by Dr. B.C.Patra, the Organising Secretary.