Bacterial blight caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae is one of the severe diseases, significantly reducing yields of fine-grain type rice varieties like Samba Mahsuri. DRR Dhan 53 (IET 27294) is a novel durable bacterial blight resistant high-yielding fine-grain type rice variety having four major bacterial blight resistance genes, Xa21+xa13+xa5+Xa38 introgressed through marker assisted selection. It has seed to seed maturity of 130-135 days and average yield of 5.50 t/ ha and possesses medium-slender grain type with very good HRR (58.4%) and desirable grain quality traits. The variety has semi-dwarf stature and non-lodging habit, with long deflexed panicles which are completely exerted (100% exertion). The variety has been released for cultivation in irrigated and bacterial blight endemic areas of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Water availability is a serious constraint owing to the dwindling water resources across the country. Need of the day is to develop rice varieties suitable for growing under water limiting conditions. ICAR-IIRR developed two new high yielding rice varieties DRR Dhan 54 and DRR Dhan 55 which can be grown under aerobic system of cultivation under dry direct seeded rice in water limiting areas.
Under aerobic conditions in multi-location testing of All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project (AICRIP), DRR Dhan 54 (IET 25653) and DRR Dhan 55 (IET 26194) were top ranking entries on overall basis in multiple zones with an average yield of 5-5.5 kg/ha, wider adaptability and yield stability. DRR Dhan 54 was released for aerobic system of cultivation in water limiting areas of Zone II (Haryana), III (Odisha, Bihar and Jharkand), VI (Gujarat) and VII (Telangana) while DRR Dhan 55 is suitable for cultivation in Zone III (Bihar) and Zone V (Chhattisgarh). Both aerobic cultivars are non-lodging with strong and sturdy culm, long panicles and seed to seed duration of 115-120 days. They have multiple pest and disease resistance for major insect pests and diseases such as leaf blast, neck blast, Gallmidge and rice thrips and moderate resistance to plant hoppers and stem borer and desirable grain quality traits in terms of high HRR% (65.3%), intermediate AC% (22.58%) and soft gel consistency.
DRR Dhan 56 (IET 26803), an early duration variety with long slender grains was developed from the cross between Huang-Hua-Zhan*2/Phalguna as a part of ‘Green Super Rice (GSR) for the Resource-Poor of Africa and Asia- Phase III’ a collaborative project between ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad and International Rice Research Institute, Philippines. This variety is tall erect, highly vigorous, non-lodging, non-shattering and dark green in colour. The plant comes to flowering within 89 days, plants are 102 cm tall and it produces good biomass and has long panicles. It has high head rice recovery (64.1%) and desirable intermediate amylose content (23.15%). It is resistant to leaf blast and false smut, moderately resistant to Bacterial leaf blight and tolerant to stem borer. The variety has been released for cultivation in irrigated conditions of Punjab and Haryana.
Dr Raman Meenakshi Sundaram, Director, ICAR-IIRR mentioned that these new rice varieties would stabilize rice production in the country and congratulated the team of Scientists involved in the development and release.