Improved Samba Mahsuri

Improved Samba Mahsuri: a high yielding, bacterial blight resistant, fine-grain type, low glycemic index rice variety

Technology Profile 

Improved Samba Mahsuri (ISM) is a bacterial blight resistant rice variety, jointly developed and released by ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research (ICAR-IIRR), Hyderabad and CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad through the novel tool of molecular marker-assisted selection.

ISM is a fine and medium-slender grains variety having excellent cooking and eating quality with yield potential of 5.5-6 t/ha. It is highly resistance against bacterial blight disease, as it possesses three major resistance genes, Xa21, xa13 and xa5 incorporated using molecular marker based technology. Recently, it has also been confirmed to be a low glycemic index (50.9) rice.

It is one of the first biotechnology derived product in the country and has been registered with Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmer’s Rights Authority. 


Improved Samba Mahsuri (ISM) can be cultivated in those rice growing areas where bacterial blight disease is endemic and also in the areas where fine-grained rice varieties like Samba Mahsuri, HMT Sona and PKV-HMT are grown.

Under bacterial blight infection, ISM gives more yield than the susceptible varieties like Samba Mahsuri HMT sona, PKV HMT etc.

Bacterial blight is a serious production constraint in Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Khammam districts of Telangana state and Kurnool, East Godavari, West Godavari, Guntur and Krishna Districts of Andhra Pradesh. Farmer’s in bacterial blight endemic areas of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh can certainly get additional returns by cultivating ISM.

Considering the fact that many areas of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States are increasingly becoming susceptible to bacterial blight disease, and also considering the increasing demand for fine-grain type rice varieties with low GI values, ISM can certainly give additional returns to farmers of both the states.

Empirical Evidences 

Field testing results 

Through Front-line demonstrations and mini-kit trails, Improved Samba Mahsuri (ISM) reported an increased yield of 25-40 % in bacterial blight endemic areas of Telangana State and Andhra Pradesh, while in uninfected fields, ISM has been observed to show yield levels similar to its parental variety, Samba Mahsuri. Additionally Most importantly, ISM commands the same premium market price like Samba Mahsuri and hence it is highly preferred by farmers in many parts of the country and also in Telangana State and Andhra Pradesh.

Demonstration yields and incomes:

A socio-economic impact assessment study carried out by MANAGE, Hyderabad has revealed that the trait value of bacterial blight resistance, which represents the value that farmers have obtained by cultivating ISM instead of Samba Mahsuri, amounts to Rs. 240 crore. This represents the estimated reduction in loss that was prevented due to the adoption of ISM owing to its bacterial blight resistance (Reddy, 2017, Economic and political weekly 39: 17-20). Most importantly Improved Samba Mahsuri fetches premium price like Samba Mahsuri and other elite fine-grain type rice varieties and hence the variety is increasingly getting popular in bacterial blight endemic areas throughout the country, especially in those areas, where fine-grained varieties are prefer

Practical Utility/ Scalability 

It is estimated that > 2 Mha in the country is highly prone to bacterial blight disease and in most of these areas, fine-grain varieties like Samba Mahsuri, HMT Sona, Improved Samba Mahsuri (ISM) etc. are being preferred by farmers. Considering the fact that Improved Samba Mahsuri has the same high yield, premium grain quality like Samba Mahsuri and has additional benefits of high level of bacterial blight resistance and low GI value, it can be expected that its area can increase from the present level of ~1,50,000 ha to about 1.5 Mha, thus benefitting the farmers in terms of getting increased yield under bacterial blight incidence and better market price due to its premium grain quality and low GI value. 

"ISM has been licensed to two seed companies, M/s Sri Biotech Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad and M/s Metahelix Life Sciences, Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore. Due to its low GI value, we have also signed licensing agreement with M/s Sri Krishna Rice Mills, Chattisgarh for marketing rice grains of ISM. Due to its low GI and high level of resistance to bacterial blight, the area under ISM can be expected to increase significantly in the near future."