By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: The city-based Directorate of Rice Research has
developed an improved, bacterial blight resistant, high yielding and
fine grain variety of rice.
Called "improved samba mahsuri (RP Bio-226)" the new variety possesses
premium grain and cooking quality. The DRR team used market-assisted
selection to produce this new variety for the first time in South India.
According to DRR project director Dr BC Viraktamath, improved samba
mahsuri can be cultivated in areas with assured irrigation, where fine
grained rice varieties are preferred and widely cultivated. It
possesses three major bacterial blight resistance genes and exhibits
high level of resistance to bacterial blight across the country in
multi-location trials of All-India Co-ordinated Rice Improvement
The total duration of the crop is 135 to 140 days and the crop yields
4.75 tonnes to 5 tonnes per hectare, which is more than the world
average. The average rice production per hectare in India is just 3
tonnes as against China's 6 tonnes. "Significantly, under conditions
of bacterial blight infestation, improved samba mahsuri gives 15 to 30
per cent more yield than any other bacterial blight susceptible
variety," he said.
The rice kernel length is 5 mm, breadth 1.8 mm and length-breadth
ratio of 2.7. The kernel length after cooking increases to 8.7 mm.
"Improved samba mahsuri can replace fine grained varieties like samba
mahsuri, sona mahsuri, HMT sona, PKV HMT etc. The new variety can also
be cultivated across the country in the bacterial blight affected
areas," he added.