Niche Area of Excellence

NICHE AREA OF EXCELLENCE on Development of blast resistance high yielding short grain aromatic rice variety for northern Bengal

Funded by Education Division, ICAR


  1. A.K Chowdhury, Pathologist – PI
  2. P.M.Bhattachrya, Pathologist – Co PI
  3. Bidhan Roy, Breeder– Co PI
  4. Somanth Mandal, Biochemist- Co PI
  5. Nandita Sahana, Biochemist – Co PI


Senior Research Fellows:

  1. Manish Agrawal – Pathology
  2. Sushant Gadge– Breeding
  3. K Prudveesh – Biochemistry


Date of Start: 19.11.2019 (Duration: 3 years)



Development of dwarf or semi-dwarf aromatic rice resistant to blast with high yield potential

Progress of work:

  1. Variability assessment and genetic diversity analysis was conducted for 35 popular aromatic cultivars grown in this region using SSR markers
  2. Thirty-five traditional cultivars have been screened for blast tolerance in field as well as in-vitro conditions and Sadanunia and T4M-35 has been identified as aromatic cultivars with high resistance to blast for further inclusion in different breeding programs.
  3. Association of known blast resistant (Pi) gene was evaluated in the 35 nos of cultivars. The pi37, pizt,pik, pi9 and Pita 2 alleles were significantly associated with the blast tolerant genotypes.
  4. F3 segregating generations of the crosses [Kalonunia x blast resistance genotype (IR64, Pusa Basmati 1637, Pusa Basmati 1509 and UBKVR-124)] were grown to isolate short duration aromatic recombinants. Seeds were harvested individual plant basis to raise next generation.
  5. Isolation and Characterization of rice blast pathogen from north Bengal regions and four isolates were confirmed as Magnaporthe oryzae by ITS sequencing with known primers
  6. Identification of blast resistance and susceptible genotype has been completed
  7. Sample collection and mRNA isolation from progressive time frame after in-vitro inoculation has been completed
  8. Pure culture of oryzae was inoculated in the resistant plants (Sadanunia, T4M35, Chakhaosampark) and susceptible plants (Govindabhog, Kalununia and Konkonijoha) and samples were collected in progressive time point and methanol and hexane extracts were prepared for estimation of different metabolites

 Capacity Building:

  1. Training on advanced molecular techniques for PhD students: 36 students of various discipline has been trained
  2. Awareness cum training program on rice blast disease for Agriculture officers
  3. Awareness program for farmers

Major Equipment:

Name of the major equipments/facilities Number Unit cost (Rs. in lakh)
Gel Documentation Unit 1 9.996
Nanodrop 1 8.99967
RT PCR 1 14.99937
Chemidoc 1 19.992
GC MS 1 56.004


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