Why in news?
Researchers from ICAR-National Rice Research Institute (NRRI), Odisha have mapped out the diverse genes in rice that help in disease resistance.
Diseases and findings:
- Magnaporthegriseaalso known as rice blast fungus, rice rotten neck, rice seedling blight, blast of rice, oval leaf spot of graminea, pitting disease, ryegrass blast, and Johnson spot, is a plant-pathogenic fungus that causes a serious disease affecting rice
- By characterising over 150 rice varieties from nine States across the country researchers have identified new markers associated with blast resistance.
- The present study showed that the rice landraces collected from north-eastern states of India had the highest resistance.
- The rice varieties also have different resistant/susceptible behaviors under specific ecological conditions.
- Fungicides are very expensive, environmentally harmful and may cause health problems due to unsuitable application.
- The rapid changes in pathogenic virulence represents a constant challenge to the production of current rice immune to blast.
- The fungus causes injuries to the leaves, stems, peduncles, panicles, seeds and even the roots.
- Thus, new generic blast-resistant genes / alleles in rice germplasm such as landraces, wild rice, etc. are always needed.
- The potential threat of crop failure from this disease is very high.
- Other herbs, including crabgrass are infected by closely related fungi, that cause their respective hosts almost identical symptoms.