Biotech Updates

Marker-assisted Breeding Project for Abiotic Stress-tolerant Varieties Starts in India

December 3, 2010

Researchers from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and 15 Indian institutions attended the launching meeting of the 5-year project From QTL to variety: marker-assisted breeding of abiotic stress-tolerant rice varieties with major QTLs for drought, submergence, and salt tolerance, funded by the Indian Government's Department of Biotechnology. The project costs INR 177.4 million (approximately USD 4 million) and involves 15 network partners of Stress-tolerant Rice for Africa and South Asia (STRASA) from Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) institutes and various state and central universities.

The objective of the project is to "use DNA marker-assisted breeding to transfer major quantitative trait loci (QTL) or genes for submergence, drought, and salinity into local popular high-yielding varieties of rice", thus complementing the STRASA project.

N.K. Singh from the National Center of Biotechnology in New Delhi serves as the coordinator of the project from India, while David Mackill is the project coordinator from IRRI.

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