Biotech Updates

A New Marker Developed for Rice Blast Resistance Breeding in India

December 23, 2010

Scientists at the Crop Improvement Section, Directorate of Rice Research, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, India have for the last 10 years been conducting research on the management of rice blast, a devastating disease of rice. The  group led  by Dr. Sheshu Madhav has recently developed a functional marker for one of the major blast resistance genes which has been observed to show resistance against many isolates of the blast pathogen in India.

The scientists through a large allele mining effort have identified a novel allele for the blast gene, Pi54 MAS.  The functional marker is very useful for enhancing the precision and accuracy in marker-assisted selection (MAS) of target gene(s) with minimum effort, time and cost. Further validation of this marker in 105 diverse rice genotypes showed its utility in routine deployment of blast resistance in rice breeding programs.

The work is published  in the online journal Molecular Breeding, Dec 4, 2010 issue at For more information, email the author Dr. Sheshu Madhav at