Conventional breeding approaches for enhancing yield potential of rice

By the adoption of semi dwarf rice varieties, rice growing nations have made spectacular advance in rice production during last few decades, enabling to a period of self-sufficiency and surplus. National and International rice improvement programs have not made any significant increase in the genetic yield potential of varieties since the release of IR 8 and have only added values to the semi dwarf high yielding varieties by insulating them with resistance / tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. If this trend continues in coming years too then it may not be possible to sustain the self-sufficiency in rice. Therefore, there is a need to raise the genetic ceiling to yield by integrating both conventional and molecular approaches in rice. The following conventional research strategies are suggested to enhance the genetic yield potential of semi dwarf high yielding rice varieties by
• Exploiting the gene pool concept and use of weedy relatives
• Use of disruptive mating and innovative breeding and selection approaches
• Mutation breeding to generate mutations at multiple target loci
• Male sterile facilitated composite, recurrent selection and population improvement
• Scope for the development of heterogeneous population

Author : SR Das*