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Bacterial blight (BB) is a major disease of reducing rice yields significantly. Since chemical control of the disease is not possible, development and deployment of resistant varieties is the only economically feasible strategy available for managing the disease. Towards this objective a collaborative research team of scientists from DRR and CCMB have successfully introgressed three major BB resistance genes, Xa21, xa13 and xa5 into the genetic background of a very popular, high yielding, fine-grained but bacterial blight susceptible variety, Samba Mahsuri through marker-assisted backcross breeding. Through the research work, an improved version of Samba Mahsuri, aptly named Improved Samba Mahsuri was developed, notified and released for cultivation in the year 2008.

More than seven thousand famers have enthusiastically taken up cultivation of Improved Samba Mahsuri and the variety has been cultivated to the extent of 60,000 ha in the in Kharif 2012 alone. The variety, due to its high yield along with excellent grain and cooking qualities is steadily replacing Samba Mahsuri not only in BB prone areas but also in other areas of the country. The variety has been registered and IPR enabled with the Protection of Plant varieties and Farmer’s Rights Authority (PPVFRA) (Registration No.: REG/2009/240).

In addition, Improved Samba Mahsuri has been licensed to a Private Seed Company (M/s Sri Biotech, Hyderabad on non-exclusive basis) for a licensing fee of. 6,00,000/-. Extensive cultivation of Improved Samba Mahsuri is limiting the losses caused by BB disease and is enhancing the rice production in the country.

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