Genetically Modified (GM) crops – cotton, mustards, etc.

[pib] Alternative Dwarfing Genes in WheatPIB

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Rht14 and Rht18

Mains level : Alternatives to stubble burning


Scientists at Pune based Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology has mapped two dwarfing genes Rht14 and Rht18 in wheat that can reduce stubble volume.

Note: One may wonder why the name of research institution has not been skipped here!

Q. With reference to the Genetically Modified mustard (GM mustard) developed in India, consider the following statements:

  1. GM mustard has the genes of a soil bacterium that give the plant the property of pest-resistance to a wide variety of pests.
  2. GM mustard has the genes that allow the plant cross-pollination and hybridization.
  3. GM mustard has been developed jointly by the IARI and Punjab Agricultural University.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (CSP 2018)

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Rht14 and Rht18

  • The researchers have mapped the dwarfing genes on chromosome 6A in durum wheat, and DNA-based markers were developed for a better selection of these genes in wheat breeding lines.
  • These genes are associated with better seedling vigour and longer coleoptiles (sheath protecting the young shoot tip).
  • These DNA based markers are being used at ARI for marker-assisted transfer of these genes in Indian wheat varieties, so as to make them suitable for sowing under rice stubble-retained conditions and dry environments.
  • Wheat lines with these alternative dwarfing genes, apart from reducing crop residue burning, can allow deeper sowing of wheat seeds to avail advantage of residual moisture in the soil under dry environments.
  • Wheat lines with these alternative dwarfing genes, apart from reducing crop residue burning, can allow deeper sowing of wheat seeds to avail advantage of residual moisture in the soil under dry environments.

Significance

  • In India, close to twenty-three million tonnes of leftover rice residues are annually burnt by farmers to get rid of the straw and prepare their fields for sowing wheat, which is the next crop, resulting in air pollution.
  • Burning of leftover rice crop residue has serious implications for the environment, soil, and human health.
  • Therefore, there is a need to include alternative dwarfing genes in wheat improvement programs.
  • The dwarfing genes Rht14 and Rht18 in wheat conferred a plant height reduction comparable to the Rht1 alleles while retaining early vigour in wheat seedlings, but do not affect coleoptile length and seedling shoot length.
  • These can, therefore, be utilized as an alternative dwarfing gene to Rht1 for deep sowing conditions or in fields with retained stubble.
  • The improved wheat lines which are being developed at ARI will help reducing stubble burning incidences under the rice-wheat cropping system.
  • These lines will also allow deeper sowing of wheat seeds to avail advantage of residual moisture in the soil, therefore, saving valuable water resources and reduce the cost of cultivation to farmers.
Posted on | Custom

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
Notify of