India Region

Delegation from IRRI visits PAU to discuss project on Rice pest and diseases

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16 April 2023, Punjab: A two-member delegation comprising Dr. Van Schepler-Luu and Dr. Jeanie from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), to deliberate on emerging research areas for rice cultivation in Punjab and other parts of the world. Their visit to PAU was a follow-up of the mega project launch of a DBT-funded project entitled “Tackling emerging diseases and insect pest problem in rice through innovative genomic approaches” at IRRI South Asia Hub, Hyderabad, Telangana, India on April 8, 2023. With a budgetary outlay of Rs 19.37 crore, this project is being led by PAU, Ludhiana, and IRRI, Philippines jointly.

Dr. Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor, PAU highlighted the long association of PAU with IRRI for developing rice varieties, production, and protection technologies. Further, Dr. Gosal impressed upon forming an international working group on emerging rice diseases, especially Southern Rice Black Streak Dwarf Virus, a new viral disease of rice reported by PAU for the first time in India during the year 2022. Dr. Gosal advised the PAU and IRRI scientists to organize an International brainstorming session on this disease to frame disease management strategies during the upcoming rice season 2023.

The Principal Investigator of the project, Dr. Jagjeet Singh Lore, Principal Rice Pathologist, shared the project details to map the rice pathogen population across the Indian subcontinent.

A team of PAU scientists, namely Dr. Dharminder Bhatia, Dr. Preetinder Sarao, Dr. Rupinder Kaur, and Dr. Mandeep Hunjan, working on the rice crop, will co-lead the project. This five-year project will also help to identify new sources of resistance against major rice diseases.

The scientists from IRRI appreciated the research accomplishments and legacy of PAU in the agriculture and food sector at the national and international levels. They visited the research laboratories and held fruitful deliberations with Dr. Ranvir Singh Gill, Incharge Rice Section, and other scientists working on the rice crop.

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