Hyderabad, June 14 (NSS): On June 5, City scientist Dr R.M. Sundaram, who is working as a Principal Scientist (Biotechnology) at the ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research (ICAR-IIRR) was inducted as a Fellow of the prestigious National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), India.
Dr Sundaram has contributed immensely towards development and application of molecular markers in rice breeding. He developed a high-yielding, bacterial blight resistant, fine-grain type rice variety possessing low glycemic index, named Improved Samba Mahsuri through marker-assisted selection (MAS) in collaboration with CSIR-CCMB, Hyderabad. The new variety is being enthusiastically cultivated by farmers in several Indian states in an area of 2,00,000 ha across India.
He also contributed significantly in improving rice for resistance against blast disease, brown planthopper (BPH) and gall midge pests. He developed DNA marker based assays for detecting impurities in seed-lots of rice hybrids and parental lines and has used DNA markers and genomic tools for understanding the molecular basis of heterosis and various other traits in rice.
He is presently leading many collaborative R & D projects on application of molecular markers and genomic tools for rice improvement. The novel genes and molecular markers identified by Dr. Sundaram are widely used by various rice researchers across the world and the breeding lines developed by him are being used by different Indian rice research groups as donors for various traits. (NSS)