Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University to speed up crop improvement programmes: V-C
The Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University (HPAU) will speed up various crop improvement programmes for diverse farming communities of north- west Himalayas, vice-chancellor professor HK Chaudhary said on Monday.
Chaudhary, who was heading twin departments of genetics and plant breeding and agricultural biotechnology before his appointment as V-C, said scientific innovations and research work at internationally acclaimed High-tech Molecular Cytogenetics and Tissue Culture (MTC) Lab during his leadership, invented Chromosome Elimination Mediated Wide Hybridization Technique. It is cross of wheat and Imperata Cylindrica System leading to Doubled Haploidy (DH) Breeding.
“This work has been able to open new vistas by shortening the breeding cycle and accelerating the varietal development programmes of bread (chapati) and durum (pasta) wheat,” he said.
He said the HPAU was first to develop release DH wheat variety ‘Him Pratham’ in 2016.
Professor Chaudhary said many institutes of the country were using the HPAU facility to accelerate varietal development programmes and also developing gene mapping populations in shortest possible time.
This high- tech Lab has also pioneered in establishing, for the first time, molecular cytogenetics facility with the support of ministry of science and technology for physical mapping of targeted genes introgressed in various crop species by using novel tools like Genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) and Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) for enhancing precision of selection of desired recombinants in an accelerated manner.
Combination of DH Breeding and Molecular Cytogenetics techniques has opened new horizon in the sphere of speed and precision breeding for the targeted crop improvement in the shortest possible time, he said.
The V-C said efforts were afoot in the HPAU laboratory to develop wheat varieties associated with high profile drought and disease resistance for rainfed agriculture and enhance the productivity and quality level by utilising Himalayan old wheat genetic resources.
Keeping in view the congenial environment at Palampur and available technical expertise in the high-tech MCT Lab, he said, the HPAU has proposed to develop a national facility for DH Breeding in wheat to cater to the needs of wheat geneticists, breeders and biotechnologists of the country for accelerating their wheat improvement endeavours.