The IARI has discovered the country’s first-ever non-GM varieties of rice which can be directly seeded as well as can save water besides minimizes the labor.
The two varieties of rice which are more effective pusa Basmati-1979 and 1985 contain ALS which helps farmers to spray Imazethapyr a broad-spectrum herbicide, to control weeds. But the new varieties of rice contain an ALS gene whose DNA sequence has been altered using ethyl methanesulfonate, a chemical mutant. Due to which the ALS enzymes no longer have binding sites for Imazethapyr and amino acid synthesis isn’t inhibited.DSR cultivation is currently based on two herbicides, Pendimethalin (applied within 72 hours of sowing) and Bispyribac-sodium (after 18-20 days). As Singh pointed out, “These are costlier than Imazethapyr (Rs 1,500 versus Rs 300/acre). Imazethapyr, moreover, has a wider weed-control range and is safer, as the ALS gene isn’t present in humans and mammals. Even in the herbicide-tolerant rice, the chemical will target only the weeds.”
Source: Indian Express