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Crop Improvement      

The Division is pursuing interdisciplinary research on genetic improvement for salinity, sodicity and waterlogging tolerance in crop plants through collection, conservation, evaluation, documentation and utilization of germplasm for salt tolerance in rice, wheat, mustard, gram, sesbania and dill. The Division has developed several salt tolerance varieties of rice, wheat, mustard, gram, sand. In addition, a number of genetic stocks have been registered with the NBPGR, New Delhi to be used by breeders and other scientists engaged in crop improvement for abiotic stresses world over. The Division is engaged in the salt tolerance studies at the level of physiological characterization, element/microelement toxicity tolerance and their contribution to salt tolerance. These studies have been extremely useful in improving the genetic make up of different crops and their productivity in salt affected soils. The extensive facilities developed for screening under salinity/sodicity in the division are one of the best in the World in the form of controlled temperature glass house, wheat, rice and mustard microplots, transgenic glass house, etc. The Division has developed strong international and national linkages with different organizations/institutes and has successfully completed and currently involved in many foreign aided/ externally funded research projects covering the research themes related to genetic, plant physiology, plant breeding, germplasm documentation, physiological characterization and molecular breeding.

Research Achievements

  • A large number of germplasm of cereals, oilseeds, pulses, vegetables, medicinal crops and agro-forestry plants have been collected, screened and evaluated for salt tolerance
  • Suitable crops and salt tolerant genotypes have been identified
  • Seven salt tolerant varieties of rice (CSR 43 in 2011, CSR 36 in 2005, CSR 30 in 2001, CSR 27 in 1998, CSR 23 in 2004, CSR 13 in 1998, and CSR 10 in 1989) have been developed through hybridization breeding approach and released
  • Four salt tolerant varieties of wheat (KRL 1-4 in 1990, KRL 19 in 2000, KRL 210 and KRL 213 in 2010) have been developed and released.
  • Three salt tolerant varieties of mustard (CS 52, CS 54 and CS 56) and one chickpea through hybridization breeding approach have been developed
  • Salt tolerance indices for less Na uptake and ability to sequester toxic ions established for rice, wheat and mustard
  • Rapid and reliable laboratory methods for screening of genotypes for salt and waterlogging tolerance developed
  • Genetic diversity for micro-element toxicities and waterlogging in wheat germplasm identified
  • Germplasm tolerance of rice to dual tolerance sodicity and zinc deficiency identified
  • In sesbania (Dhaincha), two genetic stocks CSD 137 and CSD 123 have been registered with NBPGR as salt tolerant genetic stocks.
  • A high seed yielding dill (CSS1) has been registered as unique sodicity tolerant germplasm with NBPGR, New Delhi during 2008.

Seed Production of Salt Tolerant Varieties

Breeder and labelled seeds of salt tolerant varieties are produced to meet the requirements of national and state organizations, and the farmers. In the last 5 years, breeder and truth labeled (TL) seed of salt tolerant varieties of rice (84 and 422 t), wheat (116 and 152 t) and mustard (19 t) breeder and labelled seed, respectively was produced and distributed.

Collaborations and Linkages

  • ICAR-IRRI Collaborative Project on “Rice Germplasm Improvement for Salinity Soils
  • BMZ funded IRRI-CSSRI Project on “Enhancing and Stabilizing the Productivity of Salt Affected Areas by incorporating Genes for Tolerance of Abiotic Stresses in Rice
  • BMGF funded IRRI-CSSRI STRASA Project on “Stress tolerant rice for poor farmers of Africa and South Asia”
  • A Consortium Project involving 7 countries and funded by European Union entitled, “BIOSALINE (AGRO) FORESTRY: Remediation of Saline Wastelands through Production of Renewable Energy, Biomaterials and Fodder.
  • ICAR- ACIAR, DAFWA Australia, UWA Australia: “Physiological and genetic approaches for the development of waterlogging tolerance in wheat on sodic/alkaline and neutral soils in India and Australia”.
  • ICAR- ACIAR, Australia and Univ of Adelaide: A project on “Wheat Improvement for waterlogging, salinity and element toxicities in India and Australia”
  • ICAR –IRRI Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) – Objective 2 (Strategic Experimental Platforms for Future Cereal Systems) programme
  • Identification and pyramiding of genes for improving salt tolerance and seed yield in Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.) under salinity stress
  • Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Aberystwyth, UK on Using genomics and mapping approaches to improve tolerance of crop plants to salinity stress
  • Through All India Coordinated Wheat Project DWR and different Institutes and Universities in India working on salinity tolerance.
  • ICAR funded project onMultilocation evaluation of wheat germplasm” through NBPGR


Weather on 16.03.2017 at CSSRI, Karnal
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26.0 09.8
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Rainfall (mm) Nil
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