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    Director of CTRI receives prestigious NAAS Fellow award

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    Dr Maganti Sheshu Madhav, Director of ICAR-Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI), received the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences Fellow award for his exceptional research in Agricultural Sciences, particularly in enhancing rice and tobacco production. The award was presented in New Delhi during the Foundation Day of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences by Dr Himanshu Pathak, the director general of ICAR and president of NAAS.

    Originally from Hanumakonda, Dr Madhav holds a postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from Ohio State University. With over thirty years of experience in agricultural research and management, he has made significant contributions to the improvement of rice and tobacco crops. His work includes identifying and cloning two key rice blast resistance genes and mapping a gene that provides resistance to bacterial leaf blight (BLB).

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    Dr Madhav’s research has led to the development of biotic stress-resistant rice varieties and pre-breeding lines, aiding global efforts to enhance rice production. His lab has also focused on creating marker assays for assessing blast resistance, aroma, and kernel length after cooking traits, speeding up the development of high-quality and resistant rice lines. Through molecular breeding tools, he has successfully bred six rice varieties that have been released for cultivation.

    Additionally, Dr Madhav’s team has established a significant chemical mutagenesis resource in the genetic background of the popular variety Samba Mahsuri to discover new sources of resistance to pests like sheath blight and yellow stem borer (YSB). They have also used RNA interference (RNAi) to silence pest genes within host plants, offering a unique approach to managing yellow stem borer infestations.

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    The genes, molecular markers, and improved breeding lines developed by Dr Madhav’s team serve as crucial genetic resources for combating biotic stresses and promoting sustainable rice production.

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