New Delhi: After years of hard work, scientists of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) have developed a disease resistant gene for wheat crops.

The newly identified ‘Minor genes” will be used to develop two varieties of wheat including HD 2967 and HD 3043. The scientists have claimed that the two varieties will be resistant to the yellow rust disease commonly found in wheat crops. Moreover, the concentration of nutrients will also be higher in these varieties.

Talking about the new finding, the IARI Director, Dr H S Gupta said, “The yellow rust disease is a serious threat to wheat crop as the virus responsible for it is highly resistant to any change.”

Head of the Department of Genetics, IARI, Dr Vinod Prabhu said the yellow rust disease is largely affecting production of wheat in the states like Punjab and Haryana.

Besides curbing the problem of rusting in wheat crops, the new wheat varieties will also help in multiplying its production across the country. The concentration of iron and zinc in these varieties is increased by 60-90 micros. It will yield 60 quintals of wheat per hectare.

The new variety will prove to be beneficial for wheat production in the states like Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu, Haryana and Punjab where water availability is low.

IARI has sent the gene samples to the Ministry of Agriculture for the final notification, after which the seeds of the disease resistant wheat variety will be available in market.

Besides, the institute is planning to release HD 3043 variety as soon as possible.

JPN/Bureau