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Posted at: Jun 18, 2019, 7:24 AM; last updated: Jun 18, 2019, 5:01 PM (IST)

Now software to identify wheat varieties quickly

Parveen Arora
Tribune News Service
Karnal, June 17

Scientists of the Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research (IIWBR) here and the Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI), New Delhi, have developed a web-based tool — Variety Identification System for Triticum aestivum (VISTa) — to identify wheat varieties.

As per the scientists, it is first-of-its-kind plant variety identification system, which is faster and reliable and has accurate approach to identify the varieties. Besides, it will help in developing new varieties, improving existing varieties and settling legal disputes over the ownership of the varieties. Now, the scientists are working on making polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based marker, which can be used at any lab for identification.

A joint team of the institutes comprising GP Singh, Rajender Singh, Rattan Tiwari, Dinesh Kumar, MA Iquebal, CN Mishra, Sonia Sheoran, Pardeep Sharma, Sarika Jaiswal, Arun Gupta, Vinod Tiwari, Surinder Paul, Nishu Raghav, Anil Rai, Deepender Kumar, UB Angadi and Neeraj Kumar experimented on 368 wheat varieties and identified 54 DNA-based markers from around 30,000 markers with the use of the software and genetic analysis.

IIWBRDirector GP Singh said earlier the identification of varieties was done on the basis of distinctive uniformity stability, which was not able to detect the minute differences. “It is a rapid and accurate software system and we can detect the differences between the varieties from any tissue of the plant and grain, while earlier we had to let it grow till its maturity, so it is a time-saving technique,” said the Director.

Rajender Singh, principal scientist and member of the team, said the tool would help in determining the authenticity of variety or the claims of the breeder.

“Plant breeders identify new varieties of plants by looking at their external appearance. Misidentification can result in economic and legal hassles, but it will overcome these challenges,” he added.


VISTa at a glance

  • It is faster, reliable and accurately identifes wheat varieties
  • It can detect the variety from tissue of the plant. Earlier, scientists had to let the plant grow till its maturity
  • The software will help in developing and improving varieties besides settling legal disputes over their ownership

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