• 9 June 2009
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Rasi takes the next step forward

Rasi takes the next step forward
Rasi has done extensive research for crop improvement by incorporating latest technology in breeding techniques and is aiming for hybrids with early yield, high quality and drought tolerance.

Tamil Nadu-based Rasi Seeds has posted sales of Rs 375.59 crore from its biotech products for the year 2008-09 as against Rs 293.26 in the year 2007-08. The company has sold 55.21 lakh packets of Bt cotton in 2008-09 as against 50.5 lakh packets of Bt cotton in 2007-08 and has expanded the area under Bt cotton cultivation to 40 lakh acre.
Rasi Seeds was envisioned by M Ramasami, and was initiated in the year 1973 in Attur near Salem. Since its inception, Rasi Seeds has undergone rapid development from a seed production and supply venture to a commendable position in research and development.
Rasi Seeds aims to create genetic variability in cotton seeds to suit various agro-climatic zones by producing cotton hybrids of various staple length and abiotic stress tolerance.The company has a well maintained research farm of 140 acres, which includes facilities like
greenhouse, separate ginning facility for germplasm and other breeding lines, state-of-the-art fiber testing lab, well-equipped seed testing laboratory and separate dehumidified refrigerated facility for germplasm and breeding lines. The company also has modern biotech facility for testing the presence of Bt gene.
Rasi Seeds has recently built a new state-of-the-art biotechnology facility and crop breeding facility at Attur, near Salem in Tamil Nadu with an investment of about Rs 10 crore. The new R&D facility has laboratories for biotech research, crops research, germplasm conservation, insect bioassay laboratory, library and documentation, and other facilities in an area of 40,000 sq. ft.  The company has created excellent and modern facilities for undertaking crop biotech research with dedicated and proficient scientific staff. A new transgenic greenhouse following the biosafety guidelines of the Department of Biotechnology has also been created. The R&D center also has a plant molecular biology laboratory for carrying out crop biotechnology activities, a tissue culture facility to undertake genetic transformation of desirable genes in crops is fully functional.
Dr M Ramasami, managing director, Rasi Seeds said, “The future thrust of our center would be on marker-assisted selection using DNA markers for several important traits in crops such as rice, wheat, cotton and vegetables. This will involve integration of crop breeding and biotechnology including bioinformatics. We will also intensify our transgenic research in different field crops and vegetables for agronomically important traits besides quality traits.”
Some of the ongoing projects of the company include sourcing and evaluation of breeding germplasm lines with earliness, erect leaves, high per se and orange flint and orange yellow semi dent grain colours.

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