World’s first GM Rubber planted in Assam

Rubber Board has started field trial of world’s first GM (genetically modified) rubber in the state of Assam.

Key Points

  • GM Rubber was developed in biotechnology laboratory at Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) in Puthuppally, Kottayam.
  • It was planted at Rubber board’s Sarutari research farm in Guwahati.
  • Rubber Board launched field trial of GM Rubber in Assam a decade after Kerala Government denied permission for the same because of its adverse impact on environment.

Background

GM Rubber is the second genetically modified crop for which field trial has started after Bt. Cotton. Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) had allowed to open field trials of GM rubber in 2010 at Chetchackal, Thombikandom, in Kottayam.

Significance of GM Rubber

GM variant rubber has the capacity to withstand adverse climatic conditions. It will give a big boost to rubber production in India. It will greatly benefit farmers after trials are over. The crop is resistant to reduced moisture or drought, low & high temperatures as well as high light intensity. It will also cut short the maturity period of rubber. It will result into early yielding.

Issue with the growth of rubber

Growth of young rubber gets slower in winter season in North East because plants do not get enough light during monsoon. Lack of adequate water during summer season also creates stress to plants. Thus, GM rubber can overcome these issues and result into faster growth.

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