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Scientific Contribution
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Computational & Functional Genomics
Dr. E.A.Siddiq
Distinguished Chair, CDFD
Ph.D. from Indian Agricultural Research Instiute, New Delhi
Hon. Chair Professor - Biotechnology
Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad

E.A.Siddiq obtained his bachelor's degree in Botany from Madras University, and Masters and Doctoral degrees in Cytogenetics from the Indian Agricultural Research Instiute (IARI).  He began his career in 1968 as Cytogeneticist at IARI.  From 1976 to 1983, he was Senior Scientist in the same institute.  He spent 3 years in Egypt as Rice Expert during his stint at the International Rice Research Institute (1983-1986).  He returned to IARI and was appointed Professor of Genetics (1986-1987).  In late 1987, he became Project Director at the Directorate of Rice Research.  He assumed the position of Deputy Director General (Crop Science) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (1994-1997).  Between 1997 and 2002 he was National Professor (ICAR). 

Prof. Siddiq's research in genetics and plant breeding in the past three and half decades contributed significantly not only to the development of high yielding dwarf basmati and non-basmati varieties and hybrid rice, thereby boosting rice production in India but also to our understanding of the genetics and molecular basis of traits of complex inheritance in rice. 

A member of the Board of Trustees, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the Philippines, he is a member of various national and international societies and has published more than 200 research papers in reputable journals. 
List of Latest Publications

  • Nagaraju J, Kathirvel, M, Ramesh Kumar R, Siddiq, E.A. and Hasnain S.E. (2002) Genetic analysis of traditional and evolved Basmati and non-Basmati rice varieties using FISSR-PCR and SSR markers. PNAS 99 (9):5836-5841.

  • Neeraja C.N, Sarla N and Siddiq E.A. (2002). Genetic diversity of Indian landraces of rice (Oryza sativa)  characterized by RAPD analysis.  Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology 11:1-5.

  • Reddy P.M., Sarla, N and Siddiq E.A. (2002) Intersimple sequence repeat (ISSR) polymorphism and its application in plant breeding. Euphytica (Accepted for publication).

  • Hussain A.J., Siddiq E.A, Ali J, Gupta V.S. and Ranjekar P.K. (2002) Genetic and pyramiding of non-allelic TGMS gene sources in rice (Oryza sativa L) Euphytica (Accepted for publication).

  • Hussain A.J., Gupta V.S., Ali J,  Siddiq E.A. and Ranjekar P.K. (2002) Molecular mapping of an indigenous temperature sensitive male sterility gene in rice (Oryza sativa L) Theoret. Appl. Genet. (Accepted for publication).
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    Publications in Press

  • Pradeep Reddy M, Sarla N, Neeraja C.N. and Siddiq E.A. (2002). Inter simple sequence repeat (AG)n and (GA)n polymorphism in A-genome Oryza species using anchored primer. Euphytica.

  • Neeraja C.N., Sarla N and Siddiq E.A. (2001). Genetic diversity of Indian landraces of rice (Oryza sativa L) characterized by RAPD analysis. Curr. Sci.

  • Hussain A.J., Vidya Gupta, Ali J, Siddiq E.A. and Ranjekar P.K. (2002) fine mapping of temperature sensitive genic male sterility gene in rice (Oryza sativa L) Theoret. Appl. Genet.

  • Reddy P.M., Sarla N, Neeraja C.N., Reddy C.N. and Siddiq E.A. (2002) Inter simple sequence repeat polymorphism in A-genome Oryza species using anchored (AG)n and (GA)n primers. Indian J. of Biotechnology.

  • Sarla N, Neeraja C.N. and Siddiq E.A. (2002) Use of anchored (AG)n and (GA)n in ISSR-PCR to assess polymorphism in Indian landraces and varieties of rice. Theoret. Appl. Genet.

  • Reddy P.M., Sarla N, Neeraja C.N., Reddy L.N. and Siddiq E.A. (2002) Identification and mapping of yield enhancing QTLs introgressed from the wild species Oryza rufipogon. Theoret. Appl. Genet.

  • Hari Prasad, A.S., Neeraja, C.N., Sarla N, Siddiq E.A. (2002) Identification and mapping of yield enhancing QTLs in primitive landraces. Theoret. Appl. Genet.

  • Reddy V.P., Ravi Sir Deshmuk, Siddiq E.A. (2002) Genetic variability for activity and response to the effectors of the rate limiting enzyme ADP glucose Pyrophosphorylase in starch biosynthesis of rice.
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    Awards & Recognitions

  • Hari Om Ashram Trust National Award for Genetics from ICAR (1976).

  • Vasvik National Award for Agricultural Research & Technology from the Vasvik Foundation (1981).

  • Amrik Singh Cheema Award for 1987-88.

  • Silver Jubilee Medal/Memento from DRR (1990).

  • Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Award for Science & Technology (1994).

  • Recepient of Norman Borlaug Award (1995).

  • Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award for 1995.

  • Silver Jubilee Medal/Memento from INSA (1997).

  • Mementos from Governments of  Tamil Nadu and Egypt for contributions to rice research.
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    Scientific Contribution & Achievements

    Research career spanning over the last 35 years has been confined to improvement of rice, the major staple of the country.  The accomplishments that include broadly applied breeding and basic genetic research to backup the latter are as under : 

    Applied Breeding

    Directed towards catering to the national and regional varietal needs, breeding research has led to the evolution of as many as 10 high yielding varieties.  They include the world's first and only high yielding dwarf basmati variety of export value Pusa Basmati-1, varieties of specific adaptation viz quick maturing Pusa 2-21, Pusa 33, Pusa 4, Pusa 834, etc and for crop diversification and multiple cropping highly compatible Pusa 169 and 203 for rice-wheat rotation in the Indo-gangetic plains and never loading Pusa 44-33 for combine harvest in the intensively cropped northwest India. Launching and intensifying hybrid breeding at national level has led to the development of DRRH-1, one of the first generation hybrids released in the country.  Yielding one ton more per hectare their best varieties it is one of the popular hybrids.


    Pusa Basmati-1 combining high yield and quality comparable to traditional basmati accounts for 40-50% of the basmati export valued at 800-1000 crores annually.  The early and mid-early varieties have helped since their release crop intensification all over the country and sustainable rice-wheat rotation in the Indo-gangetic Plains. Pusa 44-33, a medium duration variety super fine variety ideally suited for combine harvest occupying over 50% of the rice area in Punjab and the adjoining rates has nearly replaced miracle varieties like Jaya and IR8.  The hybrid DRRH-1 being adopted since 1994 and accounting for sizable area of 2 lakhs ha under hybrid rice today, has contributed sizably to productivity /production growth.

    Basic Research

    The basic research broadly covers breeding, genetics, cytogenetics and cellular/molecular biology.  The significant contributions include the following :

    Breeding Research - brought out the:

    • (a) relevance of specific adaptability vis-a-vis general adaptability 
    • (b) significance of selection under diverse environments in ensuring higher stability over environments and 
    • (c) potential of convergent breeding in combining multi-index complex traits.

    Genetics Research - enabled:

  • (a) understanding the qualitative and quantitative genetic architecture of various indices/parameters of cooking/nutritive quality and tolerance to key biotic (BLB, gall midge and green leaf hopper etc) and abiotic(low temperature, moisture stress and salivity) stresses 

  • (b) study of genetic bottlenecks impeding exploitation of hybrid vigour 

  • (c) identification and genetic characterization of CMS sources alternate to widely used Chinese 'WA' source and indigenous sources of temperature sensitive genic male sterility and 

  • (d) allelic relationships of spontaneous induced dwarfs to find sources non-allelic to widely used DGWG gene.
  • Cytogenetics - has been confined to study of :

  • (a) effectiveness and efficiency of various physical and chemical mutagens and 

  • (b) directed mutagenesis by treatment with base specific mutagens at S-phase of cell division and 

  • (c) Location of genes of  economic value on chromosomes by trisomic analysis.
  • Phylogenetic research aimed at tracing the evolutionary pathway of Asian cultivar O-sativa and its subspecific differentiation and extent of diversity in the germplasm of cultivar and wild progenitor species using biometric, biochemical, mutation and molecular approaches revealed

  • (a) monophyletic origin of cultivated rice

  • (b) segmented phyploid nature of O-sativa

  • (c) subspecific differentiation into indica and japonica as due to a series of systematic mutations brought    together in a cluster under the influence of disruptive selection and

  • (d) richness of genetic diversity in the land races and closely related wild/weedy species.
  • Molecular strategy adopted towards enhancement of genetic yield level helped 

  • (a) discover as many as 20 yield related new quantitative trait loci, in an accession each of the wild progenitor O.rufipogon and primitive land races

  • (b) tag and fine map two temperature sensitive male sterility genes viz. tms5 and tms6 in two indigenous TGMS sources F1 and SA2

  • (c) development of  efficient molecular marker systems to study genetic relationships and distinguish traditional basmati rices from cross bred and non-basmati rices and 

  • (d)discover exploitable variability for the activity and response to effectors of ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase, the key rate limiting enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of starch in rice germplasm 

  • ( Many of the findings emerged from the National Professor's project during 1997-2002 are under publication ).

    Impact : Understanding of genetics/breeding behaviour helped evolve the most complex basmati quality variety Pusa Basmati-1 new plant type variety under advanced stages of development while diversification of CMS and discovery of two indigenous sources of temperature sensitive genic male sterility are adding strength to hybrid rice technology.   Basic knowledge generated on quality, disease-pest resistance is widely used in breeding research.

    Other Contributions

    1. Played a major role in strengthening rice research in Egypt - as IRRI's Rice Breeder under USAID sponsored Programme between 1983 and 1987.
    2. Played a major role in the establishment of Govt. of India supported National Rice Research Institute in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
    3. As World Bank Consultant prepared project proposals for agricultural development in Assam and Hybrid Rice Research in Bangladesh
    4. As Task Fore Chairman (Crop Biotechnology) of Department of Biotechnology and Convenor of National Rice Biotechnology Network and several other related bodies, continue to contribute to the development and exploitation of biotechnology products in India.
    5. As the member of the Board of Trustees of International Rice Research Institute, Philippines contribute to the global rice research endeavours.
    6. As FAO Consultant/Resource Scientist undertook the mission visit to Egypt for study and implementation of "Training in Hybrid Rice Technology Through Technical Cooperation Between Developing Countries"
    7. As FAO Consultant prepared and submitted a report on "Yield and Productivity Decline in Intensive Rice Production Systems in India" during the FAO convened Global Expert Consultation Meeting on "Yield Gap and Productivity Decline in Rice Production" in October 1999.
    8. As FAO expert consultant on Yield Gap and Productivity Decline in Rice International Rice Commission, FAO, Rome.
    Contact Information
    Email : easiddiq<at>rediffmail.com
    Phone : 91-40-24018625
    Fax     : 91-40-24015382
    Last updated on : Friday, 13th December, 2002.

    Copyright @ 2008 CDFD.