Gurdev S. Khush

University of California, Davis


Election Year: 1989
Primary Section: 62, Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences
Secondary Section: 26, Genetics
Membership Type: Foreign Associate

Research Interests

As a cytogeneticist, I have investigated the biosystematics of genus Secale to which cultivated rye belongs. It was shown that the genome of cultivated rye shares enough homology with the genomes of five wild species to permit gene transfer from wild species for the improvement of cultivated rye. Different kinds of trisomics (primary, secondary, tertiary and compensating) of tomato were produced and utilized to determine the chromosome and arm locations of marker genes and orientation of linkage groups. Thirty-three marker genes were delimited to small chromosome segments through radiation-induced deficiencies. Similarly I established different kinds of trisomics of rice and utilized those for associating linkage groups of rice, with respective chromosomes and for determining the arm locations of marker genes, positions of centromeres, and orientations of linkage groups. As a plant breeder, I have developed numerous improved varieties of rice which led to green revolution in rice fanning. More than 300 improved varieties of rice developed under my leadership have been released in different rice growing countries all over the world. It is estimated that 60 percent of the world rice area is now planted to improved varieties bred by my group or the progenies of these varieties. These varieties are characterized by high yield potential, shorter growth duration, superior grain quality, multiple resistance to diseases and insects, and tolerance to abiotic stresses and can be grown without the use of pesticides.

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