Pusa

Pusa Basmati 1121 (PB 1121) is a landmark Basmati rice variety having Basmati quality traits introgressed from traditional Basmati varieties such as Basmati 370 and Type 3. It was released for commercial cultivation in 2003. It possesses extra-long slender milled grains (9.00 mm), pleasant aroma, and an exceptionally high cooked kernel elongation ratio of 2.5 with a cooked kernel length of up to 22 mm, volume expansion more than four times, appealing taste, good mouth feel and easy digestibility. Owing to its exceptional quality characteristics, it has set new standards in the Basmati rice market. The cumulative foreign exchange earnings through export of PB 1121 since 2008 have been US$ 20.8 billion, which has brought prosperity to millions of Basmati farmers. During 2017, the farmers cultivating PB 1121 earned on an average US$ 1400/ha as against US$ 650/ha cultivating traditional Basmati, making it a highly profitable enterprise. Currently, PB 1121 is grown in ~ 70% of the total area under Basmati rice cultivation in India. It is the most common Basmati rice variety in rice grain quality research for developing mapping populations, genetic analyses and molecular mapping of Basmati quality traits. Additionally, it has been widely used in the Basmati rice breeding program across India, because of its superior quality attributes. This article presents an account of development of PB 1121, its major characteristic features and its flagship role in heralding a Basmati rice revolution. The prospective role of PB 1121 in Basmati rice improvement and future Basmati rice research as a whole is also presented.