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Basmati Rice Lines & Grains

bull.jpg (5174 bytes) Objective

The invention relates to novel rice lines and to plants and grains of these lines and to a method for breeding these lines. The invention also relates to a novel means for determining the cooking and starch properties of rice grains and its use in identifying desirable rice lines. Specifically, one aspect of the invention relates to novel rice lines whose plants are semi-dwarf in stature, substantially photoperiod insensitive and high yielding. The important underlying objective is to develop a new rice line with plants that produce rice grains having characteristics similar or superior to those of good quality basmati rice grains produced in India and Pakistan.

bull.jpg (5174 bytes) Prior Knowledge & Background

The Indian basmati rice is well known and has a good global acceptability and thus, commands a good export price. The Grain and Feed Trade Association in the United Kingdom (the largest basmati rice market in Europe and one of the largest importers of basmati rice in the world) in cooperation with the UK Local Authorities Coordinating Body on Trading Standards (LACOTS) has established a code of practice which allows the term basmati rice to be applied to only the basmati rice grown in India and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest importer of basmati rice has a similar regulation which permits basmati rice only from India and Pakistan.

The basmati rice grown in India has been characterized in the patent document in the following manner:

Plants are tall, about 160 cm or more.
Field yields are about 1,000 kg per acre
The grain has a lot of chalkiness and is not translucent. Due to chalkiness, the grain tend to break during milling. This has been declared as a negative trait as chalky grains tends to be soft and discoloured when cooked.
The grain has a length to width ratio greater than 3.5, a length of less than 1.8 cm, elongates by more than 75% during cooling and has amylose content of greater than 21%.

bull.jpg (5174 bytes) Present Invention

The rice lines of the invention have been obtained by crossing a selected basmati seed with a semi dwarf variety of long grain rice. All these seeds/basmati lines were obtained from the World Germplasm Collection, Beltsville, USA owned by the US Department of Agriculture. Four varieties namely, Bas867, RT 1117, RT 1121 and Bas Lg Sel have been developed and seeds of RT 1117, RT 1121 and Bas 867 were deposited by RiceTec with the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), 12301 Parklawn Drive, Rockville Md. 20852, USA in October 1994, in compliance with the Budapest Treaty. The respective ATCC numbers are ATCC 75939, ATCC 75940 and ATCC 75941.

(it may be noted that RiceTec had filed an application for ‘Basmati 867’ for grant of plant Breeder Rights under the UPOV in December, 1995.)

bull.jpg (5174 bytes) Claims:

All the claims of the patent are reproduced below:-

1. A rice plant, which plant when cultivated in North, Central or South America, or Caribbean Islands

a) has a mature height of about 80 cm to about 140 cm;
b) is substantially photoperiod insensitive; and
c) produces rice grains having

i) an average starch index of about 27 to about 35,
ii) an average 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline content about 150 ppb to about 2,000 ppb,
iii) an average length of about 6.2 mm to about 8.9 mm,
iv) an average width of about 1.6 mm to about 1.9 mm, and an average length to width ratio of about 3.5 to about 4.5.
v) an average of abut 41% to about 67% whole grains, and
vi) an average lengthwise increase of about 75% to about 150% when cooked.

2. The rice plant of claim 1, wherein said starch index of (i) consists of the sum of percent amylose of about 24 to about 29 and of alkali spreading value of about 2.9 to about 7.

3. The rice plant of claim 2, wherein said rice grains additionally have an average burst index of about 4 to about 1.

4. The rice plant of claim 2, wherein said rice grains consists of less than about 20% chalky, white belly or white center grains.

5. The rice plant of claim 2, wherein said plant produces about 3,000 lbs to about 10,000 lbs of seed per acre.

6. The rice plant of claim 1, which plant

a) has a mature height of about 119 cm; and
b) produces rice grains having

i) an average starch index of about 29, an average percent amylose of about 24.5, and an average alkali spreading value of about 4.5,
ii) an average-2-acetyl-1-pyrroline content of about 400 ppb,
iii) an average length of about 6.75 mm, an average width of about 1.85 mm, and an average length to width ratio of about 3.65,
iv) an average of about 50% whole grains and
v) an average lengthwise increase of about 90% when cooked.

7. The rice plant of claim 1, which plant

a) has a mature height of about 115 cm, and
b) produces rice grains having

i) an average index of about 29, an average percent amylose of about 26.2 and an average alkali spreading value of about 2.9
ii) an average 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline content of about 150 ppb,
iii) an average length of about 7.6 mm, an average width of about 1.85 mm, and an average length to width ratio of about 3.92,
iv) an average of about 45% whole grains, and
v) an average lengthwise increase of about 75% when cooked.

8. A rice plant produced from Bas 867 seed having the accession number ATCC 75941.

9. A rice plant produced from RT 1117 seed having the accession number ATCC 75939.

10. A rice plant produced from 1, which plant

a) has a mature height of about 115 cm, and
b) produces rice grains having

i) an average starch index of about 28.9, an average percent amylose of about 25.8 and an average alkali spreading value of about 3.1
ii) an average 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline content of 400 to about 450 ppb.
iii) an average length of about 6.49 mm, an average width of about 1.77 mm, and an average length to width ratio of about 3.87,
iv) an average of about 41% whole grains, and
v) an average lengthwise increase of about 90% when cooked.

11. A rice plant produced from RT1121 seed having the session number ATCC 75940.

12. A seed produced by the rice plant of any of claims 1 to 11.

13. A rice grain derived from the seed of claim 12.

14. A progeny plant of the rice plant of any of claims to 11.

15. A rice grain, which has

i) a starch index of about 27 to 35
ii) a 2-acetyl-1-pyroline content of about 8.0 mm, a width of about 1.6 mm to about 1.9 mm, and a length to width ratio of about 3.5 to about 4.5,
iii) a length of about 6.2 mm, to about 8.9 mm a width of about 1.6 mm to about 1.9 mm, and a length to width ratio of about 3.5 to about 4.5,
iv) a whole grain index of about 41 to about 63
v) a lengthwise increase of about 75% to about 150% when cooked and,
vi) a chalk index of less than about 20

16. The rice grain of claim 15, which has a 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline content of about 350 ppb to about 600 ppb

17. The rice grain of claim 15, which has a burst index of about 4 to about 1

18. A method of selecting a rice plant for breeding or propagation, comprising the steps of :

a) preparing rice grains from rice seeds;
b) determining

i) the percent amylose (PA), and
ii) the alkali spreading value (ASV) of sample of said grains;

c) summing said PA an dsaid ASV to obtain the starch index (SI) of said grains;
d) identifying a rice plant which produces grains having an average PA of about 22 to about 29, an average ASV of about 2.9 to about 7, and an average SI of about 27 to about 35;
e) selecting a seed from said plant ; and
f) growing said seed into a plant

19. A method of selecting a rice plant for breeding or propagation, comprising the steps of:

a) preparing rice grains from rice seeds;
b) determining

i) the percent amylose (PA), and
ii) the alkali spreading value (ASV) of samples of said grains;

c) summing and PA and said ASV to obtain the starch index (SI) of said grains ;
d) cooking a sample of said grains and determining the percent elongation of cooked grains;
e) identifying a rice plant which produces grain having an average PA of about 22 to about 29, an average ASV of about 2.9 to about 7, an average SI of about 27 to about 35, and an average cooked grain elongation of about 75% to about 150% ;
f) selecting a seed from said plant ; and
g) growing said seed into a plant.

 

20. A method of selecting a rice plant for breeding or propagation, comprising the steps of:

a) preparing rice grains from rice seed;
b) determining

i) the percent amylose (PA), and
ii) the alkali spreading value (ASV) of samples of said grains;

c) summing said PA and said ASV to obtain the starch index (SI) of said grains ;
d) identifying a rice plant which produces grains having an average PA of about 22 to about 29, an average ASV of about 2.9 to about 7, an average SI of about 27 to about 35, and an average burst index of about 4 to about 1 ;
e) selecting a seed from said plant ; and
f) growing said seed into a plant

It is quite clear that the Claim 1 includes only those plants which have been cultivated in the North, Central or Southern America; or the Caribbean Islands. At the same time different types of rice grains having certain dimensional characteristics are integral part of the claims. It may imply that it would be difficult to market other rice grains, including those grown elsewhere, having similar/identical characteristics in those places where this patent has been granted. However, a variation in dimensional properties of other grains, such that their dimensions fall within the ranges specified in the patent document, seems to be within the statistical reasoning, as a product of nature is likely to follow a normal/or some similar distribution in regard to its dimensional and other characteristics.

The Geographical Indications is one of the IPR regimes stipulated by WTO, which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristics of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin. For example, no produces of whisky can call it Scotch, unless it has been produced in Scotland. One of the arguments being forwarded against the use word Basmati or similar sounding name, emanates from the application of the principle associated with geographical indications.

According to the UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties of Plants) provisions, a new variety shall be designated to be its generic destination. The denomination has to be registered and it must enable the variety to be identified. In particular, it must be different from every denomination which designates, in any member State of the Union, an existing variety of the same botaical species or of a closely related species. RiceTec Inc. had filed their application receiving protection under UPOV and suggested the name as Basmati 867.

It is noted that a patent application by Shri P. Pillairyar was accepted by the Indian Patent Office in 1986 (No. 160311) on a process for preparing white translucent rice. The patent document of RiceTec also aims at achieving this characteristic in the rice grains. Interestingly, RiceTec had filed two applications in the Indian Patent Office dealing with processes for milling dehulled rice for producing firmer and less sticky rice texture and these were accepted by the Patent Office. A fresh patent application, which is pending, on the same subject has been recently filed by the Rice etc

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