Scientists develop new flood-tolerant paddy variety

Monday, November 30, 2009


Scientists at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) said that they have developed a new variety of rice `Swarna Sub-1' under a collaborative research programme with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines.

The submergence-tolerant gene (Sub-1) was cloned by IRRI from the Indian flood-tolerant variety FR-13-A and was transferred into the popular Indian rice variety `Swarna' and hence the name of this variety as `Swarna Sub-1', minister of state for agriculture K V Thomas informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

This variety can give yields of 3.0 to 3.5 tonnes per hectare even under submerged condition for about two weeks. The variety has been formally notified in 2009, indents are expected from next year onwards, the release said.

Read the original story: Domain-b.com

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Mentha cultivation increases in UP

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mentha cultivation is on the rise in Uttar Pradesh (UP), with every successive year witnessing an increase in acreage of the cash crop.

Rising demand in the export market and remunerative prices have boosted mentha farming in UP, which accounts for over 90 per cent of the country’s total production. Mentha is cultivated during the intermediate period between rabi and kharif seasons. It is normally sown around March-April and gets ready for harvest in June-July.

According to the UP horticulture department, over 2,00,000 hectares of land was under mentha crop this year, as against 1,00,000 and 1,20,000 hectares in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

Read the whole story: Business Standard

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Bt Brinjal developed in compliance with global norms: Ramesh

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The genetically modified Bt Brinjal has been developed in compliance with global norms and experts evaluating it have found no danger in it, the Lok Sabha was informed by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.

Therefore, its introduction is not likely to destroy the country's diversity, Environment Minister said in a written reply.

Read the whole story: PTI, PIB

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Maize genome offers hope of improved varieties

Friday, November 20, 2009


Scientists have sequenced the genome of maize, providing data for plant breeders around the world aiming to improve maize varieties in the face of hunger and climate change.

Published today (20 November) in Science, the research will not only have far-reaching effects on the development of new maize and other cereal crops but also represents a major scientific accomplishment, say researchers.

The genome sequence of a variety of maize called B73 was deciphered by more than 150 scientists under lead researcher Patrick Schnable, based at Iowa State University in the United States. They identified more than 32,000 genes.

The research is "a milestone in genetics and plant biology", wrote Catherine Feuillet, a senior scientist at the cereals unit of France's National Institute of Agronomic Research, in an accompanying perspective article.

Read the whole story: SciDev Net

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Agriculture fastest-growing research in China

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Agricultural science is China's fastest-growing research field, according to a study released this month.

Between 1999 and 2008 the growth in agricultural science papers outpaced growth in all other topics, according to 'Global Research Report: China', released on 2 November by Thomson Reuters.

And from 2004 to 2008, researchers produced four times more scientific papers on agriculture than between 1999 and 2003.

China's world share of publications in agricultural science also grew from 1.5 per cent to 5 per cent over the same period, according to the report, which is based on data found in Web of Science, the world's largest database of scholarly literature.

Read the whole story: SciDev Net

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Scientists develop rot-proof apple that stays fresh for 4 months


Scientists in Australia have developed a new variety of apple which they claim can stay fresh for months. The apple, which is named RS103-130, stays ''crispy'' for up to 14 days if kept in a fruit bowl, and if stored in a fridge it can remain edible for four months.

The apple is not genetically modified but by incorporating conventionally a gene from a black spot resistant Asiatic apple variety Malus floribunda, scientists have been able to maintain the fruit’s longevity.

Read the whole story: The Independent

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Spicy Indian curry could prevent swine flu

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spicy Indian curries could prevent swine flu and common cold just like any prescribed medicine available with the chemists, Russian doctors have said.

"You can strengthen immunity by consuming spicy foods like curries, as spices like turmeric, ginger and jeera also posses excellent therapeutic effect," an unnamed official of Moscow city sanitary and anti-epidemics committee was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

Read the whole story: DECCAN HERALD
Read related story in Hindi

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