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RNAi mediated gene silencing in crop improvement for quality food and environment

T.R. Das and B. Baisakh


RNA interference (RNAi) is an effective tool for gene silencing and a promising gene regulatory
approach in functional genomics that has a significant impact on crop improvement which permits down-regulation in the gene expression with a greater precise manner without affecting the expression of other genes. RNAi gene silencing mechanism is expedited by small molecules of interfering RNA to suppress a gene of interest effectively. It has several advantages over traditional transgenic approaches as genetically modified RNAi plants do not contain transgene proteins. This novel approach has witnessed a variety of potential applications in agriculture for crop improvement, including the development of disease-resistant, abiotic or biotic stress tolerant, and high-yielding elite varieties, nutritional quality improvement, removal of allergens and toxins, delayed ripening of fruit and vegetables for longer storage period and enhancement of secondary products. This revolutionary technology could be further exploited to open many new avenues in the development of eco-friendly biotech approaches for crop protection and improvement. There is a great need to strengthen research and development activities in this promising area for proper, effective, and safe utilization of these tools as sustainable solutions for crop improvement.

Key words: Crop improvement, disease resistance, functional genomics, gene silencing, nutritional quality,

Trends in development of pregnancy diagnosis techniques in ruminants

S. Barik and S.K. Yadav


Pregnancy diagnosis is highly important in livestock sector to measure a timeline of reproductive
efficiency. An efficient reproductive performance is highly important for sustainable, profitable and economic livestock farming. It measures the incidence of delayed puberty, anoestrous, calving interval, lactation length along with provides a guideline for better reproductive management, treatment and possibility of rebreeding in animals. A profitable reproductive management process with an accurate early pregnancy diagnosis technique is a prerequisite to a decline in the rate of embryonic mortality and accelerates production-based profit for the farmers.Various methods have been adopted for diagnosis of pregnancy at different stages in animals with different specificity and sensitivity depending on reproductive behaviour of ruminants. However, none of the methods of pregnancy diagnosis adopted so far in ruminants found to be an ideal one. The advancement of applied molecular techniques like proteomics,transcriptomics and metabolomics in animal research has paved the path to identify some ideal biomarker molecules related to specific stage of pregnancy in the farm animals. This review explains the common methods available for pregnancy diagnosis infarm ruminants and the possibilities of applying advanced modern technologies in development of diagnostics for detection of pregnancy in
different farm animals.

Key words: Glycoprotein, oestrogen, pregnancy diagnosis, progesterone, ultrasound

Value chain analysis of traditional bamboo products in Meghalayan

J. Gogoi, R. Singh, G. Baruah and H. Tyngkan


The study was conducted in the state of Meghalaya comprising of 100 respondents to analyse the value chain of traditional bamboo products of the state. The existing marketing channels and the compliance cost involved at each stakeholder level in every channel was analysed. The results showed that there were two marketing channels present for trading of polo and khoh in the study area and maximum quantity was marketed through channel-II. The highest value addition was observed at wholesaler-cum-retailer level in both the districts. The traditional products were sold at the local markets have high potential to be marketed in the global market with the help from different stakeholders engaged in bamboo business. Farmer producer organizations formation at the village level would provide opportunity for direct marketing and artisans could get more income and thereby improving the livelihood.

Key words: Bamboo product, Meghalaya, traditional, value chain

Bio-processing of low cost sesame oil cake for nutritional enhancement of carp dietstan

A.P. Nayak and S.N. Sethi


Utilization of inexpensive oil cakes in fish diet formulations is essential to counteract problems related to the shortage of quality fish meal and the increase in prices of conventional fish feed ingredients like soybean meal, groundnut oil cake and mustard oil cake. This study determined the extent to which the low-cost sesame oil cake (SOC) could be fermented through the solid-state fermentation (SSF) process and used in the formulation of diets for carp. Autoclaved dough made from SOC powder with 60% moisture content was fermented separately with three probiotics viz. aqualact, rhodomax and uninutrich plus by using plastic trash cans as fermentation chamber and by using inoculum of probiotics powder, jaggery and water in the proportion of 5 g : 25 g :160 ml per kg of oil cake substrate for seven days. Fermented feed samples were collected in each 24 h interval, oven dried at 60±5°C up to constant moisture level; analyzed for their nutrients (crude protein, crude fiber) and anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) composition. The best among the fermented products at a particular fermentation duration of a particular oil cake was ascertained by taking their proximate composition into consideration, i.e., the maximum crude protein content, the minimum crude fiber content, and complete elimination of ANFs (tannin and phytic acid). Fermented sesame oil cake was found to be a viable alternative to costlier fish meal, soybean meal, groundnut oil cake, and mustard oil cake in the formulation of carp diets. Further studies are required to carry out field trials and SSF of other low-cost non-conventional feedstuffs with various other commercial feed probiotics available in the market.

Key words: Carp, diet, probiotics, sesame oil cake, solid state fermentation

Effect of weed management practices in maize on yield, quality and soil nutrients under south Gujarat conditions

J. Ali, L.J. Desai, J. Shirzad and A. Sharifi


The field research was conducted during summer 2015 at the College Farm, Navsari Agricultural
University, Navsari on clayey soil. There were ten treatments, involving two pre-emergences, three tank mixtures, one post-emergence, one soil mulching, one sugarcane trash mulching, and weed free and weedy check evaluated in randomized block design with three replications. Significantly higher grain and straw yield were registered under weed free condition, which was statistically at par with atrazine @ 0.75 kg ha-1 + pendimethalin @ 0.75 kg ha-1 as PE, alachlor @ 1.5 kg ha-1 + atrazine @ 0.5 kg ha-1 as PE, atrazine @ 0.75 kg ha-1 + 2.4 D 0.5 @ kg ha-1 as PE, atrazine @ 0.75 kg ha-1 as PE and atrazine as PoE @ 1.5 kg ha-1 at 30 DAS, while weed control through sugarcane trash mulch @ 5 t ha-1 and alachlor @ 1.5 kg ha-1 PE were also at par in case of straw yield. Weed management failed to exert its significant effects on protein content (%). Weed free produced significantly higher protein yield. Available nitrogen and phosphorus were recorded significantly higher values under weed free condition, which was statistically at par with weed control carried out through sugarcane trash mulch @ 5 t ha-1 followed by interculturing at 30 and 45 DAS followed by HW and atrazine @ 0.75 kg ha-1 + pendimethalin @ 0.75 kg ha-1, PE while available K2 O failed to exert its significant influence due to weed management. Weed free condition because of effective weed management strategy is important for achieving the soil quality and production traits.

Key words:  Available nutrients, quality, soil mulch, tank mixture, yield

Application of Aloe vera gel on shelf-life of grape (Vitis vinifera L. var. Shindokhani)

R. Kazimi and D. Saxena


Grape ‘Shindokhani’ variety is the most extensively produced, local and commercial table grape in
Afghanistan. This variety is mostly demanded which is used for export, raising and table grape but this cultivar’s short postharvest life is one of the main concerns. A study was conducted at Kabul University’s Laboratory of Horticulture Department to determine how Aloe vera gel edible coating influenced the shelf life of cv ‘Shindokhani’ table grapes after harvest. This study used a completely randomized design to conduct a single factor experiment with five treatments and three replications. The initial step involved dipping grape clusters in five different Aloe vera (AV) gel coating 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, drying and storing the bunches, and collecting data over a 3-day period. The proportion of weight loss (WL%), berry decay (DP%), berry total soluble solid (TSS), and berry pH were all measured. The findings, applying Aloe vera gel coating reduced WL%, DP%, as well as increase the amount of TSS, and pH. The coated grapes had the least weight loss as well as the lowest DP% and the maximum TSS%. As a result, enhancing the quality and shelf life of grape cv ‘Shindokhani’ by applying postharvest Aloe vera gel coating in a 5% and 15% concentration are recommended.

Key words: Aloe vera, edible coating, fruit quality, post-harvest quality, table grape

Role of plasticulture in horticultural applications.

H. Hamayoun, A. Matin Miani and H. Fiazy


The study aims at extracting total phenolic content from leaf of Litsea glutinosa in different solvent medium under the microwave-assisted extraction system and assessment of its antioxidative activity. Solvents of extraction were classified into 7 groups such as Gr-A (100% methanol), Gr-B (100% deionized water), Gr-C (methanol: water: acetic acid in 70:25:05 v/v), Gr-D (ethyl acetate: methanol: water in 60:30:10 v/v), Gr-E (100% acetone), Gr-F (acetone: water: acetic acid in 90: 9.5: 0.5 v/v) and Gr-G (100% ethanol).Total polyphenols were quantitatively estimated following standard protocol. Organic and aqueous solvent mixture groups of Gr-C, D, and F exhibited significantly (p<0.01) higher concentrations of total polyphenols. Total and individual anti-oxidative activities were analyzed in the solvent group having the highest amount of total phenolics. The polyphenols extracted in Gr-D exhibited significantly higher antioxidant activities (p<0.01) in phospho- molybdenum and reducing power method than the solvents at Gr-C and F. The polyphenols extracted in the Gr-C solvent depicted significantly higher antioxidative activities (p<0.01) in the FRAP method followed by Gr-D and F. Also leaf extract in Gr-D solvent exhibited significantly higher superoxide (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power) and nitric oxide radical scavenging activities (p<0.01) followed by Gr-C and F. On the other hand, polyphenols extracted in Gr-F exhibited significantly (p<0.01) higher hydroxy radical scavenging activity and lipid peroxidation inhibition assay followed by Gr-C and D. The present study reflects that the plant derived phyto-chemicals can be better extracted through organic and aqueous mixture solvents than individual one with potent anti-oxidative activity

Key words: Antioxidant, FRAP, free radical scavenging activity, microwave-assisted extraction, total phenolics

Xenografting of tilapia fish skin for snare wound management in wild sloth bear (Melursus ursinus): A novel approach

A. Sha. Arun, S.P. Patil and B. Shrikrishna


In a rescue operation, Wildlife SOS Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Centre and the Karnataka Forest
Department rescued a wild female sloth bear injured by a poacher’s snare. Approximately 2-3 years of age, the bear had suffered a lethal injury on her right foreleg just above the metacarpal region due to the snare. So, the bear was missing the first four digits and claws with gangrenous and septic wounds along the entire paw region. It was estimated that the bear had been injured for 6-10 days prior to her rescue. After a thorough medical examination and stabilization period that lasted for five days, a procedure of skin grafting using fresh tilapia fish skin xenograft was performed to facilitate the healing of the wound. A bandage was applied to cover the graft, that remained intact for two weeks. Fourteen days after the procedure, a close re-examination of the wound bed showed partial absorption of the tilapia skin graft. It diffused a microcapillary network and a thin whitish layer formed over the wound’s surface, indicating granulation and formation of the collagen layer. The wild sloth bear was made to undergo training which utilized the principles of positive conditioning wherein the bear was rewarded with a treat every time she performed a desired action such as extending her paw. This allowed wound dressing to happen regularly and smoothly. After six weeks, the wounds completely healed.

Key words: Leg injury, poachers’ snare, sloth bear, tilapia fish skin, xenograftds, mutualistic symbiosis, porcelain crab, sea pen

Distribution and nesting records of whitebellied sea-eagle, Haliaeetus leucogaster (Gmelin, 1788) in Balukhanda-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary, Puri

N.C. Palei, A.K. Bal, B.P. Rath, H.B. Udgata and S.N. Acharya


The study on bird diversity of Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary of Bamra, Odisha was carried out between August 2021 to March 2022. During the study period, a total of 171 species of birds belonging to 56 families were recorded. Out of 171 species a total 85.38% (n=146) species resident birds, 12.28% (n=21) species winter migrants, 2.34% (n=4) species summer migrants were recorded in the study area. According to the frequency of sighting of birds recorded in the study area, 81 species (47.37%) were common, 52 species (30.41%) were uncommon, 25 species (14.62%) were rare and 13 species (7.6%) were occasional were reported in Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary

Key words: Balukhanda, conservation, distribution, nesting, odisha, population, white bellied sea eagle

Factors influencing marketing of nontimber forest produce: A study in Jharkhand state, India

A. Shukla, G. Kumar and N. Shukla


Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) plays a significant role in improving the livelihood of the people living in the forest fringe. It can be helpful in sustainability as well as inclusive growth. In India, NTFP is the major source of income for the tribal population. Therefore, the Government has launched several schemes for raising the living standards of tribal population and management of non-timber forest produce. The objective of this study is to investigate the factors that help in successful implementation of these Government schemes to provide benefits to the tribal community and rural poor. The qualitative analysis of data was done by compilation of information through interviews of cooperative society members, SHG members, villagers and officials from agencies involved in implementation of these schemes. It was found that awareness related to these schemes is quite low among rural people. The study reveal that the villagers sell their produce in local markets rather than selling it to government agencies at minimum selling price due to lack of instant cash payment, distance factor, expolit of middle man/contractors, improper transportation & adminstrative discordination.

Key words: Forest produce, Jharkhand, livelihood, MFP, NTFP, tribal

Health status of women in Hemagiri block of Sundargarh, Odisha

S. Patel, H. Samantray and P. Panda


Pregnancy is a crucial period that affects the health of both the mother and child. Nutritional inadequacy particularly vitamin A, calcium and iron restricts the optimal growth and development of fetus in addition to development of complications and sometimes mortality of mother and child. The survey was carried out in Chuabahal, Laikera, Maisana, Nangelkata, Kathapali and Dudka villages in Hemgir block of Sundargarh district through recording of deficiency symptoms. It was observed that the vitamin A deficiency was moderate in all the villages with values ranging from 19.68 to 32.80 per cent. However, the calcium deficiency symptoms were observed in the range of 35.24 to 72.33 percentage of pregnant women. The iron deficiency was more than 50% in almost all the surveyed villages with highest incidence in Laikera village (62.45%) and the lowest incidence in Kathapali village (45.65%). The incidences were related to the socio-economic conditions of the households and the decisions related to regarding the diet, hygiene, resting period, breast feeding and immunization were mostly done by the post-partum mothers. It indicates that there is high prevalence of iron and calcium deficiency among the pregnant women, which need to be addressed in addition to the vitamin A inadequacy and post-natal care and management of the mother and child.

Key words: Anemia, deficiency, hypocalcaemia, micronutrient, neonatal care, pregnancy

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