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Changes in Actinomycetes community structure under the influence of Bt transgenic brinjal crop in a tropical agroecosystem

Amit Kishore Singh, Major Singh and Suresh Kumar Dubey For all author emails, please log on. BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:122 doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-122 Published: 29 May 2013 Abstract (provisional) Background The global area under brinjal cultivation is expected to be 1.85 million hectare with total fruit production about 32 million metric tons (MTs). Brinjal cultivars are susceptible to a variety of stresses that significantly limit productivity. The most important biotic stress is caused by the Brinjal Fruit and shoot Borer (FSB) forcing farmers to deploy high doses of insecticides; a matter of serious health concern. Therefore, to control the adverse effect of insecticides on the environment including the soil, transgenic technology has emerged as the effective alternative. However, the […]

Transgene Flow from Bt Brinjal: a real Risk?

http://www.cell.com/trends/biotechnology/fulltext/S0167-7799(13)00068-1 Bt brinjal too can create super weeds.  Gene flow from a transgenic plants has remained a contentious issue. In the absence of experimental data, the task to pinpoint exactly as to how much is the potential risk, especially in centres of diversity, becomes daunting. The GM industry has often used lack of experimental data to show there is no cause for concern. It has happened in India, in the case of Bt cotton, and more recently when the moratorium on Bt brinjal came in 2010. John Samuels of the Novel Solanaceae Crops Project, Penzance, Cornwall, UK, has raised some valid concerns, based on available data, in an excellent paper […]

Robustness and Strategies of Adaptation among Farmer Varieties of African Rice (Oryza glaberrima) and Asian Rice (Oryza sativa) across West Africa

“New research from West Africa challenges the widely held view that African and Asian ‘farmer rice’ varieties have only local value owing to their poor ability to adapt to adverse environmental conditions. Researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and AfricaRice in Benin studied 26 varieties of rice developed and cultivated locallyby farmers in five West African countries between 2006 and 2012. They were varieties of both African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and Asian rice (Oryza sativa). Their findings suggest that farmer rice varieties can grow without fertilisers, require no special maintenance and can develop ways of coping with stress. This makes them highly adaptable to a wide range of environments.” For the […]

The Impact of Organic Farming on Quality of Tomatoes Is Associated to Increased Oxidative Stress during Fruit Development

#KnowYourFood Tomatoes grown on organic farms accumulate higher concentrations of sugars, vitamin C and compounds associated with oxidative stress compared to those grown on conventional farms, according to research published February 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Maria Raquel Alcantara Miranda and colleagues from the Federal University of Ceara, Brazil. 2013 Impact of Organic Farming on Quality of Tomatoes is Associated to Increased Oxidative Stress during Fruit Development This study was conducted with the objective of testing the hypothesis that tomato fruits from organic farming accumulate more nutritional compounds, such as phenolics and vitamin C as a consequence of the stressing conditions associated with farming system. Growth was reduced […]

Bt maize pollen will harm butterflies in Europe – study

#BtMaize pollen will harm butterflies in Europe – study NOTE: Below is the abstract of an important new study that concludes that the planting of Bt maize in some areas of Europe would cause increased mortality in the larvae of the protected peacock butterfly (Inachis io). Interestingly the authors note that their study contradicts the findings of a previous study by Joe Perry and colleagues. Perry is the current chair and a long-time member of the EFSA GMO Panel, which assesses the risks posed by GMOs submitted for approval in the EU. Perry concluded there was negligible risk from Bt maize to the peacock butterfly and the two other species examined. […]

Doing Different Things or Doing It Differently? – Rice Intensification Practices in 13 States of India

Can the System of Rice Intensification be the answer to meet the country’s future rice demand? A macro-level study covering 13 major rice-growing states indicates that fields with SRI have a higher average yield compared to non-SRI fields. Out of the four core SRI components typically recommended, 41% adopted one component, 39% adopted two to three components, and only 20% adopted all the components. Full adopters recorded the highest yield increase (31%), but all adopters had yields higher than those that used conventional practices. They also had higher gross margins and lower production costs compared to non-SRI fields. Though the rice yield of the country can significantly increase under SRI […]

Present and future water resources in India: Insights from satellite remote sensing and a dynamic global vegetation model

India is a country of particular interest with regard to its future water resources, as it is expected to undergo continued rapid population growth while also being especially sensitive to climate change. The Land-surface Processes and eXchanges Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (LPX-DGVM) is used here to simulate present and future runoff in India using ClimGen pattern-scaled scenarios of 1◦, 2◦ and 4◦C temperature increase (scaled to 2050) forced by six general circulation models (GCMs). As is the case with many DGVMs, groundwater storage is not simulated by LPX, so in order to form a more comprehensive understanding of water resources, Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite estimates for north-west India are incorporated into this study and compared […]

Roles, Strategies, and Capacities to Strengthen Extension and Advisory Services

Extension and advisory services (EAS) 1 play an important role in agricultural development. However, these services need new capacities to address the current challenges in agriculture and to contribute better to agricultural innovation – a process that that requires interactions and knowledge flows among a wide range of actors in the agricultural innovation system (AIS). A summary of this paper is available here. http://www.g-fras.org/en/knowledge/gfras-publications/file/126-the-new-extensionist-position-paper?start=20

Differential responses of system of rice intensification (SRI) and conventional flooded-rice management methods to applications of nitrogen fertilizer

Author(s): Amod Kumar Thakur, Sreelata Rath, Krishna Gopal Mandal Abstract   Background   Rising food demand, slowing productivity growth, poor N-use efficiency in rice, and environmental degradation necessitate the development of more productive, environmentally-sound crop and soil management practices. The system of rice intensification (SRI) has been proposed as a methodology to address these trends. However, it is not known how its modified crop-soil-water management practices affect efficiency of inorganic nitrogen applications.   Methods   Field experiments investigated the impacts of SRI management practices with different N-application rates on grain yield, root growth and activity, uptake of N and its use-efficiency, leaf chlorophyll content, leaf N-concentration, and photosynthetic rate in […]

Plant growth-promoting traits of biocontrol potential bacteria isolated from rice rhizosphere

PGP and biocontrol traits bacteria download paper Subramaniam Gopalakrishnan, H D Upadhyaya, Srinivas Vadlamudi, Pagidi Humayun, Meesala Sree Vidya, Gottumukkala Alekhya, Amit Singh, Rajendran Vijayabharathi, Ratna Kumari Bhimineni, Murali Seema, Abhishek Rathore, and Om Rupela Abstract Seven isolates of bacter ia (SR I-156, SRI-158, SRI-178, SRI-211 , SRI-229, SRI-305 and SRI-360) were earlier reported by us as having poten tial for biocontrol of charcoal rot of sorghum and plant growth promotion (PGP) of the plant. In the present study, the seven isolates were ch aracterized for their physiological traits (tolerance to salinity , pH, temperature and resistance to antibioti cs and fungi cides) and further evaluate d i n the field for their PGP of rice. All the seven isolates were […]

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