SECTION OF AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING

 

The Section of Agricultural Engineering and Workshop was established in the year 1980 after joining of the Scientist in Farm Machinery and Power. The main resposiblities were to develop and maintain the farm and to establish workshop for research and development in Farm Machinery. The research wing of the Section was separated as Section of Agricultural Engineering  during 1986 with a mandate to develop machinery for Mechanization of Cultivation and Processing of Horticultural Crops.

 

Mandate:

Section of Seed Science and Technology

Establishment of Section of Seed Science and Technology was approved under IX Plan and it started functioning from April, 1999 to conduct research on seed production and quality aspects of horticultural crops.

 

Mandate:

 

Division of Plant Genetic Resources

Genesis

 

Divisionof Extension and Training

 

 

The division is looking after training and extension activities of the institute apart from doing research on popularity of IIHR technologies, conducting demonstrations, communication of technologies through innovative extension methodologies etc. The division had a Trainers Training Center of the Indian Council and Agricultural Research (1976-1997) and  an Advanced Training Center of the Directorate of Extension Government of India (1997-2003).

Division of Biotechnology

 

The Division of Biotechnology was established on 13.01.1993 to take up focused and state of the art research in the field of horticultural biotechnology to address various challenges and opportunities that are ahead. Fourteen scientist in the Division are engaged in specific research activities under the following thematic areas: Gene discovery, regeneration and transgenics, Molecular markers, Marker Assisted Selection, Functional Genomics,Bioinformatics &Endophytic molecular microbiology.

 

Significant achievements were made in the areas of Development of molecular markers for okra & markers for root-stock identification in citrus,Development of BT transgenic brinjal & tomato & RNAi mediated approach for insect pest resistance. Cloning of genes for fungal resistance and transgenic development, development of embryogenic suspension of banana & GM banana for Fusarium wilt resistance. Development of GM tomato, papaya & watermelon for virus resistance. Development of GM tomato, papaya & watermelon for virus resistance. Elucidation of ubiquitous association of endophytic microorganisms in vivo and in vitro and the discovery of periplasmic bacteria in banana.

 

Past head of the Division: Dr. Lalitha Anand, Dr.C.Aswath


 

 

Dr. Akella Vani

Principal Scientist & I/c.Head

Division of Biotechnology

IIHR, Hessaraghatta Lake Post

Bangalore - 560 089.

Division of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry

 

The Division of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry came into being since inception of the institute during 1968. During the initial years of the institute Plant physiology and Biochemistry was one of the largest divisions having laboratories on tissue culture, molecular biology, pesticide residue and food microbiology in addition to the existing laboratories. Later these laboratories were merged with other divisions. The division was earlier headed by Dr. Raja Rao, Dr. Doreswamy, Dr. Selvaraj, Dr. Awasthi and Dr. G.S.R. Murti,  Dr. S.Shivashankar and presently being headed (incharge) by  Dr R. M. Bhatt

 

MANDATE

 

  • To undertake basic and applied research on physiological and biochemical aspects of horticultural crops with particular reference to physiology of growth, development, yield and quality.
  • To assess the impact of climate change on crop productivity and quality.

 

SALIENT RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS

 

       Physiology of growth and development

 

  • In okra, fruits on middle nodes are strong sinks for photo-assimilates.  Seeds from these nodes had higher germination percentage. 
  • In capsicum fruit, first flowering node acts as the major sink up to 20 days which later becomes a weak sink as neighbouring fruits compete for assimilates. Night temperature plays an important role in plant growth and fruit set in capsicum.
  • In Alphonso mango, fruit bud differentiation is found to occur during November to December under Bangalore conditions.
  • Hormonal imbalance marked by reduction in IAA, free cytokinins- DHZR and ZR and polyamines coupled with an increase in ABA and ethylene are associated with high incidence of fruitlet drop in mango during early phase of fruit development.
  • Night temperatures greater than 17 °C during the flower induction period (October to December) is detrimental to flowering in mango. The effects of high night temperature on flowering were accentuated by rainfall during September – December.   Temperature of around 15 °C is vital for inducing floral bud morphogenesis.
  • Leaf water potential, ABA and phenols are negatively related to seedling vigour of polyembrynic mango cultivars. p-Hydroxybenozoic acid followed by cinnamic acid and vanillic acid are major phenolic acids in the leaves of polyembryonic cultivars, and their levels were negatively related to seedling vigour.
  • The growth inhibitory responses of paclobutrazol is due to reduction in the xylem sap yield, radial width of xylem, stomatal density, stomatal conductance and leaf IAA levels concomitant with increases in leaf water potential, ABA, phenols, chlorophyll, polyamines, cytokinins-t-ZR and DHZR.

 

Crop responses to abiotic stresses

      a) Water stress

  • In okra, genotype BO-1 having short plant stature is found to perform better under water stress.
  • In onion, the genotypes with small bulb size and erect leaf orientation (eg. MS-11 and MS-39) are found to perform better under water stress conditions. 
  • Based on the cell membrane stability test, chilli genotypes, G-4, CM-334, VN-2 and EG-12 are classified as water stress tolerant and these are included in the breeding programme on water stress tolerance in chilli.  The critical level of stress for seed germination in chilli varied from -0.4MPa to  -0.6MPa.   
  • Following the changes in morpho-physiological characters, hormonal content and yield attributes, cvs. Contender in French bean, Arka Ajit in peas and Arka Kalyan in onion are characterized as water stress tolerant to cultivars.

 

      b) High temperature stress

  • In capsicum, cvs. Arka Gaurav, Indra and Sweet ban showed better performance under high temperature.  High levels of IAA, cytokinin-ZR and polyamines-spermidine and spermine in the reproductive parts are found important attributes of high temperature tolerance in cv. Arka Gaurav.  The induction of 70 and 90 KDa Hsps is also related to high temperature tolerance in capsicum cultivars.
  • The high temperature induced abscission of floral organs in capsicum is related to an increase in the levels of ethylene and its precursor ACC, ABA and a decline in IAA and cytokinins in the flower buds and open flowers.

 

     c) Salinity

  • Grape rootstocks endowed with higher ABA, glycine betaine and polyamines-spermine and spermidine are found to accumulate less Na+ content.  These rootstocks maintained low Na:K ratio, high osmotic potential, good root growth and high root:shoot dry mass ratio under salinity conditions.
  • The salinity tolerant  grape rootstocks showed greater induction in the activities of SOD, catalase and peroxidase, and accumulation in 11, 42.7, 66.4, 70.1 and 89.4 KDa proteins under salinity conditions.
  • The grape rootstock, 110R is found to be relatively salinity tolerant rootstock.
  • The soil application of mixture of VAM (Glomus species) + bacterial consortium is found improve the salinity tolerance of Dogridge rootstock by improving root:shoot ratio and root K:Na ratio, and inducing accumulation of polyamines and ABA.
  • Under alkaline soils, the better performance of mango rootstocks, Kurukan and 13-1 is due to higher water use efficiency and induction in sugar and ABA accumulation in the roots.  Analyses of root sugars is found to have potential to serve as biochemical marker for discriminating rootstocks for alkalinity tolerance.

 

Crop responses to biotic stresses

 

a) Fungal diseases

 

  • In chilli, the anthracnose resistant cv. AR-24 had significantly higher polygalacturonase inhibitor protein (PGIP) activity in maturing fruits as compared to susceptible cv. Byadgi. 
  • In rose, foliar application of KH2PO4 led to enhanced activities of peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) enzymes as compared to control. Higher activities of antioxidant enzymes were maintained up to a period of 15 days. The level of jasmonic acid in KH2PO4 treated leaves of rose increased steeply by 10.3 times as compared to control. 

 

b) Insects

 

  • Volatile compounds, namely, caryophyllene oxide, limonene, linalool and 1-hexanol identified in the volatile fraction are found to be responsible for insect repellant action of neem cake.
  • The resistance mechanism of chayote to melon fly infestation is due to antibiosis mediated by the production of reactive oxygen species and not due to antixenosis.

c) Weeds

 

  • Allelopathic weed management improved the soil physical, chemical, and biological parameters. Rotation of crops with the medicinal legume cover crops, Mucuna utilis and Dolichos with other vegetable crops is found to be effective in reducing the population of the noxious weed Cyperus.
  • The following herbicides are recommended for management of weeds in various horticultural crops :

 

Recommended herbicides and their dosages in vegetable crops

                       

 

Herbicides and their dosages

(Kg a.i./ha)

Amount of formulated product to be used (kg/ha)

Crops

Time and method of application

No. of sprays

Weeds controlled and their effective duration

Alachlor (2.0) or Butachlor (2.0)

4.0

Tomato, Chilli, Capsicum, Okra, Pumpkin, Ashgourd, Watermelon, Muskmelon, Squash, Ridgegourd, Bittergourd, Potato, Beetroot, French beans, Dolichos, Radish, Carrot

One day after / before sowing seeds/ transplanting

1

Controls all dicot and monocot  (except Cyperus, Cynodon) for 45 to 60 days

Fluchloralin (1.125)

2.25

Cabbage, Cauliflower, Knol-khol, Brinjal, Onion, Garlic, Peas

One day after /before sowing /transplanting

1

Controls all dicot and monocot  (except Cyperus, Cynodon) for 45 to 60 days

Fluazifopbutyl (1.0)

8.0

Leafy vegetables

One day after /before sowing seeds

1

Controls all dicot and monocot  (except Cyperus, Cynodon) for 45to 60 days

 

 

Recommended herbicides and their dosages in fruit crops

                      

 

Herbicides and their dosages

(Kg a.i./ha)

Amount of formulated product to be used (kg/ha)

Crops

Time and method of application

No. of sprays

Weeds controlled and their effective duration

Diuron (2.0)

2.2

Nurseries of Mango, Citrus, Grapes, Custard apple, Ber, Pome granate, Banana

Just after planting suckers/ cuttings/stones

1

All type of weeds for 4-5 months

Atrazine (2.0)

4.0

Nurseries of Mango, Grape,

Just after planting  cuttings/stones

1

All type of weeds for 4-5 months

Paraquat (2.0)

8.0

(7ml/litre)

Orchards of Mango, Grape, Custard Apple, Ber, Banana, Pomegranate

6 months after spray of Diuron

2

All type of weeds for 50-60 days

Glyphosate (2.0)

4.0

(5-7ml/litre)

Orchards of Mango, Grape, Custard Apple, Ber, Banana, Pomegranate

6 months after spray of Diuron

2

All type of weeds for 4-5 months

 

 

Recommended herbicides and their dosages in ornamental crops

                    

 

Herbicides and their dosages

(Kg a.i./ha)

Amount of formulated product to be used (kg/ha)

Crops

Time and method of application

No. of Sprays

Weeds controlled and their effective duration

Alachlor (2.0)

4.0

Gladiolus, Tube rose, Chrysanthemum, Crossandra, China aster

One day after planting the corms / Cormels/ transplants

1

Controls dicot weeds for 90 days and grassy weeds for 60 days

Diuron (1.0)

1.2

Rose

One day after transplanting the plants or one day after pruning

1

Control both dicot and monocot (except Cyperus & Cynodon) weeds for 100 days

Glyphosate (2.0)

4.0

(5-7ml/ litre)

Rose

After pruning

1

All weeds for 4-5 months

 

 

Physiological disorders of fruit crops

a) Identification of the cause of spongy tissue formation in Alphonso mango

 

  • The cause of spongy tissue formation in Alphonso mango was identified for the first time in the world. Physiological and biochemical studies have firmly established that the disorder is caused due to the premature onset of germination-associated events in the seed during fruit maturation on the tree/ postharvest ripening stages. Radiotracer studies using tritiated water confirmed the increased mobilization of water from mesocarp to seed during spongy tissue formation.  Preharvest application of  GA3 to fruits during fruit development phase resulted in  an increase of seed amylase activity, fruit respiratory rate and a proportionate increase of the incidence of spongy tissue while paclobutrazol application reduced the seed amylase activity, fruit respiration and spongy tissue incidence further confirming the fact that the formation of spongy tissue in Alphonso mango is influenced by the activity of seed.

                                                 

                                                   Healthy                                        Spongy

 

  • Studies conducted on stone weevil affected fruits of Alphonso mango clearly established the decisive role played by the seed in the formation of spongy tissue.
  • An eco-friendly formulation is developed and tested in farmers’ fields in the Konkan region for the successful control of the disorder.

 

b) Aril Browning in Pomegranate 

 

  • The causative factor of aril browning in pomegranate has been identified.  Hormonal studies on developing fruits have confirmed the role of seed in initiating the disorder.  Preharvest application of plant growth regulators could reduce the incidence of aril browning significantly.

 

c) Chilling injury in mango

 

  • Fatty acid desaturation is more in Dashehari and Alphonso compared to Banganapalli, indicating that Dashehari may tolerate low temperature better than other varieties.

 

Nutritive value of fruits and vegetables

a) Antioxidant capacity of fruits and vegetables

 

  • In tomato, dark red types with high total carotenoids, lycopene and total phenols showed high antioxidant and radical scavenging capacities. Wild varieties recorded high ascorbic acids.
  • Dark red small onions have very high antioxidant capacity due to higher anthocyanins and flavonoids. White onions possessed lowest antioxidant capacity.
  • Frying in oil is found to be better method for retaining the antioxidant capacity of cauliflowers followed by microwave cooking and boiling in water. Genotypic variability is observed in the antioxidant capacity, oxalates and nitrates. In carrot, variation in antioxidant capacity is related to the total phenols and carotene contents.
  • The high antioxidant capacity in cv. Pusa Navrang fresh fruits  is found to be due to high anthocyanins.  Black grapes have higher antioxidant values than green grapes.  Seeds and peel contribute relatively more to the high antioxidant activity in grapes.
  • Mulberry fruits show higher antioxidant and radical scavenging ability when compared to other fruits like pomegranate, mango, grapes and papaya mainly due high anthocyanin content.  Jamun fruits have high antioxidant capacity due to anthocyanins and total phenols. Aonla fruits shows very high antioxidant capacity due to their high phenols and vitamin C contents.
  • Cultivar Alphonso possesses higher vitamin A, vitamin C, antioxidant and radical scavenging abilities compared to Totapuri, Banganapalli, Fazli, Dashehari, Langra and Suvarnarekha.  Mango kernel is found to have very high antioxidant capacity mainly due to higher polyphenols. This can be commercially exploited for food additives for enhancing antioxidant values.  

 

TECHNOLOGIES DEVELOPED

 

  • An eco-friendly formulation was developed and tested in farmers’ fields in the Konkan region for the successful control of the spongy tissue disorder in Alphonso mango
  • Processes for the extraction of volatiles of neem cake using hydro-distillation procedure and enrichment of inert carriers is developed.
  • Release of volatiles in cropped area at regular intervals through inert carriers is highly effective in repelling diamond back moth of cabbage and other insect pests of horticultural crops.  A patent has been filed on the process for use of neem volatiles to repel insects.  As the process is based on plant based organic extract, which is effective, economical and eco-friendly, it can be used in organic agriculture.

  • Spraying 10% urea as defoliation treatment in annona enhances sprouting of sub-petiolar buds any time of the year, and subsequent production of shoots for round the year grafting.

 

  1. Management of crop yield under stress
  • A commercial formulation of PCPA ‑Tomatotone at 100 ppm concentration is found to be effective in improving the fruit set in tomato under high temperature conditions.
  • Antitranspirant  (Kaolin) application at 30 or 50 days after planting improved the bulb yield in onion. Osmoprotectant, glycinebetaine treatment to seeds (2.5 and 5%) followed by foliar spray is effective in increasing the yield in onion under water stress conditions.
  • Application of antitranspirant (PME, 8 HQ or kaolin) to tomato plants at flowering and fruiting stages improved the yield under rainfed condition.
  • Seed priming with BA (10 mg/l) in French beans is effective in improving the germination  under osmotic stress conditions.
  • Treatment of French bean plants with epibrassinosteroid (5µM) at reproductive phase is found to improve root nodulation, seed yield and pod yield under water stress. 
  • Tomato plants grafted on wild species is found to perform  better under water stress.
  • A simple and sensitive HPLC procedure for the quantification of osmo-protectant, glycine betaine was worked out.
  • Immuno-electrophoresis procedure for identification and characterization of heat shock proteins was standardized, which may be being used to identify genotypes tolerant to heat stress.

 


 

 

 
 
Dr. R.M. Bhatt

Principal Scientist & Head (i/c)

Division of Plant Physiology & Biochemistry

IIHR, Hessaraghatta Lake Post

Bangalore – 560 089.

 

 

Division of Entomology & Nematology

 

The research on plant protection aspects was started in 1970’s in the division of Entomology and Nematology, headed by Late Dr. V.G. Prasad. The division laid foundation for biocontrol work, which started at IIHR as an AICR Project in 1977 and and latler was made independent as Project Directorate f Biological Control (presently, National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, NBAII).  The pesticide residues work in which safe waiting periods were fixed for many pesticides for both fruits and vegetables was also initiated then.  From its inception, the Division has been the leader in IPM of fruits and vegetables. Work on pest management of ornamental and medicinal crops was initiated in 1980.

 

Mandate

 

  1. To carry out basic and strategic research for the management of pests of Horticultural crops (vegetables, fruits, ornamental, medicinal and aromatic crops).
  2. To Develop Integrated Pest Management packages and Integrated Nematode Management packages by emphasizing ecofriendly pest management.
  3. To conduct teaching and training programmes for development of human resources in pest management.
  4. To develop innovative products and commercialize the same through ITMU and public and private partnership (PPP).

 

Thrust areas (12th FYP)

 

  1. Semiochemical based pest management in horticultural crops.
  2. Development of commercially viable formulations of  biopesticides and botanicals for insect and nematode pests.
  3. Management of borer pests in Horticultural crops.
  4. Insect vector-Virus interaction studies
  5. Molecular systematics and basic physiological studies of sucking pests in Horticultural crops
  6. Insecticide Resistance Management
  7. Pest Management under protected conditions.
  8. Studies on effect of climate change on horticultural crop pests

 

Significant achievements: 

 

The division has six different laboratories focusing on different aspects of horticultural crop pest management including nematodes in major fruits, vegetables, ornamental, medicinal and aromatic crops. The division has been conducting several research projects sponsored by ICAR and other central government departments, apart from internationally funded projects. They include ICAR ad-hoc, AICRP’s, NATP, DBT, DST, NABARD, APEDA sponsored projects etc. This division was also involved in the SAVERNET phase I and II in collaboration with AVRDC, Taiwan; USDA funded project on IPM in vegetable crops; PL-480 project on location of source of resistance to fruit fly in cucurbits and an international India-UK (DFID)-Fruit fly project.

 

A scientific society entitled “Association for Advancement for Pest Management of Horticultural Ecosystems” (AAPMHE) was started in July, 1994 with an aim to promote the cause of Plant Protection in Horticulture. AAPMHE has been publishing a journal entitled “Pest Management in Horticultural Ecosystems” bi-annually.

 

The division has come out with several technologies for the management of insect and nematode pests on various horticultural crops, some of them are listed below. 

 

  1. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)  in cabbage
  2. IPM  in Tomato
  3. IPM of cucurbit fruit fly
  4. IPM of mango fruit fly
  5. IPM of grape thrips
  6. IPM of  sapota seed borer
  7. IPM of stone weevil in mango
  8. Biocontrol technology for the management of mealy bugs on fruit crops
  9. Biological control of exotic spiraling whitefly on horticultural crops
  10. Isolation and use of Metarhizium anisopliae against mango hoppers.
  11. Microbial control of lepidopterous pests of cabbage and tomato fruit borer.
  12. Development and use of  botanicals (neem and pongamia soaps) for the management of vegetable crop pests
  13. Pest management in capsicum and tomato under polyhouse conditions.
  14. Integrated Pest Management in ornamental crops (rose, gerbera, chrysanthemum and jasmine).
  15. Development of organic modules for the management of pests of rose and gerbera under Polyhouse
  16. Use of biopesticides for the management of nematodes in fruits, vegetables and ornamental crops.
  17. Management of vertebrate pests (Grapes)

 

Technologies commercialised

 

  1. Methyl eugenol pheromone traps for mango fruit fly.
  2. Cuelure pheromone traps for cucurbit fruit fly
  3. Sealer cum Healer for the management of stem borers
  4. Hot water treatment for fruit fly management
  5. Neem soap and Pongamia soap for insect pest management in vegetables
  6. Trichoderma viride – 1.5% W.P for nematode management
  7. Trichoderma harzianum – 1% W.P,  Paecilomyces lilacinus – 1% W.P etc.   for some fungal and nematode disease management

 

 


 

 

Dr. A.K. Chakravarthy

Principal Scientist & Head

Division of Entomology & Nematology

IIHR, Hessaraghatta Lake Post

Bangalore – 560 089.

 

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