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[en] Full text: In 2020, 3141 samples were analysed for stable isotopes and 130 samples were measured for fallout radionuclides, respectively in the SWMCN Laboratory. Most analyses were carried out for supporting Research and Development activities at the SWMCNL focused on the design of affordable isotope and nuclear techniques to improve soil and water management in climate-smart agriculture. (author)
[en] Potential amylase enzymes have many industrial applications that are found in biological sources like animal, plants and microorganisms. Fungi and bacteria hold tremendous potential to produce the α-amylases using agriculture by-products under solid state fermentation (SSF). Agro-industrial residues such as rice bran, wheat bran, sugar cane bagasse, corn leaf, barley, orange peel, wheat straw, rice straw is abundant and cheapest carbon source. SSF using agro-industrial residues is currently used in a range of applications including classical applications such as antibiotics production, enzymes, composting, biosurfactants and biofuel production. Microbial α-amylases have several applications in paper, food, pharmaceutical, detergent, and textile industries. The enzyme α-amylase is meritorious due to their properties such as thermostability, Ca2+-independent pH stability and pH profile which play important role in the development of bioprocess of different products. This review is focused on physiochemical properties of the bacterial α-amylases fermentation, structural and functional aspects of agro industrial residues and by products for α-amylase production. (author)
[en] Indian agriculture in the past has witnessed events such as the Green Revolution which transformed the country’s status from a food importing nation to a self-sufficient nation. The ushering in of the Green Revolution in the 1960s had ensued a phenomenal increase in the production of agricultural crops especially food-grains, in India. The crucial accomplishment of the Green Revolution was the dramatic augmentation in the production of two major cereals viz. wheat and rice.
[en] Food waste has a high utilization value, but its high moisture content brings more disadvantages to its storage, transportation and energy utilizations. Dehydration of food waste is conducive to subsequent treatment, and herein, the effects of ionizing radiation pretreatment on the dehydration performance of tofu protein waste were examined. The mechanical centrifugation dehydration, moisture distribution, bond energy (Hb), drying time, and drying rate indicated that ionizing radiation pretreatment significantly enhanced the supernatant volume, free water content, and drying rate, while reducing Hb and drying time. Moreover, the mechanism underlying the enhanced dehydration performance was discussed based on particle size analysis, Scanning electron microscope, UV-vis spectroscopy and pH value. (author)
[en] The advancement in the field of precision agriculture has opened doors for site-specific weed management. There is a growing need to control the amount of herbicide sprayed on weeds to reduce economic and environmental losses. In the field of precision agriculture, incorporation of machine learning techniques has enabled the farmers to automate the process of controlling weed using an adequate number of herbicides for different species in-situ. This study aims to explore various parameters of Computer Vision and Machine Learning algorithms and methods used by researchers to develop Artificial Intelligence models to remove weeds from agricultural fields. More than twenty state-of-the-art algorithms have been studied in this paper. We categorized these algorithms into five categories based on different features i.e. visual, shape, spatial, and spectral. At the end of this study, a comprehensive table is presented containing details of algorithms in terms of limitations and accuracy. (author)
[en] Drought is the primary cause of yield loss in agriculture throughout the world and is currently the most common reason for global food shortages and food insecurity. The estimated cost of drought across Africa over the period of 2014 to 2017 totalled USD$ 372 billion. Climate change is expected to increase drought severity and its negative effect. The impact of drought is particularly severe in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where rainfed subsistence farming dominates food production and the social and economic disaster management systems are usually inadequate. An increase in crop yields is required to meet the needs of a growing population.The aim of the project is to use induced genetic variation for mutation breeding with the use of optimal phenotyping systems to improve cowpea adaptation to drought. It is expected to lead to the release of high-yielding cowpea varieties tolerant to drought stress.
[en] The suitability of adult male the navel orangeworm, Amyelois transitella (Walker) for Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) has been reported for both high energy gamma (>1 MeV) and low energy x-ray (90 keV) sterilization. However, research regarding sterilization of NOW larvae and pupae by gamma irradiation indicated nonsuitability due to high mortality. Here, NOW larvae and pupae were irradiated to doses up to 50 Gy with 90 keV x-rays, then paired with nonirradiated colony mates. Sterility of surviving insects was determined by the presence or absence of hatched neonates. While presence of offspring does not guarantee viability, the absence does guarantee sterility (as is appropriate for SIT) and was thus the measure used here. Early stage larvae experienced 77% mortality at a dose of 30 Gy, versus 20% for nonirradiated control. At 40 Gy, mortality reached 98%. Of surviving early stage larvae at 30 Gy, 29% of moth pairs produced offspring. For late stage larvae, no offspring were produced at 40 Gy, but mortality was 73%. For pupae, mortality reached 53% at 30 Gy with 13% still producing neonates, while mortality reached 98% at 40 Gy. These results are consistent with reported results for gamma irradiation of NOW larvae where sterility was observed somewhere between the 30 Gy and 60 Gy data points, but mortality was high. This further confirms the lack of suitability of NOW irradiated in the larval stage, whether by gamma or x-ray, and supports the hypothesis that x-ray and gamma treatments are biologically equivalent at equal doses. (author)
[en] On 7 August 2020, the Chinese Society of Nuclear Agriculture Sciences released new developments during 2019 in China, including the wide cultivation of the new mutant wheat variety Luyuan 502, release of the new mutant rice variety with low cadmium accumulation, hosting of the first workshop of the Mutation Breeding Network for the Asia Pacific Region, and the award of the CAAS-IAEA Collaboration Center. These were among ten final achievements nominated for award to fully represent the main progress of agricultural application of nuclear technology in China in 2019. Nominations were made after a process of preliminary selection, academic review and recommendation. China has long been the leading country for plant mutation breeding projects supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the Asia Pacific Region, and has made remarkable achievements in the development of new and improved crop mutant germplasm resources, and the large-area cultivation of new mutant varieties.
[en] Under the CRP D1.50.19 focusing on the optimization of remediation of radioactive contaminated agricultural land, one important objective is to update the existing decision support system DSS4NAFA to support data management during remediation activities in the aftermath of a nuclear emergency affecting food and agriculture. During remediation, the need exists for keeping an overview of the remediation activities and, in particular, where, when and how these activities are carried out. Further, it is imperative to keep track of the efficiency and effectiveness of remediation activities (e.g. reduction of soil and food contamination). At this moment the workflow for the remediation module is being developed in close collaboration with the CRP D1.50.19 research partners from across the world for addressing the above-mentioned needs for enhanced data management during remediation.
[en] With respect to field programmes, I would like to highlight two important achievements (see detailed information later in this newsletter). The first is a long-term commitment by the Seychelles National Biosecurity Agency from the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture on the prevention of invasive fruit fly species. The recent increase in trade is most likely to lead to the introduction of other non-native invasive fruit fly species from importing countries which pose a serious threat to the local fruit and vegetable production. With the support of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme, the Member State has created a quarantine infrastructure that allowed the inspection of commodities and early detection in the field of invasive fruit fly species. Since 2000, seven interceptions occurred in fruits and vegetables imported to Seychelles, including Bactrocera dorsalis, Bactrocera zonata; Ceratitis cosyra, Dacus ciliatus and Zeugodacus tau. Thanks to this programme, no establishment has occurred so far. This is especially relevant for the destructive Bactrocera dorsalis that has invaded all the sub-Saharan and Indian Ocean countries with the exception of Seychelles. The second achievement is an open field pilot trial conducted by the Cuban Health Ministry to evaluate the feasibility of using the SIT to suppress populations of Aedes aegypti. The study was conducted in two isolated neighborhoods located in southwestern Havana. The target area of ‘El Cano’ has an estimated population of 3 805 residents distributed over 906 houses in an area of 50 ha. For four months, around 40 000 mosquitoes were released twice a week resulting in a 90% reduction in egg hatch. More importantly, no local transmission of Aedes-borne diseases has been reported during the last two months of the SIT application in the release area, contrary to the control area where cases were still reported.