Nu­clear science also has an im­por­tant role in agri­cul­ture.

Through ir­ra­di­a­tion, it has de­vel­oped a plant growth reg­u­la­tor that pro­motes growth and yield of rice. Ir­ra­di­a­tion has re­sulted in seed­less cala­mansi and new de­sir­able forms of or­na­men­tal plants.

Agriculture - - Contents -

NU­CLEAR SCIENCE and tech­nol­ogy are not only for build­ing power plants that pro­duce cheaper and cleaner elec­tric­ity. They also have im­por­tant ap­pli­ca­tions in other fields such as agri­cul­ture, medicine, and the en­vi­ron­ment. RICE EN­HANCED - In agri­cul­ture, one very re­cent achieve­ment of the Philip­pine Nu­clear Re­search In­sti­tute (PNRI), an agency of the De­part­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (DOST), is the de­vel­op­ment of a plant growth en­hancer that re­sults in higher rice yields rang­ing from 15 to 30 per­cent.

This is called the “Car­rageenan Plant Growth Reg­u­la­tor,” (CPGR) which was achieved by sub­ject­ing car­rageenan (a sea­weed ex­tract) to ir­ra­di­a­tion. By so do­ing, the car­rageenan is de­graded to minute par­ti­cles that are eas­ily ab­sorbed by plants. The in­crease in yield was demon­strated in multi-lo­ca­tion tri­als in Bu­la­can, Nueva Ecija, and Iloilo.

CPGR pro­motes heav­ier tiller­ing, longer pan­i­cles, and heav­ier grains. The plants treated with CPGR have been ob­served to pro­duce strong stems, and

There is a huge con­trast be­tween rice treated with CPGR (on the left of the photo above) and un­treated rice on the right side. Rice treated with CPGR (in­set photo) pro­duce long pan­i­cles and have high yields.

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