Hindustan Times (East UP)
AU experts to develop tech to help farmers choose best seeds
PRAYAGRAJ : A team of Allahabad University (AU) scientists will strive to develop a cost-effective technique to help farmers choose the best seeds with strong potential of germination and in turn reap a good crop.
In order to develop a userfriendly technique, a pilot project ‘Biochemical investigation and quality control of cereals and mature seeds by non-invasive, non-destructive, extraction-free prompt-synchrotron radiation-based X-ray imaging, X-ray tomography, and X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy technique’ has been sanctioned to AU physicist Prof KN Uttam by the University Grants Commission (UGC) - Department of Atomic Energy, Indore Centre. The professor has begun work on it with his team.
“The project is of three years duration,” he said while confirming the development.
“The quality of seeds being planted by a farmer plays a vital role in the harvest that he/she gets from the field. Despite best efforts of farmers to choose quality seeds for plantation, usually they end up witnessing just 40-50% of seeds actually germinating. To avoid this, many go for hybrid seeds, which are costlier and thereby burden them with the pressure of ensuring high price for their produce,” explained Uttam who specializes in the field of atomic and molecular spectroscopy and applications of spectroscopy in the field of bio science. Peanuts, corn, wheat, gram, pea and rajma seeds etc are the most important cereals and pulses widely consumed worldwide and in India. They are a rich source of fibre, minerals, oils and protein.
“It is important to study the structural arrangement of organs and tissues within the seeds in order to create an understanding about their fine structure and germination. To study the histology of seeds, optical or electron microscopy is widely used. These techniques
It is important to study the structural arrangement of organs and tissues within the seeds in order to create an understanding about their fine structure and germination PROF KN UTTAM, AU physicist
require cutting and fixing of samples in label and staining agents which alters the sample composition and gives only one-directional (ie 2D) image. They also do not provide reliable visualization of small cellular interspaces or indicate the existence of networks of spaces. This limitation can be addressed by X-ray imaging and tomography appr oach that acquires projections of an object along different directions and combines them computationally to obtain a 3D reconstruction of the sample under investigation,” he explai ned.
Uttam said in the present study, the synchrotron radiation X-ray imaging and tomography will be applied to observe the three-dimensional structure of different mature seeds (peanut, corn, wheat, gram, pea and rajma).
“The study will provide information about localization of minerals and biochemicals present in the seeds,” he added.