Open Access Minireview Article
Cold plasma is an emerging nonthermal technology primarily used for microbial disinfection and surface modification. Nowadays, the principle of plasma surface modification is exploited in food and agriculture. The aim of the present review is to give some insights on cold plasma technology exploitation for enhancement of seed germination. The seed germination rate can be increased on application of cold plasma by both direct and indirect treatments. Recently, the indirect treatment through the application of plasma activated water (PAW) has drawn some attention. The formation of reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species in the plasma are mainly responsible for increase in seed germination rate. Of all those reactive species formed in the PAW, the nitrate ions serves as the fertilizer and NO radical breakdown dormancy which enhanced the seed germination rate. The synergistic effect of cold plasma can replace the traditional seed disinfection solutions and chemical seed germination enhancers.
Open Access Minireview Article
Plasma is a partially ionized gas composed of positive and negative ions, electrons, neutrals, molecules, photons and UV-light. It is the “fourth state of matter”. There are number of pre-sowing treatments that are employed to enhance seed quality viz., seed priming, coating and biological seed treatments, etc. In recent times, a new technique namely plasma treatment is evolved for this purpose. The plasma can be generated in many ways however for seed treatment the glow discharge method is commonly used due to its properties like seed quality improvement, seed enhancement and decontamination of pathogens present on seed coat surface. In glow discharge method plasma is formed by passage of electric current through a low pressure gas (argon). It is created by applying a voltage between two electrodes in a glass tube containing argon gas. A glow discharge is plasma formed by the passage of electric current through a gas. It is often created by applying a voltage between two electrodes in a glass tube containing a low-pressure gas. When the voltage exceeds a value called the striking voltage, the gas ionization becomes self-sustaining, and the tube glows with a colored light. The color depends on the gas used. Glow discharges are used as a source of light in devices such as neon lights, fluorescent lamps, and plasma-screen televisions. Analyzing the light produced with spectroscopy can reveal information about the atomic interactions in the gas, so glow discharges are used in plasma physics and analytical chemistry. They are also used in the surface treatment technique called sputtering. When the voltage exceeds a certain value, the gas in the tube ionizes, transforms into plasma. The ionized gas begins the conducting of electricity, causing it to glow. Plasma can be generated either under low pressure or at atmospheric pressure. However, the electric current is just the result of plasma formation; furthermore, the description is more adequate for capacitive plasma, however plasma can be induced – one of the upmost examples is ICP, Inductively Coupled Plasma. Plasma pre-treatment of seeds stimulates their germination and leads to suppression of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens. Crop yields are improved by treating the seeds in a low temperature plasma discharge generated between spaced electrodes connected to a source of high frequency electrical power.
Open Access Original Research Article
Field experiments were carried out in Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal, India to identify the most suitable variety, appropriate sowing time and their subsequent interaction on nutrient uptake and yield performance in chickpea under rainfed conditions in black soils. There were two dates of sowing viz., first and second fortnight of November and four varieties of chickpea like, JG 16, JG 11, JG 315 and JG 218. The results shown that the nutrient uptake and yield were depending on the time of sowing. The nutrient uptake patterns showed that the first sowing date plants recorded greater nutrient uptake compared to the second date of sowing in both experiments. Among the varieties JG 315 recorded the highest nutrient uptake followed by JG 11. The yield obtained in both sowing dates shown that sowing at first fortnight of November was better and would give 14-29% more yield in chickpea. This study concluded that late sowing will reduce the nutrient uptake, dry matter production and yield irrespective of the varieties. Among the varieties the highest yield was recorded by the variety JG 11 irrespective of the date of sowing. and hence under late sowing conditions the variety JG 11 is preferred over other varieties.
Open Access Original Research Article
Biomass is the alternative source for generation of energy for the masses. Biomass residues from our common surroundings and other fields mainly agriculture are produced in abundance in continuation. Such a large quantity needs to be managed in order to refrain from solid waste pollution, as if left unused such residues are usually burnt inefficiently. In this context, biomass briquetting present an energy efficient solution by managing such solid waste. Biomass briquettes can be the excellent source of energy for households as well as for commercial sites and is ideal for replacing continuously depleting fossil fuels. This study is based on production of such briquettes using dry leaves, rice husk and straw, analysis of physical and chemical parameters of such briquettes. This study concluded that briquettes produced from groundnut shells bonded by paper pulp has highest calorific value of 5407 Kcal/kg, which is quite higher than commercially available cow dung briquettes (3452.34 kCal/kg). Physical parameters like Total Solids (%), Volatile Solids (%), Ash (%), and sulfur (%) were determined by standard methods of AOAC and were similar in briquettes made by groundnut shells and paper pulp. To lower the cost of production, a simple screw press machine was designed and developed to produce briquettes at low cost. A simpler chullah was also designed for burning of the groundnut shell briquettes produced using paper pulp as a binder, where lowest ignition time of 12 second was obtained for the groundnut shell briquette made by paper pulp. Burning time for this briquette was 4 minutes and 50 seconds. This technology can be used to popularize the use of biomass briquettes to replace the commercially available cow dung briquettes.
Open Access Review Article
Worldwide growth in population, increase in demand of global food production and environmental damage causing problems in agriculture yield are major concerns. These problems may soon cause insufficiency to feed all of the world population. Adding up in to the above mentioned constrains, there is loss in the agricultural production due to environmental abiotic and biotic stresses posed on the crops growing in the field. Abiotic stresses such as drought, salt stress and temperature stress are major limiting factors in crop production. On the other hand, biotic stresses also cause reduction in agricultural yield due to diseases in field crops. These diseases decrease the annual agriculture yield by at least 30% globally. So, any effective and longer term solutions to provide food for the world must include sustainable and eco-friendly biological solutions. In context to this problem, use of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in agriculture is a striking technology hypothesized to overcome these constrains.