Notes on Nuclear Energy in Crop Improvement

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Apart from providing energy and science developing radioisotopes, nuclear energy can also be utilised for crop improvements.

(i) Induced mutation technique has successfully applied in crop improvement programmes. About 77 officially released varieties have been produced by induced mutation during last two decades. Trombay groundnut variety TG-26 is one of the bright examples.

(ii) Maharashtra State Seed Corporation produced one lakh banana plants through tissue culture technique provided by BARC. Trombay mutant varieties continued to make impact on national scale.

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(ii) The harmful effects of ionising radiation on living things can be utilized for prevention of spoilage of foods such as meat, milk, eggs and fishes.

(iv) The application of ionizing radiation for pest control is based on the fact that a comparatively small dose of radiation will make the pest sterile.

(v) An environment friendly biopesticides based on an indigenously isolated bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis Varkenyal for the control of insect pests of agricultural importance was developed at Trombay. It is much superior to its chemical pesticides in field trials.

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