1. Agriculture World

New Nutrient-rich Tomato and Brinjal Varieties Developed; Suitable for Terrace, Urban Gardening

Swati Sharma
Swati Sharma
Tomato varieties
Tomato varieties

Punjab, known as the granary of India has come up with few improved crop and vegetable varieties that are rich in nutrients and can make great contributions to the nutritional requirements of country’s population.

‘PAU 1 Chapatti’ with low polyphenols & outstanding processing qualities has been selected for commercialization whereas wheat candidate varieties with high grain protein, high zinc, low phytates (chemical group that reduces bioavailability of micro-nutrients and protein) and high carotenoids have been developed.

Moreover, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has offered to farmers two carotene rich cherry tomato varieties known Punjab Sona and Punjab Kesar & two anthocyanin rich brinjal varieties called Punjab Raunak & Punjab Bharpoor with antioxidant properties. These are suitable for home/terrace/urban gardening. Low-cost, nutrient rich home gardening pot mixture providing 40-50 percent higher productivity along with appropriately designed pots and pot props have also been developed.

PAU has also identified wild rice accession with high grain protein & genetic stocks with high iron content for breeding rice with improved nutritional value. High grain iron and zinc lines have been identified in inter-specific crosses of chickpea.  

The varieties and genetic stocks have been developed by the PAU with support from the Promotion of University Research & Scientific Excellence (PURSE) grant provided by the Department of Science & Technology (DST). Besides varieties, a number of technologies for value added products from nutritionally enhanced varieties of cereals, pulses & vegetables are on the cards.

Protocols have been made for assessing insecticide resistance as well as resurgence in rice plant hopper, cotton whitefly & okra mites. Research has been done to study pathogen dynamics and molecular level variability in pathogen populations of potato scab, rice sheath blight & wheat yellow rust & have strengthened the resistance breeding based strategy for management of these diseases.

Apart from environment friendly approaches for pest management, study on efficient rice straw management, promotion of soil health via carbon sequestration & lowering of greenhouse gas emissions has been conducted.

The PURSE grant sanctioned to Punjab Agri University in 2 phases has helped the University to set up large number of major research facilities & supported research by 40 students.

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