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Abstract  

A radiochemical procedure has been developed for the simultaneous determinations of alpha-emitting isotopes of uranium and plutonium in bovine bone. The radiochemical recoveries ranged from 61 to 93% with a mean of 80±10% for uranium and 57 to 88% with a mean of 75±11% for plutonium. The method was successfully used for human bone.

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Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to amplify the spacer regions between the 16S and 23S genes of rRNA genetic loci of Salmonella serovars for their rapid identification. These genetic loci revealed a significant level of polymorphism in length across the species/serovar lines. When the 16S-23S spacer region amplification products were subjected to agarose electrophoresis, the patterns observed could be used to distinguish all the serovars of Salmonella tested. Unique elements obtained in amplification products were mostly clustered at serovar level, although certain genus-specific patterns were also observed. On the basis of the results obtained, the amplification of 16S-23S ribosomal spacer region could suitably be used in a PCR-based identification method for Salmonella serovars.

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A microwave-assisted ultraviolet sterilization system was developed to study the synergistic effect in the sterilization of milk. Electrodeless lamps emitting ultraviolet radiation inside the microwave chamber gave a synergistic effect without challenging food safety standards. This study compared the results of both microwave and microwave assisted ultraviolet sterilizations of milk in terms of various microbial tests and physicochemical properties. The microwave-assisted ultraviolet system was found to be more effective compared to microwave alone. A significant difference (P<0.05) was observed for total plate count and methylene blue reduction test between microwave and microwave assisted ultraviolet treatment from 5 to 15 secs. Microwave-assisted ultraviolet treatment decreased the microbial count exponentially and showed <1 log (CFU ml–1) after ten seconds of treatment. During the treatment period, no significant difference was observed in the physicochemical properties of milk.

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Rice brokens were utilized in the development of pasta products. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to analyze the effect of pre-gelatinized rice flour (from rice brokens), vital gluten, water, glycerol monostearate (GMS) and sodium alginate on the quality responses (sensory, cooking quality, rehydration ratio and solids loss) of the pasta product. A rotatable central-composite design was used to develop models for the responses. Responses were affected most by changes in rice flour and vital gluten levels and to a lesser extent by water, GMS and sodium alginate levels. The maximum sensory score (39.69), cooking quality (12.38), rehydration ratio (3.11) and minimum solids loss (15.64) were identified at 671.05 g kg-1rice flour, 242.40 g kg-1water, 74.70 g kg-1vital gluten, 2.14 g kg-1GMS and 9.71 g kg-1sodium alginate levels.

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The thermal decomposition behaviour of copper oxalate hemihydrate and its complexes with different amines has been studied by TG and DTA methods in nitrogen and air atmospheres. The complexes CuC2O4 · 0.5 H2O, CuC2O4(NH3)2 and CuC2O4(py) produced Cu2O as final residue after decomposition, whereas, another group of complexes, CuC2O4(EtNH2)2, CuC2O4(MeNH2)2, CuC2O4(en)2 and CuC2O4(An)2, gave a final residue of CuO. All the complexes decomposed without forming any isolable stable intermediate; an exception was CuC2O4(en)2, which formed a binuclear intermediate complex, [CuC2O4en]2.

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Saltol, a major QTL for salt exclusion, was derived from ‘Pokkali’, a salt-tolerant rice cultivar. Apart from Pokkali, many genotypes with wide variation for salinity tolerance offer ample scope for identifying new genes or QTLs underlying various tolerance mechanisms. Such genes could be aggregated into high-yielding backgrounds to reinforce a breeding programme. To identify potential donors for salt tolerance and prospective parental combinations for developing high-yielding salt-tolerant cultivars, ten genotypes were subjected to salt stress and evaluated for morpho-physiological traits and marker-allele polymorphism in the Saltol-QTL region. Although the salt-susceptible high-yielding varieties clustered together in a 3-D plot, principal component analysis showed marked spatial isolation among the tolerant genotypes. Unlike Pokkali and its derivative FL496, Rahspunjar maintained a higher level of K+ despite high Na+ influx in shoots. The wider genetic distances observed at both phenotypic and genotypic levels suggest the possibility of getting transgressive segregants among the offspring of crosses between Rahspunjar and Gayatri or Swarna Sub1. Similarly, SR 26B, which coped with the stress by diluting the Na+ load by maintaining a higher growth rate, differed from Pokkali or Nona Bokra: these two coped with the stress by regulating the transmission of Na+ from roots to photosynthetically active sites. The F2:3 population derived from Savitri × SR 26B showed wide morpho-physiological diversity for salt tolerance. SR 26B was the most distant genotype from Pokkali in the Saltol QTL region and was salt tolerant despite the absence of Pokkali alleles in this region.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: C. Agarwal, A. Goswami, P. Kalsi, S. Singh, A. Mhatre, and A. Ramaswami

Abstract  

Cumulative yields of 27 fission products have been determined in 229Th(n,f) by recoil catcher technique followed by gamma-ray spectrometry. Absolute fission yields were arrived at from the fission rate measured by track etch counting method. Mass yields were obtained from the cumulative yields using the charge distribution parameters reported in the literature. The values agree well with the reported values obtained both by physical and radiochemical methods. The resulting asymmetric mass distribution shows strong fluctuation in the yields in the light and heavy wings with a periodicity of five mass units.

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Abstract  

A method is described for the determination of plutonium concentration in the presence of a bulk of other impurities by isotope dilution mass spectrometry /IDMS/ using239Pu as a spike. The method involves the addition of239Pu spike / 90 atom%/ to samples with239Pu / 70 atom%/ and vice versa. After ensuring chemical exchange between the sample and the spike isotopes, plutonium is purified by conventional anion exchange procedure in 7M HNO3 medium.239Pu/240Pu atom ratio in the purified spiked sample is determined with high precision /better than 0.1%/ using a thermal ionization mass spectrometer. Concentration of plutonium in the sample is calculated from the changes in239Pu/240Pu atom ratio in the spiked mixture. Results obtained on different plutonium samples using239Pu as a spike are compared with those obtained by the use of242Pu spike. Precision and accuracy comparable to those achieved by using242Pu are demonstrated. The method provides an alternative in the event of non-availability of enriched242Pu or244Pu required in IDMS of plutonium and at the same time, offers certain advantages over the use of242Pu or244Pu spike.

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High yielding, stable wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars are needed for the diverse environments in West Asia to improve rural livelihoods. This study was conducted to determine the performance of elite wheat breeding lines developed by CIMMYT, to analyze their stability for grain yield across diverse environments, and to identify superior genotypes that could be valuable for varietal release. Genetically diverse 196 advanced breeding lines were evaluated across different sites in Afghanistan. Grain yield, days to heading and plant height were analyzed. Genotypic superiority for grain yield was determined using genotype and genotype × environment (GGE) biplot analysis. The experimental genotypes showed arrays of variation for grain yield in each year, with mean values ranging from 3908 to 7209 kg/ha. A set of 20 experimental genotypes superior to the check based on their high mean yield and stability across environments as assessed by the GGE rank was identified. The most stable high yielding genotypes were HD 2687; Elvia/5/Cndo/R143//Ente/Mexi75/3/AE. sq./4/2*Oci; Quaiu; Whear/Vivitsi//Whear; Kiritati/2*Trch; Waxwing; Munal#1; Whear//Inqalab 91*2/Tukuru and Snb//Cmh79A.955/3*Cno79/3/Attila/4/Chen/A.sq.(Taus)//Bcn/3/2*Kauz. These superior genotypes also had acceptable maturity and plant height. The findings of this study provides information on adaptation of the internationally important wheat genotypes, valuable for wheat improvement program in Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries in West, Central and South Asia.

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Abstract  

A direct evaporation method is described for the preparation of sources using stainless steel as the backing material and tetraethylene glycol (TEG) as a spreading agent in the presence of large amounts of uranium. It is shown that FWHM and tail contribution at the low energy peak due to energy degradation of the high energy peak can be optimized by heating the source under controlled conditions in a furnace at 500–600°C for about 15 min. An accuracy of 0.5–1% is demonstrated for the determination of238Pu/(239Pu+240Pu) alpha activity ratio in the U/Pu range of 10 to 1500 generally encountered in dissolver solution of irradiated fuel.

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