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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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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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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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One thousand four hundred and eighty three spring wheat germplasm (Triticum aestivum L.) lines comprising Indian as well as exotic lines were screened for resistance to spot blotch disease during winter 2014-15 at hot spot locations i.e., Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi and Uttar Banga Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Cooch Behar. Severity of the disease at different stages beginning from tillering to dough stage was recorded. Location Severity Index (LSI) of Varanasi was higher than Cooch Behar. Twenty eight accessions were resistant or highly resistant at both locations. These 28 accessions were validated during the winter season (2015–2016). These germplasm were also evaluated at four environments for agronomic traits. Out of 28 accessions, seven (IC564121, IC529684, IC443669, IC443652, IC529962, IC548325 and EC178071-331) were highly resistant across the locations and over the years of study. These accessions comprised one exotic and six indigenous accessions belonging to Uttarakhand and Haryana. Two lines (IC529962 and IC443652) had higher yield than the best check at all the locations. These lines showing highly resistant reaction alongwith wider adaptability can be expedited for direct cultivation or for the development of high yielding and disease resistant cultivars. These lines can also be used for identification of novel resistance gene using allele mining tools and their deployment for the development of spot blotch resistant cultivars.

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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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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: S. L. Krishnamurthy, S. K. Sharma, D. K. Sharma, P. C. Sharma, Y. P. Singh, V. K. Mishra, D. Burman, B. Maji, B. K. Bandyopadhyay, S. Mandal, S. K. Sarangi, R. K. Gautam, P. K. Singh, K. K. Manohara, B. C. Marandi, D. P. Singh, G. Padmavathi, P. B. Vanve, K. D. Patil, S. Thirumeni, O. P. Verma, A. H. Khan, S. Tiwari, M. Shakila, A. M. Ismail, G. B. Gregorio, and R. K. Singh

Genotype × environment (G × E) interaction effects are of special interest for identifying the most suitable genotypes with respect to target environments, representative locations and other specific stresses. Twenty-two advanced breeding lines contributed by the national partners of the Salinity Tolerance Breeding Network (STBN) along with four checks were evaluated across 12 different salt affected sites comprising five coastal saline and seven alkaline environments in India. The study was conducted to assess the G × E interaction and stability of advanced breeding lines for yield and yield components using additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI) model. In the AMMI1 biplot, there were two mega-environments (ME) includes ME-A as CARI, KARAIKAL, TRICHY and NDUAT with winning genotype CSR 2K 262; and ME-B as KARSO, LUCKN, KARSA, GOA, CRRI, DRR, BIHAR and PANVE with winning genotypes CSR 36. Genotypes CSR 2K 262, CSR 27, NDRK 11-4, NDRK 11-3, NDRK 11-2, CSR 2K 255 and PNL 1-1-1-6-7-1 were identified as specifically adapted to favorable locations. The stability and adaptability of AMMI indicated that the best yielding genotypes were CSR 2K 262 for both coastal saline and alkaline environments and CSR 36 for alkaline environment. CARI and PANVEL were found as the most discernible environments for genotypic performance because of the greatest GE interaction. The genotype CSR 36 is specifically adapted to coastal saline environments GOA, KARSO, DRR, CRRI and BIHAR and while genotype CSR 2K 262 adapted to alkaline environments LUCKN, NDUAT, TRICH and KARAI. Use of most adapted lines could be used directly as varieties. Using them as donors for wide or specific adaptability with selection in the target environment offers the best opportunity for widening the genetic base of coastal salinity and alkalinity stress tolerance and development of adapted genotypes. Highly stable genotypes can improve the rice productivity in salt-affected areas and ensure livelihood of the resource poor farming communities.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: N. Jain, G.P. Singh, R. Yadav, R. Pandey, P. Ramya, M.B. Shine, V.C. Pandey, N. Rai, J. Jha, and K.V. Prabhu

Under limiting water resources, root system response of genotypes to soil-water conditions with enhanced shoot biomass holds the key for development of improved genotypes. Based on the hypothesis of root biomass contribution to higher yields under limiting conditions which might be attributed to the root system plasticity of genotypes, a set of thirty-four genotypes were evaluated under three moisture regimes in a pot experiment for root system traits. Total root dry matter had a positive association with total shoot dry matter (0.35). The identified genotypes showed greater yields and higher stress tolerance index (STI) in an independent field experiment. Root dry matter positively correlated with stress tolerance index on grain yields in both the years. The total variation was partitioned into principal components and GGE biplots were studied to identify the best performing genotypes under the three environments for root dry biomass and related traits. HD2932 appeared to be the winner genotype under different regimes. These results might be helpful in identifying donors for moisture stress tolerance that can be utilized in wheat breeding programmes for accelerated development of varieties with improved root systems.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: B. Kumar, K.S. Hooda, R. Gogoi, V. Kumar, S. Kumar, A. Abhishek, P. Bhati, J.C. Sekhar, K.R. Yathish, V. Singh, A. Das, G. Mukri, E. Varghese, H. Kaur, V. Malik, and O.P. Yadav

Maydis leaf blight (MLB), a serious foliar fungal disease of maize, may cause up to 40% losses in yield. The present studies were undertaken to identify the stable sources of MLB resistance, its inheritance study, and testing of MLB resistance linked markers from diverse background in the Indian adapted tropical maize genotypes. A set of 112 inbred lines were screened under artificially created epiphytotics conditions at three hotspot locations. Analysis across multi-locations revealed significant effects of genotypes and environments, and non-significant effects due to genotypes × environment interaction on disease incidence. A total of 25 inbred lines with stable resistance were identified across multi-locations. Inheritance of resistance was studied in six F1s and two F2s of resistant and susceptible parents. The null hypothesis of segregation of resistance and susceptible for mono and digenic ratios in two F2 populations was rejected by Chi-square test. The non-significant differences among the reciprocal crosses depicted the complete control of nuclear genome for MLB resistance. Partial dominance in F1s and normal distribution pattern in F2s of resistant and susceptible parents suggested polygenic nature of MLB resistance. Correlation studies in F2 populations exhibited significant negative correlation between disease score and days to flowering. Five simple sequence repeats (SSRs) markers, found associated to MLB resistance in different studies were unable to differentiate amongst MLB resistance and susceptible parents in our study. This emphasizes the need of fine mapping for MLB resistance in Indian germplasm. The identified stable sources of resistance and information on inheritance study can be used further in strengthening of resistance breeding against MLB.

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