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Aspergillus niger was found to be the predominant pathogen associated with black mould rot of onion during storage. Market survey for the assess­ment of spoilage caused by the fungus recorded a loss of 2.9% to 12.09% during the period from June 1998 to February 1999. Application of higher doses of calcium in the form of gypsum (400 kg/ha) and lower dose of nitrogen in the form of urea (50 kg/ha) to the field and advancing the harvest of onion bulbs by fifteen days significantly reduced the spoilage of bulbs during storage. An inverse relationship existed between neck length of the bulbs and spoilage at storage. Bulb rotting was noticed when the storage temperature was between 30 °C and 40 °C and the relative humidity was above 80%. Further, A. niger infection caused reduction in pungency of onion bulbs which was more pronounced at grade 4 than grade 1. The culture filtrates of Aspergillus niger and Asper­gillus flavus isolated from onion as well as the extracts from onion bulbs infected with the above fungi were free from aflatoxin contamination.

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Selection on the basis of grain yield per se for improved performance under excessive moisture stress has often been misleading and considered inefficient. We assessed the importance of secondary traits of adaptive value under waterlogging stress. During the 2000–2004 summer-rainy seasons twelve trials were conducted and a total of 436 tropical/subtropical inbred lines (S 4 –S n ) were evaluated under excessive soil moisture stress. Excessive moisture treatment was applied at V 6–7 growth stage by flooding the experimental plots continuously for seven days. Different phenological and physiological parameters were recorded before, during and either immediately or 1–2 weeks after exposure to stress. Excessive moisture conditions significantly affected all the morphological and physiological traits studied. However, there was significant genetic variability for various traits, especially for root porosity and brace root development that were induced under excessive moisture. Across the trials, significant genetic correlations (p<0.01) was obtained between grain yield and different secondary traits, including ears per plant, root porosity, brace root fresh weight, number of nodes with brace roots and anthesis silking interval. Broad-sense heritability decreased under excessive moisture stress conditions for most of the traits; however, it increased significantly for root porosity, nodal root development and ears per plant. Our findings suggest that consideration of these second-ary traits during selection of maize germplasm for excessive moisture tolerance can improve selection efficiency and genetic gains.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors:
M. Sivasamy
,
M. Aparna
,
J. Kumar
,
P. Jayaprakash
,
V.K. Vikas
,
P. John
,
R. Nisha
,
K. Srinivasan
,
J. Radhamani
,
S.R. Jacob
,
S. Kumar
,
Satyaprakash
,
K. Sivan
,
E. Punniakotti
,
R.K. Tyagi
, and
K.C. Bansal
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