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The phenolic profile and specific activity of oxidative enzymes in sorghum leaves and stem resistant and susceptible to Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) were analyzed at 45 and 60 days after germination. Resistant varieties had higher content of total phenols, o-dihydric phenols, flavanols and tannins than the susceptible varieties at both the stages of plant growth and the concentration of these biomolecules increased after infestation as well as with plant age in both sets of varieties. Moreover, resistant varieties exhibited higher specific activity of polyphenol oxidase, peroxidase, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase and tyrosine ammonia-lyase in their leaves and stem in comparison to the corresponding activities in susceptible ones. Peroxidase activity was several folds than the polyphenol oxidase. Healthy leaves of susceptible varieties showed higher catalase activity in comparison with resistant ones at day 45 and this trend was reversed at day 60. Role of phenolic compounds and oxidative enzymes particularly the peroxidase in determining resistance against stem borer has been high lighted.

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Assessment of the qualitative losses in different varieties of sorghum following Pyrilla perpusilla Walker infestation revealed the significant decrease in vitro dry matter digestibility of whole plant, leaves and stem by about 6.0, 3.5 and 3.0 per cent, respectively at more than 60 per cent infestation level and was mainly due to the corresponding increase in tannin content. The fibre components (NDF and ADF) were acting as an additional factor in reducing the dry matter digestibility. The dry fodder yield was also reduced by 46 to 53 per cent in different varieties of sorghum with an increase in infestation level from 0 to >60 per cent. The stem of all the varieties was more fibreous than the leaves as it had high content of NDF, ADF, cellulose and lignin. Leaves on the other hand had high amount of protein, total soluble sugars and reducing sugars than stem and were therefore more digestible than stem.

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Lactic acid fermentation of carrot as a method of preservation using different lactic acid bacteria, viz. Lactobacillus plantarum, Pediococcus cerevisiae and Streptococcus lactis subsp. diacetylactis as such and in sequence at different temperatures and with varying salt content (2, 2.5 and 3%) were employed in the fermentation of carrot. The differences in fermentation behaviour of different microorganisms were quite contrasting at 26 °C, but the sequential culture started deviating from the very first day and acidity increased up to 6 days. A temperature of 26 °C and salt concentration of 2.5% were the best for lactic acid bacteria (LAB) fermentation of Asiatic carrot as highest acidity (1.40% lactic acid), low pH and low reducing sugars were achieved in sequential fermentation. The LAB count of 7.8×10 8 CFU ml −1 was also higher at these concentrations coupled with higher sensory scores of the products. Among the fermentation types tried, sequential culture fermentation of the vegetables produced the product with higher acidity, low pH and reducing sugars. The sequential culture fermentation imparted the fermented products better flavour, texture and taste than other products fermented naturally or with lactic cultures of Pediococcus cerevisiae, Lactobacillus plantarum and Streptococcus lactis in single separate fermentation. Based on the overall and sensory quality evaluation, the fermented carrot product prepared with sequential culture was the best followed by the product prepared using natural microflora.

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Strawberry fruits of three cultivars viz. Camarosa, Chandler and Doughlas were used to prepare wine by four different methods (control, thermovinification, fermented on the skin and carbonic maceration). Physico-chemical characteristics of the cultivar Camarosa were rated superior to Chandler and Doughlas. The must from the fruits fermented on the skin gave the highest rate of fermentation and ethanol content. The application of various treatments improved the fermentation behaviour of treated strawberry musts compared to the control as revealed by their physico-chemical characteristics. Thermovinified wines had many desirable characteristics such as more total phenols, esters and colour with comparable amount of higher alcohols, volatile acids, ethyl alcohol, sugars and anthocyanin. The carbonic maceration resulted in wines with more alcohol, higher pH, lower acidity, lesser higher alcohol and volatile acids than other wines. Fermented on the skin treated wines were typical for higher amount of anthocyanin, lower reducing sugar and total sugar than the control wines. Thermovinified wines, irrespective of cultivars, scored the highest with respect to most of the sensory quality characteristics. Wines from Camarosa cultivar registered many desirable characteristics such as esters, optimum acidity, more red colour units with comparable contents of alcohol and total phenols, while Chandler cultivar had higher amount of ethyl alcohol, more phenols, anthocyanin than other cultivars. Some of these differences are correlated with their initial characteristics, while others have been influenced by method of vinification. Based on the physico-chemical and sensory qualities, the wines from cv. Camarosa was rated the best, though the wines of all the cultivars were acceptable.

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The F1 and F2 progenies of a ten-parent diallel cross (excluding reciprocals) were analysed for the combining ability of quantitative traits in six-rowed barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). significant differences were indicated between the parents, F1s and F2s for all the characters studied. The gca and sca components of variance were significant for all the traits. Both additive and non-additive gene effects were involved in the genetic control of the characters; however, non-additive gene effects were observed to be predominant. Among the parents RD 2035, RD 2052, RD 2503 and BL 2 were the best general combiners for grain yield and average to high combiners for other important traits.The parents RD 2552 and RD 387 were the best general combiners for dwarfness. The best specific crosses for grain yield were RD 2503 × RD 2585,RD 2035 × RD 2052, RD 2035 × BL 2, RD 2052 × BL 2, RD 2508 × RD 2552, RD 2552 × RD 2585 and Rd 2052 × RD 2552 in both the F1 and F2 generations. These crosses were higher yielders and in most of the crosses one of the parents involved was a good combiner, indicating that such combinations can be expected to produce desirable transgressive segregants. All the best crosses for grain yield also showed average to high sca effects for most of the yield components. Most of the specific crosses for grain yield involved high × average, average × average and average × poor general combiners. To ensure a further increase in grain yield, the combination of desirable yield components is advocated. The inclusion of F1 hybrids showing high sca, and having parents with good gca, in multiple crosses, bi-parental mating or diallel selective mating could prove a worthwhile approach for further amelioration of grain yield in six-rowed barley.

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A new gall-inducing and lirellate lichenicolous fungus, Plectocarpon diedertzianum Y. Joshi, Upadhyay et Chandra, is described from Kumaun Himalayan regions of India colonising thallus of various parmelioid lichens (Flavoparmelia caperata, Myelochroa aurulenta, Parmotrema crinitum, P. melanothrix, P. reticulatum, Punctelia subrudecta). The new species is characterised by black, epruinose rounded to lirellate ascomata with a carbonised surface and a ±thalline pseudomargin, as well as a carbonised, sterile stromatic tissue, 4-spored asci and 3-septate hyaline ascospores.

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A field study conducted for two years (2002–04) at New Delhi showed that the seed yield (1.80 t ha −1 ) of rocket salad ( Eruca sativa Mill.) obtained by applying 5 t ha −1 pressmud compost based on distillery effluent + half the recommended dose of NPKS (recommended dose: 60 kg N, 13 kg P, 25 kg K and 20 kg S ha −1 ) was on par with the seed yield (1.69 t ha −1 ) recorded with the recommended dose of NPKS. However, the seed yield recorded with the former treatment significantly exceeded that obtained with 5 t ha −1 of a 1:1 mixture of fly ash and distillery effluent + half the recommended dose of NPKS (by 30.4%) or 5 t ha −1 of dry Jatropha curcas leaves + ½ NPKS (by 24.1%). On average, distillery effluent-based pressmud compost + ½ NPKS induced a perceptible increase in the soil-available NPK, recorded after the harvest of rocket salad, compared to the initial fertility status. The uptake of NPKS in the seed and stover of rocket salad was the highest after the application of pressmud compost, closely followed by the recommended dose of NPKS, and the lowest in the control. The residual effect of treatments given to rocket salad was significant on the fodder yield of succeeding sorghum [ Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]. The fodder yield recorded with pressmud compost + ½ NPKS was significantly higher than the other treatments. The application of pressmud compost alone was also significantly superior to the same rate of fly ash + effluent mixture or dry Jatropha leaves with respect to the seed yield of rocket salad, residual fertility after the harvest of rocket salad and the fodder yield of succeeding sorghum.

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Combining ability analysis in spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L. em. Thell) involving 10 diverse parents and their 45 F1 and F2 progenies indicated significant differences between the parents for GCA and between the crosses for SCA for all the characters studied. The GCA and SCA components of variance were significant for all the traits. However, the GCA component of variance was predominant, indicating the predominance of additive gene effects for the traits studied. Among the parents HD 2329, Raj 1972, HD 2285 and HD 2428 were the best general combiners for grain yield and average to high combiners for other important traits. The best specific crosses for grain yield were CPAN 3004 × Durgapura 65, Sonalika × HD 2329, Raj 3077 × CPAN 3004, Raj 3077 × HD 2428 and HD 2428 × WH 157.The parent Raj 1972 was the best general combiner for grain yield and protein content, while Raj 3077 and Lok-1 were the best general combiners for protein content. The most suitable specific crosses for protein content were HD 2329 x HD 2285, HD 2428 × Raj 1972 and CPAN 3004 × WH 157. Most of the specific crosses for grain yield and protein content involved high × average, average × average or average × poor general combiners. To ensure a further increase in grain yield along with high protein, combinations of desirable yield components are advocated. The exploitation of additive and non-additive gene actions through bi-parental mating and/or diallel selective mating systems are suggested for a tangible advance in grain yield coupled with high protein in spring wheat.

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The contents of total phenols and orthodihydric phenols, specific activities of polyphenol oxidase (PPO), peroxidase (PO) and catalase in leaves of powdery mildew resistant (NLM and HM 350) and susceptible (T 8 and HM 65) genotypes of fenugreek were estimated at 40, 80 and 100 days after sowing (DAS) in inoculated (E1) and natural (E2) environments. The levels of all the biochemical constituents were higher in resistant genotypes than in susceptible ones before the appearance of disease (40 DAS) in both the environments. In response to infection, an increase was observed in contents of all the parameters except catalase activity in all the genotypes. However, at higher disease severity levels of all the biochemical parameters decreased invariably in all the genotypes except activities of PPO and PO which increased further in susceptible genotypes in both the environments. The role of phenolics and oxidative enzymes in determining resistance in fenugreek against powdery mildew disease has been highlighted.

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Flavour profiling by descriptive analysis of apple wines fermented with different Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains and natural sources of fermentation with or without nitrogen source addition was carried out. Out of 45 attributes used, 38 were found significant and were employed for further evaluation. Generally, the intensities of many of the descriptors in the apple wines were low. Both the natural sources of fermentation (NSF) imparted different flavours notes like lactic, sharp, acetic and fruity to the wine. “W” strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae gave wines with higher astringency and phenolic flavours, ethyl acetate like, acetaldehyde like flavour, UCD 505 and UCD 522 fermentated wines were peculiar for more ethanolic, sweety and bitter taste, whereas UCD 595 imparted more phenolic, astringent, sour, and ethanolic flavour notes to the wines. The addition of nitrogen source (irrespective of source of fermentation) reduced the development of some flavours considered undesirable (acetic, amyl alcoholic, fusel alcoholic, vegetative). Addition of nitrogen source enhanced the intensity of some other flavour attributes like ethanolic and phenolic in the wines. Due to the same vinification practices (except for the source of fermentation) some modifications in the flavour attributes of apple wines fermented by natural source of fermentation were recorded. The flavour profile of wines fermented by different sources of fermentation, was also reflected in the chemical characteristics examined. Besides higher fermentability, the addition of nitrogen source also affected the physico-chemical characteristics of the wines and consequently, their flavour profile. Application of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to the means of flavour scores generated from flavour profiling, weakly separated and characterized the wines fermented by different sources of fermentation but did not differentiate the wines fermented with or without nitrogen source. It is concluded that the descriptors described here can characterize apple wine of different quality attributes. The list of descriptors, concentration of standards and details of the technique have also been described.

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