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  • Author or Editor: S. Ganapathy x
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The objective of this research is to develop a dehusked coconut grading machine for coconut cultivators and entrepreneurs. The basis of design is characterized by a tapered belt conveyor and sizing board with openings of increasing aperture which run along the edge of the belt conveyor. Dehusked coconuts are fed onto the tapered belt conveyor where the gravitational force pushes the nut towards the edge until it comes in contact with sizing board. Due to the tangential force, the nut reels along the sizing board, where dehusked coconuts are graded and allowed to fall through aperture according to their sizes. Performance tests indicated that the inclination angle and velocity of the belt significantly affected contamination ratio, grading efficiency and capacity at 5% significance level. The most efficient configuration for fully husked coconut and semi husked was a belt speed of 1.3 m/s with the inclination angle of 15° and belt speed of 1.5 m/s with the inclination angle of 15° respectively. The machine is acceptable by coconut growers and entrepreneurs.

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A new necrosis viral disease was observed in blackgram, showed brown necrotic rings along with veinal and stem necrosis. The virus was mechanically inoculated on the local lesion host, cowpea cv. 152 and maintained in the local lesion host throughout the study. Yield studies under pot culture experiment showed 10- to 30-day-old plants were highly susceptible and the yield became almost nil. By using Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) and indirect Direct Antigen Coated-Enzyme Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (DAC-ELISA) studies the virus was identified as Tobacco streak virus (TSV). The ultraviolet absorbance of the purified virus was measured and the ratio of A260/A280 was determined as 1.41. Polyclonal antiserum was raised against blackgram necrosis virus in New Zealand white rabbit and the titre value was determined as 1: 200. Direct antigen coating-ELISA was used to detect the virus concentration in various plant parts and stem portion recorded maximum virus concentration. TSV in blackgram was not transmitted through seeds.

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