Research News

Characterization of Beauveria bassiana associated with allspice auger beetle

The incidence of auger beetle, Sinoxylon anale Lesne (Bostrichidae: Coleoptera), a destructive pest of cosmopolitan occurrence is reported for the first time on allspice trees from Kozhikode, Kerala. The insects bored through the basal region of fresh twigs resulting in dieback symptoms. Morphological characterization and sequencing of a partially amplified fragment of the mitochondrial CO1 gene revealed the insect to be Sinoxylon anale. An entomopathogenic fungus was isolated from infected cadavers of S. anale that was identified as Beauveria bassiana (Bals.-Criv.) Vuill., sensu stricto (s.s) (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) based on morphological and molecular studies. The fungus was virulent against adult beetles and this is the first record of B. bassiana naturally infecting S. anale. The findings were published in the Journal of Invertebrate Pathology

Biocontrol efficacy of Streptomycetes against Sclerotium rolfsii

Sclerotium rolfsii is a soil borne pathogen, which commonly occurs in black pepper nurseries causing root rot. Biocontrol agents viz., Trichoderma harzianum and Streptomycetes spp. were tested against the pathogen under in planta challenge inoculated conditions. The results indicated that IISRBPAct 1 (Streptomyces sp.) was very effective in reducing the number of roots infected by Sclerotium rolfsii. The isolate was found to enhance the growth of plants as evidenced from the plant growth parameters

Sequencing of full-length transcripts in black pepper and small cardamom

Survey of transcriptomes by direct sequencing of fulllength transcripts in the range of 1 to 3 kb was done in black pepper and small cardamom using SMRT Sequencing with PacBio RS II System. Using the PacBio protocol, we obtained 53689 reads of insert (ROIs) with mean read length of 2378 bp in black pepper and 56439 reads of insert with mean read length of 2267 bp in small cardamom. Numbers of polished high-quality isoforms recovered from black pepper and small cardamom transcriptomes were 8,380 and 9,270 respectively. Potential coding regions were also predicted from these sequences.

Black pepper germplasm

Three black pepper cultivars from two locations which recorded big canopy and high yield were collected and are being conserved at Appangala.

IISR PRAGATI- A high Yielding, Short Duration Turmeric Variety.

Serves Niche for Indian Turmeric Growers
The ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode through its systematic breeding programme has developed a high yielding, short duration turmeric variety for the benefit of farmers. The variety, IISR PRAGATI, is a clonal selection from the vast repository of turmeric germplasm maintained at the institute. This variety was field tested as Acc. 48, for over three years in different turmeric growing regions of the country and under various climatic conditions.
The characteristic features:

  • Short duration variety and takes only 180 days to harvest
  • Suitable for turmeric growing areas with serious irrigation problems
  • High yielding variety with average yield of 38 t/ha (fresh rhizomes). The yield can go up to 52 t/ha under favourable conditions. It has 30 % and 34% yield increase over national and local turmeric varieties.
  • Stable and high curcumin variety (5.02%) across locations
  • Moderately resistant to root knot nematode infestation
  • The variety is suitable for cultivation in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh states
  • This variety was identified for release during the XXVII All India Coordinated Research Project on Spices (AICRPS) Group Meeting held at NRC Seed Spices (Ajmer, Rajasthan) in 2016.