Management of seed crops: Seeds are of vital importance in agriculture. Dr. Ashok K. Thakur, India, reported in detail the technology of the management of various seed crops for increasing seed productivity. The management of mother crop plays pivotal role in quality of seed produced. Seed production is highly specialized discipline of agriculture. It involves crop and region specific genetic and agronomic principles that need to be precisely practiced to achieve desired quality of seed. In a production system, the good quality seed is when combined with other complementary agro-inputs such as better nutrition, irrigation, plant protection measures, etc., resulted in rapid and substantial increase in productivity. This chapter described the seed quality, its components, and factors affecting seed quality. The genetic, agronomic, legislative mechanisms of seed quality control are described to have better understanding of seed production. However, the major focus remains on the preharvest and postharvest management of seed quality.

Saline soils and saline stresses management in crops: Prof. Cinzia Fomi, Rome, Italy, stated that salinity affect greatly agricultural production, causing serious damage to plants and resulting in considerable losses in crop yields. He made an overview and update of the major physiological and biochemical changes occurring in plants exposed to salt stress in crops and to select tolerant genotypes to be used in breeding programs The author makes an excellent review on salt stress on crops starting from agronomic, physiology to molecular levels. In view of the facts that two-third arable lands affect crop productivity in world, there is a great necessity to analyze the gravity of the problem and select species or crop varieties tolerant to salinity.

Biopesticides for sustainable crop protection and improvement: Dr. M. Madhavi et al., reported the use of biopesticides for sustainable crop protection and improvement. This deals with the definition, concepts and importance of sustainable agriculture, impact of conventional pesticides in agriculture, histoiy of biopesticides, classification, preparation, and mode of action.

Indiscriminate use of insecticides to control insects in crop fields affected the quality and increase toxicity of food crops causing hazards and increase soil pollution. Use of bioinsecticides is recommended to combat these hazards.

Morphological characterization of phytopathogenic fungi isolated from seeds of barley plants (Hordeum vulgare): Teresa Romero Cortes and her collaborators in Mexico, described the morphological characterization of phytopathogenic fungi isolated from seeds of barley plants (Hordeum vulgare) in Mexico, which helped in proper identification of various fungi. Therefore, performing the morphological characterization of fungal isolates associated with the barley plant in Mexico will allow us to have a more precise idea that microorganisms are present in our country and thus to control those that are harmful to the plant. For that the aim of the research was to isolate and do the morphological characterization of fungi associated with diseased barley plants in Mexico.

Assessment of plant genetic resources of chili germplasnr. Chili, Capsicum spp. is of high commercial and edible values; there is a great necessity to direct concerted researches on the evaluation, selection, and propagation of this crop. Dr. Biswajit Ghosh, India, discussed centre of origin, (b) global distribution, (c) assessment of germplasms—morphological diversity, chemical diversity (capsinoids and flavonoids), genetic diversity (molecular marker based) and disease diversity (molecular PCR-based viral, bacterial, and fungal diseases), and (d) selection of elite gennplasm. Studies on chili germplasm are rare in literature. The results of this research will definitely benefit researchers working on chili to direct their research activities.

Ex-situ conservation of chili germplasnr. Dr. Biswajit Ghosh, India, also studied ex-situ conservation of chili germplasm. This includes: (a) field gene bank, (b) greenhouse/polyhouse, (c) seed bank, (d) plant tissue culture, (e) in-vitro conservation, (e) cryopreservation and (f) DNA bank. This novel technique could be utilized by researchers on chili for efficient propagation of chilies. This research has enormous potential in genetic improvement of chili.

Conservation practices may yield sustainable resource'. Dr. S. M. Jalil, Bangladesh, mention that conservation practice is a careful preservation and protection of something especially planned management of any resource such as natural resources like vegetation, forests, agri-crops, air, water, minerals, oil, gas, etc., to prevent exploitation, destruction, neglect, or overuse. Lack of awareness, ignorance, negligence, or even unwise use of resource or bioresource have brought down both the resource bases to such a below level in many countries particularly the less developed countries that to produce or regenerate the minimum requirement is very difficult to achieve. Austerity, technology, motivation, cooperation are essential parts of the process of achieving sustainability of resource so developed. In fine, it may be said that at this stage of global biomass status, there is no option other than conservation practices. Effective conservation practices may yield sustainable resources.

Phytochemistry of medicinal plants: Since remote times medicinal plants play important in alleviating diseases in rural and urban areas but the efficacy of these medicinal plants is rarely investigated through analysis of phytochemicals. Dr. Julia Verde Star, Mexico, working on medicinal plants in northeast Mexico worked on phytochemistry of medicinal plants. He describes detailed methodology and techniques. This technique could be utilized to select medicinal species with high phytochemical attributes.

Phytoplankton and toxic threats: Dr. Ahmed Ibrahim, Iraq, studied phytoplankton and toxic threats of marine algae. Microscopic planktonic algae are critical food for filter-feeding bivalve shellfish (oysters, mussels, scallops, and clams) also for the larvae of commercially important crustaceans and finfish. The explosive growths sometimes appear during changes in weather conditions but important contributing causes may be variations in upwellings, temperature, transparency, turbulence, or salinity of the water, the concentration of dissolved nutrients, wind, or surface illumination and contamination. There are many species of planktonic algae that can produce toxins such as paralytic shellfish toxins. Diarrheic shellfish toxins, amnesic shellfish toxins, neurotoxic shellfish toxins, and azaspiracid shellfish toxins showing the effects of bioresource, algae in coastal areas. Here are about 4000 toxic species of phytoplankton reported so far. Its gregarious growth and multiplication affect coastal environments, aesthetics, and human health. The abundance of algal bloom cause anoxic effects causing mortality of marine fish and other organisms in coastal area. Some species they can easily find their way to humans via food chain, also these toxins can cause a variety of gastrointestinal and neurological illnesses and also cause ecological hazards.


Shane Orchard, New Zealand, undertook a study on protecting fish spawning habitat after earthquakes. He mentions that dynamic natural resources present particular challenges for management and require methods to account for temporal fluctuations and long-term change. Using the example of fish spawning habitat recovering from a major environmental disturbance, he demonstrates the need to account for spatial variability when determining the boundaries of areas where legal protection mechanisms will apply in important traditional fishery. Using comprehensive field surveys, spawning habitat was found to have shifted following a series of major earthquakes and considerable spatiotemporal variability in the pattern of occupancy was detected. He stresses the widespread need for methods to quantify dynamic resources for protection to ensure that conservation measures can be monitored and their effectiveness guaranteed.

Minerals contents in forage consumed by white-tailed deer in northeastern Mexico'. Deer feed on forages grown in forest, Dr. Roque Ramirez, Mexico, undertook a study for the first time on minerals contents in forage consumed by white-tailed deer in northeastern Mexico, of at least 15 minerals (N, P, S, K, Ca, Mg, Na, Cl, Fe, Mn, Си, Со, I, Mo, and Se). The deficiency of each mineral in the deer results in abnormalities that can only be corrected by the supply of the deficient mineral. The severity of the deficiency will determine the degree and type of abnormality observed. The mineral elements are divided into two groups according to the abundance of them in the organism: macrominerals are elements that are found in abundant form in the organism and have structural functions and microminerals or trace elements that are in the organism in very small amounts and usually perform. The results of mineral nutrition of forages eaten by deers are interesting. There is a necessity to select forage species with high nutritional values and conform their efficacy by experimentation.

—Ratikanta Maiti Humberto Gonzalez Rodriguez Ch. Aruna Kumari Debashis Mandal Narayan Chandra Sarkar

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