We have all heard of the Indus Valley Civilisation.It is well known for its granaries, drainage systems and systematically planned cities like Harappa and Mohenjodaro. However, not much is known about its rise and fall; although there are various theories. In a pair of new studies published in the journals Science and Cell, a consortium of international researchers, including those from India, have tried to decipher the origins of present-day Central and South Asian people. They have used recent advances in genetics to extract and analyse genetic material (DNA) from the remains of several ancient populations, including people from the Indus Valley Civilisation.
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The variability of monsoon rains due to climate change affects Marathwada and Vidarbha regions the most, says a district level study.
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati have developed a genetically modified variety of cowpea resistant to Mungbean Yellow Mosaic India Virus. Since the legume grain is one of the major sources of protein for a section of the country’s population, this discovery is important to ensure that the yield of the crops is not affected.
Chillies are an indispensable part of the Indian platter and contribute heavily to our economy since India is a leading producer of chillies. A threat facing the chilli farmers is the fungal disease caused by Colletotrichum truncatum that affects the yield of the crop. In a new study, scientists have explored the mechanism behind the fungal disease, how the fungus actually attacks the plant and fruits and have also studied the genotype of the causative agents. This study, the researchers believe, can help develop mitigation plans and save farmers from an impending crop loss.
It was in the 1970s that the term ‘climate change’ was coined. Agriculture is one sector that both contributes to and affected by climate change, and research around the world is now advancing towards ‘climate-smart’ agriculture. Carbon or carbon dioxide is one of the culprits for the rising temperature across the globe. Agricultural operations such as tillage, fertilization, irrigation, crop protection and so on are responsible for release of CO2 and other greenhouse gases from agricultural landscape to atmosphere.
Most methods that farmers follow today to control pests and save their crop are mostly reactive, which is done ‘after’ the damage has started. In addition, these methods either destroy other crops, or cause harm to animals that feed on them, or pollute the soil or air. Researchers have now found a ‘green’ and ‘clean’ way to detect crop pests before they start the damage. They have built a highly sensitive sensor that detects pheromones or chemicals released by insects for mating, which signal the presence of pests and thus prompt the farmers to take remedial measures.