Saturday, March 19, 2011



Dr Kashchandra G. Raghothama, Associate Director of International Programs in Agriculture, Purdue University, USA, today visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and held a meeting Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang. He delivered a talk on 'Molecular regulation of plant responses to phosphate deficiency' and was taken round the Kisan Mela, Museum of Social History of Punjab and School of Agricultural Biotechnology.

Speaking on 'molecular regulation of phosphate deficiency in plants,' Dr Raghothama said that P deficiency in crops is a global problem. It is a major abiotic stress affecting crop production in the tropics and the raw material used for producing P fertilizers is limiting and cost is increasing. P availability is very low even in fertile soils and nearly 75% of the applied P may be fixed in the soil, added he. Pointing to heavy reliance on P fertilizers, Dr Raghothama told that the usage of P has dramatically risen due to agricultural demands and 80% of annual usage of P is towards fertilizers. Throwing light on response of plants to P deficiency, he laid emphasis on root morphology, root physiology, root biochemistry and root microbe interactions and added that shoot growth is inhibited and stomates close in response to P deficiency. Referring to P deficiency, Dr Raghothama said that it affects agricultural productivity and in most plants it leads to delayed blooming. Pi starvation severely impacts productivity. Elaborating about Pi deficiency with focus on adaptive responses, he said that it results in significant reprogramming of several biological processes. PSR (pi- starvation responsive) gene expression is tightly regulated at transcriptional level and sugar is involved in phosphate starvation response mechanism. Dr Raghothama also dwelt on response of roots to nutrients, aerenchyma formation in phosphorous stressed maize roots, transcription factors which regulate plant responses to phosphate deficiency and targets for improving P efficiency.

While interacting with Dr. Kang, Dr. Ragothama discussed the possible collaboration in the area of agricultural education. He shared that the Purdue University has some students from China Agricultural University and discussed the model being followed. Dr. Kang said that PAU has a well working model as per which students of Moscow State University of Agro Engineering and Moscow State University of Environment Engineering visit for training at PAU and vice versa. He added that a proper atmosphere needs to be created to make the proposals attractive. Dr. Kang said that there were many Universities including Dakota, Kansas State University, Colorado State University, Ohio State University, etc. that have shown interest in collaborating with PAU. He said that short term faculty exchange, distance education are other potential areas in addition to students exchange. Dr. Ragothama delved on the role of private sector in the training programmes, especially in the area of Plant Breeding involving maize and cannola. The Director of Research, Dr. S.S.Gosal said that PAU has developed collaboration with different private sector organizations. He shared that Syngenta has expressed interest in hybrid wheat. Dr. Kang, while elaborating on the President Barrack Obama\'s feed the future programme said that lot of opportunities for training in African countries exist for which a win win situation can be created through durable collaboration. Others who participated in the interaction meeting included the PAU Registrar, Dr. R.K.Mahey, Director of School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Dr. Kuldeep Singh and Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman. Later, the group had a round of various stalls put up by PAU, PAU Kisan Club, non-government organizations and discussed about the displays.
News From:

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker