4th March 2014, Thiruvanathapuram
The 18th Biennial Group Meeting (3-5th March, 2014) of the All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Plant Parasitic Nematodes with Integrated approach for their control was inaugurated today at College of Agriculture.
Dr. Swapan Kumar Datta, DDG (Crop Science), ICAR presided over the inaugural session and during his address emphasized on the need to identify genes involved in parasitism in nematodes and resistance in host for developing transgenic plant through RNAi-mediated gene silencing in case of former and expression of trans gene in latter, respectively. He highlighted the need of policy support for bio-technological interventions, bio-pesticide development and public-private partnerships in developing/popularizing new varieties in field and fruit crops for food and nutrition security of the country.
In his address, Dr. T.R. Gopalakrishnan, Director of Research, Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) expressed deep concerns about the spread of new nematode problems in coconut, banana, spices and vegetables in Kerala State. He also informed the House about the emphasis being given to use of organic farming and ban of lethal insecticides in the Kerala State. Under such circumstances, he urged the Project Coordinator to develop resistant varieties with good agronomic traits for deployment in the State.
Earlier Dr. P.K. Chakrabarty, ADG (Plant Protection), ICAR, presented a brief history and background of the AICRP on nematodes and nematology research in India. He expressed serious concerns about the losses in crops due to nematode diseases and urged upon the nematologists to devise integrated approach to manage root knot nematode problem in recently established poly-houses (for promoting vegetable and ornamental plants cultivation) all over the country. Dr. Chakrabarty stressed on the fact that there is an urgent need to strengthen and enforce domestic quarantine to contain spread of plant parasitic nematodes with plants and planting materials from hot-spot areas to disease free niches.
Dr. R. K. Jain, Project Coordinator, AICRP (Nematodes) presented the salient achievements of the project during the last two years i.e. 2011-13. His presentation entailed the new and emerging nematode problems in different parts of the country.
Earlier Dr. Sverup John, Dean, College of Agriculture, KAU, Vellayani welcomed the Chief Guest, delegates, and participants of the 18th Biennial Group Meeting of AICRP. Scientists from 15 centers of the AICRP located in different states of the country are participating in the meeting.
A Monograph on Root Knot Nematodes in India published by the Dr MR Khan, Dr RK Jain, Dr TM Ghule and Dr. S. Pal, Scientists associated with the AICRP was launched by the DDG (CS). Besides, a publication on Nematode diseases of Kerala state along with a number of bulletins on various issues of Nematology was also launched on the occasion.
Dr. M. S. Sheela, Principal Investigator, AICRP (Nematodes) centre located at KAU proposed vote of thanks.
(Source: Crop Science Division, ICAR)