Indian experts give details on benefits of new micro-organism


30-July-2013


Delegates and guests at the presentation yesterday

This was during a meeting held yesterday at the Seychelles Fishing Authority’s conference room.

Attending the presentation were Minister for Natural Resources Peter Sinon and the ministry’s principal secretary Michael Nalletamby.

The presentation was given by director general of the Amity institute of microbial technology (AIMT) and Amity University in Uttar Pradesh, Professor Ajit Varma.
His presentation was entitled small ideas make big impact − Piriformospora Indica − underground root engineering.

Piriformospora indica is a newly described cultivable endophyte that colonises roots.
An endophyte is often a bacterium or fungus which lives within a plant for at least part of its life without causing apparent disease.

This fungus provides a model organism for the study of beneficial plant-microbe interactions and a new tool for improving plant production systems.

During his presentation, Prof. Varma briefed those present on the fungus and its benefits to plants, its interaction with plants such as tobacco and fruit trees such as mango and litchee.
He also showed them examples of experiments done to prove the effectiveness of this micro-organism.

In the 1990’s, the Indian expert discovered the fungus - Piriformospora indica - that grows in the Thar Desert in north-western India and significantly boosts the growth of various crop plants and medicinal herbs.

Desert shrubs provide the natural habitat of the fungus. It can be readily cultivated, and the growth of many different plants is promoted when inoculated with the fungus.
The next step which the agricultural agency will take is to carry out a pilot project using this new technology to see if it can be used in the country.

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