Food and Seed Irradiations (Important) (Download PDF)


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Radiation in agriculture is used for developing improved varieties of seeds increasing the GDP of the country. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is using radiation-induced mutagenesis along with cross breeding to develop several varieties of oilseeds, pulses, rice, and jute for commercial cultivation.

Food and Seed Irradiations

Food and Seed Irradiations

Food and Seed Irradiations

  • These crops have higher yield, seed size, improved agronomic and quality traits, early maturity, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
  • Several varieties contribute substantially to the total agricultural production
  • BARC also involved in breeder seed multiplication for groundnuts and pulses.
  • Using mutation and conventional breeding, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has developed 42 new varieties of crops including oilseeds (groundnut, mustard, soybean, and sunflower), pulses (urdbean, mungbean, pigeonpea, and cowpea), rice, and jute.

Process of Irradiation

  • Mutation breeding through nuclear radiation done using gamma rays or other ionizing radiations such as electron beam.
  • The process does not render irradiated material radioactive and does not involve insertion of foreign gene
  • Irradiation increases the rate of mutation inside target cells
  • Acceleration of the natural mutation process using a radiation a widely accepted for producing variability in the population.
  • Plants showing favorable traits selected and cultivated- leading to production of new varieties
  • Plants extensively tested for various parameters, including nutritional quality and health hazards, before being release.

- Published/Last Modified on: September 6, 2017


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