Gandhinagar: Institute of Plasma Research (IPR) here is all set to use the plasma technology to trigger early germination in certain rigid seeds, and is currently experimenting with capsicum and ladies finger.
IPR is an autonomous Research & Development organisation under the authority of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India situated near west banks of river Sabarmati in Gujarat, India. This institute is largely involved in theoretical and experimental studies in plasma science including basic plasma physics, magnetically confined hot plasmas and plasma technologies for industrial application.
Dr. Subrata Pradhan, leading scientist at the institute, said that the usage of plasma technology was being applied in different fields. “In agriculture, we are using it for easing and fastening the germination of ladies finger and capsicum.”
He said that these seeds are hard to germinate as they have hard coat that results in poor germination, and thus takes much long germination time. “It leads to poor yield from these seeds,” he said. Traditionally, growers use different techniques to improve germination prospects, mostly soaking seeds in water for hours together, he said.
Dr Pradhan added that IPR is conducting trials on capsicum and ladies finger seeds by using plasma technology to see how they can trigger early germination in these seeds.
“The plasma treatment carried out on these seeds allows changing seed coat structures, increasing the permeability of seed coats, and stimulating seed germination, thus the seedling growth. This technology when used in field will surely benefit in improving the yield from such seeds,” he said.
Dr Pradhan also said that IPR is trying to find ways for proper scientific disposal of solid waste using plasma technology.
“This technology will allow different civic bodies in solving civic issue in an eco-friendly manner,” he maintained.
He also said that the institute had recently achieved the mission objective of obtaining a plasma current in excess of 100 KA at centre in an experiment that was going on since January, 2009.