Crop Biology Documents – India

Below is a list of crop biology documents from India, along with a brief description of each document. Click here to view all crop biology documents linked on this website.

When viewing crop biology documents, please refer to the OECD’s Revised Points to Consider on Consensus Documents on the Biology of Cultivated Plants, which provides a structured explanatory checklist to be used by authors of consensus documents.

CropScientific NameDescription
Brinjal (Eggplant)Solanum melongena L.

Brinjal or eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) is an important solanaceous crop of sub-tropics and tropics. The name brinjal is popular in Indian subcontinents and is derived from Arabic and Sanskrit whereas the name eggplant has been derived from the shape of the fruit of some varieties, which are white and resemble in shape to chicken eggs. It is also called aubergine (French word) in Europe.

The brinjal is of much importance in the warm areas of Far East, being grown extensively in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Philippines. It is also popular in Egypt, France, Italy and United States. In India, it is one of the most common, popular and principal vegetable crops grown throughout the country except higher altitudes. It is a versatile crop adapted to different agro-climatic regions and can be grown throughout the year. It is a perennial but grown commercially as an annual crop. A number of cultivars are grown in India, consumer preference being dependent upon fruit color, size and shape.

The varieties of S. melongena L. display a wide range of fruit shapes and colours, ranging from oval or egg-shaped to long club-shaped; and from white, yellow, green through degrees of purple pigmentation to almost black. Most of the commercially important varieties have been selected from the long established types of the tropical India and China.

ChickpeaCicer arietinum

Chickpea, Cicer arietinum L. belongs to the family Fabaceae, within the tribe Cicerae. It is a self-pollinated, diploid, annual grain legume crop. The global production of chickpea is nearly 11 million tonnes and India is the major producer accounting for 64% of the total chickpea production (FAOSTAT, 2012). It is a major source of high quality protein in human diet and also provides high quality crop residues for animal feed.

CottonGossypium spp.

Cotton is a major fibre crop of global importance and has high commercial value. It is grown commercially in the temperate and tropical regions of more than 70 countries. Specific areas of production include countries such as China, USA, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Australia, Greece, Brazil, Egypt etc., where climatic conditions suit the natural growth requirements of cotton. These include periods of hot and dry weather and adequate moisture obtained through irrigation. Cotton is harvested as ‘seed cotton’ which is then ‘ginned’ to separate the seed and lint. The long ‘lint’ fibres are further processed by spinning to produce yarn which is knitted or woven into fabrics.

Maize (Corn)Zea mays

Maize or corn (Zea mays) is a plant belonging to the family of grasses (Poaceae). It is cultivated globally being one of the most important cereal crops worldwide. Maize is not only an important food crop for human consumption, but also a basic element of animal feed and raw material for manufacturing of many industrial products. The products include corn starch, maltodextrins, corn oil, corn syrup and products of fermentation and distilleries. It is also being recently used in the production of biofuel.

MustardBrassica juncea

Brassica juncea (L.) Czern & Coss., also known by the name of Indian mustard, belongs to the plant family Brassiceae (Cruciferae) or the mustard family. In the trade, it is commonly referred to as Rapeseed-mustard along with four other closely related cultivated oilseed species viz. B. rapa, B. napus, B.carinata and Eruca sativa. Over the past couple of decades, these crops have become one of the most important sources of vegetable oil in the world. Continuous improvement in rapeseed-mustard has resulted in nutritionally superior edible oil, and meal as an important source of protein in animal feed. Rapeseed mustard crops are commercially cultivated in more than 60 countries and major produces include China, Canada, India, Australia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, USA and Czech Republic.

OkraAbelmoschus esculentus

Okra Abelmoschus esculentus L. (Moench), is an economically important vegetable crop grown in tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world. This crop is suitable for cultivation as a garden crop as well as on large commercial farms. It is grown commercially in India, Turkey, Iran, Western Africa,  ugoslavia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Burma, Japan, Malayasia, Brazil, Ghana, Ethiopia, Cyprus and the Southern United States. India ranks first in the world with 3.5 million tonnes (70% of the total world production) of okra produced from over 0.35 million hectare land (FAOSTAT, 2008).

PapayaCarica papaya

Papaya (Carica papaya) is a fruit crop that is grown both commercially as well as in the kitchen garden of many households all over India. Ripe papaya is a favorite fruit all over India. It is used to make fruit salads, refreshing drinks, jam, jelly, and candies. Green fruits are cooked as vegetable and are also used in the preparation of tutti-frutti. It is rich in a number of nutrients (Table 1) and antioxidants and has a high medicinal value. Papain is tapped from green fruits which has industrial use.

Pigeon PeaCajanus cajan

Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] belongs to the genus-Cajanus, subtribe-Cajaninae, tribe- Phaseoleae, order-Fabales,family-Fabaceae and sub-family Faboideae. Several edible beans like Lablab, Dolichos, Phaseolus, Vigna and Cajanus come under tribe Phaseoleae but in the sub-tribe Cajaninae, only one species, Cajanus cajan has been domesticated and cultivated. The species belonging to Cajaninae have peculiar vesicular glands on the leaves, calyx and pods which deposit asticky substance on their surface. It is the second most important pulse crop grown in India.

PotatoSolanum tuberosum

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is the most important non-grain food crop in the world, ranking 3rd in terms of total production with over 365 million tonnes per year (FAOSTAT, 2013), after rice and wheat. It is grown in around 150 countries spread across both temperate and tropical regions and at elevations from sea level to 4,000 m (Paul et al. 2012).

RiceOryza sativa L.

Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is a plant belonging to the family of grasses, Gramineae (Poaceae). It is one of the three major food crops of the world and forms the staple diet of about half of the world’s population. The global production of rice has been estimated to be at the level of 650 million tones and the area under rice cultivation is estimated at 156 million hectares (FAOSTAT, 2008). Asia is the leader in rice production accounting for about 90% of the world’s production. Over 75% of the world supply is consumed by people in Asian countries and thus rice is of immense importance to food security of Asia. The demand for rice is expected to increase further in view of expected increase in the population.

RubberHevea brasiliensis

H. brasiliensisis a sturdy, quick-growing, erect tree with a straight trunk and an open leafy crown. The bark is usually grey and fairly smooth. The bark of the trunk is the part from where rubber is harvested (Fig.1). In the wild, the trees may grow to over 40 m with a life span of more than 100 years. However, cultivated plants rarely grow beyond 25- 30 m in height because of the growth reduction due to harvesting of latex by tapping (Webster and Paardekooper, 1989).

SorghumSorghum bicolor

Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) is a plant belonging to the family of grasses (Poaceae). Sorghum, a C4 grass that diverged from maize around 15 million years ago, is the fifth most important cereal grown worldwide (Dogget,1988). Sorghum is well adapted to tropical and subtropical climates, but the greater part of the area of the crop falls in drought-prone, semi-arid tropical regions of the world.

TomatoSolanum lycoperscicum

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is an important vegetable crop. At present, about 160 million tonnes of fresh tomatoes are produced from 4.7 million ha (FAOSTAT, 2011).Tomatoes are native to South America, but were brought to Europe sometime in the 15th century, where they soon became popular and were exported around the world. For a long time tomatoes were known by the name Lycopersicon esculentum, but recent work has shown that they are part of the genus Solanum – as Linnaeus recognized when he first described the species.

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