ThesisItem Open AccessORGANIC AMENDMENTS AND MULCHING FOR GROWTH, FLOWERING, YIELD, SEED PRODUCTION AND POST HARVEST LIFE IN CHINA ASTER(2022) Konwar, Binita; Talukdar, Madhumita ChoudharyThe investigation was conducted at Dhemaji during 2019-20 and 2020- 21, to study the effect of Organic amendments and mulching for growth, flowering, yield, seed production and post harvest life in China aster consisting of 36 treatments and 3 replications. Post-harvest quality of flowers was further studied for long distance transport in four different packaging material and three harvesting stages. The vegetative characters in pooled data were highly influenced by the nutrient treatment N4 (Microbial consortium (Bio fertilizers) + Rock Phosphate @ 5 g/m2 + Vermicompost @ 3.0 t/ha) where the highest plant height 60.00 cm , 205.68 number of leaves, 8.25 number of branches and 3313.39 cm2 leaf area. Similarly the mulching M2 (Silver lined plastic mulching) and its interaction with N4 i.e., N4M2 recorded the highest values for these traits. The minimum days for full bloom was recorded in the nutrient treatment N4 with 107.65 days, the mulching treatment M2 with 112.16 days and their interaction (N4M2) with 104.36 days. The nutrient treatment N4 recorded the highest number of flowers of 52.58, blooming period of 45.31 days, self life of 13.77 days and vase life of 11.15 days. The red plastic mulching (M3) was found to record higher values in terms of flower characters though at par with M2. The interaction treatment N4M2 recorded the highest number of flowers per plant (54.23) while N4M3 recorded at par performance with N4M2 showing maximum blooming period of 48.87 days, self life of 14.08 days and vase life of 11.73 days in pooled data. The physiological parameters were highly influenced by the nutrient treatments with N4 recording the highest chlorophyll content of 3.24 mg g-1, anthocyanin content of 309.02 mg 100g-1, NAR of 0.92 and RLWC of 93.21%. The mulching treatment M3 recorded highest values in terms of the above physiological parameters. The highest seed yield was observed in the treatment N4 (8.10 g/plant and 13.49 q/ha), M2 (7.52 g/plant and 12.53 q/ha) and the interaction N4M2 (8.45 g/plant and 14.09 q/ha). The germination percentage and seedling vigour showed a decreasing trend with increase in time from harvest when stored in room temperature. 6 The soil characters in the pooled analysis were found to be highest in terms of Organic carbon, pH, enzymes and microbial biomass carbon with the application of Enriched compost @3.0 t/ha (N8). In the post harvest study after transportation, packaging with high density polyethylene and flowers harvested at the full bloom stage recorded the lowest PLW (45.00%), wilting (71.85%), rotting (22.29%) and highest vase life (7.39 days) on the 5th day in the pooled data. The B:C ratio was found highest in the treatment N4M2 (4.57 and 5.54) followed by N4M3 (4.05 and 5.09) and N8M2(3.74 and 4.74) for flower and seed characters, respectively. ThesisItem Open AccessCanopy and Micronutrient Management of Thailand ber (Ziziphus mauritiana Lamk.)(2022) Sarma, Bhaskarjyoti; Kotoky, UtpalThe present experiment on “Canopy and micronutrient management of Thailand ber (Ziziphus mauritiana Lamk.)” was carried out for two successive years during 2020- 21 and 2021-22 in the farmer‟s field at Pundibari village, Dompara, Bongaigaon with the objective to standardize the pruning height and to find out optimum doses of boron and zinc. The experiment was laid out in factorial Randomized Block Design with 3 factors viz. variety, pruning height and micronutrient sprays with three replications and the data of individual years were subjected to pooled analysis. The varieties V1 (Round green type) and V2 (Roundish ovate reddish type) were pruned at height P1 (50 cm from ground level) and P2 (75 cm from ground level). A total of nine micronutrients treatment were given i.e. N0 (control), N1 (Borax 0.4%), N2 (Borax 0.5%), N3 (ZnSO4 0.4%), N4 (ZnSO4 0.5%), N5 (Borax 0.4% + ZnSO4 0.4%), N6 (Borax 0.4% + ZnSO4 0.5%), N7 (Borax 0.5% + ZnSO4 0.4%) and N8 (Borax 0.5% + ZnSO4 0.5%). The plant height was not influenced by any of the treatments. The variety V1 (Round green type) recorded the earliest flowering (121.25 days), heavier fruits (35.49 g) leading to higher yield per plant (31.17 kg) although the variety V2 (Roundish ovate reddish type) exhibited better fruit quality, viz., the highest TSS (15.00 oBrix), total sugar (15.14%), reducing sugar (8.08%), carotenoid (0.33 μg/g), vitamin C content (68.49 mg/100 g) and DPPH scavenging ability (9.96%). Pruning at 75 cm above ground level (P2) resulted in more number of primary branches (8.28) leading to more fruits (148.90/branch) and better quality fruits in terms of size, TSS, total sugar, reducing sugar, carotenoid content and the lowest titratable acidity. Among the micronutrient sprays, borax 0.5 per cent along with zinc sulphate 0.5 per cent (N8) was most effective with respect to fruit retention (56.65%), more fruits per branch (146.90) and better quality fruits. The N8 treatment favourably influenced the TSS, total and reducing sugars, titratable acidity and total leaf chlorophyll content. The interaction of three factors revealed that V1P2N3 was better for number of primary branches, while V2P1N4 recorded the highest DPPH scavenging ability (10.05%). Although V2P2N8 (Roundish ovate reddish type variety, pruning at 75 cm from ground level, Borax 0.5% + ZnSO4 0.5% spray) registered the maximum number of fruits (181.24/branch), the highest fruit yield (85.18 t/ha) was obtained in the treatment V1P2N8 (Round green type variety, pruning at 75 cm from ground level, Borax 0.5% + ZnSO4 0.5% spray) owing to differences in fruit size. The treatment combination V2P2N8 was registered to be better in vitamin C content (70.28 mg/100 g) and other quality parameters along with total leaf chlorophyll content (4.32 mg/g FW). Computation of production economics revealed the B:C ratio to be the highest in V2P2N8 (7.36), followed by V2P2N7 (7.08). ThesisItem Open AccessKNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF ADOLESCENT GIRLS OF JORHAT DISTRICT OF ASSAM ON PERSONAL HYGIENE WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO MENSTRUAL HYGIENE(AAU, Jorhat, 2021) Chetia, Anwesha Bijoy; Sarmah, JulianaThe present investigation was conducted to study the “Knowledge and practice of adolescent girls of Jorhat district of Assam on personal hygiene with special reference to menstrual hygiene” with objectives : (i) To study the background profile of adolescent girls (ii) To assess the existing knowledge of respondents on personal hygiene with special reference to menstrual hygiene (iii) To identify the existing practice of respondents on personal hygiene with special reference to menstrual hygiene. The study was conducted in one Educational Block of Jorhat District of Assam namely Jorhat Educational Block. Twenty five (out of total 32 clusters) numbers of clusters having high school or higher secondary school were considered for the present study. As there are 20 clusters situated in rural area and 5 clusters are in the urban area, 50 per cent clusters of rural areas that is 10 nos. and 50 per cent clusters of urban areas that is 3 nos. were selected randomly for the present study. One high school or higher secondary school from each cluster was selected by using simple random sampling method. Thus, all total 13 numbers of high schools or higher secondary schools were considered for present study, 10 schools from rural and 3 schools from urban area were selected for the present study. From the total number, thirty percent girls belonging to 15 years to 19 years (late adolescent) were the respondents for the present study. Thus, all total 142 numbers of late adolescent girls (15-19 years of age belonging to class IX to XI) from the rural area and 112 numbers of late adolescent girls totaling 254 numbers of late adolescent girls from both rural and urban area of Jorhat district were the respondents for the present study to assess knowledge and practice of personal hygiene with special reference to menstrual hygiene. The study revealed that a higher percentage of respondents in both rural and urban area belonged to the age group of 15-17 years and respondents from both the areas respondents attained menarche at the age of 13-15 years. The study revealed that majority of the total respondents had no separate bathroom in their house for using during menstrual period. It is found that ‘menstrual hygiene’ is included in the syllabus of school. Majority of the respondent discussed about menstrual hygiene with their family. The findings showed that majority of the total respondents that nearly 53 per cent respondents had attended training on menstrual hygiene and remaining respondents who had not attended any training on menstruation were interested in obtaining training on menstruation. More than 36 per cent respondents had the menstrual cycle with the interval of 28 days. Nearly 78 per cent respondents did not consult with doctor if face any problem regarding menstruation and they did not use any local (indigenous) medicine during menstrual period. The study showed that higher percentage of respondents from both the rural and urban area had medium level of knowledge on personal hygiene with special reference to menstrual hygiene. The study also revealed that a higher percentage of overall respondents that is 69.29 per cent belonged to “moderate” category on menstrual hygiene practice. The study showed that there was highly positive significant relationship of menstrual hygiene knowledge with independent variable such as mass media exposure and there was positive significant relationship of menstrual hygiene knowledge with independent variable such as training attended. There was highly positive significant relationship of menstrual hygiene practice and independent variable such as size of the family and training attended. There was positive significant relationship of respondents’ knowledge on menstrual hygiene with their practice on menstrual hygiene in rural area. ThesisItem Open AccessINTEGRATED NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT IN MANGO (Mangifera indica L.) CV. AMRAPALI(AAU, Jorhat, 2021) Mehta, Ritika; Gogoi, BornaliAn experiment entitled “Integrated nutrient management in mango (Mangifera indica) cv. Amrapali” was conducted during 2019-2021 at Experimental Farm, Department of Horticulture, Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat-13 with the objective to determine the effect of Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) on flowering, yield and biochemical constituents of mango and to determine the economics of cultivation. The experiment was laid out in Randomized Block Design with eight number of treatments which were replicated three times. The treatments are T0 : Absolute control, T1 : RDF (730 g N : 180 g P : 680 g K) + FYM plant-1, T2 : 75% RDF + FYM + Vermicompost (3 kg) + Azotobacter + PSB plant-1, T3: 50% RDF + FYM + Vermicompost (5 kg) + Azotobacter + PSB plant-1, T4: 75% RDF + FYM + Vermicompost (3 kg) +Azotobacter + PSB + Rock phosphate (100g) plant-1, T5: 50% RDF + FYM + Vermicompost (5 kg) + Azotobacter + PSB + Rock phosphate (200 g) plant-1, T6: 75% RDF + FYM + Enriched compost (3 kg) + Azotobacter + PSB plant-1, T7: 50% RDF + FYM + Enriched compost (5 kg) + Azotobacter + PSB plant-1. Azotobacter and PSB were applied 5 g each per kg of the compost and FYM was applied 20 kg per plant in every treatment from T1 to T7. Field data was taken for the two years i.e., 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 and the biochemical parameters were evaluated only during the year 2019-2020. During the first year of experiment, Days to 50% inflorescence emergence and Days to 50% flowering, were found to be non-significant. However, integrated application of nutrients had significant difference among each other during the second year of experiment. Pooled analysis over the two years revealed that the minimum days to 50% inflorescence emergence (133.58), minimum days to 50% flowering (143.24), maximum length of panicle (27.74 cm), number of rachis per branch (26.72), percentage of fruit set (33.34), fruit size (10.24 cm), yield per plant (14.60 kg) and pulp-peel ratio (6.31) were observed in T4. Percentage of fruit drop was also found to be lowest in treatment T4. Quality parameters like TSS (22.09º Brix), reducing sugar (4.94%), non-reducing sugar (12.15%) was found to be highest in T4. β carotene content was found to be maximum in treatment T2 which was statistically at par with treatment T4. Titratable acidity and crude fibre were found to be non-significant among the treatments. Results revealed that maximum available nitrogen (286.28 kg/ha), phosphorus (48.55 kg/ha), potassium (183.66 kg/ha) and organic carbon (0.99%) was found in treatment T4. pH among the treatments was observed to be non-significant. The net return and B:C ratio were found to be highest in treatment T4 followed by treatment T2. Thus, in a broader view, treatment T4 was better towards improving the flowering, yield and biochemical constituents of mango which is followed by treatment T2. Hence, considering the above points and based on results of experiment, treatment T4 [75% RDF + FYM (20 kg) + Vermicompost (3 kg) + Azotobacter (15 g) + PSB (15 g) + Rock phosphate (100 g) plant-1] is considered best for recommendation which is followed by treatment T2 [75% RDF + FYM (20 kg) + Vermicompost (3 kg) + Azotobacter (15 g) + PSB (15 g)] plant-1. ThesisItem Open AccessIntegrated nutrient management in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.)(AAU, Jorhat, 2021) NATH, KANGKANA; Sarma, IraA field experiment was conducted at the Experimental Farm, Department of Horticulture, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat during the year 2019-20 and 2020-21 to study the effect of integrated nutrient management on growth, yield and quality of lettuce. The experiment was laid out in a randomized block design (RBD) with eight treatments replicated thrice. The treatments were T1: Control, T2: 40:20:40 Kg NPK ha-1, T3: 40:20:40 Kg NPK ha-1+ FYM 2t ha-1, T4: 40:20:40 Kg NPK ha-1 +FYM 2t ha-1 + PSB, T5: FYM 3t ha-1+ PSB, T6: 40:20:40 Kg NPK ha-1 +VC 1t ha-1, T7: 40:20:40 Kg NPK ha-1 + VC 1t ha-1 +PSB and T8: VC 2t ha-1 + PSB. Observations of the growth parameters were taken at 30 days after planting (DAP), 45 days after planting (DAP) and at harvest. Analysis of variance during 2019-20, 2020-21 and across the years revealed significant mean square due to treatment for all the characters under study. The characters studied were plant height, leaves per plant, leaf length, leaf breadth, leaf canopy spread, leaf area, fresh weight, dry weight, days to marketable maturity, yield per plot and yield per hectare.The pooled analysis across 2019-20 and 2020-21 revealed that the treatment T7 recorded maximum plant height (14.25cm, 19.17cm and 26.92cm) and maximum leaves per plant (10.00, 17.17 and 29.17) at 30 DAP, 45 DAP and at harvest, respectively. The leaves per plant in the treatment T4 (9.88) at 30 DAP was statistically at par with treatment T7. Maximum leaf length (16.33cm, 22.67cm and 27.64cm) and leaf breadth (16.08cm, 22.17cm and 27.67cm) were exhibited by the treatment T7 at all the three growth stages. Leaf length in the treatments T4 (16.00cm) and T6 (15.48cm) were statistically at par with treatment T7 at 30 DAP. Maximum leaf canopy spread (12.6cm, 21.33cm and 29.75cm) and maximum leaf area (198.95cm², 347.29cm² and 543.33cm²) were observed in the treatment T7 at 30 DAP, 45 DAP and at harvest, respectively. Maximum fresh weight of leaves (206.33g) as well as dry weight of leaves per plant (13.85g) were exhibited by the treatment T7 whereas, minimum of these were recorded by the treatment T1. The highest yield (27.5 t/ha) was exhibited by the treatment T7. Minimum number of days to reach the marketable maturity was observed in the treatments T4 and T7 with values 53 days whereas maximum number of days (63 days) for the same character was observed in the treatment T1. The highest moisture content (96.28 %) was observed in the treatment T6. The integrated application of organic, inorganic and biofertilizers influenced the nutritional content of lettuce significantly. The ascorbic acid content (3.76mg/100g), calcium content (20.67mg/100g), non-reducing sugar content (3.98 %) and chlorophyll content (3.77mg/100g) were recorded maximum in treatment T7 whereas the maximum iron content (1.50 mg/100g) was observed in the treatment T5.The highest nitrogen (0.23%) and the crude protein content (1.44%) were observed in both the treatments T6 and T7. Maximum reducing sugar content was observed in T4. The highest net return (Rs. 192703.00) was obtained in the treatment T7 with benefit cost ratio 2.34. However, the highest benefit cost ratio was exhibited by the treatment T4 (2.58) with a net return of Rs. 189703.00 due to high cost of production in T7. ThesisItem Open AccessINFLUENCE OF FERTILIZER MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON POINT OF ZERO CHARGE (PZC) IN SOILS OF ASSAM AND ODISHA(AAU, Jorhat, 2021) Parija, Subhra; Nath Das, KulendraAn incubation study was undertaken to examine the influence of fertilizer management practices on the point of zero charge (PZC) in soils of Assam and Odisha. Six number of geo-referenced surface soil samples (0-15 cm) viz., black soil (Vertisol), laterite soil (Alfisol), red soil (Alfisol) and three alluvial soil samples belonging to Entisol, Inceptisol and Alfisol were collected from Kalahandi, Khordha and Dhenkanal districts of Odisha and Dergaon, Golaghat, ICR Farm AAU, Jorhat and Titabor, Jorhat of Assam, respectively. The soils strikingly varied in their mechanical composition, bulk density and moisture content at field capacity. The soils were mostly acidic in nature (pH 5.04 – 5.71) except black soil of Odisha which was slightly alkaline (pH 7.93). Organic carbon in Odisha soils ranged from 0.21 - 0.95% and lied between 0.47 - 0.86% in soils of Assam. All the soils were low to medium in available NPK but exhibited high content of available S. Laboratory incubation of these soils (200g) were carried out after treatment with four different fertilizer management practices viz., FYM @ 5 t ha-1 (T1), NPK @ 80:40:40 for Odisha soils and 60:20:40 for Assam soils (T2), FYM @ 5 t ha-1 + NPK @ 80:40:40 for Odisha soils and 60:20:40 for Assam soils (T3) and FYM @ 5 t ha-1 + NPK @ 80:40:40 for Odisha soils and 60:20:40 for Assam soils + Lime requirement/ Gypsum requirement (T4), in three replications. Sub samples were drawn after an interval of 15 and 30 days after treatment (DAT) and analysed. The PZSE and PZNC of the incubated samples were estimated through potentiometric titration and ion retention methods, respectively. Pearson’s correlation coefficient between PZC components and relevant soil properties was studied. The effect of the applied treatments on the PZC components and nutrient availability was evaluated using ANOVA for CRD. Results revealed that the PZSE for Odisha soils ranged from 2.18 to 4.70 and lied between 3.60 and 4.16 for the soils of Assam. The PZNC was achieved at comparatively lower pH values, ranging from 2.03 to 4.10 for Odisha soils and from 2.50 to 3.61 for Assam soils. The order of PZC for the samples was in direct correlation with their respective sesquioxide contents. Factors like clay, organic carbon, exchangeable calcium and available phosphorus imposed a significant influence on soil PZC values. The treatment T2 resulted in highest availability of the primary nutrients for all the soils under incubation while maximum availability of secondary nutrients was recorded under treatment T4. Availability of all the nutrients decreased at 30 DAT as compared to that of 15 DAT, except for Ca and Mg where the availability was more at 30 DAT. The treatment effect was insignificant on the sesquioxides content of incubated soils. Highest values of PZSE and PZNC were recorded under treatment T2 followed by T3, T4 and T1 for all the incubated soil samples of Odisha and Assam, however there was a decrease in the PZC values with increase in days of incubation. Such results confer that these soils allow more availability of anionic nutrients such as nitrate (NO3 -), phosphate (PO4 3-), sulphate (SO4 2-) immediately after fertilizer application, which slowly decreases with time favoring an increased CEC in the latter phase and thereafter enhancing the availability of cationic nutrients such as ammonium (NH4 +), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), etc. In comparison to other treatments, the treatment T4 consisting of organic manures, recommended dose of chemical fertilizers along with lime/gypsum resulted as the most ideal fertilizer management practice. Besides providing optimum amount of primary nutrients and maximum amount of secondary nutrients, it regulated the PZC values favouring minimal loss of nutrients leading to enhanced crop production. ThesisItem Open AccessINFLUENCE OF BIOCHAR ON SOIL PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES(AAU, Jorhat, 2021) Saikia, Priyambi; Patgiri, D K.The study on „Influence of biochar on soil physico-chemical properties‟ was conducted during 2019-2021 with the aim to characterize biochar obtained by pyrolysis of different organic sources, viz., ipomoea, rice straw and rice husk; and to study the influence of application of biochar on the physico-chemical properties of soils over a period of 90 days of incubation. Biochar was prepared by pyrolysis of organic sources under anaerobic condition at a temperature ranging from 350 to 400oC using the biochar kiln. pH, EC, CEC, available N, available P2O5, available K2O, water holding capacity (WHC) and bulk density of biochars ranged from 7.34 to 9.69, 0.70 to 1.13 dS m-1, 17.3 to 18.4 cmol(p+) kg-1, 0.0028 to 0.00504%, 0.0126% to 0.0258%, 0.17 to 0.34%, 101.58 to 255.36% and 0.267 to 0.465 Mg m-3 respectively. Soil samples of three different textural classes, viz., clay, clay loam and sandy were collected from the Titabor subdivision of Jorhat district for the incubation study. Soil samples were incubated for 90 days at 60% FC with each type of biochar (ipomoea, rice husk and rice straw) at 4 different levels (1, 2, 3 and 4%) in a completely randomized design. Biochar improved soil physical properties like hydraulic conductivity, soil water retention at field capacity, soil water retention at permanent wilting point, soil available water, increased sand and silt sized particles, while it decreased the clay sized particles compared to the initial value of the soils. Rice husk and rice straw biochar significantly decreased the percentage of clay sized particles (2.73%), by significantly increasing the percentage of sand and silt sized particles. All three soils showed a proportionate increment in sand and silt sized particles, while clay sized particles declined with the increase in the rate of application of biochar from 1 to 4%. When applied at a rate of 4%, rice husk biochar significantly increased the percentage of sand sized particles by its maximum value (2.25%) and rice straw biochar significantly increased the percentage of silt sized particles by its maximum value (2.42%). Application of rice husk biochar significantly improved hydraulic conductivity of the soils to the highest value (7.73 mm hr-1). Application of biochar derived from ipomoea led to significantly higher water retention at field capacity (28.10%), water retention at permanent wilting point (10.94%) and soil available water content (17.16%). Biochar showed corresponding increase in hydraulic conductivity till the application rate of 3% for clay loam and sandy clay loam soil. At the application rate of 3% rice husk biochar resulted for the highest hydraulic conductivity of the soil (9.11 mm hr-1). Soil water retention at field capacity and permanent wilting point increased proportionately with increase in the rate of application of biochar from 1% to 4% for all 32 soils except for sandy clay loam soil where soil water retention at field capacity proportionately decreased. Application of biochar at the rate of 3% and 4% significantly increased the soil available water content to the highest value (17.19%). Ipomoea at the rate of 4% led highest water retention at field capacity (29.91%) and soil available water (18.43%). Biochar significantly altered the soil pH, EC, CEC, organic carbon, available nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium content of the soils. Rice straw biochar led to significantly higher pH (5.88), EC (0.093 dS m-1) and organic carbon content (1.11%). Ipomoea biochar prompted significantly higher CEC [9.80 cmol(p+) kg-1], soil available nitrogen (251.38 kg ha-1) and available potassium content (311.41 kg ha-1). Rice husk biochar led to significantly higher available phosphorous content (72.69 kg ha-1). Soil chemical properties such as pH, EC, organic carbon, CEC, available phosphorous and potassium content was significantly increased with the increasing rate of application of biochar from 1 to 4%. Application of 4% rice straw biochar increased the soil pH, EC and soil organic carbon content to the highest level (6.39, 0.120 dS m-1 and 1.41% respectively). Ipomoea biochar at the rate of 4% led to highest CEC and soil available potassium content [11.07 cmol(p+) kg-1 and 358.59 kg ha-1 respectively]. Biochar made from rice husk at the rate of 4% increased the soil available phosphorous content to the highest level (96.06 kg ha-1). However, application of biochar till 2% resulted in increase in available nitrogen content of the soils. Further increase in application rate resulted in decrease in available nitrogen content of the soils. Ipomoea biochar at the rate of 2% increased the soil available nitrogen content to the highest level (271.71 kg ha-1). ThesisItem Open AccessA STUDY ON FARMERS’ PERSPECTIVE TOWARDS AGRICULTURE IN THE LAST FIVE DECADES IN THE STATE OF ASSAM(2021) Baruah, Bhargab; Kalita, Hemanga Kr.A lack of approach towards agricultural activities can be observed in the rural areas of Assam despite having economic crisis at the household level. While the notion of disenchantment of farmers towards the profession and the likelihood of many farmers willing to leave agriculture has caught steam in the country, considering how important agriculture is to the lives and livelihood of rural population in Assam the present study was taken up to develop insights into the reasons behind decline in preference of the farmers in Assam to continue performing agriculture as their primary livelihood activity. This study proposes that farmers’ psychologically constituted attitude, values and goals towards life domains shall help us understand the foundational basis of preferences and choices of farmers to engage in agriculture as a profession and for fulfillment lifestyle goals under changed circumstances to perform agriculture as a livelihood. The present study was conducted in five districts across Assam, viz., Jorhat, Morigaon, Barpeta, North Lakhimpur, and Cachar. Data was mainly collected through personal interview channels, and employing psychometric assessment techniques - Likert-scale and Q-methodology. Multi-stage purposive and random sampling techniques was used to draw out a sample of 400 respondents proportionately from three stratums based on age categories. A purposively drawn sub-sample of respondents was used for Q-study. Cluster analysis and factor analysis were used for interpretation of the data. Other appropriate analytical tools were also used for analysis of data. The study revealed that although food production was simply seen as a means to meet a minimum level of subsistence through collective action of family members during phase 1, the farmers did not face economic crisis at household level. Farming was more about maintenance of traditional rural/agricultural values, than economic rationality and modern technological innovations had very little importance in farming. Farming was mainly constrained by damage due to floods, lack of policies to safeguard farm household economy against crop loss and access to for credit channels. While there was shift in preferences among expanders, contended believers and potential escapees during phase 2 to utilize their farm holdings for earning a real income from farming most others preferred to farm at subsistence level. Family remained central to the management of farms and farmers drew comfort from being part of his private social world, while many started to see farmers being viewed as inferior section of the society. Farmers became aware that the resources that were accessible and affordable to them would not be enough for a settled life in farming. Farmers were unhappy with the prices of farm produce and the smaller farmers felt that they were relegated to poorer section of the society. Although there was increase in use of modern technologies in farming, the quality planting materials were costly and the situation in marketing did not allow farmers to get a remunerative price. Access to irrigation and credit was also limited. Role of extension was passive and improvements in mechanization was not achieved. Damage to crops due to floods remained a primary concern for the farmers. Economic rationality in food production took over the idealistic values of being a farmer embedded in the traditionalist rural/agricultural culture during phase 3. Leaving aside the potential escapees, it appeared that the others view their farm household enterprise to be of considerable importance for their livelihood, although their livelihood strategies differed. For the expanders maintenance of traditional and cultural values in farming and opportunity of self-expression in farming occupation was as important as economic rationality in farming. They enjoyed better wellbeing and status and saw prospects of expansion of their farm business. Otherwise oriented towards commercial cultivation, some of the contended believers have been quite selective in making changes to their farming systems during phase 3. Although some contended conservators prefer to be commercially oriented, for most of them food production at subsistence or semi-subsistence level seems quite the preferable choice. Being oriented towards farming at subsistence level, the continuing bottomliners believed that farming must be carried out with collective action of family members. The symbolic status of owning agricultural land and performance of work tasks, preserving their lands for the future generation and working hard in the land to grow a good crop no longer ensures economic rewards in farming. Change in the institutional life-world within which the farmers are embedded, threatened the traditional values in farming and forced the farmers to question their self-worth. Unsatisfactory performance of extension service, credit and insurance, non-existence of storage facilities, intuitional support in marketing constrained progress of farmers. Irrigation and mechanization improved, while modern quality inputs were easily available. The growth in non-farm employment, within and outside rural areas, made family farming more attractive. While only 8.95 per cent farm households reported to have off-farm source of livelihood during phase 1, 72.50 per cent of households indicated that they had off-farm sources of income during phase 3. While potential escapees had at least one off-farm source of income during phase 3, the contended believers less frequently had an off-farm source of income in their household (56.25%). While 93.68 per cent farmers reported that they were highly dependent on agriculture for livelihood during phase 1, only 49.75 per cent reported that their dependence on agriculture was high during phase 3. While majority of potential escapees (69.64%) reported to have very low dependence on agriculture; majority of expanders (67.05%) and contended believers (65.18%) reported that they were highly dependent on agriculture during phase 3. Although there are fewer households in phase 3 that get their principal income from cultivation than in phase 1 and phase 2, majority of farmers (68.75%) still get their principal income from cultivation. Other off-farm enterprises (10.25%) was the most utilized form of employment for principal income by the farmers during phase 3 next to cultivation, followed by salaried employment (9.50%), and other wage employment (7.5%). Other off-farm enterprises (37.50%), salaried income (25%), and other wage employment (21.42%) were the most prominent principal sources of income for the potential escapees. Only as few as 5.50 per cent of the farmers reported that they were dependent on single source of income for livelihood during phase 3. As many as 38.50 per cent of farmers reported that they depended on three sources of income, while another 16.50 per cent farmers depended on four or more sources of income during phase 3. Other sources category of income was frequently utilized by the expanders, potential escapees and contended believers. Salaried income was an important source of income for potential escapees, expanders and contended believers. The contended conservators can be frequently found to be either a wage labour in nonfarm or operating a petty business while the continuing bottomliners are more likely to be involved in wage labour - nonfarm or in blue collar jobs. ThesisItem Open AccessOptimization of in vitro transformation protocol and RNAi based gene silencing for viral (Cucumber Mosaic Virus) resistance in Bhut jolokia (Capsicum chinense Jacq.)(2021) Deuri, Bharati; Bhorali, PriyadarshiniBhut jolokia (Capsicum chinense Jacq.), one of the most popular and hottest chillies in the world, is widely cultivated in Assam and other North Eastern regions in India. A member of the Solanaceae family, Bhut jolokia is characterized by very high pungency due to the presence of high amount of phenolic alkaloid ‘Capsaicinoids’. It is an ideal chilli variety for extraction of oleoresin and capsaicin, which have high market demand due to their industrial uses and medicinal properties. Bhut jolokia production is challenged by several biotic constraints, particularly viral diseases, which affect its quality and yield. Among the viruses, Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV) causes severe crop damage, leading to low productivity. Current control measures for CMV are mainly preventive through vector management strategies, which are not adequate in controlling the disease. An effective way to control the disease is the use of biotechnological tools such as RNA interference (RNAi) technology to engineer resistance against the virus. Plants expressing a copy of a viral gene in sense and/or antisense orientation have shown resistance upon infection with the virus via post-transcriptional gene silencing. In the present investigation, an in vitro regenerationtransformation strategy has been optimized for Bhut jolokia and, a hairpin RNA (hpRNA) based gene silencing construct has been developed using the Replicase gene from CMV. The study was initiated by callus induction from Bhut jolokia leaf segments in MS basal medium. Very good quality callus were induced in MS medium supplemented with 0.5 mg/l or 1 mg/l 2,4-D. Multiple shoot induction and regeneration from callus were obtained in MS medium supplemented with 8.5 mg/l KIN and 0.5 mg/l TDZ along with 5 mg/l AgNO3 with maximum shoot initiation frequency of 95% and regeneration frequency of 90%. Root regeneration was found to be optimum in half strength MS medium supplemented with 1.5 mg/l NAA within 4 weeks of culture with maximum rooting frequency of 70%. For standardization of an Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation system, the strain LBA4404 carrying pCAMBIA1301 binary vector construct with gusA as the reporter gene and hptII and nptII as selection marker genes was used. Transformation was carried out using 45 days old callus and also with intact Bhut jolokia seeds as explants. Hygromycin concentration of 9 mg/l was found to be optimum for efficient selection of putative transformants. From a total of 30 nos. of callus infected by Agrobacterium, 9 numbers of putative transformed shoots were regenerated in presence of selection agent. Finally, only 2 (6.66%) fully rooted plants survived out of which, only 1 plant finally survived during hardening in the green house. Moreover, out of 30 nos. of infected seeds, a total of 7 numbers of putative transformed seedlings were developed. Finally, only 1 (3.33%) seedling survived, which was transferred to the green house for hardening. Thus, both callus and seeds could be used as explants for transformation in Bhut jolokia, although the frequency of putative transformants obtained using callus explants was higher than that in seed transformation. The putative transformants were confirmed by GUS histochemical assay and PCR analysis. For developing the RNAi construct, a 323 bp Replicase gene sequence was cloned into pHANNIBAL vector both in sense and anti-sense orientations. The construct was then transferred to pBI121 binary vector, which was electroporated into Agrobacterium strain LBA4404 for plant transformation. Functional validation of the CMV Replicase hp-RNA construct was done through bioassay in model plant Nicotiana benthamiana by Agro-infiltration. Transgene expression in N. benthamiana was confirmed by RT-PCR analysis. The bioassay results indicated suppression of CMV infection in Agro-infiltrated N. benthamiana plants when mechanically inoculated with CMV sap. Further, DAS-ELISA established the functional efficiency of the hpRNA construct in providing considerable level of resistance against CMV infection. The in vitro regeneration-transformation strategy and the hpRNA based gene silencing construct, developed through this study would serve as a foundation towards future studies on engineering resistance against CMV in Bhut jolokia.