Biofortification of Zinc

These studies were initiated for biofortification of zinc in wheat for combating zinc deficiency in humans and animals.

Out of 110 wheat genotypes tested under solution culture, 37 have been identified as Zn efficient, 39 medium efficient and 34 as Zn inefficient.

Confirmation studies under field conditions indicated that the Zn-efficient genotypes produced 24% higher grain yield and extracted 36% more Zn as compared to Zn-inefficient genotypes.

Studies on role of mycorrhizae in enhancing Zn efficiency revealed that the roots of Zn efficient genotypes have greater association with mycorrhizae and exhibited up to 96% infection at the lower levels of P and Zn, which enhanced their ability to absorb more Zn from the Zn deficient medium. The infection was reduced to 23% with heavy application of P even in the presence of Zn.


This technique has been perfected.

It is cost effective and easy in management.

It increases crop yield by 10-20% and economizes fertilizer inputs by 30-40%.

Foliar Fertilization

This technique has been perfected.

It is most effective under drought and saline condition.

It economizes nitrogen inputs by 30%.


These studies were initiated to evaluate the compatibility of different intercrop combinations for enhancing crop productivity per unit of land area.

Mungbean was found to be the most suitable crop for intercropping with cotton and wheat for sugarcane.

Planting of cotton and mungbean in 2:1 row arrangement enhanced the crop productivity by 20-30% without additional inputs.

Intercropping of wheat or brassica with sugarcane enhanced the crop production by 33-37%.

Production Technology

Fertilizer N and P applied at 120 and 90 kg ha-1 proved to be the most economical dose for wheat and rice

Zinc applied at 09 kg ha-1 enhanced the paddy harvest by 15%.

Application of N and P applied in 4:3 ratio was found to be the best combination for higher yields.

Phosphobacterial Inoculation

The protocol for isolation and preparation of phosphobacterial inocula has been perfected.

The field studies with different crops indicated that phosphobacterial inocula have the capability to solubilize the native soil P upto 50 kg/ha.

Water Conservation

These studies were initiated to evaluate different irrigation systems, mulches and tillage practices for economizing water usage and enhancing crop productivity.

Bed & furrow proved to be the most efficient system which economized the irrigation water by 33% in cotton and by 45% in wheat.

Studies on different mulches under field conditions proved wheat straw and sugarcane trash as the most effective mulches followed by FYM, rice husk and poultry litter, respectively.

Boron Requirements of Cropss

Paddy soils of Sindh were evaluated for boron status. The results revealed that out of 68 soil samples 78% were deficient, 18% marginal and only 4% were adequate in boron.

Grains of 14 rice genotypes were analyzed for B content. The highest B (1.504 ppm) was recorded in grains rice variety Shua-92. The least B (1.136 ppm) was recorded in grains of Mehak.

Hydroponics study conducted on 14 rice genotypes revealed that 12 genotypes performed better in biomass production at 0.3 ppm B level while two genotypes at 5 ppm B.

Boron use efficient rice genotypes Shua-92, Sarshar and IR-8 produced the highest biomass of 23.47, 18.77 and 17.95 g respectively.

Phosphorus, Potassium and Boron concentration of shoot were significantly enhanced with each increment of B level in almost all genotypes upto 25 ppm B.

Evaluation of cereal's quality

Cereal quality testing laboratory was established by unanimous decision of all the Heads of th Divisions, after Annual In-house Research Review 2010.
Wheat grains of 55 genotypes were evaluated for different quality parameters.

Grain moisture and physical damage status of all genotypes were according to international standards (moisture (12.5% and physical damage3grains/300 grains).

Twenty eight genotypes showed test weight greater than international standard (74 kg/hL) and 27 were below the standard. Maximum test weight (82 kg/hL) was recorded in MNS-3.

Maximum protein content (17.2%) was recorded in wheat genotype Ent. 2 and EST-28/11 (16.3%).

Out of 55 genotypes 15 were adequate, 11 medium and 29 poor in Fe content according to Harvest plus Standards (50-60 mg kg-1). The maximum Fe content of 125 mg kg-1 was observed in MSH-17.

In relation to Zn content 2 genotypes were adequate, 04 medium and 49 poor according to Harvest plus Standards (50-60 mg kg-1).

None of these genotypes contain ideal phytic acid (<5:1), only 01 was medium in phytic acid (Phytic acid:Zinc ratio 5:1 -15:1) while rest of all were high (>15:1) in phytic acid.