- To Identify the cause of spongy tissue in Alphonso mango
- To understand the physiological and biochemical changes associated with spongy tissue formation
- To develop eco-friendly strategies for prevention of spongy tissue formation
Date of start of this programme: July 2007
- For the first time, the cause of spongy tissue formation in Alphonso mango has been traced to the shift of seed into germination mode with an intact funiculus connection at hilum and a metabolically active embryo, around 60% maturity stage of fruits and the consequent drawal of water and other resources from the adjoining mesocarp tissue.
- Physiological, biochemical and radiotracer tritium studies have confirmed the shift of seed in to germination mode around 60 to 70% maturity stage of the fruit.
- Induction of seed dormancy and/or down regulation of seed metabolism at the right physiological maturity stage of fruit was found to be the right strategy for prevention of spongy tissue in Alphonso mango.
- "Arka Sakanivarak" an environmentally-safe formulation was developed and successfully field tested in 20 farmer's orchards in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of the Konkan region of Maharashtra, the heart of Alphonso, in collaboration with Alphonso Export Facility, Ratnagiri, of MSAMB, Pune during 2011 mango season. The technology was approved by VTIC on 19th January 2013. The technology will be patented and commercialized for the benefit of the Alphonso growers of the country.
- A double blind study indicated excellent (>95%) prevention of spongy tissue not only in Alphonso and Mallika but also Jelly seed in Dasehari and Amrapali varieties of mango with two pre-harvest applications at 10-days interval between 50 to 60% maturity stages of the fruit.
- Highly staggered flowering and fruit set in the recent times due to climate change is resulting in fruits of different maturity stages concurrently on adjacent shoots and even on the same panicle at a given time making it difficult to implement the pre-harvest spray treatment to fruits at the specified physiological stage.
- A technology to induce synchronized flowering and fruit set by October/November is being developed under the NICRA project to effectively implement the technology for prevention of spongy tissue at the specified physiological stage.