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Agriculture & Bioscience - 1984 - 2014

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R&D on NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS in Agriculture & Biosciences 1984-2014 Edited by: Khairuddin Abdul Rahim Rusli Ibrahim Zainon Othman Abdul Rahim Harun A Compendium of


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R&D on Nuclear Technology Applications in Agriculture and Biosciences (1984-2014) Editors Khairuddin Abdul Rahim, Rusli Ibrahim, Zainon Othman, Abdul Rahim Harun Authors Abdul Rahim Harun, Affrida Abu Hassan, Ahamad Sahali Mardi, Ahmad Nazrul Abd Wahid Ahmad Zainuri Mohd Dzomir, Azhar Mohamad, Chong Saw Peng, Jong Bor Chyan, Khairuddin Abdul Rahim, Mat Rasol Awang, Mohd Fajri Osman, Mohd Zaidan Kandar, Norazlina Noordin, Norimah Yusof, Nur Humaira’ Lau Abdullah, Pauline Liew Woan Ying, Phua Choo Kwai Hoe, Ros Anita Ahmad Ramli, Rosnani Abdul Rashid, Rusli Ibrahim, Salahbiah Abdul Majid, Salmah Moosa, Seri Chempaka Mohd Yusof, Shaiful Azuar Mohamad, Shakinah Salleh, Shyful Azizi Abdul Rahman, Sobri Hussein, Tengku Ahbrizal Farizal Tengku Ahmad, Zainon Othman, Zaiton Ahmad Publication Advisor Iberahim Ali Publication Coordinator Sakinah Ariffin Publication Officer Normazlin Ismail Graphics & Layout Designer Marizan Mahmud A Compendium of


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FOREWORD FROM THE DIRECTOR GENERAL The great collective effort by the writers of “Compendium of R&D on Nuclear Technology Applications in Agriculture and Biosciences (1984-2014)” is highly commendable, commemorating the works by Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuclear Malaysia) scientists spanning three decades. When Nuclear Malaysia was established in 1972, at the time known as Pusat Penyelidikan Atom Tun Ismail (PUSPATI), it was for the planning and development of the country’s nuclear power programme. However, with the realignment of PUSPATI’s function when oil and gas were discovered in the waters of Malaysia, thus changing the face of the country’s energy sector, the focus of the institution becomes nuclear technology applications in the various socio-economic sectors, such as industry, healthcare and environment, as well as agriculture and the life sciences. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has given much support over the years to Malaysia, through various programmes including the Technical Cooperation Programme, to build the country’s capacity in R&D and human capital development in nuclear application, enabling Nuclear Malaysia to be at the forefront on its own right, and currently providing technical support and expertise in various fields to other developing countries. From studies conducted the world over we have been shown proven records where nuclear technology have indeed increase world agricultural production. It is indeed an honour when Malaysia, through Malaysian Nuclear Agency, was accorded international recognition when it became a recipient of the FAO/IAEA Achievement Award in Mutation Breeding in 2014. This shows that the outputs of scientists from Malaysia have standing in the realm of nuclear science and technology in the agriculture sector, contributing to certain measures of knowledge generation, wealth creation and societal wellbeing. It is hoped that this book will enlighten readers on the uses of ionising radiation and isotopic tracers in agriculture, and together with researchers from various institutions our own pool of researchers have worked together for the common cause to elucidate the unknown and help solve common problems faced by the agriculture sector. While this treatise enriches our knowledge it is also our fervent hope that the findings from the three decades of R&D will be of greater use, viz. taking R&D from the laboratories to the market, reaching the right users, especially the communities. Thank you and best wishes. Dato’ Dr. Muhamad Lebai Juri Director General Malaysian Nuclear Agency Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia 2014


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FOREWORD FROM THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL (RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME) The “Compendium of R&D on Nuclear Technology Applications in Agriculture and Biosciences (1984-2014)” is but one example of Knowledge Management (KM) in motion. In it are embedded the elements of identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing of information assets of Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuclear Malaysia). These assets include databases, documents, procedures, and previously uncaptured expertise and experience in individual workers, including those that have left this agency. If one were to analyse the compendium as a whole one would realise that the elements of lessons learned or best practices, expertise location and harnessing of the community of practice, are being utilized optimally. Key personnel who have left the agency, either through retirement or moving to new institutions or enterprises have been consulted for verification of data and for enhancement of the quality of information presented. The time taken may be long but this has to be done if the desired standard is to be achieved. International recognition on the contribution of Malaysia in the advancement of nuclear technology in agriculture, including in mutation breeding of crops, is embedded in this publication; the role of Nuclear Malaysia as the “game changer” is evident from the various achievements. I must congratulate the writers and contributors to this publication for their sheer dedication and commitment. Their determination to ensure information and knowledge are preserved, appreciated and perpetuated are indeed commendable, thus, manifesting that KM is here to stay. Best wishes. Thank you. Dr. Muhd Noor Muhd Yunus Deputy Director General (Research and Technology Development Programme) Malaysian Nuclear Agency Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia 2014


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PREFACE FROM THE EDITORS This publication is a compendium of R&D outputs by Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuclear Malaysia) researchers in the areas of agriculture and biosciences, spanning 30 years, since early 1980s. Central to these R&D activities are the utilisation of nuclear technologies as research tools, viz. application of ionising radiation and isotopic tracers, and utilisation of nuclear instrumentation to generate new variants, elucidate pathways and fate of agrochemicals or to analyse biological and chemical compounds. Nuclear techniques have long been used by scientists worldwide in the areas of crop varietal improvement, through radiation mutagenesis; food and agricultural produce irradiation for prolonging shelf-life and phytosanitary measures; agromanagement systems for higher productivity through efficient management of soil, water and agricultural inputs; radiation modification of biopolymers for healthcare and agroindustrial application; and radiation biology at cellular up to biotic ecosystem levels. The R&D outputs reported here are products, including mutant varieties of food crops, fruit trees, ornamental plants, and also herbal plants and forest species. Other outputs are processes, procedures and technologies developed through R&D. Another important facet of R&D is publication, and where available awards received and other recognitions are listed too. It is hoped that this compendium will be a source of reference to research scientists, not only within Nuclear Malaysia but to peers outside, too, especially when intending to embark on new research involving nuclear technology in agriculture and the life sciences. Our heartfelt thanks to all contributors to this publication. It is our hope that the efforts of all contributors will become a legacy that brings benefit to many. Editors Khairuddin Abdul Rahim, Ph.D. Rusli Ibrahim, Ph.D. Zainon Othman, Ph.D. Abdul Rahim Harun, Ph.D. Division of Agrotechnology and Biosciences Malaysian Nuclear Agency (Nuclear Malaysia) Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia 2014


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CONTENTS FOREWORD FROM THE DIRECTOR GENERAL FOREWORD FROM THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL (RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME) PREFACE FROM THE EDITORS LIST OF R & D CLUSTERS CLUSTER: PLANT VARIETIES i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) vii) viii) ix) x) xi) xii) Rice - MA03 (‘Tongkat Ali’) Rice- MR219-4 & MR219-9 Banana -‘Novaria’ Berangan Banana Groundnuts – ‘KARISMA Sweet’ & ‘KARISMA Serene’ Flowering Plants Ornamental Foliage Plants Hibiscus rosa sinensis Orchids Signal Grass -‘Kluang Comel’ Eksotika Papaya Josapine Pineapple


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CLUSTER: TECHNOLOGY & PROCESSES i) ii) Water Management Study Using Nuclear And Other Related Techniques Assessment Of Biological Nitrogen Fixation In Legumes Using 15N Isotope Technique iii) Root Activity And Phosphorus Fertilizer Efficiency Studies Using 32P and 33P Radioisotopes iv) v) vi) vii) viii) ix) x) Nitrogen Use Efficiency Study In Soil/Plant System Using 15N Isotope Technique Pesticide Behaviour And Fate Studies Using Carbon-14 Radioiosotope Impact Of Biocide On Biotic And Abiotic Components Of Rice Ecosystem Food Irradiation Acceptance Studies On Food Irradiation Gamma Irradiation For Sterilizing Tissue Grafts And For Viral Inactivation Biological Dosimetery Using Chromosome Aberration Analysis In Human Blood Lymphocyte Cells xi) xii) xiii) xiv) Radiation And Fermentation Technologies In Oil Palm By Products Processing Degradation Of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) By Radiation And Microbes Bioenergy Generation From Agricultural Wastewater Using Microbial Fuel Cells Development Of Biopesticide From Lantana Spp. For The Control Of Ornamental Pests xv) Development Of Plant Bioreactor Technology For The Production Of Fragrance Compound From Michelia alba (Cempaka Putih) xvi) xvii) Development Of Gaharu Extraction And Downstream Processing Technology Gaharu Inducer And Inducement Technology


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xviii) Production Of Polysaccharides From Mushrooms In Submerged Culture Fermentation xix) Production Of Secondary Metabolites From Cell And Organ Cultures Of Aquilaria malaccensis xx) xxi) Production Of Steviol Glycosides In Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni Production Of High Quality Planting Materials For Labisia pumila Using Air-lift Bioreactor Technology xxii) Phytochemical Screening And The Chemical Constituents From Leaves Of Aquilaria malaccensis xxiii) xxiv) xxv) Mutagenesis Of Jatropha curcas Molecular Markers For Aquilaria sp. And Mushrooms Development Of Flora, Fauna, Microflora And Aquatic Organisms Database At The Vicinity Of Gamma Greenhouse In Malaysian Nuclear Agency CLUSTER: PRODUCTS i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) vii) viii) ix) Animal Feed From Oil Palm Wastes Synthetic Seeds Hydrogel Wound Dressing And Hydrogel Based Products Salamed-Innovative Plant Tissue Culture Medium Pilot Plant Of Advanced Bioreactor System Nitrogen-Providing Biofertilizer Microorganisms Multifunctional Bioorganic Fertilizer Pre-Cooked Shelf Stable Irradiated Meat Products Consumer Friendly Lip Balm


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x) xi) xii) xiii) xiv) xv) Gelam Honey As Radioprotectant Agent Gaharu Innovative Products Sinaroma - Gaharu Pellets Gawa - Gaharu Particle Boards Biogita Tea Gitachoc Delights


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RICE - MA03 (‘TONGKAT ALI’ ) RESEARCH TEAM Leader: Members: Ramli Othman, Dr Rusli Ibrahim, Dr Mohd. Nazir Basiran, Dr Chi Gek Lan, Dr Mohd. Farazi Johari, Dr Abdul Rahim Harun, Dr Asnah Hassan Rokiah Abas Shuhaimi Shamsudin Othman Abu Sari Khairuddin Abdul Rahman Rossalim Jaafar Omar Masiran Kamaruddin Dahuli (MADA) Mohamad Osman, Dr (MARDI) Collaborators: Year: 1985-1990 SYNOPSIS The first application of nuclear technology in mutation breeding for the improvement of rice was conducted in 1984 for a Coordinated Research Programme under RCA/IAEA/FAO entitled ‘SemiDwarf Mutants for Rice Improvement in Asia and Pacific’. The main objectives were to generate semi-dwarf mutants in both traditional and improved varieties as new mutant varieties or as potential parents in cross breeding programme. Within 5 years, 101 semi-dwarf mutant lines have been identified. Twenty-nine of the semi-dwarf mutant lines had grain yield of 6,000-7,300 kg/ha which were higher than the parent variety, Manik, which yielded 5,700 kg/ha thus classified as potentially good yielding mutants. Forty-seven mutant lines had grain yields of 5,000-6,000 kg/ha and 25 mutant lines yielded in the range of 4,300-5,000 kg/ha. Twelve mutant lines were resistant to brown plant-hopper (BPH) but only one mutant line, ML15, had high grain yield of 6,300 kg/ha, which was better than the parent. One of the most striking effects of gamma irradiation was the production of glutinous rice (Manik 817) with both good yield and head recovery. It is also interesting to note that one of the mutant lines (MA03) showed a drastic change in its characteristics and performed better than the parent and other mutant lines. MA03 was popularly known as rice mutant ‘Tongkat Ali’ because of its outstanding agronomic traits with erect panicle even after grain-filling, had strong culm and resistant to lodging. This mutant ‘Tongkat Ali’ was not officially released; however, it has been planted on a fairly large scale by several farmers especially in the northern parts of Malaysia for several seasons. Although high yielding, MA03 had rounded grains, a trait less favourably accepted by local consumers.


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‘Tongkat Ali’ mutant rice (MA03) with erect panicles Grower of ‘Tongkat Ali’ mutant rice in Kedah Demonstrating Mutant Germplasm to the Minister of MOSTE Demonstrating Mutant Germplasm to the Deputy Minister of MOSTE COMMERCIALIZATION STATUS 101 semi-dwarf mutant lines generated from this project have been deposited at Seed Bank in MARDI Research Station, Bertam, Seberang Perai. These mutant lines have potential as commercial planting materials and as genetic materials for cross-breeding programme. OTHERS Related project:  Semi-Dwarf Mutants for Rice Improvement in Asia and Pacific; RCA/IAEA/FAO Coordinated Research Programme. CONTACT Rusli Ibrahim, Dr Agrotechnology & Biosciences Division Tel: 603-89112000 ext: 1332 Fax: 603-89112157 E-mail: rusli_ibrahim@nuclearmalaysia.gov.my


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RICE - MR219-4 AND MR219-9 RESEARCH TEAM Leader: Members: Abdul Rahim Harun, Dr Rusli Ibrahim, Dr Sobri Husein, Dr Khairuddin Abdul Rahim, Dr Abdullah Mat Zin, Hj (MARDI) Marziah Mahmood, Prof (UPM) Sariam Othman, Dr (UPM) Collaborators: Year: 2003-2006 SYNOPSIS Mutation induction project was started in 2008, whereby seeds from popular local variety MR219 were irradiated with 300 Gy using gamma rays. Main objectives were to screen and select for potential mutant lines suitable for minimal water condition with improved agronomic traits such as high yielding and resistance to blast disease. M2 generation was screened for water stress under simulated non-flooded water regime under glasshouse and field conditions to identify superior genotypes for minimal water requirement. A total of 55 potential mutant lines have been evaluated at M4 generation, of which 38 have been selected for having high percentage of grain filling. However, only two potential lines designated as MR219-4 and MR219-9, were selected at the later stage, in M7. The lines were evaluated under replicated yield trial in KETARA under normal flooded conditions. In KETARA, the yields of MR219-4 and MR219-9 were 4.8 t/ha and 5.5 t/ha, respectively, as compared to the 5.8 t/ha of the original variety MR219. The lines have been evaluated in MADA too under saturated soil and flooded conditions. The yield obtained for MR219-4 was 5.9 t/ha under saturated soil condition and 7.2 t/ha under flooded condition. For MR219-9, the yield was 6.8 t/ha and 6.1 t/ha under saturated and flooded condition, respectively. The lines also performed satisfactorily when grown under aerobic soil condition in MARDI Seberang Perai. Grain yield as high as 6.3 t/ha for MR219-4 and 3.4 t/ha for MR219-9 were achieved under aerobic condition. Efforts had been geared in collaboration with MARDI, UPM and DOA to register these mutant lines as new varieties.


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Glass house screening of rice mutant lines Field screening of rice mutant lines under simulated low water regime Demonstrating mutant lines grown under aerobic condition Demonstrating mutant lines MR219-4 and MR219-9 AWARDS     Nuclear Malaysia Innovation Day 2011 – MR219-4, An Efficient Water Use Mutant Developed Through Mutation Breeding - Gold Medal. BioInnovation Awards 2011 - MR219-4, An Efficient Water Use Mutant Developed Through Mutation Breeding - Gold Medal. UMT Research Day 2011 – An Efficient Water Use Mutant Developed Through Mutation Breeding - Gold Medal. Pencipta 2011 – An Efficient Water Use Mutant Developed Through Mutation Breeding – Silver Medal. COMMERCIALIZATION STATUS Seeds of mutant lines of MR219-4 and MR219-9 have been deposited at Seed Bank in MARDI Research Station, Bertam, Seberang Perai. They have potential for commercial planting or as genetic materials for cross-breeding programme.


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OTHERS Related projects:   Varietal Improvement of Irrigated Rice Under Minimal Water Condition. IRPA (01-01-030000/PR0068/0504). Development of Advanced and Promising Mutant Lines Derived from Mutagenesis of Oryza sativa MR219 for Drought-Tolerant, Blast Resistant and Quality Traits. Science Fund (06-03-01-SF0110). Applying Mutation Breeding and Optimized Soil, Water and Nutrient Management for Enhanced and Suitable Rice Production. IAEA Technical Cooperation Project MAL5029. Supporting Mutation Breeding Approaches to Develop New Crop Varieties Adaptable to Climate Change. IAEA Regional Project RAS/5/056.   CONTACT Abdul Rahim Harun, Dr Agrotechnology & Biosciences Division Tel: 603-89112000 ext: 1339 Fax: 603-89112157 E-mail: rahim@nuclearmalaysia.gov.my


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BANANA - ‘NOVARIA’ RESEARCH TEAM Leader: Member: Rusli Ibrahim, Dr Norimah Yusof, Dr Mohd. Farazi Johari, Dr Mak Chai, Prof Dr (UM) Ho Yuk Wah (UPB) Frank Novak, Dr (IAEA) Collaborators Year: 1990-1995 SYNOPSIS Novaria is a banana mutant variety that originated from IAEA banana mutation breeding programme. It was officially released as a new cultivar in 1995 with improved characteristics of early flowering, short stature, high yielding with strong fruit pedicel and had good flavour and pulp texture. It was widely planted by farmers in Peninsula Malaysia, especially in Perak and also in East Malaysia in the state of Sarawak. Meristem from original cultivar of Cavendish-type banana called Grande Nain was first irradiated with gamma rays at FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratory, Seibersdorf, Austria. An early flowering putative mutant designated as 'GN-60A' was identified among the regenerated plants in the glasshouses. In vitro shoots of GN-60A clone were sent to Malaysian Nuclear Agency for field testing. With the collaboration of University of Malaya and United Plantations Sdn. Bhd., GN-60A clones were micropropagated for multiplication. Micropropagated plants of GN-60A were subcultured until M1V5 stage to minimize chimerism and they were field planted at United Plantations Sdn. Bhd. in Teluk Intan, Perak. Early flowering plants obtained in the field are tissue cultured again for further screening. In September 1993, a total of 2000 plants were planted to evaluate the performance of GN-60A in terms of earliness and other agronomic traits. From this population, a selection was made for mutated plants which flowers about 10 weeks earlier than the original parental clone, Grande Naine with other improved agronomic traits. This mutant selection was later launched under the name of Novaria in 1995. United Plantations Sdn. Bhd. produces about 200,000 per year of tissue culture plantlets and seedlings of Novaria for sale to growers in Malaysia.



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