Aquatic Vegetables

Aquatic Vegetables
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Aquatic Vegetables

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Publisher: Agrotech Publications
ISBN: 9788183211970
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Preface The country bestowed with the unique gift o f nature having variable clim ates in one and another parts o f the country coupled with very distinct seasons enable to produce an array o f vegetables from seashore to snowline. Apart from rich diversity o f terrestrial vegetables, the country is a natural abode o f a num ber o f aquatic veg etables thriving in w ater bodies viz., lakes, lagoons, ponds, ditches and m arshy wet places. Besides India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and M alaysia are considered suitable niche o f a num ber o f nutritionally and medicinally rich aquatic vegetables. In India, a num ber o f aquatic vegetables viz., w ater chest nut Trapa spp. , w ater spinach Ipom oea aquatica , lotus N elum bo nucifera , and w atercress N astur tium aquaticum are grown sporadically com m ercially. Recently, Indian Council o f Agricultural Research ICAR , New Delhi has established a National Research Centre on M akhana at D arbhanga Bihar . Aquatic vegetables are rich in nutrition, dietary fibres, phyto-chem icals and antioxidants. Aquatic vegetables like lotus root, gorgon fruit, w ater chest nut, w atercress, Para cress, w ater dropwort, wasabi Wasabia ja p o n ica possess various kinds o f alkaloids useful in treatm ent o f cardiovascular diseases. W ater spinach Ipom oea aquatica which is available in plenty o f during rainy season o f subm erged areas o f several pares o f the N orth-East India including Bihar, West Bengal and O rissa possesses antioxidant activity and shows anti cancer activity against vero, Hep. 2 and A. 549 cancer cell lines. A part from nutritional and m edicinal importance adhered with the aquatic veg etables they play an important role in maintaining the wetland ecosystem. Sustaining the health o f w etland ecosystem is sine qua non in the changing clim atic catastro phe. W etlands besides providing the innum erable services to mankind like control ling floods, replenishing groundwater, providing livelihoods to local population, sup port a rich biodiversity o f aquatic plants. In India, the num ber o f aquatic plant species exceeds m ore than thousand, however, very limited efforts have been made to col lect, characterize and maintain the genetic wealth o f aquatic vegetables whereas China claim s to maintain the world's largest gene bank o f aquatic vegetables. Aquatic vegetables are eco-friendly and least suffers from any m ajor diseases and pests and can be raised w ithout applying any chem icals. Concerted efforts are needed to un ravel the genes lie behind some o f these significant attribute such as resistance to pests and it may be used to improve other crops also. Research strategies are needed to map the genetic sequences o f some o f the prom ising aquatic species. In recent past, study m ade on the role o f aquatic plants in biorem ediation may prove boon in m itigating the several environm ental problem s. Further, genetic engi neering may play a pivotal role in enhancing the natural phyto-rem ediation capabili ties and genes may be trapped from a m icro-organism or m ay be transferred from
one plant to another variety better adapted to the environm ental conditions. The writing book on Aquatic Vegetables was an arduous task to author because not much headw ay has been made in generating and corroborating the scientific inform ation on aquatic vegetables. The author is highly indebted to those o f several researchers who made significant contribution to strengthen this novel topic. It is the first edition o f the book and seems to be the first exhaustive literature on aquatic vegetables also. Author will be highly grateful for constructive criticism and sugges tion for its improvement in com ing edition. My forem ost gratitude goes to Dr. C.D. Mayee, Chairm an, A gricultural Scien tists' Recruitm ent Board, N ew Delhi for encouragem ent and w riting a foreword o f this book. In bringing out this publication, I express my profound gratitude to Prof. G. Kalloo,