Scientist from Austria Visits University of Jammu under Indo-Austrian Collaborative Project on Saffron

Jammu: Dr. Micha Horacek, Scientist at Department of Lithospheric Research, Vienna University and AGES–Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, Vienna Austria called upon Vice-Chancellor, Jammu Prof. Umesh Rai.

A statement issued to the news agency CNS said that Dr. Horacek is collaborator in the DST-funded Indo-Austrian bilateral project in the Indo-Austrian collaborative project entitled “Stable isotope and endomicrobiome as a marker for origin of saffron in absence of genetic markers”, the geographical origin of saffron will be assessed using stable isotopes and microbiomes associated with saffron plant.

“His expertise lies in Geology particularly Geochemistry, Stable Isotope analysis, and Environmental Science and Prof. Vakhlu expertise lies in microbiomics, genomics, transcriptomics and plant microbe interactions. Indo-Austrian collaboration has resulted in publication of two recent papers “Microbiome Fingerprint as Biomarker for Geographical Origin and Heredity in Crocus sativus: A Feasibility Study” and “Exploring the Potential of 87Sr/86Sr Isotope Ratio with Strontium and Rubidium Levels to Assess the Geographic Origin of Saffron” in a peer-reviewed journals in 2022-23, reads the statement.

It further said Dr. Horacek, who wanted to assess the geographical origin of saffron using stable isotopes in Jammu and Kashmir, had visited Spice Park, Pampore, Kashmir and Kishtwar for sample collection and interacted with farmers.

Chuni Lal Bhat, former Agriculture Officer, Department of Agriculture Kashmir has organized the visit to Kashmir and interaction with the local farmers.

Prof Umesh Rai during interaction with Dr. Horacek expressed his keen interest in extending saffron cultivation and also developing GI tags to other products specific to the UT in addition to saffron.

It is worth mentioning here that University of Jammu as one of its commitment to transdisciplinary research for up-liftment of the farmers has funded a saffron extension project that has been initiated after successful trials of saffron cultivation in Byalla village of Poonch district, it added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *