Thursday, 11 May 2017

BIOTECHNOLOGY PROGRAM

2.0 INTRODUCTION
The biotechnology program comprises of four sub-units namely:
i Carotene laboratory unit
ii Plant tissue culture laboratory unit
iii Biotechnology field work unit
iv Molecular Breeding unit.

The techniques observed in these units aids to improve different varieties of root crops, obtain high yield, cross breed to obtain desirable varieties of root crops, micro propagate different varieties of root crops, obtain pest/disease resistant varieties of crops.

2.1 CAROTENE LABORATORY UNIT

The carotene laboratory unit is designed for experiments such as:
i. Beta-Carotene extraction
ii. Dry matter
iii. Starch extraction

2.1.1 BETA CAROTENE EXTRACTION 

Beta carotene are carotenoid compounds which are responsible for giving fruits and vegetables, their orange colour pigment. It is a type of pigment found in plants, especially carrots and other colourful vegetable. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body when consumed. Vitamin A is needed for good vision, general eye health, strong immune system and healthy skin and mucus membranes. As beta-carotene is essential in our daily meal, it is important that breeders essential in our daily meal, it is important that breeders develop crops with higher beta-carotene content to improve the health conditions of individuals. The analysis of Beta-carotene is done to determine its quantity in agricultural crops that are yet to be released as varieties to enable maximum beta-carotene content in our food. Here different varieties of cassava were used in this study involving evolution of beta-carotene because cassava is one of the most consumed food in Nigeria. Mostly yellow root cassava varieties are used in this study.

2.1.2 IMPORTANCE OF BETA-CAROTENE TO HUMAN HEALTH

i) Animals are incapable of carotenoid biosynthesis and hence depend on dietary carotenoids which can be converted to vitamin A.
ii) It provides protection against lungs, stomach and prostatic cancer
iii) Enhancement of the immune response and reduction of degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, cataract and muscular degeneration.
iv) Modulation of carcinogenic metabolism, inhibition of cell proliferation, enhancement of cell differentiation and stimulation of cell to cell communication and filtering of blue light.
v) Lutein and Zeuxanthin makes up the yellow pigments in macula of the human retina, the carotenoid have been found to have a statistical significant inverse association with risk of macular degeneration, Eye Disease Case Control (EDCC).

2.1.3 THE COLOUR CHART

The colour chart is a chart that shows the overview of the content and colour index of the carotene of chopped cassava samples.
A colour chart has the following tagged on it
1. White
2. Light Cream
3. Cream
4. Light Yellow
5. Yellow
6. Yellow Deep
7. Orange
The intensity of the Yellow colour shows that there is more carotene in a particular sample of cassava. The white colour means that carotene is low.
S/N CASSAVA SAMPLE COLOUR
1. CET 0122 2
2. CET0104 3
3. CET0363 4

NOTE:  Carotenoid in solution obey Bar Lambert law which states that the absorbance is directly proportional to the concentration. These carotenoids are quantified spectrophotomerically provided accurate absorption coefficient in the desired solvent is available.

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