Saturday December 7, 2019

Now Vitamin B12 Can be Found in Plants as well

If you are a hardcore vegetarian but deficient in Vitamin B12, then there is a good news for you as scientists have discovered ways to increase the levels of Vitamin B12 in an ayurveda herb used in making soups and sandwiches.

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Plant Species (representational Image), Wikimedia

If you are a hardcore vegetarian but deficient in Vitamin B12, then there is a good news for you as scientists have discovered ways to increase the levels of Vitamin B12 in an ayurveda herb used in making soups and sandwiches.

 

This fluorescent was then fed to the garden cress plants which was being cultivated by the students.
Arjuna plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential dietary component found especially in meat, fish and milk products.

 

However, plants do not make this nutrient, making vegetarians prone to Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Researchers, led by Martin Warren from University of Kent, found that the common garden cress, also known as pepper grass, can absorb cobalamin depending upon the amount present in the growth medium. They also confirmed that the nutrient gets stored in the leaves of the plant.

 

This fluorescent was then fed to the garden cress plants which was being cultivated by the students.
Tulsi plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Pixabay

Garden cress, known as “chandrashoor” in India, is considered as an ayurveda herb. It is genetically related to mustard and is used in making soups, sandwiches and salads because of its tangy flavour.

 

In the study, published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology, the team made a type of Vitamin B12 that emits fluorescent light when activated by a laser.

This fluorescent was then fed to the garden cress plants which was being cultivated by the students.

Team Led by Indian-Origin Scientist Converts Plant Matter Into Chemicals
Ashwagandha plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

 

The researchers found that the Vitamin B12 accumulated in a specialised part of the leaf cell called a vacuole, providing definitive evidence that some plants can absorb and transport cobalamin.

“The observation that certain plants are able to absorb Vitamin B12 is important as they could help overcome dietary limitations in countries like India, with a high proportion of vegetarians. It may also be a way to address the global challenge of providing a nutrient-complete vegetarian diet,” the researchers said.

Also Read: Hydroponics: Growing Plants Without Soil!

According to the researchers, the study also has implications for combating some parasitic infections. (IANS)

 

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Here are 5 Mistakes that may Kill Your Plants in Winters

Mistakes that kill your plants in winter

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Plants in winters
It is your duty to take care of your plants during winters as some careless mistakes might kill them. Pixabay

As winter approaches, humans go into power-saving mode and do all that it takes to make the cold season as cosy as possible. Considering that plants can’t do so by themselves, we need to take care of them during these few months.

For some plants, winters are a time when they go into hibernation. That means they can slow down their growth or even go completely dormant. The severely cold temperatures can sometimes send them into shock. So we need to give them some extra love and care during these possibly distressing months. Here’s a look at some things that could cause harm to your plants and what you can do to prevent it. Vinayak Garg, Founder of LazyGardener, underlines key points to be kept in mind.

1.Relocation

Now plants that are in the ground, cannot be moved of course, but potted plants should be moved to a place where they will get as much sunlight as possible. In winters, the days slowly become shorter, which means less sun exposure, so if possible move the plants according to the sun, allowing them to soak up as much as they can.

They should also be kept in a location where they don’t get too much of a cold breeze of drafts.

Make sure that the plant’s foliage does not have dew on it, if it does, you can wipe it off. Plants like succulents are sensitive and water deposits on the plant can kill them.

Overwatering winters
Overwatering plants during winters is not a good idea. Lifetime Stock

You can move your outdoor potted plants indoors, next to a window that has the most sun exposure. Also, make sure the window is clean so it allows more sun to shine through as opposed to a dusty one which would make the sunlight diffused. Small things can help the plant withstand the cold temperatures.

2.Water Temperature

Have you ever gotten up on a cold winter morning and walked to your bathroom in a half-asleep state and turned the tap on and jumped up in shock? Yes, sometimes the tap water can get so extremely cold that your hands might start hurting after washing them with the cold water. This extremely cold water can harm your plants as well.

The cold water will force the sensitive roots into shock. A good habit would be to fill up a bucket of water in the morning when you wake up, let it sit and reach at least room temperature and then you can water all your plants.

3.Overwatering

It is very easy to overwater a plant during the winters. It may seem to be counter-intuitive to not water your plants in winter, with the air being very dry, but plants are the most susceptible to root rot during winters. Because of the minimum sun exposure, the evaporation rate also drops down a lot. This causes the water in the pot to accumulate for a longer period of time, giving the roots more opportunity to rot. It might be hard, but avoid watering your plants until the dire need arises, or the soil is dry completely. You should also take care of when you water the plants. Watering in the evening and night may be detrimental to plant because the temperatures drop severely at night and the water that the soil holds will also get very very cold, which will, in turn, harm the sensitive roots of the plant. The best time would be in the late morning when the sun is just beginning to warm the soil.

4. Cleaning the plants

Cleaning winters
Cleaning your plants even during winters is very important. Pixabay

We need to make sure that in winter, the plant is at its optimum capacity to soak up as much sunlight as possible. When dust accumulates on the leaves of the plants, it prevents them from performing photosynthesis as well as they can. Cleaning the surface of the leaves with a soft damp cloth is the best way to get your plants looking pretty and giving them the best chance to take in all the sun that they can!

Cleaning your plants also includes getting rid of any dead leaves or stems. Dead, rotten leaves and stems can cause infections in healthy ones. So it is necessary to get rid of the dead parts promptly.

Any weeds should also be taken out of the pot. Sometimes small vegetation grows in the pot without you even planting anything, but these weeds take up resources from the soil.

Also Read- Here are Ways to Make Your Office Eco-Friendly

5. Repotting

Repotting of plants should be avoided in winters. Plants are at their dormant phase in winters and repotting can disturb the root system easily, leading plant into a state of shock. Repotting should be resumed in early springs which starts from February. (IANS)