CORESTA Congress, Kyoto, 2004, PPOST 02

Nicotiana Species Information System (NSIS)

RAVISANKAR H.; MURTHY T.G.K.; DEO SINGH K.
Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI), Rajahmundry (A.P.) India

Over the years, huge amount of information on Nicotiana species has been collected by various researchers. The species have been reported to be storehouses of resistance to various diseases and insect pests besides novel alkaloids and bio-rational pesticides. However, the information generated from various studies needs to be consolidated for efficient use of wild Nicotiana species in tobacco cultivar improvement. With this intention, an attempt has been made to develop a software package entitled "NICOTIANA SPECIES INFORMATION SYSTEM", using the Relational Database Management System. The data sheet was designed with 90 descriptors with 'Nicotiana species' name as primary key. To provide easy interaction with Graphical User Interface (GUI) facility, the database was designed in 'MS-Access' and connected with 'ODBC' (open database connectivity) to the software developed in 'VISUAL BASIC'. This information system was designed by using "system software development life cycle" and the Designing, Coding and Testing phases were performed for software. Using "Bottom Up" approach, individual programming modules were designed for Addition, Deletion, Updating of data, Embedding of image into the datasheet, and Updating and Retrieving the required information. Each program was developed as a separate entity and tested with sample data. Once executed, they were connected into "Main menu" of the package namely, Multiple Document Interface (MDI) form with five buttons namely, Options, Image processing, Query, About and Help. Options button has a pull down menu and allows the user to add, modify and delete the records in the database. The "Image processing" facility stores and inserts the images into the database with a unique number for each image. For each record, the user can insert images and modify them as and when necessary. The powerful 'Query Menu' tool in this software allows the user to retrieve the information based on the parameters selected with any combination for a particular species or displays the information for all species with the parameters and conditions selected from this menu. Provision was also made to take hard copies of the selected parameters or all the records from the stored database. The 'About', 'Help' buttons provide system information suitable for executing this software besides step-by-step explaining execution of the software. With the 'Setup' program provided with NSIS software, the user can execute this package on any system without loading Basic programs (VB and MS-Access), which increases portability of this software. Also, this software with various user-friendly menus provides on-line retrieval of stored information easily, which will be of immense use for tobacco researchers. The software is expected to play an important role in the management of species information, besides helping researchers in identification of potential sources of economically important characters including bio-rational products, genes for resistance to important diseases, insect pests and value addition products.