Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 45197

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Soybean Based Farming System Assessment in East Java
The research aimed at obtaining the assembly of efficient specific location soybean farming technology, in the way of farmer accompaniment in applying the suggested technology. Superimposed was done to know the influence of NPK fertilizer toward growth and soybean yield, soybean improved variety test for the dissemination of new improved variety. The assessment was done at the farmer group of SumberRejeki of Kepulungan Village of Gempol Sub District, Pasuruan Regency as the soybean central at the Pasuruan area. The cooperating farmers of 38 people with area wide of 25 ha. The assessment was initiated from July - October 2012. The suggested technology packet as follow: the seed by using Argomulyo variety of 40 kg/ha, planting by drilling, with space of 40x10cm, 2-3 seeds per hole, fertilization per hectare adapted with recommendation from AIAT of East java 50 kg Urea + 100 kg SP 36 + 50 KCL. As control is the non cooperating farmers around. The results indicated thatthe farming system assessment obtained positive responses because able to improve the production until 38.5%. The farming analysis showed that the cooperating farmers profit higher than non cooperating farmers who presented value of R/C ratio of 2,03 and 1,54. The Argomulyo variety has prospect to develop because the yield is high enough about 2 tons/ha, and preferred by farmers, with larger seeds. The NPK fertilization test at the soybean plants showed yield not different significantly.
Exergy as a Theoretical Framework for Detecting Nitrogen Stress in Agricultural Crops
The aim of this paper is to investigate the utilization of the exergy destruction principle in precision agriculture by identifying early nitrogen stress in crop plants using thermal remote sensing methods. Exergy is defined as the maximum useful to the dead state work and the amount of available energy that can be used. Exergy gives an indication about how large the gradients are, how far the situation is from equilibrium, and the potential to do something useful. Most of the up-to-date studies focused on the use of thermal imaging to detect water stress through canopy temperature measurements. To the best of our knowledge, no previous study has investigated the use of thermal remote sensing to detect other forms of stress, such as weed and nitrogen stress. This paper introduces a new method to detect such types of stresses using crop plant surface temperature measurements. Two hypotheses were developed related to the exergy destruction principle. First, it is hypothesized that less stressed plants have lower surface temperature compared to stressed plants. And secondly, more phenologically developed plants have lower surface temperature compared to less phenologically developed plants. These two hypotheses were tested under field conditions at Elora Research Station, ON, Canada in the summer of 2016 and 2017. Surface and whorl temperatures were measured using FLIR T620 thermal camera and type t ungrounded thermocouples, respectively. Surface temperature and yield data collected from the field trials were statistically analyzed to study the correlation and significance between these variables. This research should serve as a base for future studies in the precision agriculture field and the utilization of thermal remote sensing to detect nitrogen stress in crop plants. It also will increase the production, decrease the cost of inputs, and the harmful impacts from over applications of nitrogen fertilizer on the environment. As a conclusion, the results obtained from the statistical analysis of the experimental data showed a consistent significant decrease in the surface temperature with the increase of the nitrogen rate. It also showed a significant increase of grain yield with a nitrogen rate increase. These results support our two hypotheses. However, more research using controlled trials is needed to study the effect of different variables on surface temperature directly or indirectly that create a wide range of variability in the field, such as air temperature, soil moisture, soil temperature, and many other variables that need to be monitored continuously in order to obtain an accurate temperature measurements.
Effect of Modification on the Properties of Blighia sapida (Ackee) Seed Starch
Blighia sapida (Ackee) seed is a neglected and under-utilised crop. The fruit is cultivated for the aril which is used as meat substitute in soup while the seed is discarded. The seed is toxic due to the presence of hypoglycin which causes vomiting and death. The seed is shining black and bigger than the legume seeds. The seed contains high starch content which could serve as a cheap source of starch hereby reducing wastage of the crop during its season. Native starch had limitation in their use; therefore, modification of starch had been reported to improve the functional properties of starches. Therefore, this work determined the effect of modification on the properties of Blighia sapida seed starch. Blighia sapida seed was dehulled manually, milled and the starch extracted using standard method. The starch was subjected to modification using four methods (acid, alkaline, oxidized and acetylated methods). The morphological structure, form factor, granule size, amylose, swelling power, hypoglycin and pasting properties of the starches were determined. The structure of Blighia sapida using light microscope showed that the seed starch demonstrated an oval, round, elliptical, dome-shaped and also irregular shape. The form factors of the starch ranged from 0.32-0.64. Blighia sapida seed starches were smaller in granule sizes ranging from 2-6 µm. Acid modified starch had the highest amylose content (24.83%) and was significantly different ( < 0.05) from other starches. Blighia sapida seed starches showed a progressive increase in swelling power as temperature increased in native, acidified, alkalized, oxidized and acetylated starches but reduced with increasing temperature in pregelatinized starch. Hypoglycin A ranged from 3.89 to 5.74 mg/100 g with pregelatinized starch having the lowest value and alkalized starch having the highest value. Hypoglycin B ranged from 7.17 to 8.47 mg/100 g. Alkali-treated starch had higher peak viscosity (3973 cP) which was not significantly different (p > 0.05) from the native starch. Alkali-treated starch also was significantly different (p > 0.05) from other starches in holding strength value while acetylated starch had higher breakdown viscosity (1161.50 cP). Native starch was significantly different (p > 0.05) from other starches in final and setback viscosities. Properties of Blighia sapida modified starches showed that it could be used as a source of starch in food and other non-food industries and the toxic compound found in the starch was very low when compared to lethal dosage.
Proximate Composition, Colour and Sensory Properties of Akara egbe Prepared from Bambara Groundnut
Bambara groundnut is an underutilised leguminous crop that has a similar composition to cowpea. Hence, it could be used in making traditional snack usually produced from cowpea paste. In this study, akara egbe, a traditional snack was prepared from Bambara groundnut flour or paste. Cowpea was included as the reference sample. The proximate composition and functional properties of the flours were studies as well as the proximate composition and sensory properties of the resulting akara egbe. Protein and carbohydrate were the main components of Bambara groundnut and cowpea grains. Ash, fat and fiber contents were low. Bambara groundnut flour had higher protein content (23.71%) than cowpea (19.47%). In terms of functional properties, the oil absorption capacity (0.75 g oil/g flour) of Bambara groundnut flour was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) lower than that of the cowpea (0.92 g oil/g flour), whereas, Cowpea flour absorbed more water (1.59 g water/g flour) than Bambara groundnut flour (1.12 g/g). The packed bulk density (0.92 g/mL) of Bambara groundnut was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher than cowpea flour (0.82 g/mL). Akara egbe prepared from Bambara groundnut flour showed significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher protein content (23.41%) than the sample made from Bambara groundnut paste (19.35%). Akara egbe prepared from cowpea paste had higher ratings in aroma, colour, taste, crunchiness and overall acceptability than those made from cowpea flour or Bambara groundnut paste or flour. Bambara groundnut can produce akara egbe with comparable nutritional and sensory properties to that made from cowpea.
PTO Catalytic Domain Characterization, SNAP Marker Development, and Phalaenopsis Genetic Diversity Analysis
Phalaenopsis orchids are one of the important genera in Orchidaceae with high economic value. The biggest problem in the cultivation of Phalaenopsis in tropical climates is soft rot disease caused by infection of Dickeya sp bacteria. Pto gene reported as a resistance gene analog (RGA) for plant resistance to the bacterial pathogen. A series of researches were performed to isolate and analyze the diversity sequence of Pto from 20 species of Phalaenopsis. The results could give benefit for the development of Phalaenopsis orchid breeding program, especially for resistance to disease. Pto gene is known as genes encoding serine-threonine kinase that confers resistance in tomato against bacterial infection Pseudomonas syringae. The aim of this study was to isolate and characterize the sequence of Pto from 20 Phalaenopsis orchids (16 species and four hybrids). Pto gene was amplified using degenerate primers specific Pto then sequencing. Sequence identity obtained using Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) with all accession deposited in NCBI GenBank DNA database and domain conserve database. Results of PCR amplification using specific primers Pto produce ~500 bp. Based on the nucleotide sequences, DNA fragments are amplified along the approximately 449 bp. Nucleotide sequences of DNA fragments origin 20 accession Phalaenopsis show a high similarity with genes identity Pto Musa acuminata. Phalaenopsis amplicons translational origin encoded 149 amino acids and showed no introns. Analysis of the amino acid alignment shows amplicon is part of the catalytic domain and the domain Pto serine/threonine kinase subfamily Interleukin-1 Receptor Associated kinases (STK_IRAK) which is a conserved domain in Pto. There were 20 Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) sites on the sequences which could be used for Single Nucleotide Amplified Polymorphism (SNAP) marker development.
Effect of Slag Application to Soil Chemical Properties and Rice Yield on Acid Sulphate Soils with Different Pyrite Depth
The expansion of marginal soil such as acid sulphate soils for the development of staple crops, including rice was unavoidable. However, acid sulphate soils were less suitable for rice field due to the low fertility and the threats of pyrite oxidation. An experiment using Randomized Complete Block Design was designed to investigate the effect of slag in stabilizing soil reaction (pH), improving soil fertility and rice yield. Experiments were conducted in two locations with different pyrite depth. The results showed that slag application was able to decrease the exchangeable Al and available iron (Fe) as well as increase the soil pH, available-P, soil exchangeable Ca2+, Mg2+, and K+. Furthermore, the slag application increased the plant nutrient uptakes, particularly N, P, K, followed by the increasing of rice yield significantly. Nutrients availability, nutrient uptake, and rice yield were higher in the shallow pyrite soil instead of the deep pyrite soil. In addition, slag application was economically feasible due to the ability to reduce standard fertilizer requirements.
Urban Agriculture for Sustainable Cities: Using Wastewater and Urban Wetlands as Resource
This paper deals with the concept of ecologically engineered system for sustainable agriculture production with the view of sustainable cities development. Sustainable cities offer numerous eco-services to its inhabitants, and where, among other issues, wastewater nutrients can be considered to be a valuable resource to be used for a sustainable enhancement of urban agriculture in wetlands. Existing cities can be transferred from being only consumer of food and other agriculture product into important resource conserving and sustainable generators of these products. The review provides the food production capacity through introduction of wastewater into urban wetlands, potential for nutrient recovery and ecological engineering intervention to reduce the risk of food contamination by pathogens. Finally, we discuss the potential nutrients accumulating in our cities, as an important aspect of sustainable urban development.
Land Fragmentation, Crop Diversity and Smallholder Farmers Production Efficiency: Application of Data Envelopment Analysis to Acquire Evidence from the Central Highlands of Ethiopia
Smallholder farmers production inefficiencies and their determinants have been paid more attention recently by agricultural economists and scholars. The theory of efficiency needs a complete modeling and estimation of technical, allocative and economic efficiencies, though many studies dealt only with technical efficiency. The present study carried out research and illustrated Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model to fill the information gap and sought potential determinants of smallholder farmers grain production efficiencies in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia. The results showed that the smallholder farmers mean technical, economic and allocative efficiencies were 50, 30 and 60 percent, respectively. The results revealed that there were substantial grain production inefficiencies among smallholder farmers. Land fragmentation, parcel number, and crop diversity importantly influence the smallholder farmers grain production inefficiencies. Whereas, land fallowing, terracing, irrigation, and manuring substantially enhance the smallholder farmers grain production efficiencies. Therefore, extensive awareness creation and promotion of chemical fertilizer, improved crop varieties, labor and resource investment in land are required. In addition, the country anticipated efforts in planning and implementing comprehensive land consolidation programs to improve the agricultural production system and achieve sustainable rural development.
The Dependence of the Liquid Application on the Coverage of the Sprayed Objects in Terms of the Characteristics of the Sprayed Object during Spraying
When assessing the quality of the spraying procedure, three indicators used: uneven distribution of precipitation of liquid sprayed, degree of coverage of sprayed surfaces and deposition of liquid spraying, However, there is a lack of information on the relationship between the quality parameters of the procedure. Therefore, the research was carried out at the Institute of Agricultural Engineering of Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between the degree of coverage of sprayed surfaces and the deposition of liquid in the aspect of the parametric characteristics of the protected plant using selected single and double stream nozzles. Experiments were conducted under laboratory conditions. The carrier of nozzles acted as an independent self-propelled sprayer used for spraying, whereas, the parametric characteristics of plants were determined using artificial plants as the ratio of the vertical projection surface and the horizontal projection surface. The results and their analysis showed a strong and very strong correlation between the analyzed parameters in terms of the characteristics of the sprayed object.
Assessment of Bisphenol a and 17 α-Ethinyl Estradiol Bioavailability in Soils Treated with Biosolids
It has been found that the addition of biosolids to soil is beneficial to soil health, enriching soil with essential nutrient elements. Although this sludge has properties that allow for the improvement of the physical features and productivity of agricultural and forest soils and the recovery of degraded soils, they also contain trace elements, organic trace, and pathogens that can cause damage to the environment. The application of these biosolids to land without the total reclamation and the treated wastewater can transfer these compounds into terrestrial and aquatic environments, giving rise to potential accumulation in plants. The general aim of this study was to evaluate the bioavailability of bisphenol A (BPA), and 17 α-ethynyl estradiol (EE2) in a soil-biosolid system using wheat (Triticum aestivum) plant assays and a predictive extraction method using a solution of hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPCD) to determine if it is a reliable surrogate for this bioassay. Two soils were obtained from the central region of Chile (Lo Prado and Chicauma). Biosolids were obtained from a regional wastewater treatment plant. The soils were amended with biosolids at 90 Mg ha⁻¹. Soils treated with biosolids, spiked with 10 mgkg⁻¹ of the EE2 and 15 mgkg⁻¹ and 30 mgkg⁻¹ of BPA were also included. The BPA and EE2 concentration were determined in biosolids, soils and plant samples through ultrasound assisted extraction, solid phase extraction (SPE) and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry determination (GC/MS). The bioavailable fraction found of each one of soils cultivated with wheat plants was compared with results obtained through a cyclodextrin biosimulator method. The total concentration found in biosolid from a treatment plant was 0.150 ± 0.064 mgkg⁻¹ and 12.8 ± 2.9 mgkg⁻¹ of EE2 and BPA respectively. BPA and EE2 bioavailability is affected by the organic matter content and the physical and chemical properties of the soil. The bioavailability response of both compounds in the two soils varied with the EE2 and BPA concentration. It was observed in the case of EE2, the bioavailability in wheat plant crops contained higher concentrations in the roots than in the shoots. The concentration of EE2 increased with increasing biosolids rate. On the other hand, for BPA, a higher concentration was found in the shoot than the roots of the plants. The predictive capability the HPCD extraction was assessed using a simple linear correlation test, for both compounds in wheat plants. The correlation coefficients for the EE2 obtained from the HPCD extraction with those obtained from the wheat plants were r= 0.99 and p-value ≤ 0.05. On the other hand, in the case of BPA, a correlation was not found. Therefore, the methodology was validated with respect to wheat plants bioassays, only in the EE2 case.
The K to Ca+Mg Ratio Effect on Potassium Availability for Plants: 'Splitting Soil' from Plant-Related Interactions
The energy of K⁺ to (Ca²⁺ + Mg²⁺) exchange in soils, expressed as ∆F, represents the intensity factor in plant K nutrition. To elucidate whether the ratio K⁺/(Ca²⁺ + Mg²⁺) affects K nutrition of plants through plant physiological interactions, such as competition, or through soil-related interactions, the influence of various ratios of K concentration to (Ca+Mg) concentration on the growth and K uptake of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) plants was examined in soil, perlite, and hydroponic culture. Nutrient solutions with six combinations of four ∆F values (-3500 to -2000 cal mol⁻¹) and three K concentrations (0.2 to 1.8 mM) were used in a hydroponic experiment. Fertigation with three ΔF levels (-3600 to -3324 cal mol⁻¹) at a fixed K concentration (0.66 mM) and with three K concentrations (0.51 to 1.53 mM) at a fixed ΔF value (-3324 cal mol⁻¹) were used in a soilless perlite experiment. In the soil culture, a clayey soil (62% clay) with ∆F values of -5037, -3600 and -3200 cal mol⁻¹ and a sandy soil (92% sand) with ∆F values of -3200, -2834 and -2200 cal mol⁻¹ were used with N and P but no K fertigation during plant 30-days growth period. The two soils largely differed in their potential buffer capacity (PBC) for K availability, with PBC of 21.4 to 34.2 meq kg⁻¹ (Ca+Mg)⁰⋅⁵ (K)⁻¹ for the clayey soil and 1.1 to 1.7 meq kg⁻¹ (Ca+Mg)⁰⋅⁵ (K)⁻¹ for the sandy soil. In hydroponic culture, at a constant ∆F level, biomass yield and K uptake increased significantly (P ≤ 0.01) with increasing K concentration in the nutrient solution, but varying ∆F value at a constant K concentration did not result in any significant impact on yield or K uptake by the plants. In the perlite culture, increasing K concentrations in the nutrient solution resulted in a higher K concentration in the youngest mature leaves (p ≤ 0.05), regardless of the ΔF value of the solution, whilst decreasing ΔF of the solution had no significant impact on plant K concentration or plant growth. In contrast to the hydroponic and soilless culture, for both soils shoot K concentration and shoot dry weight were significantly correlated with the soil ∆F level and were affected by soil PBC. It is concluded that K uptake by tomato plants strongly depends on K concentration in the soil solution while the rather large root selectivity for K⁺ probably results in rather small effect of the competing cations Ca²⁺ and Mg²⁺. On the contrary, in soils, ∆F represents the soil-related energy needed for releasing K⁺ from its exchangeable positions in the soil. The energy needed for K⁺ extraction from the soil is ultimately invested by the plant and is related to the ratio between K⁺ and (Ca²⁺ + Mg²⁺) in the soil solution.
A Perceptive Study on Oviposition Behavior and Selection of Host Plant for Egg Laying in Schistocerca gregaria
Desert Locust is a critical pest of crop and non-crop plants throughout the old world including Pakistan. Geographically, this pest invades 31 million km2 in about 60 countries during the gregarious phase which may bring calamity. The present study is carried out in order to conduct field observations on oviposition behavior from Thar Desert, Pakistan. Females preferred loose soil for oviposition rather than packed or hard soil. The depth of egg pods inside the soil was measured up to 8.996±1.40 cm, and duration of egg laying was measured up to 105.9±26.4 min. Besides this, an insightful recognition has been made that the solitary females oviposited predominantly in the vicinity of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) and guar or cluster bean (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) crops in cultivated fields while in uncultivated land preferred the surroundings of bekar grass (Indigofera caerulea) and snow bush (Aerva javanica). It was also observed that nymphs preferred to feed on these host plants. Furthermore, experimental outcomes indicated that gravid females oviposited on the bottom of perforated plastic cages while, they did not find suitable soil for oviposition.
Effect of Climatic Change on the Life Activities of Schistocerca Graria from Thar Desert, Sindh, Pakistan
Pakistan has the sandy Thar Desert in the eastern area, which share border line with India and has exotic fauna and flora, the livelihood of native people rely on livestock and rain fed cultivated fields. The climate of Thar Desert is very harsh and stressful due to frequent drought and very little rainfall, which may occur during monsoon season in the months of July to October and temperature is high, and wind speed also increases in April to June. Schistocerca gregaria is a destructive pest of vegetation from Mauritania to the border line of Pakistan and India. Sometimes they produce swarms which consume all plant where ever they land down and cause the loss in agro-economy of the world. During the recent study, we observed that vegetation was not unique throughout the Thar Desert in the year 2015, because the first spell of rainfall showered over all areas of the Thar Desert in July. However, the second and third spell of rain was confined to village Mahandre jo par and surroundings from August to October. Consequently, vegetation and cultivated crops grew up specially bajra crop (Pennistum glaucum). The climate of Mahandre jo par and surroundings became favorable for S.gregaria, and remaining areas of Thar Desert went hostile. Therefore desert locust attracted to the pleasant area (Mahandre jo par and surroundings) and gradually concentrated, increased reproductive activities, but did not gregarize due to the harvest of bajra crop and the onset of the winter season with an immediate decrease in temperature. An outbreak was near to come into existence, and thereupon conditions become stressful for hoppers to continue further development. Afore mentioned was one reason behind hurdle to the outbreak, another reason might be that migration and concentration of desert locust took place at the end of the season, so climate becomes unfavorable for hoppers, due to dryness of vegetation. Soils also become dry, because rainfall was not showered in end of the season, that’s why eggs that were deposited in late summer were desiccated. This data might be proved fruitful to forecast any outbreak update in future.
Determination of Morphological Characteristics of Brassica napus, Sinapis arvensis, Sinapis alba and Camelina sativa
The Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) is an important family of plants that include many economically important vegetable production, industrial oilseed, spice, fodder crop species and energy production. Canola and mustard species that are in Brassicaceae family have too high contribution to world herbal production. In this study, genotypes of two kinds of (Caravel and Excalibul) canola (Brassica napus), wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis), white mustard (Sinapis alba) and Camelina (Camelina sativa) were grown in the experimental field, and their morphological characteristics were determined. According to the results of the research; plant length was varied between 76.75 cm and 151.50 cm, and the longest plant was belonging to species of Sinapis arvensis. The number of branches varied from 3.75 piece/plant to 17.75 piece/plant and the most numerous branch was counted in species of Sinapis alba. It was determined that the number of grains in one capsule was between 3.75 piece/capsule and 35.75 piece/capsule and the largest amount of grains in the one capsule was in the Excalibul variety of species of Brassica napus. In our research, it has been determined that the plant of Sinapis arvensis is a potential plant for industrial of oil production; such as Brassica napus, Sinapis alba and Camelina (Camelina sativa).
Effect of Different Chemical Concentrations on Control of Dodder (Cuscuta campestris Yunck.) in Vitex (Agnus castus)
Pot experiment was conducted at the landscape unit of Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola in 2015 and 2016 to determine the effect of some chemicals namely glyphosate, salt and detergent on Golden dodder (Cuscuta campestris Yunk). The experiment was laid in a completely randomized design (CRD) with three replications. The treatments include the following: glyphosate-T0= (control),(Og a.i/ha-1) T1=35g a.i/ha-1, T2=70g a.i/ha-1, T3=105g a.i/ha-1, T4=140 a.i/ha-1 and T5=175g a.i/ha-1: Salt (T0=control O mole/ha-1 T1=1mole/ha-1 T2=2mole/ha-1, T3=3mole/ha-1 , T4=4mole/ha-1 and T5=5mole/ha-1:washing detergent T0=Og/ha-1(control), T1=30ml detergent +70ml distilled water T2=45ml detergent+65ml distilled water T3=60ml detergent+40ml distilled water, T4=75ml detergent+25ml distilled water and T5=90ml detergent +10mldistilled water, the treatments were replicated three times. Data were collected include: plant height, number of leaves, leaf area, leaf area index and Cuscuta cover score at 3,6,9and 12 weeks after sprouting(WAS). Biomas of Vitex was also collected at the end of the experiment. Data collected were analyzed using software Genstat version 8.0. Results showed that glyphosate gave the least Cuscuta cover score and the tallest Vitex plant. However, detergent mildly controlled Cuscuta, while salt has no effect on Cuscuta campestris indicating that glyphosate could be used in the control of parasitic dodder (Cuscuta campestris) on Vitex plant.
Characterization of Solanum tuberosum Ammonium Transporter Gene using Bioinformatics Approach
Plants require nitrogen (N) to support desired production levels. There is a need for better understanding of N transport mechanism in order to improve N assimilation by plant root. Nitrogen is available to plants in the form of nitrate or ammonium, which are transported into the cell with the aid of various transport proteins. Ammonium transporters (AMTs) play a role in the uptake of ammonium, the form in which N is preferentially absorbed by plants. Solanum tuberosum AMT1 (StAMT1) was amplified, sequenced and characterized using molecular biology and bioinformatics methods. Nucleotide database sequences were used to design 976 base pairs AMT1-specific primers which include forward primer 5’- GCCATCGCCGCCGCCGG-3’ and reverse primer 5’-GGGTCAGATCCATACCCGC-3’. These primers were used to amplify the Solanum tuberosum AMT1 internal regions. Nucleotide sequencing, alignment and phylogenetic analysis assigned StAMT1 to the AMT1 family due to the clade and high similarity it shared with other plant AMT1 genes. The deduced amino acid sequences showed that StAMT1 is 92%, 83% and 76% similar to Solanum lycopersicum LeAMT1.1, Lotus japonicus LjAMT1.1, and Solanum lycopersicum LeAMT1.2 respectively. StAMT1 fragments were shown to correspond to the 5th-10th trans-membrane domains. Residue StAMT1 D15 is predicted to be essential for ammonium transport, while mutations of StAMT1 S76A may further enhance ammonium transport.
Issues and Challenges for Plantation Agriculture in Cameron Highlands: Interpretations from Socio-Anthropological Viewpoints
Cameron Highlands (4°28’N, 101°23’E) is an attractive mountainous region with steep slopes located in the state of Pahang, Malaysia stretching between 1070 and 1830 m above sea level with a total land area of 71,218ha. It is one of the few places in Malaysia that has a tropical highland climate as the mean annual temperature of it is 18 °C (64 °F) thus making the atmosphere perfect for specialized agriculture. Being ecologically suitable, Cameron Highlands has recently been identified as a very strategic farming area, producing multifarious vegetables, flowers, and tea with a commercial motive of marketing them to Singapore and all over the urban areas of Malaysia to meet the domestic and international demands. The main intricacies of this plantation agriculture are fully dependent on the policies formulated by a group of emerging entrepreneurs who employ foreign labourers to make these agricultural activities a success in the agrarian sector in Malaysia. Based on the socio-anthropological perspective, the paper entirely relies on empirical field data generated by interviewing 10 farm owners and 200 foreign workers to find out the intricacies of this plantation agriculture which makes the research innovative and pragmatically significant. The paper deals with important issues relating to this productive plantation agriculture of Cameron Highlands and as such narrates the various exceptional and holistic skills adopted for this type of farming.
A Study to Evaluate Some Physical and Mechanical Properties, Relevant in Estimating Energy Requirements in Grinding the Palm Kernel and Coconut Shells
Based on the need to modify palm kernel shell (PKS) and coconut shell (CNS) for some engineering applications, the study evaluated some physical characteristics and fracture resistance, relevant in estimating energy requirements in comminution of the nutshells. The shells, obtained from local processing mills, were washed, sun-dried and sorted to remove kernels, nuts and other extraneous materials. Experiments were then conducted to determine the thickness, density, moisture content, and hardness of the shells. Fracture resistances were characterised by the average compressive load, stiffness and toughness at bio-yield point of specially prepared section of the shells, under quasi-static compression loading. The densities of the dried PKS at 7.12% and the CNS at 6.47% (wb) moisture contents were 1291.20 and 1247.40 kg/m3, respectively. The corresponding Brinnel Hardness Numbers were 58.40 ± 1.91 and 56.33 ± 4.33. Close shells thickness of both PKS and CNS exhibited identical physical properties although; CNS is relatively larger in physical dimensions than PKS. The findings further showed that both shell types exhibited higher resistance with compression along the longitudinal axes than the transverse axes. With compressions along the longitudinal axes, the fracture force were 1.41 ± 0.11 and 3.62 ± 0.09 kN; bio-stiffness; 934.70 ± 67.03 kN/m and 1980.74 ± 8.92 kN/m; and toughness, 2.17 ± 0.16 and 6.51 ± 0.15 KN mm for the PKS and CNS, respectively. With the estimated toughness of CNS higher than that of PKS, the study showed the requirement of higher comminution energy for CNS.
Comparison of Fat Soluble Vitamins, Carotenoids and Cholesterol Content in Mytilus galloprovincialis, Rapana venosa and Ulva rigida from the Black Sea
Many studies suggest that marine mollusks are healthy food, characterized by low fat and high digestible proteins content. They are one of the most important dietary sources of fat soluble vitamins. The most common species of mollusks in the Bulgarian Black Sea waters are the black mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and the sea snail Rapana (Rapana venosa). One of the main problems of the region is the lack of information about chemical composition of these important marine species. Due to these facts, the aim of the present work was to determine the fat soluble vitamins A, D2, D3, and E, carotenoids–β-carotene and astaxanthin, and total cholesterol contents of mollusk samples and compare them to sample of green algae (Ulva rigida). Samples were collected during autumn from north region of the Black Sea coast, and their wet tissues were used for evaluation of vitamins A, D2, D3, and E, astaxanthin, β-carotene and cholesterol compositions. All fat soluble analytes were simultaneously analyzed by RP- HPLC/UV/FL system. The results were calculated as milligrams per gram total lipid (mg.g-1TL). Alpha-tocopherol and b-carotene were most abundant in algae samples, while mussel samples presented the highest amounts of vitamin D3 (several times higher than the recommended daily intake in Bulgaria (Ordinance № 23 / 19.07.2005)). In all samples, cholesterol content was significantly low, which falls within recommendation of the same ordinance (upper daily consumption should not exceed 300 mg per day). From data, it can be concluded that all samples were characterized as beneficial sources of biologically active compounds.
The Physicochemical Properties of Two Rivers in Eastern Cape South Africa as Relates to Vibrio Spp Density
In the past view decades; human has experienced outbreaks of infections caused by pathogenic Vibrio spp which are commonly found in aquatic milieu. Asides the well-known Vibrio cholerae, discovery of other pathogens in this genus has been on the increase. While the dynamics of occurrence and distribution of Vibrio spp have been linked to some physicochemical parameters in salt water, data in relation to fresh water is limited. Hence, two rivers of importance in the Eastern Cape, South Africa were selected for this study. In all, eleven sampling sites were systematically identified and relevant physicochemical parameters, as well as Vibrio spp density, were determined for the period of six months using standard instruments and methods. Results were statistically analysed to determined key physicochemical parameters that determine the density of Vibrio spp in the selected rivers. Results: The density of Vibrio spp in all the sampling points ranges between < 1 CFU/mL to 174 x 10-2 CFU/mL. The physicochemical parameters of some of the sampling points were above the recommended standards. The regression analysis showed that Vibrio density in the selected rivers depends on a complex relationship between various physicochemical parameters. Conclusion: This study suggests that Vibrio spp density in fresh water does not depend on only temperature and salinity as suggested by earlier studies on salt water but rather on a complex relationship between several physicochemical parameters.
Assessment of the Physicochemical Qualities and Prevalence of Vibrio Pathogens in the Final Effluents of Two Wastewater Treatment Plants in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa
Treated wastewater effluent has been found to encompass high levels of pollutants, including disease-causing bacteria such as Vibrio pathogens. The current study was designed to evaluate the physicochemical qualities and prevalence of Vibrio pathogens in treated effluents of two wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa over the period of six months. Parameters measured include pH, temperature, electrical conductivity, salinity, turbidity, total dissolved solid (TDS), dissolved oxygen (DO), and free chlorine; and these parameters were simultaneously monitored in the treated final effluents of the two wastewater treatment plants using standard methods. The ranges of values for the physicochemical are: pH (7.0–8.6), total dissolved solids (286.3–916.5 mg/L), electrical conductivity (572.57–1704.5 mS/m), temperature (10.3–28.6 °C), turbidity (4.02–43.20 NTU), free chlorine (0.00–0.19 mg/L), dissolve oxygen (2.06–6.32 mg/L) and biochemical oxygen demand (0.1–9.0 mg/L). The microbiological assessment for both WWTPs revealed the presence of Vibrio counts ranging between 0 and 8.76×104 CFU/100 mL. The obtained values of the measured parameters and Vibrio loads of the treated wastewater effluents were found outside the compliance levels of the South African guidelines and World Health Organization tolerance limits for effluents intended to be discharged into receiving waterbodies. Hence, we conclude that these WWTPs are important point sources of pollution in surface water with potential public health and ecological risks.
The Green Consumer Identity Formation Process: The Context of Organic Food Consumption
In recent decades the organic conventionalization and mainstream agro-food sector are more interested in its commercial value than in its original vision, raising the question of whether these products are truly organic. Accordingly, this research based on 31 phenomenological interviews with committed organic consumers in urban and rural areas of Portugal, aims to analyse how ethical motivations and ecological awareness are related to organic food consumption. A qualitative approach based on consumer narratives covered three main areas of research: (1) to understand organic consumer motivations and cultural meanings represented by organic; (2) to identify how environmental concerns and ethical behaviour influence organic consumption; (3) to identify the main constraint and barriers in accessing and consuming organic products. The thematic analysis points up aspects related to society and environmental concerns. In personal perspective, it was stressed the importance of internal coherence, peace of mind and balance that these consumers find in the consumption of organic products. For these consumers, organic products consumption made significant changes in their lives, contributing to the constructing of a green identity, and involves a 'life philosophy' perspective. This vision of organic is based on a livelihood perspective grounded in a political and ecological, beyond the usual organic definition, as a 'post-organic' era. The paper contributes to better understand how an ideological environmental discourse and allows to highlight the relation between consumers’ environmental concerns and the politics of food, resulting in a possible transition to new sustainable consumption practices.
Assessment of Tolerance Mechanisms in African and European Honeybees against Varroa destructor
Varroa destructor is the greatest threat to honeybee health especially in Europe and North America. The mite feeds on the fat body of honeybees while transmitting deadly pathogens to these bees, thereby causing serious physical and physiological injuries. Contrary to their European counterparts, African honeybees can survive mite infestations without miticide treatment. The underlying mechanisms responsible for the tolerance of African honeybees to mite attack are unknown. We carried out a comparative assessment of behavioral mechanisms such as adult mite infestation levels, daily mite fall per colony and percentage mite damage (as an indicator of adult grooming behavior) and brood removal rate (as an indicator of hygienic behavior) in the African savannah honeybee Apis mellifera scutellata in Kenya and A. mellifera hybrids of European origin in Florida, USA against the mite. Two undescribed types of damages to the mite were found in colonies of both honeybee subspecies. Brood removal rate, adult grooming rate, and daily natural mite fall were statistically similar in both honeybee subspecies despite the fact that adult mite infestation level was approximately three-fold higher in A. mellifera hybrids of European origin than in A. m. scutellata. Unlike A. mellifera hybrids of European origin, there was no correlation between brood removal rate, adult grooming rate with mite infestation levels on adult worker honeybee of A. m. scutellata though they were more aggressive towards the mites than their European counterparts. Our findings provide valuable information into the tolerance mechanisms that contribute to the survival of A. m. scutellata against the mite.
The Trial Using Bio-Product for Reducing Arsenic Heavy Metal in Soil in Grow Organic Vegetables
Testing efficacy of a bio-product (bp) to reduce amount of arsenic was carried out in soil which were used for cultivation of organic vegetables, at Watchan Royal Project Development Center, Kulayaniwattana district, Chiang Mai. The test consists of 6 treatments e.g. Tr.1) Control: To underlie the planting pits (pp)with compost; Tr.2) Using bp: To underlie thepp with compost mixed with (+) bp at 100 g/pit; Tr.3) Using bp: To underlie the pp with compost + bp at 100 g/pit and to spray the vegetables with bp at 2 l/20 l of water, once a week; Tr.4) Using bp: To spread the compost bp on the planting area at 3 kg/1 m2 ; Tr.5) Using bp: To spread the compost + bp on the planting area at 3 kg/1 m2and to spray vegetables with bp at 2 l/20 l of water; Tr.6) Using bp: To spray vegetables with bp at 2 l/20 l of water. Result showed that after first trial of pointed cabbage cultivation, only Tr.6 had a small reduction of arsenic; while the others had higher amount of the metal. After second trial of growing red oak leaf, Tr.6 had more reduction of arsenic while Tr.5 and Tr.3 had less reduction compared to Tr.6 but more reduction than the others. In the third trial of growing mustard, very small reduction could be found on Tr.6 and Tr.5 but more reduction in Tr.3. For the fourth (last) trial with cos romaine lettuce: Tr.6, Tr.5 showed most reduction of arsenic to about half of the original amount. So, it can be concluded that this bio-product can help reducing arsenic when using this product by spraying the bp to vegetables at concentration of 2 l/20 l of water once week (Tr.6), or using the bio-product mixed with compost to spread on the planting area at 3 kg/1 m2 together with spraying the product (Tr.5). The results obtained from continuous planting 4 kinds of vegetables at the same area. The amount of arsenic found in roots and stem is very small in the 4 vegetables.
Comparative Efficacy of Benomyl and Three Plant Extracts in the Control of Cowpea Anthracnose Caused by Colletotrichum lindemuthianum Sensu Lato
Field experiment was conducted to compare the efficacy of hot water extracts of three plants (Ricinus communis, Jatropha gossypifolia and Datura stramonium) with benomyl in the control of cowpea anthracnose disease. Three concentrations of the extracts (65, 50 and 30%) were used in the study. Result from the experiment shows that all the extracts at the tested concentration reduced the incidence and severity of the disease. D. stramonium at 65% concentration compares favourably with that of benomyl fungicide in reducing incidence and severity of infection. At 65% concentration of D. stramonium, incidence of the disease was 22% on pooled mean basis, and this was not significantly different from that of benomyl (21%). Similarly, the percentage of normal seeds recorded at this same concentration of the extract was 85% and was not significantly different from that of benomyl (86%). In terms of disease severity trace infections were observed on the cowpea plants at this concentration of the extract and that of benomyl. However, at lower concentrations of all the extracts, significant variations were observed on incidence of disease and percentage of normal seeds such that values obtained from use of benomyl were higher than those obtained from the use of the extracts. The study, therefore, shows that extracts of these indigenous plants can be used as a substitute for the benomyl fungicide in the management of anthracnose disease.
Women Entrepreneurial Skills in Maize Processing and Value Addition in Ogun State, Nigeria
Maize is a common staple food for human consumption and livestock feeds. It provides employment and means of livelihood for women in both rural areas and urban centres in Nigeria. However, the entrepreneurial skills of women engaged in its processing and value addition has not been fully enhanced. This study was therefore carried out to investigate rural women entrepreneurial skills in maize processing and value addition in Ogun State, Nigeria. Snow ball sampling technique was used in the selection of 70 respondents for this study. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and chi-square. Results revealed that majority (50.0%) of the respondents were 31 - 40 years of age and 60% of the respondents had spent 6 – 10 years in maize processing. The respondents have great entrepreneurial skills in popcorn (85.7%), corn cake (80.0%), corn balls (64.3%) and kokoro (52.9%) making. The majority of the respondents accessed information and entrepreneurial skills through fellow processors (88.6%) and friends and neighbours (62.9%). Major constraints to maize processing and value addition were scarcity of raw materials during off season periods (95.7%), ineffective preservation methods (88.6%), lack of modern processing equipment (82.9%), and high cost of processing machines (72.9%). Result of chi-square showed that there is significant association between personal characteristics of the respondents and entrepreneurial skills of the women at p < 0.05. It is hereby recommended that subsidized processing equipment should be made available to the maize processors in the study area by the government and NGOs.
Sediment Delivery from Hillslope Cultivation in Northwest Vietnam
Cultivating on hillslopes in Northwest Vietnam induced soil erosion that reduce overall soil fertility, capacity of water bodies and drainage ditches or channels, and enhance the risk of flooding, even obstruct traffics and create 'mud flooding or landslide’. This study aimed at assessing the magnitude of erosion under maize monocropping and perennial teak plantation on a rainstorm basic over two years 2010-2011 using double sediment fences installed at convergent point of catchments (slope inclination of 27-74%). Mean annual soil erosion under maize cultivation was 4.39 kg.m⁻², being far greater than that under teak plantation 1.65 kg.m⁻². Intensive tillage in maize monocropping and clearance of land before sowing was most probably the causes induced such effect as no tillage was performed in teak plantation during monitored period. Larger sediment generated across two land use types in year 2010 (4.11 kg.m⁻²) compared to year 2011 (1.87 kg.m⁻²) was attributed to higher amount and intensity of precipitation in the first year (1448 mm) as compared to the latter year (1299 mm). Reducing tillage and establishing good cover for maize monocropping on steep slopes, therefore, are necessary to reduce soil erosion and control sediment delivery to downstream.
Climate Change Effects and Cocoa Farmers Coping Strategies in Ilaro Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria
Climate change is a global phenomenon which affects the environment and undermines agricultural activities, in particular, cocoa production in Nigeria. This study, therefore, assessed the farmers ‘coping strategies to climate change effects in Ilaro Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria. A simple random sampling technique was used to select twenty-five cocoa farmers from each of the selected six wards to make up 150 cocoa farmers as sample size for this study. Descriptive statistics and chi-square analysis were used for the data analysis. The results showed that the average age of the respondents was 43.8 years and male dominated (80.00%) cocoa production. Most of the respondents had some level of formal education (93.4%). The mean of household and year of experience in cocoa farming were eight people and 11.6 years respectively. Family and Hired labour (41.3%) was the common source of labour to the respondents and majority (86.0%) of the respondents were aware of climate change. The study concluded that respondents experienced low yield and high rate of deformed beans in the pods due to climate change. The adjustment strategies used were planting of diseases and pest resistant cocoa varieties, using of heavy mulching, diversification into other non- agricultural income generating activities and tree crops cultivation to provide shade. Also, significant relationships existed between personal characteristics (χ²= 62.24, df = 6, p = 0.00), adjustment strategies (χ²= 103.1, df = 4, p = 0.00) and effect of climate change. It is hereby recommend that extension service providers should intensify more effort and advocating for improved agronomic practices to increase cocoa productivity in the study area.
Extracellular Enzymes from Halophilic Bacteria with Potential in Agricultural Secondary Flow Recovery Products
Various types of halophilic and halotolerant microorganisms able to be cultivated in laboratory on culture media with a wide range of sodium chloride content are isolated from several salted environments. The extracellular enzymes of these microorganisms showed the enzymatic activity in these spectrums of salinity thus being attractive for several biotechnological processes developed at high ionic strength. In present work, a number of amylase, protease, esterase, lipase, cellulase, pectinase, xilanases and innulinase were identified for more than 50th bacterial strains isolated from water samples and sapropelic mud from four saline and hypersaline lakes located in Romanian plain. On the other hand, the cellulase and pectinase activity were also detected in some halotolerant microorganisms isolated from secondary agricultural flow of grapes processing. The preliminary data revealed that from totally tested strains seven harbor proteases activity, eight amylase activity, four for esterase and another four for lipase, three for pectinase and for one strain were identified either cellulase or pectinase activity. There were no identified enzymes able to hydrolase innulin added to culture media. Several strains isolated from sapropelic mud showed multiple extracellular enzymatic activities, namely three strains harbor three activities and another seven harbor two activities. The data revealed that amylase and protease activities were frequently detected if compare with other tested enzymes. In the case of pectinase were investigated, their ability to be used for increasing resveratrol recovery from material resulted after grapes processing. In this way, the resulted material from grapes processing was treated with microbial supernatant for several times (two, four and 24 hours) and the content of resveratrol was detected by High Performance Liquid Chromatography method (HPLC). The preliminary data revealed some positive results of this treatment.
Phytochemical Content and Bioactive Properties of Wheat Sprouts
Wheat contains high amount of nutrients such as dietary fiber, resistant starch, vitamins, minerals and microconstituents, which are building blocks of body tissues, but also help in the prevention of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Sprouting enhances the nutritional value of whole wheat through biosynthesis of tocopherols, polyphenols and other valuable phytochemicals. Since the nutritional and sensory benefits of germination have been extensively documented, using of sprouted grains in food formulations is becoming a trend in healthy foods. The present work addressed the possibility of using freeze-dried sprouted wheat powder, obtained from spelt-wheat cv. ‘Nirvana’ (Triticum spelta L.) and winter wheat cv. ‘Simonida’ (Triticum aestivum L. ssp. vulgare var. lutescens), as a source of phytochemicals, to improve the functional status of the consumer. The phytochemicals' content (total polyphenols, flavonoids, chlorophylls and carotenoids) and biological activities (antioxidant activity on DPPH radicals and antiinflammatory activity) of sprouted wheat powders were assessed spectrophotometrically. The content of flavonoids (216.52 mg RE/100 g), carotenoids (22.84 mg β-carotene/100 g) and chlorophylls (131.23 mg/100 g), as well as antiinflammatory activity (EC50=3.70 mg/ml) was found to be higher in sprouted spelt-wheat powder, while total polyphenols (607.21 mg GAE/100 g) and antioxidant activity on DDPPH radicals (EC50=0.27 mmol TE/100 g) was found to be higher in sprouted winter wheat powders. Simulation of gastro-intestinal digestion of sprouted wheat powders clearly shows that intestinal digestion caused a higher release of polyphenols than gastric digestion for both samples, which indicates their higher bioavailability in the colon. The results of the current study have shown that wheat sprouts can provide a high content of phytochemicals and considerable bioactivities. Moreover, data reported show that they contain a unique pattern of bioactive molecules, which make these cereal sprouts attractive functional foods for a health-promoting diet.