Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 42523

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Fumigation of Table Grapes with PH3: Desorption Behavior and Volatile Profiles
—Fumigation of goods for protection against pests is common practice in the context of global trading. One of the most commonly used fumigants for this purpose is phosphane (PH3). Previously, we looked into the desorption behavior of phosphane after the fumigation of apples and sunflower seeds. Furthermore, the effects of fumigation on the overall volatile profiles were studied. Alterations in the volatile profiles were observed for apples and sunflower seeds. In the present study, the outgassing of two cultivars of grapes after fumigation with 2000 ppm phosphane has been analyzed by means of thermal desorption/2D gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and flame photometric detection (TD-2D-GC-MS/FPD). Effects on the volatile profiles of the grapes caused by fumigation with phosphane were studied using a headspace solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS) method applied to the smashed fruits.
Phosphorus Uptake of Triticale (Triticosecale Wittmack) Genotypes at Different Growth Stages
Triticale (Triticosecale Wittmack) is a man-made crop developed by crossing wheat (Triticum L.) and rye (Secale cereale L.). Triticale has until now been used mostly for animal feed; however, it can be consumed by humans in the form of biscuits, cookies, and unleavened bread. Moreover, one of the reasons for the development of triticale is that it is more efficient in nutrient deficient soil than wheat cultivars. After nitrogen fertilizer, phosphorus (P) is the most used fertilizer for crop production because P fixation occurs highly when it is applied the soil. The aim of the present study was to evaluate P uptake of winter triticale genotypes under different P fertilizer rates in different growth stages. The experiment was conducted in Eskisehir, Central Anatolia, Turkey. Treatments consisted of five triticale lines and one triticale cultivars (Samursortu) with four rates of P fertilization (0, 30, 60 and 120 kg P2O5 ha⁻¹). Phosphorus uptake of triticale genotypes in tillering, heading, as well as grain and straw at harvest stage and yield of grain and straw were determined. The results showed that a P rate of 60 kg/ha and the TCL-25 genotype produced the highest yields of straw and grain at harvest. Phosphorus uptake was the highest in tillering stage, and it decreased towards to harvest time. Phosphorus uptake of all growth stage increased as P rates raised and the application of 120 kg/ha P₂O₅ had the highest P uptake. Phosphorus uptake of genotypes was found differently. The regression analyses indicated that P uptake at tillering stage was the most effective on grain yield. These results will provide useful information to triticale growers about suitable phosphorus fertilization for both forage and food usage.
Response of Barley Quality Traits, Yield and Antioxidant Enzymes to Water-Stress and Chemical Inducers
Two field experiments were carried out in order to investigate the effect of chemical inducers [benzothiadiazole 0.9 mM L-1, oxalic acid 1.0 mM L-1, salicylic acid 0.2 mM L-1] on physiological and technological traits as well as on yields and antioxidant enzyme activities of barley grown under abiotic stress (i.e. water surplus and deficit conditions). Results showed that relative water content, leaf area, chlorophyll and yield as well as technological properties of barley were improved with chemical inducers application under water surplus and water-stress conditions. Antioxidant enzymes activity (i.e. catalase and peroxidase) were significantly increased in barley grown under water-stress and treated with chemical inducers. Yield and related parameters of barley presented also significant decrease under water-stress treatment, while chemical inducers application enhanced the yield-related traits. Starch and protein contents were higher in plants treated with salicylic acid than in untreated plants when water-stress was applied. In conclusion, results show that chemical inducers application have a positive interaction and synergetic influence and should be suggested to improve plant growth, yield and technological properties of water stressed barley. Salicylic acid application was better than oxalic acid and benzothiadiazole in terms of plant growth and yield improvement.
Characterization of Volatiles Botrytis Cinerea in Blueberry Using Solid Phase Micro Extraction, Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry
Botrytis cinerea is a major pest for many plants. It can attack a wide range of plant parts. It can attack buds, flowers, and leaves, stems, and fruit. However, B. cinerea can be mixed with other diseases that cause the same damage. There are many species of botrytis and more than one different strains of each. Botrytis might infect the foliage of nursery stock stored through winter in damp conditions. There are no known resistant plants. Botrytis must have nutrients or food source before it infests the plant. Nutrients leaking from wounded plant parts or dying tissue like old flower petals give the required nutrients. From this food, the fungus becomes more attackers and invades healthy tissue. Dark to light brown rot forms in the ill tissue. High humidity conditions support the growth of this fungus. However, we suppose that selection pressure can act on the morphological and neurophysiologic filter properties of the receiver and on both the biochemical and the physiological regulation of the signal. Communication is implied when signal and receiver evolves toward more and more specific matching, culminating. In other hand, receivers respond to portions of a body odor bouquet which is released to the environment not as an (intentional) signal but as an unavoidable consequence of metabolic activity or tissue damage. Each year Botrytis species can cause considerable economic losses to plant crops. Even with the application of strict quarantine and control measures, these fungi can still find their way into crops and cause the imposition of onerous restrictions on exports. Blueberry fruit mould caused by a fungal infection usually results in major losses during post-harvest storage. Therefore, the management of infection in early stages of disease development is necessary to minimize losses. The overall purpose of this study will develop sensitive, cheap, quick and robust diagnostic techniques for the detection of B. cinerea in blueberry. The specific aim was designed to investigate the performance of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the detection and discrimination of blueberry fruits infected by fungal pathogens with an emphasis on Botrytis in the early storage stage of post-harvest.
Water Management in Mexico City and Its Metropolitan Area
As urban areas expand, strategic and protected water reserves become more critical. In this study we investigate the water problems in Mexico City and its Metropolitan area. This region faces a complex water problem that concerns not only Mexican boundaries but also international level because is one of the biggest human concentrations in the World. The current water shortage situation raises the necessity of importing surface and groundwater from the Cutzamala River and from the Alto Rio Lerma System respectively. Water management is the real issue in this region, because waste water generation is more than aquifer overexploitation, and surface water loss in the rainfall period is greater than water imported from other regions. However, the possible solutions of the water supply schemes are complicated, there is a need to look for alternatives socially acceptable and environmentally desirable, considering first the possible solutions on the demand side. Also, it is necessary more investment in water treatment plants and hydraulic infrastructure to ensure water supply and decrease the environmental problems in the area. More studies need to be done related to water efficiency in the three sectors.
Farmer-Participatory Variety Trials for Tomato and Chili Pepper in East Java
This study is to test the adaptation capacity of several selected lines and varieties of chili and tomato in farmers’ lands. Five improved lines and varieties of tomato and chili were selected based on the best performance in previous trials. Two participating farmers managed the trials. Agronomic aspects were used as performance indicators. The results show that several improved lines of tomato and chili performed better than others. However, the performance was dependent on the altitude and season. Lines performed better and high altitude could not do the same in low altitude, and vice versa. This is the same case as different season. Farmers were expected to select the best lines according to the locations.
Heavy Metal Contamination of a Dumpsite Environment as Assessed with Pollution Indices
Indiscriminate refuse dumping in and around Ado-Ekiti, combined with improper management of few available dumpsites such as Ilokun dumpsite posed threat of heavy metals pollution in the surrounding soils and underground water that needs assessment using pollution indices. Surface soils (0-15 cm) were taken from the centre of Ilokun dumpsite (0 m) and the environs at different directions and distances during the dry and wet seasons and a background sample at 1000 m away, adjacent to the dumpsite at Ilokun, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. The concentration of heavy metals used to calculate the pollution indices for the soils was determined using Atomic Adsorption Spectrophotometer. The soils recorded high concentrations of all the heavy metals above the background concentrations irrespective of the season with highest concentrations at the 0 m except Ni and Fe at 50 m during the dry and wet season respectively. The heavy metals concentration were in the order of Ni > Mn > Pb > Cr > Cu > Cd > Fe during the dry season, and Fe > Cr > Cu > Pb > Ni > Cd > Mn during the wet season. Using the Contamination Factor (CF), the soils were classified to be moderately contaminated with Cd and Fe to very high contamination with other metals during the dry season and low Cd contamination (0.87), moderate contamination with Fe, Pb, Mn and Ni and very high contamination with Cr and Cu during the wet season. At both seasons, Pollution Load Index (PLI) indicates the soils to be generally polluted with heavy metals and the Geoaccumulation Index (Igeo) calculated shown the soils to be in unpolluted to moderately polluted levels. Enrichment Factor (EF) implied the soils to be deficiently enriched with all the heavy metals except Cr (7.90) and Cu (6.42) that were at significantly enrichment levels during the wet season. Modified Degree of Contamination (mCd) recorded, indicated the soils to be of very high to extremely high degree of contamination during the dry season and moderate degree of contamination during the wet season except 0 m with a high degree of contamination. The concentration of heavy metals in the soils combined with some of the pollution indices indicated the soils in and around the Ilokun Dumpsite are being polluted with heavy metals from anthropogenic sources constituted by the indiscriminate refuse dumping.
Increased Value Added of Cassava Flour as Food Products in Indonesia
The process of fermentation on cassava flour (mocaf) occurs biological processed by microorganisms so as to improve the quality of cassava flour and its products. The purpose of this research is to know the added value of various fermented cassava flour products. Performed nutritional analysis of the product and oragoneltic test. The results showed that the processed products successfully using 100% mocaf flour without a mixture of wheat flour. The result of the added value analysis, the lowest is if 1 kg of mocaf is processed into processed cookies (RP 41, 175), the second lowest is processed cat tongue cookies (Rp 54.255). The highest added value of processed products of sponge rolls cake (Rp 263.742), the second highest is mini tart (Rp 187.046). Based on its value added ratios, it turns out that the 10 (ten) processed products that were tried turned out to be all worth ≥ 30%. The conclusion that mocaf flour can be used as raw material of cake / bread products without the mixture of wheat flour is 100% mocaf flour. Mocaf flour is available enough, so for the user does not make the problem of lack of raw materials. Development of mocaf flour is highly prospective for further dibembagkan because the price is 50% below wheat flour. Making various mocaf based processed products can increase the added value of 17.70—43.50% (depending on the type of product). Processed products are favored by consumers and producers.
Analyzing the Water Quality of Settling Pond after Revegetation at Ex-Mining Area
One of silica quarry managed by a mining company is located at Sukabumi District of West Java Province Indonesia with an area of approximately 70 hectares. Since 2013 this company stopped the mining activities. The company tries to restore the ecosystem post-mining with rehabilitation activities such as reclamation and revegetation of their ex-mining area. After three years planting the area the trees grown well. Not only planting some tree species but also some cover crop has covered the soil surface. There are two settling ponds located in the middle of the ex-mining area. Those settling pond were built in order to prevent the effect of acid mine drainage. Acid mine drainage (AMD) or the acidic water is created when sulphide minerals are exposed to air and water and through a natural chemical reaction produce sulphuric acid. AMD is the main pollutant at the open pit mining. The objective of the research was to analyze the effect of revegetation on water quality change at the settling pond. The physical and chemical of water quality parameter were measured and analysed at site and at the laboratory. Physical parameter such as temperature, turbidity and total organic matter were analyse. Also heavy metal and some other chemical parameter such as dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, pH, total ammonia nitrogen, nitrate and nitrite were analysed. The result showed that the acidity of first settling pond was higher than that of the second settling pond. Both settling pond water’s contained heavy metal. The turbidity and total organic matter were the parameter of water quality which become better after revegetation.
Effects of AG1 and AG2 QTLs on Rice Seedling Growth and Physiological Processes during Germination in Flooded Soils
An anaerobic condition caused by flooding during germination in direct seeded rice systems, known as anaerobic germination (AG), severely reduces crop establishment in both rainfed and irrigated areas. Seeds germinating in flooded soils could encounter hypoxia or even anoxia in severe cases, and this hinders germination and seedling growth. This study was conducted to quantify the effects of incorporating two major QTLs, AG1 and AG2, associated with tolerance of flooding during germination and to assess their interactive effects on enhancing crop establishment. A greenhouse experiment was conducted at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Los Baňos, Philippines, using elite lines incorporating AG1, AG2 and AG1+AG2 in the background of the popular varieties PSBRc82 (PSBRc82-AG1, PSBRc82-AG2, PSBRc82-AG1+AG2) and Ciherang-Sub1 (Ciherang-Sub1-AG1, Ciherang-Sub1-AG2, Ciherang-Sub1-AG1+AG2), along with the donors Kho Hlan On (for AG1) and Ma-Zhan Red (AG2) and the recipients PSBRc82 and Ciherang-Sub1. The experiment was conducted using concrete tanks in an RCBD with three replications. Dry seeds were sown in seedling trays then flooded with 10 cm water depth. Seedling survival, root and shoot growth and relative growth rate were measured. The germinating seedlings were used for assaying nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) and ascorbate concentrations, lipid peroxidation, total phenolic concentration, reactive oxygen species and total amylase enzyme activity. Flooding reduced overall survival, though survival of AG1+AG2 introgression lines was greater than other genotypes. Soluble sugars increased, while starch concentration decreased gradually under flooding especially in the tolerant checks and AG1+AG2 introgression lines. Less lipid peroxidation and higher amylase activity, reduced-ascorbate (RAsA) and total phenolic contents (TPC) were observed in the tolerant checks and in AG1+AG2 introgression lines. Lipid peroxidation correlated negatively with ascorbate and total phenolic concentrations and with reactive oxygen species (ROS). Introgression of AG1+AG2 QTLs upregulated total amylase activity causing rapid starch degradation and increase in ascorbate and total phenolic concentrations resulting in higher germination and seedling growth in flooded soils.
Awareness and Utilization of Social Network Tools among Agricultural Science Students in Colleges of Education in Ogun State, Nigeria
This study was carried out to assess the awareness and utilization of Social Network Tools (SNTs) among agricultural science students in Colleges of Education in Ogun State, Nigeria. Simple random sampling techniques were used to select 280 respondents from the study area. Descriptive statistics was used to describe the objectives while Pearson Product Moment Correlation was used to test the hypothesis. The result showed that the majority (71.8%) of the respondents were single, with a mean age of 20 years. Almost all (95.7%) the respondents were aware of Facebook and 2go as a Social Network Tools (SNTs) while 85.0% of the respondents were not aware of Blackplanet, LinkedIn, MyHeritage and Bebo. Many (41.1%) of the respondents had views that using SNTs can enhance extensive literature survey, increase internet browsing potential, promote teaching proficiency, and update on outcomes of researches. However, 51.4% of the respondents perceived that SNTs usage as what is meant for the lecturers/adults only while 16.1% considered it as mainly used by internet fraudsters. Findings revealed that about 50.0% of the respondents browsed Facebook and 2go daily while more than 80% of the respondents used Blackplanet, MyHeritage, Skyrock, Bebo, LinkedIn and My YearBook as the need arise. Major constraints to the awareness and utilization of SNTs were high cost and poor quality of ICTs facilities (77.1%), epileptic power supply (75.0%), inadequate telecommunication infrastructure (71.1%), low technical know-how (62.9%) and inadequate computer knowledge (61.1%). The result of PPMC analysis showed that there was an inverse relationship between constraints and utilization of SNTs at p < 0.05. It can be concluded that constraints affect efficient and effective utilization of SNTs in the study area. It is hereby recommended that management of colleges of education and agricultural institutes should provide good internet connectivity, computer facilities, and alternative power supply in order to increase the awareness and utilization of SNTs among students.
Effect of Ecologic Fertilizers on Productivity and Yield Quality of Common and Spelt Wheat
During the period 2009–2015, in Joniškėlis Experimental Station of the Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, the effect of ecologic fertilizers Ekoplant, bio-activators Biokal 01 and Terra Sorb Foliar and their combinations on the formation of the productivity elements, grain yield and quality of winter wheat, spelt (Triticum spelta L.), and common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was analysed in ecological agro-system. The soil under FAO classification – Endocalcari-Endo-hypogleyic-Cambisol. In a clay loam soil, ecological fertilizer produced from sunflower hull ash and this fertilizer in combination with plant extracts and bio-humus exerted an influence on the grain yield of spelt and common wheat and their mixture (increased the grain yield by 10.0%, compared with the unfertilized crops). Spelt grain yield was by on average 16.9% lower than that of common wheat and by 11.7% lower than that of the mixture, but the role of spelt in organic production systems is important because with no mineral fertilization it produced grains with a higher (by 4%) gluten content and exhibited a greater ability to suppress weeds (by on average 61.9% lower weed weight) compared with the grain yield and weed suppressive ability of common wheat and mixture. Spelt cultivation in a mixture with common wheat significantly improved quality indicators of the mixture (its grain contained by 2.0% higher protein content and by 4.0% higher gluten content than common wheat grain), reduced disease incidence (by 2-8%), and weed infestation level (by 34-81%).
Biochemical and Antiviral Study of Peptides Isolated from Amaranthus hypochondriacus on Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus Replication
Agroindustrial plants such as cereals and pseudo cereals offer a substantial source of biomacromolecules, as they contain large amounts per tissue-gram of proteins, polysaccharides and lipids in comparison with other plants. In particular, Amaranthus hypochondriacus seeds have high levels of proteins in comparison with other cereal and pseudo cereal species, which makes the plant a good source of bioactive molecules such as peptides. Geminiviruses are one principal class of pathogens that causes important economic losses in crops, affecting directly the development and production of the plant. One such virus is the Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), which affects mainly Solanacea family plants such as tomato species. The symptoms of the disease are curling of leaves, chlorosis, dwarfing and floral abortion. The aim of this work was to get peptides derived from enzymatic hydrolysis of globulins and albumins from amaranth seeds with specific recognition of the replication origin in the TYLCV genome, and to test the antiviral activity on host plants with the idea to generate a direct control of this viral infection. Globulins and albumins from amaranth were extracted, the fraction was enzymatically digested with papain, and the aromatic peptides fraction was selected for further purification. Six peptides were tested against the replication origin (OR) using affinity assays, surface resonance plasmon and fluorescent titration, and two of these peptides showed high affinity values to the replication origin of the virus, dissociation constant values were calculated and showed specific interaction between the peptide Ampep1 and the OR. An in vitro replication test of the total TYLCV DNA was performed, in which the peptide AmPep1 was added in different concentrations to the system reaction, which resulted in a decrease of viral DNA synthesis when the peptide concentration increased. Also, we showed that the peptide can decrease the complementary DNA chain of the virus in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, confirming that the peptide binds to the OR and that its expected mechanism of action is to decrease the replication rate of the viral genome. In an infection assay, N. benthamiana plants were agroinfected with TYLCV-Israel and TYLCV-Guasave. After confirming systemic infection, the peptide was infiltrated in new infected leaves, and the plants treated with the peptide showed a decrease of virus symptoms and viral titer. In order to confirm the antiviral activity in a commercial crop, tomato plants were infected with TYLCV. After confirming systemic infection, plants were infiltrated with peptide solution as above, and the symptom development was monitored 21 days after treatment, showing that tomato plants treated with peptides had lower symptom rates and viral titer. The peptide was also tested against other begomovirus such as Pepper huasteco yellow vein virus (PHYVV-Guasave), showing a decrease of symptoms in N. benthamiana infected plants. The model of direct biochemical control of TYLCV infection shown in this work can be extrapolated to other begomovirus infections, and the methods reported here can be used for design of antiviral agrochemicals for other plant virus infections.
Nitrogen Uptake of Different Safflower (Carthamus Tinctorius L.) Genotypes at Different Growth Stages in Semi-Arid Conditions
Safflower has been grown for centuries for many purposes worldwide. Especially it is important for the orange-red dye from its petal and for its high-quality oil obtained from the seeds. The crop is high adaptable to areas with insufficient rainfall and poor soil conditions. The plant has a deep taproot that can draw moisture and plant nutrients from deep to the subsoil. The research was carried out to study the nitrogen (N) uptake of different safflower cultivars and lines at different stages of growth and different plant parts in the experimental field of Faculty of Agriculture, Eskişehir Osmangazi University under semi-arid conditions. Different safflower cultivars and lines of varied origins were used as the material. The cultivars and lines were planted in a Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. Two different growth stages (flowering and harvest) and three different plant parts (head, stem+leaf and seed) were determined. The nitrogen concentration of different plant parts was determined by the Kjeldahl method. Statistical analysis were performed by analysis of variance for each growth stage and plant parts taking a level of p < 0.05 and p < 0.01 as significant according to the LSD test. As a result, N concentration showed significant differences among different plant parts and different growth stages for different safflower genotypes of varied origins.
Sequence Analysis and Molecular Cloning of PROTEOLYSIS 6 in Tomato
The evolutionarily conserved N-end rule pathway marks proteins for degradation by the Ubiquitin Proteosome System (UPS) based on the nature of their N-terminal residue. Proteins with a destabilizing N-terminal residue undergo a series of condition-dependent N-terminal modifications, resulting in their ubiquitination and degradation. Intensive research has been carried out in Arabidopsis previously. The group VII Ethylene Response Factor (ERFs) transcription factors are the first N-end rule pathway substrates found in Arabidopsis and their role in regulating oxygen sensing. ERFs also function as central hubs for the perception of gaseous signals in plants and control different plant developmental including germination, stomatal aperture, hypocotyl elongation and stress responses. However, nothing is known about the role of this pathway during fruit development and ripening aspect. The plant model system Arabidopsis cannot represent fleshy fruit model system therefore tomato is the best model plant to study. PROTEOLYSIS6 (PRT6) is an E3 ubiquitin ligase of the N-end rule pathway. Two homologs of PRT6 sequences have been identified in tomato genome database using the PRT6 protein sequence from model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Homology search against Ensemble Plant database (tomato) showed Solyc09g010830.2 is the best hit with highest score of 1143, e-value of 0.0 and 61.3% identity compare to the second hit Solyc10g084760.1. Further homology search was done using NCBI Blast database to validate the data. The result showed best gene hit was XP_010325853.1 of uncharacterized protein LOC101255129 (Solanum lycopersicum) with highest score of 1601, e-value 0.0 and 48% identity. Both Solyc09g010830.2 and uncharacterized protein LOC101255129 were genes located at chromosome 9. Further validation was carried out using BLASTP program between these two sequences (Solyc09g010830.2 and uncharacterized protein LOC101255129) to investigate whether they were the same proteins represent PRT6 in tomato. Results showed that both proteins have 100 % identity, indicates that they were the same gene represents PRT6 in tomato. In addition, we used two different RNAi constructs that were driven under 35S and Polygalacturonase (PG) promoters to study the function of PRT6 during tomato developmental stages and ripening processes.
Effect of Grafting and Rain Shelter Technologies on Performance of Tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.)
Tomato is one of important vegetable crops; and it contributes a significant role in Indonesian economy. However, there are limiting factors in tomato production. On of factors is yield loss caused by diseases. During the rainy season, tomato is very vulnerable to various diseases. Major diseases include late blight (Phytophtora infestans), spotting bacteria (Xanthomonas sp.), fusarium and bacterial wilts. The potential yield loss caused by such diseases can reach 100%. Rain shelter and grafting technologies are expected to minimize yield loss caused by the diseases. This study aims to examine the effect of rain shelter and grafting technologies on performance of two commercial lines of tomato using field trials. The trials were conducted in both wet and dry season. Data were analysed using ANOVA and LSD at 5% significance level. The performance of tomato was measured using indicators of plant height, stem diameter, number of fruits, canopy, number of productive branches, and number of stem segments. The results show that plants under rain shelter were the best throughout stages in terms of plant height and canopy. Regardless lines of tomato, both grafted and non-grafted plants under rain shelter showed higher numbers of both branches and productive branches than that without rain shelter. Many productive branches were generated by grafted tomato during the last stage. Grafted tomato under rain shelter provided the highest production. Thus combination of grafting technology and rain shelter led to the highest crop performance.
Off-Body Sub-GHz Wireless Channel Characterization for Dairy Cows in Barns
The herd monitoring and managing - in particular the detection of ‘attention animals’ that require care, treatment or assistance is crucial for effective reproduction status, health, and overall well-being of dairy cows. In large sized farms, traditional methods based on direct observation or analysis of video recordings become labour-intensive and time-consuming. Thus, automatic monitoring systems using sensors have become increasingly important to continuously and accurately track the health status of dairy cows. Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) and internet-of-things (IoT) can be effectively used in health tracking of dairy cows to facilitate herd management and enhance the cow welfare. Since on-cow measuring devices are energy-constrained, a proper characterization of the off-body wireless channel between the on-cow sensor nodes and the back-end base station is required for a power-optimized deployment of these networks in barns. The aim of this study was to characterize the off-body wireless channel in indoor (barns) environment at 868 MHz using LoRa nodes. LoRa is an emerging wireless technology mainly targeted at WSNs and IoT networks. Both large scale fading (i.e., path loss) and temporal fading were investigated. The obtained path loss values as a function of the transmitter-receiver separation were well fitted by a lognormal path loss model. The path loss showed an additional increase of 4 dB when the wireless node was actually worn by the cow. The temporal fading due to movement of other cows was well described by Rician distributions with a K-factor of 8.5 dB. Based on this characterization, network planning and energy consumption optimization of the on-body wireless nodes could be performed, which enables the deployment of reliable dairy cow monitoring systems.
Assessment of Germination Loss Due to Dusky Cotton Bug (Oxycarenus laetus) in Relation to Cotton Boll Stage and Bug Intensity
Dusky cotton bug (Oxycarenus laetus) has attained the status of major insect pest of cotton. It is also known as seed bug due to its property of feeding on seeds. It causes floral abscission at flowering stage and reduction in seed germination. Present study was carried out to assess germination loss caused by dusky bug with respect to crop stage and insect intensity. Treatments consisted of three stages immature boll, mature boll and opened boll as well three levels of dusky bug i.e., 50 bugs per boll, 40 bugs per boll along with zero level kept as control. Results showed that the germination percentage was highest in control treatment where no insect was released followed by treatment where 40 insects released and minimum germination showed by treatment in which 50 insects were released. The germination percentage of seeds surpassed after control treatment in the treatment where dusky bugs exposure was given at boll opening stage than on mature boll stage. Minimum germination was observed in immature boll stage. Interaction between crop stages and dusky bug levels showed that germination percentage of seeds was maximum in control treatment then boll opening stage followed by mature boll stage. Minimum seed germination was recorded in dusky bug treatment at immature boll stage which was 34% where 50 insects were released. From the results it is clear that dusky bug should be managed properly at all reproductive stages but immature stage is most critical.
Study on Coaxial Focusing Nozzle with Function of Printing On-Demand Based on 3D Bioprinter
3D bio-printer is a rapidly developing technology that has made great innovations in tradition manufacture process during the last decade. Due to the different printing forming methods, various 3D bio-printers are divided into inkjet-based bio-printer, nozzle-based bio-printer and laser-based bio-printer, which has widespread application in basic research and pharmaceutics to clinics. However, the most important challenge is to produce the uniform droplets and realize the function of printing on-demand. In this paper, we discussed the current advancements in printing on-demand technology and designed a novel nozzle with the functions of printing on-demand and continuous extrusion. The nozzle control mechanism was detailed described in the process of droplet-generation and experiment analysis has been designed to verify the feasibility of nozzle control process. These experiment results showed that the coaxial focusing nozzle with self-filling function has great application prospect to generate viable end products for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
Role of Arbuscular Mycorrhiza in Heavy Metal Tolerance in Sweet Basil Plants
The effects of phosphorus amendments and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi Glomus intraradices on the sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), chemical composition and percent of volatile oil, and metal accumulation in plants and its availability in soil were investigated in field experiment at two seasons 2012 and 2013 under contaminated soil with Pb and Cu. The content of essential oil and shoot and root dry weights of sweet basil were increased by the application of mineral phosphorus as compared to control. Inoculation with AM fungi reduced the metal concentration in shoot, recording a lowest value of (33.24, 18.60 mg/kg) compared to the control (46.49, 23.46 mg/kg) for Pb and Cu, respectively. Availability of Pb and Cu in soil were decreased after cultivation in all treatments compared to control. However, metal root concentration increased with the inoculation, with highest values of (30.15, 39.25 mg/kg)compared to control (22.01, 33.57mg/kg) for Pb and Cu, respectively. The content of linalool and methyl chavicol in basil oil was significantly increased in all treatments compared to control. We can thus conclude that the AM-sweet basil symbiosis could be employed as an approach to bioremediate polluted soils and enhance the yield and maintain the quality of volatile oil of sweet basil plants.
Influence of Litter Materials on Organs' Relative Weights, Meat Quality, Breast and Footpad Dermatitis of Broiler Chickens under Hot Humid Climate
Wood shavings are the most common materials used as litter in commercial broiler production in many areas in Nigeria. A study was conducted to determine the effects of litter materials on organ weights, meat quality, footpad, and breast dermatitis of broiler chickens under hot humid climate. One hundred and eighty broiler chicks of marshal strains were randomly assigned to three treatments of wood shavings, maize cobs and chopped Panicum maximum as litter materials replicated four (4) times with 15 birds each in a completely randomized design. Data were collected on the relative body weights, meat quality, breast and foot pad dermatitis. The result showed that birds reared on chopped Panicum maximum had higher relative weight on the liver than those reared on wood shavings and maize cobs. Spleen and bursa of Fabricius were not significantly affected by litter materials. There was no significant effect of litter materials on meat quality. The relative weight of thigh of birds reared on chopped Panicum maximum, and Maize cobs were similar but higher than those reared on Wood shavings. Fresh breast weight of birds reared on wood shavings was higher than those reared on chopped Panicum maximum and maize cobs. It was concluded that chopped Panicum maximum could serve as a replacement for wood shavings as a litter material for broiler chickens.
Increase of Atmosphere CO2 Concentration and Its Effects on Culture/Weed Interaction
Climate change projections based on the emission of greenhouse effect gases suggest an increase in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, in up to 750 ppm. In this scenario, we have significant changes in plant development, and consequently, in agricultural systems. This study aims to evaluate the interaction between culture (Glycine max) and weed (Amaranthus viridis and Euphorbia heterophylla) in two conditions of CO2, 400 and 800 ppm. The results showed that the coexistence of culture with both weed species resulted in a mutual loss, with decrease in dry mass productivity of culture + weeds, in both conditions of CO2. However, when the culture is grown in association with E. heterophylla, total dry mass of culture + weed was smaller at 800 ppm. Soybean was more aggressive in comparison to the A. viridis in both the concentrations of CO2, but not in relation to the E. heterophylla.
Optimization of Stevia Concentration in Rasgulla (Sweet Syrup Cheese Ball) Based on Quality
Rasgulla (a sweet syrup cheese ball), a sweet, spongy dessert represents traditional sweet dish of an Indian subcontinent prepared by chhana. 100 g of Rasgulla contains 186 calories, and so it is a driving force behind obesity and diabetes. To reduce Rasgulla’s energy value sucrose mainly should be minimized, so instead of sucrose, stevia (zero calories natural sweetener) is used to prepare Rasgulla. In this study three samples were prepared with sucrose to stevia ratio taking 100:0 (as control sample), (i) 50:50 (T1); (ii) 25:75 (T2), and (iii) 0:100 (T3) from 4% fat milk. It was found that as the sucrose concentration decreases the percentage of fat increase in the Rasgulla slightly. Sample T2 showed < 0.1% (±0.06) sucrose content. But there was no significant difference on protein and ash content of the samples. Whitening index was highest (78.0 ± 0.13) for T2 and lowest (65.7 ± 0.21) for the control sample since less sucrose in syrup reduces the browning of the sample (T2). Energy value per 100 g was calculated to be 50, 72, 98, and 184 calories for T3, T2, T1 and control samples, respectively. According to optimization study, the preferred (high quality) order of samples was as follows: T1 > T1 > control > T3. Low sugar content Rasgulla with acceptable quality can be prepared with 25:75 ratio of sucrose to stevia.
Cryogenic Grinding of Mango (Mangifera indica L.) Peel and Its Effect on Chemical and Morphological Characteristics
The fruit and vegetable industries are responsible for producing huge amount of waste, which is a problem to environmental safety and should be utilized efficiently. Mango (Mangifera indica L.) is an important commercially grown fruit and referred as the “King of fruits”. In 2015, India was the largest producer (18.506 MT) of mangoes and out of which 9.16 % lost during post-harvest handling. The mango kernel and peel represent approximately 17-22% and 7-22% of the overall mass of fruit respectively and discarded as waste. Hence, an attempt has been made with three mango cultivars (Langra, Dashehari, Fazli) to investigate the effect of cryogenic grinding on various characteristics of mango peel powder (MPP). The cryogenic grinding is an emerging technology which is used for retention of beneficial volatile and bioactive components. The feed rate was highest for Langra followed by Chausa. The samples have 2-4% fat along with significant amount of protein (4-6%) and crude fiber (9-13%). Mango peel is also a good source of minerals such as calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. Interestingly, the significant amount of essential minerals like phosphorus and chlorine in all the varieties was found with the highest value in Langra (phosphorus 10.83% and chlorine 2.41%) which are not reported earlier. SEM analysis revealed the surface morphology and shape of the particles. Waste utilization is a promising measure from both an environmental and economic point of view. Chemical characterization of the samples indicated its potential to be used for the fortification of food products which in turn reduces hazards due to waste and improve functional quality of the foods.
Deciphering the Molecular Mechanism Governing the Spiking of Phalaenopsis by Transcriptomic Study
The precise control of blooming time is critical for orchid industry; it determines the commodity value on the retail market. Phalaenopsis (moth orchid) is the most productive genus of orchid worldwide. The process of dormant axillary buds growing out to protrude the subtending leaf is defined as spiking, which is induced by a cold treatment, but independent of photoperiod. Due to a higher temperature and humidity, it is suitable for year-round vegetative growth of Phalaenopsis in Taiwan. However, there is still climate risks occurred in winter, such as cold front. The low temperature in winter will disturb the programmed blooming schedule and cause the premature flower spiking, which will lose the commodity value. To overcome the disadvantage, heating greenhouse by fuel or electricity is required, which increases the cost of production. In addition to the environmental control, spiking inhibition by chemical or fertilization treatments has also been tried, but it does not work effectively. In order to find an alternative to inhibit the non-programmed spiking, we tried to decipher the molecular mechanism governing the spiking, and identify the key regulatory molecules by next-generation sequencing (NGS). Currently, 157,274 contigs have been assembled by Trinity program from 5 pooled axillary-bud NGS data; and 44,174 axillary-bud expressed genes have been annotated. With the de novo transcriptome, differential expressed genes between samples were revealed. From bioinformatics analysis, two interesting finding have been observed. First, it was found that the genes responsible for reducing ABA sensitivity, such as ninja family proteins and WRKY20 homologue, are upregulated by vernalizing cold treatment; but the genes required for auxin response, such as PEX5, MIZU-KUSSEI 1 and ARF18, are down-regulated. Concurrently, it is predictable that ABA and auxin response would be attenuated in vernalizing axillary buds. Because dormancy of axillary buds might be synergistically controlled by ABA and auxin signaling, it is important to check if these hormone signaling-mediating genes are really correlated with the break of dormancy in axillary buds (spiking induction). Second, a pair of histone methylation / demethylation genes, naming SUVR2 and JMJD5, was conversely down- or up- regulated upon temperature treatments, implying a possible role in flowering initiation. Especially, it has been shown that JMJD5 can interact with a Myb transcriptional factor, EFM, to control the expression of flowering-related genes, FLC and FT in Arabidopsis. Whether they contribute to the spiking of Phalaenopsis is under investigation. A series of validation of gene expression patterns by quantitative real-time PCR, of functionality by VIGS technique and of protein interactions by yeast-two-hybrid (Y2H) were conducted. Accumulated data showed that VIGS silencing of different JMJD5 isoforms can obviously promote or delay the spiking process, indicating an important role of JMJD5 in the spiking control. Further Y2H analyses implied that SUVR2 and JMJD5 may interact physically to mediate the spiking process, through interacting with the EFM transcription factor. These studies will help us decipher the molecular mechanism governing the spiking and design an effective method to control flower spiking by activating spiking-inhibitory genes or silencing spiking-promoting genes in the future.
Effect of Irrigation Regime and Plant Density on Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) Yield in a Semi-Arid Environment
A field experiment was conducted for two consecutive winter seasons at the Demonstration Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Khartoum, Sudan, to study effects of different levels of irrigation regime and plant density on yield of introduced small seeded (desi type) chickpea cultivar (ILC 482). The experiment was laid out in a 3X3 factorial split-plot design with 4 replications. The treatments consisted of three irrigation regimes (designated as follows: I1 = optimum irrigation, I2 = moderate stress and I3 = severe stress; this corresponded with irrigation after drainage of 50%, 75% and 100% of available water based on 70%, 60% and 50% of field capacity, respectively) assigned as main plots and three plant densities (D₁=20, D₂= 40 and D₃= 60 plants/m²) assigned as subplots. The results indicated that the yield components (number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, 100 seed weight), seed yield per plant, harvest index and yield per unit area of chickpea were significantly (p < 0.05) affected by irrigation regime. Decreasing irrigation regime significantly (p < 0.05) decreased all measured parameters. Alternatively, increasing plant density significantly (p < 0.05) decreased the number of pods and seed yield per plant and increased seed yield per unit area. While number of seeds per pod and harvest index were not significantly (p > 0.05) affected by plant density. Interaction between irrigation regime and plant density was also significantly (p < 0.05) affected all measured parameters of yield, except for harvest index. It could be concluded that the best irrigation regime was full irrigation (after drainage of 50% available water at 70% field capacity) and the optimal plant density was 20 plants/m² under conditions of semi-arid regions.
The Use of Microalgae Cultivation for Improving the Effluent Behavior of Anaerobic Digestion of Food Wastes at Psychrophilic Range
Anaerobic digestion (AD) plants of food waste (FW) produced by agro-industry, have been widely developed from last decade to nowadays, because of the advantages over aerobic active sludge systems. Despite several bioreactor configurations and operation modes have been successfully improved and implemented at industrial scale in a wide range of applications, effluent behavior, after AD, does not commonly meet requirements for direct disposal into the environment without further treatments. In addition, literature has rarely shown AD of food waste at psychrophilic range. This temperature range may be of interest for making AD plant operation easier and increasing the stability of digestion. In spite of literature shows several methods for post-treatment, such as the use of microalgae, these have not been cultivated on effluents from AD at psychrophilic range. Hence, with the aim of showing the potential use of AD of FW at the psychrophilic range (25ºC) and the viability of microalgae post-treatment, single batch reactors have been used for methane potential tests at laboratory scale. Afterwards, digestates, derived from this AD of FW sludge, were diluted with fresh water at different ratios (1:0, 1:1; 1:4) and used as culture media for photoautotrophic microalgae. Several parameters, such as pH, biogas production, and chemical oxygen demand, were measured periodically over several months. Results show that methane potential is 150 ml g-1 per volatile solid with up to 57.7 % of methane content. Moreover, microalgae has been successfully cultivated on all tested effluents and in case of 1:1 and 1:4 rates, the resulting effluents meet the quality levels required for irrigation water.
Enhancing Postharvest Quality and Shelf-Life of Leaf Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) by Altering Growing Conditions
Leaf lettuce is one of the most important leafy vegetables that is used as raw for salad and part of everyday dishes in many parts of the world including Asian countries. Since it is used as fresh, its quality maintenance is crucial which depends on several pre- and postharvest factors. In order to investigate the effects of pre-fix factors on the postharvest quality, the interaction of pre-fix factors such as growing conditions and fixed factor like cultivars were evaluated. Four Korean leaf lettuce cultivars ‘Cheongchima’, ‘Cheongchuckmyeon’, ‘Geockchima’ and ‘Geockchuckmyeon’ were grown under natural condition (as control) and altered growing condition (green house) with excess soil water and 50% shading to monitor their postharvest qualities. Several growth parameters like plant height, number of leaves, leaf thickness, fresh biomass yield as well as postharvest qualities like fresh weight loss, respiration rate, changes in color and shelf-life were measured in lettuce during storage up to 36 days at 5°C. Plant height and the number of leaves were affected by both pre-fix growing conditions as well as the cultivars. However, fresh biomass yield was affected by only growing condition, whereas leaf thickness was affected by cultivars. Additionally, the degrees of fresh weight loss and respiration rate of leaf lettuce at postharvest stages were influenced by pre-fix growing conditions and cultivars. However, changes in color of leaves during storage were less remarkable in samples harvested from of ‘Cheongchima’ and ‘Cheongchuckmyeon’ cultivars grown in excess watering with 50% shade than that grown in control condition. Consequently, these two cultivars also showed longer shelf-life when they were grown in excess watering with 50% shade than other cultivars or samples were grown in control condition. Based on the measured parameters, it can be concluded that postharvest quality of leaf lettuce might be accelerated by growing lettuce under excess soil water with 50% shading.
Differential Proteomic Profile and Terpenoid Production in Somatic Embryos of Jatropha Curcas
Somatic embryos reproduce original seed characteristics and could be implemented in biotechnological studies. Jatropha curcas L. is an important plant for biodiesel production, but also is used in traditional medicine. Seeds from J. curcas are toxic because contain diterpenoids called phorbol esters, but in Mexico exist a non-toxic variety. Therefore, somatic embryos suspension cultures from non-toxic J. curcas variety were induced. In order to investigate the characteristics of somatic embryos, a differential proteomic analysis was made between pre-globular and globular stages by 2-D gel electrophoresis. 108 spots were differentially expressed (p< 0.02), and 20 spots from globular somatic embryos were sequenced by MALDI-TOF-TOF mass spectrometry. A comparative analysis of terpenoids production between the two stages was made by RP-18 TLC plates. The sequenced proteins were related to energy production (68%), protein destination and storage (9%), secondary metabolism (9%), signal transduction (5%), cell structure (5%) and aminoacid metabolism (4%). Regarding terpenoid production, in pre-globular and globular somatic embryos were identified sterols and triterpenes of pharmacological interest (alpha-amyrin and betulinic acid) but also it was found compounds that were unique to each stage. The results of this work are the basis to characterize at different levels the J. curcas somatic embryos so that this system can be used efficiently in biotechnological processes.
Characterization of a Broad Range Antimicrobial Substance from Pseudozyma aphidis
Natural product-based pesticides may serve as an alternative to the traditional synthetic pesticides, which have a potentially damaging effect, both to human health and for the environment. Along with plants, microorganisms are a prospective source of such biological pesticides. A unique and active strain of P. aphidis (designated isolate L12, Israel 2004), an epiphytic and non-pathogenic basidiomycete yeast, was isolated in our lab from strawberry leaves. P. aphidis L12 secretions were found to inhibit broad range of plant pathogens. This work demonstrates that metabolites isolated from the biocontrol agent P. aphidis (isolate L12) can inhibit varied fungal and bacterial phytopathogens. Biologically active metabolites were extracted from P. aphidis biomass, using the organic solvent ethyl acetate. The antimicrobial activity of the extract was demonstrated, both in vitro and in planta. Using disk diffusion assays, the following inhibition zones were obtained: 43cm² for Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, 28.5cm² for Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria, 59cm² for Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, 34cm² for Erwinia amylovora and 34cm² for Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Additionally, strong inhibitory activity of the extract against fungi mycelial growth was established, with IC₅₀ values of 606µg ml⁻¹ for Botrytis cinerea, 221µg ml⁻¹ for Pythium spp., 519µg ml⁻¹ for Rhizoctonia solani, 455µg ml⁻¹ for Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, 2270µg ml⁻¹ for Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, and 2038µg ml⁻¹ for Alternaria alternata. The results of the in planta experiments demonstrated a dose-dependent reduction in disease infection. Significant inhibition of B. cinerea lesions on tomato plants was obtained when a spore suspension of this pathogen was treated with extract concentrations higher than 4.2mg ml⁻¹. Concentration of 7mg ml⁻¹ caused a reduction of over 95% in the lesion size of B. cinerea on tomato plants. The strong antimicrobial activity demonstrated both in vitro and in planta against varied phytopathogens, may indicate that the extracted antimicrobial metabolites have potential to serve as natural pesticides in the field.