Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 23

Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering

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  • 23
    The Impact of Germination and In Vitro Digestion on the Formation of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitory Peptides from Lentil Proteins Compared to Whey Proteins
    Biologically active peptides are of particular interest in food science and human nutrition because they have been shown to play several physiological roles. In vitro gastrointestinal digestion of lentil and whey proteins in this study produced high angiotensin-I converting enzyme inhibitory activity with 75.5±1.9 and 91.4±2.3% inhibition, respectively. High ACE inhibitory activity was observed in lentil after 5 days of germination (84.3±1.2%). Fractionation by reverse phase chromatography gave inhibitory activities as high as 86.3±2.0 for lentil, 94.8±1.8% for whey and 93.7±1.7% at 5th day of germination. Further purification by HPLC resulted in several inhibitory peptides with IC50 values ranging from 0.064 to 0.164 mg/ml. These results demonstrate that lentil proteins are a good source of peptides with ACE inhibitory activity that can be released by germination or gastrointestinal digestion. Despite the lower bioactivity in comparison with whey proteins, incorporation of lentil proteins in functional food formulations and natural drugs look promising.
    Genetic Variation of Durum Wheat Landraces and Cultivars Using Morphological and Protein Markers
    Knowledge of patterns of genetic diversity enhances the efficiency of germplasm conservation and improvement. In this study 96 Iranian landraces of Triticum turgidum originating from different geographical areas of Iran, along with 18 durum cultivars from ten countries were evaluated for variation in morphological and high molecular weight glutenin subunit (HMW-GS) composition. The first two principal components clearly separated the Iranian landraces from cultivars. Three alleles were present at the Glu-A1 locus and 11 alleles at Glu-B1. In both cultivars and landraces of durum wheat, the null allele (Glu-A1c) was observed more frequently than the Glu-A1a and Glu-A1b alleles. Two alleles, namely Glu-B1a (subunit 7) and Glu-B1e (subunit 20) represented the more frequent alleles at Glu-B1 locus. The results showed that the evaluated Iranian landraces formed an interesting source of favourable glutenin subunits that might be very desirable in breeding activities for improving pasta-making quality.
    Effects of Skim Milk Powder Supplementation to Soy Yogurts on Biotransformation of Isoflavone Glycosides to Biologically Active Forms during Storage
    Three batches of yogurts were made with soy protein isolate (SPI) supplemented with 2% (S2), 4% (S4) or 6% (S6) of skim milk powder (SMP). The fourth batch (control; S0) was prepared from SPI without SMP supplementation. Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus ATCC 11842 (Lb 11842) and Streptococcus thermophilus ST 1342 (ST 1342) were used as the starter culture. Biotransformation of the inactive forms, isoflavone glycosides (IG) to biologically active forms, isoflavone aglycones (IA), was determined during 28 d storage. The viability of both microorganisms was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in S2, S4, and S6 than that in S0. The ratio of lactic acid/acetic acid in S0 was in the range of 15.53 – 22.31 compared to 7.24 – 12.81 in S2, S4 and S6. The biotransformation of IG to IA in S2, S4 and S6 was also enhanced by 9.9 -13.3% compared to S0.
    Bioethanol Production from Enzymatically Saccharified Sunflower Stalks Using Steam Explosion as Pretreatment
    Sunflower stalks were analysed for chemical compositions: pentosan 15.84%, holocellulose 70.69%, alphacellulose 45.74%, glucose 27.10% and xylose 7.69% based on dry weight of 100-g raw material. The most optimum condition for steam explosion pretreatment was as follows. Sunflower stalks were cut into small pieces and soaked in 0.02 M H2SO4 for overnight. After that, they were steam exploded at 207 C and 21 kg/cm2 for 3 minutes to fractionate cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. The resulting hydrolysate, containing hemicellulose, and cellulose pulp contained xylose sugar at 2.53% and 7.00%, respectively.The pulp was further subjected to enzymatic saccharification at 50 C, pH 4.8 citrate buffer) with pulp/buffer 6% (w/w)and Celluclast 1.5L/pulp 2.67% (w/w) to obtain single glucose with maximum yield 11.97%. After fixed-bed fermentation under optimum condition using conventional yeast mixtures to produce bioethanol, it indicated maximum ethanol yield of 0.028 g/100 g sunflower stalk.
    Effects of Discharge Fan on the Drying Efficiency in Flat-bed type Dryer
    The study of interaction among the grain, moisture, and the surrounding space (air) is key to understanding the graindrying process. In Iran, rice (mostly Indica type) is dried by flat bed type dryer until the final MC reaches to 6 to 8%. The experiments were conducted to examine the effect of application of discharge fan with different heights of paddy on the drying efficiency. Experiments were designed based on two different configurations of the drying methods; with and without discharge fan with three different heights of paddy including; 5, 10, and 15 cm. The humid heated air will be going out immediately by the suction of discharge fan. The drying time is established upon the average final MC to achieve about 8%. To save energy and reduce the drying time, the distribution of temperature between layers should be fast and uniform with minimum difference; otherwise the difference of MC gradient between layers will be high and will induce grain breakage. The difference of final MC between layers in the two methods was 48-73%. The steady state of temperature between the two methods has saved time in the range of 10-20%, and the efficiency of temperature distribution increased 17-26% by the use of discharge fan.
    Effects of Some Natural Antioxidants Mixtures on Margarine Stability
    Application of synthetic antioxidants such as tertbutylhydroquinon (TBHQ), in spite of their efficiency, is questioned because of their possible carcinogenic effect. The purpose of this study was application of mixtures of natural antioxidants that provide the best oxidative stability for margarine. Antioxidant treatments included 10 various mixtures (F1- F10) containing 100-500ppm tocopherol mixture (Toc), 100-200ppm ascorbyl palmitate (AP), 100- 200ppm rosemary extract (Ros) and 1000ppm lecithin(Lec) along with a control or F0 (with no antioxidant) and F11 with 120ppm TBHQ. The effect of antioxidant mixtures on the stability of margarine samples during oven test (60°C), rancimat test at 110°C and storage at 4°C was evaluated. Final ranking of natural antioxidant mixtures was as follows: F2,F10>F5,F9>F8>F1,F3,F4>F6, F7. Considering the results of this research and ranking criteria, F2(200ppmAp + 200ppmRos) and F10(200ppmRos + 200ppmToc +1000ppmLec) were recommended as substitutes for TBHQ to maintain the quality and increase the shelf-life of margarine.
    Disinfestation of Wheat Using Liquid Nitrogen Aeration
    A study was undertaken to investigate the effect of liquid nitrogen aeration on mortalities of adult Cryptolestes furrugineus, rusty grain beetles, in a prototype cardboard grain bin equipped with an aeration system. The grain bin was filled with Hard Red Spring wheat and liquid nitrogen was introduced from the bottom of the bin. The survival of both cold acclimated and unacclimated C. furrugineus was tested. The study reveals that cold acclimated insects had higher survival than unacclimated insects under similar cooling conditions. In most cases, mortalities of as high as 100% were achieved at the bottom 100 cm of the grain bin for unacclimated insects for most of the trials. Insect survival increased as the distance from the bottom of the grain bin increased. There was no adverse effect of liquid nitrogen aeration on wheat germination.
    Cold Hardiness in Near Isogenic Lines of Bread Wheat (Triticum Aestivum L. em. Thell.)
    Low temperature (LT) is one of the most abiotic stresses causing loss of yield in wheat (T. aestivum). Four major genes in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) with the dominant alleles designated Vrn–A1,Vrn–B1,Vrn–D1 and Vrn4, are known to have large effects on the vernalization response, but the effects on cold hardiness are ambiguous. Poor cold tolerance has restricted winter wheat production in regions of high winter stress [9]. It was known that nearly all wheat chromosomes [5] or at least 10 chromosomes of 21 chromosome pairs are important in winter hardiness [15]. The objective of present study was to clarify the role of each chromosome in cold tolerance. With this purpose we used 20 isogenic lines of wheat. In each one of these isogenic lines only a chromosome from ‘Bezostaya’ variety (a winter habit cultivar) was substituted to ‘Capple desprez’ variety. The plant materials were planted in controlled conditions with 20º C and 16 h day length in moderately cold areas of Iran at Karaj Agricultural Research Station in 2006-07 and the acclimation period was completed for about 4 weeks in a cold room with 4º C. The cold hardiness of these isogenic lines was measured by LT50 (the temperature in which 50% of the plants are killed by freezing stress).The experimental design was completely randomized block design (RCBD)with three replicates. The results showed that chromosome 5A had a major effect on freezing tolerance, and then chromosomes 1A and 4A had less effect on this trait. Further studies are essential to understanding the importance of each chromosome in controlling cold hardiness in wheat.
    Study on the Effect of Sulphur, Glucose, Nitrogen and Plant Residues on the Immobilization of Sulphate-S in Soil

    In order to evaluate the relationship between the sulphur (S), glucose (G), nitrogen (N) and plant residues (st), sulphur immobilization and microbial transformation were monitored in five soil samples from 0-30 cm of Bastam farmers fields of Shahrood area following 11 treatments with different levels of Sulphur (S), glucose (G), N and plant residues (wheat straw) in a randomized block design with three replications and incubated over 20, 45 and 60 days, the immobilization of SO4 -2-S presented as a percentage of that added, was inversely related to its addition rate. Additions of glucose and plant residues increased with the C-to-S ratio of the added amendments, irrespective of their origins (glucose and plant residues). In the presence of C sources (glucose or plant residues). N significantly increased the immobilization of SO4 -2-S, whilst the effect of N was insignificant in the absence of a C amendment. In first few days the amounts of added SO4 -2-S immobilized were linearly correlated with the amounts of added S recovered in the soil microbial biomass. With further incubation the proportions of immobilized SO4 -2-S remaining as biomass-S decreased. Decrease in biomass-S was thought to be due to the conversion of biomass-S into soil organic-S. Glucose addition increased the immobilization (microbial utilization and incorporation into the soil organic matter) of native soil SO4 -2-S. However, N addition enhance the mineralization of soil organic-S, increasing the concentration of SO4 - 2-S in soil.

    Efficiency of Floristic and Molecular Markers to Determine Diversity in Iranian Populations of T. boeoticum
    In order to study floristic and molecular classification of common wild wheat (Triticum boeoticum Boiss.), an analysis was conducted on populations of the Triticum boeoticum collected from different regions of Iran. Considering all floristic compositions of habitats, six floristic groups (syntaxa) within the populations were identified. A high level of variation of T. boeoticum also detected using SSR markers. Our results showed that molecular method confirmed the grouping of floristic method. In other word, the results from our study indicate that floristic classification are still useful, efficient, and economic tools for characterizing the amount and distribution of genetic variation in natural populations of T. boeoticum. Nevertheless, molecular markers appear as useful and complementary techniques for identification and for evaluation of genetic diversity in studied populations.
    Wheat Yield Prediction through Agro Meteorological Indices for Ardebil District

    Wheat prediction was carried out using different meteorological variables together with agro meteorological indices in Ardebil district for the years 2004-2005 & 2005–2006. On the basis of correlation coefficients, standard error of estimate as well as relative deviation of predicted yield from actual yield using different statistical models, the best subset of agro meteorological indices were selected including daily minimum temperature (Tmin), accumulated difference of maximum & minimum temperatures (TD), growing degree days (GDD), accumulated water vapor pressure deficit (VPD), sunshine hours (SH) & potential evapotranspiration (PET). Yield prediction was done two months in advance before harvesting time which was coincide with commencement of reproductive stage of wheat (5th of June). It revealed that in the final statistical models, 83% of wheat yield variability was accounted for variation in above agro meteorological indices.

    Economic effects and Energy Use Efficiency of Incorporating Alfalfa and Fertilizer into Grass- Based Pasture Systems
    A ten-year grazing study was conducted at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Brandon Research Centre in Manitoba to study the effect of alfalfa inclusion and fertilizer (N, P, K, and S) addition on economics and efficiency of non-renewable energy use in meadow brome grass-based pasture systems for beef production. Fertilizing grass-only or alfalfa-grass pastures to full soil test recommendations improved pasture productivity, but did not improve profitability compared to unfertilized pastures. Fertilizing grass-only pastures resulted in the highest net loss of any pasture management strategy in this study. Adding alfalfa at the time of seeding, with no added fertilizer, was economically the best pasture improvement strategy in this study. Because of moisture limitations, adding commercial fertilizer to full soil test recommendations is probably not economically justifiable in most years, especially with the rising cost of fertilizer. Improving grass-only pastures by adding fertilizer and/or alfalfa required additional non-renewable energy inputs; however, the additional energy required for unfertilized alfalfa-grass pastures was minimal compared to the fertilized pastures. Of the four pasture management strategies, adding alfalfa to grass pastures without adding fertilizer had the highest efficiency of energy use. Based on energy use and economic performance, the unfertilized alfalfa-grass pasture was the most efficient and sustainable pasture system.
    Adhesion Properties of Bifidobacterium Pseudocatenulatum G4 and Bifidobacterium Longum BB536 on HT-29 Human Epithelium Cell Line at Different Times and pH
    Adhesion to the human intestinal cell is considered as one of the main selection criteria of lactic acid bacteria for probiotic use. The adhesion ability of two Bifidobacteriums strains Bifidobacterium longum BB536 and Bifidobacterium psudocatenulatum G4 was done using HT-29 human epithelium cell line as in vitro study. Four different level of pH were used 5.6, 5.7, 6.6, and 6.8 with four different times 15, 30, 60, and 120 min. Adhesion was quantified by counting the adhering bacteria after Gram staining. The adhesion of B. longum BB536 was higher than B. psudocatenulatum G4. Both species showed significant different in the adhesion properties at the factors tested. The highest adhesion for both Bifidobacterium was observed at 120 min and the low adhesion was in 15 min. The findings of this study will contribute to the introduction of new effective probiotic strain for future utilization.
    Evaluating the Response of Rainfed-Chickpea to Population Density in Iran, Using Simulation
    The response of growth and yield of rainfed-chickpea to population density should be evaluated based on long-term experiments to include the climate variability. This is achievable just by simulation. In this simulation study, this evaluation was done by running the CYRUS model for long-term daily weather data of five locations in Iran. The tested population densities were 7 to 59 (with interval of 2) stands per square meter. Various functions, including quadratic, segmented, beta, broken linear, and dent-like functions, were tested. Considering root mean square of deviations and linear regression statistics [intercept (a), slope (b), and correlation coefficient (r)] for predicted versus observed variables, the quadratic and broken linear functions appeared to be appropriate for describing the changes in biomass and grain yield, and in harvest index, respectively. Results indicated that in all locations, grain yield tends to show increasing trend with crowding the population, but subsequently decreases. This was also true for biomass in five locations. The harvest index appeared to have plateau state across low population densities, but decreasing trend with more increasing density. The turning point (optimum population density) for grain yield was 30.68 stands per square meter in Isfahan, 30.54 in Shiraz, 31.47 in Kermanshah, 34.85 in Tabriz, and 32.00 in Mashhad. The optimum population density for biomass ranged from 24.6 (in Tabriz) to 35.3 stands per square meter (Mashhad). For harvest index it varied between 35.87 and 40.12 stands per square meter.
    Optimization of Some Process Parameters to Produce Raisin Concentrate in Khorasan Region of Iran
    Raisin Concentrate (RC) are the most important products obtained in the raisin processing industries. These RC products are now used to make the syrups, drinks and confectionery productions and introduced as natural substitute for sugar in food applications. Iran is a one of the biggest raisin exporter in the world but unfortunately despite a good raw material, no serious effort to extract the RC has been taken in Iran. Therefore, in this paper, we determined and analyzed affected parameters on extracting RC process and then optimizing these parameters for design the extracting RC process in two types of raisin (round and long) produced in Khorasan region. Two levels of solvent (1:1 and 2:1), three levels of extraction temperature (60°C, 70°C and 80°C), and three levels of concentration temperature (50°C, 60°C and 70°C) were the treatments. Finally physicochemical characteristics of the obtained concentrate such as color, viscosity, percentage of reduction sugar, acidity and the microbial tests (mould and yeast) were counted. The analysis was performed on the basis of factorial in the form of completely randomized design (CRD) and Duncan's multiple range test (DMRT) was used for the comparison of the means. Statistical analysis of results showed that optimal conditions for production of concentrate is round raisins when the solvent ratio was 2:1 with extraction temperature of 60°C and then concentration temperature of 50°C. Round raisin is cheaper than the long one, and it is more economical to concentrate production. Furthermore, round raisin has more aromas and the less color degree with increasing the temperature of concentration and extraction. Finally, according to mentioned factors the concentrate of round raisin is recommended.
    Some Biological and Molecular Characterization of Bean Common Mosaic Necrosis Virus Isolated from Soybean in Tehran Province, Iran
    Bean common mosaic necrosis virus (BCMNV) is a potyvirus with a worldwide distribution. This virus causes serious economic losses in Iran in many leguminoses. During 20008, samples were collected from soybeans fields in Tehran Province. Four isolates (S1, S2 and S3) were inoculated on 15 species of Cucurbitaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Solanacae and Leguminosae. Chenopodium quinoa and C. amaranticolor. Did not developed any symptoms.all isolates caused mosaic symptoms on Phaseolus vulgaris cv. Red Kidney and P. vulgaris cv. Bountiful. The molecular weights of coat protein using SDS-PAGE and western blotting were estimated at 33 kDa. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed using one primer pairs designed by L. XU et al. An approximately 920 bp fragment was amplified with a specific primer.
    A Model Predicting the Microbiological Qualityof Aquacultured Sea Bream (Sparus aurata) According to Physicochemical Data: An Application in Western Greece Fish Aquaculture

    Monitoring of microbial flora in aquacultured sea bream, in relation to the physicochemical parameters of the rearing seawater, ended to a model describing the influence of the last to the quality of the fisheries. Fishes were sampled during eight months from four aqua farms in Western Greece and analyzed for psychrotrophic, H2S producing bacteria, Salmonella sp., heterotrophic plate count (PCA), with simultaneous physical evaluation. Temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, TDS, salinity, NO3 - and NH4 + ions were recorded. Temperature, dissolved oxygen and conductivity were correlated, respectively, to PCA, Pseudomonas sp. and Shewanella sp. counts. These parameters were the inputs of the model, which was driving, as outputs, to the prediction of PCA, Vibrio sp., Pseudomonas sp. and Shewanella sp. counts, and fish microbiological quality. The present study provides, for the first time, a ready-to-use predictive model of fisheries hygiene, leading to an effective management system for the optimization of aquaculture fisheries quality.

    Molecular Characterization of Free Radicals Decomposing Genes on Plant Developmental Stages
    Biochemical and molecular analysis of some antioxidant enzyme genes revealed different level of gene expression on oilseed (Brassica napus). For molecular and biochemical analysis, leaf tissues were harvested from plants at eight different developmental stages, from young to senescence. The levels of total protein and chlorophyll were increased during maturity stages of plant, while these were decreased during the last stages of plant growth. Structural analysis (nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence, and phylogenic tree) of a complementary DNA revealed a high level of similarity for a family of Catalase genes. The expression of the gene encoded by different Catalase isoforms was assessed during different plant growth phase. No significant difference between samples was observed, when Catalase activity was statistically analyzed at different developmental stages. EST analysis exhibited different transcripts levels for a number of other relevant antioxidant genes (different isoforms of SOD and glutathione). The high level of transcription of these genes at senescence stages was indicated that these genes are senescenceinduced genes.
    Estimation of Critical Period for Weed Control in Corn in Iran

    The critical period for weed control (CPWC) is the period in the crop growth cycle during which weeds must be controlled to prevent unacceptable yield losses. Field studies were conducted in 2005 and 2006 in the University of Birjand at the south east of Iran to determine CPWC of corn using a randomized complete block design with 14 treatments and four replications. The treatments consisted of two different periods of weed interference, a critical weed-free period and a critical time of weed removal, were imposed at V3, V6, V9, V12, V15, and R1 (based on phonological stages of corn development) with a weedy check and a weed-free check. The CPWC was determined with the use of 2.5, 5, 10, 15 and 20% acceptable yield loss levels by non-linear Regression method and fitting Logistic and Gompertz nonlinear equations to relative yield data. The CPWC of corn was from 5- to 15-leaf stage (19-55 DAE) to prevent yield losses of 5%. This period to prevent yield losses of 2.5, 10 and 20% was 4- to 17-leaf stage (14-59 DAE), 6- to 12-leaf stage (25-47 DAE) and 8- to 9-leaf stage (31-36 DAE) respectively. The height and leaf area index of corn were significantly decreased by weed competition in both weed free and weed infested treatments (P<0.01). Results also showed that there was a significant positive correlation between yield and LAI of corn at silk stage when competing with weeds (r= 0.97).

    Effect of Phosphate Solubilization Microorganisms (PSM) and Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) on Yield and Yield Components of Corn (Zea mays L.)
    In order to study the effect of phosphate solubilization microorganisms (PSM) and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) on yield and yield components of corn Zea mays (L. cv. SC604) an experiment was conducted at research farm of Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Iran during 2007. Experiment laid out as split plot based on randomized complete block design with three replications. Three levels of manures (consisted of 20 Mg.ha-1 farmyard manure, 15 Mg.ha-1 green manure and check or without any manures) as main plots and eight levels of biofertilizers (consisted of 1-NPK or conventional fertilizer application; 2-NPK+PSM+PGPR; 3 NP50%K+PSM+PGPR; 4- N50%PK+PSM +PGPR; 5-N50%P50%K+PSM+ PGPR; 6-PK+PGPR; 7- NK+PSM and 8-PSM+PGPR) as sub plots were treatments. Results showed that farmyard manure application increased row number, ear weight, grain number per ear, grain yield, biological yield and harvest index compared to check. Furthermore, using of PSM and PGPR in addition to conventional fertilizer applications (NPK) could improve ear weight, row number and grain number per row and ultimately increased grain yield in green manure and check plots. According to results in all fertilizer treatments application of PSM and PGPR together could reduce P application by 50% without any significant reduction of grain yield. However, this treatment could not compensate 50% reduction of N application.
    Effect of Azespirilium Bacteria in Reducing Nitrogen Fertilizers (Urea) and the Interaction of it with Stereptomyces Sp due the Biological Control on the Wheat (Triticum Asstivum) Sustinibelation Culture

    An experiment was conducted in October 2008 due the ability replacement plant associate biofertilizers by chemical fertilizers and the qualifying rate of chemical N fertilizers at the moment of using this biofertilizers and the interaction of this biofertilizer on each other. This field experiment has been done in Persepolis (Throne of Jamshid) and arrange by using factorial with the basis of randomized complete block design, in three replication Azespirilium SP bacteria has been admixed with consistence 108 cfu/g and inoculated with seeds of wheat, The streptomyces SP has been used in amount of 550 gr/ha and concatenated on clay and for the qualifying range of chemical fertilizer 4 level of N chemical fertilizer from the source of urea (N0=0, N1=60, N2=120, N3=180) has been used in this experiment. The results indicated there were Significant differences between levels of Nitrogen fertilizer in the entire characteristic which has been measured in this experiment. The admixed Azespirilium SP showed significant differences between their levels in the characteristics such as No. of fertile ear, No. of grain per ear, grain yield, grain protein percentage, leaf area index and the agronomic fertilizer use efficiency. Due the interaction streptomyses with Azespirilium SP bacteria this actinomycet didn-t show any statistically significant differences between it levels.

    Blood Lymphocyte and Neutrophil Response of Cultured Rainbow Trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Administered Varying Dosages of an Oral Immunomodulator – ‘Fin-Immune™’

    In a 10-week (May – August, 2008) Phase I trial, 840, 1+ rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, received a commercial oral immunomodulator, Fin Immune™, at four different dosages (0, 10, 20 and 30 mg g-1) to evaluate immune response and growth. The overall objective of was to determine an optimal dosage of this product for rainbow trout that provides enhanced immunity with maximal growth and health. Biweekly blood samples were taken from 10 randomly selected fish in each tank (30 samples per treatment) to evaluate the duration of enhanced immunity conferred by Fin-Immune™. The immunological assessment included serum white blood cell (lymphocyte, neutrophil) densities and blood hematocrit (packed cell volume %). Of these three variables, only lymphocyte density increased significantly among trout fed Fin- Immune™ at 20 and 30 mg g-1 which peaked at week 6. At week 7, all trout were switched to regular feed (lacking Fin-Immune™) and by week 10, lymphocyte levels decreased among all levels but were still greater than at week 0. There was growth impairment at the highest dose of Fin-Immune™ tested (30 mg g-1) which can be associated with a physiological compensatory mechanism due to a dose-specific threshold level. Thus, our main objective of this Phase I study was achieved, the 20 mg g-1 dose of Fin-Immune™ should be the most efficacious (of those we tested) to use for a Phase II disease challenge trial.

    The Effect of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) on Germination, Seedling Growth and Yield of Maize
    The effect of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) on seed germination, seedling growth and yield of field grown maize were evaluated in three experiments. In these experiments six bacterial strains include P.putida strain R-168, P.fluorescens strain R-93, P.fluorescens DSM 50090, P.putida DSM291, A.lipoferum DSM 1691, A.brasilense DSM 1690 were used. Results of first study showed seed Inoculation significantly enhanced seed germination and seedling vigour of maize. In second experiment, leaf and shoot dry weight and also leaf surface area significantly were increased by bacterial inoculation in both sterile and non-sterile soil. The results showed that inoculation with bacterial treatments had a more stimulating effect on growth and development of plants in nonsterile than sterile soil. In the third experiment, Inoculation of maize seeds with all bacterial strains significantly increased plant height, 100 seed weight, number of seed per ear and leaf area .The results also showed significant increase in ear and shoot dry weight of maize.