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 Synergistic Effects of Using Silicon and Selenium on Fruiting of Zaghloul Date Palm (Phoenix dectylifera L.)

    During 2011 and 2012 seasons, Zaghloul date palms received four sprays of silicon (Si) at 0.05 to 0.1% and selenium (Se) at 0.01 to 0.02%. Growth, nutritional status, yield as well as physical and chemical characteristics of the fruits in response to application of silicon and selenium were investigated. Single and combined applications of silicon at 0.05 to 0.1% and selenium at 0.01 to 0.02% was very effective in enhancing the leaf area, total chlorophylls, percentages of N, P and K in the leaves, yield, bunch weight as well as physical and chemical characteristics of the fruits in relative to the check treatment. Silicon was superior to selenium in this respect. Combined application was favorable than using each alone in this connection. Treating Zaghloul date palms four times with a mixture of silicon at 0.05% + selenium at 0.01% resulted in an economical yield and producing better fruit quality.

    Prediction of Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity Dynamics in an Iowan Agriculture Watershed

    In this study, a physically-based, modeling framework was developed to predict saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) dynamics in the Clear Creek Watershed (CCW), Iowa. The modeling framework integrated selected pedotransfer functions and watershed models with geospatial tools. A number of pedotransfer functions and agricultural watershed models were examined to select the appropriate models that represent the study site conditions. Models selection was based on statistical measures of the models’ errors compared to the Ksat field measurements conducted in the CCW under different soil, climate and land use conditions. The study has shown that the predictions of the combined pedotransfer function of Rosetta and the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) provided the best agreement to the measured Ksat values in the CCW compared to the other tested models. Therefore, Rosetta and WEPP were integrated with the Geographic Information System (GIS) tools for visualization of the data in forms of geospatial maps and prediction of Ksat variability in CCW due to the seasonal changes in climate and land use activities. 

    Morphological Characteristics and Pollination Requirement in Red Pitaya (Hylocereus spp.)

    This study explored the morphological characteristics and effects of pollination methods on fruit set and characteristics in 4 red pitaya (Hylocereus spp.) clones. The distinctive morphological recognition and classification among pitaya clones were confirmed by the stem, flower and fruit features. The fruit production season was indicated from the beginning of May to the end of August – the beginning of September with 6-7 flowering cycles per year. The floral stage took from 15-19 days and fruit duration spent 30–32 days. VN White, fully self-compatible, obtained high fruit set rates (80.0–90.5%) in all pollination treatments and the maximum fruit weight (402.6g) in hand self- and (403.4g) in open-pollination. Chaozhou 5 was partially self-compatible while Orejona and F11 were completely self-incompatible. Hand cross-pollination increased significantly fruit set (95.8; 88.4 and 90.2%) and fruit weight (374.2; 281.8 and 416.3 g) in Chaozhou 5, Orejona, and F11, respectively. TSS contents were not much influenced by pollination methods.

    Alternative Splicingof an Arabidopsis Gene, At2g24600, Encoding Ankyrin-Repeat Protein

    In Arabidopsis, several genes encoding proteins with ankyrin repeats and transmembrane domains (AtANKTM) have been identified as mediators of biotic and abiotic stress responses. It has been known that the expression of an AtANKTM gene, At2g24600, is induced in response to abiotic stress and that there are four splicing variants derived from this locus. In this study, by RT-PCR and sequencing analysis, an unknown splicing variant of the At2g24600 transcript was identified. Based on differences in the predicted amino acid sequences, the five splicing variants are divided into three groups. The three predicted proteins are highly homologous, yet have different numbers of ankyrinrepeats and transmembrane domains. It is generally considered that ankyrin repeats mediate protein-protein interaction and that the number oftransmembrane domains affects membrane topology of proteins. The protein variants derived from the At2g24600 locus may have different molecular functions each other.

    FT-NIR Method to Determine Moisture in Gluten Free Rice Based Pasta during Drying

    Pasta is one of the most widely consumed food products around the world. Rapid determination of the moisture content in pasta will assist food processors to provide online quality control of pasta during large scale production. Rapid Fourier transform near-infrared method (FT-NIR) was developed for determining moisture content in pasta. A calibration set of 150 samples, a validation set of 30 samples and a prediction set of 25 samples of pasta were used. The diffuse reflection spectra of different types of pastas were measured by FT-NIR analyzer in the 4,000-12,000cm-1 spectral range. Calibration and validation sets were designed for the conception and evaluation of the method adequacy in the range of moisture content 10 to 15 percent (w.b) of the pasta. The prediction models based on partial least squares (PLS) regression, were developed in the near-infrared. Conventional criteria such as the R2, the root mean square errors of cross validation (RMSECV), root mean square errors of estimation (RMSEE) as well as the number of PLS factors were considered for the selection of three pre-processing (vector normalization, minimum-maximum normalization and multiplicative scatter correction) methods. Spectra of pasta sample were treated with different mathematic pre-treatments before being used to build models between the spectral information and moisture content. The moisture content in pasta predicted by FT-NIR methods had very good correlation with their values determined via traditional methods (R2 = 0.983), which clearly indicated that FT-NIR methods could be used as an effective tool for rapid determination of moisture content in pasta. The best calibration model was developed with min-max normalization (MMN) spectral pre-processing (R2 = 0.9775). The MMN pre-processing method was found most suitable and the maximum coefficient of determination (R2) value of 0.9875 was obtained for the calibration model developed.

    Evaluation of Nutritional Potential of Five Unexplored Wild Edible Food Plants from Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspot Region (India)

    Wild edible food plants contain a number of organic phytochemical that have been linked to the promotion of good health. These plants used by the local people of Arunachal Pradesh (Northeast India) are found to have high nutritional potential to maintain general balance diet. A study was conducted to evaluate the nutritional potential of five commonly found, unexplored wild food plants namely, Piper pedicellatum C. DC (leaves), Gonostegia hirta (Blume ex Hassk.) Miq. (leaves), Mussaenda roxburghii Hook.f (leaves), Solanum spirale Roxb. (leaves and fruits) and Cyathea spinulosa Wall. ex Hook. (pith portion and tender rachis) from East Siang District of Arunachal Pradesh Northeast (India) for ascertaining their suitability for utilization as supplementary food. Results of study revealed that P. pedicellatum, C. spinulosa, and S. spirale (leaves) are the most promising species which have high nutritional content out of the five wild food plants investigated which is required for the normal growth and development of human.

    Environmental and Toxicological Impacts of Glyphosate with Its Formulating Adjuvant

    Environmental and toxicological characteristics of formulated pesticides may substantially differ from those of their active ingredients or other components alone. This phenomenon is demonstrated in the case of the herbicide active ingredient glyphosate. Due to its extensive application, this active ingredient was found in surface and ground water samples collected in Békés County, Hungary, in the concentration range of 0.54–0.98 ng/ml. The occurrence of glyphosate appeared to be somewhat higher at areas under intensive agriculture, industrial activities and public road services, but the compound was detected at areas under organic (ecological) farming or natural grasslands, indicating environmental mobility. Increased toxicity of the formulated herbicide product Roundup compared to that of glyphosate was observed on the indicator aquatic organism Daphnia magna Straus. Acute LC50 values of Roundup and its formulating adjuvant polyethoxylated tallowamine (POEA) exceeded 20 and 3.1 mg/ml, respectively, while that of glyphosate (as isopropyl salt) was found to be substantially lower (690-900 mg/ml) showing good agreement with literature data. Cytotoxicity of Roundup, POEA and glyphosate has been determined on the neuroectodermal cell line, NE-4C measured both by cell viability test and holographic microscopy. Acute toxicity (LC50) of Roundup, POEA and glyphosate on NE-4C cells was found to be 0.013±0.002%, 0.017±0.009% and 6.46±2.25%, respectively (in equivalents of diluted Roundup solution), corresponding to 0.022±0.003 and 53.1±18.5 mg/ml for POEA and glyphosate, respectively, indicating no statistical difference between Roundup and POEA and 2.5 orders of magnitude difference between these and glyphosate. The same order of cellular toxicity seen in average cell area has been indicated under quantitative cell visualization. The results indicate that toxicity of the formulated herbicide is caused by the formulating agent, but in some parameters toxicological synergy occurs between POEA and glyphosate.

    An Estimation of Rice Output Supply Response in Sierra Leone: A Nerlovian Model Approach

    Rice grain is Sierra Leone’s staple food and the nation imports over 120,000 metric tons annually due to a shortfall in its cultivation. Thus, the insufficient level of the crop's cultivation in Sierra Leone is caused by many problems and this led to the endlessly widening supply and demand for the crop within the country. Consequently, this has instigated the government to spend huge money on the importation of this grain that would have been otherwise cultivated domestically at a cheaper cost. Hence, this research attempts to explore the response of rice supply with respect to its demand in Sierra Leone within the period 1980-2010. The Nerlovian adjustment model to the Sierra Leone rice data set within the period 1980-2010 was used. The estimated trend equations revealed that time had significant effect on output, productivity (yield) and area (acreage) of rice grain within the period 1980-2010 and this occurred generally at the 1% level of significance. The results showed that, almost the entire growth in output had the tendency to increase in the area cultivated to the crop. The time trend variable that was included for government policy intervention showed an insignificant effect on all the variables considered in this research. Therefore, both the short-run and long-run price response was inelastic since all their values were less than one. From the findings above, immediate actions that will lead to productivity growth in rice cultivation are required. To achieve the above, the responsible agencies should provide extension service schemes to farmers as well as motivating them on the adoption of modern rice varieties and technology in their rice cultivation ventures.

    Nutritional Potential and Traditional Uses of High Altitude Wild Edible Plants in Eastern Himalayas, India

    The food security issues and its relevance in High Mountain regions of the world have been often neglected. Wild edible plants have been playing a major role in livelihood security among the tribal Communities of East Himalayan Region of the world since time immemorial. The Eastern Himalayan Region of India is one of the mega diverse regions of world and rated as top 12th Global Biodiversity Hotspots by IUCN and recognized as one of the 200 significant eco-regions of the Globe. The region supports one of the world’s richest alpine floras and about one-third of them are endemic to the region. There are at least 7,500 flowering plants, 700 orchids, 58 bamboo species, 64 citrus species, 28 conifers, 500 mosses, 700 ferns and 728 lichens. The region is the home of more than three hundred different ethnic communities having diverse knowledge on traditional uses of flora and fauna as food, medicine and beverages. Monpa, Memba and Khamba are among the local communities residing in high altitude region of Eastern Himalaya with rich traditional knowledge related to utilization of wild edible plants. The Monpas, Memba and Khamba are the followers Mahayana sect of Himalayan Buddhism and they are mostly agrarian by primary occupation and also heavily relaying on wild edible plants for their livelihood security during famine since millennia. In the present study, we have reported traditional uses of 40 wild edible plant species and out of which 6 species were analyzed at biochemical level for nutrients contents and free radical scavenging activities. The results have shown significant free radical scavenging (antioxidant) activity and nutritional potential of the selected 6 wild edible plants used by the local communities of Eastern Himalayan Region of India.

    A Novel Gene Encoding Ankyrin-Repeat Protein, SHG1, is Indispensable for Seed Germination under Moderate Salt Stress

    Salt stress adversely affects plant growth at various stages of development including seed germination, seedling establishment, vegetative growth and finally reproduction. Because of their immobile nature, plants have evolved mechanisms to sense and respond to salt stress. Seed dormancy is an adaptive trait that enables seed germination to coincide with favorable environmental conditions. We identified a novel locus of Arabidopsis, designated SHG1 (salt hypersensitive germination 1), whose disruption leads to reduced germination rate under moderate salt stress conditions. SHG1 encodes a transmembrane protein with an ankyrin-repeat motif that has been implicated in diverse cellular processes such as signal transduction. The shg1-disrupted Arabidopsis mutant died at the cotyledon stage when sown on salt-containing medium, although wild-type plants could form true leaves under the same conditions. On the other hand, this mutant showed similar phenotypes to wild-type plants when sown on medium without salt and transferred to salt-containing medium at the vegetative stage. These results suggested that SHG1 played indispensable role in the seed germination and seedling establishment under moderate salt stress conditions. SHG1 may be involved in the release of seed dormancy.

    Induction of Hsp70 and Antioxidant Status in Porcine Granulosa Cells in Response to Deoxynivalenol and Zearalenone Exposure in vitro

    The aim of this study was to determine the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), total antioxidant status (TAS) and accumulation of Hsp70 in porcine ovarian granulosa cells after deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEA) exposure in vitro. Porcine ovarian granulosa cells were incubated with DON/ZEA administrations as follows: group A (10/10 ng/mL), group B (100/100 ng/mL), group C (1000/1000 ng/mL), and the control group without any additions for 24h. In this study mycotoxins developed stress reaction of porcine ovarian granulosa cells and increased accumulation of Hsp70 what resulted in increasing activities of SOD and GPx in groups with lower doses of mycotoxins. High dose of DON and ZEA had opposite effect on GPx activity than the lower doses. Slight increase in TAS of porcine granulosa cells was observed after mycotoxins exposure. These results contribute towards the understanding of cellular stress and its response.

    Isolation and Characterization of Collagen from Chicken Feet

    Collagen was isolated from chicken feet by using papain and pepsin enzymes in acetic acid solution at 4°C for 24h with a yield of 18.16% and 22.94% by dry weight, respectively. Chemical composition and characteristics of chicken feet collagen such as amino acid composition, SDS-PAGE patterns, FTIR spectra and thermal properties were evaluated. The chicken feet collagen is rich in the amino acids glycine, glutamic acid, proline and hydroxyproline. Electrophoresis pattern demonstrated two distinct α-chains (α1 and α2) and β chain, indicating that type I collagen is a major component of chicken feet collagen. The thermal stability of collagen isolated by papain and pepsin revealed stable denaturation temperatures of 48.40 and 53.35°C, respectively. The FTIR spectra of both collagens were similar with amide regions in A, B, I, II and III. The study demonstrated that chicken feet collagen using papain isolation method is possible as commercial alternative ingredient. 

    Effect of Hull-Less Barley Flakes and Malt Extract on Yoghurt Quality

    The aim of the research was to evaluate the influence of flakes from biologically activated hull-less barley grain and malt extract on quality of yoghurt during its storage.

    The results showed that the concentration of added malt extract and storage time influenced the changes of pH and lactic acid in yoghurt samples. Sensory properties – aroma, taste, consistency and appearance – of yoghurt enriched with flakes from biologically activated hull-less barley grain and malt extract changed significantly (p<0.05) during storage. Yoghurt with increased proportion of malt extract had sweeter taste and more flowing consistency. Sensory properties (taste, aroma, consistency and appearance) of yoghurt samples enriched with 5% flakes from biologically activated hull-less barley grain (YFBG 5%) and 5% flakes from biologically activated hull-less barley grain and 2% malt extract (YFBG 5% ME 2%) did not change significantly during one week of storage.

    Physical-Chemical Parameters of Latvian Apple Juices and Their Suitability for Cider Production

    Apple juice is the main raw material for cider production. In this study apple juices obtained from 14 dessert and crab variety apples grown in Latvia were investigated. For all samples soluble solids, titratable acidity, pH and sugar content were determined. Crab apples produce more dry matter, total sugar and acid content compared to the dessert apples but it depends on the apple variety. Total sugar content of crab apple juices was 1.3 to 1.8 times larger than in dessert apple juices. Titratable acidity of dessert apple juices is in the range of 4.1g L-1 to 10.83g L-1 and in crab apple juices titratable acidity is from 7.87g L-1 to 19.6g L-1. Fructose was detected as the main sugar whereas glucose level varied depending on the variety. The highest titratable acidity and content of sugars was detected in ‘Cornelia’ apples juice.

    Morphological Characteristics and Pollination Requirement in Red Pitaya (Hylocereus spp.)

    This study explored the morphological characteristics and effects of pollination methods on fruit set and characteristics in 4 red pitaya (Hylocereus spp.) clones. The distinctive morphological recognition and classification among pitaya clones were confirmed by the stem, flower and fruit features. The fruit production season was indicated from the beginning of May to the end of August – the beginning of September with 6-7 flowering cycles per year. The floral stage took from 15-19 days and fruit duration spent 30–32 days. VN White, fully self-compatible, obtained high fruit set rates (80.0–90.5%) in all pollination treatments and the maximum fruit weight (402.6g) in hand self- and (403.4g) in open-pollination. Chaozhou 5 was partially self-compatible while Orejona and F11 were completely self-incompatible. Hand cross-pollination increased significantly fruit set (95.8; 88.4 and 90.2%) and fruit weight (374.2; 281.8 and 416.3g) in Chaozhou 5, Orejona and F11, respectively. TSS contents were not much influcenced by pollination methods.

    Diversity Analysis of a Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) Germplasm during Two Seasons

    The present work has been carried out to evaluate the diversity of a collection of 78 quinoa accessions developed through recurrent selection from Andean germplasm introduced to Morocco in the winter of 2000. Twenty-three quantitative and qualitative characters were used for the evaluation of genetic diversity and the relationship between the accessions, and also for the establishment of a core collection in Morocco. Important variation was found among the accessions in terms of plant morphology and growth behavior. Data analysis showed positive correlation of the plant height, the plant fresh and the dry weight with the grain yield, while days to flowering was found to be negatively correlated with grain yield. The first four PCs contributed 74.76% of the variability; the first PC showed significant variation with 42.86% of the total variation, PC2 with 15.37%, PC3 with 9.05% and PC4 contributed 7.49% of the total variation. Plant size, days to grain filling and days to maturity are correlated to the PC1; and seed size, inflorescence density and mildew resistance are correlated to the PC2. Hierarchical cluster analysis rearranged the 78 quinoa accessions into four main groups and ten sub-clusters. Clustering was found in associations with days to maturity and also with plant size and seed-size traits.

    Assessment of Downy mildew Resistance (Peronospora farinosa) in a Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) Germplasm

    Seventy-nine accessions, including two local wild species (Chenopodium album and C. murale) and several cultivated quinoa lines developed through recurrent selection in Morocco were screened for their resistance against Peronospora farinose, the causal agent of downy mildew disease. The method of artificial inoculation on detached healthy leaves taken from the middle stage of the plant was used. Screened accessions showed different levels of quantitative resistance to downy mildew as they were scored through the calculation of their area under disease progress curve and their two resistance components, the incubation period and the latent period. Significant differences were found between accessions regarding the three criteria (Incubation Period, Latent Period and Area Under Diseases Progress Curve). Accessions M2a and S938/1 were ranked resistant as they showed the longest Incubation Period (7 days) and Latent Period (12 days) and the lowest area under diseases progress curve (4). Therefore, M24 is the most susceptible accession as it has presented the highest area under diseases progress curve (34.5) and the shortest Incubation Period (1 day) and Latent Period (3 days). In parallel to this evaluation approach, the accession resistance was confirmed under the field conditions through natural infection by using the tree-leaf method. The high correlation found between detached leaf inoculation method and field screening under natural infection allows us to use this laboratory technique with sureness in further selection works.

    Length Weight Relationship of Terapon jarbua (Forsskal, 1775) from Puducherry Waters

    The present study investigates the length-weight relationship of Terapon jarbua from Puducherry (East coast of India). A total of 370 individuals of different sizes were collected from Puducherry landings centre. Length-weight relationships were calculated for all specimens sampled. The length weight relationship equations are W = 0.0050 L3.2742; W = 0.0035 L3.3616; W = 0.0736 L2.4076; W = 0.0098 L3.0807; W = 0.0088 L3.0914; W = 0.0038 L3.3776 for immature male, immature female, matured male, matured female, total male, and total female respectively. The growth exponential (b) values were found to be positively allometric for all the stages except matured male.

    The Effect of Failure Rate on Repair and Maintenance Costs of Four Agricultural Tractor Models

    In economical evaluation literature, although the combination of some variables such as repair and maintenance costs and accumulated use hours has been widely considered in determining of optimum life for tractor, no investigation has indicated the influence of failure rate on repair and maintenance costs. In this study, the owners of three hundred tractors, which include Massey Ferguson, John Deere and Universal, were interviewed, from five regions of Khouzestan Province. A regression model was used to predict the tractors annual repair and maintenance costs based on failure rate. Results showed that the maximum percentage of annual repair and maintenance costs occurred in engine parts for MF285, JD3140 and U650 tractors while these costs for tire, ring, ball bearing and operator seat were higher compared to other MF399 tractor systems. According to the results of the regression, the failure rate increase would lead to annual repair and maintenance costs increase for all tractors. But, of all the tractors, repair and maintenance costs of JD3140 tractors extremely affected by the failure rate increase.

    Drought Stress Indices in Some Silage Maize Cultivars

    Several yield-based stress indices have been developed that may be more applicable to work on drought tolerance. In this study, we investigate possibility of using stress susceptibility index (SSI), tolerance index (TOL), yield stability index (YSI), yield index (YI), stress tolerance index (STI), geometric mean productivity (GMP), harmonic mean (HARM), mean productivity (MP) to identify genotypic performance of some maize cultivars under normal and stressed condition. The results indicate that it was possible to identify superior genotypes for drought tolerance based on their stress indices and generally SSI indices which showed the lowest negative correlation with dry matter yield can be used as the best index for maize breeding programs to introduce drought tolerant hybrids. It was found that SC 647 showed the best behavior under drought stress condition based on TOL and SSI. A higher STI, GMP, and HARM values were attained for ko6. It can be suggested that ko6 should be cultivated in moderate stressful environment of Iran.

    Levels of Some Antinutritional Factors in Tempeh Produced From Some Legumes and Jojobas Seeds

    Three legumes i.e. soybean, kidney bean and mung bean, and jojoba seed as an oil seed were processed into tempeh, a fermented food. Changes in phytic acid, total phenols and trypsin inhibitor were monitored during the pretreatments (soaking, soaking– dehulling, washing and cooking) and fermentation with Rhizopus oligosporus. Soaking was found to reduce total phenol and trypsin inhibitor levels in soybean, kidney bean and mung bean. However, phytic acid was reduced by soaking in kidney bean and mung bean. Cooking was the most effective in reducing the activity of trypsin inhibitor. During fermentation, a slight increase in the level of trypsin inhibitor was noticed in soybean. Phytic acid and total phenols were decreased during fermentation in soybean, kidney bean but mung bean faild to form tempeh because the antifungal activity of herein a protein in mung bean, which exerts both chitinase activity and antifungal activity against a variety of fungal species. On the other hand, solid- state fermentation of jojoba seeds was not effective in reducing their content from cyanogenic glycosides (simmondsin).

    Ecotoxicological Studies of Soil Using Analytical and Biological Methods: A Review

    Soil is a complex physical and biological system that provides support, water, nutrients and oxygen to the plants. Apart from these, it acts as a connecting link between inorganic, organic and living components of the ecosystem. In recent years, presence of xenobiotics, alterations in the natural soil environment, application of pesticides/inorganic fertilizers, percolation of contaminated surface water as well as leachates from landfills to subsurface strata and direct discharge of industrial wastes to the land have resulted in soil pollution which in turn has posed severe threats to human health especially in terms of causing carcinogenicity by direct DNA damage. The present review is an attempt to summarize literature on sources of soil pollution, characterization of pollutants and their consequences in different living systems.

    Utilization of Bioactive Components Produced from Fermented Soybean (Natto) in Beef Burger

    Soybean Natto powder was added to the burger in order to enhance the oxidative stability as well as decreases the microbial spoilage. The soybean bioactives compound (soybean Natto) as antioxidant and antimicrobial were added at level of 1, 2 and 3%. Chemical analysis and physical properties were affected by soybean Natto addition. All the tested soybean Natto additives showed strong antioxidant properties. The microbiological indicators were significantly (P < 0.05) affected by the addition of the soybean Natto. Decreasing trends of different extent were also observed in samples of the treatments for total viable counts, Coliform, Staphylococcus aureus, yeast and molds. Storage period was significantly (P < 0.05) affected on microbial counts in all samples Staphylococcus aureus were the most sensitive microbe followed by Coliform group of the sample containing soybean Natto. Sensory attributes were also performed, added soybean Natto exhibits beany flavor which was clear about samples of 3% soybean Natto.