Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 19

Biological, Biomolecular, Agricultural, Food and Biotechnological Engineering

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    Phytochemical Profiles and Antioxidant Activity of Selected Indigenous Vegetables in Northern Mindanao, Philippines

    The crude methanol extracts of five indigenous vegetables namely, Amarathus tricolor, Basella rubra L., Chochurus olitorius L., Ipomea batatas, and Momordica chuchinensis L., were examined for their phytochemical profile and antioxidant activity using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical. The values for DPPH radical scavenging activity ranged from 7.6-89.53% with B. rubra and I. batatas having the lowest and highest values, respectively. The total flavonoid content of all five indigenous vegetables ranged from 74.65-277.3 mg quercetin equivalent per gram of dried vegetable material while the total phenolic content ranged from 1.93-6.15 mg gallic acid equivalent per gram dried material. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of steroids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, carbohydrates and reducing sugars, which may also be associated with the antioxidant activity shown by these indigenous vegetables.

    Identification of Healthy and BSR-Infected Oil Palm Trees Using Color Indices
    Most of the oil palm plantations have been threatened by Basal Stem Rot (BSR) disease which causes serious economic impact. This study was conducted to identify the healthy and BSRinfected oil palm tree using thirteen color indices. Multispectral and thermal camera was used to capture 216 images of the leaves taken from frond number 1, 9 and 17. Indices of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), red (R), green (G), blue (B), near infrared (NIR), green – blue (GB), green/blue (G/B), green – red (GR), green/red (G/R), hue (H), saturation (S), intensity (I) and thermal index (T) were used. From this study, it can be concluded that G index taken from frond number 9 is the best index to differentiate between the healthy and BSR-infected oil palm trees. It not only gave high value of correlation coefficient (R=-0.962), but also high value of separation between healthy and BSR-infected oil palm tree. Furthermore, power and S model developed using G index gave the highest R2 value which is 0.985.
    Utilization of Mustard Leaves (Brassica juncea) Powder for the Development of Cereal Based Extruded Snacks
    Mustard leaves are rich in folates, vitamin A, K and B-complex. Mustard greens are low in calories and fats and rich in dietary fiber. They are rich in potassium, manganese, iron, copper, calcium, magnesium and low in sodium. It is very rich in antioxidants and Phytonutrients. For the optimization of process variables (moisture content and mustard leave powder), the experiments were conducted according to central composite Face Centered Composite design of RSM. The mustard leaves powder was replaced with composite flour (a combination of rice, chickpea and corn in the ratio of 70:15:15). The extrudate was extruded in a twin screw extruder at a barrel temperature of 120°C. The independent variables were mustard leaves powder (2-10 %) and moisture content (12-20 %). Responses analyzed were bulk density, water solubility index, water absorption index, lateral expansion, antioxidant activity, total phenolic content, and overall acceptability. The optimum conditions obtained were 7.19 g mustard leaves powder in 100g premix having 16.8% moisture content (w.b).
    Plasma Lipid Profiles and Atherogenic Indices of Rats Fed Raw and Processed Jack Fruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) Seeds Diets at Different Concentrations
    The effect of processing on plasma lipid profile and atherogenic indices of rats fed Artocarpus heterophyllus seed diets at different concentrations were investigated. Fifty five rats were used for this study, they were divided into eleven groups of five rats each (one control group and ten test groups), the test groups were fed raw, boiled, roasted, fermented and soaked diets at 10% and 40% concentrations. The study lasted for thirty five days. The diets led to significant decrease (p
    Evaluation of Biofertilizer and Manure Effects on Quantitative Yield of Nigella sativa L.
    The main objective of this study was to determine the effects of Nitrogen fixing bacteria and manure application on the seed yield and yield components in black cumin (Nigella sativa L.). The experiment was carried out at the RAN Research Station in Firouzkouh in 2012. A 4×4 factorial experiment, arranged in a randomized complete blocks designed with three replications. Nitrogen fixing bacteria at 4 levels (control, Azotobacter, Azospirillum and Azotobacter + Azospirillum) and manure application at 4 levels (0, 2.5, 5 and 7.5 ton ha-1) were used at this investigation. The present results have shown that the highest height, 1000 seeds weight, seed number per follicle, follicle yield, seed yield and harvest index were obtained after using Azotobacter and Azospirillum, simultaneously. Manure application only effects on follicle yield and by 5ton manure ha-1 the highest follicle yield obtained. Results of this investigation showed that the maximum seed yield obtained when Aotobacter+Azospirillum inoculated with black cumin seeds and 5 ton manure ha-1 applied. According to the results of this investigation the integrated management of Azotobacter and Azospirillum with manure application is the best treatment for achieving the maximum quantitative charactersitics of Black cumin.
    Fertigation Use in Agriculture and Biosorption of Residual Nitrogen by Soil Microorganisms
    Present work deals with the possible use of fertigation in agriculture and its impact on the availability of mineral nitrogen (Nmin) in topsoil and subsoil horizons. The aim of the present study is to demonstrate the effect of the organic matter presence in fertigation on microbial transformation and availability of mineral nitrogen forms. The main investigation reason is the potential use of pretreated waste water, as a source of organic carbon (Corg) and residual nutrients (Nmin) for fertigation. Laboratory experiment has been conducted to demonstrate the effect of the arable land fertilization method on the Nmin availability in different depths of the soil with the usage of model experimental containers filled with soil from topsoil and podsoil horizons that were taken from the precise area. Tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa) has been chosen as a model plant. The water source protection zone Brezova nad Svitavou has been a research area where significant underground reservoirs of drinking water of the highest quality are located. From the second half of the last century local sources of drinking water show nitrogenous compounds increase that get here almost only from arable lands. Therefore, an attention of the following text focuses on the fate of mineral nitrogen in the complex plant-soil. Research results show that the fertigation application with Corg in a combination with mineral fertilizer can reduce the amount of Nmin leached from topsoil horizon of agricultural soils. In addition, some plants biomass production reduces may occur.
    Sex Differentiation of Elm Nymphalid (Nymphalis polychloros Linnaeus, 1758) on Pupal Stage
    This study was conducted to determine sex differentiation of laboratory reared Elm nymphalid (Nymphalis polychloros Linnaeus, 1758) by examining the morphological structure of pupal stage. Laboratory colony of elm nymphalid, reared on pear leaves, was used to set up experiments. It was performed with 5 replications having 8 pupae for each replication. Dorsal, ventral and lateral parts of external morphological structures of pupae were examined by Olympus SZX9 stereozoom microscope and photographed. When fully grown, mature larvae wander the highest part of the rearing cage and pupae were formed hanging by cremaster. After completing prepupa stage about 1.5±0.3 days, they all pupated. Pupal stage was completed at 24±1°C about 4.38±1.20 days. Pupal weights were 0.483±0.05 g in females and 0.392±0.08 g (n=40) in males respectively. Pupal emergence rate was 95%, with 22 females and 16 males. Examinations of ventral parts of 8th, 9th, and 10th abdominal segments revealed that anal opening were found at 10th abdominal segment in both sexes, 3 lumps were determined at 9th abdominal segments then the specific opening structure at 8th segment was only found on female pupae.
    Comparative Study on Productivity, Chemical Composition and Yield Quality of Some Alternative Crops in Romanian Organic Farming
    Crops diversity and maintaining and enhancing the fertility of agricultural lands are basic principles of organic farming. With a wider range of crops in agroecosystem can improve the ability to control weeds, pests and diseases, and the performance of crops rotation and food safety. In this sense, the main objective of the research was to study the productivity and chemical composition of some alternative crops and their adaptability to soil and climatic conditions of the agricultural area in Southern Romania and to cultivation in the organic farming system. The alternative crops were: lentil (7 genotypes); five species of grain legumes (5 genotypes); four species of oil crops (5 genotypes). The seed production was, on average: 1343 kg/ha of lentil; 2500 kg/ha of field beans; 2400 kg/ha of chick peas and blackeyed peas; more than 2000 kg/ha of atzuki beans, over 1250 kg/ha of fenugreek; 2200 kg/ha of safflower; 570 kg/ha of oil pumpkin; 2150 kg/ha of oil flax; 1518 kg/ha of camelina. Regarding chemical composition, lentil seeds contained: 22.18% proteins, 3.03% lipids, 33.29% glucides, 4.00% minerals, and 259.97 kcal energy values. For field beans: 21.50% proteins, 4.40% lipids, 63.90% glucides, 5.85% minerals, 395.36 kcal energetic value. For chick peas: 21.23% proteins, 4.55% lipids, 53.00% glucides, 3.67% minerals, 348.22 kcal energetic value. For blackeyed peas: 23.30% proteins, 2.10% lipids, 68.10% glucides, 3.93% minerals, 350.14 kcal energetic value. For adzuki beans: 21.90% proteins, 2.60% lipids, 69.30% glucides, 4.10% minerals, 402.48 kcal energetic value. For fenugreek: 21.30% proteins, 4.65% lipids, 63.83% glucides, 5.69% minerals, 396.54 kcal energetic value. For safflower: 12.60% proteins, 28.37% lipids, 46.41% glucides, 3.60% minerals, 505.78 kcal energetic value. For camelina: 20.29% proteins, 31.68% lipids, 36.28% glucides, 4.29% minerals, 526.63 kcal energetic value. For oil pumpkin: 29.50% proteins, 36.92% lipids, 18.50% glucides, 5.41% minerals, 540.15 kcal energetic value. For oil flax: 22.56% proteins, 34.10% lipids, 27.73% glucides, 5.25% minerals, 558.45 kcal energetic value.
    The Effect of Application of Biological Phosphate Fertilizer (Fertile 2) and Triple Super Phosphate Chemical Fertilizers on Some Morphological Traits of Corn (SC704)
    In order to study the effect of different levels of triple super phosphate chemical fertilizer and biological phosphate fertilizer (fertile 2) on some morphological traits of corn this research was carried out in Ahvaz in 2002 as a factorial experiment in randomized complete block design with 4 replications). The experiment included two factors: first, biological phosphate fertilizer (fertile 2) at three levels of 0, 100, 200 g/ha; second, triple super phosphate chemical fertilizer at three levels of 0, 60, 90 kg/ha of pure phosphorus (P2O5). The obtained results indicated that fertilizer treatments had a significant effect on some morphological traits at 1% probability level. In this regard, P2B2 treatment (100 g/ha biological phosphate fertilizer (fertile 2) and 60 kg/ha triple super phosphate fertilizer) had the greatest plant height, stem diameter, number of leaves and ear length. It seems that in Ahvaz weather conditions, decrease of consumption of triple superphosphate chemical fertilizer to less than a half along with the consumption of biological phosphate fertilizer (fertile 2) is highly important in order to achieve optimal results. Therefore, it can be concluded that biological fertilizers can be used as a suitable substitute for some of the chemical fertilizers in sustainable agricultural systems.
    The Potential Effect of Biochar Application on Microbial Activities and Availability of Mineral Nitrogen in Arable Soil Stressed by Drought
    Application of biochar to arable soils represents a new approach to restore soil health and quality. Many studies reported the positive effect of biochar application on soil fertility and development of soil microbial community. Moreover biochar may affect the soil water retention, but this effect has not been sufficiently described yet. Therefore this study deals with the influence of biochar application on: microbial activities in soil, availability of mineral nitrogen in soil for microorganisms, mineral nitrogen retention and plant production. To demonstrate the effect of biochar addition on the above parameters, the pot experiment was realized. As a model crop, Lactuca sativa L. was used and cultivated from December 10th 2014 till March 22th 2015 in climate chamber in thoroughly homogenized arable soil with and without addition of biochar. Five variants of experiment (V1 – V5) with different regime of irrigation were prepared. Variants V1 – V2 were fertilized by mineral nitrogen, V3 – V4 by biochar and V5 was a control. The significant differences were found only in plant production and mineral nitrogen retention. The highest content of mineral nitrogen in soil was detected in V1 and V2, about 250 % in comparison with the other variants. The positive effect of biochar application on soil fertility, mineral nitrogen availability was not found. On the other hand results of plant production indicate the possible positive effect of biochar application on soil water retention.
    Application of Interferometric Techniques for Quality Control of Oils Used in the Food Industry
    The purpose of this project is to propose a quick and environmentally friendly alternative to measure the quality of oils used in food industry. There is evidence that repeated and indiscriminate use of oils in food processing cause physicochemical changes with formation of potentially toxic compounds that can affect the health of consumers and cause organoleptic changes. In order to assess the quality of oils, non-destructive optical techniques such as Interferometry offer a rapid alternative to the use of reagents, using only the interaction of light on the oil. Through this project, we used interferograms of samples of oil placed under different heating conditions to establish the changes in their quality. These interferograms were obtained by means of a Mach-Zehnder Interferometer using a beam of light from a HeNe laser of 10mW at 632.8nm. Each interferogram was captured, analyzed and measured full width at half-maximum (FWHM) using the software from Amcap and ImageJ. The total of FWHMs was organized in three groups. It was observed that the average obtained from each of the FWHMs of group A shows a behavior that is almost linear, therefore it is probable that the exposure time is not relevant when the oil is kept under constant temperature. Group B exhibits a slight exponential model when temperature raises between 373 K and 393 K. Results of the t-Student show a probability of 95% (0.05) of the existence of variation in the molecular composition of both samples. Furthermore, we found a correlation between the Iodine Indexes (Physicochemical Analysis) and the Interferograms (Optical Analysis) of group C. Based on these results, this project highlights the importance of the quality of the oils used in food industry and shows how Interferometry can be a useful tool for this purpose.
    Germination and Seed Vigor Response of Five Wheat Cultivars to Stress of Premature Aging Effects
    To evaluate the vigor of wheat seeds and stress of premature aging effects on germination percentage, root length and shoot length of five wheat cultivars that include Vynak, Karkheh, Chamran, Star and Kavir which underwent a period of zero, two, three, four days in terms of premature aging with 41°C temperature and 100% relative humidity. Seed germination percentage, root length and shoot length in these conditions were measured. This experiment was conducted as a factorial completely randomized design with four replications in laboratory conditions. The results showed that each of aging treatments used in this experiment can be used to detect differences in vigor of wheat varieties. Wheat cultivars illustrated significant differences in germination percentage, root length and shoot length in terms of premature aging. The wheat cultivars; Astar and Vynak had maximum germination percentage and Karkheh, respectively Kavir and Chamran had lowest percentage of seed germination. Reactions of root and shoot length of wheat cultivars was also different. The results showed that the seeds with a stronger vigor affected less in premature aging condition and the difference between the percentage of seed germination under normal conditions and stress was significant and the seeds with the weaker vigor were more sensitive to the premature aging stress and the premature aging had more severe negative impact on seed vigor.
    Analysis of DNA from Fired Cartridge Casings
    DNA analysis has been widely accepted as providing valuable evidence concerning the identity of the source of biological traces. Our work has showed that DNA samples can survive on cartridges even after firing. The study also raised the possibility of determining other information such as the age of the donor. Such information may be invaluable in certain cases where spent cartridges from automatic weapons are left behind at the scene of a crime. In spite of the nature of touch evidence and exposure to high chamber temperatures during shooting, we were still capable to retrieve enough DNA for profile typing. In order to estimate age of contributor, DNA methylation levels were analyzed using EpiTect system for retrieved DNA. However, results were not conclusive, due to low amount of input DNA.
    Preparation of Corn Flour Based Extruded Product and Evaluate Its Physical Characteristics
    The composite flour blend consisting of corn, pearl millet, black gram and wheat bran in the ratio of 80:5:10:5 was taken to prepare the extruded product and their effect on physical properties of extrudate was studied. The extrusion process was conducted in laboratory by using twin screw extruder. The physical characteristics evaluated include lateral expansion, bulk density, water absorption index, water solubility index, and rehydration ratio and moisture retention. The Central Composite Rotatable Design (CCRD) was used to decide the level of processing variables i.e. feed moisture content (%), screw speed (rpm), and barrel temperature (oC) for the experiment. The data obtained after extrusion process were analyzed by using response surface methodology. A second order polynomial model for the dependent variables was established to fit the experimental data. The numerical optimization studies resulted in 127°C of barrel temperature, 246 rpm of screw speed, and 14.5% of feed moisture as optimum variables to produce acceptable extruded product. The responses predicted by the software for the optimum process condition resulted in lateral expansion 126%, bulk density 0.28 g/cm3, water absorption index 4.10 g/g, water solubility index 39.90%, rehydration ratio 544% and moisture retention 11.90% with 75% desirability.
    Phytotoxicity of Lead on the Physiological Parameters of Two Varieties of Broad Bean (Vicia faba)
    The phytotoxicity of heavy metals can be expressed on roots and visible part of plants and is characterized by molecular and metabolic answers at various levels of organization of the whole plant. The present study was undertaken on two varieties of broad bean Vicia faba (Sidi Aïch and Super Aguadulce). The device was mounted on a substrate prepared by mixing sand, soil and compost, the substrate was artificially contaminated with three doses of lead nitrate [Pb(NO3)2] 0, 500 and 1000 ppm. Our objective is to follow the behavior of plant opposite the stress by evaluating the physiological parameters. The results reveal a reduction in the parameters of the productivity (chlorophyll and proteins production) with an increase in the osmoregulators (soluble sugars and proline).These results show that the production of broad bean is strongly modified by the disturbance of its internal physiology under lead exposure.
    Calculation of a Sustainable Quota Harvesting of Long-Tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis Raffles) in Their Natural Habitats
    The global demand for long-tailed macaques for medical experimentation has continued to increase. Fulfillment of Indonesian export demands has been mostly from natural habitats, based on a harvesting quota. This quota has been determined according to the total catch for a given year, and not based on consideration of any demographic parameters or physical environmental factors with regard to the animal; hence threatening the sustainability of the various populations. It is therefore necessary to formulate a method for calculating a sustainable harvesting quota, based on population parameters in natural habitats. Considering the possibility of variations in habitat characteristics and population parameters, a time series observation of demographic and physical/biotic parameters, in various habitats, was performed on 13 groups of long-tailed macaques, distributed throughout the West Java, Lampung and Yogyakarta areas of Indonesia. These provinces were selected for comparison of the influence of human/tourism activities. Data on population parameters that was collected included data on life expectancy according to age class, numbers of individuals by sex and age class, and ‘ratio of infants to reproductive females’. The estimation of population growth was based on a population dynamic growth model: the Leslie matrix. The harvesting quota was calculated as being the difference between the actual population size and the MVP (minimum viable population) for each sex and age class. Observation indicated that there were variations within group size (24–106 individuals), gender (sex) ratio (1:1 to 1:1.3), life expectancy value (0.30 to 0.93), and ‘ratio of infants to reproductive females’ (0.23 to 1.56). Results of subsequent calculations showed that sustainable harvesting quotas for each studied group of long-tailed macaques, ranged from 29 to 110 individuals. An estimation model of the MVP for each age class was formulated as Log Y = 0.315 + 0.884 Log Ni (number of individual on ith age class). This study also found that life expectancy for the juvenile age class was affected by the humidity under tree stands, and dietary plants’ density at sapling, pole and tree stages (equation: Y=2.296 – 1.535 RH + 0.002 Kpcg – 0.002 Ktg – 0.001 Kphn, R2 = 89.6% with a significance value of 0.001). By contrast, for the sub-adult-adult age class, life expectancy was significantly affected by slope (equation: Y=0.377 = 0.012 Kml, R2 = 50.4%, with significance level of 0.007). The infant-toreproductive- female ratio was affected by humidity under tree stands, and dietary plant density at sapling and pole stages (equation: Y = - 1.432 + 2.172 RH – 0.004 Kpcg + 0.003 Ktg, R2 = 82.0% with significance level of 0.001). This research confirmed the importance of population parameters in determining the minimum viable population, and that MVP varied according to habitat characteristics (especially food availability). It would be difficult therefore, to formulate a general mathematical equation model for determining a harvesting quota for the species as a whole.
    Effect of Dietary α-Cellulose Levels on the Growth Parameters of Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus Fingerlings
    Three purified diets were formulated using fish meal, soya bean, wheat flour, palm oil, minerals and maltose. The carbohydrate in the diets was increased from 5 to 15% by changing the cellulose content to study the effect of dietary carbohydrate level on the growth parameters of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. The protein and the lipid contents were kept constant in all the diets. The results showed that, weight gain, protein efficiency ratio, net protein utilisation and hepatosomatic index of fish fed the diet containing 15% cellulose were the lowest among all groups. Addition, the fish fed the diet containing 5% cellulose had the best specific growth rate, and food conversion ratio. While, there was no effect of the dietary cellulose levels on condition factor and survival rate. These results indicate that Nile tilapia fingerlings are able to utilize dietary cellulose does not exceed 10% in their feed for optimum growth.
    Correlation between the Sowing Date and the Yield of Maize on Chernozem Soil, in Connection with the Leaf Area Index and the Photosynthesis
    Our sowing date experiment took place in the Demonstration Garden of Institution of Plant Sciences, Centre for Agricultural Sciences of University of Debrecen, in 2012-2014. The paper contains data of test year 2014. Our purpose, besides several other examinations, was to observe how sowing date influences the leaf area index and the activity of photosynthesis of maize hybrids, and how those factors affect fruiting. In the experiment we monitored the change of the leaf area index and the photosynthesis of hybrids with four different growing seasons. The results obtained confirm that not only the environmental and agricultural factors in the growing season have effect on the yield, but also other factors like the leaf area index and the photosynthesis are determinative parameters, and all those factors together, modifying the effects of each other, develop average yields.
    The Construction of a Probiotic Lactic Acid Bacterium Expressing Acid-Resistant Phytase Enzyme
    The use of probiotics engineered to express specific enzymes has been the subject of considerable attention in poultry industry because of increased nutrient availability and reduced cost of enzyme supplementation. Phytase enzyme is commonly added to poultry feed to improve digestibility and availability of phosphorus from plant sources. To construct a probiotic with potential of phytate degradation, phytase gene (appA) from E. coli was cloned and transformed into two probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus salivarius and Lactococcus lactis. L. salivarous showed plasmid instability, unable to express the gene. The expression of appA gene in L. lactis was analyzed by detecting specific RNA and zymography assay. Phytase enzyme was isolated from cellular extracts of recombinant L. lactis, showing a 46 kDa band upon the SDS-PAGE analysis. Zymogram also confirmed the phytase activity of the 46 kDa band corresponding to the enzyme. An enzyme activity of 4.9U/ml was obtained in cell extracts of L. lactis. The growth of native and recombinant L. lactis was similar in the presence of two concentrations of ox bile.