Application of health risk assessment methods is important in order to comprehend the risk of human exposure to heavy metals and other dangerous pollutants. Four soil samples were collected at distances of 10, 20, 30 m and the control 100 m away from the dump site at depths of 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 m. The collected soil samples were examined for Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd and Ni using standard methods. The health risks via the main pathways of human exposure to heavy metal were detected using relevant standard equations. Hazard quotient was calculated to determine non-carcinogenic health risk for each individual heavy metal. Life time cancer risk was calculated to determine the cumulative life cancer rating for each exposure pathway. The estimated health risk values for adults and children were generally lower than the reference dose. The calculated hazard quotient for the ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact pathways were less than unity. This means that there is no detrimental concern to the health on human exposure to heavy metals in contaminated soil. The life time cancer risk 5.4 × 10-2 was higher than the acceptable threshold value of 1 × 10-4 which is reflected to have significant health effects on human exposure to heavy metals in contaminated soil. Good hygienic practices are recommended to ease the potential risk to children and adult who are exposed to contaminated soils. Also, the local authorities should be made aware of such health risks for the purpose of planning the management strategy accordingly.
The Internet of Things (IoT) represents the best option for smart vineyard applications, even if it is necessary to integrate the technologies required for the development. This article is based on the research and the results obtained in the DISAVIT project. For Smart Agriculture, the project aims to provide a trustworthy, intelligent, integrated vineyard management solution that is based on the IoT. To have interoperability through the use of a multiprotocol technology (being the future connected wireless IoT) it is necessary to adopt an agnostic approach, providing a reliable environment to address cyber security, IoT-based threats and traceability through blockchain-based design, but also creating a concept for long-term implementations (modular, scalable). The ones described above represent the main innovative technical aspects of this project. The DISAVIT project studies and promotes the incorporation of better management tools based on objective data-based decisions, which are necessary for agriculture adapted and more resistant to climate change. It also exploits the opportunities generated by the digital services market for smart agriculture management stakeholders. The project's final result aims to improve decision-making, performance, and viticulturally infrastructure and increase real-time data accuracy and interoperability. Innovative aspects such as end-to-end solutions, adaptability, scalability, security and traceability, place our product in a favorable situation over competitors. None of the solutions in the market meet every one of these requirements by a unique product being innovative.
In Liberia, many of the agricultural households cultivate cassava for either sustenance purposes, or to generate farm income. Many of the concentrated cassava farmers reside in Nimba, a north-eastern County that borders two other economies: the Republics of Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea. With a high demand for cassava output and products in emerging Asian markets coupled with an objective of the Liberia agriculture policies to increase the competitiveness of valued agriculture crops; there is a need to examine the level of resource-use efficiency for many agriculture crops. However, there is a scarcity of information on the efficiency of many agriculture crops, including cassava. Hence the study applying an output-oriented method seeks to assess the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba County, Liberia. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed to generate a sample for the study. From 216 cassava farmers, data related to on-farm attributes, socio-economic and institutional factors were collected. The stochastic frontier models, using the Translog functional forms, of production and revenue, were used to determine the level of revenue efficiency and its determinants. The result showed that most of the cassava farmers are male (60%). Many of the farmers are either married, engaged or living together with a spouse (83%), with a mean household size of nine persons. Farmland is prevalently obtained by inheritance (95%), average farm size is 1.34 hectares, and most cassava farmers did not access agriculture credits (76%) and extension services (91%). The mean cassava output per hectare is 1,506.02 kg, which estimates average revenue of L$23,551.16 (Liberian dollars). Empirical results showed that the revenue efficiency of cassava farmers varies from 0.1% to 73.5%; with the mean revenue efficiency of 12.9%. This indicates that on average, there is a vast potential of 87.1% to increase the economic efficiency of cassava farmers in Nimba by improving technical and allocative efficiencies. For the significant determinants of revenue efficiency, age and group membership had negative effects on revenue efficiency of cassava production; while farming experience, access to extension, formal education, and average wage rate have positive effects. The study recommends the setting-up and incentivizing of farmer field schools for cassava farmers to primarily share their farming experiences with others and to learn robust cultivation techniques of sustainable agriculture. Also, farm managers and farmers should consider a fix wage rate in labor contracts for all stages of cassava farming.
The accumulation of heavy metals in food is a constant problem in many parts of the world. Vegetable oils are widely used, both for cooking and for processing in the food industry, meeting the main dietary requirements. One of the main chemical pollutants, heavy metals, is usually found in vegetable oils. These chemical pollutants are carcinogenic, teratogenic and immunotoxic, harmful to consumption and have a negative effect on human health even in trace amounts. Residues of these substances can easily accumulate in vegetable oil during cultivation, processing and storage. In this article, the content of the concentration of heavy metal ions in vegetable oils of Kazakhstan production is studied: sunflower, rapeseed, safflower and linseed oil. Heavy metals: arsenic, cadmium, lead and nickel, were determined in three repetitions by the method of flame atomic absorption. Analysis of vegetable oil samples revealed that the largest lead contamination (Pb) was determined to be 0.065 mg/kg in linseed oil. The content of cadmium (Cd) in the largest amount of 0.009 mg/kg was found in safflower oil. Arsenic (As) content was determined in rapeseed and safflower oils at 0.003 mg/kg, and arsenic (As) was not detected in linseed and sunflower oil. The nickel (Ni) content in the largest amount of 0.433 mg/kg was in linseed oil. The heavy metal contents in the test samples complied with the requirements of regulatory documents for vegetable oils. An assessment of the health risk of vegetable oils with a daily consumption of 36 g per day shows that all samples of vegetable oils produced in Kazakhstan are safe for consumption. But further monitoring is needed, since all these metals are toxic and their harmful effects become apparent only after several years of exposure.
In this study, a multivariate analysis of potato spectroscopic data was presented to detect the presence of brown rot disease or not. Near-Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy (1,350-2,500 nm) combined with multivariate analysis was used as a rapid, non-destructive technique for the detection of brown rot disease in potatoes. Spectral measurements were performed in 565 samples, which were chosen randomly at the infection place in the potato slice. In this study, 254 infected and 311 uninfected (brown rot-free) samples were analyzed using different advanced statistical analysis techniques. The discrimination performance of different multivariate analysis techniques, including classification, pre-processing, and dimension reduction, were compared. Applying a random forest algorithm classifier with different pre-processing techniques to raw spectra had the best performance as the total classification accuracy of 98.7% was achieved in discriminating infected potatoes from control.
Microalgae-based photobioreactors (PBR) for Life Support Systems (LSS) are currently being investigated for future space missions such as a crewed base on planets or moons. Biological components may help reducing resupply masses by closing material mass flows with the help of regenerative components. Via photosynthesis, the microalgae use CO2, water, light and nutrients to provide oxygen and biomass for the astronauts. These capabilities could have synergies with Earth applications that tackle current problems and the developed technologies can be transferred. For example, a current worldwide discussed issue is the increased nitrate and phosphate pollution of ground water from agricultural waste waters. To investigate the potential use of a biological system based on the ability of the microalgae to extract and use nitrate and phosphate for the treatment of polluted ground water from agricultural applications, a scalable test stand is being developed. This test stand investigates the maximization of intake rates of nitrate and quantifies the produced biomass and oxygen. To minimize the required energy, for the uptake of nitrate from artificial waste water (AWW) the Flashing Light Effect (FLE) and the adaption of the illumination spectrum were realized. This paper describes the composition of the AWW, the development of the illumination unit and the possibility of non-invasive process optimization and control via the adaption of the illumination spectrum and illumination cycles. The findings were a doubling of the energy related growth rate by adapting the illumination setting.
The efficacy of two essential oils applied as a bean seed dressing followed by seedlings foliar spray with four commercial disinfectants against root rot and wilt incidence was evaluated under field conditions. The essential oils, grape seed and peppermint oils and the disinfectants, Gold, Revarest, Klenva, Malva were applied. Chitosan and the fungicide Topsin-M were used as comparison treatment. Essential oils individually or combined with disinfectants were applied as a bean seed dressing. Furthermore, emerged bean plants were sprayed with the same treatments. Under laboratory conditions, growth inhibition effect was observed for the isolated, tested fungi R. solani and F. oxysporum when exposed to essential oils individually or combined with disinfectants. A high inhibitor effect was recorded for peppermint followed by grape seed oils. Concentrations of 1% and 2% of chitosan as well as Topsin M at 400 ppm showed complete reduction (100%) in the two fungal growths. Under field conditions, the obtained results showed that the applied treatments of chitosan had a superior effect on root rot and wilt disease incidence compared with other tested treatments. It was found that seed coating treatment provides good protection of emerged green bean seeds against the root pathogens attack compared with the fungicide and control treatments. Also, the application of seed dressing with essential oils accompanied by seedling spray demonstrated similar results. It was observed that essential oils had an enhancing effect against disease incidence when combined with disinfectants compared with their application. The obvious yield increase was significantly higher in all applied treatments than in fungicide and control.
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of environmental stressors on the performance of lactating dairy cows and discuss some future trends. There exists a relationship between the meteorological data and milk yield prediction accuracy in pasture-based dairy systems. New precision technologies are available and are being developed to improve the sustainability of the dairy industry. Some of these technologies focus on welfare of individual animals on dairy farms. These technologies allow the automatic identification of animal behaviour and health events, greatly increasing overall herd health and yield while reducing animal health inspection demands and long-term animal healthcare costs. The data set consisted of records from 489 dairy cows at two dairy farms and temperature measured from the nearest meteorological weather station in 2018. The effects of temperature on milk production and behaviour of animals were analyzed. The statistical results indicate different effects of temperature on milk yield and behaviour. The “comfort zone” for animals is in the range 10 °C to 20 °C. Dairy cows out of this zone had to decrease or increase their metabolic heat production, and it affected their milk production and behaviour.
Skillful management is one of the most important success factors for today’s farms. When a farm is well managed, it can generate funds for its sustainability. Grape is one of the most diffused fruits in the world and one of the most important cash crops with high potential of production in Afghanistan as well. While there are several organizations intervening for improvement of this cash crop, the quality and quantity are still not satisfactory for producers and external markets. The situation has not changed over the years. Therefore, a survey was conducted in 2017 with 60 grape growers, supported by questionnaires in Mirbachakot, Kalakan and Shakardara districts of Kabul province. The purpose was to get an understanding of the current socio-demographic characteristics of farmers, management methods, constraints, farm size, yield and contribution of grape farming to household income. Findings indicate that grape farming was predominant 83.3% male, 16.6% female and small-scale farmers were the main grape producers, 60% < 1 ha of land under grape production. Likewise, 50% had more than > 10 years and 33.3% between 1-5 years’ experience in grape farming. The high level of illiteracy and diseases had significant digit effect on growth, yield and quality of grapes. The results showed that vineyard management operations to protect grapes from mechanical damage are very poor or completely absent. Comparing developed countries, table grape is one of the fruits with the highest input of technology, while in developing countries the cost of labor is low but the purchase of the equipment is very high due to financial situation. Hence the low quality and quantity of grape are influenced by poor management methods, such as non-availability of experts and lack of technical guidance in the study site. Thereby, the study suggested that improved agricultural extension services and managerial skills could contribute to addressing the problems.
The work sought to understand the pattern of movement of contaminant from a continuous point source through soil. The soil used was sandy-loam in texture. The contaminant used was municipal solid waste landfill leachate, introduced as a point source through an entry point located at the center of top layer of the soil tank. Analyses were conducted after maturity periods of 50 and 80 days. The maximum change in chemical concentration was observed on soil samples at a radial distance of 0.25 m. Finite element approximation based model was used to assess the future prediction, management and remediation in the polluted area. The actual field data collected for the case study were used to calibrate the modeling and thus simulated the flow pattern of the pollutants through soil. MATLAB R2015a was used to visualize the flow of pollutant through the soil. Dispersion coefficient at 0.25 and 0.50 m radial distance from the point of application of leachate shows a measure of the spreading of a flowing leachate due to the nature of the soil medium, with its interconnected channels distributed at random in all directions. Surface plots of metals on soil after maturity period of 80 days shows a functional relationship between a designated dependent variable (Y), and two independent variables (X and Z). Comparison of measured and predicted profile transport along the depth after 50 and 80 days of leachate application and end of the experiment shows that there were no much difference between the predicted and measured concentrations as they were all lying close to each other. For the analysis of contaminant transport, finite difference approximation based model was very effective in assessing the future prediction, management and remediation in the polluted area. The experiment gave insight into the most likely pattern of movement of contaminant as a result of continuous percolations of the leachate on soil. This is important for contaminant movement prediction and subsequent remediation of such soils.
Cotton, as a strategic crop, plays an important role in providing human food and clothing need, because of its oil, protein, and fiber. Iran has been one of the largest cotton producers in the world in the past, but unfortunately, for economic reasons, its production is reduced now. One of the ways to reduce the cost of cotton production is to expand the mechanization of cotton harvesting. Iranian farmers do not accept the function of cotton harvesters. One reason for this lack of acceptance of cotton harvesting machines is the number of field losses on these machines. So, the majority of cotton fields are harvested by hand. Although the correct setting of the harvesting machine is very important in the cotton losses, the morphological properties of the cotton plant also affect the performance of cotton harvesters. In this study, the effect of some cotton morphological properties such as the height of the cotton plant, number, and length of sympodial and monopodial branches, boll dimensions, boll weight, number of carpels and bracts angle were evaluated on the performance of cotton picker. In this research, the efficiency of John Deere 9920 spindle Cotton picker is investigated on five different Iranian cotton cultivars. The results indicate that there was a significant difference between the five cultivars in terms of machine harvest efficiency. Golestan cultivar showed the best cotton harvester performance with an average of 87.6% of total harvestable seed cotton and Khorshid cultivar had the least cotton harvester performance. The principal component analysis showed that, at 50.76% probability, the cotton picker efficiency is affected by the bracts angle positively and by boll dimensions, the number of carpels and the height of cotton plants negatively. The seed cotton remains (in the plant and on the ground) after harvester in PCA scatter plot were in the same zone with boll dimensions and several carpels.
Aggregate soil carbon distribution and stock in the soil in the form of a carbon pool is important for soil fertility and sequestration. The amount of carbon pool and other nutrients statues of the soil are to benefit plants, animal and the environment in the long run. This study was carried out at Akure North and South Local Government; the study area is one of the 18 Local Government Areas of Ondo State in the Southwest geo-political zone of Nigeria. The sites were divided into Map Grids and geo-referenced with Global Positioning System (GPS). Horizons were designated and morphological description carried out on the field. Pedons were characterized and classified according to USDA soil taxonomy. The local government area shares boundaries with; Ikere Local Government (LG) in the North, Ise Orun LG in the northwest, Ifedore LG in the northeast Akure South LG in the East, Ose LG in the South East, and Owo LG in the South. SOC-pool at Federal College of Agriculture topsoil horizon A2 is significantly higher than all horizons, 67.83 th⁻¹. The chemical properties of the pedons have shown that the soil is very strongly acidic to neutral reaction (4.68 – 6.73). The nutrients status of the soil topsoil A1 and A2 generally indicates that the soils have a low potential for retaining plant nutrients, and therefore call for adequate soil management.
Res2ValHUM project involves institutions from the Spanish Autonomous Region of Galicia and the north of Portugal (districts of Porto and Braga) and has as overall objectives of promotion of composting as an process for the correct managing of organic waste, valorization of compost in different fields or applications for the constitution of products with high added value, reducing of raw materials losses, and reduction of the amount of waste throw in landfills. Three main actions were designed to achieve the objectives: development of a management tool to improve collection and residue channeling for composting, sensibilization of the population for composting and characterization of the chemical and biological properties of compost and humic and fulvic substances to envisage high-value applications of compost. Here we present the cooperative activity of Galician and northern Portuguese institutions to valorize organic waste in both regions with common socio-economic characteristics and residue management problems. Results from the creation of the resource manage tool proved the existence of a large number of agricultural wastes that could be valorized. In the North of Portugal, the wastes from maize, oats, potato, apple, grape pomace, rye, and olive pomace can be highlighted. In the Autonomous Region of Galicia the wastes from maize, wheat, potato, apple, and chestnuts can be emphasized. Regarding the isolation and identification of microbial consortia from compost samples, results proved microorganisms belong mainly to the genus Bacillus spp. Among all the species identified in compost samples, Bacillus licheniformis can be highlighted in the production of humic and fulvic acids.
White grub (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is a major destructive pest in western Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. Beetles feed on apple, apricot, plum, walnut etc. during night while, second and third instar grubs feed on live roots of cultivated as well as non-cultivated crops. Collection and identification of scarab beetles through light trap was carried out at Crop Research Centre, Govind Ballab Pant University Pantnagar, Udham Singh Nagar (Uttarakhand) during 2018. Field trials were also conducted in 2018 to evaluate pre and post sown application of different insecticides against the white grub infesting soybean. The insecticides like Carbofuran 3 Granule (G) (750 g a.i./ha), Clothianidin 50 Water Dispersal Granule (WG) (120 g a.i./ha), Fipronil 0.3 G (50 g a.i./ha), Thiamethoxam 25 WG (80 g a.i./ha), Imidacloprid 70 WG (300 g a.i./ha), Chlorantraniliprole 0.4% G(100 g a.i./ha) and mixture of Fipronil 40% and Imidacloprid 40% WG (300 g a.i./ha) were applied at the time of sowing in pre sown experiment while same dosage of insecticides were applied in standing soybean crop during (first fortnight of July). Commutative plant mortality data were recorded after 20, 40, 60 days intervals and compared with untreated control. Total 23 species of white grub beetles recorded on the light trap and Holotrichia serrata Fabricious (Coleoptera: Melolonthinae) was found to be predominant species by recording 20.6% relative abundance out of the total light trap catch (i.e. 1316 beetles) followed by Phyllognathus sp. (14.6% relative abundance). H. rosettae and Heteronychus lioderus occupied third and fourth rank with 11.85% and 9.65% relative abundance, respectively. The emergence of beetles of predominant species started from 15th March, 2018. In April, average light trap catch was 382 white grub beetles, however, peak emergence of most of the white grub species was observed from June to July, 2018 i.e. 336 beetles in June followed by 303 beetles in the July. On the basis of the emergence pattern of white grub beetles, it may be concluded that the Peak Emergence Period (PEP) for the beetles of H. serrata was second fortnight of April for the total period of 15 days. In May, June and July relatively low population of H. serrata was observed. A decreasing trend in light trap catch was observed and went on till September during the study. No single beetle of H. serrata was observed on light trap from September onwards. The cumulative plant mortality data in both the experiments revealed that all the insecticidal treatments were significantly superior in protection-wise (6.49-16.82% cumulative plant mortality) over untreated control where highest plant mortality was 17.28 to 39.65% during study. The mixture of Fipronil 40% and Imidacloprid 40% WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha proved to be most effective having lowest plant mortality i.e. 9.29 and 10.94% in pre and post sown crop, followed by Clothianidin 50 WG (120 g a.i. per ha) where the plant mortality was 10.57 and 11.93% in pre and post sown treatments, respectively. Both treatments were found significantly at par among each other. Production-wise, all the insecticidal treatments were found statistically superior (15.00-24.66 q per ha grain yields) over untreated control where the grain yield was 8.25 & 9.13 q per ha. Treatment Fipronil 40% + Imidacloprid 40% WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha proved to be most effective and significantly superior over Imidacloprid 70WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha.
Hydroponic greenhouses systems (production of the artificial substrate without soil) are becoming popular in the world. Mostly the system is used to grow vegetables and berries. Different countries are taking action to participate in the development of hydroponic technology and solutions such as EU members, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Scandinavian countries, etc. Many vegetables and berries are grown by hydroponics in Europe. As a result of our research, we have obtained material containing manganese and nitrogen. It became possible to produce this fertilizer by means of one-stage thermal processing, using industrial waste containing manganese (ores and sludges) and mineral substance (ammonium nitrate) that exist in Georgia. The received material is usable as a micro-fertilizer with economic efficiency. It became possible to turn practically water-insoluble manganese dioxide substance into the soluble condition from industrial waste in an indirect way. The ability to use the material as a fertilizer is predetermined by its chemical and phase composition, as the amount of the active component of the material in relation to manganese is 30%. At the same time, the active component elements presented non-ballast sustained action compounds. The studies implemented in Poland and in Georgia by us have shown that the manganese-containing micro-fertilizer- Mn(NO3)2 can provide the plant with nitrate nitrogen, which is a form that can be used for plants, providing the economy and simplicity of the application of fertilizers. Given the fact that the application of the manganese-containing micro-fertilizers significantly increases the productivity and improves the quality of the big number of agricultural products, it is necessary to mention that it is recommended to introduce the manganese containing fertilizers into the following cultures: sugar beet, corn, potato, vegetables, vine grape, fruit, berries, and other cultures. Also, as a result of the study, it was established that the material obtained is the predominant fertilizer for vegetable cultures in the soil. Based on the positive results of the research, we consider it expedient to conduct research in hydroponic systems, which will enable us to provide plants the required amount of manganese; we also introduce nitrogen in solution and regulate the solution of pH, which is one of the main problems in hydroponic production. The findings of our research will be used in hydroponic greenhouse farms to increase the fertility of vegetable crops and, consequently, to get bountiful and high-quality harvests, which will promote the development of hydroponic greenhouses in Georgia as well as abroad.
Compote (fruit in syrup) of pineapple (Ananas comosus L. Merrill) is expected to have a high market potential as one of convenient ready-to-eat (RTE) foods worldwide. High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) in combination with low temperature (LT) was applied to the processing of pineapple compote as well as medium HHP (MHHP) in combination with medium-high temperature (MHT) since both processes can enhance liquid impregnation and inactivate microbes. MHHP+MHT (55 or 65 °C) process, as well as the HHP+LT process, has successfully inactivated the microbes in the compote to a non-detectable level. Although the compotes processed by MHHP+MHT or HHP+LT have lost the fresh texture as in a similar manner as those processed solely by heat, it was indicated that the texture degradations by heat were suppressed under MHHP. Degassing process reduced the hardness, while calcium (Ca) contributed to be retained hardness in MHT and MHHP+MHT processes. Electrical impedance measurement supported the damage due to degassing and heat. The color, Brix, and appearance were not affected by the processing methods significantly. MHHP+MHT and HHP+LT processes may be applicable to produce high-quality, safe RTE pineapple compotes. Further studies on the optimization of packaging and storage condition will be indispensable for commercialization.
Native plants are better adapted to the local environment providing a more natural effect on landscape projects; their use will both conserve natural resources and produce sustainable greenery. Continuation of evaluation of additional native plants is essential to increase diversity of plant resources for greenery projects. Therefore, in this project an effort was made to study the mass multiplication of further native plants for greenery applications. Standardization of vegetative propagation methods is essential for conservation and sustainable utilization of native plants in restoration projects. Moreover, these simple propagation methods can be readily adapted by the local nursery sector in Kuwait. In the present study, various treatments were used to mass multiply selected plants using vegetative parts to secure maximum rooting and initial growth. Soft or semi-hardwood cuttings of selected native plants were collected from mother plants and subjected to different treatments. Pennisetum divisum can be vegetatively propagated by cuttings/off-shoots. However, Tamarix aucheriana showed maximum number of rooted cuttings and stronger vigor seedlings with the lowest growth hormone concentration. Standardizing the propagation techniques for the native plant species will add to the rehabilitation and landscape revegetation projects in Kuwait.
Wild almond is a woody species, which is difficult to propagate either generatively by seed or by vegetative methods (grafting or cuttings) and also considered as Endangered (EN) in Albania based on IUCN criteria. As a wild relative of cultivated fruit trees, this species represents a source of genetic variability and can be very important in breeding programs and cultivation. For this reason, it would be of interest to use an effective method of in vitro mid-term conservation, which involves strategies to slow plant growth through physicochemical alterations of in vitro growth conditions. Multiplication of wild almond was carried out using zygotic embryos, as primary explants, with the purpose to develop a successful propagation protocol. Results showed that zygotic embryos can proliferate through direct or indirect organogenesis. During subculture, stage was obtained a great number of new plantlets identical to mother plants derived from the zygotic embryos. All in vitro plantlets obtained from subcultures underwent in vitro conservation by minimal growth in low temperature (4ºC) and darkness. The efficiency of this technique was evaluated for 3, 6, and 10 months of conservation period. Maintenance in these conditions reduced micro cuttings growth. Survival and regeneration rates for each period were evaluated and resulted that the maximal time of conservation without subculture on 4ºC was 10 months, but survival and regeneration rates were significantly reduced, specifically 15.6% and 7.6%. An optimal period of conservation in these conditions can be considered the 5-6 months storage, which can lead to 60-50% of survival and regeneration rates. This protocol may be beneficial for mass propagation, mid-term conservation, and for genetic manipulation of wild almond.
Dairy by-products are a fairly good environment for microorganisms due to their composition for their growth. Microbial populations have a significant impact in the production of cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. in terms of their organoleptic quality and at the same time some also cause their breakdown. In this paper, the microbiological contamination of soft cheese, butter and yogurt produced in the country (domestic) and imported is assessed, as an indicator of hygiene with impact on public health. The study was extended during September 2018-June 2019 and was divided into three periods, September-December, January-March, and April-June. During this study, a total of 120 samples were analyzed, of which 60 samples of cheese and butter locally produced, and 60 samples of imported soft cheese and butter productions. The microbial indicators analyzed are Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Analyzes have been conducted at the Food Safety Laboratory (FSIV) in Tirana in accordance with EU Regulation 2073/2005. Sampling was performed according to the specific international standards for these products (ISO 6887 and ISO 8261). Sampling and transport of samples were done under sterile conditions. Also, coding of samples was done to preserve the anonymity of subjects. After the analysis, the country's soft cheese products compared to imports were more contaminated with S. aureus and E. coli. Meanwhile, the imported butter samples that were analyzed, resulted within norms compared to domestic ones. Based on the results, it was concluded that the microbial quality of samples of cheese, butter and yogurt analyzed remains a real problem for hygiene in Albania. The study will also serve business operators in Albania to improve their work to ensure good hygiene on the basis of the HACCP plan and to provide a guarantee of consumer health.
HCV is a hepatotropic RNA virus, transmitted primarily via the blood route, which causes progressive disease such as chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma. HCV nowadays is a global healthcare problem. A variety of immunoassays including old and new technologies are being applied to detect HCV in our country. These methods include Immunochromatography assays (ICA), Fluorescence immunoassay (FIA), Enzyme linked fluorescent assay (ELFA), and Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect HCV antibodies in blood serum, which lately is being slowly replaced by more sensitive methods such as rapid automated analyzer chemiluminescence immunoassay (CLIA). The aim of this study is to estimate HCV infection in carriers and chronic acute patients and to evaluate the use of new diagnostic methods. This study was realized from September 2016 to May 2018. During this study period, 2913 patients were analyzed for the presence of HCV by taking samples from their blood serum. The immunoassays performed were ICA, FIA, ELFA, ELISA, and CLIA assays. Concluding, 82% of patients taken in this study, resulted infected with HCV. Diagnostic methods in clinical laboratories are crucial in the early stages of infection, in the management of chronic hepatitis and in the treatment of patients during their disease.
Recent rapid progress in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) has advanced the penetration of sensor networks (SNs) and their attractive applications. Agriculture is one of the fields well able to benefit from ICT. Plant factories control several parameters related to plant growth in closed areas such as air temperature, humidity, water, culture medium concentration, and artificial lighting by using computers and AI (Artificial Intelligence) is being researched in order to obtain stable and safe production of vegetables and medicinal plants all year anywhere, and attain self-sufficiency in food. By providing isolation from the natural environment, a plant factory can achieve higher productivity and safe products. However, the biggest issue with plant factories is the return on investment. Profits are tenuous because of the large initial investments and running costs, i.e. electric power, incurred. At present, LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are being adopted because they are more energy-efficient and encourage photosynthesis better than the fluorescent lamps used in the past. However, further cost reduction is essential. This paper introduces experiments that reveal which color of LED lighting best enhances the growth of cultured radish sprouts. Radish sprouts were cultivated in the experimental environment formed by a hydroponics kit with three cultivation shelves (28 samples per shelf) each with an artificial lighting rack. Seven LED arrays of different color (white, blue, yellow green, green, yellow, orange, and red) were compared with a fluorescent lamp as the control. Lighting duration was set to 12 hours a day. Normal water with no fertilizer was circulated. Seven days after germination, the length, weight and area of leaf of each sample were measured. Electrical power consumption for all lighting arrangements was also measured. Results and discussions: As to average sample length, no clear difference was observed in terms of color. As regards weight, orange LED was less effective and the difference was significant (p < 0.05). As to leaf area, blue, yellow and orange LEDs were significantly less effective. However, all LEDs offered higher productivity per W consumed than the fluorescent lamp. Of the LEDs, the blue LED array attained the best results in terms of length, weight and area of leaf per W consumed. Conclusion and future works: An experiment on radish sprout cultivation under 7 different color LED arrays showed no clear difference in terms of sample size. However, if electrical power consumption is considered, LEDs offered about twice the growth rate of the fluorescent lamp. Among them, blue LEDs showed the best performance. Further cost reduction e.g. low power lighting remains a big issue for actual system deployment. An automatic plant monitoring system with sensors is another study target.
Trapping efficiency of methyl eugenol and three locally made food-based lures were evaluated in three locations for trapping of B. dorsalis on mango homestead trees in Ibadan South west Nigeria. The treatments were methyl eugenol, brewery waste, pineapple juice, orange juice, and control (water). The experiment was laid in a Complete Randomized Block Design (CRBD) and replicated three times in each location. Data collected were subjected to analysis of variance and significant means were separated by Turkey’s test. The results showed that B. dorsalis was recorded in all locations of study. Methyl eugenol significantly (P < 0.05) trapped higher population of B. dorsalis in all the study area. The population density of B. dorsalis was highest during the ripening period of mango in all locations. The percentage trapped flies after 7 weeks were 77.85%-82.38% (methyl eugenol), 7.29%-8.64% (pineapple juice), 5.62-7.62% (brewery waste), 4.41%-5.95% (orange juice), and 0.24-0.47% (control). There were no significance differences (p > 0.05) on the population of B. dorsalis trapped in all locations. Similarly, there were no significant differences (p > 0.05) on the population of flies trapped among the food attractants. However, the three food attractants significantly (p < 0.05) trapped higher flies than control. Methyl eugenol trapped only male flies while brewery waste and other food based attractants trapped both male and female flies. The food baits tested were promising attractants for trapping B. dorsalis on mango homestead tress, hence increased dosage could be considered for monitoring and mass trapping as management strategies against fruit fly infestation.
Produced water (PW), which is water extracted along with oil, is the largest waste stream in the oil and gas industry. With the proper treatment, this wastewater can be used in agricultural irrigation. This study evaluated the effects the application of PW treated by electroflocculation (EF) and combined electroflocculation-reverse osmosis (EF-RO) on soil salinity and sodification parameters. Excessive sodium levels in PW treated by EF may affect soil structural stability and plant growth, and tends to accumulate in upper layers, displacing the nutrient K to deeper layers of the soil profile. PW treated by EF-RO did not promote salinization and soil sodification, indicating that this combined technique may be a viable alternative for oily water treatment aiming at irrigation use in semiarid regions.
Two earliness cotton genotypes I and II, which had been developed by hybridization and backcross methods between sindise-80 as an early maturing gene parent and two other lines i.e. Red leaf and Bulgare-557 as a second parent, are subjected to different environmental conditions. The early maturing genotypes with coded names of I and II were compared with four native cotton cultivars in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications in three ecological regions of Iran from 2016-2017. Two early maturing genotypes along with four native cultivars viz. Varamin, Oltan, Sahel and Arya were planted in Agricultural Research Station of Varamin, Moghan and Kashmar for evaluation. Earliness data were collected for six treatments during two years in the three regions except missing data for the second year of Kashmar. Therefore, missed data were estimated and imputed. For testing the homogeneity of error variances, each experiment at a given location or year is analyzed separately using Hartley and Bartlett’s Chi-square tests and both tests confirmed homogeneity of variance. Combined analysis of variance showed that genotypes I and II were superior in Varamin, Moghan and Kashmar regions. Earliness means and their interaction effects were compared with Duncan’s multiple range tests. Finally combined analysis of variance showed that genotypes I and II were superior in Varamin, Moghan and Kashmar regions. Earliness means and their interaction effects are compared with Duncan’s multiple range tests.
This paper presents the development of a low-cost monitoring system for a hydroponic urban vertical farm, enabling its automation and a quantitative assessment of the farm performance. Urban farming has seen increasing interest in the last decade thanks to the development of energy efficient and affordable LED lights; however, the optimal configuration of such systems (i.e. amount of nutrients, light-on time, ambient temperature etc.) is mostly based on the farmers’ experience and empirical guidelines. Moreover, even if simple, the maintenance of such systems is labor intensive as it requires water to be topped-up periodically, mixing of the nutrients etc. To unlock the full potential of urban farming, a quantitative understanding of the role that each variable plays in the growth of the plants is needed, together with a higher degree of automation. The low-cost monitoring system proposed in this paper is a step toward filling this knowledge and technological gap, as it enables collection of sensor data related to water and air temperature, water level, humidity, pressure, light intensity, pH and electric conductivity without requiring any human intervention. More sensors and actuators can also easily be added thanks to the modular design of the proposed platform. Data can be accessed remotely via a simple web interface. The proposed platform can be used both for quantitatively optimizing the setup of the farms and for automating some of the most labor-intensive maintenance activities. Moreover, such monitoring system can also potentially be used for high-level decision making, once enough data are collected.
One of the most damaging species in sunflower crops in Brazil is the hairy beggarticks (Bidens pilosa L.). The large number of seeds, the various vegetative cycles during the year, the staggered germination and the scarcity of selective and effective herbicides to control this weed in sunflower are some of attributes that hinder the effectiveness in controlling hairy beggarticks populations. The experiment was carried out with the objectives of evaluating the control of hairy beggarticks plants in sunflower crops, and to assess sunflower tolerance to residual herbicides. The treatments were as follows: S-metolachlor (1,200 and 2,400 g ai ha-1), flumioxazin (60 and 120 g ai ha-1), sulfentrazone (150 and 300 g ai ha-1) and two controls (weedy and weed-free check). Phytotoxicity on sunflower plants, percentage of control and density of hairy beggarticks plants, sunflower stand and plant height, head diameter, oil content and sunflower yield were evaluated. The herbicides flumioxazin and sulfentrazone were the most efficient in hairy beggarticks control. S-metolachlor provided acceptable control levels. S-metolachlor (1,200 g ha-1), flumioxazin (60 g ha-1) and sulfentrazone (150 g ha-1) were the most selective doses for sunflower crop.