International Science Index

International Journal of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

677
10010879
Micropropagation and in vitro Conservation via Slow Growth Techniques of Prunus webbii (Spach) Vierh: An Endangered Plant Species in Albania
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
17
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676
10010880
Microbial Assessment of Dairy Byproducts in Albania as a Basis for Consumer Safety
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
15
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675
10010881
Evaluation of the Hepatitis C Virus and Classical and Modern Immunoassays Used Nowadays to Diagnose It in Tirana
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
15
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674
10010883
Radish Sprout Growth Dependency on LED Color in Plant Factory Experiment
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
28
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673
10010917
Efficacy of Methyl Eugenol and Food-Based Lures in Trapping Oriental Fruit Fly Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) on Mango Homestead Trees
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
12
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672
10010923
Effects of Oilfield Water Treated by Electroflocculation and Reverse Osmosis in a Typical Brazilian Semiarid Soil
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
14
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671
10010816
Evaluation of Two Earliness Cotton Genotypes in Three Ecological Regions
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
58
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670
10010845
Low-Cost Monitoring System for Hydroponic Urban Vertical Farms
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
54
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669
10010847
Hairy Beggarticks (Bidens pilosa L. - Asteraceae) Control in Sunflower Fields Using Pre-Emergence Herbicides
Abstract:

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.

Paper Detail
29
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668
10010784
Selenium Content in Agricultural Soils and Wheat from the Balkan Peninsula
Abstract:

Selenium (Se) is an essential micro-nutrient for human and animals but it is highly toxic. Its organic compounds play an important role in biochemistry and nutrition of the cells. Concentration levels of this element in the different regions of the world vary considerably. This study aimed to compare the availability and levels of the Se in some rural areas of the Balkan Peninsula and relationship with the concentrations of other trace elements. For this purpose soil samples and wheat grains from different regions of Bulgaria, Serbia, Nord Macedonia, Romania, and Greece situated far from large industrial centers have been analyzed. The main methods for their determination were the atomic spectral techniques – atomic absorption and plasma atomic emission. As a result of this study, data on microelements levels from the main grain-producing regions of the Balkan Peninsula were determined and systematized. The presented results confirm the low levels of Se in this region: 0.222– 0.962 mg.kg-1 in soils and 0.001 - 0.005 mg.kg-1 in wheat grains and require measures to offset the effect of this deficiency.

Paper Detail
60
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667
10010788
An Efficient Approach for Shear Behavior Definition of Plant Stalk
Abstract:

The information of the impact cutting behavior of plants stalk plays an important role in the design and fabrication of plants cutting equipment. It is difficult to investigate a theoretical method for defining cutting properties of plants stalks because the cutting process is complex. Thus, it is necessary to set up an experimental approach to determine cutting parameters for a single stalk. To measure the shear force, shear energy and shear strength of plant stalk, a special impact cutting tester was fabricated. It was similar to an Izod impact cutting tester for metals but a cutting blade and data acquisition system were attached to the end of pendulum's arm. The apparatus was included four strain gages and a digital indicator to show the real-time cutting force of plant stalk. To measure the shear force and also testing the apparatus, two plants’ stalks, like buxus and privet, were selected. The samples (buxus and privet stalks) were cut under impact cutting process at four loading rates 1, 2, 3 and 4 m.s-1 and three internodes fifth, tenth and fifteenth by the apparatus. At buxus cutting analysis: the minimum value of cutting energy was obtained at fifth internode and loading rate 4 m.s-1 and the maximum value of shear energy was obtained at fifteenth internode and loading rate 1 m.s-1. At privet cutting analysis: the minimum value of shear consumption energy was obtained at fifth internode and loading rate: 4 m.s-1 and the maximum value of shear energy was obtained at fifteenth internode and loading rate: 1 m.s-1. The statistical analysis at both plants showed that the increase of impact cutting speed would decrease the shear consumption energy and shear strength. In two scenarios, the results showed that with increase the cutting speed, shear force would decrease.

Paper Detail
62
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666
10010541
Impact of Foliar Application of Zinc on Micro and Macro Elements Distribution in Phyllanthus amarus
Abstract:

The present study was carried out to investigate the interaction of foliar applied zinc with other elements in Phyllanthus amarus plants. The plant samples for our experiment were collected from Lam Dong province, Vietnam. Seven suspension solutions of nanosized zinc hydroxide nitrate (Zn5(OH)8(NO3)2·2H2O) with different Zn concentration were used. Fertilization and irrigation were the same for all variants. The Zn content and the content of selected micro (Cu, Fe, Mn) and macro (Ca, Mg, P and K) nutrients in plant roots, and stems and leaves were determined. It was concluded that the zinc content of plant roots varies narrowly, with no significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The same trend can be seen in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients. The zinc content of plant stems and leaves varies within wide limits, with the significant impact of ZnHN fertilization. The trends in the content of Cu, Mn, and macronutrients are kept the same as in the root, whereas the iron trends to increase its content at increasing the zinc content.

Paper Detail
126
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665
10010642
Growth and Yield Assessment of Two Types of Sorghum-Sudangrass Hybrids as Affected by Deficit Irrigation
Abstract:

In order to evaluate the growth and yield properties of two Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids under different irrigation levels, an investigation was done in the experiment site of Collage of Agriculture, University of Duhok, Kurdistan region of Iraq (36°5´38⸗ N, 42°52´02⸗ E) in the years 2015-16. The experiment was conducted under Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications, which main factor was irrigation treatments (I100, I75 and I50) according to evaporation pan class A and type of Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids (KH12SU9001, G1) and (KH12SU9002, G2) were factors of subplots. The parameters studied were: plant height (cm), number of green leaves per plant; leaf area (m2/m2), stem thickness (mm), percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass (ton.ha-1) and also crop water productivity. The results of variance analysis showed that KH12SU9001 variety had more amount of leaf area, percent of protein, fresh and dry biomass yield in comparison to KH12SU9002 variety. By comparing effects of irrigation levels on vegetative growth and yield properties, results showed that amount of plant height, fresh and dry biomass weight was decreased by decreasing irrigation level from full irrigation regime to 5 o% of irrigation level. Also, results of crop water productivity (CWP) indicated that improvement in quantity of irrigation would impact fresh and dry biomass yield significantly. Full irrigation regime was recorded the highest level of CWP (1.28-1.29 kg.m-3).

Paper Detail
100
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664
10010488
Effect of Different Media and Mannitol Concentrations on Growth and Development of Vandopsis lissochiloides (Gaudich.) Pfitz. under Slow Growth Conditions
Abstract:

In vitro conservation of orchid germplasm provides an effective technique for ex situ conservation of orchid diversity. In this study, an efficient protocol for in vitro conservation of Vandopsis lissochiloides (Gaudich.) Pfitz. plantlet under slow growth conditions was investigated. Plantlets were cultured on different strength of Vacin and Went medium (½VW and ¼VW) supplemented with different concentrations of mannitol (0, 2, 4, 6 and 8%), sucrose (0 and 3%) and 50 g/L potato extract, 150 mL/L coconut water. The cultures were incubated at 25±2 °C and maintained under 20 µmol/m2s light intensity for 24 weeks without subculture. At the end of preservation period, the plantlets were subcultured to fresh medium for growth recovery. The results found that the highest leaf number per plantlet could be observed on ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol while the highest root number per plantlet was found on ½VW added with 3% sucrose without adding mannitol after 24 weeks of in vitro storage. The results showed that the maximum number of leaves (5.8 leaves) and roots (5.0 roots) of preserved plantlets were produced on ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol. Therefore, ¼VW medium without adding sucrose and mannitol was the best minimum growth conditions for medium-term storage of V. lissochiloides plantlets.

Paper Detail
145
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663
10010323
Technological Value of Selected Spring Wheat Cultivars Depending on the Sowing Date
Abstract:

The grain quality is a decisive factor in its use. In Poland, spring wheat is characterized by more favorable quality parameters in relation to the winter form of this species. In the present study, the effects of three different sowing dates (autumn, delayed autumn, and spring) and cultivar (Tybalt, Cytra, Bombona, Monsun, and Parabola) on the selected technological value parameters of spring wheat over three years were studied. The field trials were carried out in two locations (Bezek, Czesławice) in the Lubelskie Vivodeship, Poland. It was found that the falling number of spring wheat grains from autumn sowing dates was at a similar level to wheat sown in spring. The amount of wet gluten in the grain was variable in years, and its quality was better in wheat sown in spring. Sedimentation index was dependent upon on the cultivar.

Paper Detail
161
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662
10010324
Influence of Nitrogen Fertilization on the Yields and Grain Quality of Winter Wheat under Different Environmental Conditions
Abstract:

In 2013/2014 and 2014/2015, a field experiment was conducted in two locations: Osiny and Wielichowo (Poland). The two-factor experiment was based on the method of randomized subblocks, in three replications. The first factor (A) was dose of nitrogen fertilization (two levels). The second factor (B) was nine winter wheat cultivars. It was found that winter wheat cultivars exhibited different reactions to higher nitrogen fertilization depending on the years and localities. Only KWS Dacanto cultivar under all growing conditions showed a significant increase in grain yield after the application of a higher level of nitrogen fertilization. The increase in nitrogen fertilization influenced the increase in gluten proteins content in wheat grain, but these changes were statistically significant only in the first year of the study. The quality of gluten does not depend on nitrogen fertilization. The quality of wheat grain depends on cultivars.

Paper Detail
179
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661
10010284
Influence of Organic Supplements on Shoot Multiplication Efficiency of Phaius tankervilleae var. alba
Abstract:

The influence of organic supplements on growth and multiplication efficiency of Phaius tankervilleae var. alba seedlings was investigated. 12 week-old seedlings were cultured on half-strength semi-solid Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with 30 g/L sucrose, 8 g/L agar and various concentrations of coconut water (0, 50, 100, 150 and 200 mL/L) combined with potato extract (0, 25 and 50 g/L) and the pH was adjusted to 5.8 prior to autoclaving. The cultures were then kept under constant photoperiod (16 h light: 8 h dark) at 25 ± 2 °C for 12 weeks. The highest number of shoots (3.0 shoots/explant) was obtained when cultured on the medium added with 50 ml/L coconut water and 50 g/L potato extract whereas the highest number of leaves (5.9 leaves/explant) and roots (6.1 roots/explant) could receive on the medium supplemented with 150 ml/L coconut water and 50 g/L potato extract. with 150 ml/L coconut water and 50 g/L potato extract. Additionally, plantlets of P. tankervilleae var. alba were transferred to grow into seven different substrates i.e. soil, sand, coconut husk chip, soil-sand mix (1: 1), soil-coconut husk chip mix (1: 1), sand-coconut husk chip mix (1: 1) and soil-sand-coconut husk chip mix (1: 1: 1) for four weeks. The results found that acclimatized plants showed 100% of survivals when sand, coconut husk chip and sand-coconut husk chip mix are used as substrates. The number of leaves induced by sand-coconut husk chip mix was significantly higher than that planted in other substrates (P > 0.05). Meanwhile, no significant difference in new shoot formation among these substrates was observed (P < 0.05). This precursory developing protocol was likely to be applied for more large scale of plant production as well as conservation of germplasm of this orchid species.

Paper Detail
216
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660
10010116
Effects of Multilayer Coating of Chitosan and Polystyrene Sulfonate on Quality of ‘Nam Dok Mai No.4’ Mango
Abstract:
Ripe ‘Nam Dok Mai’ mango (Mangifera indica L.) is an important exported fruit of Thailand, but rapidly declined in the quality attributes mainly by infection of anthracnose and stem end rot diseases. Multilayer coating is considered as a developed technique to maintain the postharvest quality of mangoes. The utilization of alternated coating by matching oppositely electrostatic charges between 0.1% chitosan and 0.1% polystyrene sulfonate (PSS) was studied. A number of the coating layers (layer by layer) were applied on mature green ‘Nam Dok Mai No.4’ mangoes prior to storage at 25 oC, 65-70% relative humidity (RH). There were significant differences in some quality attributes of mangoes coated by 3½ layers, 4½ layers and 5½ layers. In comparison to coated mangoes, uncoated fruits were higher in weight loss, total soluble solids, respiration rate, ethylene production and disease incidence except the titratable acidity. Coating fruit at 3½ layers exhibited the ripening delay and reducing disease infection without off flavour. On the other hand, fruit coated with 5½ layers comprised the lowest acceptable score, caused by exhibiting disorders from fermentation at the end of storage. As a result, multilayer coating between chitosan and PSS could effectively maintain the postharvest quality of mango, but number of coating layers should be thoroughly considered.
Paper Detail
269
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659
10010127
Matching Farmer Competence and Farm Resources with the Transformation of Agri-Food Marketing Systems
Abstract:

The agri-food market transformation has implied market growth for the fruit industry in Thailand. This article focuses on analysis of farmer competence and farm resources which affect market strategies used by fruit farmers in Chanthaburi province of Thailand. The survey data were collected through the use of face-to-face interviews with structured questionnaires. This study identified 14 drivers related to farmer competence and farm resources of which some had significant effect on the decision to use either high-value markets or traditional markets. The results suggest that farmers who used high-value markets were better educated and they had longer experience and larger sized business. Identifying the important factors that match with the market transformation provides policy with opportunities to support the fruit farmers to increase their market power. Policies that promote business expansion of agricultural cooperatives and knowledge sharing among farmers are recommended to reduce limitations due to limited knowledge, low experience, and small business sizes.

Paper Detail
223
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658
10010168
Effects of Intercropping Maize (Zea mays L.) with Jack Beans (Canavalia ensiformis L.) at Different Spacing and Weeding Regimes on Crops Productivity
Abstract:

A field experiment was conducted at Ido town in Ido Local Government Area of Oyo state, Nigeria to determine the effects of intercropping maize (Zea mays L.) with Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis L.) at different spacing and weeding regimes on crops productivity. The treatments were 2 x 2 x 3 factorial arrangement involving two spatial crop arrangements. Spacing of 75 cm x 50 cm and 90 cm x 42 cm (41.667 cm) with two plants per stand resulted in plant population of approximately 53,000 plants/hectare. Also, Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with two cropping patterns (sole and intercrop), three weeding regimes (weedy check, weeds once, and weed twice) with three replicates was used. Data were analyzed with SAS (Statistical Analysis System) and statistical means separated using Least Significant Difference (LSD) (P ≤ 0.05). Intercropping and crop spacing did not have significant influence on the growth parameters and yield parameters. The maize grain yield of 1.11 t/ha obtained under sole maize was comparable to 1.05 t/ha from maize/jack beans. Weeding regime significantly influenced growth and yields of maize in intercropping with Jack beans. Weeding twice resulted in significantly higher growth than that of the other weeding regimes. Plant height at 6 Weeks After Sowing (WAS) under weeding twice regime (3 and 6 WAS) was 83.9 cm which was significantly different from 67.75 cm and 53.47 cm for weeding once (3 WAS) and no weeding regimes respectively. Moreover, maize grain yield of 1.3 t/ha obtained from plots weeded twice was comparable to that of 1.23 t/ha from single weeding and both were significantly higher than 0.71 t/ha maize grain yield obtained from the no weeding control. The dry matter production of Jack beans reduced at some growth stages due to intercropping of maize with Jack beans though with no significance effect on the other growth parameters of the crop. There was no effect on the growth parameters of Jack beans in maize/jack beans intercrop based on cropping spacing while comparable growth and dry matter production in Jack beans were produced in maize/Jack beans mixture with single weeding.

Paper Detail
228
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657
10010026
Principle Knowledge of Integrated Pest Management Adopting Cotton Cultivators in Irrigated and Rainfed Conditions: A Critical Analysis
Abstract:

In India cotton was the major commercial crop and cultivating all the states. In recent years, area of cotton declined due to pest and disease attack, drought, lower price for the produces etc. The first reason as pest and disease attack will be the challenges and it is of utmost importance that in future the insect problems would have to be tackled through Integrated Pest Management (IPM). The present study deals with principle knowledge of IPM adopting cotton cultivators in irrigated and rainfed conditions. Under irrigated conditions, among cultural practices, all respondents had principle knowledge about growing high yielding and pest resistant hybrids, sowing quality and certified seeds and avoiding cotton ratoon cropping. Regarding mechanical practices all respondents had principle knowledge about collecting and destroying egg, larvae and pupae of pests and removing and destroying pest and disease infected cotton squares, flowers and other shed materials. With regard to biological practices, 93% of them had principle knowledge about spraying neem oil, followed by 82% about tying Trichogramma eggcard. Among chemical practices, more than 90% of the respondents had principle knowledge about of spraying herbicide (96%), identifying ETL (Economic Threshold Level) for cotton pests (94%), and applying safe insecticides (90%). Under rainfed condition, among cultural practices, all respondents had principle knowledge about sowing quality and certified seeds and growing high yielding and pest resistant hybrids seeds. Regarding mechanical practices hundred percentage of the respondents had principle knowledge on the mechanical practices viz., collecting and destroying egg, larvae and pupae of pests and removing and destroying pest and disease infected cotton squares, flowers and other shed materials. With regard to biological practices, 96% of the respondents had correct in principle knowledge about spraying neem oil, followed by 89% about tying Trichogramma eggcard. With regard to chemical practices, more than 90% of the respondents had principle knowledge of applying safe insecticides (95%), avoiding repeated use of the same insecticides (95%), identifying ETL for cotton pests (94%) and applying granular insecticides (90%).

Paper Detail
314
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656
10009922
A Risk Assessment for the Small Hive Beetle Based on Meteorological Standard Measurements
Abstract:

The Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) is a parasite for honey bee colonies, Apis mellifera, and was recently introduced to the European continent, accidentally. Based on the literature, a model was developed by using regional meteorological variables (daily values of minimum, maximum and mean air temperature as well as mean soil temperature at 50 mm depth) to calculate the time-point of hive invasion by A. tumida in springtime, the development duration of pupae as well as the number of generations of A. tumida per year. Luxembourg was used as a test region for our model for 2005 to 2013. The model output indicates a successful surviving of the Small Hive Beetle in Luxembourg with two up to three generations per year. Additionally, based on our meteorological data sets a first migration of SHB to apiaries can be expected from mid of March up to April. Our approach can be transferred easily to other countries to estimate the risk potential for a successful introduction and spreading of A. tumida in Western Europe.

Paper Detail
304
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655
10009924
A Small-Scale Flexible Test Bench for the Investigation of Fertigation Strategies in Soilless Culture
Abstract:
In soilless culture, the management of the nutrient solution is the most important aspect for crop growing. Fertigation dose, frequency and nutrient concentration must be planned with the objective of reaching an optimal crop growth by limiting the utilized resources and the associated costs. The definition of efficient fertigation strategies is a complex problem since fertigation requirements vary on the basis of different factors, and crops are sensitive to small variations on fertigation parameters. To the best of author knowledge, a small-scale test bench that is flexible for both nutrient solution preparation and precise irrigation is currently missing, limiting the investigations in standard practices for soilless culture. Starting from the analysis of the state of the art, this paper proposes a small-scale system that is potentially able to concurrently test different fertigation strategies. The system will be designed and implemented throughout a three year project started on August 2018. However, due to the importance of the topic within current challenges as food security and climate change, this work is spread considering that may inspire other universities and organizations.
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428
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10009931
The Features of Formation of Russian Agriculture’s Sectoral Structure
Abstract:

The long-term strategy of the economic development of Russia up to 2030 is based on the concept of sustainable growth. The determining factor of such development is complex changes in the economic system which may be achieved by making progressive changes in its structure. The structural changes determine the character and the direction of economic development, as well as they include all elements of this system without exception, and their regulated character ensures the most rapid aim achievement. This article has discussed the industrial structure of the agriculture in Russia. With the use of the system of indexes, the article has determined the directions, intensity, and speed of structural shifts. The influence of structural changes on agricultural production development has been found out. It is noticed that the changes in the industrial structure are synchronized with the changes in the organisation and economic structure. Efficiency assessment of structural changes allowed to trace the efficiency of structural changes and elaborate the main directions for agricultural policy improvement.

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560
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10009972
Effects of Grape Seed Oil on Postharvest Life and Quality of Some Grape Cultivars
Abstract:

Table grapes (Vitis vinifera L.) are an important crop worldwide. Postharvest problems like berry shattering, decay and stem dehydration are some of the important factors that limit the marketing of table grapes. Edible coatings are an alternative for increasing shelf-life of fruits, protecting fruits from humidity and oxygen effects, thus retarding their deterioration. This study aimed to compare different grape seed oil applications (GSO, 0.5 g L-1, 1 g L-1, 2 g L-1) and SO2 generating pads effects (SO2-1, SO2-2). Treated grapes with GSO and generating pads were packaged into polyethylene trays and stored at 0 ± 1°C and 85-95% moisture. Effects of the applications were investigated by some quality and sensory evaluations with intervals of 15 days. SO2 applications were determined the most effective treatments for minimizing weight loss and changes in TA, pH, color and appearance value. Grape seed oil applications were determined as a good alternative for grape preservation, improving weight losses and °Brix, TA, the color values and sensory analysis. Commercially, ‘Alphonse Lavallée’ clusters were stored for 75 days and ‘Antep Karası’ clusters for 60 days. The data obtained from GSO indicated that it had a similar quality result to SO2 for up to 40 days storage.

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248
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10009868
Closed Greenhouse Production Systems for Smart Plant Production in Urban Areas
Abstract:

The integration of agricultural production systems into urban areas is a challenge for the coming decades. Because of increasing greenhouse gas emission and rising resource consumption as well as costs in animal husbandry, the dietary habits of people in the 21st century have to focus on herbal foods. Intensive plant cultivation systems in large cities and megacities require a smart coupling of information, material and energy flow with the urban infrastructure in terms of Horticulture 4.0. In recent years, many puzzle pieces have been developed for these closed processes at the Humboldt University. To compile these for an urban plant production, it has to be optimized and networked with urban infrastructure systems. In the field of heat energy production, it was shown that with closed greenhouse technology and patented heat exchange and storage technology energy can be provided for heating and domestic hot water supply in the city. Closed water circuits can be drastically reducing the water requirements of plant production in urban areas. Ion sensitive sensors and new disinfection methods can help keep circulating nutrient solutions in the system for a longer time in urban plant production greenhouses.

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310
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10009873
Expression of Tissue Plasminogen Activator in Transgenic Tobacco Plants by Signal Peptides Targeting for Delivery to Apoplast, Endoplasmic Reticulum and Cytosol Spaces
Abstract:

Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) as a serine protease plays an important role in the fibrinolytic system and the dissolution of fibrin clots in human body. The production of this drug in plants such as tobacco could reduce its production costs. In this study, expression of tPA gene and protein targeting to different plant cell compartments, using various signal peptides has been investigated. For high level of expression, Kozak sequence was used after CaMV35S in the beginning of the gene. In order to design the final construction, Extensin, KDEL (amino acid sequence including Lys-Asp-Glu-Leu) and SP (γ-zein signal peptide coding sequence) were used as leader signals to conduct this protein into apoplast, endoplasmic reticulum and cytosol spaces, respectively. Cloned human tPA gene under the CaMV (Cauliflower mosaic virus) 35S promoter and NOS (Nopaline Synthase) terminator into pBI121 plasmid was transferred into tobacco explants by Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA4404. The presence and copy number of genes in transgenic tobacco was proved by Southern blotting. Enzymatic activity of the rt-PA protein in transgenic plants compared to non-transgenic plants was confirmed by Zymography assay. The presence and amount of rt-PA recombinant protein in plants was estimated by ELISA analysis on crude protein extract of transgenic tobacco using a specific antibody. The yield of recombinant tPA in transgenic tobacco for SP, KDEL, Extensin signals were counted 0.50, 0.68, 0.69 microgram per milligram of total soluble proteins.

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270
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10009753
Problems and Prospects of Agricultural Biotechnology in Nigeria’s Developing Economy
Abstract:

Science offers opportunities for revolutionizing human activities, enriched by input from scientific research and technology. Biotechnology is a major force for development in developing countries such as Nigeria. It is found to contribute to solving human problems like water and food insecurity that impede national development and threaten peace wherever it is applied. This review identified the problems of agricultural biotechnology in Nigeria. On the part of rural farmers, there is a lack of adequate knowledge or awareness of biotechnology despite the fact that they constitute the bulk of Nigerian farmers. On part of the government, the problems include: lack of adequate implementation of government policy on bio-safety and genetically modified products, inadequate funding of education as well as research and development of products related to biotechnology. Other problems include: inadequate infrastructures (including laboratory), poor funding and lack of national strategies needed for development and running of agricultural biotechnology. In spite of all the challenges associated with agricultural biotechnology, its prospects still remain great if Nigeria is to meet with the food needs of the country’s ever increasing population. The introduction of genetically engineered products will lead to the high productivity needed for commercialization and food security. Insect, virus and other related diseases resistant crops and livestock are another viable area of contribution of biotechnology to agricultural production. In conclusion, agricultural biotechnology will not only ensure food security, but, in addition, will ensure that the local farmers utilize appropriate technology needed for large production, leading to the prosperity of the farmers and national economic growth, provided government plays its role of adequate funding and good policy implementation.

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530
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649
10009784
Impact of Herbicides on Soil Biology in Rapeseed
Abstract:
Winter oilseed rape, Brassica napus L., is characterized by a high number of herbicide applications. Therefore, its cultivation can lead to massive contamination of ground water and soil by herbicide and their metabolites. A multi-side long-term field experiment (EFFO, Efficient crop rotation) was set-up in Luxembourg to quantify these effects. Based on soil sampling and laboratory analysis, preliminary results showed reduced dehydrogenase activities of several soil organisms due to herbicide treatments. This effect is highly depending on the soil type. Relation between the dehydrogenase activity and the amount of microbial carbon showed higher variability on the test side with loamy Brown Earth, based on Bunter than on those with sandy-loamy Brown Earth, based on calciferous Sandstone.
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299
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10009583
Sub-Lethal Effects of Thiamethoxam and Pirimicarb on Life-Table Parameters of Diaeretiella rapae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), Parasitoid of Lipaphis erysimi (Hemiptera: Aphididae)
Abstract:

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) aims to combine biological and chemical strategies and measures, hence highlighting the study of acute toxicity and sub-lethal effects of pesticides comprehensively. The present research focused on the side effects of thiamethoxam and pirimicarb sub-lethal concentrations on demographic parameters of Diaeretiella rapae (McIntosh Laboratory) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Adult parasitoids were exposed to LC25 of insecticides as well as distilled water as the control. The results showed that thiamethoxam adversely affected population parameters (r, λ, R0, T), adults' longevity, females' oviposition period and mean fecundity, and a similar trend was obtained for pirimicarb with the exception of generation time (T), the latter did not significantly change compared to the control. The intrinsic rate of increase (r) in the control and those treated with pirimicarb and thiamethoxam were 0.2801, 0.2064, 0.1525 days-1, respectively, and the sex ratio was biased toward females in all treatments. Furthermore, none of the insecticides influenced total pre-oviposition period (TPOP) and offspring emergence rate. In general, these results indicated that both insecticides potentially distort the demographic parameters of the parasitoid even at sub-lethal concentrations, and then they should not be considered for IPM program in the presence of D. rapae.

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277
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