IJOEAR : June 2016

Agriculture Journal june 2016

Storage of Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated form Honey Bees in Inverted Sugar Syrup

Abstract Honey bee hives are influenced by many different biotic and abiotic factors. Several studies demonstrate that the presence of the lactic acid producing bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Leuconostoc in honey bee intestinal tracts has a positive effect on a bee hive’s health. Bee hives which are lacking beneficial microflora could be supplied with it through a carrier media. The aim of this study was to evaluate several concentrations of inverted sugar syrup’s suitability for carrying lactic acid bacteria for possible enhancement of honey bee microflora by using lactic bacteria strains previously isolated from honey bee gastrointestinal tract in Latvian apiaries. Since sugar syrup is commonly used for feeding honey bees during the wintering it was decided to use it as a carrier media. There were five isolates of lactic acid bacteria used to test three concentrations of sugar syrup and it was found out that the inverted sugar syrup concentration of 25% is most suitable for carrying tested isolates judged by their growth dynamics and attraction from the bees.

Keywords Honey bees, Lactic acid bacteria, Sugar syrup, Carrying media

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Induction of Alternaria blight resistance using in vivo and in vitro mediated mutagenic techniques in Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata A. Braun)

Abstract Rapeseed-mustard crops in general, show low average productivity due to the prevalence of various biotic and abiotic stresses. Among biotic stresses, Alternaria blight caused by Alternaria brassicae (Berk.) Sacc. is an important and a widespread destructive disease. In the present study, an attempt was made to isolate Alternaria blight resistant mutants in the susceptible variety ‘Jayanti’ of Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata A. Braun) using in vivo and in vitro mutagenic techniques. Dry and uniform coloured seeds were mutagenised by gamma rays (50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 and 110kR) in 60Co gamma cell and Ethyl Methyl Sulphonate (EMS, 0.3%, 0.4% and 0.5%). About 46 mutants in M2 generation were isolated which showed segregation for Alternaria brassicae resistance. Ten mutants showed very less sporulation intensity along with less halo and concentric ring diameter. Screening of different mutagenised population under Alternaria-sick plots resulted in the isolation of two mutants viz., P(4)2 in 80kR and P13 in 100kR doses exhibiting moderate resistance/tolerance (PDI <25.0 %, scale 2) compared to the parental check ‘Jayanti’. The resistance of theses mutants was further confirmed by in vitro studies using cultural filtrate and detached leaf techniques. The Alternaria blight tolerant mutants also exhibited dwarfness and earliness in comparison to parental variety while the yield potential of both tolerant mutants remained at par with the checks used in the study. Thus, the induced mutagenesis through irradiation and EMS treatments could be effectively used for the induction of Alternaria blight tolerance and the isolated mutants can be the potential genetic stocks for breeding Ethiopian mustard lines with tolerance to Alternaria blight coupled with earliness and dwarfness.

Keywords Culture filtrate, irradiation, EMS, Alternaria brassicae (Berk.) Sacc., mutation, resistance, Brassica carinata A. Braun.

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Effect of Yam-Based Production on Poverty Status of Farmers In Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria

Abstract Poverty as a scourge is multi-dimensional in scope and needs concerted efforts to resolve. The study focused on the effect of yam-based farming on poverty status of farmer in Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area (L.G.A) of Kogi State, Nigeria.

Specifically, the objectives were to examine the socio-economic characteristics of yam farmers in the study area, determine the effects of yam-based farming on their economic status, examine their level of poverty and examine the determinants of poverty status. Data for the study was obtained from a well-structured questionnaire administered to 120 respondents selected from the study area. Data analysis was done using simple descriptive statistics, poverty line analysis and logit model, the hypothesis was tested using t-test statistics.

The results showed that without income from yam production 68.5% of the respondents were below the poverty line while 31.5% of the respondents were above poverty line. But with yam production, the annual income of the respondents significantly scaled up (P < 0.05) with the proportion of the poor and non-poor being 29% and 71% respectively: Respondent perceived benefits derivable from yam-based production at (mean ≥ 3.00); were absence of hunger in the households (mean ≤ 4.42); affording better medical services (mean 4.26); ability to pay school fees (mean = 4.07) and payment of house rents (mean 3.44) among others. Finally, the results also revealed that three variable in the logit regression model were significant in explaining variation in the poverty status of the farming households. These are farm size, income from yam-based production and non-farming activities. It was recommended that government should provide bigger plot of land for those farmers who are determined to take farming as business and youth should be empowered in rural areas for farming.

Keywords Effect, yam-based farming, poverty status, Kabba/Bunu.

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Biopolymer Foil Materials Examination with DSC and TSD methods

Abstract Thermally Simulated Depolarization Current measurement is an excellent but not widely used method for identifying relaxation processes in polymers. The TSDC method is used here to analyze the molecular movements in biopolymers. Differential Scanning Calorimetry is a technique used to measure thermal properties of polymers based on the rate at which they absorb heat energy compared to a reference material. The two techniques take advantage of the energy changes involved in the various phase transitions of certain polymer molecules. This allows for several properties of the material to be ascertained; melting points, enthalpies of melting, crystallization temperatures, glass transition temperatures and degradation temperatures. The examined biopolymer films are made from biological materials such as proteins and polysaccharides. These materials have gained wide usage in pharmaceutical, medical and food areas. The uses of biopolymer films depend on their structure and mechanical properties. This work is based on three types of alginate, and gelatin films. The films were prepared by casting. The casting technique used aqueous solutions in each case of sample preparation. The manufacturing process of the sodium alginate and gelatin films was a single stage solving process, and for the calcium alginate and alginic acid have a chemical reaction process.

Keywords alginate, alginic acid, gelatin, DSC, TSD.

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An Econometric Analysis of Natural Rubber Market In Malaysia 

Abstract The objective of this study is to identify the important factors that affecting natural rubber industry in Malaysia. Therefore, the Malaysian natural rubber market model where built. It consists of six behavioral equation and two closing identities. The six behavioral equations are production, import, domestic consumption, export, domestic price and world price equations and the closing identities are domestic and world stock. By using the annual data from year 1980 to 2012, the market model been examined using unit root test, cointegration test and simultaneous equation estimation. Method two stages least squares (2SLS) will be used in determining the factors that affecting natural rubber market. Results revealed that time trend, hectare natural rubber and production with lagged 1 year are important in production natural rubber equation. While,import depends on world price and exchange rate. Only synthetic rubber price isn’t important in determining Malaysia’s natural rubber consumption. All the factors in domestic price are significance except price with lagged 1 year while lastly crude oil price and lagged world price of rubber are the two variables that important in the world price equation compare to exchange rate and world price of synthetic rubber.

Keywords Econometric analysis, Malaysian natural rubber market, unit root test, cointegration test, two stages least squares (2SLS)

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Tea (Camellia sinensis) Waste for the reduction of Malathion  and Phorate in aqueous solutions

Abstract Diminution of Malathion and Phorate from aqueous solutions by tea waste biomass was examined in a batch experimental setup. Waste tea powder, obtained from University canteen, S.V. University, Tirupati, India has been used as an effective material for the reduction of Malathion and Phorate from aqueous solutions. Characterization of the adsorbent was studied using SEM micrograph and Fourier Transform Infrared spectral analysis. From the FTIR spectrum it is observed that the change in peak position at 3390 cm−1 in the spectrum of the Phorate and Malathion loaded tea powder indicates the binding of these pesticides with hydroxyl groups. The working solutions of the pesticides are in the range of 0.1µg – 1.0µg for Malathion and 0.05µg – 0.5µg for phorate. It was observed that percentage adsorption increased with pH of the liquid phase and reached an optimum value of 95 % for Malathion and 94 % for phorate at pH 7.4 ± 0.2 and pH 7.5 ± 0.2, respectively. The dosage of the adsorbent had showed considerable effect on the adsorption of Malathion and Phorate.

Keywords Adsorption, Pesticides, Malathion, Phorate and Waste Tea Powder.

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Physiological Assessments of Sweet Sorghum Inoculated with  Azospirillumbrasilense according to Nitrogen Fertilization and Plant Growth Regulators

AbstractSome factors, such as yield increase and production cost reduction, must still be assessed as a way toimprove the sweet sorghum success prospects. The use of plant growth regulator mixtures has shown significant results in crop yield.Nitrogen assimilation stands out as one of the main limiting factors in plant production. Given the physiological effects of plant growth regulators and their mode of action in the photosynthetic metabolism, the aim of the current study is to assess the physiological responses of sweet sorghum plants inoculated with Azospirillum brasilenseto the use of nitrogen fertilization and plant growth regulators. The experiment comprised split plots, with four repetitions. The treatments comprised nitrogen (0, 40, 80, 120 and 160 kg ha-1) and biostimulant levels (0, 300, 400, 500 and 600 mL ha-1) in sweet sorghum culture inoculated with Azospirillum brasilense. Variables such as gas exchange and total recoverable sugars (TRS%) were assessed. The application of plant growth regulator at the dose 440.7 ml ha-1 showed the highest photosynthetic efficiency up to 46 DAE. According to the experimental conditions, the plant growth regulator treatment had no effect on the TRS %. It is concluded that the plant growth regulator did not affect the production of sugars by the plant.

Keywords— total sugars, kinetin, photosynthesis, inoculation

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Potential of Entomopathogenic Bacillus thuringiensis as Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria and Biological Control Agents for Tomato Fusarium Wilt

Abstract Bacillus thuringiensis has been used as an effective bioinsecticide because it produces the proteins Cry and Cyt, which are highly toxic to insects in certain situations. However, recently, B. thuringiensis was used as a biological control agent that can suppress plant disease. In this study, the antagonistic activities of B. thuringiensisAS17 japonensisand AS18 kurstaki against the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici (FOL) were examined using a dual culture technique. Furthermore, B. thuringiensis strains suppressed the development of wilt symptoms caused by FOL in tomato plants. After inoculating six strains of B. thuringiensis suspension following inoculation of FOL, the development of wilt symptoms became less than control, especially with B. thuringiensisAS17 japonensis and AS20 CR371-H. Furthermore, we proved that B. thuringiensis strains are plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) that can promote plant growth. Seed germination and shoot elongation were promoted by treating the tomato seeds with a bacterial culture filtrate and a bacterial suspension.

Keywords Bacillus thuringiensis, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici, plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), tomato.

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Nutritive compounds from leaves of Moringa oleifera L. and beans of Vigna unguiculata W. for improvement of the meal deriving with new shoots of Borassus aethiopum M. in Côte d’Ivoire.

Abstract – The nutritive compounds of the shoots of Borassus aethiopum M. consumed in Côte d’Ivoire is not yet revealed whereas popularization of this plant’s basis food recipes is planned. The current study investigates the nutritive parameters of new shoots of Borassus aethiopum M., leaves of Moringa oleifera L. and beans of Vigna unguiculata W. in order to improve their valorization. Initially, samples of Palmyra are processed into meal, while powders are produced from those of Moringa and Cowpea. Then, seven nutritive traits performed from these derived products allow comparison of the studied food resources. The work showed a great divergence (P<.01) between the samples relating to the whole parameters. Thus, the leaflets powder of Moringa is more provided in ash (4.19±.05 g/100 g), lipids (8.35±.01 g/100 g) and fibers (5.74±.01 g/100 g) than samples resulting from Cowpea and Palmyra. On the other hand, the powder of Cowpea beans highlights the greatest proteins content (27.24±.13 g/100 g); whereas the meal deriving from shoots of Palmyra represents the most significant source of carbohydrates, either fermented (84.10±.11 g/100 g) or unfermented (83.79±.10 g/100 g). The meal of Palmyra is also richer in soluble sugars (5.19±.01 to 5.23±.01 g/100 g), moister (9.90±.03% to 10.03±.04%) and has the most significant caloric energy value (315.03±.10 to 315.41±.10 kcal/100 g).

The new shoots tubers, leaves and beans of respective Palmyra, Cowpea and Moringa plants are with diverse nutritive composition. Their uses in composite food formulations could contribute in preservation of the biodiversity, to ensure food safety for populations and to address the poverty and wilderness concerns.

Key words: Palmyra new shoots tubers, Moringa, Cowpea, meal, nutritive compounds.

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The development prospects of rabbit sector in Tunisia based on a value chain diagnosis

Abstract This study is to identify barriers to the development of rabbit sector in Tunisia using value chain approach, as an instrument of strategic analysis and value-cost optimization. To this end, a survey was conducted with a representative sample of industrial rabbit breeders. The results prove that the development of the rabbit value chain is conditioned in promoting the efficiency and the quality at the breeding system. Rabbit feed quality is the main constraint for the majority of breeders, followed by animal feed prices. This justifies the increase of the consumer sale prices of rabbit meat, affecting its domestic supply. Thus, the growth of the Tunisian rabbit sector is based on a reform and an upgrade of the productive systems and also on a better organization of the sector through the promotion of the vertical and horizontal integration. Promoting rabbit meat consumption is also a determining factor of rabbit sector development.

Keywords Rabbit, Tunisia, Value chain.

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Use of Autochthonous Organic Inputs for Amelioration of Fluoride Toxicity and Sustainable Agriculture

Abstract An assessment was undertaken to study the combating capacity of autochthonous organic inputs viz. vermicompost, compost and bacterial consortia isolated from different sources viz. oil spillage sludge of petrol pump and rhizosphere of rice plant against the fluoride toxicity under field condition. Brassica campestris L. cv.B9 was selected as a test species. Experiments were carried out in two consecutive years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 designed as experiment I and experiment II. One unique thing was observed that mustard which were grown under indigenous organic inputs treated plots gave maximum yield under T1 treatment (25 mg Kg-1 F) and was above the control set. Moreover, autochthonous organic inputs were capable of reducing the amount of fluoride content within the different plant parts of mustard. Maximum amount of fluoride was accumulated within the leaves and minimum quantity of fluoride was accumulated within the seed but within the permissible range (< 0.3 mg Kg-1 as recommended by EPA, FAO and WHO). Data were significantly different at 5% level using Duncan’s Multiple Range Test (DMRT). Therefore, combination of vermicompost, compost and bacterial consortia acted upon reduction of fluoride level in the crop field of mustard.

Keywords Vermicompost, Compost, Bacterial consortia, Fluoride, Oil spilled site, Rhizosphere.

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Vermicomposting of Spent Mushroom Compost Using Perionyxexkavatus and Artificial Nutrient Compound

Abstract Vermicomposting is a cost effective technology for processing or treatment of a gricultural wastes. This simple yet effective technology was easily applicable in developing countries. In Vietnam, vermicomposting is not new but has few publications. Implementing vermicomposting with spent mushroom compost (SMC) as culture medium is one research approach not only in Vietnam but also in the world. With its poor nutrition nature, in order to be used as culture medium, SMC needs well treated and supplementing with artificial nutritional compound (ANC). This study reported valuation of moisture and light on the growth of Perionyx exkavatus. Results showed that at 80% moisture, earthworm has the most growth rate and gain 100% clitellum development after 30 days. In natural light, growth rate and manure rate reached maximum with 5.61 mg.worm-1.day-1 and 235 mg.worm-1. ANC supplementing showed strong effects on earthworms’ growth rate. Earthworms gained maximum growth rate at 20ml ANC added in three kg of substrates with over double biomass after 60 days. However, due to ANC’s high acidity, with supplement volume over 25ml, there was a down trend of earthworm growth rate. ANC supplement did not show noticeable affect to manure rate of earthworms.

Keywords Vermicompost, Perionyxexcavatus, spent mushroom compost, artificial nutrient compound

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Interspecific Variation in Salt Tolerance of Some Acacia Species at Seed Germination Stage

Abstract Germination of seeds from six Acacia species was evaluated under salt stresses using five treatment levels: 0, 100, 200, 300, and 400mM of NaCl. Corrected germination rate (GC), germination rate index (GRI) and mean germination time (MGT) were recorded during 10 days. The results indicate that germination was significantly reduced in all species with the increase in NaCl concentrations. However, significant interspecific variation for salt tolerance was observed. The greatest variability in tolerance was observed at moderate salt stress (200 mM of NaCl) and the decrease in germination seems to be more accentuated in A. cyanophylla and A. cyclops. Although, A. raddiana, remains the most interesting, it preserved the highest percentage (GC = 80%) and velocity of germination in all species studied in this work, even in the high salt levels. This species exhibits a particular adaptability to salt environment, at least at this stage in the life cycle, and could be recommended for plantation establishment in salt affected areas. On the other hand, when ungerminated seeds were transferred from NaCl treatments to distilled water, they recovered largely their germination without a lag period, and with high speed. This indicated that the germination inhibition was related to a reversible osmotic stress that induced dormancy rather than specific ion toxicity.

Keywords Acacia species, Osmotic stress, Germination recovery, Salt tolerance, Seed germination, Variability, Plant breeding, Rehabilitation, Salt areas.

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The Effects of Variable Precipitation on Discharge and Sediment Transport in Streams in the Teton Mountain Range, Wyoming, USA

Abstract Discharge and sediment distributions control the efficiency of sediment transport and incision into bedrock units in active stream channels. The efficiency of stream erosion is an important factor influencing the evolution of mountain landscapes. Variations in yearly precipitation affect the timing of snowmelt, and therefore, the water availability for discharge in high elevation streams. This study explores how differences in annual precipitation can impact alpine stream erosion. Water discharge, bed load sediments, and suspended solids were observed for major streams draining watershed areas between 10 km² and 43 km² in the Teton Mountain Range in northwestern Wyoming, USA. The maximum sediment sizes capable of being moved through the stream channels at late summer flow conditions were determined using basal shear stress and critical shear stress calculations. Annual precipitation data over 2 years was compared with sediment transport conditions to compare how precipitation impacted erosion. Erosion proved to be effective in both high and low precipitation conditions; however higher precipitation resulted in prolonged snowmelt, higher discharge, greater sediment transport, and therefore higher erosional efficiency.

Keywords Teton Mountains, alpine streams, discharge, sediment transport.

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Isolation and Characterization of Nickel Tolerant Bacterial Strains from Electroplating Effluent Sediments

Abstract In the present study, an attempt was made to isolate and characterize nickel tolerant bacterial strains from the electroplating effluent contaminated soil. The effluent sample was collected at the direct outlet of electroplating industry and analyzed for physico-chemical characteristics such as pH (6.5), temperature (33), electrical conductivity (15.1 ms/cm), total solids (2309mg/l), total dissolved solids (5573 mg/l), chloride (0.20mg/l), sodium (0.13ppm), calcium (2.23ppm), potassium (0.20ppm), Biological Oxygen Demand (4200mg/l), Chemical Oxygen Demand (5243 mg/l) and nickel (4.063ppm). Enumeration of total bacterial population from the electroplating effluent contaminated soil sample was made in nutrient agar medium. Sixteen bacterial colonies were selected based on their abundance growth all of them were identified through morphological and biochemical characteristics. All the sixteen bacterial isolates were screened for its metal tolerance using nutrient agar medium incorporated with nickel metal. Based on the better growth performance, six bacterial strains were selected as potential metal tolerant organism. The selected metal tolerant bacterial strains were further characterized in the various environmental conditions such as pH (5, 7 & 9) temperature (5°C, 28°C, 37°C & 45°C) and concentration of metal ions (100ppm, 200ppm, 300ppm & 400ppm) for 5 days. The result reveals that one bacterial strain, Pseudomonas sp 1 was showed better growth in nickel metal based medium with pH 7 at 37°C temperature.

Keywords Electroplating effluents, Heavy metals, Nickel, Biosorption, Pseudomonas sp 1.

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Characterization of Solid Silicone Fertilizer Produced by Hydrothermal Processes from Silicon-containing Biomasses

Abstract Wastes from agriculture or sewage systems have several properties, such as huge volume, high humidity, and high organic compositions. According to the past studied, sugarcane exocarp, peanut shells and rice husk contain high silicon content. Chemical conversion of biomass feedstock will enhance usage and provide value to agricultural waste. In this research, we applied hydrothermal carbonization to rice husk waste biomass to produce silicon-doped biochar carbon material. From SEM/SEX, FT-IR and XRD results, The silicon content of the synthesized carbon materials changed with increase in carbonization temperature. In addition, the averaged silicon content in carbon material was found:sugarcane exocarp to be 3.27wt %, peanut shells to be 3.01wt %, rice husks to be 7.26wt %. The silicon content of synthesized carbon materials changed with the carbonization temperature. It was speculated that due to silicon content of rice husk, peanut shells and sugarcane exocarp, Raw materials dissolve into reaction water bath and might have bonded to the surface of carbide whilst in hydrothermal carbonization processes. Silicon content of agriculture wastes through hydrothermal carbonization was found to be feasible for the production of silicon-doped Biochars carbon materials. It is suggested that this method be used for recycling of high carbon content waste material for the production of carbon materials. Recycled silicon doped biochars can be used as a base fertilizer for growing vegetables, organic soil conditioner, and also improve the added value of agriculture. Silicon containing biomasses are feasible methods for the recovery and recycling and processing of agricultural waste. Therefore, this study using agricultural waste sugarcane exocarp, peanut shells and rice husk raw carbon silicon fertilizer raw materials production, cultivation hypokalemia, hyponatremia high silicon vegetables Accord research of patients with hyperkalemia (kidney disease).

Keywords agriculture wastes, fertilizer, kidney disease, high silicon vegetables, hyperkalemia.

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Principal Component Analysis for Evaluation of Guinea grass  (Panicum maximum Jacq.) Germplasm Accessions

Abstract The present study was conducted to study the variability among the genotypes by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in order to select those that are most suitable for breeding programme. This study included ten quantitative traits. The result of principal component analysis showed that the first four principal components with Eigen value greater than 0.88 contributed about 76.10 per cent of total variation in the population. The variability of the genotypes was interpreted based on four principal components, the first principal component described the yield level, the second principal component described the productivity and quality and the last two principal components described the quality of the fodder which indicating that the identified traits within the axes exhibited great influence on the phenotype and this could be effectively used for selection among the tested entries for further development of Guinea grass varieties with improved fodder yield and quality.

Keywords— Principal Component Analysis, Quantitative traits, Variability, Germplasm, Guinea grass.

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Incentive Utilization model to avoid Localized Groundwater Overdraft

AbstractLand subsidence caused by groundwater overdraft has been a severe problem in most developing economies, such as Taiwan. Groundwater is a renewable resource that can be depleted by overdraft, and it is also a common resource which incites overdraft. To alleviate the overdraft problem, we set up a decentralized game-theoretical common resource utilization model. In this model, we examine the self-enforcing factors and the condition of getting a cooperative outcome hence we might be able to alleviate the overdraft problem.

Keywords Common resource, Non-cooperative utilization, Overdraft, Renewable resource, Social optimum.

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Assessment of the broilers performance, gut healthiness and carcass characteristics in response to dietary inclusion of dried coriander, turmeric and thyme

AbstractThe objectives of the current study were to evaluate the performance responses, guts healthiness, and carcass characteristics of broiler chickens fed on formulated diets included dried coriander, turmeric and thyme. Unsexed commercially available chicks were enrolled into five experimental treatments each of eighty birds with four replicates per treatment. The birds were housed in deep litter clean pens. The experimental groups were as follow: Control; coriander; thyme; turmeric, and mixed. Two formulated diets (starter & finisher) to which all the dietary additives were added in a dried powdered form and at the level of 0.75% expect for the mixed group as each additive was used at level 0.25%. Performance parameters including weekly body development, body weights gain, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio were recorded during the 35-d experimental period. Also, representative samples from each replicate were gathered for the detection of carcass traits, consumer acceptability, and the gut morphometric changes. The data revealed that coriander, and turmeric significantly (p<0.05) increased the villus heights and crypt depths as compared to control which is concomitant with the improvement of performance results when incorporated solely in broilers diet at 0.75% level , but consumer acceptability was lowered specifically for the turmeric –fed group.

Keywords Broiler performance, Coriander, Gut, Thyme, Turmeric.

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Toxicity of the extracts of sisal waste, obtained from decortications of the Agave sisalana

Abstract Agave sisalana (sisal) is a monocotyledonous plant of great economic interest because it is a source of hard fiber in semi-arid areas. It has also been widely used by rural smallholders for animal feed in several countries. The toxic effects of plant on the animal reproduction are unknown. Then, the study investigated the possible side effects of different extracts derived from the processing of sisal leaves on the reproductive organs weight and testicular tissue of adult rats. The animals were treated with the extract obtained by acid hydrolysis (100 mg/kg body weight– b.w.; EHA/100), dry precipitate extract (250 and 500 mg/kg b.w.; EPS/250 and EPS/500), hexane extract (50 and 100 mg/kg b.w.; HEX/50 and HEX/100) or distilled water (Control group). Treatments were performed daily for 30 consecutive days, oral route (gavage) a single time daily. The results showed that in the group treated with EHA/100 extract only the weight of the seminal vesicles has been changed, but in the EPS/250, EPS/500, HEX/50 and HEX/100 groups there was significant increase (p<0.05) in the testes, epididymides and seminal glands weight, in comparison to the control group. All groups treated with the different extracts showed histopathological changes in the testes, characterized mainly by depletion of seminiferous epithelium, detachment of immature germ cells, scarcity sperm in the tubular lumen and interstitial hemorrhage, which occurred in a dose-independent manner in EPS and HEX groups. In conclusion, the different extracts of A. sisalana changed the reproductive organs weight and were promoters from gonadotoxic effect in rats.

Keywords steroidal saponins, reproduction, testicular tissue.

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Hydrochemical Characteristics and Shallow Groundwater Quality in Kirkuk Urban Area, Iraq

Abstract The assessment of hydrochemical characteristics and shallow groundwater quality was carried out in Kirkuk urban area, Iraq. Twenty two water samples were collected systematically at 20 locations for each of high and low water seasons in April and September (2014) and analysed for physical and chemical parameters. Hydrochmical data suggest that contamination of ground water is caused by infiltration of surface water polluted by domestic seepage pits and leakage from local agricultural area. Depending on hydrochemical facies, the type of water that predominates in the urban area is Ca-Mg-SO4 type during both wet and dry seasons. The study found that Kirkuk shallow groundwater is unsuitable for drinking water and industries purposes but some of water samples are suitable for construction and irrigation purposes.

Keywords Kirkuk, Urban area, Groundwater Quality, Hydrochemical characteristics.

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