Quantitative Genetics Researches on Milk Protein Systems of Romanian Grey Steppe Breed

The paper makes part from a complex research project on Romanian Grey Steppe, a unique breed in terms of biological and cultural-historical importance, on the verge of extinction and which has been included in a preservation programme of genetic resources from Romania. The study of genetic polymorphism of protean fractions, especially kappa-casein, and the genotype relations of these lactoproteins with some quantitative and qualitative features of milk yield represents a current theme and a novelty for this breed. In the estimation of the genetic parameters we used R.E.M.L. (Restricted Maximum Likelihood) method. The main lactoprotein from milk, kappa - casein (K-cz), characterized in the specialized literature as a feature having a high degree of hereditary transmission, behaves as such in the nucleus under study, a value also confirmed by the heritability coefficient (h2 = 0.57 %). We must mention the medium values for milk and fat quantity (h2=0.26, 0.29 %) and the fat and protein percentage from milk having a high hereditary influence h2 = 0.71 - 0.63 %. Correlations between kappa-casein and the milk quantity are negative and strong. Between kappa-casein and other qualitative features of milk (fat content 0.58-0.67 % and protein content 0.77- 0.87%), there are positive and very strong correlations. At the same time, between kappa-casein and β casein (β-cz), β lactoglobulin (β- lg) respectively, correlations are positive having high values (0.37 – 0.45 %), indicating the same causes and determining factors for the two groups of features.

Genetic Variation of Durum Wheat Landraces and Cultivars Using Morphological and Protein Markers

Knowledge of patterns of genetic diversity enhances the efficiency of germplasm conservation and improvement. In this study 96 Iranian landraces of Triticum turgidum originating from different geographical areas of Iran, along with 18 durum cultivars from ten countries were evaluated for variation in morphological and high molecular weight glutenin subunit (HMW-GS) composition. The first two principal components clearly separated the Iranian landraces from cultivars. Three alleles were present at the Glu-A1 locus and 11 alleles at Glu-B1. In both cultivars and landraces of durum wheat, the null allele (Glu-A1c) was observed more frequently than the Glu-A1a and Glu-A1b alleles. Two alleles, namely Glu-B1a (subunit 7) and Glu-B1e (subunit 20) represented the more frequent alleles at Glu-B1 locus. The results showed that the evaluated Iranian landraces formed an interesting source of favourable glutenin subunits that might be very desirable in breeding activities for improving pasta-making quality.

Inhibition on Conidial Germination of Colletotrichum gloeosporiodes and Pestalotiopsis eugeniae by Bacillus subtilis LB5

The effect of antifungal compound from Bacillus subtilis strain LB5 was tested against conidial germination of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Pestalotiopsis eugeniae, causal agent of anthracnose and fruit rot of wax apple, respectively. Observation under scanning electron microscope and light compound microscope revealed that conidial germination was completely inhibited when treated with culture broth, culture filtrate, or crude extract from strain LB5. Identification of purified antifungal compound produced by strain LB5 in cell-free supernatant by nuclear magnetic resonance and fast atom bombardment showed that the active compound was iturin A-2.

Weed Classification using Histogram Maxima with Threshold for Selective Herbicide Applications

Information on weed distribution within the field is necessary to implement spatially variable herbicide application. Since hand labor is costly, an automated weed control system could be feasible. This paper deals with the development of an algorithm for real time specific weed recognition system based on Histogram Maxima with threshold of an image that is used for the weed classification. This algorithm is specifically developed to classify images into broad and narrow class for real-time selective herbicide application. The developed system has been tested on weeds in the lab, which have shown that the system to be very effectiveness in weed identification. Further the results show a very reliable performance on images of weeds taken under varying field conditions. The analysis of the results shows over 95 percent classification accuracy over 140 sample images (broad and narrow) with 70 samples from each category of weeds.

Determination of Cd, Zn, K, pH, TNV, Organic Material and Electrical Conductivity (EC) Distribution in Agricultural Soils using Geostatistics and GIS (Case Study: South- Western of Natanz- Iran)

Soil chemical and physical properties have important roles in compartment of the environment and agricultural sustainability and human health. The objectives of this research is determination of spatial distribution patterns of Cd, Zn, K, pH, TNV, organic material and electrical conductivity (EC) in agricultural soils of Natanz region in Esfehan province. In this study geostatistic and non-geostatistic methods were used for prediction of spatial distribution of these parameters. 64 composite soils samples were taken at 0-20 cm depth. The study area is located in south of NATANZ agricultural lands with area of 21660 hectares. Spatial distribution of Cd, Zn, K, pH, TNV, organic material and electrical conductivity (EC) was determined using geostatistic and geographic information system. Results showed that Cd, pH, TNV and K data has normal distribution and Zn, OC and EC data had not normal distribution. Kriging, Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW), Local Polynomial Interpolation (LPI) and Redial Basis functions (RBF) methods were used to interpolation. Trend analysis showed that organic carbon in north-south and east to west did not have trend while K and TNV had second degree trend. We used some error measurements include, mean absolute error(MAE), mean squared error (MSE) and mean biased error(MBE). Ordinary kriging(exponential model), LPI(Local polynomial interpolation), RBF(radial basis functions) and IDW methods have been chosen as the best methods to interpolating of the soil parameters. Prediction maps by disjunctive kriging was shown that in whole study area was intensive shortage of organic matter and more than 63.4 percent of study area had shortage of K amount.

Impact of Environmental Factors on Profit Efficiency of Rice Production: A Study in Vietnam-s Red River Delta

Environmental factors affect agriculture production productivity and efficiency resulted in changing of profit efficiency. This paper attempts to estimate the impacts of environmental factors to profitability of rice farmers in the Red River Delta of Vietnam. The dataset was extracted from 349 rice farmers using personal interviews. Both OLS and MLE trans-log profit functions were used in this study. Five production inputs and four environmental factors were included in these functions. The estimation of the stochastic profit frontier with a two-stage approach was used to measure profitability. The results showed that the profit efficiency was about 75% on the average and environmental factors change profit efficiency significantly beside farm specific characteristics. Plant disease, soil fertility, irrigation apply and water pollution were the four environmental factors cause profit loss in rice production. The result indicated that farmers should reduce household size, farm plots, apply row seeding technique and improve environmental factors to obtain high profit efficiency with special consideration is given for irrigation water quality improvement.

The Effect of Soil Surface Slope on Splash Distribution under Water Drop Impact

The effects of down slope steepness on soil splash distribution under a water drop impact have been investigated in this study. The equipment used are the burette to simulate a water drop, a splash cup filled with sandy soil which forms the source area and a splash board to collect the ejected particles. The results found in this study have shown that the apparent mass increased with increasing downslope angle following a linear regression equation with high coefficient of determination. In the same way, the radial soil splash distribution over the distance has been analyzed statistically, and an exponential function was the best fit of the relationship for the different slope angles. The curves and the regressions equations validate the well known FSDF and extend the theory of Van Dijk.

Effects of Ultrasonic Treatment on Germination of Synthetic Sunflower Seeds

One problem of synthetic sunflower cultivation is an erratic germination of the seeds. To improve the germination, presowing seed treatment with an ultrasound was tested. All treatments were carried out at 40 kHz frequency with the intensities of 40, 60, 80 and 100% of the ultrasonic generator total power (250 W) for the durations of 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes. Data on seed germination percentage, seed vigor index (SVI), root and shoot lengths of seedlings were collected. The results showed that germination, SVI, root and shoot lengths of ultrasonic treated seedlings were different from the control, depending on intensity of the ultrasound. The effects of ultrasonic treatment were significant on germination, resulting in a maximum increase of 43% at 40 and 60% intensities compared to that of the control seeds. In addition, seedlings of these 2 treatments had higher SVI and longer root and shoot lengths than that of the control seedlings. All treatment durations resulted in higher germination and SVI, longer root and higher shoot lenghts of seedlings than the control. Among the duration treatments, only SVI and seedling root length were significantly different.

Effect of Organic Matter and Biofertilizers on Chickpea Quality and Biological Nitrogen Fixation

In order to evaluation the effects of soil organic matter and biofertilizer on chickpea quality and biological nitrogen fixation, field experiments were carried out in 2007 and 2008 growing seasons. In this research the effects of different strategies for soil fertilization were investigated on grain yield and yield component, minerals, organic compounds and cooking time of chickpea. Experimental units were arranged in split-split plots based on randomized complete blocks with three replications. Main plots consisted of (G1): establishing a mixed vegetation of Vicia panunica and Hordeum vulgare and (G2): control, as green manure levels. Also, five strategies for obtaining the base fertilizer requirement including (N1): 20 t.ha-1 farmyard manure; (N2): 10 t.ha-1 compost; (N3): 75 kg.ha-1 triple super phosphate; (N4): 10 t.ha-1 farmyard manure + 5 t.ha-1 compost and (N5): 10 t.ha-1 farmyard manure + 5 t.ha-1 compost + 50 kg.ha-1 triple super phosphate were considered in sub plots. Furthermoree four levels of biofertilizers consisted of (B1): Bacillus lentus + Pseudomonas putida; (B2): Trichoderma harzianum; (B3): Bacillus lentus + Pseudomonas putida + Trichoderma harzianum; and (B4): control (without biofertilizers) were arranged in sub-sub plots. Results showed that integrating biofertilizers (B3) and green manure (G1) produced the highest grain yield. The highest amounts of yield were obtained in G1×N5 interaction. Comparison of all 2-way and 3-way interactions showed that G1N5B3 was determined as the superior treatment. Significant increasing of N, P2O5, K2O, Fe and Mg content in leaves and grains emphasized on superiority of mentioned treatment because each one of these nutrients has an approved role in chlorophyll synthesis and photosynthesis abilities of the crops. The combined application of compost, farmyard manure and chemical phosphorus (N5) in addition to having the highest yield, had the best grain quality due to high protein, starch and total sugar contents, low crude fiber and reduced cooking time.

Integrated Cultivation Technique for Microbial Lipid Production by Photosynthetic Microalgae and Locally Oleaginous Yeast

The objective of this research is to study of microbial lipid production by locally photosynthetic microalgae and oleaginous yeast via integrated cultivation technique using CO2 emissions from yeast fermentation. A maximum specific growth rate of Chlorella sp. KKU-S2 of 0.284 (1/d) was obtained under an integrated cultivation and a maximum lipid yield of 1.339g/L was found after cultivation for 5 days, while 0.969g/L of lipid yield was obtained after day 6 of cultivation time by using CO2 from air. A high value of volumetric lipid production rate (QP, 0.223 g/L/d), specific product yield (YP/X, 0.194), volumetric cell mass production rate (QX, 1.153 g/L/d) were found by using ambient air CO2 coupled with CO2 emissions from yeast fermentation. Overall lipid yield of 8.33 g/L was obtained (1.339 g/L of Chlorella sp. KKU-S2 and 7.06g/L of T. maleeae Y30) while low lipid yield of 0.969g/L was found using non-integrated cultivation technique. To our knowledge this is the unique report about the lipid production from locally microalgae Chlorella sp. KKU-S2 and yeast T. maleeae Y30 in an integrated technique to improve the biomass and lipid yield by using CO2 emissions from yeast fermentation.

Tissue Composition and Muscularity of Lamb Legs Fed with Sunflower Seeds and Vitamin E

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the tissue composition and carcass muscularity of 32 legs of Ile de France lambs fed with diets containing sunflower seeds and vitamin E, with mean body weight of 15 kg, lodged in individual pens at 15 kg and slaughtered at 32 kg of body weight. The treatments influenced (P0,05) by the treatments. The interaction of the sunflower and vitamin E was positive for bone total weights and intermuscular fat.

Classifying of Maize Inbred Lines into Heterotic Groups using Diallel Analysis

The selection of parents and breeding strategies for the successful maize hybrid production will be facilitated by heterotic groupings of parental lines and determination of combining abilities of them. Fourteen maize inbred lines, used in maize breeding programs in Iran, were crossed in a diallel mating design. The 91 F1 hybrids and the 14 parental lines were studied during two years at four locations of Iran for investigation of combining ability of gentypes for grain yield and to determine heterotic patterns among germplasm sources, using both, the Griffing-s method and the biplot approach for diallel analysis. The graphical representation offered by biplot analysis allowed a rapid and effective overview of general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) effects of the inbred lines, their performance in crosses, as well as grouping patterns of similar genotypes. GCA and SCA effects were significant for grain yield (GY). Based on significant positive GCA effects, the lines derived from LSC could be used as parent in crosses to increase GY. The maximum best- parent heterosis values and highest SCA effects resulted from crosses B73 × MO17 and A679 × MO17 for GY. The best heterotic patterns were LSC × RYD, which would be potentially useful in maize breeding programs to obtain high-yielding hybrids in the same climate of Iran.

Investigation of Water Deficit Stress on Agronomical Traits of Soybean Cultivars in Temperate Climate

In order to investigate water deficit stress on 24 of soybean (Glycine Max. L) cultivars and lines in temperate climate, an experiment was conducted in Iran Seed and Plant Improvement Institute. Stress levels were irrigation after evaporation of 50, 100, 150 mm water from pan, class A. Randomized Completely Block Design was arranged for each stress levels. Some traits such as, node number, plant height, pod number per area, grain number per pod, grain number per area, 1000 grains weight, grain yield and harvest index were measured. Results showed that water deficit stress had significant effect on node number, plant height, pod number per area, grain number per pod, grain number per area, 1000 grains weight and harvest index. Also all of agronomic traits except harvest index influenced significantly by cultivars and lines. The least and most grain yield was belonged to Ronak X Williams and M41 x Clark respectively.

Nitrogen Dynamics and Removal by Algal Turf Scrubber under High Ammonia and Organic Matter Loading in a Recirculating Aquaculture System

A study was undertaken to assess the potential of an Algal Turf Scrubber to remove nitrogen from aquaculture effluent to reduce environmental pollution. High total ammonia nitrogen concentrations were introduced to an Algal Turf Scrubber developed under varying hydraulic surface loading rates of African catfish (Clarius gariepinus) effluent in a recirculating aquaculture system. Nutrient removal rates were not affected at total suspended solids concentration of up to 0.04g TSS/l (P > 0.05). Nitrogen removal rates 0.93-0.99g TAN/m²/d were recorded at very high loading rates 3.76-3.81 g TAN/m²/d. Total ammonia removal showed ½ order kinetics between 1.6 to 2.3mg/l Total Ammonia Nitrogen concentrations. Nitrogen removal increased with its loading, which increased with hydraulic surface loading rate. Total Ammonia Nitrogen removal by Algal turf scrubber was higher than reported values for fluidized bed filters and trickling filters. The algal turf scrubber also effectively removed nitrate thereby reducing the need for water exchange.

Some Physico-Chemical and Nutritional Properties of `Musmula` Medlar (Mespilus germanica L.) Grown in Northeast Anatolia

In this study, The physico-chemical and nutritional properties of `Musmula` Medlar (Mespilus germanica L.) fruit and seed grown in Northeast Anatolia was investigated. In the fruit, length, width, thickness, weight, total soluble solids, colour (1), colour (2) [L, a, b values], protein, crude ash, crude fiber, crude oil, texture and pH were determinated as 4.34 cm, 4.22 cm, 3.67 cm, 38.36 g, 23.97 %, S60O60Y41,, [53.85, 17.15, 33.75], 1.06 %, 0.79 %, 4.24 %, 0.005 %, 1.21 kg/cm2 and 4.26 respectively. Also, pulp ratio, seed ratio and pulp/seed ratio were found to be 92.88 %, 7.11 % and 14.07 %, respectively. In addition, the mineral composition of medlar fruit in Northeast Anatolia was studied. In the fruit, 23 minerals were analyzed and 19 minerals were present at detectable levels. The medlar fruit was richest in potassium (6962 ppm), calcium (1186.378 ppm), magnesium (1070.08 ppm) and phosphor (763.425 ppm).

Assessing the Global Water Productivity of Some Irrigation Command Areas in Iran

The great challenge of the agricultural sector is to produce more crop from less water, which can be achieved by increasing crop water productivity. The modernization of the irrigation systems offers a number of possibilities to expand the economic productivity of water and improve the virtual water status. The objective of the present study is to assess the global water productivity (GWP) within the major irrigation command areas of I.R. Iran. For this purpose, fourteen irrigation command areas where located in different areas of Iran were selected. In order to calculate the global water productivity of irrigation command areas, all data on the delivered water to cropping pattern, cultivated area, crops water requirement, and yield production rate during 2002-2006 were gathered. In each of the command areas it seems that the cultivated crops have a higher amount of virtual water and thus can be replaced by crops with less virtual water. This is merely suggested due to crop water consumption and at the time of replacing crops, economic value as well as cultural and political factors must be considered. The results indicated that the lowest GWP belongs to Mahyar and Borkhar irrigation areas, 0.24 kg m-3, and the highest is that of the Dez irrigation area, 0.81 kg m-3. The findings demonstrated that water management in the two irrigation areas is just efficient. The difference in the GWP of irrigation areas is due to variations in the cropping pattern, amount of crop productions, in addition to the effective factors in the water use efficiency in the irrigation areas.

Silicon Application and Nitrogen on Yield and Yield Components in Rice (Oryza sativa L.) in Two Irrigation Systems

Silicon is a beneficial element for plant growth. It helps plants to overcome multiple stresses, alleviates metal toxicity and improves nutrient imbalance. Field experiment was conducted as split-split plot arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Irrigation system include continues flooding and deficit as main plots and nitrogen rates N0, N46, N92, and N138 kg/ha as sub plots and silicon rates Si0 & Si500 kg/ha as sub-subplots. Results indicate that grain yield had not significant difference between irrigation systems. Flooding irrigation had higher biological yield than deficit irrigation whereas, no significant difference in grain and straw yield. Nitrogen application increased grain, biological and straw yield. Silicon application increased grain, biological and straw yield but, decreased harvest index. Flooding irrigation had higher number of total tillers / hill than deficit irrigation, but deficit irrigation had higher number of fertile tillers / hill than flooding irrigation. Silicon increased number of filled spikelet and decreased blank spikelet. With high nitrogen application decreased 1000-grain weight. It can be concluded that if the nitrogen application was high and water supplied was available we could have silicon application until increase grain yield.

The Effect of Variable Incubation Temperatures on Hatchability and Survival of Goldlined Seabream, Rhabdosargus sarba (Forsskål,1775) Larvae

The effect of varying holding temperature on hatching success, occurrence of deformities and mortality rates were investigated for goldlined seabream eggs. Wild broodstock (600 g) were stocked at a 2:1 male-female ratio in a 2 m3 fiberglass tank supplied with filtered seawater (37 g L-1 salinity, temp. range 24±0.5 oC [day] and 22±1 oC [night], DO2 in excess of 5.0mg L-1). Females were injected with 200 IU kg-1 HCG between 08.00 and 10.00 h and returned to tanks to spawn following which eggs were collected by hand using a 100μm net. Fertilized eggs at the gastrulation stage (120 L-1) were randomly placed into one of 12 experimental 6 L aerated (DO2 5 mg L-1) plastic containers with water temperatures maintained at 24±0.5 oC (ambient), 26±0.5 oC, 28± 0.5 oC and 30±0.5 oC using thermostats. Each treatment was undertaken in triplicate using a 12:12 photophase:scotophase photoperiod. No differences were recorded between eggs reared at 24 and 26 oC with respect to viability, deformity, mortality or unhatched egg rates. Increasing temperature reduced the number of viable eggs with those at 30 oC returning poorest performance (P < 0.05). Mortality levels were lowest for eggs incubated at 24 and 26 oC. The greatest level of deformities recorded was that for eggs reared at 28 oC.

Towards Design of Context-Aware Sensor Grid Framework for Agriculture

This paper is to present context-aware sensor grid framework for agriculture and its design challenges. Use of sensor networks in the domain of agriculture is not new. However, due to the unavailability of any common framework, solutions that are developed in this domain are location, environment and problem dependent. Keeping the need of common framework for agriculture, Context-Aware Sensor Grid Framework is proposed. It will be helpful in developing solutions for majority of the problems related to irrigation, pesticides spray, use of fertilizers, regular monitoring of plot and yield etc. due to the capability of adjusting according to location and environment. The proposed framework is composed of three layer architecture including context-aware application layer, grid middleware layer and sensor network layer.

Perception of Farmers and Agricultural Professionals on Changes in Productivity and Water Resources in Ethiopia

In this paper, perceptions of actors on changes in crop productivity, quantity and quality of water, and determinants of their perception are analyzed using descriptive statistics and ordered logit model. Data collected from 297 Ethiopian farmers and 103 agricultural professionals from December 2009 to January 2010 are employed. Results show that the majority of the farmers and professionals recognized decline in water resources, reasoning climate changes and soil erosion as some of the causes. However, there is a variation in views on changes in productivity. The household asset, education level, age and geographical positions are found to affect farmers- perception on changes in crop productivity. But, the study underlines that there is no evidence that farmers- economic status, age, or education level affects recognition of degradation of water resources. Thus, more focus shall be given on providing them different coping mechanisms and alternative resource conserving technologies than educating about the problems.