Optimization of a Bioremediation Strategy for an Urban Stream of Matanza-Riachuelo Basin

In the present work, a remediation bioprocess based on the use of a local isolate of the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris immobilized in alginate beads is proposed. This process was shown to be effective for the reduction of several chemical and microbial contaminants present in Cildáñez stream, a water course that is part of the Matanza-Riachuelo Basin (Buenos Aires, Argentina). The bioprocess, involving the culture of the microalga in autotrophic conditions in a stirred-tank bioreactor supplied with a marine propeller for 6 days, allowed a significant reduction of Escherichia coli and total coliform numbers (over 95%), as well as of ammoniacal nitrogen (96%), nitrates (86%), nitrites (98%), and total phosphorus (53%) contents. Pb content was also significantly diminished after the bioprocess (95%). Standardized cytotoxicity tests using Allium cepa seeds and Cildáñez water pre- and post-remediation were also performed. Germination rate and mitotic index of onion seeds imbibed in Cildáñez water subjected to the bioprocess was similar to that observed in seeds imbibed in distilled water and significantly superior to that registered when untreated Cildáñez water was used for imbibition. Our results demonstrate the potential of this simple and cost-effective technology to remove urban-water contaminants, offering as an additional advantage the possibility of an easy biomass recovery, which may become a source of alternative energy.

Effect of Nanoparticles on Wheat Seed Germination and Seedling Growth

Wheat is an important cereal crop for food security. Boosting the wheat production and productivity is the major challenge across the nation. Good quality of seed is required for maintaining optimum plant stand which ultimately increases grain yield. Ensuring a good germination is one of the key steps to ensure proper plant stand and moisture assurance during seed germination may help to speed up the germination. The tiny size of nanoparticles may help in entry of water into seed without disturbing their internal structure. Considering above, a laboratory experiment was conducted during 2012-13 at G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India. The completely randomized design was used for statistical analysis. The experiment was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the appropriate concentration of nanoparticles for seed treatment was screened. In second phase seed soaking hours of nanoparticles for better seed germination were standardized. Wheat variety UP2526 was taken as test crop. Four nanoparticles (TiO2, ZnO, nickel and chitosan) were taken for study. The crop germination studies were done in petri dishes and standard package and practices were used to raise the seedlings. The germination studies were done by following standard procedure. In first phase of the experiment, seeds were treated with 50 and 300 ppm of nanoparticles and control was also maintained for comparison. In the second phase of experiment, seeds were soaked for 4 hours, 6 hours and 8 hours with 50 ppm nanoparticles of TiO2, ZnO, nickel and chitosan along with control treatment to identify the soaking time for better seed germination. Experiment revealed that the application of nanoparticles help to enhance seed germination. The study revealed that seed treatment with  nanoparticles at 50 ppm concentration increases root length, shoot length, seedling length, shoot dry weight, seedling dry weight, seedling vigour index I and seedling vigour index II as compared to seed soaking at 300 ppm concentration. This experiment showed that seed soaking up to 4 hr was better as compared to 6 and 8 hrs. Seed soaking with nanoparticles specially TiO2, ZnO, and chitosan proved to enhance germination and seedling growth indices of wheat crop.

Growth and Anatomical Responses of Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomatoes) under Microgravity and Normal Gravity Conditions

Microgravity is known to be a major abiotic stress in space which affects plants depending on the duration of exposure. In this work, tomatoes seeds were exposed to long hours of simulated microgravity condition using a one-axis clinostat. The seeds were sown on a 1.5% combination of plant nutrient and agar-agar solidified medium in three Petri dishes. One of the Petri dishes was mounted on the clinostat and allowed to rotate at the speed of 20 rpm for 72 hours, while the others were subjected to the normal gravity vector. The anatomical sections of both clinorotated and normal gravity plants were made after 72 hours and observed using a Phase-contrast digital microscope. The percentage germination, as well as the growth rate of the normal gravity seeds, was higher than the clinorotated ones. The germinated clinorotated roots followed different directions unlike the normal gravity ones which grew towards the direction of gravity vector. The clinostat was able to switch off gravistimulation. Distinct cellular arrangement was observed for tomatoes under normal gravity condition, unlike those of clinorotated ones. The root epidermis and cortex of normal gravity are thicker than the clinorotated ones. This implied that under long-term microgravity influence, plants do alter their anatomical features as a way of adapting to the stress condition.

Biological Methods to Control Parasitic Weed Phelipanche ramosa L. Pomel in the Field Tomato Crop

Phelipanche ramosa L. Pomel is a root holoparasitic weed plant of many cultivations, particularly of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum L.) crop. In Italy, Phelipanche problem is increasing, both in density and in acreage. The biological control of this parasitic weed involves the use of living organisms as numerous fungi and bacteria that can infect the parasitic weed, while it may improve the crop growth. This paper deals with the biocontrol with microorganism, including Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and fungal pathogens as Fusarium oxisporum spp. Colonization of crop roots by AM fungi can provide protection of crops against parasitic weeds because of a reduction in their seed germination and attachment, while F. oxisporum, isolated from diseased broomrape tubercles, proved to be highly virulent on P. ramosa. The experimental trial was carried out in open field at Foggia province (Apulia Region, Southern Italy), during the spring-summer season 2016, in order to evaluate the effect of four biological treatments: AM fungi and Fusarium oxisporum applied in the soil alone or combined together, and Rizosum Max® product, compared with the untreated control, to reduce the P. ramosa infestation in processing tomato crop. The principal results to be drawn from this study under field condition, in contrast of those reported previously under laboratory and greenhouse conditions, show that both AM fungi and F. oxisporum do not provide the reduction of the number of emerged shoots of P. ramosa. This can arise probably from the low efficacy seedling of the agent pathogens for the control of this parasite in the field. On the contrary, the Rizosum Max® product, containing AM fungi and some rizophere bacteria combined with several minerals and organic substances, appears to be most effective for the reduction of P. ramosa infestation.

Green Synthesized Iron Oxide Nanoparticles: A Nano-Nutrient for the Growth and Enhancement of Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) Plant

Iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe2O3NPs) are widely used in different applications due to its ecofriendly nature and biocompatibility. Hence, in this investigation, biosynthesized Fe2O3NPs influence on flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) plant was examined. The biosynthesized nanoparticles were found to be cubic phase which is confirmed by XRD analysis. FTIR analysis confirmed the presence of functional groups corresponding to the iron oxide nanoparticle. The elemental analysis also confirmed that the obtained nanoparticle is iron oxide nanoparticle. The scanning electron microscopy and the transmission electron microscopy confirm that the average particle size was around 56 nm. The effect of Fe2O3NPs on seed germination followed by biochemical analysis was carried out using standard methods. The results obtained after four days and 11 days of seed vigor studies showed that the seedling length (cm), average number of seedling with leaves, increase in root length (cm) was found to be enhanced on treatment with iron oxide nanoparticles when compared to control. A positive correlation was noticed with the dose of the nanoparticle and plant growth, which may be due to changes in metabolic activity. Hence, to evaluate the change in metabolic activity, peroxidase and catalase activities were estimated. It was clear from the observation that higher concentration of iron oxide nanoparticles (Fe2O3NPs 1000 mg/L) has enhanced peroxidase and catalase activities and in turn plant growth. Thus, this study clearly showed that biosynthesized iron oxide nanoparticles will be an effective nano-nutrient for agriculture applications.

Effect of Two Different Biochars on Germination and Seedlings Growth of Salad, Cress and Barley

The application of biochar to soils is becoming more and more common. Its application which is generally reported to improve the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils, has an indirect effect on soil health and increased crop yields. However, many of the previous results are highly variable and dependent mainly on the initial soil properties, biochar characteristics, and production conditions. In this study, two biochars which are biochar II (BC II) derived from a blend of paper sludge and wheat husks and biochar 005 (BC 005) derived from sewage sludge with a KCl additive, are used, and the physical and chemical properties of BC II are characterized. To determine the potential impact of salt stress and toxic and volatile substances, the second part of this study focused on the effect biochars have on germination of salad (Lactuca sativa L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare), and cress (Lepidium sativum) respectively. Our results indicate that Biochar II showed some unique properties compared to the soil, such as high EC, high content of K, Na, Mg, and low content of heavy metals. Concerning salad and barley germination test, no negative effect of BC II and BC 005 was observed. However, a negative effect of BC 005 at 8% level was revealed. The test of the effect of volatile substances on germination of cress revealed a positive effect of BC II, while a negative effect was observed for BC 005. Moreover, the water holding capacities of biochar-sand mixtures increased with increasing biochar application. Collectively, BC II could be safely used for agriculture and could provide the potential for a better plant growth.

Regulation of Water Balance of the Plant from the Different Geo-Environmental Locations

Under the drought stress condition, the plants would grow slower. Temperature is one of the most important abiotic factors which suppress the germination processes. However, the processes of transpiration are regulated directly by the cell water, which followed to an increase in volume of vacuoles. During stretching under the influence of water pressure, the cell goes into the state of turgor. In our experiments, lines of the semi-dental sweet maize of Armenian population from various zones of growth under mild and severe drought stress were tested. According to results, the value of the water balance of the plant cells may reflect the ability of plants to adapt to drought stress. It can be assumed that the turgor allows evaluating the number of received dissolved substance in cell.

Influence of Environment-Friendly Organic Wastes on the Properties of Sandy Soil under Growing Zea mays L. in Arid Regions

Environment-friendly organic wastes of Brewers' spent grain, a byproduct of the brewing process, have recently used as soil amendment to improve soil fertility and plant production. In this work, treatments of 1% (T1) and 2% (T2) of spent grains, 1% (C1) and 2% (C2) of compost and mix of both sources (C1T1) were used and compared to the control for growing Zea mays L. on sandy soil under arid Mediterranean climate. Soils were previously incubated at 65% saturation capacity for a month. The most relevant soil physical and chemical parameters were analysed. Water holding capacity and soil organic matter (OM) increased significantly along the treatments with the highest values in T2. Soil pH decreased along the treatments and the lowest pH was in C1T1. Bicarbonate decreased by 69% in C1T1 comparing to control. Total nitrogen (TN) and available P varied significantly among all treatments and T2, C1T1 and C2 treatments increased 25, 17 and 11 folds in TN and 1.2, 0.6 and 0.3 folds in P, respectively related to control. Available K showed the highest values in C1T1. Soil micronutrients increased significantly along all treatments with the highest values in T2. After corn germination, significant variation was observed in the velocity of germination coefficients (VGC) among all treatments in the order of C1T1>T2>T1>C2>C1>control. The highest records of final germination and germination index were in C1T1 and T2. The spent grains may compensate deficiencies of macro and micronutrients in newly reclaimed sandy soils without adverse effects to sustain crop production with a rider that excessive or continuous use need to be circumvented.

Germination and Seed Vigor Response of Five Wheat Cultivars to Stress of Premature Aging Effects

To evaluate the vigor of wheat seeds and stress of premature aging effects on germination percentage, root length and shoot length of five wheat cultivars that include Vynak, Karkheh, Chamran, Star and Kavir which underwent a period of zero, two, three, four days in terms of premature aging with 41°C temperature and 100% relative humidity. Seed germination percentage, root length and shoot length in these conditions were measured. This experiment was conducted as a factorial completely randomized design with four replications in laboratory conditions. The results showed that each of aging treatments used in this experiment can be used to detect differences in vigor of wheat varieties. Wheat cultivars illustrated significant differences in germination percentage, root length and shoot length in terms of premature aging. The wheat cultivars; Astar and Vynak had maximum germination percentage and Karkheh, respectively Kavir and Chamran had lowest percentage of seed germination. Reactions of root and shoot length of wheat cultivars was also different. The results showed that the seeds with a stronger vigor affected less in premature aging condition and the difference between the percentage of seed germination under normal conditions and stress was significant and the seeds with the weaker vigor were more sensitive to the premature aging stress and the premature aging had more severe negative impact on seed vigor.

Effect of Silver Nanoparticles on Seed Germination of Crop Plants

The use of engineered nanomaterials has increased as a result of their positive impact on many sectors of the economy, including agriculture. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are now used to enhance seed germination, plant growth, and photosynthetic quantum efficiency and as antimicrobial agents to control plant diseases. In this study, we examined the effect of AgNP dosage on the seed germination of three plant species: corn (Zea mays L.), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus [Thunb.] Matsum. & Nakai) and zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.). This experiment was designed to study the effect of AgNPs on germination percentage, germination rate, mean germination time, root length and fresh and dry weight of seedlings for the three species. Seven concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2 and 2.5 mg/ml) of AgNPs were examined at the seed germination stage. The three species had different dose responses to AgNPs in terms of germination parameters and the measured growth characteristics. The germination rates of the three plants were enhanced in response to AgNPs. Significant enhancement of the germination percentage values was observed after treatment of the watermelon and zucchini plants with AgNPs in comparison with untreated seeds. AgNPs showed a toxic effect on corn root elongation, whereas watermelon and zucchini seedling growth were positively affected by certain concentrations of AgNPs. This study showed that exposure to AgNPs caused both positive and negative effects on plant growth and germination.

The Role of Thermo Priming on Improving Seedling Production Technology (Ispt) in Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] Seeds

In order to determine the impact of thermo priming on germination of soybean seeds, an experiment was conducted as a completely randomized design with three replications. The factors of studied included different time thermo priming (control, 5 and 10 minutes) through the placing seeds were exposed to oven. The results showed that the effect of thermo priming was significant on germination percentage, seedling dry weight and seedling vigour in P ≤ 0.05. Mean comparison showed that the highest germination percentage (77%), seedling dry weight (1.39 g) and seedling vigour (107.03) were achieved by 10 minutes thermo priming. 

Effect of Silver Nanoparticles on Seed Germination of Crop Plants

The use of engineered nanomaterials has increased as a result of their positive impact on many sectors of the economy, including agriculture. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are now used to enhance seed germination, plant growth, and photosynthetic quantum efficiency and as antimicrobial agents to control plant diseases. In this study, we examined the effect of AgNP dosage on the seed germination of three plant species: corn (Zea mays L.), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus [Thunb.] Matsum. & Nakai) and zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.). This experiment was designed to study the effect of AgNPs on germination percentage, germination rate, mean germination time, root length and fresh and dry weight of seedlings for the three species. Seven concentrations (0.05, 0.1, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2 and 2.5 mg/ml) of AgNPs were examined at the seed germination stage. The three species had different dose responses to AgNPs in terms of germination parameters and the measured growth characteristics. The germination rates of the three plants were enhanced in response to AgNPs. Significant enhancement of the germination percentage values was observed after treatment of the watermelon and zucchini plants with AgNPs in comparison with untreated seeds. AgNPs showed a toxic effect on corn root elongation, whereas watermelon and zucchini seedling growth were positively affected by certain concentrations of AgNPs. This study showed that exposure to AgNPs caused both positive and negative effects on plant growth and germination.

Effect of Germination on Proximate, Available Phenol and Flavonoid Content, and Antioxidant Activities of African Yam Bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa)

The work studied the effect of germination on proximate, phenol and flavonoid content and antioxidant activities (AOA) of African Yam been (AYB). Germination was done in controlled dark chamber (100% RH, 28oC). The proximate, phenol and flavonoid content and antioxidant activities before and after germination were investigated. The crude protein, moisture, and crude fiber content of germinated AYB were significantly higher (P

Effect of Pollination on Qualitative Characteristics of Rapeseed (Brassica campestris L. var. toria) Seed in Chitwan, Nepal

An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of pollination on seed quality of rapeseed in Chitwan, Nepal during 2012-2013. The experiment was designed in Randomized Complete Block with four replications and five treatments. The rapeseed plots were caged with mosquito nets at 10% flowering except natural pollination. Two-framed colonies of Apis mellifera L. and Apis cerana F. were introduced separately for pollination, and control plot caged without pollinators. The highest germination percent was observed on Apis cerana F. pollinated plot seeds (90.50% germination) followed by Apis mellifera L. pollinated plots (87.25 %) and lowest on control plots (42.00% germination) seeds. Similarly, seed test weight of Apis cerana F. pollinated plots (3.22 gm/ 1000 seed) and Apis mellifera L. pollinated plots (2.93 gm/1000 seed) were and lowest on control plots (2.26 gm/ 1000 seed) recorded. Likewise, oil content was recorded highest on pollinated by Apis cerana F. (36.1%) followed by pollinated by Apis mellifera L. (35.4%) and lowest on control plots (32.8%). This study clearly indicated pollination increases the seed quality of rapeseed and therefore, management of honeybee is necessary for producing higher quality of rapeseed under Chitwan condition.

Antioxidant Enzymes and Crude Mitochondria ATPases in the Radicle of Germinating Bean (Vigna unguiculata) Exposed to Different Concentrations of Crude Oil

The study examined the effect of Bonny Light whole crude oil (WC) and its water soluble fraction (WSF) on the activities of antioxidant enzymes (catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD)) and crude mitochondria ATPases in the radicle of germinating bean (Vigna unguiculata). The percentage germination, level of lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzyme and mitochondria Ca2+ and Mg2+ ATPase activities were measured in the radicle of bean after 7, 14 and 21 days post germination. Viable bean seeds were planted in soils contaminated with 10ml, 25ml and 50ml of whole crude oil (WC) and its water soluble fraction (WSF) to obtain 2, 5 and 10% v/w crude oil contamination. There was dose dependent reduction of the number of bean seeds that germinated in the contaminated soils compared with control (p

Antioxidant Activity of Germinated African Yam Bean (Sphenostylis stenocarpa) in Alloxan Diabetic Rats

This study was conducted to investigate the effect of the antioxidant activity of germinated African Yam Bean (AYB) on oxidative stress markers in alloxan induced diabetic rat. Rats were randomized into three groups; control, diabetic and germinated AYB – treated diabetic rats. The Total phenol and flavonoid content and DPPH radical scavenging activity before and after germination were investigated. The glucose level, lipid peroxidation and reduced glutathione of the animals were also determined using standard technique for four weeks. Germination increased the total phenol, flavonoid and antioxidant activity of AYB extract by 19.14%, 32.28% and 57.25% respectively. The diabetic rats placed on germinated AYB diet had a significant decrease in the blood glucose and lipid peroxidation with a corresponding increase in glutathione (p

Ethanol Yield of Three Varieties of Cassava (Odongbo, Ofege, and TMS 30572) Using α-Amylase from Germinated Paddy Rice and Yeast from Palm Wine

A process of conversion of flour from three varieties of cassava, namely Odongbo, ofege and TMS30752 to ethanol using α-amylase locally sourced from germinated unhusked paddy rice and yeast isolated from palm wine was developed. It involves the germination of paddy rice for a period of 15days to produce α-amylase for starch hydrolysis and isolation of yeast from palm wine for fermentation. The results showed that optimum amylase yield of “ofada” rice paddy was at 6th day germination which was 576.9ml/g. Ethanol yield for TMS30572 (440.3%) was significantly higher than “Odongbo” (160.2%) and “Ofege’’ (115.1%), Sugar conversion efficiency were 311.0%v/v, 268.2%v/v and 186.84%v/v for TMS30572, “Odongbo” and “Ofege” respectively. The ethanol boiling points were 78oC, 76oC and 80oC for TMS30572, “Odongbo” and “Ofege” respectively. This study showed that cassava varieties affects quality of ethanol produced and germination of “ofada” rice for 6 days ensures optimum production of crude amylase enzyme.

A Novel Gene Encoding Ankyrin-Repeat Protein, SHG1, is Indispensable for Seed Germination under Moderate Salt Stress

Salt stress adversely affects plant growth at various stages of development including seed germination, seedling establishment, vegetative growth and finally reproduction. Because of their immobile nature, plants have evolved mechanisms to sense and respond to salt stress. Seed dormancy is an adaptive trait that enables seed germination to coincide with favorable environmental conditions. We identified a novel locus of Arabidopsis, designated SHG1 (salt hypersensitive germination 1), whose disruption leads to reduced germination rate under moderate salt stress conditions. SHG1 encodes a transmembrane protein with an ankyrin-repeat motif that has been implicated in diverse cellular processes such as signal transduction. The shg1-disrupted Arabidopsis mutant died at the cotyledon stage when sown on salt-containing medium, although wild-type plants could form true leaves under the same conditions. On the other hand, this mutant showed similar phenotypes to wild-type plants when sown on medium without salt and transferred to salt-containing medium at the vegetative stage. These results suggested that SHG1 played indispensable role in the seed germination and seedling establishment under moderate salt stress conditions. SHG1 may be involved in the release of seed dormancy.

Effect of Different Salt Concentrations and Temperatures on Seed Germination and Seedling Characters in Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) Genotypes

Germination and seedling responses of seven safflower seed genotypes (Dinçer, Remzibey, Black Sun2 cultivars and A19, F4, I1, J19 lines) to different salinity concentrations (0, 5, 10 and 20g l-1) and temperatures (10 and 20oC) evaluated in Completely Randomized Factorial Designs in Department of Field Crops of Selcuk University, Konya, Turkey. Seeds in the control (distilled water) had at 10 and 20oC the highest germination percentage (93.88 and 94.32%), shoot length (4.60 and 8.72cm) and root length (4.27 and 6.54cm) shoot dry weight (22.37mg and 25.99mg) and root dry weight (2.22 and 2.47mg). As the salt concentration increased, values of all characters were decreased. In this experiment, in 20g l-1 salt concentration found germination percentage (21.28 and 26.66%), shoot (1.32 and 1.35cm) and root length (1.04 and 1.10cm) shoot (8.05mg and 7.49mg) and root dry weight (0.83 and 0.98mg) at 10 and 20oC.

Effect of Various Pollen Sources to Ability Fruit Set and Quality in ‘Long Red B’ Wax Apple

By hand pollination was conducted to evaluated different pollen sources and their affects on fruit set and quality of wax apple. The following parameters were recorded: fruit set, seed set, fruit characteristics. Results showed that fruit set percentage with seed were significantly high in ‘Long Red B’ when ‘Black’, ‘Thyto’ were used as pollen parents. Pollen of ‘Black’, ‘Thyto’ resulted in high fruit weight, fruit diameter, fruit length, bigger flesh thickness, better total soluble solids as compared with other pollens. The observation of pollen-growth in vitro revealed that pollen germination at 15% sucrose concentration are required for optimum pollen germination with the high pollen germination were found in ‘Black’, ‘Thyto’. From the result, we concluded that ‘Black’, ‘Thyto’ were proved to be good pollinizers in ‘Long Red B’. Therefore, artificial cross-pollination using ‘Black’, ‘Thyto’ as pollinizers were strongly recommended for ‘Long Red B’ cultivar in wax apple orchard.