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Sample records for agricultural growth improve

  1. Improvements in agricultural sciences

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This editorial provides insight on investigations regarding advancements in agri-food quality and testing of eco-friendly organic farming methodologies. The discussion elaborates on the advantages of recent farming techniques and their impact on improved crop yield, crop quality, and minimization of...

  2. Agricultural Productivity Forecasts for Improved Drought Monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Limaye, Ashutosh; McNider, Richard; Moss, Donald; Alhamdan, Mohammad

    2010-01-01

    Water stresses on agricultural crops during critical phases of crop phenology (such as grain filling) has higher impact on the eventual yield than at other times of crop growth. Therefore farmers are more concerned about water stresses in the context of crop phenology than the meteorological droughts. However the drought estimates currently produced do not account for the crop phenology. US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have developed a drought monitoring decision support tool: The U.S. Drought Monitor, which currently uses meteorological droughts to delineate and categorize drought severity. Output from the Drought Monitor is used by the States to make disaster declarations. More importantly, USDA uses the Drought Monitor to make estimates of crop yield to help the commodities market. Accurate estimation of corn yield is especially critical given the recent trend towards diversion of corn to produce ethanol. Ethanol is fast becoming a standard 10% ethanol additive to petroleum products, the largest traded commodity. Thus the impact of large-scale drought will have dramatic impact on the petroleum prices as well as on food prices. USDA's World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) serves as a focal point for economic intelligence and the commodity outlook for U.S. WAOB depends on Drought Monitor and has emphatically stated that accurate and timely data are needed in operational agrometeorological services to generate reliable projections for agricultural decision makers. Thus, improvements in the prediction of drought will reflect in early and accurate assessment of crop yields, which in turn will improve commodity projections. We have developed a drought assessment tool, which accounts for the water stress in the context of crop phenology. The crop modeling component is done using various crop modules within Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT). DSSAT is an agricultural crop

  3. Agricultural growth, the status of women, and fertility.

    PubMed

    Whittington, L A; Stapleton, D C

    1995-08-01

    This study tests the hypothesis that fertility is affected differently by economic growth depending upon the specific sector (agriculture, manufacturing, heavy industry, and services) where growth occurred. The hypothesis is that fertility responses are not identical across sectors. The sample includes 51 World Bank member countries in varying stages of development. The econometric model pertains to 1965-88 and the percentage change in the total fertility rate (TFR). During the study period the average TFR declined by over 22%, but the extent of change varied by country and included, for instance, countries such as Ethiopia that experienced fertility increases from 5.8 to 6.5. Hong Kong's TFR declined by 66% from 4.7 to 1.6. Analysis included measures of changes in gross domestic product (GDP) for each of the four sectors and change in real per capita exports in agricultural commodities, resources, and manufactured products. Changes in educational status and changes in infant mortality were also included in some models. There were mixed results for the impact of total GDP. Sectoral analysis shows a positive, small significant impact on TFR from changes in the GDP per capita in agriculture (domestic and export products), and a negative, small significant impact from manufacturing growth. Heavy industry and services produced insignificant impact. In the model with only domestic consumption, results show a stronger coefficient and continued significance for agricultural productivity, agricultural exports, and manufacturing changes per capita. Manufacturing exports produced a negative, insignificant impact. The null hypothesis is rejected only in models comparing aggregate GDP in agriculture and manufacturing industries plus control variables (excluding heavy industry and services). Only secondary education was a negative, significant determinant of fertility. Infant mortality was insignificant when sectoral growth and education were included in the model. The evidence

  4. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR): emergence in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, P N; Jha, D K

    2012-04-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are the rhizosphere bacteria that can enhance plant growth by a wide variety of mechanisms like phosphate solubilization, siderophore production, biological nitrogen fixation, rhizosphere engineering, production of 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase (ACC), quorum sensing (QS) signal interference and inhibition of biofilm formation, phytohormone production, exhibiting antifungal activity, production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), induction of systemic resistance, promoting beneficial plant-microbe symbioses, interference with pathogen toxin production etc. The potentiality of PGPR in agriculture is steadily increased as it offers an attractive way to replace the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and other supplements. Growth promoting substances are likely to be produced in large quantities by these rhizosphere microorganisms that influence indirectly on the overall morphology of the plants. Recent progress in our understanding on the diversity of PGPR in the rhizosphere along with their colonization ability and mechanism of action should facilitate their application as a reliable component in the management of sustainable agricultural system. The progress to date in using the rhizosphere bacteria in a variety of applications related to agricultural improvement along with their mechanism of action with special reference to plant growth-promoting traits are summarized and discussed in this review.

  5. Agriculture on Mars: Soils for Plant Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, D. W.

    2016-01-01

    Robotic rovers and landers have enabled the mineralogical, chemical, and physical characterization of loose, unconsolidated materials on the surface of Mars. Planetary scientists refer to the regolith material as "soil." NASA is currently planning to send humans to Mars in the mid 2030s. Early missions may rely on the use of onsite resources to enable exploration and self-sufficient outposts on Mars. The martian "soil" and surface environment contain all essential plant growth elements. The study of martian surface materials and how they might react as agricultural soils opens a new frontier for researchers in the soil science community. Other potential applications for surface "soils" include (i) sources for extraction of essential plant-growth nutrients, (ii) sources of O2, H2, CO2, and H2O, (iii) substrates for microbial populations in the degradation of wastes, and (iv) shielding materials surrounding outpost structures to protect humans, plants, and microorganisms from radiation. There are many challenges that will have to be addressed by soil scientists prior to human exploration over the next two decades.

  6. Agricultural links to nonagricultural growth: urbanization, employment, poverty.

    PubMed

    Mellor, J W

    1991-01-01

    Economic development in Pakistan has occurred due to a successful agricultural sector. It stimulated the nonagricultural sector, especially the small and medium scale nonagricultural sectors. In fact, its multiplier effects on other sectors are slight if agricultural incomes tend to amass in large scale farms. It is indeed the expenditure patterns of small-medium farmers that stimulate local, labor intensive goods and services. Further agricultural development has resulted in a dispersion of urbanization and growth in employment. The successes in Pakistan should soon reduce the incidence of rural poverty as happened in Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, and India. Considerable declines in poverty due to agricultural growth in these countries occurred because employment in nonagricultural activities was associated with the pace of agricultural growth. Further the poverty level was linked with per capita changes in agricultural production. This optimal development strategy for low income countries with a large agricultural sector is heavily based on factor productivity which increases technological change which then fuels income and economic growth. Another component is the expenditure of income which spurs growth in the high income elastic components of agriculture (e.g., livestock). The last component is that feedback to agriculture from efforts stimulated by agricultural growth increases the demand the thus maintains prices of those agricultural goods undergoing quick technological change. This phenomenon of growth in the agricultural sector stimulating growth in the nonagricultural sector has not occurred in Africa, however, because economic growth since the early 1970s has been due to urban oriented foreign aid. At early stages of development, the public sector must support activities, but eventually the private sector handles them. Planning for this strategy requires a broad statement and sectoral strategies developed by highly trained sectoral economists for the

  7. Biochars derived from gasified feedstocks increase the growth and improve the nutrient acquisition of Triticum aestivum (L.) grown in agricultural alfisols

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The utility of biochars produced by biomass gasification for remediation of acidic production soils and plant growth in general is not as well known compared to effects from biochars resulting from pyrolysis. Our recent characterization of biochars produced from gasification of Kentucky bluegrass (P...

  8. Book review: Darwinian agriculture: How understanding evolution can improve agriculture by R. Ford Dennison

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural research continually seeks to increase productivity while protecting soil, water and genetic resources. The book Darwinian Agriculture: How Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture, by R. Ford Dennison, delivers a thought-provoking view of how principles of ecology and evolution ...

  9. [Agricultural backwardness being the fundamental cause of rapid population growth].

    PubMed

    Lin, G

    1981-01-01

    We have been an agricultural country for more than 2000 years. The low level of mechanization and dependence of manpower in our agriculture required a large quantity of labor. Therefore, development of Chinese feudal society was closely related to the population growth. After the establishment of a new socialistic China, the rapid development of agricultural production resulted in our 1st population boom (1952 to 1957). Later the rapid development of heavy industry demanded the transfer of a large amount of labor from agriculture. The shortage of labor in China caused reductions in agriculture and a 2nd population boom. The backward nature of China's agriculture requires increased labor input to increase production. On the other hand, the increased productivity does not match the demands of the increased population. Consequently, living standards in the society decrease and the population growth slows. The emphasis on population control and family planning is indeed beneficial to China's economy. The fundamental solution of China's population problem must rely on a technical revolution in agriculture and increased agricultural productivity. PMID:12263424

  10. Lunar base agriculture: Soils for plant growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W. (Editor); Henninger, Donald L. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    This work provides information on research and experimentation concerning various aspects of food production in space and particularly on the moon. Options for human settlement of the moon and Mars and strategies for a lunar base are discussed. The lunar environment, including the mineralogical and chemical properties of lunar regolith are investigated and chemical and physical considerations for a lunar-derived soil are considered. It is noted that biological considerations for such a soil include controlled-environment crop production, both hydroponic and lunar regolith-based; microorganisms and the growth of higher plants in lunar-derived soils; and the role of microbes to condition lunar regolith for plant cultivation. Current research in the controlled ecological life support system (CELSS) project is presented in detail and future research areas, such as the growth of higher research plants in CELSS are considered. Optimum plant and microbiological considerations for lunar derived soils are examined.

  11. Adoption of Improved Agricultural Practices in Uruguay.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rucks, Carlos Alberto

    Conducted in Uruguay during 1965-68, this study compared adoption rates for selected agricultural practices between one area which received an extension program and one which did not; and sought relationships between selected characteristics of individual farmers and the adoption of new practices. Data came from interviews with 69 experimental and…

  12. Engineering Education Projects for Improving Agriculture in Developing Countries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peikert, F. W.

    Agricultural engineers have been working for a number of years with colleges and universities in many developing countries to improve their agriculture. Much of the activity in university development assistance has been taken over the last 20 years. The greatest portion of the support has come from USAID. Among the common problems facing the…

  13. [Agricultural environment quality of China and its improving countermeasures].

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xibai; Yang, Zhengli

    2006-01-01

    This paper analyzed the present status of China agricultural water and soil environment. It was indicated that the agricultural water environment in this country was more serious, with the affected area being approximately 20% of the total farmland, and 5% of it being severely affected. More attention should be paid to the pollution of agricultural chemicals in soil environment. The impacts of industrial wastes, urban sewage and garbage, agricultural chemicals, and soil erosion on agro-environment were discussed, with the impact degree of these factors analyzed. The major problems in China agricultural environment melioration were presented, related researches and major countermeasures in this country and developed countries were reviewed, and relevant measures and suggestions on improving the agricultural environment quality of China were put forward.

  14. Can Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Reduce the Growth of Agricultural Weeds?

    PubMed Central

    Veiga, Rita S. L.; Jansa, Jan; Frossard, Emmanuel; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2011-01-01

    Background Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are known for their beneficial effects on plants. However, there is increasing evidence that some ruderal plants, including several agricultural weeds, respond negatively to AMF colonization. Here, we investigated the effect of AMF on the growth of individual weed species and on weed-crop interactions. Methodology/Principal Findings First, under controlled glasshouse conditions, we screened growth responses of nine weed species and three crops to a widespread AMF, Glomus intraradices. None of the weeds screened showed a significant positive mycorrhizal growth response and four weed species were significantly reduced by the AMF (growth responses between −22 and −35%). In a subsequent experiment, we selected three of the negatively responding weed species – Echinochloa crus-galli, Setaria viridis and Solanum nigrum – and analyzed their responses to a combination of three AMF (Glomus intraradices, Glomus mosseae and Glomus claroideum). Finally, we tested whether the presence of a crop (maize) enhanced the suppressive effect of AMF on weeds. We found that the growth of the three selected weed species was also reduced by a combination of AMF and that the presence of maize amplified the negative effect of AMF on the growth of E. crus-galli. Conclusions/Significance Our results show that AMF can negatively influence the growth of some weed species indicating that AMF have the potential to act as determinants of weed community structure. Furthermore, mycorrhizal weed growth reductions can be amplified in the presence of a crop. Previous studies have shown that AMF provide a number of beneficial ecosystem services. Taken together with our current results, the maintenance and promotion of AMF activity may thereby contribute to sustainable management of agroecosystems. However, in order to further the practical and ecological relevance of our findings, additional experiments should be performed under field conditions. PMID

  15. The benefits of improved technologies in agricultural aviation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lietzke, K.; Abram, P.; Braen, C.; Givens, S.; Hazelrigg, G. A., Jr.; Fish, R.; Clyne, F.; Sand, F.

    1977-01-01

    The results are present for a study of the economic benefits attributed to a variety of potential technological improvements in agricultural aviation. Part 1 gives a general description of the ag-air industry and discusses the information used in the data base to estimate the potential benefits from technological improvements. Part 2 presents the benefit estimates and provides a quantitative basis for the estimates in each area study. Part 3 is a bibliography of references relating to this study.

  16. Role of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria in Agricultural Sustainability-A Review.

    PubMed

    Vejan, Pravin; Abdullah, Rosazlin; Khadiran, Tumirah; Ismail, Salmah; Nasrulhaq Boyce, Amru

    2016-01-01

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) shows an important role in the sustainable agriculture industry. The increasing demand for crop production with a significant reduction of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides use is a big challenge nowadays. The use of PGPR has been proven to be an environmentally sound way of increasing crop yields by facilitating plant growth through either a direct or indirect mechanism. The mechanisms of PGPR include regulating hormonal and nutritional balance, inducing resistance against plant pathogens, and solubilizing nutrients for easy uptake by plants. In addition, PGPR show synergistic and antagonistic interactions with microorganisms within the rhizosphere and beyond in bulk soil, which indirectly boosts plant growth rate. There are many bacteria species that act as PGPR, described in the literature as successful for improving plant growth. However, there is a gap between the mode of action (mechanism) of the PGPR for plant growth and the role of the PGPR as biofertilizer-thus the importance of nano-encapsulation technology in improving the efficacy of PGPR. Hence, this review bridges the gap mentioned and summarizes the mechanism of PGPR as a biofertilizer for agricultural sustainability. PMID:27136521

  17. Role of Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria in Agricultural Sustainability-A Review.

    PubMed

    Vejan, Pravin; Abdullah, Rosazlin; Khadiran, Tumirah; Ismail, Salmah; Nasrulhaq Boyce, Amru

    2016-01-01

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) shows an important role in the sustainable agriculture industry. The increasing demand for crop production with a significant reduction of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides use is a big challenge nowadays. The use of PGPR has been proven to be an environmentally sound way of increasing crop yields by facilitating plant growth through either a direct or indirect mechanism. The mechanisms of PGPR include regulating hormonal and nutritional balance, inducing resistance against plant pathogens, and solubilizing nutrients for easy uptake by plants. In addition, PGPR show synergistic and antagonistic interactions with microorganisms within the rhizosphere and beyond in bulk soil, which indirectly boosts plant growth rate. There are many bacteria species that act as PGPR, described in the literature as successful for improving plant growth. However, there is a gap between the mode of action (mechanism) of the PGPR for plant growth and the role of the PGPR as biofertilizer-thus the importance of nano-encapsulation technology in improving the efficacy of PGPR. Hence, this review bridges the gap mentioned and summarizes the mechanism of PGPR as a biofertilizer for agricultural sustainability.

  18. Plant growth-promoting bacteria as inoculants in agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Souza, Rocheli de; Ambrosini, Adriana; Passaglia, Luciane M P

    2015-12-01

    Plant-microbe interactions in the rhizosphere are the determinants of plant health, productivity and soil fertility. Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) are bacteria that can enhance plant growth and protect plants from disease and abiotic stresses through a wide variety of mechanisms; those that establish close associations with plants, such as the endophytes, could be more successful in plant growth promotion. Several important bacterial characteristics, such as biological nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, ACC deaminase activity, and production of siderophores and phytohormones, can be assessed as plant growth promotion (PGP) traits. Bacterial inoculants can contribute to increase agronomic efficiency by reducing production costs and environmental pollution, once the use of chemical fertilizers can be reduced or eliminated if the inoculants are efficient. For bacterial inoculants to obtain success in improving plant growth and productivity, several processes involved can influence the efficiency of inoculation, as for example the exudation by plant roots, the bacterial colonization in the roots, and soil health. This review presents an overview of the importance of soil-plant-microbe interactions to the development of efficient inoculants, once PGPB are extensively studied microorganisms, representing a very diverse group of easily accessible beneficial bacteria.

  19. Plant growth-promoting bacteria as inoculants in agricultural soils

    PubMed Central

    de Souza, Rocheli; Ambrosini, Adriana; Passaglia, Luciane M.P.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Plant-microbe interactions in the rhizosphere are the determinants of plant health, productivity and soil fertility. Plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) are bacteria that can enhance plant growth and protect plants from disease and abiotic stresses through a wide variety of mechanisms; those that establish close associations with plants, such as the endophytes, could be more successful in plant growth promotion. Several important bacterial characteristics, such as biological nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, ACC deaminase activity, and production of siderophores and phytohormones, can be assessed as plant growth promotion (PGP) traits. Bacterial inoculants can contribute to increase agronomic efficiency by reducing production costs and environmental pollution, once the use of chemical fertilizers can be reduced or eliminated if the inoculants are efficient. For bacterial inoculants to obtain success in improving plant growth and productivity, several processes involved can influence the efficiency of inoculation, as for example the exudation by plant roots, the bacterial colonization in the roots, and soil health. This review presents an overview of the importance of soil-plant-microbe interactions to the development of efficient inoculants, once PGPB are extensively studied microorganisms, representing a very diverse group of easily accessible beneficial bacteria. PMID:26537605

  20. Microgravity as a research tool to improve US agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bula, R. J.; Stankovic, Bratislav

    2000-01-01

    Crop production and utilization are undergoing significant modifications and improvements that emanate from adaptation of recently developed plant biotechnologies. Several innovative technologies will impact US agriculture in the next century. One of these is the transfer of desirable genes from organisms to economically important crop species in a way that cannot be accomplished with traditional plant breeding techniques. Such plant genetic engineering offers opportunities to improve crop species for a number of characteristics as well as use as source materials for specific medical and industrial applications. Although plant genetic engineering is having an impact on development of new crop cultivars, several major constraints limit the application of this technology to selected crop species and genotypes. Consequently, gene transfer systems that overcome these constraints would greatly enhance development of new crop materials. If results of a recent gene transfer experiment conducted in microgravity during a Space Shuttle mission are confirmed, and with the availability of the International Space Station as a permanent space facility, commercial plant transformation activity in microgravity could become a new research tool to improve US agriculture. .

  1. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Montaño, F; Alías-Villegas, C; Bellogín, R A; del Cerro, P; Espuny, M R; Jiménez-Guerrero, I; López-Baena, F J; Ollero, F J; Cubo, T

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living bacteria which actively colonize plant roots, exerting beneficial effects on plant development. The PGPR may (i) promote the plant growth either by using their own metabolism (solubilizing phosphates, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen) or directly affecting the plant metabolism (increasing the uptake of water and minerals), enhancing root development, increasing the enzymatic activity of the plant or "helping" other beneficial microorganisms to enhance their action on the plants; (ii) or may promote the plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. These abilities are of great agriculture importance in terms of improving soil fertility and crop yield, thus reducing the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on the environment. The progress in the last decade in using PGPR in a variety of plants (maize, rice, wheat, soybean and bean) along with their mechanism of action are summarized and discussed here.

  2. Plant growth promotion in cereal and leguminous agricultural important plants: from microorganism capacities to crop production.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Montaño, F; Alías-Villegas, C; Bellogín, R A; del Cerro, P; Espuny, M R; Jiménez-Guerrero, I; López-Baena, F J; Ollero, F J; Cubo, T

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are free-living bacteria which actively colonize plant roots, exerting beneficial effects on plant development. The PGPR may (i) promote the plant growth either by using their own metabolism (solubilizing phosphates, producing hormones or fixing nitrogen) or directly affecting the plant metabolism (increasing the uptake of water and minerals), enhancing root development, increasing the enzymatic activity of the plant or "helping" other beneficial microorganisms to enhance their action on the plants; (ii) or may promote the plant growth by suppressing plant pathogens. These abilities are of great agriculture importance in terms of improving soil fertility and crop yield, thus reducing the negative impact of chemical fertilizers on the environment. The progress in the last decade in using PGPR in a variety of plants (maize, rice, wheat, soybean and bean) along with their mechanism of action are summarized and discussed here. PMID:24144612

  3. Programming Capital Improvements. Coping With Growth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyer, Neil L.

    Capital improvements programming is one financial managment technique for providing public services within the constraints of limited financial resources--a particular problem for communities experiencing rapid population growth. Long-range planning and improvement of public facilities for water supply, sewage treatment, parks and recreation,…

  4. Precision agriculture suitability to improve the terroir management in vineyard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    María Terrón López, Jose; Blanco gallego, Jorge; Jesús Moral García, Francisco; Mancha Ramírez, Luis Alberto; Uriarte Hernández, David; Rafael Marques da Silva, Jose

    2014-05-01

    Precision agriculture is a useful tool to assess plant growth and development in vineyards. Traditional technics of crop management may be not enough to keep a certain level of crop yield or quality in grapes. Vegetation indices and soil based measurements, such as apparent electrical conductivity (ECa), can estimate the variability of the terroir within a specific water treatment toward the control of grapevine canopy properties. The current study focused on establishing the variability, spatial and temporal, in the vegetative development of a traditional management vineyard through to technics related to the precision agriculture. The study was carry out in a vineyard in the southwest of Spain during 2012 and 2013 growing seasons with two irrigations treatments, with four plots of each one, by one hand vines irrigated at 100% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc) and by other hand a dry farmed wines. Variations of soil properties across the assay were measured in each year at flowering stage by means of ECa, up to 80 cm. of soil depth, using mobile electrical contact sensors. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was determined in a concept of proximal sensing. In fact, the measures were made by multispectral sensors mounted in a terrestrial vehicle, in vertical positioning, at different stages during the ripening in both growing seasons. All measured data were statistically transformed to a behavior modeling pattern using principal component analisys (PCA) and compared by ordinary least square (OLS). NDVI showed a well-established pattern of vegetative development in both growing season for all the treatments at any irrigation treatment, let us appreciate the differences among the vegetative development of each plot within a specific irrigation treatment derived from the high soil variation that the ECa measures reflected. In this way, the local terroir of each plot and irrigation treatment influenced the vegetative growth showing that soil variations had a

  5. Sequencing Crop Genomes: A Gateway to Improve Tropical Agriculture.

    PubMed

    Thottathil, Gincy Paily; Jayasekaran, Kandakumar; Othman, Ahmad Sofiman

    2016-02-01

    Agricultural development in the tropics lags behind development in the temperate latitudes due to the lack of advanced technology, and various biotic and abiotic factors. To cope with the increasing demand for food and other plant-based products, improved crop varieties have to be developed. To breed improved varieties, a better understanding of crop genetics is necessary. With the advent of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies, many important crop genomes have been sequenced. Primary importance has been given to food crops, including cereals, tuber crops, vegetables, and fruits. The DNA sequence information is extremely valuable for identifying key genes controlling important agronomic traits and for identifying genetic variability among the cultivars. However, massive DNA re-sequencing and gene expression studies have to be performed to substantially improve our understanding of crop genetics. Application of the knowledge obtained from the genomes, transcriptomes, expression studies, and epigenetic studies would enable the development of improved varieties and may lead to a second green revolution. The applications of next generation DNA sequencing technologies in crop improvement, its limitations, future prospects, and the features of important crop genome projects are reviewed herein. PMID:27019684

  6. Sequencing Crop Genomes: A Gateway to Improve Tropical Agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Thottathil, Gincy Paily; Jayasekaran, Kandakumar; Othman, Ahmad Sofiman

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural development in the tropics lags behind development in the temperate latitudes due to the lack of advanced technology, and various biotic and abiotic factors. To cope with the increasing demand for food and other plant-based products, improved crop varieties have to be developed. To breed improved varieties, a better understanding of crop genetics is necessary. With the advent of next-generation DNA sequencing technologies, many important crop genomes have been sequenced. Primary importance has been given to food crops, including cereals, tuber crops, vegetables, and fruits. The DNA sequence information is extremely valuable for identifying key genes controlling important agronomic traits and for identifying genetic variability among the cultivars. However, massive DNA re-sequencing and gene expression studies have to be performed to substantially improve our understanding of crop genetics. Application of the knowledge obtained from the genomes, transcriptomes, expression studies, and epigenetic studies would enable the development of improved varieties and may lead to a second green revolution. The applications of next generation DNA sequencing technologies in crop improvement, its limitations, future prospects, and the features of important crop genome projects are reviewed herein. PMID:27019684

  7. Ecological constraints on the ability of precision agriculture to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems.

    PubMed

    Groffman, P M

    1997-01-01

    In this paper, I address three topics relevant to the ability of precision agriculture to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems. First, I describe the fundamental ecological factors that influence the environmental performance of these systems and address how precision agriculture practices can or cannot interact with these factors. Second, I review the magnitude of the ecological processes that we hope to manage with precision agriculture relative to agricultural inputs to determine whether managing these processes can significantly affect system environmental performance. Finally, I address scale incongruencies between ecological processes and precision agriculture techniques that could limit the ability of these techniques to manage variability in these processes. The analysis suggests that there are significant ecological constraints on the ability of precision agriculture techniques to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems. The primary constraint is that these techniques do not address many of the key factors that cause poor environmental performance in these systems. Further, the magnitude of the ecological processes that we hope to manage with precision agriculture are quite small relative to agricultural inputs and, finally, these processes vary on scales that are incongruent with precision management techniques.

  8. Improvements in agricultural water decision support using remote sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, M. T.

    2012-12-01

    Population driven water scarcity, aggravated by climate-driven evaporative demand in dry regions of the world, has the potential of transforming ecological and social systems to the point of armed conflict. Water shortages will be most severe in agricultural areas, as the priority shifts to urban and industrial use. In order to design, evaluate, and monitor appropriate mitigation strategies, predictive models must be developed that quantify exposure to water shortage. Remote sensing data has been used for more than three decades now to parametrize these models, because field measurements are costly and difficult in remote regions of the world. In the past decade, decision-makers for the first time can make accurate and near real-time evaluations of field conditions with the advent of hyper- spatial and spectral and coarse resolution continuous remote sensing data. Here, we summarize two projects representing diverse applications of remote sensing to improve agricultural water decision support. The first project employs MODIS (coarse resolution continuous data) to drive an evapotranspiration index, which is combined with the Standardized Precipitation Index driven by meteorological satellite data to improve famine early warning in Africa. The combined index is evaluated using district-level crop yield data from Kenya and Malawi and national-level crop yield data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The second project utilizes hyper- spatial (GeoEye 1, Quickbird, IKONOS, and RapidEye) and spectral (Hyperion/ALI), as well as multi-spectral (Landsat ETM+, SPOT, and MODIS) data to develop biomass estimates for key crops (alfalfa, corn, cotton, and rice) in the Central Valley of California. Crop biomass is an important indicator of crop water productivity. The remote sensing data is combined using various data fusion techniques and evaluated with field data collected in the summer of 2012. We conclude with a brief discussion on implementation of

  9. Optimization of agricultural field workability predictions for improved risk management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Risks introduced by weather variability are key considerations in agricultural production. The sensitivity of agriculture to weather variability is of special concern in the face of climate change. In particular, the availability of workable days is an important consideration in agricultural practic...

  10. The role of precision agriculture for improved nutrient management on farms.

    PubMed

    Hedley, Carolyn

    2015-01-01

    Precision agriculture uses proximal and remote sensor surveys to delineate and monitor within-field variations in soil and crop attributes, guiding variable rate control of inputs, so that in-season management can be responsive, e.g. matching strategic nitrogen fertiliser application to site-specific field conditions. It has the potential to improve production and nutrient use efficiency, ensuring that nutrients do not leach from or accumulate in excessive concentrations in parts of the field, which creates environmental problems. The discipline emerged in the 1980s with the advent of affordable geographic positioning systems (GPS), and has further developed with access to an array of affordable soil and crop sensors, improved computer power and software, and equipment with precision application control, e.g. variable rate fertiliser and irrigation systems. Precision agriculture focusses on improving nutrient use efficiency at the appropriate scale requiring (1) appropriate decision support systems (e.g. digital prescription maps), and (2) equipment capable of varying application at these different scales, e.g. the footprint of a one-irrigation sprinkler or a fertiliser top-dressing aircraft. This article reviews the rapid development of this discipline, and uses New Zealand as a case study example, as it is a country where agriculture drives economic growth. Here, the high yield potentials on often young, variable soils provide opportunities for effective financial return from investment in these new technologies. PMID:24816925

  11. The role of precision agriculture for improved nutrient management on farms.

    PubMed

    Hedley, Carolyn

    2015-01-01

    Precision agriculture uses proximal and remote sensor surveys to delineate and monitor within-field variations in soil and crop attributes, guiding variable rate control of inputs, so that in-season management can be responsive, e.g. matching strategic nitrogen fertiliser application to site-specific field conditions. It has the potential to improve production and nutrient use efficiency, ensuring that nutrients do not leach from or accumulate in excessive concentrations in parts of the field, which creates environmental problems. The discipline emerged in the 1980s with the advent of affordable geographic positioning systems (GPS), and has further developed with access to an array of affordable soil and crop sensors, improved computer power and software, and equipment with precision application control, e.g. variable rate fertiliser and irrigation systems. Precision agriculture focusses on improving nutrient use efficiency at the appropriate scale requiring (1) appropriate decision support systems (e.g. digital prescription maps), and (2) equipment capable of varying application at these different scales, e.g. the footprint of a one-irrigation sprinkler or a fertiliser top-dressing aircraft. This article reviews the rapid development of this discipline, and uses New Zealand as a case study example, as it is a country where agriculture drives economic growth. Here, the high yield potentials on often young, variable soils provide opportunities for effective financial return from investment in these new technologies.

  12. Supplementary calcium ameliorates ammonium toxicity by improving water status in agriculturally important species

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Gómez, Elvia; Valdez-Aguilar, Luis A.; Cartmill, Donita L.; Cartmill, Andrew D.; Alia-Tajacal, Irán

    2015-01-01

    Fertilization of agricultural plants with ammonium (NH4+) is often desirable because it is less susceptible to leaching than nitrate (NO3−), reducing environmental pollution, risk to human health and economic loss. However, a number of important agricultural species exhibit a reduction in growth when fertilized with NH4+, and increasing the tolerance to NH4+ may be of importance for the establishment of sustainable agricultural systems. The present study explored the feasibility of using calcium (Ca) to increase the tolerance of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) to NH4+ fertilization. Although NH4+ at proportions ≥25 % of total nitrogen (N) decreased leaf dry mass (DM), supplementary Ca ameliorated this decrease. Increasing NH4+ resulted in decreased root hydraulic conductance (Lo) and root water content (RWC), suggesting that water uptake by roots was impaired. The NH4+-induced reductions in Lo and RWC were mitigated by supplementary Ca. Ammonium induced increased damage to the cell membranes through lipid peroxidation, causing increased electrolyte leakage; Ca did not reduce lipid peroxidation and resulted in increased electrolyte leakage, suggesting that the beneficial effects of Ca on the tolerance to NH4+ may be more of a reflection on its effect on the water status of the plant. Bell pepper plants that received NO3−N had a low concentration of NH4+ in the roots but a high concentration in the leaves, probably due to the high nitrate reductase activity observed. Ammonium nutrition depressed the uptake of potassium, Ca and magnesium, while increasing that of phosphorus. The results obtained in the present study indicate that NH4+ caused growth reduction, nutrient imbalance, membrane integrity impairment, increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and affected water relations. Supplementary Ca partially restored growth of leaves by improving root Lo and water relations, and our results suggest that it may be used as a tool to increase the tolerance to NH4

  13. Supplementary calcium ameliorates ammonium toxicity by improving water status in agriculturally important species.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gómez, Elvia; Valdez-Aguilar, Luis A; Cartmill, Donita L; Cartmill, Andrew D; Alia-Tajacal, Irán

    2015-01-01

    Fertilization of agricultural plants with ammonium [Formula: see text] is often desirable because it is less susceptible to leaching than nitrate [Formula: see text] reducing environmental pollution, risk to human health and economic loss. However, a number of important agricultural species exhibit a reduction in growth when fertilized with [Formula: see text] and increasing the tolerance to [Formula: see text] may be of importance for the establishment of sustainable agricultural systems. The present study explored the feasibility of using calcium (Ca) to increase the tolerance of bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) to [Formula: see text] fertilization. Although [Formula: see text] at proportions ≥25 % of total nitrogen (N) decreased leaf dry mass (DM), supplementary Ca ameliorated this decrease. Increasing [Formula: see text] resulted in decreased root hydraulic conductance (Lo) and root water content (RWC), suggesting that water uptake by roots was impaired. The [Formula: see text]-induced reductions in Lo and RWC were mitigated by supplementary Ca. Ammonium induced increased damage to the cell membranes through lipid peroxidation, causing increased electrolyte leakage; Ca did not reduce lipid peroxidation and resulted in increased electrolyte leakage, suggesting that the beneficial effects of Ca on the tolerance to [Formula: see text] may be more of a reflection on its effect on the water status of the plant. Bell pepper plants that received [Formula: see text] had a low concentration of [Formula: see text] in the roots but a high concentration in the leaves, probably due to the high nitrate reductase activity observed. Ammonium nutrition depressed the uptake of potassium, Ca and magnesium, while increasing that of phosphorus. The results obtained in the present study indicate that [Formula: see text] caused growth reduction, nutrient imbalance, membrane integrity impairment, increased activity of antioxidant enzymes and affected water relations. Supplementary Ca

  14. Agriculture, population growth, and statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record

    PubMed Central

    Zahid, H. Jabran; Robinson, Erick; Kelly, Robert L.

    2016-01-01

    The human population has grown significantly since the onset of the Holocene about 12,000 y ago. Despite decades of research, the factors determining prehistoric population growth remain uncertain. Here, we examine measurements of the rate of growth of the prehistoric human population based on statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record. We find that, during most of the Holocene, human populations worldwide grew at a long-term annual rate of 0.04%. Statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record shows that transitioning farming societies experienced the same rate of growth as contemporaneous foraging societies. The same rate of growth measured for populations dwelling in a range of environments and practicing a variety of subsistence strategies suggests that the global climate and/or endogenous biological factors, not adaptability to local environment or subsistence practices, regulated the long-term growth of the human population during most of the Holocene. Our results demonstrate that statistical analyses of large ensembles of radiocarbon dates are robust and valuable for quantitatively investigating the demography of prehistoric human populations worldwide. PMID:26699457

  15. Agriculture, population growth, and statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record.

    PubMed

    Zahid, H Jabran; Robinson, Erick; Kelly, Robert L

    2016-01-26

    The human population has grown significantly since the onset of the Holocene about 12,000 y ago. Despite decades of research, the factors determining prehistoric population growth remain uncertain. Here, we examine measurements of the rate of growth of the prehistoric human population based on statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record. We find that, during most of the Holocene, human populations worldwide grew at a long-term annual rate of 0.04%. Statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record shows that transitioning farming societies experienced the same rate of growth as contemporaneous foraging societies. The same rate of growth measured for populations dwelling in a range of environments and practicing a variety of subsistence strategies suggests that the global climate and/or endogenous biological factors, not adaptability to local environment or subsistence practices, regulated the long-term growth of the human population during most of the Holocene. Our results demonstrate that statistical analyses of large ensembles of radiocarbon dates are robust and valuable for quantitatively investigating the demography of prehistoric human populations worldwide.

  16. Agriculture, population growth, and statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record.

    PubMed

    Zahid, H Jabran; Robinson, Erick; Kelly, Robert L

    2016-01-26

    The human population has grown significantly since the onset of the Holocene about 12,000 y ago. Despite decades of research, the factors determining prehistoric population growth remain uncertain. Here, we examine measurements of the rate of growth of the prehistoric human population based on statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record. We find that, during most of the Holocene, human populations worldwide grew at a long-term annual rate of 0.04%. Statistical analysis of the radiocarbon record shows that transitioning farming societies experienced the same rate of growth as contemporaneous foraging societies. The same rate of growth measured for populations dwelling in a range of environments and practicing a variety of subsistence strategies suggests that the global climate and/or endogenous biological factors, not adaptability to local environment or subsistence practices, regulated the long-term growth of the human population during most of the Holocene. Our results demonstrate that statistical analyses of large ensembles of radiocarbon dates are robust and valuable for quantitatively investigating the demography of prehistoric human populations worldwide. PMID:26699457

  17. Antibiotic growth promoters in agriculture: history and mode of action.

    PubMed

    Dibner, J J; Richards, J D

    2005-04-01

    This report will review the history of antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) use in the animal industry, concerns about development of antimicrobial resistance, and response in the European Union and United States to these concerns. A brief description of the history of legislation regarding feed use of antimicrobials in Denmark and the experience of animal producers following the 1998 ban will serve to illustrate the consequences on animal performance and health of withdrawing the approval for this use. The biological basis for antibiotic effects on animal growth efficiency will consider effects on intestinal microbiota and effects on the host animal and will use the germ-free animal to illustrate effects of the conventional microflora. The probability that no single compound will replace all of the functions of antimicrobial growth promoters will be considered, and methods to consolidate and analyze the enlarging database will be discussed. PMID:15844822

  18. 76 FR 18581 - Correction; Central Valley Project Improvement Act, Standard Criteria for Agricultural and Urban...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-04

    ... at 76 FR 16818 on the Central Valley Project Improvement Act Standard Criteria for Agricultural and... Bureau of Reclamation Correction; Central Valley Project Improvement Act, Standard Criteria for Agricultural and Urban Water Management Plans AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. ACTION: Notice...

  19. "Development of an interactive crop growth web service architecture to review and forecast agricultural sustainability"

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seamon, E.; Gessler, P. E.; Flathers, E.; Walden, V. P.

    2014-12-01

    As climate change and weather variability raise issues regarding agricultural production, agricultural sustainability has become an increasingly important component for farmland management (Fisher, 2005, Akinci, 2013). Yet with changes in soil quality, agricultural practices, weather, topography, land use, and hydrology - accurately modeling such agricultural outcomes has proven difficult (Gassman et al, 2007, Williams et al, 1995). This study examined agricultural sustainability and soil health over a heterogeneous multi-watershed area within the Inland Pacific Northwest of the United States (IPNW) - as part of a five year, USDA funded effort to explore the sustainability of cereal production systems (Regional Approaches to Climate Change for Pacific Northwest Agriculture - award #2011-68002-30191). In particular, crop growth and soil erosion were simulated across a spectrum of variables and time periods - using the CropSyst crop growth model (Stockle et al, 2002) and the Water Erosion Protection Project Model (WEPP - Flanagan and Livingston, 1995), respectively. A preliminary range of historical scenarios were run, using a high-resolution, 4km gridded dataset of surface meteorological variables from 1979-2010 (Abatzoglou, 2012). In addition, Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project (CMIP5) global climate model (GCM) outputs were used as input to run crop growth model and erosion future scenarios (Abatzoglou and Brown, 2011). To facilitate our integrated data analysis efforts, an agricultural sustainability web service architecture (THREDDS/Java/Python based) is under development, to allow for the programmatic uploading, sharing and processing of variable input data, running model simulations, as well as downloading and visualizing output results. The results of this study will assist in better understanding agricultural sustainability and erosion relationships in the IPNW, as well as provide a tangible server-based tool for use by researchers and farmers - for both

  20. Plant-microbe interactions promoting plant growth and health: perspectives for controlled use of microorganisms in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Berg, Gabriele

    2009-08-01

    Plant-associated microorganisms fulfill important functions for plant growth and health. Direct plant growth promotion by microbes is based on improved nutrient acquisition and hormonal stimulation. Diverse mechanisms are involved in the suppression of plant pathogens, which is often indirectly connected with plant growth. Whereas members of the bacterial genera Azospirillum and Rhizobium are well-studied examples for plant growth promotion, Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Serratia, Stenotrophomonas, and Streptomyces and the fungal genera Ampelomyces, Coniothyrium, and Trichoderma are model organisms to demonstrate influence on plant health. Based on these beneficial plant-microbe interactions, it is possible to develop microbial inoculants for use in agricultural biotechnology. Dependent on their mode of action and effects, these products can be used as biofertilizers, plant strengtheners, phytostimulators, and biopesticides. There is a strong growing market for microbial inoculants worldwide with an annual growth rate of approximately 10%. The use of genomic technologies leads to products with more predictable and consistent effects. The future success of the biological control industry will benefit from interdisciplinary research, e.g., on mass production, formulation, interactions, and signaling with the environment, as well as on innovative business management, product marketing, and education. Altogether, the use of microorganisms and the exploitation of beneficial plant-microbe interactions offer promising and environmentally friendly strategies for conventional and organic agriculture worldwide.

  1. The agricultural model intercomparison and improvement project (AgMIP): Protocols and pilot studies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is a distributed climate-scenario simulation research activity for historical period model intercomparison and future climate change conditions with participation of multiple crop and agricultural economic model groups around the...

  2. An agenda for assessing and improving conservation impacts of sustainability standards in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Milder, Jeffrey C; Arbuthnot, Margaret; Blackman, Allen; Brooks, Sharon E; Giovannucci, Daniele; Gross, Lee; Kennedy, Elizabeth T; Komives, Kristin; Lambin, Eric F; Lee, Audrey; Meyer, Daniel; Newton, Peter; Phalan, Ben; Schroth, Götz; Semroc, Bambi; Van Rikxoort, Henk; Zrust, Michal

    2015-04-01

    Sustainability standards and certification serve to differentiate and provide market recognition to goods produced in accordance with social and environmental good practices, typically including practices to protect biodiversity. Such standards have seen rapid growth, including in tropical agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, and tea. Given the role of sustainability standards in influencing land use in hotspots of biodiversity, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, much could be gained from efforts to evaluate and increase the conservation payoff of these schemes. To this end, we devised a systematic approach for monitoring and evaluating the conservation impacts of agricultural sustainability standards and for using the resulting evidence to improve the effectiveness of such standards over time. The approach is oriented around a set of hypotheses and corresponding research questions about how sustainability standards are predicted to deliver conservation benefits. These questions are addressed through data from multiple sources, including basic common information from certification audits; field monitoring of environmental outcomes at a sample of certified sites; and rigorous impact assessment research based on experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Integration of these sources can generate time-series data that are comparable across sites and regions and provide detailed portraits of the effects of sustainability standards. To implement this approach, we propose new collaborations between the conservation research community and the sustainability standards community to develop common indicators and monitoring protocols, foster data sharing and synthesis, and link research and practice more effectively. As the role of sustainability standards in tropical land-use governance continues to evolve, robust evidence on the factors contributing to effectiveness can help to ensure that such standards are designed and

  3. An agenda for assessing and improving conservation impacts of sustainability standards in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Milder, Jeffrey C; Arbuthnot, Margaret; Blackman, Allen; Brooks, Sharon E; Giovannucci, Daniele; Gross, Lee; Kennedy, Elizabeth T; Komives, Kristin; Lambin, Eric F; Lee, Audrey; Meyer, Daniel; Newton, Peter; Phalan, Ben; Schroth, Götz; Semroc, Bambi; Van Rikxoort, Henk; Zrust, Michal

    2015-04-01

    Sustainability standards and certification serve to differentiate and provide market recognition to goods produced in accordance with social and environmental good practices, typically including practices to protect biodiversity. Such standards have seen rapid growth, including in tropical agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, and tea. Given the role of sustainability standards in influencing land use in hotspots of biodiversity, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, much could be gained from efforts to evaluate and increase the conservation payoff of these schemes. To this end, we devised a systematic approach for monitoring and evaluating the conservation impacts of agricultural sustainability standards and for using the resulting evidence to improve the effectiveness of such standards over time. The approach is oriented around a set of hypotheses and corresponding research questions about how sustainability standards are predicted to deliver conservation benefits. These questions are addressed through data from multiple sources, including basic common information from certification audits; field monitoring of environmental outcomes at a sample of certified sites; and rigorous impact assessment research based on experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Integration of these sources can generate time-series data that are comparable across sites and regions and provide detailed portraits of the effects of sustainability standards. To implement this approach, we propose new collaborations between the conservation research community and the sustainability standards community to develop common indicators and monitoring protocols, foster data sharing and synthesis, and link research and practice more effectively. As the role of sustainability standards in tropical land-use governance continues to evolve, robust evidence on the factors contributing to effectiveness can help to ensure that such standards are designed and

  4. Investigation of mixotrophic, heterotrophic, and autotrophic growth of Chlorella vulgaris under agricultural waste medium.

    PubMed

    Mohammad Mirzaie, M A; Kalbasi, M; Mousavi, S M; Ghobadian, B

    2016-01-01

    Growth of Chlorella vulgaris and its lipid production were investigated under autotrophic, heterotrophic, and mixotrophic conditions. Cheap agricultural waste molasses and corn steep liquor from industries were used as carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively. Chlorella vulgaris grew remarkably under this agricultural waste medium, which resulted in a reduction in the final cost of the biodiesel production. Maximum dry weight of 2.62 g L(-1) was obtained in mixotrophic growth with the highest lipid concentration of 0.86 g L(-1). These biomass and lipid concentrations were, respectively, 140% and 170% higher than autotrophic growth and 300% and 1200% higher than heterotrophic growth. In mixotrophic growth, independent or simultaneous occurrence of autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolisms was investigated. The growth of the microalgae was observed to take place first heterotrophically to a minimum substrate concentration with a little fraction in growth under autotrophic metabolism, and then the cells grew more autotrophically. It was found that mixotrophic growth was not a simple combination of heterotrophic and autotrophic growth.

  5. Investigation of mixotrophic, heterotrophic, and autotrophic growth of Chlorella vulgaris under agricultural waste medium.

    PubMed

    Mohammad Mirzaie, M A; Kalbasi, M; Mousavi, S M; Ghobadian, B

    2016-01-01

    Growth of Chlorella vulgaris and its lipid production were investigated under autotrophic, heterotrophic, and mixotrophic conditions. Cheap agricultural waste molasses and corn steep liquor from industries were used as carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively. Chlorella vulgaris grew remarkably under this agricultural waste medium, which resulted in a reduction in the final cost of the biodiesel production. Maximum dry weight of 2.62 g L(-1) was obtained in mixotrophic growth with the highest lipid concentration of 0.86 g L(-1). These biomass and lipid concentrations were, respectively, 140% and 170% higher than autotrophic growth and 300% and 1200% higher than heterotrophic growth. In mixotrophic growth, independent or simultaneous occurrence of autotrophic and heterotrophic metabolisms was investigated. The growth of the microalgae was observed to take place first heterotrophically to a minimum substrate concentration with a little fraction in growth under autotrophic metabolism, and then the cells grew more autotrophically. It was found that mixotrophic growth was not a simple combination of heterotrophic and autotrophic growth. PMID:25807048

  6. Improved national growth rate method: a comment.

    PubMed

    Begum, N

    1991-09-01

    Rahman's 1987 paper on an improvement in the National Growth Rate Method (NGRM) is discussed. Rahman's assumption is that migration in/out of a city of region is constant, and because the method requires minimal data, it is suitable for application in developing countries. This assumption means that the model is inappropriate for developing countries which are known to have nonuniform rates of population change. Size of city also affects the migration pattern, where larger cities with greater numbers of industrial and business concerns and social services receive a rapid influx of new migrants. This view is also reflected in Rahman's paper. The example is given that Dhaka SMA, Bangladesh received 60% more migrants in 2 periods: 130,000 in migrants/year from 1974 to 1981 vs. 82,000/year from 1961 to 1974. Chittagong, Khulna, and Rajshahi SMA's had similar growth from 1961 to 1981, but there was a slower rate in the 2nd period. Positive contributions of the Rahman paper are the identification of the problems of the nuisance parameter. Rahman points out that the definition of the migration rate is flawed by the traditional NGRM parameter describing the natural increase of migrants. It is stated that recognition of this flaw and the development of a simple case of uniform migration is a good beginning for developing a more realistic model of migration. It is suggested that an extra parameter to represent departure from uniformity in the estimation be introduced. More data would be required. If the task is to use only 2 censuses for estimation of a single parameter, then there is a seemingly insurmountable problem.

  7. Comments on "Population Change in the Wake of Agricultural Improvement: Lessons for Pakistan".

    PubMed

    Mahmood, M

    1992-01-01

    The author critiques an article on Pakistan's agricultural improvement and population change. The focus of concern was the theory proposed by the Chicago/Columbia school on the relationship between income and demand for children. There is disagreement that technical change which increases labor use will lead to increases in the demand for children and increases in the total fertility rate (TFR). The author proposes that when technical change reduces labor needs, employment decreases lead to decreasing or low household income, resulting in an increased demand for children and increased TFRs. The contention is that low income, not high probabilities of employment, will raise the demand for child labor. There is also concern that demand for children is not stable across all income classes; rich parents are unlikely to rely on children's future income. The micro thinking would place the household in the position, with low adult employment and low wages, of desiring to increase income with a child's wages, which are offered in the market at lower than adult wages. This would allow employers to take advantage of the low wages of children. There is evidence that a strong, significant, and positive relationship exists between mechanization in 1961 and growth of mechanization and the decline in TFRs. There is also evidence that real wages are significantly and strongly positively related to a decrease in TFR. The implications for Pakistani policy are that increasing landlessness and agricultural unemployment have a deleterious effect on future growth and may account for high levels of TFR in Pakistan. TFRs are expected to decline when agrarian income and assets even out.

  8. Implementing CLIL in Higher Education in Thailand: The Extent to Which CLIL Improves Agricultural Students' Writing Ability, Agricultural Content, and Cultural Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chansri, Charinee; Wasanasomsithi, Punchalee

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the extent to which a CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) course at university level in Thailand improves undergraduate Agricultural students' writing ability, agricultural content, and cultural knowledge. The study sample consisted of 27 students majoring in Agriculture at a public university in…

  9. Genetically Engineered Crops and Certified Organic Agriculture for Improving Nutrition Security in Africa and South Asia.

    PubMed

    Pray, Carl; Ledermann, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    In Africa and South Asia, where nutrition insecurity is severe, two of the most prominent production technologies are genetically modified (GM) crops and certified organic agriculture. We analyze the potential impact pathways from agricultural production to nutrition. Our review of data and the literature reveals increasing farm-level income from cash crop production as the main pathway by which organic agriculture and GM agriculture improve nutrition. Potential secondary pathways include reduced prices of important food crops like maize due to GM maize production and increased food production using organic technology. Potential tertiary pathways are improvements in health due to reduced insecticide use. Challenges to the technologies achieving their impact include the politics of GM agriculture and the certification costs of organic agriculture. Given the importance of agricultural production in addressing nutrition security, accentuated by the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the chapter concludes by stressing the importance of private and public sector research in improving the productivity and adoption of both GM and organic crops. In addition, the chapter reminds readers that increased farm income and productivity require complementary investments in health, education, food access and women's empowerment to actually improve nutrition security.

  10. Genetically Engineered Crops and Certified Organic Agriculture for Improving Nutrition Security in Africa and South Asia.

    PubMed

    Pray, Carl; Ledermann, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    In Africa and South Asia, where nutrition insecurity is severe, two of the most prominent production technologies are genetically modified (GM) crops and certified organic agriculture. We analyze the potential impact pathways from agricultural production to nutrition. Our review of data and the literature reveals increasing farm-level income from cash crop production as the main pathway by which organic agriculture and GM agriculture improve nutrition. Potential secondary pathways include reduced prices of important food crops like maize due to GM maize production and increased food production using organic technology. Potential tertiary pathways are improvements in health due to reduced insecticide use. Challenges to the technologies achieving their impact include the politics of GM agriculture and the certification costs of organic agriculture. Given the importance of agricultural production in addressing nutrition security, accentuated by the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the chapter concludes by stressing the importance of private and public sector research in improving the productivity and adoption of both GM and organic crops. In addition, the chapter reminds readers that increased farm income and productivity require complementary investments in health, education, food access and women's empowerment to actually improve nutrition security. PMID:27197837

  11. Agricultural contamination of groundwater as a possible risk factor for growth restriction or prematurity.

    PubMed

    Bukowski, J; Somers, G; Bryanton, J

    2001-04-01

    Agricultural activity on Prince Edward Island poses a potential hazard to groundwater, which is the sole source of drinking water on the island. This study investigates the potential impact of groundwater nitrate exposure on prematurity and intrauterine growth restriction on Prince Edward Island. A total of 210 intrauterine growth restriction cases, 336 premature births, and 4098 controls were abstracted from a database of all Island births. An ecological measure of groundwater nitrate level was used to gauge potential exposure to agriculturally contaminated drinking water. The higher nitrate exposure categories were positively associated with intrauterine growth restriction and prematurity, and significant dose-response trends were seen, even after adjustment for several important covariates. Nevertheless, these risks must be interpreted cautiously because of the ecological nature of this exposure metric. An investigation using nitrate levels for individual study subjects is needed to confirm this association.

  12. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  13. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity.

    PubMed

    Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-05-08

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers.

  14. Global growth and stability of agricultural yield decrease with pollinator dependence

    PubMed Central

    Garibaldi, Lucas A.; Aizen, Marcelo A.; Klein, Alexandra M.; Cunningham, Saul A.; Harder, Lawrence D.

    2011-01-01

    Human welfare depends on the amount and stability of agricultural production, as determined by crop yield and cultivated area. Yield increases asymptotically with the resources provided by farmers’ inputs and environmentally sensitive ecosystem services. Declining yield growth with increased inputs prompts conversion of more land to cultivation, but at the risk of eroding ecosystem services. To explore the interdependence of agricultural production and its stability on ecosystem services, we present and test a general graphical model, based on Jensen's inequality, of yield–resource relations and consider implications for land conversion. For the case of animal pollination as a resource influencing crop yield, this model predicts that incomplete and variable pollen delivery reduces yield mean and stability (inverse of variability) more for crops with greater dependence on pollinators. Data collected by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations during 1961–2008 support these predictions. Specifically, crops with greater pollinator dependence had lower mean and stability in relative yield and yield growth, despite global yield increases for most crops. Lower yield growth was compensated by increased land cultivation to enhance production of pollinator-dependent crops. Area stability also decreased with pollinator dependence, as it correlated positively with yield stability among crops. These results reveal that pollen limitation hinders yield growth of pollinator-dependent crops, decreasing temporal stability of global agricultural production, while promoting compensatory land conversion to agriculture. Although we examined crop pollination, our model applies to other ecosystem services for which the benefits to human welfare decelerate as the maximum is approached. PMID:21422295

  15. Barley seedling growth in soils amended with fly ash or agricultural lime followed by acidification

    SciTech Connect

    Renken, R.R.; McCallister, D.L.; Tarkalson, D.D.; Hergert, G.W.; Marx, D.B.

    2006-05-15

    Calcium-rich coal combustion fly ash can be used as an amendment to neutralize soil acidity because of its oxides and carbonate content, but its aluminum content could inhibit plant growth if soil pH values fall below optimal agronomic levels. This study measured root and shoot growth of an acid-sensitive barley (Hordeum vulgare L. 'Kearney') grown in the greenhouse on three naturally acid soils. The soils were either untreated or amended with various liming materials (dry fly ash, wet fly ash, and agricultural lime) at application rates of 0, .5, 1, and 1.5 times the recommended lime requirement, then treated with dilute acid solutions to simulate management-induced acidification. Plant growth indexes were measured at 30 days after planting. Root mass per plant and root length per plant were greater for the limed treatments than in the acidified check. Root growth in the limed treatments did not differ from root growth in the original nonacidified soils. Top mass per plant in all limed soils was either larger than or not different from that in the original nonacidified soils. Based on top mass per plant, no liming material or application rate was clearly superior. Both fly ash and agricultural lime reduced the impact of subsequent acidification on young barley plants. Detrimental effects of aluminum release on plant growth were not observed. Calcium-rich fly ash at agronomic rates is an acceptable acid-neutralizing material with no apparent negative effects.

  16. Integrating NASA Satellite Data Into USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board Decision Making Environment To Improve Agricultural Estimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teng, William; Shannon, Harlan; deJeu, Richard; Kempler, Steve

    2012-01-01

    The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) is responsible for monitoring weather and climate impacts on domestic and foreign crop development. One of WAOB's primary goals is to determine the net cumulative effect of weather and climate anomalies on final crop yields. To this end, a broad array of information is consulted. The resulting agricultural weather assessments are published in the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, to keep farmers, policy makers, and commercial agricultural interests informed of weather and climate impacts on agriculture. The goal of the current project is to improve WAOB estimates by integrating NASA satellite precipitation and soil moisture observations into WAOB's decision making environment. Precipitation (Level 3 gridded) is from the TRMM Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA). Soil moisture (Level 2 swath and Level 3 gridded) is generated by the Land Parameter Retrieval Model (LPRM) and operationally produced by the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GBS DISC). A root zone soil moisture (RZSM) product is also generated, via assimilation of the Level 3 LPRM data by a land surface model (part of a related project). Data services to be available for these products include GeoTIFF, GDS (GrADS Data Server), WMS (Web Map Service), WCS (Web Coverage Service), and NASA Giovanni. Project benchmarking is based on retrospective analyses of WAOB analog year comparisons. The latter are between a given year and historical years with similar weather patterns and estimated crop yields. An analog index (AI) was developed to introduce a more rigorous, statistical approach for identifying analog years. Results thus far show that crop yield estimates derived from TMPA precipitation data are closer to measured yields than are estimates derived from surface-based precipitation measurements. Work is continuing to include LPRM surface soil moisture data and model-assimilated RZSM.

  17. A natural plant growth promoter calliterpenone from a plant Callicarpa macrophylla Vahl improves the plant growth promoting effects of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs).

    PubMed

    Maji, Deepamala; Barnawal, Deepti; Gupta, Aakansha; King, Shikha; Singh, A K; Kalra, A

    2013-05-01

    Experiments were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of calliterpenone, a natural plant growth promoter from a shrub Callicarpa macrophylla Vahl., in enhancing the growth and yield promoting effects of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), in menthol mint (Mentha arvensis L).This study is based on our previous results indicating the microbial growth promotion by calliterpenone and assumption that application of calliterpenone along with PGPRs will improve the population of PGPRs resulting in higher impacts on plant growth and yield. Of the 15 PGPRs (identified as potent ones in our laboratory), 25 μl of 0.01 mM calliterpenone (8.0 μg/100 ml) was found to be useful in improving the population of nine PGPRs in culture media. The five selected strains of PGPRs exhibiting synergy with calliterpenone in enhancing growth of maize compared to PGPR or calliterpenone alone were selected and tested on two cultivars (cvs. Kosi and Kushal) of M. arvensis. Of the five strains, Bacillus subtilis P-20 (16S rDNA sequence homologous to Accession No NR027552) and B. subtilis Daz-26 (16SrDNA sequence homologuos to Accession No GU998816) were found to be highly effective in improving the herb and essential oil yield in the cultivars Kushal and Kosi respectively when co-treated with calliterpenone. The results open up the possibilities of using a natural growth promoter along with PGPRs as a bio-agri input for sustainable and organic agriculture.

  18. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP): Overview and Progress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenzweig, C.; Hatfield, J.; Jones, J. W.; Ruane, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is an international effort to assess the state of global agricultural modeling and to understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector. AgMIP connects the climate science, crop modeling, and agricultural economic modeling communities to generate probabilistic projections of current and future climate impacts. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of risk of hunger and world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. This presentation will describe the general approach of AgMIP and highlight its findings and activities. AgMIP crop model intercomparisons have been established for wheat (27 models participating), maize (25 models), and rice (15+ models), and are being established for sugarcane, soybean, sorghum/millet, and peanut. In coordination with these pilots, methodologies to utilize weather generators and downscaled climate simulations for agricultural applications are under development. An AgMIP global agricultural economics model intercomparison with participation of 11 international groups is ongoing, and a number of global biophysical models are currently being evaluated for future climate impacts on agricultural lands both as part of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP) and for contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). AgMIP is also organizing regional research efforts, and has already held workshops in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Europe, and North America. Outcomes from these meetings have informed AgMIP activities, and 10 research teams from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have been selected for project funding. Additional activities are planned for Australia and East Asia. As the AgMIP research community continues to work towards its goals, three key cross-cutting scientific challenges have emerged and are being

  19. Growth Management and Agriculture: An Examination of Local Efforts to Manage Growth and Preserve Farmland in Wisconsin Cities, Villages, and Towns

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diaz, Daniel; Green, Gary Paul

    2001-01-01

    In this paper we examine the effectiveness of growth management policies in Wisconsin cities, villages, and towns. Unlike most other studies, we consider the impact of growth management policies on agriculture, specifically the preservation of farmland, in addition to population growth. Our analysis examines these relationships separately in towns…

  20. Using wetlands for water quality improvement in agricultural watersheds; the importance of a watershed scale approach.

    PubMed

    Crumpton, W G

    2001-01-01

    Agricultural applications of fertilizers and pesticides have increased dramatically since the middle 1960s, and agrochemical contamination of surface and groundwater has become a serious environmental concern. Since the mid-1980s, a variety of state and federal programs have been used to promote wetland restoration, and these continuing efforts provide a unique opportunity for water quality improvement in agricultural watersheds. However, wetland restorations have been motivated primarily by concern over waterfowl habitat loss, and model simulations suggest that commonly used site selection criteria for wetland restorations may be inadequate for water quality purposes. This does not lessen the promise of wetlands for water quality improvement in agricultural watersheds, but rather emphasizes the need for watershed scale approaches to wetland siting and design. Water quality is best viewed from a watershed perspective, and watershed scale endpoints should be explicitly considered in site selection for wetland restoration.

  1. Comparative Study of Population Growth and Agricultural Change: C - Case Study of India. Asian Population Studies Series No. 23.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok (Thailand).

    This report, the third in a series of five reports of the Comparative Study of Population Growth and Agricultural Change, describes a study of the two states of India (Punjaband and Orissa) which attempted to clarify the relationship between population pressure and agricultural change through a time series analysis. This study: (1) outlines trends…

  2. Lid for improved dendritic web growth

    DOEpatents

    Duncan, Charles S.; Kochka, Edgar L.; Piotrowski, Paul A.; Seidensticker, Raymond G.

    1992-03-24

    A lid for a susceptor in which a crystalline material is melted by induction heating to form a pool or melt of molten material from which a dendritic web of essentially a single crystal of the material is pulled through an elongated slot in the lid and the lid has a pair of generally round openings adjacent the ends of the slot and a groove extends between each opening and the end of the slot. The grooves extend from the outboard surface of the lid to adjacent the inboard surface providing a strip contiguous with the inboard surface of the lid to produce generally uniform radiational heat loss across the width of the dendritic web adjacent the inboard surface of the lid to reduce thermal stresses in the web and facilitate the growth of wider webs at a greater withdrawal rate.

  3. Soybean Development: The Impact of a Decade of Agricultural Change on Urban and Economic Growth in Mato Grosso, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Peter; Pellegrina, Heitor; VanWey, Leah; Spera, Stephanie

    2015-01-01

    In this research we consider the impact of export-driven, soybean agriculture in Mato Grosso on regional economic growth. Here we argue that the soybean sector has served as a motor to the state’s economy by increasing the demand for services, housing, and goods, and by providing a source of investment capital to the non-agricultural sector. Specifically, we show that each square kilometer of soybean production supports 2.5 formal sector jobs outside of agriculture, and the equivalent of approximately 150,000US in annual, non-agricultural GDP. We also show that annual gains in non-agricultural employment and GDP are closely tied to soybean profitability, and thus vary from year to year. However, while this article highlights the potential of the agricultural sector as a driver of regional economic growth, it also acknowledges that this growth has been sustained by profits determined by externally set prices and the rate of exchange, and that future growth trajectories will be susceptible to potential currency of market shocks. We also show that while Mato Grosso’s economic growth has come at a significant cost to the environment, value added by the agriculture sector, directly and indirectly, has surpassed the value of the CO2-e emitted through land clearings. PMID:25919305

  4. Soybean development: the impact of a decade of agricultural change on urban and economic growth in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Richards, Peter; Pellegrina, Heitor; VanWey, Leah; Spera, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    In this research we consider the impact of export-driven, soybean agriculture in Mato Grosso on regional economic growth. Here we argue that the soybean sector has served as a motor to the state's economy by increasing the demand for services, housing, and goods, and by providing a source of investment capital to the non-agricultural sector. Specifically, we show that each square kilometer of soybean production supports 2.5 formal sector jobs outside of agriculture, and the equivalent of approximately 150,000US in annual, non-agricultural GDP. We also show that annual gains in non-agricultural employment and GDP are closely tied to soybean profitability, and thus vary from year to year. However, while this article highlights the potential of the agricultural sector as a driver of regional economic growth, it also acknowledges that this growth has been sustained by profits determined by externally set prices and the rate of exchange, and that future growth trajectories will be susceptible to potential currency of market shocks. We also show that while Mato Grosso's economic growth has come at a significant cost to the environment, value added by the agriculture sector, directly and indirectly, has surpassed the value of the CO2-e emitted through land clearings. PMID:25919305

  5. Soybean development: the impact of a decade of agricultural change on urban and economic growth in Mato Grosso, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Richards, Peter; Pellegrina, Heitor; VanWey, Leah; Spera, Stephanie

    2014-01-01

    In this research we consider the impact of export-driven, soybean agriculture in Mato Grosso on regional economic growth. Here we argue that the soybean sector has served as a motor to the state's economy by increasing the demand for services, housing, and goods, and by providing a source of investment capital to the non-agricultural sector. Specifically, we show that each square kilometer of soybean production supports 2.5 formal sector jobs outside of agriculture, and the equivalent of approximately 150,000US in annual, non-agricultural GDP. We also show that annual gains in non-agricultural employment and GDP are closely tied to soybean profitability, and thus vary from year to year. However, while this article highlights the potential of the agricultural sector as a driver of regional economic growth, it also acknowledges that this growth has been sustained by profits determined by externally set prices and the rate of exchange, and that future growth trajectories will be susceptible to potential currency of market shocks. We also show that while Mato Grosso's economic growth has come at a significant cost to the environment, value added by the agriculture sector, directly and indirectly, has surpassed the value of the CO2-e emitted through land clearings.

  6. Population change in the wake of agricultural improvement: lessons for Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Vosti, S A; Lipton, M

    1992-01-01

    The research goal was to examine the extent to which modern agricultural technologies affected total fertility rates (TFR) between 1971 and 1981 at the district level in rural India. Total fertility rates were estimated and indicated declines of varying degrees for all districts. A description is provided of changes in agricultural practices and fertility between 1960-61 and 1979-80, followed by ordinary least squares analysis of fertility and technological change. A range of indirect and direct variables measured agricultural technology, agriculture, and income. Demographic variables were primary school attainment of females and rural tribal population. The results showed that agricultural yields, production technologies, and modern input between 1961 and 1980 varied across and within states. Regression results indicated that technology had a highly significant direct impact on fertility change. In a full model, higher yielding varieties technologies in 1980, the stock of gross irrigated area in 1961, and the rate of growth of irrigated areas over the entire period, did not influence changes in total fertility rates (TFRs). However, increases in "down side" variation in growth rates from the established growth trend did accelerate declines in TFRs. The growth rate in 1961 and 1960-80 did not influence changes in TFR. Slower declines in TFRs were associated with districts in which there were above average levels of farm mechanization in 1961 and 1960-80. The more successful the staple crop yield (wheat), the slower the demographic transition. Districts with large "down side" variations in growth rates of yields had significantly faster rates of change in TFR. Increases in the percentage concentration of gross cropped area in the top 3 crops led to faster declines in TFR. Districts that had increased real wages at above average rates and low "down side" variations in wage rates had faster declines in TFR. Changes in the percentage of rural labor out of total

  7. The Agriculture Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenzweig, C.

    2010-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is a distributed climate-scenario simulation exercise for historical model intercomparison and future climate change conditions with participation of multiple crop and world agricultural trade modeling groups around the world. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of risk of hunger and world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. Historical period results will spur model improvement and interaction among major modeling groups, while future period results will lead directly to tests of adaptation and mitigation strategies across a range of scales. AgMIP will consist of a multi-scale impact assessment utilizing the latest methods for climate and agricultural scenario generation. Scenarios and modeling protocols will be distributed on the web, and multi-model results will be collated and analyzed to ensure the widest possible coverage of agricultural crops and regions. AgMIP will place regional changes in agricultural production in a global context that reflects new trading opportunities, imbalances, and shortages in world markets resulting from climate change and other driving forces for food supply. Such projections are essential inputs from the Vulnerability, Impacts, and Adaptation (VIA) research community to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment (AR5), now underway, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. They will set the context for local-scale vulnerability and adaptation studies, supply test scenarios for national-scale development of trade policy instruments, provide critical information on changing supply and demand for water resources, and elucidate interactive effects of climate change and land use change. AgMIP will not only provide crucially-needed new global estimates of how climate change will affect food supply and hunger in the

  8. Agriculture in Africa: strategies to improve and sustain smallholder production systems.

    PubMed

    Jama, Bashir; Pizarro, Gonzalo

    2008-01-01

    Agricultural development lies at the heart of poverty reduction and increased food security of most developing nations. Sub-Saharan Africa (hereafter referred to as Africa) is, however, the only region in the world where per capita agricultural productivity has remained stagnant over the past 40 years. In Asia and Latin America, the use of tailored techniques and technologies has transformed agricultural practice and its productivity, leading to what has been called the "green revolution." The dissemination of uniquely African green revolution technologies has not occurred on the continent. This chapter will argue that the same results in increased productivity and food security can be achieved in Africa if the appropriate investments are made in key interventions: soil fertility improvement, improved seeds, water management, market access, extension services, access to credit, and improvements in weather forecasting. Where these have happened, even partially, the outcome has been remarkable. However, bringing them to scale in ways that sustainably increase agricultural productivity and alleviate poverty requires increased investments and innovative institutional arrangements. Fortunately, several research and development projects on the continent, including the Millennium Villages Project, are providing valuable insights. Finally, this chapter outlines the key remaining challenges.

  9. Improved Growth Of Diamond Films From Oxyacetylene Torch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Floyd E., III

    1995-01-01

    Two modifications proposed to improve nucleation and growth of diamond films on surfaces by use of oxyacetylene torch. In one modification, carbon monoxide added to fuel gas; in other, carbon monoxide, methane, and oxygen added in synchronized pulses. Second modification intended not only to improve nucleation and growth of diamond films but also makes films more nearly homogeneous over areas larger than spots of such film grown by oxygen/acetylene-growth technique. Modified technique enables deposition of diamond films on alternative materials-in particular, copper.

  10. The benefits of improved technologies in agricultural aviation. [economic impact and aircraft configurations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    The economic benefits attributable to a variety of potential technological improvements in agricultural aviation are discussed. Topics covered include: the ag-air industry, the data base used to estimate the potential benefits and a summary of the potential benefits from technological improvements; ag-air activities in the United States; foreign ag-air activities; major ag-air aircraft is use and manufacturers' sales and distribution networks; and estimates of the benefits to the United States of proposed technological improvements to the aircraft and dispersal equipment. A bibliography of references is appended.

  11. Improving Agricultural Water Resources Management Using Ground-based Infrared Thermometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taghvaeian, S.

    2014-12-01

    Irrigated agriculture is the largest user of freshwater resources in arid/semi-arid parts of the world. Meeting rapidly growing demands in food, feed, fiber, and fuel while minimizing environmental pollution under a changing climate requires significant improvements in agricultural water management and irrigation scheduling. Although recent advances in remote sensing techniques and hydrological modeling has provided valuable information on agricultural water resources and their management, real improvements will only occur if farmers, the decision makers on the ground, are provided with simple, affordable, and practical tools to schedule irrigation events. This presentation reviews efforts in developing methods based on ground-based infrared thermometry and thermography for day-to-day management of irrigation systems. The results of research studies conducted in Colorado and Oklahoma show that ground-based remote sensing methods can be used effectively in quantifying water stress and consequently triggering irrigation events. Crop water use estimates based on stress indices have also showed to be in good agreement with estimates based on other methods (e.g. surface energy balance, root zone soil water balance, etc.). Major challenges toward the adoption of this approach by agricultural producers include the reduced accuracy under cloudy and humid conditions and its inability to forecast irrigation date, which is a critical knowledge since many irrigators need to decide about irrigations a few days in advance.

  12. Rainfed Areas and Animal Agriculture in Asia: The Wanting Agenda for Transforming Productivity Growth and Rural Poverty

    PubMed Central

    Devendra, C.

    2012-01-01

    palm in Malaysia. Revitalised development of the LFAs is justified by the demand for agricultural land to meet human needs e.g. housing, recreation and industrialisation; use of arable land to expand crop production to ceiling levels; increasing and very high animal densities; increased urbanisation and pressure on the use of available land; growing environmental concerns of very intensive crop production e.g. acidification and salinisation with rice cultivation; and human health risks due to expanding peri-urban poultry and pig production. The strategies for promoting productivity growth will require concerted R and D on improved use of LFAs, application of systems perspectives for technology delivery, increased investments, a policy framework and improved farmer-researcher-extension linkages. These challenges and their resolution in rainfed areas can forcefully impact on increased productivity, improved livelihoods and human welfare, and environmental sustainability in the future. PMID:25049487

  13. Rainfed areas and animal agriculture in Asia: the wanting agenda for transforming productivity growth and rural poverty.

    PubMed

    Devendra, C

    2012-01-01

    palm in Malaysia. Revitalised development of the LFAs is justified by the demand for agricultural land to meet human needs e.g. housing, recreation and industrialisation; use of arable land to expand crop production to ceiling levels; increasing and very high animal densities; increased urbanisation and pressure on the use of available land; growing environmental concerns of very intensive crop production e.g. acidification and salinisation with rice cultivation; and human health risks due to expanding peri-urban poultry and pig production. The strategies for promoting productivity growth will require concerted R and D on improved use of LFAs, application of systems perspectives for technology delivery, increased investments, a policy framework and improved farmer-researcher-extension linkages. These challenges and their resolution in rainfed areas can forcefully impact on increased productivity, improved livelihoods and human welfare, and environmental sustainability in the future.

  14. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP): Protocols and Pilot Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenzweig, C.; Jones, J. W.; Hatfield, J. L.; Ruane, A. C.; Boote, K. J.; Thorburn, P.; Antle, J. M.; Nelson, G. C.; Porter, C.; Janssen, S.; Asseng, S.; Basso, B.; Ewert, F.; Wallach, D.; Baigorria, G.; Winter, J. M.

    2012-01-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is a major international effort linking the climate, crop, and economic modeling communities with cutting-edge information technology to produce improved crop and economic models and the next generation of climate impact projections for the agricultural sector. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. Analyses of the agricultural impacts of climate variability and change require a transdisciplinary effort to consistently link state-of-the-art climate scenarios to crop and economic models. Crop model outputs are aggregated as inputs to regional and global economic models to determine regional vulnerabilities, changes in comparative advantage, price effects, and potential adaptation strategies in the agricultural sector. Climate, Crop Modeling, Economics, and Information Technology Team Protocols are presented to guide coordinated climate, crop modeling, economics, and information technology research activities around the world, along with AgMIP Cross-Cutting Themes that address uncertainty, aggregation and scaling, and the development of Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) to enable testing of climate change adaptations in the context of other regional and global trends. The organization of research activities by geographic region and specific crops is described, along with project milestones. Pilot results demonstrate AgMIP's role in assessing climate impacts with explicit representation of uncertainties in climate scenarios and simulations using crop and economic models. An intercomparison of wheat model simulations near Obregón, Mexico reveals inter-model differences in yield sensitivity to [CO2] with model uncertainty holding approximately steady as concentrations rise, while uncertainty related to choice of crop model increases with

  15. Strategies for Balanced Rural-Urban Growth. Agricultural Information Bulletin No. 392.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Clark

    Summarizing an Economic Research Service (ERS) publication, this guide to a balanced rural-urban growth describes the results of a computer based ERS model which examined seven strategies to improve rural economic development. Based on 1960-70 trends, the model is described as asking how much would be required of each of the following strategies…

  16. Improving World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates by Integrating NASA Remote Sensing Soil Moisture Data into USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board Decision Making Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, W. L.; de Jeu, R. A.; Doraiswamy, P. C.; Kempler, S. J.; Shannon, H. D.

    2009-12-01

    A primary goal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to expand markets for U.S. agricultural products and support global economic development. The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) supports this goal by developing monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) for the U.S. and major foreign producing countries. Because weather has a significant impact on crop progress, conditions, and production, WAOB prepares frequent agricultural weather assessments, in a GIS-based, Global Agricultural Decision Support Environment (GLADSE). The main objective of this project, thus, is to improve WAOB's estimates by integrating NASA remote sensing soil moisture observations and research results into GLADSE. Soil moisture is a primary data gap at WAOB. Soil moisture data, generated by the Land Parameter Retrieval Model (LPRM, developed by NASA GSFC and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and customized to WAOB's requirements, will be directly integrated into GLADSE, as well as indirectly by first being integrated into USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)'s Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) crop model. The LPRM-enhanced EPIC will be validated using three major agricultural regions important to WAOB and then integrated into GLADSE. Project benchmarking will be based on retrospective analyses of WAOB's analog year comparisons. The latter are between a given year and historical years with similar weather patterns. WAOB is the focal point for economic intelligence within the USDA. Thus, improving WAOB's agricultural estimates by integrating NASA satellite observations and model outputs will visibly demonstrate the value of NASA resources and maximize the societal benefits of NASA investments.

  17. Development and testing of crop monitoring methods to improve global agricultural monitoring in support of GEOGLAM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilliams, S. J. B.; Bydekerke, L.

    2014-12-01

    The SIGMA project (Stimulating Innovation for Global Monitoring of Agriculture) is funded through the EC FPY7 Research programme with the particular aim to contribute to the GEOGLAM Research Agenda. It is a partnership of globally distributed expert organizations, focusses on developing innovative techniques and datasets in support of agricultural monitoring and its impact on the environment in support of GEOGLAM. SIGMA has 3 generic objectives which are: (i) develop and test methods to characterize cropland and assess its changes at various scales; (ii) develop and test methods to assess changes in agricultural production levels; and; (iii) study environmental impacts of agriculture. Firstly, multi-scale remote sensing data sets, in combination with field and other ancillary data, are used to generate an improved (global) agro-ecological zoning map and crop mask. Secondly, a combination of agro-meteorological models, satellite-based information and long-term time series are be explored to better assess crop yield gaps and shifts in cultivation. The third research topic entails the development of best practices for assessing the impact of crop land and cropping system change on the environment. In support of the GEO JECAM (Joint Experiment for Crop Assessment and Monitoring) initiative, case studies in Ukraine, Russia, Europe, Africa, Latin America and China are carried out in order to explore possible methodological synergies and particularities according to different cropping systems. This presentation will report on the progress made with respect to the three topics above.

  18. Introduction The Role of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Hillel, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Climate impacts on agriculture are of increasing concern in both the scientific and policy communities because of the need to ensure food security for a growing population. A special challenge is posed by the changes in the frequency and intensity of heat-waves, droughts, and episodic rainstorms already underway in many parts of the world. Changes in production are directly linked to such variations in temperature and precipitation during the growing season, and often to offseason changes in weather affecting soil-water storage and availability to crops. This is not an isolated problem but one of both global and regional importance, because of impacts on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers as well as consequences for the world food trade system. This two-part set the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP): Integrated Crop and Economic Assessments is the first to be entirely devoted to AgMIP (www.agmip.org). AgMIP is a major international research program focused on climate change and agriculture. The goal of the two parts is to advance the field by providing detailed information on new simulation techniques and assessments being conducted by this program. It presents information about new methods of global and regional integrated assessment, results from agricultural regions, and adaptation strategies for maintaining food security under changing climate conditions.

  19. Improvement of activated sludge bacteria growth by low intensity ultrasound

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, Y. X.; Ding, J. Y.; Gao, J. L.

    2016-08-01

    Influence of low intensity ultrasound (US) on growth rate of bacteria separated from aerobic activated sludge was studied. In order to reveal the optimal ultrasonic conditions,specific oxygen uptake rate (SOUR) of activated sludge was first detected and results showed that the maximum SOUR was obtained (increased by 40%) at US intensity of 3 Wcm-2 and irradiation time of 10min. Under the optimal conditions, 2 species of bacteria isolated from activated sludge were sonicated and then cultivated for 36h, and increment of 6% and 10% of growth rate were detected for the 2 species of bacteria, respectively, indicating US irradiation of suitable parameters effectively improved activated sludge bacteria growth.

  20. Proposal of a growth chamber for growing Super-Dwarf Rice in Space Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirai, Hiroaki; Kitaya, Yoshiaki; Tsukamoto, Koya; Yamashita, Youichirou; Hirai, Takehiro

    Space agriculture needs to be considered to supply food for space crew who stay in space over an extended time period. So far crops such as wheat, onion, oat, pea and lettuce grew to explore the possibility of space agriculture. Although rice is a staple food for most of the world, research on rice cultivation in space has not been done much. Rice grains are nutrient-rich with carbohydrate, protein and dietary fiber. Moreover, rice is a high yield crop and harvested grains have a long shelf life. However, the plant height of standard rice cultivars is relatively long, requiring much space. In addition, rice plants require higher light intensities for greater yield. For these reasons, it is difficult to establish facilities for rice culture in a limited space with a low cost. We propose to employee a super-dwarf cultivar and a small growth chamber with a new type of LEDs. The super-dwarf rice is a short-grain japonica variety and the plant height is approximately 20 cm that is one-fifth as tall as standard cultivars. The LED light used as a light source for this study can provide full spectrum of 380 nm to 750 nm. Air temperature and humidity were controlled by a Peltier device equipped in the chamber. The characteristics of the new type of LEDs and other equipments of the chamber and the ground based performance of super-dwarf rice plants grown in the chamber will be reported.

  1. Agricultural adjuvants: acute mortality and effects on population growth rate of Daphnia pulex after chronic exposure.

    PubMed

    Stark, John D; Walthall, William K

    2003-12-01

    Acute and chronic toxicity of eight agricultural adjuvants (Bond, Kinetic, Plyac, R-11, Silwet L-77, Sylgard 309, X-77, and WaterMaxx) to Daphnia pulex were evaluated with 48-h acute lethal concentration estimates (LC50) and a 10-d population growth-rate measurement, the instantaneous rate of increase (r1). Based on LC50, the order of toxicity was R-11 > X-77 = Sylgard 309 = Silwet L-77 > Kinetic > Bond > Plyac > WaterMaxx; all LC50 estimates were higher than the expected environmental concentration (EEC) of 0.79 mg/L, indicating that none of these adjuvants should cause high levels of mortality in wild D. pulex populations. Extinction, defined as negative population growth rate, occurred after exposure to 0.9 mg/L R-11, 13 mg/L X-77, 25 mg/L Kinetic, 28 mg/L Silwet, 18 mg/L Sylgard, 450 mg/L Bond, 610 mg/L Plyac, and 1,600 mg/L WaterMaxx. Concentrations that caused extinction were substantially below the acute LC50 for R-11, Kinetic, Plyac, X-77, and Bond. The no-observable-effects concentration (NOEC) and lowest-observable-effects concentration (LOEC) for the number of offspring per surviving female after exposure to R-11 were 0.5 and 0.75 mg/L, respectively. The NOEC and LOEC for population size after exposure to R-11 were (1.25 and 0.5 mg/L, respectively. Both of these values were lower than the EEC, indicating that R-11 does have the potential to cause damage to D. pulex populations after application at recommended field rates. The wide range of concentrations causing extinction makes it difficult to generalize about the potential impacts that agricultural adjuvants might have on aquatic ecosystems. Therefore, additional studies that examine effects on other nontarget organisms and determine residues in aquatic ecosystems may be warranted.

  2. Apparatus for silicon web growth of higher output and improved growth stability

    DOEpatents

    Duncan, Charles S.; Piotrowski, Paul A.

    1989-01-01

    This disclosure describes an apparatus to improve the web growth attainable from prior web growth configurations. This apparatus modifies the heat loss at the growth interface in a manner that minimizes thickness variations across the web, especially regions of the web adjacent to the two bounding dendrites. In the unmodified configuration, thinned regions of web, adjacent to the dendrites, were found to be the origin of crystal degradation which ultimately led to termination of the web growth. According to the present invention, thinning adjacent to the dendrites is reduced and the incidence of crystal degradation is similarly reduced.

  3. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP): Progress and Preliminary Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenzweig, C.

    2011-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is a distributed climate-scenario simulation exercise for historical model intercomparison and future climate change conditions with participation of multiple crop and agricultural trade modeling groups around the world. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of risk of hunger and world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. Recent progress and the current status of AgMIP will be presented, highlighting three areas of activity: preliminary results from crop pilot studies, outcomes from regional workshops, and emerging scientific challenges. AgMIP crop modeling efforts are being led by pilot studies, which have been established for wheat, maize, rice, and sugarcane. These crop-specific initiatives have proven instrumental in testing and contributing to AgMIP protocols, as well as creating preliminary results for aggregation and input to agricultural trade models. Regional workshops are being held to encourage collaborations and set research activities in motion for key agricultural areas. The first of these workshops was hosted by Embrapa and UNICAMP and held in Campinas, Brazil. Outcomes from this meeting have informed crop modeling research activities within South America, AgMIP protocols, and future regional workshops. Several scientific challenges have emerged and are currently being addressed by AgMIP researchers. Areas of particular interest include geospatial weather generation, ensemble methods for climate scenarios and crop models, spatial aggregation of field-scale yields to regional and global production, and characterization of future changes in climate variability.

  4. Model Evaluation and Uncertainty in Agricultural Impacts Assessments: Results and Strategies from the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenzweig, C.; Hatfield, J.; Jones, J. W.; Ruane, A. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is an international effort to assess the state of global agricultural modeling and to understand climate impacts on the agricultural sector. AgMIP connects the climate science, crop modeling, and agricultural economic modeling communities to generate probabilistic projections of current and future climate impacts. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of risk of hunger and world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. This presentation will describe the general approach of AgMIP, highlight AgMIP efforts to evaluate climate, crop, and economic models, and discuss AgMIP uncertainty assessments. Model evaluation efforts will be outlined using examples from various facets of AgMIP, including climate scenario generation, the wheat crop model intercomparison, and the global agricultural economics model intercomparison being led in collaboration with the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project (ISI-MIP). Strategies developed to quantify uncertainty in each component of AgMIP, as well as the propagation of uncertainty through the climate-crop-economic modeling framework, will be detailed and preliminary uncertainty assessments that highlight crucial areas requiring improved models and data collection will be introduced.

  5. Towards a Quantitative Use of Satellite Remote Sensing in Crop Growth Models for Large Scale Agricultural Production Estimate (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defourny, P.

    2013-12-01

    such the Green Area Index (GAI), fAPAR and fcover usually retrieved from MODIS, MERIS, SPOT-Vegetation described the quality of the green vegetation development. The GLOBAM (Belgium) and EU FP-7 MOCCCASIN projects (Russia) improved the standard products and were demonstrated over large scale. The GAI retrieved from MODIS time series using a purity index criterion depicted successfully the inter-annual variability. Furthermore, the quantitative assimilation of these GAI time series into a crop growth model improved the yield estimate over years. These results showed that the GAI assimilation works best at the district or provincial level. In the context of the GEO Ag., the Joint Experiment of Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM) was designed to enable the global agricultural monitoring community to compare such methods and results over a variety of regional cropping systems. For a network of test sites around the world, satellite and field measurements are currently collected and will be made available for collaborative effort. This experiment should facilitate international standards for data products and reporting, eventually supporting the development of a global system of systems for agricultural crop assessment and monitoring.

  6. Resveratrol Treatment Delays Growth Plate Fusion and Improves Bone Growth in Female Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Karimian, Elham; Tamm, Chen; Chagin, Andrei S.; Samuelsson, Karin; Kjartansdóttir, Kristín Rós; Ohlsson, Claes; Sävendahl, Lars

    2013-01-01

    Trans-resveratrol (RES), naturally produced by many plants, has a structure similar to synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol, but any effect on bone growth has not yet been clarified. Pre-pubertal ovary-intact New Zealand white rabbits received daily oral administration of either vehicle (control) or RES (200 mg/kg) until growth plate fusion occurred. Bone growth and growth plate size were longitudinally monitored by X-ray imaging, while at the endpoint, bone length was assessed by a digital caliper. In addition, pubertal ovariectomized (OVX) rabbits were treated with vehicle, RES or estradiol cypionate (positive control) for 7 or 10 weeks and fetal rat metatarsal bones were cultured in vitro with RES (0.03 µM–50 µM) and followed for up to 19 days. In ovary-intact rabbits, sixteen-week treatment with RES increased tibiae and vertebrae bone growth and subsequently improved final length. In OVX rabbits, RES delayed fusion of the distal tibia, distal femur and proximal tibia epiphyses and femur length and vertebral bone growth increased when compared with controls. Histomorphometrical analysis showed that RES-treated OVX rabbits had a wider distal femur growth plate, enlarged resting zone, increased number/size of hypertrophic chondrocytes, increased height of the hypertrophic zone, and suppressed chondrocyte expression of VEGF and laminin. In cultured fetal rat metatarsal bones, RES stimulated growth at 0.3 µM while at higher concentrations (10 μM and 50 μM) growth was inhibited. We conclude that RES has the potential to improve longitudinal bone growth. The effect was associated with a delay of growth plate fusion resulting in increased final length. These effects were accompanied by a profound suppression of VEGF and laminin expression suggesting that impairment of growth plate vascularization might be an underlying mechanism. PMID:23840780

  7. Improving estimates of tree mortality probability using potential growth rate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Das, Adrian J.; Stephenson, Nathan L.

    2015-01-01

    Tree growth rate is frequently used to estimate mortality probability. Yet, growth metrics can vary in form, and the justification for using one over another is rarely clear. We tested whether a growth index (GI) that scales the realized diameter growth rate against the potential diameter growth rate (PDGR) would give better estimates of mortality probability than other measures. We also tested whether PDGR, being a function of tree size, might better correlate with the baseline mortality probability than direct measurements of size such as diameter or basal area. Using a long-term dataset from the Sierra Nevada, California, U.S.A., as well as existing species-specific estimates of PDGR, we developed growth–mortality models for four common species. For three of the four species, models that included GI, PDGR, or a combination of GI and PDGR were substantially better than models without them. For the fourth species, the models including GI and PDGR performed roughly as well as a model that included only the diameter growth rate. Our results suggest that using PDGR can improve our ability to estimate tree survival probability. However, in the absence of PDGR estimates, the diameter growth rate was the best empirical predictor of mortality, in contrast to assumptions often made in the literature.

  8. Winrock/NAFSA Workshop on Improving Academic Programs in Agriculture for Students from Developing Countries. NAFSA Working Paper #19.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steele, Roger

    This report presents the results of a January 26-27, 1990, workshop organized by the National Association of Foreign Student Affairs (NAFSA) and the Winrock Institute for Agricultural Development to discuss ways to improve academic programs for international students studying in graduate agricultural disciplines. Participants were sponsored…

  9. The Role of Transformational Leadership, Organizational Culture and Organizational Learning in Improving the Performance of Iranian Agricultural Faculties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abbasi, Enayat; Zamani-Miandashti, Naser

    2013-01-01

    This empirical research was conducted to investigate the role of transformational leadership, organizational culture and organizational learning in improving the performance of Iranian agricultural faculties and leading them to become learning organizations. The research population consisted of all faculty members of public agricultural faculties…

  10. Can improved agricultural water use efficiency save India’s groundwater?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fishman, Ram; Devineni, Naresh; Raman, Swaminathan

    2015-08-01

    Irrigated agriculture is placing increasing pressure on finite freshwater resources, especially in developing countries, where water extraction is often unregulated, un-priced and even subsidized. To shift agriculture to a more sustainable use of water without harming the food security and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of smallholders, substantial improvements of water use efficiency will be required. Here, we use detailed hydroclimatic and agricultural data to estimate the potential for the widespread adoption of efficient irrigation technologies to halt the depletion of India’s groundwater resources. Even though we find substantial technical potential for reversing water table declines, we show that the impacts are highly sensitive to assumptions about farmers’ water use decisions. For example, we find that widespread adoption of proven technologies that include drip and sprinkler irrigation has the potential to reduce the amount of excessive extraction of groundwater by two thirds. However, under more realistic assumptions about farmers’ irrigation choices, half of these reductions are lost due to the expansion of irrigated area. Our results suggest that without the introduction of incentives for conservation, much of the potential impact of technology adoption on aquifers may be lost. The analysis provides quantitative input to the debate of incentive versus technology based water policies.

  11. [An improved method and its application for agricultural drought monitoring based on remote sensing].

    PubMed

    Zheng, You-Fei; Cheng, Jin-Xin; Wu, Rong-Jun; Guan, Fu-Lai; Yao, Shu-Ran

    2013-09-01

    From the viewpoint of land surface evapotranspiration, and by using the semi-empirical evapotranspiration model based on the Priestley-Taylor equation and the land surface temperature-vegetation index (LST-VI) triangle algorithm, the current monitoring technology of agricultural drought based on remote sensing was improved, and a simplified Evapotranspiration Stress Index (SESI) was derived. With the application of the MODIS land products from March to November in 2008 and 2009, the triangle algorithm modeling with three different schemes was constructed to calculate the SESI to monitor the agricultural drought in the plain areas of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, in comparison with the Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index (TVDI). The results showed that SESI could effectively simplify the remote sensing drought monitoring method, and there was a good agreement between SESI and surface soil (10 and 20 cm depth) moisture content. Moreover, the performance of SESI was better in spring and autumn than in summer, and the SESI during different periods was more comparable than TVDI. It was feasible to apply the SESI to the continuous monitoring of a large area of agricultural drought.

  12. [An improved method and its application for agricultural drought monitoring based on remote sensing].

    PubMed

    Zheng, You-Fei; Cheng, Jin-Xin; Wu, Rong-Jun; Guan, Fu-Lai; Yao, Shu-Ran

    2013-09-01

    From the viewpoint of land surface evapotranspiration, and by using the semi-empirical evapotranspiration model based on the Priestley-Taylor equation and the land surface temperature-vegetation index (LST-VI) triangle algorithm, the current monitoring technology of agricultural drought based on remote sensing was improved, and a simplified Evapotranspiration Stress Index (SESI) was derived. With the application of the MODIS land products from March to November in 2008 and 2009, the triangle algorithm modeling with three different schemes was constructed to calculate the SESI to monitor the agricultural drought in the plain areas of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, in comparison with the Temperature Vegetation Dryness Index (TVDI). The results showed that SESI could effectively simplify the remote sensing drought monitoring method, and there was a good agreement between SESI and surface soil (10 and 20 cm depth) moisture content. Moreover, the performance of SESI was better in spring and autumn than in summer, and the SESI during different periods was more comparable than TVDI. It was feasible to apply the SESI to the continuous monitoring of a large area of agricultural drought. PMID:24417121

  13. Policies for agricultural nitrogen management—trends, challenges and prospects for improved efficiency in Denmark

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalgaard, Tommy; Hansen, Birgitte; Hasler, Berit; Hertel, Ole; Hutchings, Nicholas J.; Jacobsen, Brian H.; Stoumann Jensen, Lars; Kronvang, Brian; Olesen, Jørgen E.; Schjørring, Jan K.; Sillebak Kristensen, Ib; Graversgaard, Morten; Termansen, Mette; Vejre, Henrik

    2014-11-01

    With more than 60% of the land farmed, with vulnerable freshwater and marine environments, and with one of the most intensive, export-oriented livestock sectors in the world, the nitrogen (N) pollution pressure from Danish agriculture is severe. Consequently, a series of policy action plans have been implemented since the mid 1980s with significant effects on the surplus, efficiency and environmental loadings of N. This paper reviews the policies and actions taken and their ability to mitigate effects of reactive N (Nr) while maintaining agricultural production. In summary, the average N-surplus has been reduced from approximately 170 kg N ha-1 yr-1 to below 100 kg N ha-1 yr-1 during the past 30 yrs, while the overall N-efficiency for the agricultural sector (crop + livestock farming) has increased from around 20-30% to 40-45%, the N-leaching from the field root zone has been halved, and N losses to the aquatic and atmospheric environment have been significantly reduced. This has been achieved through a combination of approaches and measures (ranging from command and control legislation, over market-based regulation and governmental expenditure to information and voluntary action), with specific measures addressing the whole N cascade, in order to improve the quality of ground- and surface waters, and to reduce the deposition to terrestrial natural ecosystems. However, there is still a major challenge in complying with the EU Water Framework and Habitats Directives, calling for new approaches, measures and technologies to mitigate agricultural N losses and control N flows.

  14. Does the Recent Growth of Aquaculture Create Antibiotic Resistance Threats Different from those Associated with Land Animal Production in Agriculture?

    PubMed

    Done, Hansa Y; Venkatesan, Arjun K; Halden, Rolf U

    2015-05-01

    Important antibiotics in human medicine have been used for many decades in animal agriculture for growth promotion and disease treatment. Several publications have linked antibiotic resistance development and spread with animal production. Aquaculture, the newest and fastest growing food production sector, may promote similar or new resistance mechanisms. This review of 650+ papers from diverse sources examines parallels and differences between land-based agriculture of swine, beef, and poultry and aquaculture. Among three key findings was, first, that of 51 antibiotics commonly used in aquaculture and agriculture, 39 (or 76%) are also of importance in human medicine; furthermore, six classes of antibiotics commonly used in both agriculture and aquaculture are also included on the World Health Organization's (WHO) list of critically important/highly important/important antimicrobials. Second, various zoonotic pathogens isolated from meat and seafood were observed to feature resistance to multiple antibiotics on the WHO list, irrespective of their origin in either agriculture or aquaculture. Third, the data show that resistant bacteria isolated from both aquaculture and agriculture share the same resistance mechanisms, indicating that aquaculture is contributing to the same resistance issues established by terrestrial agriculture. More transparency in data collection and reporting is needed so the risks and benefits of antibiotic usage can be adequately assessed.

  15. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability.

    PubMed

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer's net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011-2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize-cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs. PMID:27471508

  16. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability.

    PubMed

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer's net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011-2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize-cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs.

  17. Conservation Agriculture Practices in Rainfed Uplands of India Improve Maize-Based System Productivity and Profitability

    PubMed Central

    Pradhan, Aliza; Idol, Travis; Roul, Pravat K.

    2016-01-01

    Traditional agriculture in rainfed uplands of India has been experiencing low agricultural productivity as the lands suffer from poor soil fertility, susceptibility to water erosion and other external pressures of development and climate change. A shift toward more sustainable cropping systems such as conservation agriculture production systems (CAPSs) may help in maintaining soil quality as well as improving crop production and farmer’s net economic benefit. This research assessed the effects over 3 years (2011–2014) of reduced tillage, intercropping, and cover cropping practices customized for maize-based production systems in upland areas of Odisha, India. The study focused on crop yield, system productivity and profitability through maize equivalent yield and dominance analysis. Results showed that maize grain yield did not differ significantly over time or among CAPS treatments while cowpea yield was considered as an additional yield in intercropping systems. Mustard and horsegram grown in plots after maize cowpea intercropping recorded higher grain yields of 25 and 37%, respectively, as compared to those without intercropping. Overall, the full CAPS implementation, i.e., minimum tillage, maize–cowpea intercropping and mustard residue retention had significantly higher system productivity and net benefits than traditional farmer practices, i.e., conventional tillage, sole maize cropping, and no mustard residue retention. The dominance analysis demonstrated increasing benefits of combining conservation practices that exceeded thresholds for farmer adoption. Given the use of familiar crops and technologies and the magnitude of yield and income improvements, these types of CAPS should be acceptable and attractive for smallholder farmers in the area. This in turn should support a move toward sustainable intensification of crop production to meet future household income and nutritional needs. PMID:27471508

  18. Phototransformation rates and mechanisms for synthetic hormone growth promoters used in animal agriculture.

    PubMed

    Qu, Shen; Kolodziej, Edward P; Cwiertny, David M

    2012-12-18

    Trenbolone acetate, melengestrol acetate, and zeranol are synthetic hormones extensively used as growth promoters in animal agriculture, yet despite occurrence in water and soil little is known about their environmental fate. Here, we establish the time scales and mechanisms by which these synthetic growth promoters and their metabolites (SGPMs) undergo phototransformation in sunlit surface waters. The families of trenbolone acetate (including 17β-trenbolone, 17α-trenbolone, and trendione) and melengestrol acetate (including melengestrol) readily undergo direct photolysis, exhibiting half-lives between ∼0.25 and 1 h in both natural and simulated sunlight that were largely insensitive to solution variables (e.g., pH, temperature, and cosolutes). Direct photolysis yielded products that not only are more photostable but also maintain their steroidal ring structure and therefore may retain some biological activity. In contrast, zeranol, β-zearalanol, and zearalanone only exhibited reactivity in irradiated solutions of model humic and fulvic acids, and rates of indirect photolysis increased steadily from pH 7 to 9. Use of selective probe and quencher compounds suggest hydroxyl radical and triplet state dissolved organic matter are responsible for zeranol family decay at neutral pH, although singlet oxygen contributes modestly in more alkaline waters. This observed pH-dependence appears to result from photooxidants reacting primarily with the monodeprotonated form of zeranol (pK(a) values of 8.44 and 11.42). This investigation provides the first characterization of the fate of this emerging pollutant class in sunlit surface waters and prioritizes future efforts on the identity, fate, and biological impact of their more persistent phototransformation products.

  19. New MOEMS based systems appropriate for spectroscopic investigations on agricultural growth and perishable food conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grueger, Heinrich; Schenk, Harald; Heberer, Andreas; Zimmer, Fabian; Scherff, Werner; Kenda, Andreas; Frank, Albert

    2005-11-01

    Further optimization of the agricultural growth process and quality control of perishable food which can be fruits and vegetables as well as every kind of meat or milk product requires new approaches for the sensitive front end. One possibility is reflectance or fluorescence spectroscopy in a wide wavelength range. By now broad usage is hindered by costs, size and performance of existing systems. MOEMS scanning gratings for spectrometers and translational mirrors for Fourier Transform spectroscopy enable small robust systems working in a range from 200nm to 5μm. Both types use digital signal processors (DSPs) capable to compute the spectra and execute complex evaluation and decision algorithms. The MOEMS chips are realized by anisotropic etching of a silicon on insulator (SOI) substrate. First the backside silicon and buried oxide is removed by a wet process then the front side structure is realized by dry etching. Depending on the bearing springs a silicon plate up to 3 x 3 mm2 wide and typically 30μm thick can be driven resonantly to rotational or translational movement. Combined with additional optical components and appropriate detectors handheld Czerny-Turner or Fourier Transform spectrometers have been realized and tested. Results of first measurements of reflection spectroscopy on model substances have been performed with both system types in the NIR range. Measurements on real objects like tomatoes or apples are intended for a wider wavelength range. Future systems may contain displays and light sources as well as data storage cards or additional interfaces.

  20. Using Biosurfactants Produced from Agriculture Process Waste Streams to Improve Oil Recovery in Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen Johnson; Mehdi Salehi; Karl Eisert; Sandra Fox

    2009-01-07

    This report describes the progress of our research during the first 30 months (10/01/2004 to 03/31/2007) of the original three-year project cycle. The project was terminated early due to DOE budget cuts. This was a joint project between the Tertiary Oil Recovery Project (TORP) at the University of Kansas and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The objective was to evaluate the use of low-cost biosurfactants produced from agriculture process waste streams to improve oil recovery in fractured carbonate reservoirs through wettability mediation. Biosurfactant for this project was produced using Bacillus subtilis 21332 and purified potato starch as the growth medium. The INL team produced the biosurfactant and characterized it as surfactin. INL supplied surfactin as required for the tests at KU as well as providing other microbiological services. Interfacial tension (IFT) between Soltrol 130 and both potential benchmark chemical surfactants and crude surfactin was measured over a range of concentrations. The performance of the crude surfactin preparation in reducing IFT was greater than any of the synthetic compounds throughout the concentration range studied but at low concentrations, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) was closest to the surfactin, and was used as the benchmark in subsequent studies. Core characterization was carried out using both traditional flooding techniques to find porosity and permeability; and NMR/MRI to image cores and identify pore architecture and degree of heterogeneity. A cleaning regime was identified and developed to remove organic materials from cores and crushed carbonate rock. This allowed cores to be fully characterized and returned to a reproducible wettability state when coupled with a crude-oil aging regime. Rapid wettability assessments for crushed matrix material were developed, and used to inform slower Amott wettability tests. Initial static absorption experiments exposed limitations in the use of HPLC and TOC to determine

  1. [Improving Agricultural Safety of Soils Contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons by In Situ Bioremediation].

    PubMed

    Jiao, Hai-huan; Pan, Jian-gang; Xu, Shena-jun; Bai, Zhi-hui; Wang, Dong; Huang, Zhan-bin

    2015-08-01

    In order to reduce the risk of enrichment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in crops, reduce the potential hazards of food-sourced PAHs to human and increase the agricultural safety of PAHs contaminated soils, the bio-augmented removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was investigated through in situ remediation by introducing Rhodobacter sphaeroides (RS) into the agricultural soil contaminated by PAHs. The 50-times diluted RS was sprayed on leaf surface (in area B) or irrigated to roots (in area D). The treatment of spraying water of the equal amount was taken as the control (A) and the wheat field without any treatment as the blank (CK). Treatments were conducted since wheat seeding. Soil and wheat samples were collected in the mature period to analyze the changes of community structure of the soil microorganisms and the concentration of PAHs in soils and investigate the strengthening and restoration effects of RS on PAHs contaminated soils. Compared to the CK Area, the areas B and D revealed that the variation ratio of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) that were the biomarker of soil microorganisms was 29.6%, and the ratio of total PAHs removed was increased 1.59 times and 1.68 times, respectively. The dry weight of wheat grain of 50 spikes was increased by 8.95% and 12.5%, respectively, and the enrichment factor of total PAHs was decreased by 58.9% and 62.2% respectively in the wheat grains. All the results suggested that RS reduced enrichment of PAHs in wheat grains and increased wheat yield, which had great exploitation and utilization potentiality in repairing and improving the agricultural safety of the soils contaminated with PHAs.

  2. Can spectroscopic analysis improve our understanding of biogeochemical processes in agricultural streams?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bieroza, Magdalena; Heathwaite, Ann Louise

    2015-04-01

    In agricultural catchments diffuse fluxes of nutrients, mainly nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from arable land and livestock are responsible for pollution of receiving waters and their eutrophication. Organic matter (OM) can play an important role in mediating a range of biogeochemical processes controlling diffuse pollution in streams and at their interface with surrounding land in the riparian and hyporheic zones. Thus, a holistic and simultaneous monitoring of N, P and OM fractions can help to improve our understanding of biogeochemical functioning of agricultural streams. In this study we build on intensive in situ monitoring of diffuse pollution in a small agricultural groundwater-fed stream in NW England carried out since 2009. The in situ monitoring unit captures high-frequency (15 minutes to hourly) responses of water quality parameters including total phosphorus, total reactive phosphorus and nitrate-nitrogen to changing flow conditions. For two consecutive hydrological years we have carried out additional spectroscopic water analyses to characterise organic matter components and their interactions with nutrient fractions. Automated and grab water samples have been analysed using ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorbance and excitation-emission (EEM) fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition, a tryptophan sensor was trialled to capture in situ fluorescence dynamics. Our paper evaluates patterns in nutrient and OM responses to baseflow and storm flow conditions and provides an assessment of storage-related changes of automated samples and temperature and turbidity effects on in situ tryptophan measurements. The paper shows the value of spectroscopic measurements to understand biogeochemical and hydrological nutrient dynamics and quantifies analytical uncertainty associated with both laboratory-based and in situ spectroscopic measurements.

  3. Analysis of Stakeholder's Behaviours for an Improved Management of an Agricultural Coastal Region in Oman

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khatri, Ayisha Al; Jens, Grundmann; der Weth Rüdiger, van; Niels, Schütze

    2015-04-01

    Al Batinah coastal area is the main agricultural region in Oman. Agriculture is concentrated in Al Batinah, because of more fertile soils and easier access to water in the form of groundwater compared to other administrative areas in the country. The region now is facing a problem as a result of over abstraction of fresh groundwater for irrigation from the main aquifer along the coast. This enforces the inflow of sea water into the coastal aquifer and causes salinization of the groundwater. As a consequence the groundwater becomes no longer suitable for irrigation which impacts the social and economical situation of farmers as well as the environment. Therefore, the existing situation generates conflicts between different stakeholders regarding water availability, sustainable aquifer management, and profitable agricultural production in Al Batinah region. Several management measures to maintain the groundwater aquifer in the region, were implemented by the government. However, these solutions showed only limited successes for the existing problem. The aim of this study now is to evaluate the implementation potential of several management interventions and their combinations by analysing opinions and responses of all relevant stakeholders in the region. This is done in order to identify potential conflicts among stakeholders to a participatory process within the frame of an integrated water resources management and to support decision makers in taking more informed decisions. Questionnaires were designed for collecting data from different groups of stakeholders e.g. water professionals, farmers from the study area and decision makers of different organizations and ministries. These data were analysed statistically for each group separately as well as regarding relations amongst groups by using the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) software package. Results show, that the need to improve the situation is supported by all groups. However, significant

  4. Reduced Wind Speed Improves Plant Growth in a Desert City

    PubMed Central

    Bang, Christofer; Sabo, John L.; Faeth, Stanley H.

    2010-01-01

    Background The often dramatic effects of urbanization on community and ecosystem properties, such as primary productivity, abundances, and diversity are now well-established. In most cities local primary productivity increases and this extra energy flows upwards to alter diversity and relative abundances in higher trophic levels. The abiotic mechanisms thought to be responsible for increases in urban productivity are altered temperatures and light regimes, and increased nutrient and water inputs. However, another abiotic factor, wind speed, is also influenced by urbanization and well known for altering primary productivity in agricultural systems. Wind effects on primary productivity have heretofore not been studied in the context of urbanization. Methodology/Principal Findings We designed a field experiment to test if increased plant growth often observed in cities is explained by the sheltering effects of built structures. Wind speed was reduced by protecting Encelia farinosa (brittlebush) plants in urban, desert remnant and outlying desert localities via windbreaks while controlling for water availability and nutrient content. In all three habitats, we compared E. farinosa growth when protected by experimental windbreaks and in the open. E. farinosa plants protected against ambient wind in the desert and remnant areas grew faster in terms of biomass and height than exposed plants. As predicted, sheltered plants did not differ from unprotected plants in urban areas where wind speed is already reduced. Conclusion/Significance Our results indicate that reductions in wind speed due to built structures in cities contribute to increased plant productivity and thus also to changes in abundances and diversity of higher trophic levels. Our study emphasizes the need to incorporate wind speed in future urban ecological studies, as well as in planning for green space and sustainable cities. PMID:20548790

  5. Do multiple micronutrient interventions improve child health, growth, and development?

    PubMed

    Ramakrishnan, Usha; Goldenberg, Tamar; Allen, Lindsay H

    2011-11-01

    Micronutrient deficiencies are common and often co-occur in many developing countries. Several studies have examined the benefits of providing multiple micronutrient (MMN) interventions during pregnancy and childhood, but the implications for programs remain unclear. The key objective of this review is to summarize what is known about the efficacy of MMN interventions during early childhood on functional outcomes, namely, child health, survival, growth, and development, to guide policy and identify gaps for future research. We identified review articles including meta-analyses and intervention studies that evaluated the benefits of MMN interventions (3 or more micronutrients) in children (<5 y of age) using Pubmed and EMBASE. Several controlled trials (n = 45) and meta-analyses (n = 6) have evaluated the effects of MMN interventions primarily for child morbidity, anemia, and growth. Two studies found no effects on child mortality. The findings for respiratory illness and diarrhea are mixed, although suggestive of benefit when provided as fortified foods. There is evidence from several controlled trials (>25) and 2 meta-analyses that MMN interventions improve hemoglobin concentrations and reduce anemia, but the effects were small compared to providing only iron or iron with folic acid. Two recent meta-analyses and several intervention trials also indicated that MMN interventions improve linear growth compared to providing a placebo or single nutrients. Much less is known about the effects on MMN interventions during early childhood on motor and mental development. In summary, MMN interventions may result in improved outcomes for children in settings where micronutrient deficiencies are widespread.

  6. Genetic improvement for root growth angle to enhance crop production

    PubMed Central

    Uga, Yusaku; Kitomi, Yuka; Ishikawa, Satoru; Yano, Masahiro

    2015-01-01

    The root system is an essential organ for taking up water and nutrients and anchoring shoots to the ground. On the other hand, the root system has rarely been regarded as breeding target, possibly because it is more laborious and time-consuming to evaluate roots (which require excavation) in a large number of plants than aboveground tissues. The root growth angle (RGA), which determines the direction of root elongation in the soil, affects the area in which roots capture water and nutrients. In this review, we describe the significance of RGA as a potential trait to improve crop production, and the physiological and molecular mechanisms that regulate RGA. We discuss the prospects for breeding to improve RGA based on current knowledge of quantitative trait loci for RGA in rice. PMID:26069440

  7. Genetic improvement for root growth angle to enhance crop production.

    PubMed

    Uga, Yusaku; Kitomi, Yuka; Ishikawa, Satoru; Yano, Masahiro

    2015-03-01

    The root system is an essential organ for taking up water and nutrients and anchoring shoots to the ground. On the other hand, the root system has rarely been regarded as breeding target, possibly because it is more laborious and time-consuming to evaluate roots (which require excavation) in a large number of plants than aboveground tissues. The root growth angle (RGA), which determines the direction of root elongation in the soil, affects the area in which roots capture water and nutrients. In this review, we describe the significance of RGA as a potential trait to improve crop production, and the physiological and molecular mechanisms that regulate RGA. We discuss the prospects for breeding to improve RGA based on current knowledge of quantitative trait loci for RGA in rice.

  8. Improvements in plant growth rate using underwater discharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takaki, K.; Takahata, J.; Watanabe, S.; Satta, N.; Yamada, O.; Fujio, T.; Sasaki, Y.

    2013-03-01

    The drainage water from plant pots was irradiated by plasma and then recycled to irrigate plants for improving the growth rate by supplying nutrients to plants and inactivating the bacteria in the bed-soil. Brassica rapa var. perviridis (Chinese cabbage; Brassica campestris) plants were cultivated in pots filled with artificial soil, which included the use of chicken droppings as a fertiliser. The water was recycled once per day from a drainage water pool and added to the bed-soil in the pots. A magnetic compression type pulsed power generator was used to produce underwater discharge with repetition rate of 250 pps. The plasma irradiation times were set as 10 and 20 minutes per day over 28 days of cultivation. The experimental results showed that the growth rate increased significantly with plasma irradiation into the drainage water. The growth rate increased with the plasma irradiation time. The nitrogen concentration of the leaves increased as a result of plasma irradiation based on chlorophyll content analysis. The bacteria in the drainage water were inactivated by the plasma irradiation.

  9. Improved phosphorus use efficiency in agriculture: a key requirement for its sustainable use.

    PubMed

    Schröder, J J; Smit, A L; Cordell, D; Rosemarin, A

    2011-08-01

    Mineral phosphorus (P) fertilizers processed from fossil reserves have enhanced food production over the past 50 years and, hence, the welfare of billions of people. Fertilizer P has, however, not only been used to lift the fertility level of formerly poor soils, but also allowed people to neglect the reuse of P that humans ingest in the form of food and excrete again as faeces and urine and also in other organic wastes. Consequently, P mainly moves in a linear direction from mines to distant locations for crop production, processing and consumption, where a large fraction eventually may become either agronomically inactive due to over-application, unsuitable for recycling due to fixation, contamination or dilution, and harmful as a polluting agent of surface water. This type of P use is not sustainable because fossil phosphate rock reserves are finite. Once the high quality phosphate rock reserves become depleted, too little P will be available for the soils of food-producing regions that still require P supplements to facilitate efficient utilization of resources other than P, including other nutrients. The paper shows that the amounts of P applied in agriculture could be considerably smaller by optimizing land use, improvement of fertilizer recommendations and application techniques, modified livestock diets, and adjustment of livestock densities to available land. Such a concerted set of measures is expected to reduce the use of P in agriculture whilst maintaining crop yields and minimizing the environmental impact of P losses. The paper also argues that compensation of the P exported from farms should eventually be fully based on P recovered from 'wastes', the recycling of which should be stimulated by policy measures.

  10. Balancing detail and scale in assessing transparency to improve the governance of agricultural commodity supply chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godar, Javier; Suavet, Clément; Gardner, Toby A.; Dawkins, Elena; Meyfroidt, Patrick

    2016-03-01

    To date, assessments of the sustainability of agricultural commodity supply chains have largely relied on some combination of macro-scale footprint accounts, detailed life-cycle analyses and fine-scale traceability systems. Yet these approaches are limited in their ability to support the sustainability governance of agricultural supply chains, whether because they are intended for coarser-grained analyses, do not identify individual actors, or are too costly to be implemented in a consistent manner for an entire region of production. Here we illustrate some of the advantages of a complementary middle-ground approach that balances detail and scale of supply chain transparency information by combining consistent country-wide data on commodity production at the sub-national (e.g. municipal) level with per shipment customs data to describe trade flows of a given commodity covering all companies and production regions within that country. This approach can support supply chain governance in two key ways. First, enhanced spatial resolution of the production regions that connect to individual supply chains allows for a more accurate consideration of geographic variability in measures of risk and performance that are associated with different production practices. Second, identification of key actors that operate within a specific supply chain, including producers, traders, shippers and consumers can help discriminate coalitions of actors that have shared stake in a particular region, and that together are capable of delivering more cost-effective and coordinated interventions. We illustrate the potential of this approach with examples from Brazil, Indonesia and Colombia. We discuss how transparency information can deepen understanding of the environmental and social impacts of commodity production systems, how benefits are distributed among actors, and some of the trade-offs involved in efforts to improve supply chain sustainability. We then discuss the challenges and

  11. Improved discrimination among similar agricultural plots using red-and-green-based pseudo-colour imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doi, Ryoichi

    2016-04-01

    The effects of a pseudo-colour imaging method were investigated by discriminating among similar agricultural plots in remote sensing images acquired using the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (Indiana, USA) and the Landsat 7 satellite (Fergana, Uzbekistan), and that provided by GoogleEarth (Toyama, Japan). From each dataset, red (R)-green (G)-R-G-blue yellow (RGrgbyB), and RGrgby-1B pseudo-colour images were prepared. From each, cyan, magenta, yellow, key black, L*, a*, and b* derivative grayscale images were generated. In the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer image, pixels were selected for corn no tillage (29 pixels), corn minimum tillage (27), and soybean (34) plots. Likewise, in the Landsat 7 image, pixels representing corn (73 pixels), cotton (110), and wheat (112) plots were selected, and in the GoogleEarth image, those representing soybean (118 pixels) and rice (151) were selected. When the 14 derivative grayscale images were used together with an RGB yellow grayscale image, the overall classification accuracy improved from 74 to 94% (Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer), 64 to 83% (Landsat), or 77 to 90% (GoogleEarth). As an indicator of discriminatory power, the kappa significance improved 1018-fold (Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer) or greater. The derivative grayscale images were found to increase the dimensionality and quantity of data. Herein, the details of the increases in dimensionality and quantity are further analysed and discussed.

  12. Improving water use in agriculture. Experiences in the Middle East and North Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Tuijl, W.V.

    1993-08-01

    As water becomes more scarce, many countries are under pressure to conserve water, especially in the agricultural sector. This paper examines strategies that save water in river basins, irrigation projects, and on farms throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Countries elsewhere can use these suggestions in their own water conservation strategies. Improved surface irrigation techniques and micro-irrigation systems are evaluated. These systems use sprinkler, drip/trickle, or micro-spray methods. The author reviews the preliminary work that is needed to install modern irrigation technologies. He describes the role that governments must play to improve the infrastructure and institutions that affect water use. He also provides detailed case studies of efficient irrigation practices in Cyprus, Israel, and Jordan. These case studies describe the conditions that made better irrigation technology a necessity. They look at ways to plan for development, management, and utilization of water in the face of growing demand. Key topics include how to oversee water rights, adopt essential land reforms, and install a graduated system of water pricing and allocation. The study also recommends projects in water conservation and research.

  13. Field Heterogeneity Patterns as a Crucial Factor for Improving Crop Growth Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stadler, A.; Kupisch, M.; Langensiepen, M.; Ewert, F.

    2012-12-01

    Agricultural ecosystems depend on environmental factors, especially the weather and the soil characteristics. Heterogeneous conditions within a field cause spatial variations of biomass, leaf area index and yield. The effects of varying spatial conditions on crop growth are generally examined on different spatial scales, but just few studies address spatial heterogeneity at the field level. Since crop growth models try to represent an image of reality, they should consider variations in field conditions, especially regarding small-scale simulations and precision agriculture. Some studies already described that the tested models are able to represent spatial heterogeneity at regional scale, if parameters of environmental conditions are adapted. Therefore, we hypothesize that taking into account the effects of soil heterogeneity on plant water and nutrient uptake also improves the accuracy of crop growth models at field scale. A crop growth model was applied using information from winter wheat and sugar beet field trials carried out near Jülich, located in the central western part of Germany. These fields are all characterized by strong spatial variability in soil conditions and managed according to standard agronomic practice. The crop growth model was calibrated separately for each winter wheat and sugar beet cultivar grown on these fields by adjusting the respective parameters with the help of crop physiological measurements at point level. The soil model was parameterized for different field sample points with electromagnetic induction measurements to account for the spatial heterogeneity in soil conditions within each field. After that, the crop growth model was tested whether it could reproduce the observed spatial patterns of crop growth in the selected fields (2010 - 2012) by considering the spatial variability in soil properties. The analysis of our measurements on heterogeneous winter wheat fields showed a distribution of soil properties whose patterns are

  14. Improving Agricultural Drought Monitoring in East Africa with Unbiased Rainfall Fields and Detailed Land Surface Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNally, A.; Yatheendradas, S.; Peters-Lidard, C. D.; Michaelsen, J.

    2010-12-01

    Monitoring drought is particularly challenging within rainfed agricultural and pastoral systems, where it can serve the greatest need. Such locations often have sparse or non-existent ground based measurements of precipitation, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil moisture. For more effective drought monitoring with limited hydroclimate observations, we simulate land surface states using the Community Noah Land Surface Model forced with different merged rainfall products inside a Land Information System (LIS). Using model outputs we will answer the questions: How sensitive are soil moisture and ET fields to differences in rainfall forcing and model physics? What are acceptable drought-specific tradeoffs between near-real time availability and skill of rainfall data? Preliminary results with the African Rainfall Estimation Algorithm Version 2 (RFE2.0) outperformed global products, suggesting that sub-global rainfall estimates are the way forward for regional drought monitoring. Specifically, the Noah model forced with RFE2.0 better resolved the heterogeneous patterns in crop stress than the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS NET) operational Water Requirement Satisfaction Index (WRSI) model. To further investigate the improvement in drought monitoring while maintaining timeliness, we unbias (using Africa specific climatology) the precipitation products from CPC Merged Analysis of Precipitation (CMAP), Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM), and RFE2.0. The skill (relative accuracy) and reliability (average agreement) of the unbiased rainfall are calculated against an unbiased precipitation product augmented with station data from Ethiopia and Kenya. Soil moisture and ET fields from Noah are compared to the operational FEWS NET WRSI, soil water anomaly index, and the World Food Program’s Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission reports. We anticipate that the unbiased rainfall fields will improve the accuracy, spatio-temporal resolution, and

  15. Agricultural management practices to sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities.

    PubMed

    Sainju, Upendra M; Whitehead, Wayne F; Singh, Bharat P

    2003-08-20

    In the past several decades, agricultural management practices consisting of intensive tillage and high rate of fertilization to improve crop yields have resulted in the degradation of soil and environmental qualities by increasing erosion and nutrient leaching in the groundwater and releasing greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O), that cause global warming in the atmosphere by oxidation of soil organic matter. Consequently, management practices that sustain crop yields and improve soil and environmental qualities are needed. This paper reviews the findings of the effects of tillage practices, cover crops, and nitrogen (N) fertilization rates on crop yields, soil organic carbon (C) and N concentrations, and nitrate (NO3)-N leaching from the soil. Studies indicate that conservation tillage, such as no-till or reduced till, can increase soil organic C and N concentrations at 0- to 20-cm depth by as much as 7-17% in 8 years compared with conventional tillage without significantly altering crop yields. Similarly, cover cropping and 80-180 kg N ha(-1) year(-1) fertilization can increase soil organic C and N concentrations by as much as 4-12% compared with no cover cropping or N fertilization by increasing plant biomass and amount of C and N inputs to the soil. Reduced till, cover cropping, and decreased rate of N fertilization can reduce soil N leaching compared with conventional till, no cover cropping, and full rate of N fertilization. Management practices consisting of combinations of conservation tillage, mixture of legume and nonlegume cover crops, and reduced rate of N fertilization have the potentials for sustaining crop yields, increasing soil C and N storage, and reducing soil N leaching, thereby helping to improve soil and water qualities. Economical and social analyses of such practices are needed to find whether they are cost effective and acceptable to the farmers.

  16. A method of variable spacing for controlled plant growth systems in spaceflight and terrestrial agriculture applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knox, J.

    1986-01-01

    A higher plant growth system for Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) applications is described. The system permits independent movement of individual plants during growth. Enclosed within variable geometry growth chambers, the system allocates only the volume required by the growing plants. This variable spacing system maintains isolation between root and shoot environments, providing individual control for optimal growth. The advantages of the system for hydroponic and aeroponic growth chambers are discussed. Two applications are presented: (1) the growth of soybeans in a space station common module, and (2) in a terrestrial city greenhouse.

  17. Versazyme supplementation of broiler diets improves market growth performance.

    PubMed

    Odetallah, N H; Wang, J J; Garlich, J D; Shih, J C H

    2005-06-01

    Day-old male broiler chicks were randomly assigned to 32 floor pens in a completely randomized block design and grown to 6 wk of age. Birds in experiment 1 were fed 1 of 2 basal diets supplemented with or without a protease containing feed additive, Versazyme (VZ). The 4 treatments were 1) control (C), a corn-soybean meal diet that contained 95% of amino acids recommended by NRC except for threonine and isoleucine; 2) C + 0.1% VZ (wt/wt) (C+) in the starter diet only; 3) high (HP) amino acid diet, a corn-soybean meal diet with 100 to 105% of amino acid recommended by NRC except for threonine and isoleucine; and 4) HP + 0.1% VZ (wt/wt) (HP+) in starter diet only. Supplementing both diets with VZ improved BW and feed conversion ratio (FCR) at 21 d of age and BW at 42 d of age. Cumulative 42-d FCR was only improved in birds fed the HP+ diet. Birds in experiment 2 received the following treatments: 1) HP, 2) HP + 0.1% VZ batch A (wt/wt) (A) in starter diet only, and 3) HP + 0.1% VZ batch B (wt/wt) (B) in starter diet only. Enzyme supplementation improved 22-d BW and FCR. There was no significant difference in BW at 43 d of age. Both A and B improved overall FCR (1.758 and 1.751 vs. 1.79 for A and B vs. HP, respectively). In conclusion, supplementation of starter broiler diets with VZ resulted in improved market growth performance.

  18. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in co-composted biochar.

    PubMed

    Kammann, Claudia I; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Linsel, Sebastian; Steffens, Diedrich; Müller, Christoph; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Conte, Pellegrino; Joseph, Stephen; Stephen, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (biochar) is discussed as strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic plus environmental benefits. In temperate soils, however, the use of pure biochar mostly has moderately-negative to -positive yield effects. Here we demonstrate that co-composting considerably promoted biochars' positive effects, largely by nitrate (nutrient) capture and delivery. In a full-factorial growth study with Chenopodium quinoa, biomass yield increased up to 305% in a sandy-poor soil amended with 2% (w/w) co-composted biochar (BC(comp)). Conversely, addition of 2% (w/w) untreated biochar (BC(pure)) decreased the biomass to 60% of the control. Growth-promoting (BC(comp)) as well as growth-reducing (BC(pure)) effects were more pronounced at lower nutrient-supply levels. Electro-ultra filtration and sequential biochar-particle washing revealed that co-composted biochar was nutrient-enriched, particularly with the anions nitrate and phosphate. The captured nitrate in BC(comp) was (1) only partly detectable with standard methods, (2) largely protected against leaching, (3) partly plant-available, and (4) did not stimulate N2O emissions. We hypothesize that surface ageing plus non-conventional ion-water bonding in micro- and nano-pores promoted nitrate capture in biochar particles. Amending (N-rich) bio-waste with biochar may enhance its agronomic value and reduce nutrient losses from bio-wastes and agricultural soils.

  19. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in co-composted biochar.

    PubMed

    Kammann, Claudia I; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Linsel, Sebastian; Steffens, Diedrich; Müller, Christoph; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Conte, Pellegrino; Joseph, Stephen; Stephen, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (biochar) is discussed as strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic plus environmental benefits. In temperate soils, however, the use of pure biochar mostly has moderately-negative to -positive yield effects. Here we demonstrate that co-composting considerably promoted biochars' positive effects, largely by nitrate (nutrient) capture and delivery. In a full-factorial growth study with Chenopodium quinoa, biomass yield increased up to 305% in a sandy-poor soil amended with 2% (w/w) co-composted biochar (BC(comp)). Conversely, addition of 2% (w/w) untreated biochar (BC(pure)) decreased the biomass to 60% of the control. Growth-promoting (BC(comp)) as well as growth-reducing (BC(pure)) effects were more pronounced at lower nutrient-supply levels. Electro-ultra filtration and sequential biochar-particle washing revealed that co-composted biochar was nutrient-enriched, particularly with the anions nitrate and phosphate. The captured nitrate in BC(comp) was (1) only partly detectable with standard methods, (2) largely protected against leaching, (3) partly plant-available, and (4) did not stimulate N2O emissions. We hypothesize that surface ageing plus non-conventional ion-water bonding in micro- and nano-pores promoted nitrate capture in biochar particles. Amending (N-rich) bio-waste with biochar may enhance its agronomic value and reduce nutrient losses from bio-wastes and agricultural soils. PMID:26057083

  20. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in co-composted biochar

    PubMed Central

    Kammann, Claudia I.; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Linsel, Sebastian; Steffens, Diedrich; Müller, Christoph; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Conte, Pellegrino; Stephen, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (biochar) is discussed as strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic plus environmental benefits. In temperate soils, however, the use of pure biochar mostly has moderately-negative to -positive yield effects. Here we demonstrate that co-composting considerably promoted biochars’ positive effects, largely by nitrate (nutrient) capture and delivery. In a full-factorial growth study with Chenopodium quinoa, biomass yield increased up to 305% in a sandy-poor soil amended with 2% (w/w) co-composted biochar (BCcomp). Conversely, addition of 2% (w/w) untreated biochar (BCpure) decreased the biomass to 60% of the control. Growth-promoting (BCcomp) as well as growth-reducing (BCpure) effects were more pronounced at lower nutrient-supply levels. Electro-ultra filtration and sequential biochar-particle washing revealed that co-composted biochar was nutrient-enriched, particularly with the anions nitrate and phosphate. The captured nitrate in BCcomp was (1) only partly detectable with standard methods, (2) largely protected against leaching, (3) partly plant-available, and (4) did not stimulate N2O emissions. We hypothesize that surface ageing plus non-conventional ion-water bonding in micro- and nano-pores promoted nitrate capture in biochar particles. Amending (N-rich) bio-waste with biochar may enhance its agronomic value and reduce nutrient losses from bio-wastes and agricultural soils. PMID:26057083

  1. Plant growth improvement mediated by nitrate capture in co-composted biochar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammann, Claudia I.; Schmidt, Hans-Peter; Messerschmidt, Nicole; Linsel, Sebastian; Steffens, Diedrich; Müller, Christoph; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Conte, Pellegrino; Stephen, Joseph

    2015-06-01

    Soil amendment with pyrogenic carbon (biochar) is discussed as strategy to improve soil fertility to enable economic plus environmental benefits. In temperate soils, however, the use of pure biochar mostly has moderately-negative to -positive yield effects. Here we demonstrate that co-composting considerably promoted biochars’ positive effects, largely by nitrate (nutrient) capture and delivery. In a full-factorial growth study with Chenopodium quinoa, biomass yield increased up to 305% in a sandy-poor soil amended with 2% (w/w) co-composted biochar (BCcomp). Conversely, addition of 2% (w/w) untreated biochar (BCpure) decreased the biomass to 60% of the control. Growth-promoting (BCcomp) as well as growth-reducing (BCpure) effects were more pronounced at lower nutrient-supply levels. Electro-ultra filtration and sequential biochar-particle washing revealed that co-composted biochar was nutrient-enriched, particularly with the anions nitrate and phosphate. The captured nitrate in BCcomp was (1) only partly detectable with standard methods, (2) largely protected against leaching, (3) partly plant-available, and (4) did not stimulate N2O emissions. We hypothesize that surface ageing plus non-conventional ion-water bonding in micro- and nano-pores promoted nitrate capture in biochar particles. Amending (N-rich) bio-waste with biochar may enhance its agronomic value and reduce nutrient losses from bio-wastes and agricultural soils.

  2. Joint use of soil moisture and vegetation growth condition by remote sensing on the agricultural drought monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Ming; Yang, Siquan; Huang, He; He, Haixia; Li, Suju; Cui, Yan

    2015-12-01

    Remote sensing is one of important methods on the agricultural drought monitoring for its long-term and wide-area observations. The detection of soil moisture and vegetation growth condition are two widely used remote sensing methods on that. However, because of the time lag in the impact of water deficit on the crop growth, it is difficulty to indicate the severity of drought by once monitoring. It also cannot distinguish other negative impact on crop growth such as low temperature or solar radiation. In this paper, the joint use of soil moisture and vegetation growth condition detections was applied on the drought management during the summer of 2013 in Liaoning province, China, in which 84 counties were affected by agricultural drought. MODIS vegetation indices and land surface temperature (LST) were used to extract the drought index. Vegetation Condition Index (VCI), which only contain the change in vegetation index, and Vegetation Supply Water Index (VSWI), which combined the information of vegetation index and land surface temperature, were selected to compare the monitoring ability on drought during the drought period in Liaoning, China in 2014. It was found that VCI could be a good method on the loss assessment. VSWI has the information on the change in LST, which can indicate the spatial pattern of drought and can also be used as the early warning method in the study.

  3. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project: Phase I Activities by a Global Community of Science. Chapter 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenzweig, Cynthia E.; Jones, James W.; Hatfield, Jerry L.; Antle, John M.; Ruane, Alexander C.; Mutter, Carolyn Z.

    2015-01-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) was founded in 2010. Its mission is to improve substantially the characterization of world food security as affected by climate variability and change, and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. The objectives of AgMIP are to: Incorporate state-of-the-art climate, crop/livestock, and agricultural economic model improvements into coordinated multi-model regional and global assessments of future climate impacts and adaptation and other key aspects of the food system. Utilize multiple models, scenarios, locations, crops/livestock, and participants to explore uncertainty and the impact of data and methodological choices. Collaborate with regional experts in agronomy, animal sciences, economics, and climate to build a strong basis for model applications, addressing key climate related questions and sustainable intensification farming systems. Improve scientific and adaptive capacity in modeling for major agricultural regions in the developing and developed world, with a focus on vulnerable regions. Improve agricultural data and enhance data-sharing based on their intercomparison and evaluation using best scientific practices. Develop modeling frameworks to identify and evaluate promising adaptation technologies and policies and to prioritize strategies.

  4. Environmental challenges threatening the growth of urban agriculture in the United States.

    PubMed

    Wortman, Sam E; Lovell, Sarah Taylor

    2013-09-01

    Urban agriculture, though often difficult to define, is an emerging sector of local food economies in the United States. Although urban and agricultural landscapes are often integrated in countries around the world, the establishment of mid- to large-scale food production in the U.S. urban ecosystem is a relatively new development. Many of the urban agricultural projects in the United States have emerged from social movements and nonprofit organizations focused on urban renewal, education, job training, community development, and sustainability initiatives. Although these social initiatives have traction, critical knowledge gaps exist regarding the science of food production in urban ecosystems. Developing a science-based approach to urban agriculture is essential to the economic and environmental sustainability of the movement. This paper reviews abiotic environmental factors influencing urban cropping systems, including soil contamination and remediation; atmospheric pollutants and altered climatic conditions; and water management, sources, and safety. This review paper seeks to characterize the limited state of the science on urban agricultural systems and identify future research questions most relevant to urban farmers, land-use planners, and environmental consultants. PMID:24216408

  5. Environmental challenges threatening the growth of urban agriculture in the United States.

    PubMed

    Wortman, Sam E; Lovell, Sarah Taylor

    2013-09-01

    Urban agriculture, though often difficult to define, is an emerging sector of local food economies in the United States. Although urban and agricultural landscapes are often integrated in countries around the world, the establishment of mid- to large-scale food production in the U.S. urban ecosystem is a relatively new development. Many of the urban agricultural projects in the United States have emerged from social movements and nonprofit organizations focused on urban renewal, education, job training, community development, and sustainability initiatives. Although these social initiatives have traction, critical knowledge gaps exist regarding the science of food production in urban ecosystems. Developing a science-based approach to urban agriculture is essential to the economic and environmental sustainability of the movement. This paper reviews abiotic environmental factors influencing urban cropping systems, including soil contamination and remediation; atmospheric pollutants and altered climatic conditions; and water management, sources, and safety. This review paper seeks to characterize the limited state of the science on urban agricultural systems and identify future research questions most relevant to urban farmers, land-use planners, and environmental consultants.

  6. Pretreatment of agriculture field water for improving membrane flux during pesticide removal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehta, Romil; Saha, N. K.; Bhattacharya, A.

    2016-09-01

    Pretreatment of feed water to improve membrane flux during filtration of agriculture field water containing substituted phenyl urea pesticide diuron has been reported. Laboratory-made reverse osmosis membrane was used for filtration. Preliminary experiments were conducted with model solution containing natural organic matter extracted from commercial humic acids, divalent ions Ca2+, Mg2+. Membrane fouling was characterized by pure water flux decline, change in membrane hydrophilicity and infrared spectroscopy. Natural organic matter present in field water causes severe membrane fouling. The presence of divalent cations further aggravated fouling. Use of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and polyacrylic acids (PAA) in feed resulted in the decrease in membrane fouling. Pretreatment of field water is a must if it is contaminated with micro-organism having membrane fouling potential. Feed water pretreatment and use of PAA restricted membrane fouling to 16 % after 60 h of filtration. Membrane permeate flux decline was maximum at the first 12 h and thereafter remained steady at around 45-46 lm-2h-1 till the end of 60 h. Diuron rejection remained consistently greater than 93 % throughout the experiment. Diuron rejection was found to be unaffected by membrane fouling.

  7. Improving health and safety conditions in agriculture through professional training of Florida farm labor supervisors.

    PubMed

    Morera, Maria C; Monaghan, Paul F; Tovar-Aguilar, J Antonio; Galindo-Gonzalez, Sebastian; Roka, Fritz M; Asuaje, Cesar

    2014-01-01

    Because farm labor supervisors (FLSs) are responsible for ensuring safe work environments for thousands of workers, providing them with adequate knowledge is critical to preserving worker health. Yet a challenge to offering professional training to FLSs, many of whom are foreign-born and have received different levels of education in the US and abroad, is implementing a program that not only results in knowledge gains but meets the expectations of a diverse audience. By offering bilingual instruction on safety and compliance, the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) FLS Training program is helping to improve workplace conditions and professionalize the industry. A recent evaluation of the program combined participant observation and surveys to elicit knowledge and satisfaction levels from attendees of its fall 2012 trainings. Frequency distributions and dependent- and independent-means t-tests were used to measure and compare participant outcomes. The evaluation found that attendees rated the quality of their training experience as either high or very high and scored significantly better in posttraining knowledge tests than in pretraining knowledge tests across both languages. Nonetheless, attendees of the trainings delivered in English had significantly higher posttest scores than attendees of the trainings delivered in Spanish. As a result, the program has incorporated greater standardization of content delivery and staff development. Through assessment of its program components and educational outcomes, the program has documented its effectiveness and offers a replicable approach that can serve to improve the targeted outcomes of safety and health promotion in other states.

  8. Modelling agricultural suitability along soil transects under current conditions and improved scenario of soil factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abd-Elmabod, Sameh K.; Jordán, Antonio; Fleskens, Luuk; van der Ploeg, Martine; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam; Anaya-Romero, María; van der Salm, Renée J.; De la Rosa, Diego

    2015-04-01

    Agricultural land suitability analysis and improvement of soils by addressing major limitations may be a strategy for climate change adaptation. This study aims to investigate the influence of topography and variability of soil factors on the suitability of 12 annual, semiannual and perennial Mediterranean crops in the province of Seville (southern Spain). In order to represent the variability in elevation, lithology and soil, two latitudinal and longitudinal (S-N and W-E) soil transects (TA and TB) were considered including 63 representative points at regular 4 km intervals. These points were represented by 41 soil profiles from the SDBm soil database -Seville. Almagra model, a component of the agro-ecological decision support system MicroLEIS, was used to assess soil suitability. Results were grouped into five soil suitability classes: S1-optimum, S2-high, S3-moderate, S4-marginal and S5-not suitable. Each class was divided in subclasses according to the main soil limiting factors: depth (p), texture (t), drainage (d), carbonate content (c), salinity (s), sodium saturation (a), and the degree of development of the soil profile (g). This research also aimed to maximize soil potential by improving limiting factors d, c, s and a after soil restoration. Therefore, management techniques were also considered as possible scenarios in this study. The results of the evaluation showed that soil suitability ranged between S1 and S5p - S5s along of the transects. In the northern extreme of transect TA, high content of gravels and coarse texture are limiting factors (soils are classified as S4t) In contrast, the limiting factor in the eastern extreme of transect TB is the shallow useful depth (S5p subclass). The absence of calcium carbonate becomes a limiting factor in some parts of TA. In contrast, the excessive content of calcium carbonate appeared to be a limiting factor for crops in some intermediate points of TB transect. For both transects, soil salinity is the main

  9. Improving agricultural drought monitoring in West Africa using root zone soil moisture estimates derived from NDVI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNally, A.; Funk, C. C.; Yatheendradas, S.; Michaelsen, J.; Cappelarere, B.; Peters-Lidard, C. D.; Verdin, J. P.

    2012-12-01

    The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) relies heavily on remotely sensed rainfall and vegetation data to monitor agricultural drought in Sub-Saharan Africa and other places around the world. Analysts use satellite rainfall to calculate rainy season statistics and force crop water accounting models that show how the magnitude and timing of rainfall might lead to above or below average harvest. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is also an important indicator of growing season progress and is given more weight over regions where, for example, lack of rain gauges increases error in satellite rainfall estimates. Currently, however, near-real time NDVI is not integrated into a modeling framework that informs growing season predictions. To meet this need for our drought monitoring system a land surface model (LSM) is a critical component. We are currently enhancing the FEWS NET monitoring activities by configuring a custom instance of NASA's Land Information System (LIS) called the FEWS NET Land Data Assimilation System. Using the LIS Noah LSM, in-situ measurements, and remotely sensed data, we focus on the following questions: What is the relationship between NDVI and in-situ soil moisture measurements over the West Africa Sahel? How can we use this relationship to improve modeled water and energy fluxes over the West Africa Sahel? We investigate soil moisture and NDVI cross-correlation in the time and frequency domain to develop a transfer function model to predict soil moisture from NDVI. This work compares sites in southwest Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Mali to test the generality of the transfer function. For several sites with fallow and millet vegetation in the Wankama catchment in southwest Niger we developed a non-parametric frequency response model, using NDVI inputs and soil moisture outputs, that accurately estimates root zone soil moisture (40-70cm). We extend this analysis by developing a low order parametric transfer function

  10. Using a Training Video to Improve Agricultural Workers' Knowledge of On-Farm Food Safety

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathiasen, Lisa; Morley, Katija; Chapman, Benjamin; Powell, Douglas

    2012-01-01

    A training video was produced and evaluated to assess its impact on the food safety knowledge of agricultural workers. Increasing food safety knowledge on the farm may help to improve the safety of fresh produce. Surveys were used to measure workers' food safety knowledge before and after viewing the video. Focus groups were used to determine…

  11. Agricultural Research: USDA's Outreach to Minority-Serving Institutions Could Improve Grant Competition. Report to Congressional Requesters.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nazzaro, Robin M.

    The largest grant program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the National Research Initiative (NRI). The General Accounting Office (GAO) was asked by Congress to examine the success of minority-serving institutions in competing for NRI research grants and to identify factors that could improve their success in competing for these…

  12. 1961 ACTIVITIES IN CALIFORNIA DIRECTED TOWARD THE IMPROVEMENT OF HEALTH AMONG DOMESTIC SEASONAL AGRICULTURAL WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1961

    A PROGRAM INSTITUTED IN 1961 TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH OF DOMESTIC SEASONAL AGRICULTURAL WORKERS IN CALIFORNIA AND THEIR FAMILIES WAS GIVEN. IT SOUGHT TO HELP LOCAL HEALTH AGENCIES BY PROVIDING--TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO COUNTIES TRYING TO DEVELOP FACILITIES AND SERVICES, EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR USE OF STATE FUNDS BY LOCAL…

  13. Growth Index: A Powerful Tool for School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiseman, Perry; Thomas, Kimberly

    2011-01-01

    This article outlines a formula called Growth Index (GI), which is designed to measure student growth within all proficiency levels year after year, and track classroom or schoolwide growth. This growth should be considered as one of several dimensions that constitute principal and teacher effectiveness. Unlike Academic Performance Index (API) and…

  14. Agricultural Employment and Economic Growth in the Lower Rio Grande Region.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fritsch, Conrad F.

    Using the basic input-output model developed by the Texas Input-Output Project for a 19 county South Texas Region, income transfer effects from the extension of unemployment insurance to the agricultural sector were derived. Total income transferred would have ranged from $1.5 million to $2.3 million depending upon coverage provisions. About…

  15. Student feedback to improve the United States Department of Agriculture Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yi-Chun

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES Fruit and vegetable consumption of children in the United States falls below recommendations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a national free-fruit and vegetable school distribution program designed to address this problem. This permanent, legislated program provides funding to qualified elementary schools for provision of additional fruit and vegetables outside of school meals. The objective of this study was to understand children's perceptions of FFVP after the intervention and formulate recommendations that may improve success of the intervention. SUBJECTS/METHODS Secondary data were obtained from 5,265 4th-6th graders at 51 randomly-selected FFVP intervention schools in Indiana. Anonymous questionnaires were completed late in the 2011-2012 academic year. Multilevel logistic regressions were used to determine associations between students' perceptions of program effects (4 close-ended items) and their preference toward the program. Content analysis was applied to a single open-ended item for program comments. RESULTS Over 47% of students reported greater intake of fruit and vegetables due to FFVP, and over 66% reported liking the program. Student-reported program effects were positively associated with preference for the program (P < 0.01). Themes that emerged during analysis of 3,811 comments, included, students liked: the opportunity to try different kinds of fruit and vegetables, types and flavors of fruits served, and benefits of eating fruit. Fewer students liked the types of vegetables and their benefits. A small group disliked the program citing poor flavor of vegetables and quality of fruits. Important suggestions for the program include serving more dipping sauces for vegetables, cooking vegetables, and providing a greater variety of produce. CONCLUSIONS The degree that students liked FFVP may predict the program's effects on fruit and vegetable intake. FFVP may become more acceptable

  16. Potassium Management for Improving Growth and Grain Yield of Maize (Zea mays L.) under Moisture Stress Condition

    PubMed Central

    Amanullah; Iqbal, Asif; Irfanullah; Hidayat, Zeeshan

    2016-01-01

    Potassium (K) fertilizer management is beneficial for improving growth, yield and yield components of field crops under moisture stress condition in semiarid climates. Field experiments were conducted to study the response of maize (Zea mays L., cv. Azam) to foliar and soil applied K during summer 2013 and 2014. The experiments were carried out at the Agronomy Research Farm of The University of Agriculture Peshawar, Northwest Pakistan under limited irrigation (moisture stress) condition. It was concluded from the results that application of foliar K at the rate of 1–3% and foliar Zn at the rate of 0.1–0.2% was more beneficial in terms of better growth, higher yield and yield components of maize under moisture stress condition. Early spray (vegetative stage) resulted in better growth and higher yield than late spray (reproductive stage). Soil K treated plots (rest) plots performed better than control (K not applied) in terms of improved growth, higher yield and yield components of maize crop. The results further demonstrated that increasing the rate of soil applied K up to 90 kg P ha−1 in two equal splits (50% each at sowing and knee height) improve growth and maize productivity under semiarid climates. PMID:27694964

  17. Influence of Merosesquiterpenoids from Marine Sponges on Seedling Root Growth of Agricultural Plants.

    PubMed

    Chaikina, Elena L; Utkina, Natalia K; Anisimov, Mikhail M

    2016-01-01

    The impact of the merosesquiterpenoids avarol (1), avarone (2), 18-methylaminoavarone (3), melemeleone A (4), isospongiaquinone (5), ilimaquinone (6), and smenoquinone (7), isolated from marine sponges of the Dictyoceratida order, was studied on the root growth of seedlings of buckwheat (Fagopyrumesculentum Moench), wheat (Triticumaestivum L.), soy (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), and barley (Hordeumvulgare L.). Compounds 2and 6 were effective for the root growth of wheat seedlings, compound 3 stimulated the root growth of seedlings of buckwheat and soy, compound 4 affected the roots of barley seedlings, and compound 5 stimulated the root growth of seedlings of buckwheat and barley. Compounds 1 and 7 showed no activity on the root growth of the seedlings of any of the studied plants. The stimulatory effect depends on the chemical structure of the compounds and the type of crop plant.

  18. Influence of Merosesquiterpenoids from Marine Sponges on Seedling Root Growth of Agricultural Plants.

    PubMed

    Chaikina, Elena L; Utkina, Natalia K; Anisimov, Mikhail M

    2016-01-01

    The impact of the merosesquiterpenoids avarol (1), avarone (2), 18-methylaminoavarone (3), melemeleone A (4), isospongiaquinone (5), ilimaquinone (6), and smenoquinone (7), isolated from marine sponges of the Dictyoceratida order, was studied on the root growth of seedlings of buckwheat (Fagopyrumesculentum Moench), wheat (Triticumaestivum L.), soy (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), and barley (Hordeumvulgare L.). Compounds 2and 6 were effective for the root growth of wheat seedlings, compound 3 stimulated the root growth of seedlings of buckwheat and soy, compound 4 affected the roots of barley seedlings, and compound 5 stimulated the root growth of seedlings of buckwheat and barley. Compounds 1 and 7 showed no activity on the root growth of the seedlings of any of the studied plants. The stimulatory effect depends on the chemical structure of the compounds and the type of crop plant. PMID:26996006

  19. Epidermal growth factor improved alcohol-induced inflammation in rats.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ya-Ling; Peng, Hsiang-Chi; Hsieh, Yi-Ching; Yang, Suh-Ching

    2014-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an epidermal growth factor (EGF) intervention on improving the inflammatory response of rats fed an ethanol-containing diet. Eight-week-old male Wistar rats were divided into ethanol (E) and control (C) groups. Rats in the E group were fed an ethanol liquid diet, while rats in the C group were pair-fed an isoenergetic diet without ethanol. After a 4-week ethanol-induction period, both the C and E group were respectively subdivided into 2 groups: a normal liquid diet without (C group, n = 8) or with EGF supplementation (C + EGF, n = 8), and the ethanol-containing diet without (E group, n = 8) or with EGF supplementation (E + EGF group, n = 8). The EGF (30 μg/kg body weight/day) intervention period was carried out for the following 8 weeks. At the end of the experiment, activity of aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) and hepatic levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 in group E were significantly higher than those in group C. In addition, alterations in the gut microbiota profile were found in group E. In contrast, activity of AST and ALT and levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in group E + EGF were significantly lower than those in group E. Significantly lower intestinal permeability and lower numbers of Escherichia coli in the fecal microbial culture were also found in group E + EGF. These results suggest that EGF improved the intestinal integrity by decreasing E. coli colonization and lowering intestinal permeability, which then ameliorated the inflammatory response under chronic ethanol exposure.

  20. Perspective of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) containing ACC deaminase in stress agriculture.

    PubMed

    Saleem, Muhammad; Arshad, Muhammad; Hussain, Sarfraz; Bhatti, Ahmad Saeed

    2007-10-01

    Ethylene is a gaseous plant growth hormone produced endogenously by almost all plants. It is also produced in soil through a variety of biotic and abiotic mechanisms, and plays a key role in inducing multifarious physiological changes in plants at molecular level. Apart from being a plant growth regulator, ethylene has also been established as a stress hormone. Under stress conditions like those generated by salinity, drought, waterlogging, heavy metals and pathogenicity, the endogenous production of ethylene is accelerated substantially which adversely affects the root growth and consequently the growth of the plant as a whole. Certain plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) contain a vital enzyme, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase, which regulates ethylene production by metabolizing ACC (an immediate precursor of ethylene biosynthesis in higher plants) into alpha-ketobutyrate and ammonia. Inoculation with PGPR containing ACC deaminase activity could be helpful in sustaining plant growth and development under stress conditions by reducing stress-induced ethylene production. Lately, efforts have been made to introduce ACC deaminase genes into plants to regulate ethylene level in the plants for optimum growth, particularly under stressed conditions. In this review, the primary focus is on giving account of all aspects of PGPR containing ACC deaminase regarding alleviation of impact of both biotic and abiotic stresses onto plants and of recent trends in terms of introduction of ACC deaminase genes into plant and microbial species.

  1. Methods for improved growth of group III nitride buffer layers

    DOEpatents

    Melnik, Yurity; Chen, Lu; Kojiri, Hidehiro

    2014-07-15

    Methods are disclosed for growing high crystal quality group III-nitride epitaxial layers with advanced multiple buffer layer techniques. In an embodiment, a method includes forming group III-nitride buffer layers that contain aluminum on suitable substrate in a processing chamber of a hydride vapor phase epitaxy processing system. A hydrogen halide or halogen gas is flowing into the growth zone during deposition of buffer layers to suppress homogeneous particle formation. Some combinations of low temperature buffers that contain aluminum (e.g., AlN, AlGaN) and high temperature buffers that contain aluminum (e.g., AlN, AlGaN) may be used to improve crystal quality and morphology of subsequently grown group III-nitride epitaxial layers. The buffer may be deposited on the substrate, or on the surface of another buffer. The additional buffer layers may be added as interlayers in group III-nitride layers (e.g., GaN, AlGaN, AlN).

  2. Formation of algae growth constitutive relations for improved algae modeling.

    SciTech Connect

    Gharagozloo, Patricia E.; Drewry, Jessica Louise.

    2013-01-01

    This SAND report summarizes research conducted as a part of a two year Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project to improve our abilities to model algal cultivation. Algae-based biofuels have generated much excitement due to their potentially large oil yield from relatively small land use and without interfering with the food or water supply. Algae mitigate atmospheric CO2 through metabolism. Efficient production of algal biofuels could reduce dependence on foreign oil by providing a domestic renewable energy source. Important factors controlling algal productivity include temperature, nutrient concentrations, salinity, pH, and the light-to-biomass conversion rate. Computational models allow for inexpensive predictions of algae growth kinetics in these non-ideal conditions for various bioreactor sizes and geometries without the need for multiple expensive measurement setups. However, these models need to be calibrated for each algal strain. In this work, we conduct a parametric study of key marine algae strains and apply the findings to a computational model.

  3. Agricultural intensity in ovo affects growth, metamorphic development and sexual differentiation in the common toad (Bufo bufo).

    PubMed

    Orton, Frances; Routledge, Edwin

    2011-06-01

    Pollution was cited by the Global Amphibian Assessment to be the second most important cause of amphibian decline worldwide, however, the effects of the agricultural environment on amphibians are not well understood. In this study, spawn from Bufo bufo was taken from four sites in England and Wales with varying intensities of arable agriculture. Spawn was either placed in tanks containing aged tap water (ex-situ, five replicates) or in cages at the native site (caged, five replicates). Hatching success, abnormal tadpoles, and forelimb emergence were recorded during the larval stage. Individuals were also sampled at five time points (TP) during development (5-, 7-, 9-, 12-, 15-weeks post-hatch) and analysed for morphological parameters. The thyroids (TP2) and the gonads (TP3,4,5) were also analysed histologically. With the exception of the thyroid histopathology, all analysed endpoints were significantly different between ex-situ individuals reared under identical conditions from the different sites. In addition, intensity of arable agriculture had a negative effect on growth and development. At one site, despite distinct rearing conditions, a high level of intersex (up to 42%) and similar sex ratios were observed in both ex-situ and caged individuals. Taken together, these data suggest that maternal exposure and/or events in ovo had a much larger effect on growth, metamorphic development, and sexual differentiation in B. bufo than the ambient environment. This could have important implications for traditional exposure scenarios that typically begin at the larval stage. Intersex is reported for the first time in European amphibians in situ, highlighting the potential use of distinct populations of amphibians in fundamental research into the aetiology of specific developmental effects in wild amphibians.

  4. Exploring the use of structural models to improve remote sensing agricultural estimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gunst, R. F.; Lakshminarayanan, M. Y.

    1984-01-01

    Satellite estimates of agricultural characteristics often are not sufficiently precise for reliable use in small geographical regions. The precision of estimates of agricultural characteristics such as crop proportions and leaf area indexes can be increased by modeling ground observations as a function of satellite estimates. Linear regression models using least squares estimators of the model parameters are most often advocated as an appropriate methodology; however, least squares estimation requires that the predictor variables are measured without error, an unreasonable assumption for this application. An alternative estimation methodology which assumes that both the response variables (ground observations) and the predictor variables (satellite estimates) are measured with error involves the use of linear structural models. The application of linear structural models to the estimation of agricultural characteristics using satellite spectral measurements is examined.

  5. Improving Agricultural Productivity in Tonga through Ensuring Data Availability and Enhancing Agro-meteorological Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    The project was first conceived in the Global Framework for Climate Services Regional Consultation in the Cook Islands in March 2014. In this meeting, key officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Forests, and Fisheries and the Tonga Meteorological Services had a meeting with the APEC Climate Center scientists with the idea to collaborate on a joint project. The project evolved to include the following components: assessment of users' needs and capacities, development of an agricultural database, research on the core relationships between agriculture and climate through modeling and field trials, and the development and delivery of agro-meteorological services. Envisioned outputs include a 2-7 day warning for pests and diseases, a suite of tools supporting decisions on planting dates and crop varieties, and other advisory services derived from seasonal climate forecasts. As one of the climate adaptation projects under its Pacific Island portfolio, the project will deliver urgent information services for Tongan agricultural growers and exporters. The project comes into greater importance and urgency, as the 2014 drought event resulted in the destruction of 80% of squash in Tonga, a main export crop from which the country derives foreign exchange earnings. Since 2014, some of the project achievements include the first agro-met data collection in Tonga, the development of an agricultural DB management system that houses archived agriculture data, and key meetings with stakeholders to ensure alignment of the project objectives and design with the interests of the Tongan government and other stakeholders. In addition, rigorous scientific research through modeling and field trials has been conducted to address the twin goals of supporting Tonga's economy as well as food security. Based on the findings from the research, tools will be developed to translate the science into knowledge that supports decisions on the farm scale.

  6. Improved agriculture and forest management in Africa through the AGRICAB project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bydekerke, L.; Tote, C.; Jacobs, T.; Gilliams, S.

    2012-04-01

    Agriculture and forestry are key economic sectors in many African countries. A sound management of these resources, in order to ensure stable food supply, is key for development. In many countries in Africa both forest and agricultural resources are under stress due to, among others, a growing population, land reforms, climate variability and change. Sound information is required to efficiently manage these resources. Remote sensing contributes significantly to these information needs and for this reason more and more institutes and agencies integrate this technology into their daily work. In this context, there is a growing need for enhancing remote sensing capacity in Africa and for this reason the European Commission launched the AGRICAB Project, funded by the FP7 Programme. The main focus of AGRICAB 'A Framework for enhancing earth observation capacity for agriculture and forest management in Africa as a contribution to GEOSS', is to link European and African research capacity in the use of earth observation technology for agriculture and forestry. The project consortium consists of 17 partners located in 12 different countries (5 in Europe, 10 in Africa and 1 in South America) and has three main components. Firstly, AGRICAB aims to ensure satellite data access, partly through GEONETCast. Secondly, AGRICAB will enhance research capacity through partnerships between African and European institutes in the following thematic areas (a) yield forecasting, (b) early warning and agricultural mapping of food crops, (c) agricultural statistics, (d) livestock and rangeland monitoring, and (e) forest and forest fire monitoring. Thirdly, a significant part is dedicated to training and building awareness concerning the advantage and benefits of the use of remote sensing in forest and agricultural management. AGRICAB intends to allow African partners: (i) to get exposed to state-of-the art techniques and models for agricultural and forest monitoring, (ii) to discover these

  7. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) Town Hall

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruane, Alex; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Kyle, Page; Basso, Bruno; Winter, Jonathan; Asseng, Senthold

    2015-01-01

    AgMIP (www.agmip.org) is an international community of climate, crop, livestock, economics, and IT experts working to further the development and application of multi-model, multi-scale, multi-disciplinary agricultural models that can inform policy and decision makers around the world. This meeting will engage the AGU community by providing a brief overview of AgMIP, in particular its new plans for a Coordinated Global and Regional Assessment of climate change impacts on agriculture and food security for AR6. This Town Hall will help identify opportunities for participants to become involved in AgMIP and its 30+ activities.

  8. Improving Growth and Productivity of Oleiferous Brassicas under Changing Environment: Significance of Nitrogen and Sulphur Nutrition, and Underlying Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Anjum, Naser A.; Gill, Sarvajeet S.; Umar, Shahid; Ahmad, Iqbal; Duarte, Armando C.; Pereira, Eduarda

    2012-01-01

    Mineral nutrients are the integral part of the agricultural systems. Among important plant nutrients, nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) are known essential elements for growth, development, and various physiological functions in plants. Oleiferous brassicas (rapeseed and mustard) require higher amounts of S in addition to N for optimum growth and yield. Therefore, balancing S-N fertilization, optimization of nutrient replenishment, minimization of nutrient losses to the environment, and the concept of coordination in action between S and N could be a significant strategy for improvement of growth and productivity of oleiferous brassicas. Additionally, positive interaction between S and N has been reported to be beneficial for various aspects of oilseed brassicas. The current paper updates readers on the significance of N and S for the improvement of plant growth, development, and productivity in detail. In addition, S-N nutrition-mediated control of major plant antioxidant defense system components involved in the removal and/or metabolism of stress-induced/generated reactive oxygen species in plants (hence, the control of plant growth, development, and productivity) has been overviewed. PMID:22629181

  9. Improving growth and productivity of Oleiferous Brassicas under changing environment: significance of nitrogen and sulphur nutrition, and underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Anjum, Naser A; Gill, Sarvajeet S; Umar, Shahid; Ahmad, Iqbal; Duarte, Armando C; Pereira, Eduarda

    2012-01-01

    Mineral nutrients are the integral part of the agricultural systems. Among important plant nutrients, nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) are known essential elements for growth, development, and various physiological functions in plants. Oleiferous brassicas (rapeseed and mustard) require higher amounts of S in addition to N for optimum growth and yield. Therefore, balancing S-N fertilization, optimization of nutrient replenishment, minimization of nutrient losses to the environment, and the concept of coordination in action between S and N could be a significant strategy for improvement of growth and productivity of oleiferous brassicas. Additionally, positive interaction between S and N has been reported to be beneficial for various aspects of oilseed brassicas. The current paper updates readers on the significance of N and S for the improvement of plant growth, development, and productivity in detail. In addition, S-N nutrition-mediated control of major plant antioxidant defense system components involved in the removal and/or metabolism of stress-induced/generated reactive oxygen species in plants (hence, the control of plant growth, development, and productivity) has been overviewed.

  10. Growth and Development Symposium: promoting healthier humans through healthier livestock: animal agriculture enters the metagenomics era.

    PubMed

    Frank, D N

    2011-03-01

    The priorities of public health and agricultural sciences intersect through a shared objective to foster better human health. Enhancements in food quality and reductions in the environmental effects of modern agriculture represent 2 distinct paths through which animal sciences can contribute to the cause of public health. Recent developments in the study of human-associated microbial communities (microbiotas), notably in association with disease, indicate that better understanding of the microbial ecology of livestock can contribute to achieving the goals of better foods and a cleaner environment. Culture-independent microbiological technologies now permit comprehensive study of complex microbial communities in their natural environments. Microbiotas associated with both humans and animals provide myriad beneficial services to their hosts that, if lost or diminished, could compromise host health. Dysfunctional microbial communities have been noted in several human conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Examination of the mechanisms by which the human microbiota influences health and disease susceptibility can inform similar studies of host-microbe function in the animal sciences. Insights gained from human studies indicate strategies to raise not only healthier livestock, through selective manipulation of microbial communities, but also healthier humans.

  11. Identification of potential genetic markers for improved growth rate in channel catfish

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Identification of genetic polymorphism associated with muscle growth would improve selection efficiency of channel catfish broodstock. Because faster growth is typically associated with increased food intake, factors involved in food intake regulation may serve as potential gene markers for selecti...

  12. Improving Spatial Resolution of Agricultural Water Use Estimation Using ALOS AVNIR-2 Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexandridis, T. K.; Chemin, Y.; Cherif, I.; Tsakoumis, G.; Galanis, G.; Arampatzis, G.; Zalidis, G. C.; Silleos, N. G.; Stavrinos, E.

    2008-11-01

    Estimating agricultural water use is an issue of primary importance in the Mediterranean. At the same time, several advanced algorithms have been developed, which couple Earth Observation data in thermal, visible and near-infrared wavelengths with a few meteorological measurements to provide a close approximation to the actual water use. However, due to the detailed cropping pattern of the Greek agricultural landscape, higher resolution satellite imagery is necessary, a demand which may not be met by the available thermal infrared imagery (Landsat 5 TM and Terra/ASTER). This study investigates the contribution of ALOS AVNIR-2 images to estimate agricultural water consumption in high spatial resolution. Two methods were tested, the Surface Energy Balance Algorithm for Land and the remote sensing crop coefficient method. The results were compared against similar products derived with Terra/MODIS and Landsat TM images, used as reference. Comparisons were based on a pixel level, with a random dataset for pixel to pixel comparison and on a canal command area level, with statistical comparison of the water use estimations. Merging of the two datasets was based on the modified Brovey technique, which has the advantage of maintaining the original values, but redistributes them in a higher resolution space. Concluding, ALOS AVNIR-2 significantly underestimated agricultural water use with the crop coefficient method, but was successful in providing the element of high spatial detail to the MODIS derived result, proving to be a useful input in modelling water use of irrigated Greek basins.

  13. African Universities Tackle the Continent's Agricultural Crisis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindow, Megan

    2009-01-01

    Pests, population growth, and depleted soil have wreaked havoc on agriculture in Africa, so universities across the continent are rethinking how they teach the topic. Some African universities have been building their own networks and pooling their limited resources to train more agricultural scientists and improve their responsiveness to the…

  14. Enhancement of the Initial Growth Rate of Agricultural Plants by Using Static Magnetic Fields.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seung C; Mason, Alex; Im, Wooseok

    2016-01-01

    Electronic devices and high-voltage wires induce magnetic fields. A magnetic field of 1,300-2,500 Gauss (0.2 Tesla) was applied to Petri dishes containing seeds of Garden Balsam (Impatiens balsamina), Mizuna (Brassica rapa var. japonica), Komatsuna (Brassica rapa var. perviridis), and Mescluns (Lepidium sativum). We applied magnets under the culture dish. During the 4 days of application, we observed that the stem and root length increased. The group subjected to magnetic field treatment (n = 10) showed a 1.4 times faster rate of growth compared with the control group (n = 11) in a total of 8 days (p <0.0005). This rate is 20% higher than that reported in previous studies. The tubulin complex lines did not have connecting points, but connecting points occur upon the application of magnets. This shows complete difference from the control, which means abnormal arrangements. However, the exact cause remains unclear. These results of growth enhancement of applying magnets suggest that it is possible to enhance the growth rate, increase productivity, or control the speed of germination of plants by applying static magnetic fields. Also, magnetic fields can cause physiological changes in plant cells and can induce growth. Therefore, stimulation with a magnetic field can have possible effects that are similar to those of chemical fertilizers, which means that the use of fertilizers can be avoided.

  15. Impacts of Hispanic Population Growth on Rural Wages. Agricultural Economic Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newman, Constance

    Although earnings generally increased in rural areas in the 1990s, Hispanic population growth led to lower wages for at least one segment of the rural population--workers with a high school degree (skilled workers), particularly men in this skill group. Using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Current Population Survey, this report…

  16. Enhancement of the Initial Growth Rate of Agricultural Plants by Using Static Magnetic Fields.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seung C; Mason, Alex; Im, Wooseok

    2016-01-01

    Electronic devices and high-voltage wires induce magnetic fields. A magnetic field of 1,300-2,500 Gauss (0.2 Tesla) was applied to Petri dishes containing seeds of Garden Balsam (Impatiens balsamina), Mizuna (Brassica rapa var. japonica), Komatsuna (Brassica rapa var. perviridis), and Mescluns (Lepidium sativum). We applied magnets under the culture dish. During the 4 days of application, we observed that the stem and root length increased. The group subjected to magnetic field treatment (n = 10) showed a 1.4 times faster rate of growth compared with the control group (n = 11) in a total of 8 days (p <0.0005). This rate is 20% higher than that reported in previous studies. The tubulin complex lines did not have connecting points, but connecting points occur upon the application of magnets. This shows complete difference from the control, which means abnormal arrangements. However, the exact cause remains unclear. These results of growth enhancement of applying magnets suggest that it is possible to enhance the growth rate, increase productivity, or control the speed of germination of plants by applying static magnetic fields. Also, magnetic fields can cause physiological changes in plant cells and can induce growth. Therefore, stimulation with a magnetic field can have possible effects that are similar to those of chemical fertilizers, which means that the use of fertilizers can be avoided. PMID:27500712

  17. Impact of paper mill effluent on growth and development of certain agricultural crops.

    PubMed

    Medhi, U J; Talukdar, A K; Deka, S

    2011-03-01

    The physico-chemical characteristics of paper mill industry effluent were measured and some were found to be above the permissible limits prescribed by Indian irrigation water standard. A study was conducted in pots to investigate the effects of different concentrations (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 100%) of paper mill effluent on growth and production of rice, mustard and peafor three years. The study reveals that the paper mill effluent has deleterious effect on the growth of crop at higher concentrations. However, at lower concentration (viz. 10 to 40% in rice, 10 to 50% in mustard and 10 to 60% in pea) of effluent, beneficial impact on general welfare of the crops was noticed. Growth and development was increased with increasing the concentration of the effluent up to 30% in rice, 40% in mustard and 50% in pea. Investigation showed that the growth and production of rice, mustard and pea was found maximum at a concentration of 30, 40 and 50% effluent respectively.

  18. Heavy agricultural workloads and low crop diversity are strong barriers to improving child feeding practices in the Bolivian Andes

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Andrew D; Agudo, Yesmina Cruz; Galway, Lindsay; Bentley, Jeffery; Pinstrup-Andersen, Per

    2012-01-01

    Most nutrition initiatives to date aimed at improving infant and young child feeding (IYCF) have emphasized addressing knowledge gaps through behavior change messaging with less focus on addressing the underlying environmental barriers that may shape these behaviors. This research integrates an analysis of longitudinal dietary data with qualitative data on barriers to improved child feeding to identify the nature and extent of the barriers caregivers face to improving IYCF practices in a farming region of the Bolivian Andes, and to determine the relative influence of these barriers on caregivers’ abilities to improve IYCF practices. Sixty-nine caregivers were selected from a sample of 331 households that participated in a longitudinal survey assessing changes in IYCF practices among caregivers with children aged 0–36 months from March 2009 to March 2010. Forty-nine barriers within 12 categories of barriers were identified through semi-structured interviews with the 69 caregivers. The most frequently reported barriers were those related to women’s time dedicated to agricultural labor, the limited diversity of household agricultural production, and lack of support for child feeding from spouses and mothers-in-law. In multivariate analyses controlling for several variables that could potentially influence IYCF practices, these barriers were negatively associated with changes to the diversity of child diets, child dietary energy intake, and child meal frequency. While knowledge gaps and individual-level influences affected IYCF practices, physical and social caregiving environments in this region of Bolivia were even more important. Behavior change communication alone will likely not address the social and environmental barriers to improved child feeding that often prevent translation of improved knowledge into action. Particularly in rural regions, agriculture may strongly influence child feeding, not only indirectly through household food security, but also

  19. Agricultural growth and "trickle-down" reconsidered: evidence from rural India.

    PubMed

    Sharma, S D

    1997-08-01

    This examination of the "green revolution" in India considers the totality of State-guided development strategies on the lives of ordinary people through an analysis of data collected during field work in 1990-91, 1993-94, and 1995 in a typical north Indian village. The first part of the report situates the "green revolution" strategy in its larger political-economic context, reviewing the circumstances under which it was launched, the nature of the implementation process, and macrolevel trends. After this introduction, the paper presents the village case study with a description of the physical attributes of the village, its social composition, and patterns of land tenure. This highlights the fact that the larger land-owing interests have been the primary beneficiaries of the "green revolution." Wealthy land-owners have been able to diversify their income sources through the purchase of threshing machinery for their own use and for rental to others, the construction of storage facilities where grain can be withheld until top prices are offered in the market, the processing of sugar cane, and dairy farming. Farmers owning less than 1.5 hectares of irrigated land, however lack the resource base to invest in new agricultural technologies. They either go in debt (with little hope of ever producing enough to eliminate the need for borrowing) to purchase the higher-yielding seeds, fertilizers, and chemical pesticides required by the new methods or they retreat into subsistence farming and hire themselves out as labor. This strategy is seldom resorted to, however, because of the pressures of meeting minimal subsistence needs in a cash economy. The top-down strategies that accompanied agricultural modernization have led to a deterioration in the standard of living of the poor. In addition, the "green revolution" is environmentally unsustainable and, ultimately, will have tragic ramifications for India.

  20. Comparative classification analysis of post-harvest growth detection from terrestrial LiDAR point clouds in precision agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koenig, Kristina; Höfle, Bernhard; Hämmerle, Martin; Jarmer, Thomas; Siegmann, Bastian; Lilienthal, Holger

    2015-06-01

    In precision agriculture, detailed geoinformation on plant and soil properties plays an important role, e.g., in crop protection or the application of fertilizers. This paper presents a comparative classification analysis for post-harvest growth detection using geometric and radiometric point cloud features of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data, considering the local neighborhood of each point. Radiometric correction of the TLS data was performed via an empirical range-correction function derived from a field experiment. Thereafter, the corrected amplitude and local elevation features were explored regarding their importance for classification. For the comparison, tree induction, Naive Bayes, and k-Means-derived classifiers were tested for different point densities to distinguish between ground and post-harvest growth. The classification performance was validated against highly detailed RGB reference images and the red edge normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI705), derived from a hyperspectral sensor. Using both geometric and radiometric features, we achieved a precision of 99% with the tree induction. Compared to the reference image classification, the calculated post-harvest growth coverage map reached an accuracy of 80%. RGB and LiDAR-derived coverage showed a polynomial correlation to NDVI705 of degree two with R2 of 0.8 and 0.7, respectively. Larger post-harvest growth patches (>10 × 10 cm) could already be detected by a point density of 2 pts./0.01 m2. The results indicate a high potential of radiometric and geometric LiDAR point cloud features for the identification of post-harvest growth using tree induction classification. The proposed technique can potentially be applied over larger areas using vehicle-mounted scanners.

  1. A promising strain of Streptomyces sp. with agricultural traits for growth promotion and disease management.

    PubMed

    Alam, Mansoor; Dharni, Seema; Abdul-Khaliq; Srivastava, Santosh Kumar; Samad, Abdul; Gupta, Mahesh Kumar

    2012-08-01

    A bacterial strain, Streptomyces sp. CIMAP- A1 was isolated from Geranium rhizosphere and identified by morphological, physiological, biochemical and molecular characters (16S rDNA gene sequence). Phylogenetically, it was found most closely related to S. vinacendrappus, strain NRRL-2363 with 99% sequence similarity. The strain had potential antagonistic activity (in vitro) against wide range of phytopathogenic fungi like Stemphylium sp., Botrytis cinerea, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Colletotrichum spp., Curvularia spp., Corynespora cassicola and Thielavia basicola. The extracellular secondary metabolites produced by the strain in the culture filtrates significantly inhibited the spore germination, growth of germ tube of the germinated spores and radial growth of Alternaria alternata, Colletotrichum acutatum, Curvularia andropogonis and Fusarium moniliforme. The extraction of culture filtrate with solvents and purification by following VLC and PTLC methods always yielded a 10th fraction antifungal compound showing activity against wide range of phytopathogenic fungi. The strain was able to produce siderophores and indole-3-acetic acid. The strain was found to enhance the growth and biomass production of Geranium. It increased 11.3% fresh shoot biomass of Geranium and 21.7% essential oil yield.

  2. Growth Versus Government Management Improvement During Economic Downturn

    PubMed Central

    Podobnik, Boris; Baaquie, Belal E.; Bishop, Steven; Njavro, Djuro; Li, Baowen

    2013-01-01

    In estimating how economic growth depends on various inputs, economists commonly use long periods of data encompassing both main extremes to fluctuations in the economy: recession and expansion. Here we focus on recession years because during expansion even countries with bad economic policies may experience large growth. Specifically, we study how growth depends on the proportion of public-sector workforce, p and competitiveness, quantified by the Global Competitiveness Index, GCI. For the 2008–2011 economic downturn and for 57 countries, we find that the growth rate of GDP per capita, g, decreases with p, and increases with ΔGCI. Further, more competitive countries attract more foreign direct investments per capita, I, than less competitive countries, where I ∝ GCIα. We propose a production function, divided into the private and public sectors, where GDP depends on market capitalization, the public (private)-sector workforce, and competitiveness level, used to quantify the public sector efficiency. PMID:23563321

  3. Methods for improved growth of group III nitride semiconductor compounds

    SciTech Connect

    Melnik, Yuriy; Chen, Lu; Kojiri, Hidehiro

    2015-03-17

    Methods are disclosed for growing group III-nitride semiconductor compounds with advanced buffer layer technique. In an embodiment, a method includes providing a suitable substrate in a processing chamber of a hydride vapor phase epitaxy processing system. The method includes forming an AlN buffer layer by flowing an ammonia gas into a growth zone of the processing chamber, flowing an aluminum halide containing precursor to the growth zone and at the same time flowing additional hydrogen halide or halogen gas into the growth zone of the processing chamber. The additional hydrogen halide or halogen gas that is flowed into the growth zone during buffer layer deposition suppresses homogeneous AlN particle formation. The hydrogen halide or halogen gas may continue flowing for a time period while the flow of the aluminum halide containing precursor is turned off.

  4. Nitrogen emissions along the Colorado Front Range: Response to population growth, land and water use change, and agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baron, J. S.; Del Grosso, S.; Ojima, D. S.; Theobald, D. M.; Parton, W. J.

    While N emissions are not commonly linked to land use change, the production of fixed nitrogen is strongly related to activities associated with urbanization, such as construction, production of energy, and development and use of transportation corridors. Agricultural intensification, brought about by application of synthetic N fertilizers and industrial-scale animal feeding operations, is another land use change that increases N emissions. The Colorado Front Range region experienced rapid population growth from 1980 (1.9 million) to 2000 (2.9 million). Emissions from point (power plants and industry) and mobile (highway and off road vehicles) sources were responsible for most of the increase in emissions since 1980. Agriculture (cropped and grazed land and livestock) was the other important source of N emissions. Soil emissions from cropped and grazed lands remained stable while livestock emissions increased slightly due to more cattle and hogs in feedlots. Although cause and effect relationships between increased N emissions and eutrophication of particular ecosystems are difficult to establish, higher N deposition has been observed at alpine sites near the headwaters of the South Platte River commensurate with the rise in emissions. The ecosystem responses of alpine systems to N deposition are likely to be the result, albeit an indirect one, of land use change.

  5. Influence of laser radiation on the growth and development of seeds of agricultural plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grishkanich, Alexander; Zhevlakov, Alexander; Polyakov, Vadim; Kascheev, Sergey; Sidorov, Igor; Ruzankina, Julia; Yakovlev, Alexey; Mak, Andrey

    2016-04-01

    The experimental results presented in this study focused on the study of biological processes caused by exposure to the coating layers of the laser green light seed (λ = 532 nm) range for the larch, violet (λ = 405 nm) and red (λ = 640 nm) for spruce. Spend a series of experiments to study the dependence of crop seed quality (spruce and larch from the pine family) from exposure to laser radiation under different conditions. In all the analyzed groups studied seed germination and growth of seedlings exposed to laser exposure, compared with the control group. The results showed that the higher percentage of germination than seeds of the control group.

  6. Environmental Filtering of Microbial Communities in Agricultural Soil Shifts with Crop Growth.

    PubMed

    Hargreaves, Sarah K; Williams, Ryan J; Hofmockel, Kirsten S

    2015-01-01

    Plant and soil properties cooperatively structure soil microbial communities, with implications for ecosystem functioning. However, the extent to which each factor contributes to community structuring is not fully understood. To quantify the influence of plants and soil properties on microbial diversity and composition in an agricultural context, we conducted an experiment within a corn-based annual cropping system and a perennial switchgrass cropping system across three topographic positions. We sequenced barcoded 16S ribosomal RNA genes from whole soil three times throughout a single growing season and across two years in July. To target the belowground effects of plants, we also sampled rhizosphere soil in July. We hypothesized that microbial community α-diversity and composition (β-diversity) would be more sensitive to cropping system effects (annual vs. perennial inputs) than edaphic differences among topographic positions, with greater differences occurring in the rhizosphere compared to whole soil. We found that microbial community composition consistently varied with topographic position, and cropping system and the rhizosphere influenced α-diversity. In July, cropping system and rhizosphere structured a small but specific group of microbes implying a subset of microbial taxa, rather than broad shifts in community composition, may explain previously observed differences in resource cycling between treatments. Using rank abundance analysis, we detected enrichment of Saprospirales and Actinomycetales, including cellulose and chitin degraders, in the rhizosphere soil and enrichment of Nitrospirales, Syntrophobacterales, and MND1 in the whole soil. Overall, these findings support environmental filtering for the soil microbial community first by soil and second by the rhizosphere. Across cropping systems, plants selected for a general rhizosphere community with evidence for plant-specific effects related to time of sampling.

  7. Forces Affecting the Improvement and Implementation of International Perspectives in Secondary Level Agricultural Programs in Texas. A Summary Report of Research. Department Information Bulletin 99-2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Larry G.

    A study analyzed the forces affecting improvement and implementation of international agricultural perspectives in secondary programs of agricultural science in Texas. A mail survey, based on force-field analysis, was used to determine the effect of 14 variables, including 3 that involved perceptions of the relevance, knowledge, and implementation…

  8. Improvement of agricultural life cycle assessment studies through spatial differentiation and new impact categories: case study on greenhouse tomato production.

    PubMed

    Antón, Assumpció; Torrellas, Marta; Núñez, Montserrat; Sevigné, Eva; Amores, Maria José; Muñoz, Pere; Montero, Juan I

    2014-08-19

    This paper presents the inclusion of new, relevant impact categories for agriculture life cycle assessments. We performed a specific case study with a focus on the applicability of spatially explicit characterization factors. The main goals were to provide a detailed evaluation of these new impact category methods, compare the results with commonly used methods (ReCiPe and USEtox) and demonstrate how these new methods can help improve environmental assessment in agriculture. As an overall conclusion, the newly developed impact categories helped fill the most important gaps related to land use, water consumption, pesticide toxicity, and nontoxic emissions linked to fertilizer use. We also found that including biodiversity damage due to land use and the effect of water consumption on wetlands represented a scientific advance toward more realistic environmental assessment of agricultural practices. Likewise, the dynamic crop model for assessing human toxicity from pesticide residue in food can lead to better practice in pesticide application. In further life cycle assessment (LCA) method developments, common end point units and normalization units should be agreed upon to make it possible to compare different impacts and methods. In addition, the application of site-specific characterization factors allowed us to be more accurate regarding inventory data and to identify precisely where background flows acquire high relevance. PMID:25032800

  9. Assessing community values for reducing agricultural emissions to improve water quality and protect coral health in the Great Barrier Reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rolfe, John; Windle, Jill

    2011-12-01

    Policymakers wanting to increase protection of the Great Barrier Reef from pollutants generated by agriculture need to identify when measures to improve water quality generate benefits to society that outweigh the costs involved. The research reported in this paper makes a contribution in several ways. First, it uses the improved science understanding about the links between management changes and reef health to bring together the analysis of costs and benefits of marginal changes, helping to demonstrate the appropriate way of addressing policy questions relating to reef protection. Second, it uses the scientific relationships to frame a choice experiment to value the benefits of improved reef health, with the results of mixed logit (random parameter) models linking improvements explicitly to changes in "water quality units." Third, the research demonstrates how protection values are consistent across a broader population, with some limited evidence of distance effects. Fourth, the information on marginal costs and benefits that are reported provide policymakers with information to help improve management decisions. The results indicate that while there is potential for water quality improvements to generate net benefits, high cost water quality improvements are generally uneconomic. A major policy implication is that cost thresholds for key pollutants should be set to avoid more expensive water quality proposals being selected.

  10. An overview of available crop growth and yield models for studies and assessments in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Di Paola, Arianna; Valentini, Riccardo; Santini, Monia

    2016-02-01

    The scientific community offers numerous crop models with different levels of sophistication. In such a wide range of crop models, users should have the possibility to choose the most suitable, in terms of detail, scale and representativeness, to their objectives. However, even when an appropriate choice is made, model limitations should be clarified such that modelling studies are put in the proper perspective and robust applications are achieved. This work is an overview of available models to simulate crop growth and yield. A summary matrix with more than 70 crop models is provided, storing the main model characteristics that can help users to choose the proper tool according to their purposes. Overall, we found that two main aspects of models, despite their importance, are not always clear from the published references, i.e. the versatility of the models, in terms of reliable transferability to different conditions, and the degree of complexity. Hence, the developers of models should be encouraged to pay more attention to clarifying the model limitations and limits of applicability, and users should make an effort in proper model selection, to save time often devoted to iteration of tuning steps to force an inappropriate model to be adapted to their own purpose.

  11. An overview of available crop growth and yield models for studies and assessments in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Di Paola, Arianna; Valentini, Riccardo; Santini, Monia

    2016-02-01

    The scientific community offers numerous crop models with different levels of sophistication. In such a wide range of crop models, users should have the possibility to choose the most suitable, in terms of detail, scale and representativeness, to their objectives. However, even when an appropriate choice is made, model limitations should be clarified such that modelling studies are put in the proper perspective and robust applications are achieved. This work is an overview of available models to simulate crop growth and yield. A summary matrix with more than 70 crop models is provided, storing the main model characteristics that can help users to choose the proper tool according to their purposes. Overall, we found that two main aspects of models, despite their importance, are not always clear from the published references, i.e. the versatility of the models, in terms of reliable transferability to different conditions, and the degree of complexity. Hence, the developers of models should be encouraged to pay more attention to clarifying the model limitations and limits of applicability, and users should make an effort in proper model selection, to save time often devoted to iteration of tuning steps to force an inappropriate model to be adapted to their own purpose. PMID:26227952

  12. Antimicrobial Treatment Improves Mycobacterial Survival in Nonpermissive Growth Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Turapov, Obolbek; Waddell, Simon J.; Burke, Bernard; Glenn, Sarah; Sarybaeva, Asel A.; Tudo, Griselda; Labesse, Gilles; Young, Danielle I.; Young, Michael; Andrew, Peter W.; Butcher, Philip D.; Cohen-Gonsaud, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Antimicrobials targeting cell wall biosynthesis are generally considered inactive against nonreplicating bacteria. Paradoxically, we found that under nonpermissive growth conditions, exposure of Mycobacterium bovis BCG bacilli to such antimicrobials enhanced their survival. We identified a transcriptional regulator, RaaS (for regulator of antimicrobial-assisted survival), encoded by bcg1279 (rv1219c) as being responsible for the observed phenomenon. Induction of this transcriptional regulator resulted in reduced expression of specific ATP-dependent efflux pumps and promoted long-term survival of mycobacteria, while its deletion accelerated bacterial death under nonpermissive growth conditions in vitro and during macrophage or mouse infection. These findings have implications for the design of antimicrobial drug combination therapies for persistent infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis. PMID:24590482

  13. Projecting Future Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Agriculture: Importance of Ecological Feedbacks and the Environmental Benefits of Improved Nitrogen Use Efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kanter, D.; Zhang, X.; Shevliakova, E.; Malyshev, S.; Mauzerall, D. L.

    2014-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) presents a triple threat to the global environment: it is the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas, the largest remaining anthropogenic contributor to stratospheric ozone depletion, and an important component of the nitrogen (N) cascade - where one atom of N can interconvert between a number of forms, each with a unique set of environmental impacts. Here we use a dynamic vegetation model (Princeton-Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab (GFDL) LM3 - the interactive land component of the GFDL Earth System Model) to assess how changes in future climate, land-use, and global fertilizer and manure application are projected to affect global N2O emissions from agriculture by 2050. Agricultural land is defined in this study as the sum of cropland and pasture. In a baseline scenario assuming little improvement in global N use efficiency (NUE) by 2050, the model projects a 24-31% increase in global agricultural N2O emissions (with the uncertainty range stemming from differences in climate forcing, land-use and fertilizer and manure consumption between RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, the two climate scenarios used in this study) - rising from 2.9 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 1990-2000 to 3.6-3.8 Tg N2O-N yr-1 in 2040-2050. This emission increase is considerably less than the projected increases in global fertilizer and manure consumption (42-44%) and previously published projections of global agricultural N2O emission increases (38-75% - again, the uncertainty range reflecting the differences between the climate scenarios used). This disparity appears to be a result of ecological feedbacks captured by the model, where a considerable portion of the increase in fertilizer and manure use is absorbed by agricultural plant biomass rather than lost to the environment. In addition to this dynamic, the model projects that improvements in global NUE of 20-50% could reduce global N2O emissions significantly, delivering important climate and stratospheric ozone benefits over the period

  14. [Possibilities for improved production of meat and milk in state agricultural plants in Egypt].

    PubMed

    1975-01-01

    One of the possible ways of overcoming the deficit of animal protein in human nutrition is that of increasing the livestock and increasing the performance of the animals. Egypt wants to follow this way, especially utilizing the possibilities offered by the newly reclaimed land. For this purpose efficient herds must be developed in the newly reclaimed areas in large-scale production units and under optimum farming conditions. This includes above all a continuous supply of feedstuff by means of intensive field forage cultivation. Starting in August 1973, the test station for agricultural machinery of the GDR VVB Land-und Nahrungsgütertechnik at El Ghasair has investigated the problems connected with a continuous daily supply of fresh feed-stuff to large livestock (cattle) and with preservation methods suited to this aim. First results are reported of applying an advanced technology - and partly GDR farm machinery - in cultivating and harvesting green fodder and hay, using Alexandrian clover and lucern.

  15. Utilization of vegetation indices to improve microwave soil moisture estimates over agricultural lands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Theis, S. W.; Blanchard, B. J.; Newton, R. W.

    1984-01-01

    A technique is presented by means of which visible/near-IR data are used to develop corrections in remotely sensed microwave soil moisture signals, in order to account for vegetation effects. Visible/IR data collected with the NASA NS001 Thematic Mapper Simulator were used to calculate the Perpendicular Vegetation Index (PVI), which was then related to the change of sensitivity of the microwave measurement to surface soil moisture. Effective estimation of soil moisture in the presence of vegetation can be made with L-band microwave radiometers and visible/IR sensors when the PVI is lower than 4.3. This technique offers a means for the estimation of moisture from a space platform over many agricultural areas, without expensive ground data collection.

  16. Turkers in Africa: A Crowdsourcing Approach to Improving Agricultural Landcover Maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Estes, L. D.; Caylor, K. K.; Choi, J.

    2012-12-01

    In the coming decades a substantial portion of Africa is expected to be transformed to agriculture. The scale of this conversion may match or exceed that which occurred in the Brazilian Cerrado and Argentinian Pampa in recent years. Tracking the rate and extent of this conversion will depend on having an accurate baseline of the current extent of croplands. Continent-wide baseline data do exist, but the accuracy of these relatively coarse resolution, remotely sensed assessments is suspect in many regions. To develop more accurate maps of the distribution and nature of African croplands, we develop a distributed "crowdsourcing" approach that harnesses human eyeballs and image interpretation capabilities. Our initial goal is to assess the accuracy of existing agricultural land cover maps, but ultimately we aim to generate "wall-to-wall" cropland maps that can be revisited and updated to track agricultural transformation. Our approach utilizes the freely avail- able, high-resolution satellite imagery provided by Google Earth, combined with Amazon.com's Mechanical Turk platform, an online service that provides a large, global pool of workers (known as "Turkers") who perform "Human Intelligence Tasks" (HITs) for a fee. Using open-source R and python software, we select a random sample of 1 km2 cells from a grid placed over our study area, stratified by field density classes drawn from one of the coarse-scale land cover maps, and send these in batches to Mechanical Turk for processing. Each Turker is required to conduct an initial training session, on the basis of which they are assigned an accuracy score that determines whether the Turker is allowed to proceed with mapping tasks. Completed mapping tasks are automatically retrieved and processed on our server, and subject to two further quality control measures. The first of these is a measure of the spatial accuracy of Turker mapped areas compared to a "gold standard" maps from selected locations that are randomly

  17. Soil organic carbon fractionation for improving agricultural soil quality diagnosis in different management practices.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trigalet, Sylvain; Chartin, Caroline; Kruger, Inken; Carnol, Monique; Van Oost, Kristof; van Wesemael, Bas

    2016-04-01

    Preserving ecosystem functions of soil organic matter (SOM) in soils is a key challenge. The need for an efficient diagnosis of SOM state in agricultural soils is a priority in order to facilitate the detection of changes in soil quality as a result of changes in management practices. The nature of SOM is complex and cannot readily be monitored due to the heterogeneity of its components. Assessment of the SOM level dynamics, typically characterized as the bulk soil organic carbon (SOC), can be refined by taking into account carbon pools with different turnover rates and stability. Fractionating bulk SOC in meaningful soil organic fractions helps to better diagnose SOC status. By separating carbon associated with clay and fine silt particles (stable carbon with slow turnover rate) and carbon non-associated with this fraction (labile and intermediate carbon with higher turnover rates), effects of management can be detected more efficiently at different spatial and temporal scales. Until now, most work on SOC fractionation has focused on small spatial scales along management or time gradients. The present case study focuses on SOC fractionation applied in order to refine the interpretation of organic matter turnover and SOC sequestration for regional units in Wallonia with comparable climate, management and, to a certain extent, soil conditions. In each unit, random samples from specific land uses are analyzed in order to assess the Normal Operative Ranges (NOR) of SOC fraction contents for each unit and land use combination. Thus, SOC levels of the different fractions of a specific field in a given unit can be compared to its corresponding NOR. It will help to better diagnose agricultural soil quality in terms of organic carbon compared to a bulk SOC diagnosis.

  18. Retrospective Analog Year Analyses Using NASA Satellite Precipitation and Soil Moisture Data to Improve USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teng, William; Shannon, Harlan; Mladenova, Iliana; Fang, Fan

    2010-01-01

    A primary goal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to expand markets for U.S. agricultural products and support global economic development. The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) supports this goal by coordinating monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) for the U.S. and major foreign producing countries. Because weather has a significant impact on crop progress, conditions, and production, WAOB prepares frequent agricultural weather assessments, in a GIS-based, Global Agricultural Decision Support Environment (GLADSE). The main goal of this project, thus, is to improve WAOB's estimates by integrating NASA remote sensing soil moisture observations and research results into GLADSE (See diagram below). Soil moisture is currently a primary data gap at WAOB.

  19. Projections of atmospheric nitrous oxide under scenarios of improved agriculture and industrial efficiencies, diet modification, and representative concentration pathways (RCPs)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, E. A.

    2011-12-01

    Atmospheric concentrations of nitrous oxide (N2O), now at about 325ppb, have been increasing since the Industrial Revolution, as livestock herds increased globally and as use of synthetic-N fertilizers increased after WWII. The agricultural sector produces 70-80% of anthropogenic N2O. Significantly reducing those emissions while also improving the diets of the growing global human population will be very challenging. Increases in atmospheric N2O since 1860 are consistent with emissions factors of 2.5% of annual fertilizer-N usage and 2.0% of annual manure-N production being converted to N2O. These factors include both direct and indirect emissions attributable to these sources. Here I present projections of N2O emissions for a variety of scenarios including: (1) FAO population/diet scenarios with no changes in emission factors; (2) per-capita protein consumption in the developed world declines to 1980 levels by 2030 and only half of that is obtained from animal products, thus cutting global manure production by about 20%; (3) improvements in N-use efficiency and manure management reduce the emission factors by 50% by 2050; (4) same as 3 but industrial and transportation emissions are similarly reduced by 50% by 2050; and (5) all mitigations together. These projections are then compared to the four representative concentration pathways (RCPs) developed for the IPCC-AR5. With no further mitigation, the projections are consistent with RCP8.5, with atmospheric N2O at 368 ppb in 2050. RCP8.5 is a reasonable representation of N2O concentrations with growing agricultural production to feed a growing and better-nourished population, without improvements in agricultural efficiencies or changes in developed world diets. Major reductions in per-capita meat consumption in the developed world reduce projected 2050 N2O to 256 ppb, which is in line with RCP6.0. Cutting emission factors in half but without diet change would also lower projected 2050 N2O to 252ppb. Adding 50

  20. Nanoshells made easy: improving Au layer growth on nanoparticle surfaces.

    PubMed

    Brinson, Bruce E; Lassiter, J Britt; Levin, Carly S; Bardhan, Rizia; Mirin, Nikolay; Halas, Naomi J

    2008-12-16

    The growth of a continuous, uniform Au layer on a dielectric nanoparticle is the critical step in the synthesis of nanoparticles such as nanoshells or nanorice, giving rise to their unique geometry-dependent plasmon resonant properties. Here, we report a novel, streamlined method for Au layer metallization on prepared nanoparticle surfaces using carbon monoxide as the reducing agent. This approach consistently yields plasmonic nanoparticles with highly regular shell layers and is immune to variations in precursor or reagent preparation. Single particle spectroscopy combined with scanning electron microscopy reveal that thinner, more uniform shell layers with correspondingly red-shifted optical resonances are achievable with this approach. PMID:19360963

  1. Towards an improved inventory of N2O from agriculture: Model evaluation of N2O emission factors and N fraction leached from different sources in UK agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardenas, L. M.; Gooday, R.; Brown, L.; Scholefield, D.; Cuttle, S.; Gilhespy, S.; Matthews, R.; Misselbrook, T.; Wang, J.; Li, C.; Hughes, G.; Lord, E.

    2013-11-01

    National and international requirements for greenhouse gas emissions demand the development of more accurate inventories and mitigation options that are effective in reducing emissions. The UK government set a target for the year 2050 of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the 1990 baseline. Estimate of UK national emissions is based on IPCC default methodology and as agriculture contributes about 7% of total GHG emissions of which 60% is N2O, efforts to improve the inventory and assess mitigation options are needed. Models can be used to derive N2O emission factors providing high spatial and temporal resolution. In this study, we used two models, the UK-DNDC, a mechanistic model to estimate N2O emissions from soils and the NITCAT model to estimate the fraction of N applied that is leached and causes indirect emissions, both at county level for the UK. Four mitigation options were assessed and the results showed there were differences in the emission factors according to location. Average emission factors for N2O from soils for inorganic fertiliser did not differ from the IPCC default value but for organic fertiliser the model gave much lower values. FracLEACH for arable land was higher than that for grassland (UK averages of 0.28 and 0.09 respectively) and the national average value was 0.18. For N2O, the most effective mitigation measure was adjusting fertiliser rates to account for crop available manure N. For N leaching, the most effective measure was implementation of a manure closed period.

  2. Health sector employment growth calls for improvements in labor productivity.

    PubMed

    Hofmarcher, Maria M; Festl, Eva; Bishop-Tarver, Leslie

    2016-08-01

    While rising costs of healthcare have put increased fiscal pressure on public finance, job growth in the health sector has had a stabilizing force on overall employment levels - not least in times of economic crises. In 2014 EU-15 countries employed 21 million people in the health and social care sector. Between 2000 and 2014 the share of employed persons in this sector rose from 9.5% to 12.5% of the total labor force in EU-15 countries. Over time labor input growth has shifted towards residential care activities and social work while labor in human health activities including hospitals and ambulatory care still comprises the major share. About half of the human health labor force works in hospital. Variation of health and social care employment is large even in countries with generally comparable institutional structures. While standard measures of productivity in health and social care are not yet comparable across countries, we argue that labor productivity of a growing health work force needs more attention. The long-term stability of the health system will require care delivery models that better utilize a growing health work force in concert with smart investments in digital infrastructure to support this transition. In light of this, more research is needed to explain variations in health and social care labor endowments, to identify effective policy measures of labor productivity enhancement including enhanced efforts to develop comparable productivity indicators in these areas.

  3. Health sector employment growth calls for improvements in labor productivity.

    PubMed

    Hofmarcher, Maria M; Festl, Eva; Bishop-Tarver, Leslie

    2016-08-01

    While rising costs of healthcare have put increased fiscal pressure on public finance, job growth in the health sector has had a stabilizing force on overall employment levels - not least in times of economic crises. In 2014 EU-15 countries employed 21 million people in the health and social care sector. Between 2000 and 2014 the share of employed persons in this sector rose from 9.5% to 12.5% of the total labor force in EU-15 countries. Over time labor input growth has shifted towards residential care activities and social work while labor in human health activities including hospitals and ambulatory care still comprises the major share. About half of the human health labor force works in hospital. Variation of health and social care employment is large even in countries with generally comparable institutional structures. While standard measures of productivity in health and social care are not yet comparable across countries, we argue that labor productivity of a growing health work force needs more attention. The long-term stability of the health system will require care delivery models that better utilize a growing health work force in concert with smart investments in digital infrastructure to support this transition. In light of this, more research is needed to explain variations in health and social care labor endowments, to identify effective policy measures of labor productivity enhancement including enhanced efforts to develop comparable productivity indicators in these areas. PMID:27370916

  4. Improved Growth Of Cadmium Telluride Crystals Fro m Vapors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Banish, Michael; Duval, Walter M. B.

    1995-01-01

    Effusive ampoule physical vapor transport (EAPVT) improved technique for growing high-quality crystals from vapors. Apparatus includes infrared-reflective viewing port for optical in situ monitoring of structure of growing crystal, enabling efficient determination of optimal thermal and transport operating conditions. Used commercially for efficiently growing various semiconductor compounds in form of single crystals of high structural and compositional uniformity.

  5. Mobility of Transgenic Nucleic Acids and Proteins within Grafted Rootstocks for Agricultural Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Haroldsen, Victor M.; Szczerba, Mark W.; Aktas, Hakan; Lopez-Baltazar, Javier; Odias, Mar Joseph; Chi-Ham, Cecilia L.; Labavitch, John M.; Bennett, Alan B.; Powell, Ann L. T.

    2012-01-01

    Grafting has been used in agriculture for over 2000 years. Disease resistance and environmental tolerance are highly beneficial traits that can be provided through use of grafting, although the mechanisms, in particular for resistance, have frequently been unknown. As information emerges that describes plant disease resistance mechanisms, the proteins, and nucleic acids that play a critical role in disease management can be expressed in genetically engineered (GE) plant lines. Utilizing transgrafting, the combination of a GE rootstock with a wild-type (WT) scion, or the reverse, has the potential to provide pest and pathogen resistance, impart biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, or increase plant vigor and productivity. Of central importance to these potential benefits is the question of to what extent nucleic acids and proteins are transmitted across a graft junction and whether the movement of these molecules will affect the efficacy of the transgrafting approach. Using a variety of specific examples, this review will report on the movement of organellar DNA, RNAs, and proteins across graft unions. Attention will be specifically drawn to the use of small RNAs and gene silencing within transgrafted plants, with a particular focus on pathogen resistance. The use of GE rootstocks or scions has the potential to extend the horticultural utility of grafting by combining this ancient technique with the molecular strategies of the modern era. PMID:22645583

  6. Preparation of ferulic acid from agricultural wastes: its improved extraction and purification.

    PubMed

    Tilay, Ashwini; Bule, Mahesh; Kishenkumar, Jyoti; Annapure, Uday

    2008-09-10

    Ferulic acid (FA) is a phenolic antioxidant present in plants, which is widely used in the food and cosmetic industry. In the present study, various agricultural wastes such as maize bran, rice bran, wheat bran, wheat straw, sugar cane baggasse, pineapple peels, orange peels, and pomegranate peels were screened for the presence of esterified FA (EFA). Among the sources screened, maize bran was found to contain the highest amount of EFA. Pineapple peels, orange peels, and pomegranate peels were also found to contain traces of EFA. Alkaline extraction of EFA from maize bran was carried out using 2 M NaOH. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used for optimization of EFA extraction, which resulted in a 1.3-fold increase as compared to the unoptimized conventional extraction technique. FA was analyzed by means of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Purification was carried out by adsorption chromatography using Amberlite XAD-16 followed by preparative high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC). The recovery of Amberlite XAD-16 purified FA was up to 57.97% with HPLC purity 50.89%. The fold purity achieved was 1.35. After preparative HPTLC, the maximum HPLC purity obtained was 95.35% along with an increase in fold purity up to 2.53.

  7. Strategies for Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crosson, Pierre R.; Rosenberg, Norman J.

    1989-01-01

    Discusses the change of agricultural methods with human population growth. Describes the trends of world food production, changes in farmland, use of fertilizer, and 13 agricultural research institutions. Lists 5 references for further reading. (YP)

  8. Root-endophytes improve the ecophysiological performance and production of an agricultural species under drought condition

    PubMed Central

    Molina-Montenegro, Marco A.; Oses, Rómulo; Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Atala, Cristian; Zurita-Silva, Andrés; Ruiz-Lara, Simón

    2016-01-01

    Throughout many regions of the world, climate change has limited the availability of water for irrigating crops. Indeed, current models of climate change predict that arid and semi-arid zones will be places where precipitation will drastically decrease. In this context, plant root-associated fungi appear as a new strategy to improve ecophysiological performance and yield of crops under abiotic stress. Thus, use of fungal endophytes from ecosystems currently subjected to severe drought conditions could improve the ecophysiological performance and quantum yield of crops exposed to drought. In this study, we evaluated how the inoculation of fungal endophytes isolated from Antarctic plants can improve the net photosynthesis, water use efficiency and production of fresh biomass in a lettuce cultivar, grown under different water availability regimes. In addition, we assessed if the presence of biochemical mechanisms and gene expression related with environmental tolerance are improved in presence of fungal endophytes. Overall, those individuals with presence of endophytes showed higher net photosynthesis and maintained higher water use efficiency in drought conditions, which was correlated with greater fresh and dry biomass production as well as greater root system development. In addition, presence of fungal endophytes was correlated with a higher proline concentration, lower peroxidation of lipids and up-/down-regulation of ion homeostasis. Our results suggest that presence of fungal endophytes could minimize the negative effect of drought by improving drought tolerance through biochemical mechanisms and improving nutritional status. Thus, root-endophytes might be a successful biotechnological tool to maintain high levels of ecophysiological performance and productivity in zones under drought. PMID:27613875

  9. Improvement of Nannochloropsis oceanica growth performance through chemical mutation and characterization of fast growth physiology by transcriptome profiling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Sijie; Guo, Li; Lin, Genmei; Zhang, Zhongyi; Ding, Haiyan; Wang, Yamei; Yang, Guanpin

    2016-09-01

    Nannochloropsis oceanica promises to be an industrial-level producer of polyunsaturated fatty acids. In this study, the fastest and slowest growing N. oceanica mutants were selected through N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine mutation, and two mutant strains and the wild type (WT) subjected to transcriptome profiling. It was found that the OD680 reads at stationary growth phase of both WT and its mutants were proportional to their cell density, thus indicating their division rate and growth speed during culture. This chemical mutation was effective for improving growth performance, and the fast strain divided faster by upregulating the expression of genes functioning in the cell cycle and downregulating genes involved in synthesis of amino acids, fatty acids, and sugars as well as the construction of ribosome and photosynthetic machinery. However, the relationship among the effected genes responsible for cell cycle, metabolism of fatty and amino acids, and construction of ribosome and photosynthetic machinery remained unclear. Further genetic studies are required for clarifying the genetic/metabolic networks underpinning the growth performance of N. oceanica. These findings demonstrated that this mutation strategy was effective for improving the growth performance of this species and explored a means of microalgal genetic improvement, particularly in species possessing a monoploid nucleus and asexual reproduction.

  10. Association of in Utero Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Fetal Growth and Length of Gestation in an Agricultural Population

    PubMed Central

    Eskenazi, Brenda; Harley, Kim; Bradman, Asa; Weltzien, Erin; Jewell, Nicholas P.; Barr, Dana B.; Furlong, Clement E.; Holland, Nina T.

    2004-01-01

    Although pesticide use is widespread, little is known about potential adverse health effects of in utero exposure. We investigated the effects of organophosphate pesticide exposure during pregnancy on fetal growth and gestational duration in a cohort of low-income, Latina women living in an agricultural community in the Salinas Valley, California. We measured nonspecific metabolites of organophosphate pesticides (dimethyl and diethyl phosphates) and metabolites specific to malathion (malathion dicarboxylic acid), chlorpyrifos [O,O-diethyl O-(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl) phosphoro-thioate], and parathion (4-nitrophenol) in maternal urine collected twice during pregnancy. We also measured levels of cholinesterase in whole blood and butyryl cholinesterase in plasma in maternal and umbilical cord blood. We failed to demonstrate an adverse relationship between fetal growth and any measure of in utero organophosphate pesticide exposure. In fact, we found increases in body length and head circumference associated with some exposure measures. However, we did find decreases in gestational duration associated with two measures of in utero pesticide exposure: urinary dimethyl phosphate metabolites [βadjusted = −0.41 weeks per log10 unit increase; 95% confidence interval (CI), −0.75–−0.02; p = 0.02], which reflect exposure to dimethyl organophosphate compounds such as malathion, and umbilical cord cholinesterase (βadjusted = 0.34 weeks per unit increase; 95% CI, 0.13–0.55; p = 0.001). Shortened gestational duration was most clearly related to increasing exposure levels in the latter part of pregnancy. These associations with gestational age may be biologically plausible given that organophosphate pesticides depress cholinesterase and acetylcholine stimulates contraction of the uterus. However, despite these observed associations, the rate of preterm delivery in this population (6.4%) was lower than in a U.S. reference population. PMID:15238287

  11. Nerve growth factor released from a novel PLGA nerve conduit can improve axon growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Keng-Min; Shea, Jill; Gale, Bruce K.; Sant, Himanshu; Larrabee, Patti; Agarwal, Jay

    2016-04-01

    Nerve injury can occur due to penetrating wounds, compression, traumatic stretch, and cold exposure. Despite prompt repair, outcomes are dismal. In an attempt to help resolve this challenge, in this work, a poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) nerve conduit with associated biodegradable drug reservoir was designed, fabricated, and tested. Unlike current nerve conduits, this device is capable of fitting various clinical scenarios by delivering different drugs without reengineering the whole system. To demonstrate the potential of this device for nerve repair, a series of experiments were performed using nerve growth factor (NGF). First, an NGF dosage curve was developed to determine the minimum NGF concentration for optimal axonal outgrowth on chick dorsal root ganglia (DRG) cells. Next, PLGA devices loaded with NGF were evaluated for sustained drug release and axon growth enhancement with the released drug. A 20 d in vitro release test was conducted and the nerve conduit showed the ability to meet and maintain the minimum NGF requirement determined previously. Bioactivity assays of the released NGF showed that drug released from the device between the 15th and 20th day could still promote axon growth (76.6-95.7 μm) in chick DRG cells, which is in the range of maximum growth. These novel drug delivery conduits show the ability to deliver NGF at a dosage that efficiently promotes ex vivo axon growth and have the potential for in vivo application to help bridge peripheral nerve gaps.

  12. Anaerobic fermentation of agricultural residue: potential for improvement and implementation. Final report, Volume II

    SciTech Connect

    Jewell, W. J.; Dell'orto, S.; Fanfoni, K. J.; Hayes, T. D.; Leuschner, A. P.; Sherman, D. F.

    1980-04-01

    Earlier studies have shown that although large quantities of agricultural residues are generated on small farms, it was difficult to economically justify use of conventional anaerobic digestion technology, such as used for sewage sludge digestion. A simple, unmixed, earthen-supported structure appeared to be capable of producing significant quantities of biogas at a cost that would make it competitive with many existing fuels. The goal of this study was to define and demonstrate a methane fermentation technology that could be practical and economically feasible on small farms. This study provides the first long term, large scale (reactor volumes of 34 m/sup 3/) parallel testing of the major theory, design, construction, and operation of a low cost approach to animal manure fermentation as compared to the more costly and complex designs. The main objectives were to define the lower limits for successful fermentor operation in terms of mixing, insulation, temperature, feed rate, and management requirements in a cold climate with both pilot scale and full scale fermentors. Over a period of four years, innovative fermentation processes for animal manures were developed from theoretical concept to successful full scale demonstration. Reactors were sized for 50 to 65 dairy animals, or for the one-family dairy size. The results show that a small farm biogas generation system that should be widely applicable and economically feasible was operated successfully for nearly two years. Although this low cost system out-performed the completely mixed unit throughout the study, perhaps the greatest advantage of this approach is its ease of modification, operation, and maintenance.

  13. The potential benefit of improving the dissemination of agricultural weather information to the Mississippi cotton farmer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Priddy, K. T.; Marlatt, W. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1978-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The potential benefit of improved dissemination of weather information to the Mississippi cotton farmer was estimated at $36,000 per 1000 acres. This is 16% of production cost of cotton in 1976. On a statewide basis, the total potential savings exceeds 100 million dollars.

  14. Short Laminin Peptide for Improved Neural Stem Cell Growth

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaowei; Liu, Xiaoyan; Josey, Benjamin; Chou, C. James; Tan, Yu; Zhang, Ning

    2014-01-01

    Human neural stem/progenitor cells (hNSCs) are very difficult to culture and require human or animal source extracellular matrix molecules, such as laminin or collagen type IV, to support attachment and to regulate their survival and proliferation. These extracellular matrix molecules are difficult to purify from human or animal tissues, have high batch-to-batch variability, and may cause an immune response if used in clinical applications. Although several laminin- and collagen IV-derived peptides are commercially available, they do not support long-term hNSC attachment and growth. To solve this problem, we developed a novel peptide sequence with only 12 amino acids based on the Ile-Lys-Val-Ala-Val, or IKVAV, sequence: Ac-Cys-Cys-Arg-Arg-Ile-Lys-Val-Ala-Val-Trp-Leu-Cys. This short peptide sequence, similar to tissue-derived full laminin molecules, supported hNSCs to attach and proliferate to confluence for continuous passage and subculture. This short peptide also directed hNSCs to differentiate into neurons. When conjugated to poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels, this short peptide benefited hNSC attachment and proliferation on the surface of hydrogels and promoted cell migration inside the hydrogels with maximum enhancement at a peptide density of 10 μM. This novel short peptide shows great promise in artificial niche development for supporting hNSC culture in vitro and in vivo and for promoting hNSC transplantation in future clinical therapy. PMID:24692587

  15. Improved Discrimination for Brassica Vegetables Treated with Agricultural Fertilizers Using a Combined Chemometric Approach.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Yuwei; Hu, Guixian; Chen, Tianjin; Zhao, Ming; Zhang, Yongzhi; Li, Yong; Xu, Xiahong; Shao, Shengzhi; Zhu, Jiahong; Wang, Qiang; Rogers, Karyne M

    2016-07-20

    Multielement and stable isotope (δ(13)C, δ(15)N, δ(2)H, δ(18)O, (207)Pb/(206)Pb, and (208)Pb/(206)Pb) analyses were combined to provide a new chemometric approach to improve the discrimination between organic and conventional Brassica vegetable production. Different combinations of organic and conventional fertilizer treatments were used to demonstrate this authentication approach using Brassica chinensis planted in experimental test pots. Stable isotope analyses (δ(15)N and δ(13)C) of B. chinensis using elemental analyzer-isotope ratio mass spectrometry easily distinguished organic and chemical fertilizer treatments. However, for low-level application fertilizer treatments, this dual isotope approach became indistinguishable over time. Using a chemometric approach (combined isotope and elemental approach), organic and chemical fertilizer mixes and low-level applications of synthetic and organic fertilizers were detectable in B. chinensis and their associated soils, improving the detection limit beyond the capacity of individual isotopes or elemental characterization. LDA shows strong promise as an improved method to discriminate genuine organic Brassica vegetables from produce treated with chemical fertilizers and could be used as a robust test for organic produce authentication. PMID:27355562

  16. Assessment of improved root growth representation in a 1-D, field scale crop model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miltin Mboh, Cho; Gaiser, Thomas; Ewert, Frank

    2015-04-01

    Many 1-D, field scale crop models over-simplify root growth. The over-simplification of this "hidden half" of the crop may have significant consequences on simulated root water and nutrient uptake with a corresponding reflection on the simulated crop yields. Poor representation of root growth in crop models may therefore constitute a major source of uncertainty propagation. In this study we assess the effect of an improved representation of root growth in a model solution of the model framework SIMPLACE (Scientific Impact assessment and Modeling PLatform for Advanced Crop and Ecosystem management) compared to conventional 1-D approaches. The LINTUL5 crop growth model is coupled to the Hillflow soil water balance model within the SIMPLACE modeling framework (Gaiser et al, 2013). Root water uptake scenarios in the soil hydrological simulator Hillflow (Bronstert, 1995) together with an improved representation of root growth is compared to scenarios for which root growth is simplified. The improvement of root growth is achieved by integrating root growth solutions from R-SWMS (Javaux et al., 2008) into the SIMPLACE model solution. R-SWMS is a three dimensional model for simultaneous modeling of root growth, soil water fluxes and solute transport and uptake. These scenarios are tested by comparing how well the simulated water contents match with the observed soil water dynamics. The impacts of the scenarios on above ground biomass and wheat grain are assessed

  17. Retrospective Analog Year Analyses Using NASA Satellite Data to Improve USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teng, W. L.; Shannon, H. D.

    2011-12-01

    The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) is responsible for monitoring weather and climate impacts on domestic and foreign crop development. One of WAOB's primary goals is to determine the net cumulative effect of weather and climate anomalies on final crop yields. To this end, a broad array of information is consulted, including maps, charts, and time series of recent weather, climate, and crop observations; numerical output from weather and crop models; and reports from the press, USDA attachés, and foreign governments. The resulting agricultural weather assessments are published in the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, to keep farmers, policy makers, and commercial agricultural interests informed of weather and climate impacts on agriculture. Because both the amount and timing of precipitation significantly impact crop yields, WAOB often uses precipitation time series to identify growing seasons with similar weather patterns and help estimate crop yields for the current growing season, based on observed yields in analog years. Although, historically, these analog years are identified through visual inspection, the qualitative nature of this methodology sometimes precludes the definitive identification of the best analog year. One goal of this study is to introduce a more rigorous, statistical approach for identifying analog years. This approach is based on a modified coefficient of determination, termed the analog index (AI). The derivation of AI will be described. Another goal of this study is to compare the performance of AI for time series derived from surface-based observations vs. satellite-based measurements (NASA TRMM and other data). Five study areas and six growing seasons of data were analyzed (2003-2007 as potential analog years and 2008 as the target year). Results thus far show that, for all five areas, crop yield estimates derived from satellite-based precipitation data are closer to measured yields than are estimates derived from surface

  18. Integrated validation of modeled plant growth, nitrogen- and water-fluxes in the agricultural used Rur catchment in Western Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korres, Wolfgang; Klar, Christian; Reichenau, Tim; Fiener, Peter; Schneider, Karl

    2010-05-01

    Numerous studies have shown that agricultural management is one of the key drivers for spatio-temporal patterns of soil moisture in agricultural landscapes. The process-based ecohydrological model components of the integrated decision support system DANUBIA are used to identify the important processes and feedbacks determining soil-moisture patterns in agroecosystems. Interactions between plant growth, soil hydrology and soil nitrogen transformation processes are modeled by using a dynamically coupled modeling approach. Integrative validation of all three model components serves as a basis for modeling analysis of spatial soil moisture patterns. DANUBIA is parameterized and validated for the Rur catchment located in Western Germany. For integrative validation, an extensive three year dataset (2007 - 2009) of soil moisture- (TDR, FDR), plant- (LAI, organ specific biomass and N) and soil- (texture, N, C) measurements was acquired. Plant measurements on an arable land test site were carried out biweekly. Measurements were conducted for winter wheat, maize and sugar beet during the growing season. Soil nitrogen and carbon measurements were taken before, during and after the growing season. Field averages of plant and soil parameters are derived from three individual measuring locations within each test field. Soil moisture was measured with three FDR soil moisture stations in 10 and 30 cm depth. In a grassland test site biomass measurements were carried out biweekly in 2009. Soil moisture was monitored at different locations in up to 60 cm soil depth using FDR- and TDR-stations. Meteorological data was measured with an eddy flux (arable land) and energy flux station (grassland test site). First results of point validation are in very good agreement with field measurements. Model results for winter wheat in 2007/2008 match field measurements well for both, the overall biomass (R2= 0.97, rel. RMSE = 16.8%, Nash Sutcliff - model efficiency ME = 0.96) as well as for

  19. Improving biogas quality and methane yield via co-digestion of agricultural and urban biomass wastes.

    PubMed

    Poulsen, Tjalfe G; Adelard, Laetitia

    2016-08-01

    Impact of co-digestion versus mono-digestion on biogas and CH4 yield for a set of five biomass materials (vegetable food waste, cow dung, pig manure, grass clippings, and chicken manure) was investigated considering 95 different biomass mixes of the five materials under thermophilic conditions in bench-scale batch experiments over a period of 65days. Average biogas and CH4 yields were significantly higher during co-digestion than during mono-digestion of the same materials. This improvement was most significant for co-digestion experiments involving three biomass types, although it was independent of the specific biomasses being co-digested. Improvement in CH4 production was further more prominent early in the digestion process during co-digestion compared to mono-digestion. Co-digestion also appeared to increase the ultimate CH4/CO2 ratio of the gas produced compared to mono-digestion although this tendency was relatively weak and not statistically significant. PMID:27256782

  20. Designing a constructed wetland for the detention of agricultural runoff for water quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Millhollon, Eddie P; Rodrigue, Paul B; Rabb, James L; Martin, Danny F; Anderson, Russell A; Dans, Darinda R

    2009-01-01

    The goal of this study was to construct a wetland that would detain runoff from a 162-ha watershed for the purposes of improving water quality. The volume of runoff that needed to be detained was determined to be that amount coming off the 162-ha watershed consisting of 146 ha of cultivated crop land and 16 ha of pasture that exceeded the amount that would have come off of the watershed in its natural, forested state. The Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resource Conservation Service [NRCS]) runoff curve number method was used to estimate runoff from the watershed in its natural, forested state and in its current state of cultivated crop land and pasture. The design of the constructed wetland was accomplished using the natural topography of the wetland site and the design criteria for a sediment containment system developed by NRCS. The SPAW (Soil-Plant-Atmosphere-Water Field & Pond Hydrology) computer model was used to model depth and volume in the wetland to determine if the constructed wetland design would accommodate typical runoff events. Construction of the wetland occurred over a 4-mo period. The capabilities of the system were verified when Hurricane Rita deposited above-normal rainfall to the wetland site area. The wetland was able to accommodate this event, allowing flow through the system for 9 d, followed by continued detention of remaining runoff for water quality improvement.

  1. Improving an Agent-Based Model by Using Interdisciplinary Approaches for Analyzing Structural Change in Agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Appel, Franziska; Ostermeyer, Arlette; Balmann, Alfons; Larsen, Karin

    Structural change in the German dairy sector seems to be lagged behind. Heterogeneous farm structures, a low efficiency and profitability are persistent although farms operate under similar market and policy conditions. This raises the questions whether these structures are path dependent and how they can eventually be overcome. To answer these questions we use the agent-based model AgriPoliS. The aim of our project is to improve assumptions in AgriPoliS by using it as an experimental laboratory. In a second part AgriPoliS will be used in stakeholder workshops to define scenarios for the dairy sector and communicate and discuss results to practitioners and decision makers.

  2. Improvement of plant growth and nickel uptake by nickel resistant-plant-growth promoting bacteria.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ying; Rajkumar, Mani; Freitas, Helena

    2009-07-30

    In this study, among a collection of Ni-resistant bacterial strains isolated from the rhizosphere of Alyssum serpyllifolium and Phleum phleoides grown on serpentine soil, five plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) were selected based on their ability to utilize 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) as the sole N source and promote seedling growth. All of the strains tested positive for indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production and phosphate solubilization. In addition, four of the strains exhibited significant levels of siderophores production. Further, the efficiency of PGPB in enhancing Ni solubilization in soils was analyzed. Compared with control treatment, inoculation of PGPB strains significantly increased the concentrations of bioavailable Ni. Furthermore, a pot experiment was conducted to elucidate the effects of inoculating Ni-resistant PGPB on the plant growth and the uptake of Ni by Brassica juncea and B. oxyrrhina in soil contaminated with 450 mg kg(-1) Ni. Psychrobacter sp. SRA2 significantly increased the fresh (351%) and dry biomass (285%) of the B. juncea test plants (p<0.05), whereas Psychrobacter sp. SRA1 and Bacillus cereus SRA10 significantly increased the accumulation of Ni in the root and shoot tissues of B. juncea compared with non-inoculated controls. This result indicates that the strains SRA1 and SRA10 facilitated the release of Ni from the non-soluble phases in the soil, thus enhancing the availability of Ni to plants. A significant increase, greater than that of the control, was also noted for growth parameters of the B. oxyrrhina test plants when the seeds were treated with strain SRA2. This effect can be attributed to the utilization of ACC, solubilization of phosphate and production of IAA. The results of the study revealed that the inoculation of Ni mobilizing strains Psychrobacter sp. SRA1 and B. cereus SRA10 increases the efficiency of phytoextraction directly by enhancing the metal accumulation in plant tissues and the efficient

  3. Improving livestock for agriculture - technological progress from random transgenesis to precision genome editing heralds a new era.

    PubMed

    Laible, Götz; Wei, Jingwei; Wagner, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Humans have a long history in shaping the genetic makeup of livestock to optimize production and meet growing human demands for food and other animal products. Until recently, this has only been possible through traditional breeding and selection, which is a painstakingly slow process of accumulating incremental gains over a long period. The development of transgenic livestock technology offers a more direct approach with the possibility for making genetic improvements with greater impact and within a single generation. However, initially the technology was hampered by technical difficulties and limitations, which have now largely been overcome by progressive improvements over the past 30 years. Particularly, the advent of genome editing in combination with homologous recombination has added a new level of efficiency and precision that holds much promise for the genetic improvement of livestock using the increasing knowledge of the phenotypic impact of genetic sequence variants. So far not a single line of transgenic livestock has gained approval for commercialization. The step change to genome-edited livestock with precise sequence changes may accelerate the path to market, provided applications of this new technology for agriculture can deliver, in addition to economic incentives for producers, also compelling benefits for animals, consumers, and the environment. PMID:25515661

  4. Improving livestock for agriculture - technological progress from random transgenesis to precision genome editing heralds a new era.

    PubMed

    Laible, Götz; Wei, Jingwei; Wagner, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Humans have a long history in shaping the genetic makeup of livestock to optimize production and meet growing human demands for food and other animal products. Until recently, this has only been possible through traditional breeding and selection, which is a painstakingly slow process of accumulating incremental gains over a long period. The development of transgenic livestock technology offers a more direct approach with the possibility for making genetic improvements with greater impact and within a single generation. However, initially the technology was hampered by technical difficulties and limitations, which have now largely been overcome by progressive improvements over the past 30 years. Particularly, the advent of genome editing in combination with homologous recombination has added a new level of efficiency and precision that holds much promise for the genetic improvement of livestock using the increasing knowledge of the phenotypic impact of genetic sequence variants. So far not a single line of transgenic livestock has gained approval for commercialization. The step change to genome-edited livestock with precise sequence changes may accelerate the path to market, provided applications of this new technology for agriculture can deliver, in addition to economic incentives for producers, also compelling benefits for animals, consumers, and the environment.

  5. Soil ecology and agricultural technology; An integrated approach towards improved soil management for sustainable farming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulleman, Mirjam; Pérès, Guénola; Crittenden, Stephen; Heddadj, Djilali; Sukkel, Wijnand

    2014-05-01

    Intensive arable food production systems are in need of smart solutions that combine ecological knowledge and farm technology to maximize yields while protecting natural resources. The huge diversity of soil organisms and their interactions is of crucial importance for soil functions and ecosystem services, such as organic matter incorporation and break down, nutrient mineralization, soil structure formation, water regulation and disease and pest control. Soil management decisions that take into account the soil biodiversity and associated functions are thus essential to (i) maintain soil productivity in the long term, (ii) reduce the dependency on external inputs and non-renewables such as fossil fuels, and (iii) make agroecosystems more resilient against biotic and abiotic stresses. Organic farming systems and reduced tillage systems are two approaches that aim to increase soil biodiversity and general soil quality, through improved management of organic matter but differ in their emphasis on the use of chemical inputs for crop protection or soil disturbance, respectively. In North-western Europe experience with and knowledge of reduced tillage systems is still scarce, both in conventional and organic farming. Our study targeted both conventional and organic farming and aimed at 1) documenting reduced tillage practices within different agroecological contexts in NW Europe; 2) evaluating the effects of reduced tillage systems on soil biodiversity and soil ecosystem services; 3) increase understanding of agroecological factors that determine trade-offs between different ecosystem services. Earthworm species and nematode taxa were selected as indicator organisms to be studied for their known response to soil management and effects on soil functions. Additionally, soil organic matter, physical soil parameters and processes, and crop yields have been measured across multiple sites. Data have been collected over several cropping seasons in long term field experiments

  6. Biosurfactants in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Sachdev, Dhara P; Cameotra, Swaranjit S

    2013-02-01

    Agricultural productivity to meet growing demands of human population is a matter of great concern for all countries. Use of green compounds to achieve the sustainable agriculture is the present necessity. This review highlights the enormous use of harsh surfactants in agricultural soil and agrochemical industries. Biosurfactants which are reported to be produced by bacteria, yeasts, and fungi can serve as green surfactants. Biosurfactants are considered to be less toxic and eco-friendly and thus several types of biosurfactants have the potential to be commercially produced for extensive applications in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and food industries. The biosurfactants synthesized by environmental isolates also has promising role in the agricultural industry. Many rhizosphere and plant associated microbes produce biosurfactant; these biomolecules play vital role in motility, signaling, and biofilm formation, indicating that biosurfactant governs plant-microbe interaction. In agriculture, biosurfactants can be used for plant pathogen elimination and for increasing the bioavailability of nutrient for beneficial plant associated microbes. Biosurfactants can widely be applied for improving the agricultural soil quality by soil remediation. These biomolecules can replace the harsh surfactant presently being used in million dollar pesticide industries. Thus, exploring biosurfactants from environmental isolates for investigating their potential role in plant growth promotion and other related agricultural applications warrants details research. Conventional methods are followed for screening the microbial population for production of biosurfactant. However, molecular methods are fewer in reaching biosurfactants from diverse microbial population and there is need to explore novel biosurfactant from uncultured microbes in soil biosphere by using advanced methodologies like functional metagenomics.

  7. Improving ammonium and nitrate release from urea using clinoptilolite zeolite and compost produced from agricultural wastes.

    PubMed

    Omar, Latifah; Ahmed, Osumanu Haruna; Ab Majid, Nik Muhamad

    2015-01-01

    Improper use of urea may cause environmental pollution through NH3 volatilization and NO3 (-) leaching from urea. Clinoptilolite zeolite and compost could be used to control N loss from urea by controlling NH4 (+) and NO3 (-) release from urea. Soil incubation and leaching experiments were conducted to determine the effects of clinoptilolite zeolite and compost on controlling NH4 (+) and NO3 (-) losses from urea. Bekenu Series soil (Typic Paleudults) was incubated for 30, 60, and 90 days. A soil leaching experiment was conducted for 30 days. Urea amended with clinoptilolite zeolite and compost significantly reduced NH4 (+) and NO3 (-) release from urea (soil incubation study) compared with urea alone, thus reducing leaching of these ions. Ammonium and NO3 (-) leaching losses during the 30 days of the leaching experiment were highest in urea alone compared with urea with clinoptilolite zeolite and compost treatments. At 30 days of the leaching experiment, NH4 (+) retention in soil with urea amended with clinoptilolite zeolite and compost was better than that with urea alone. These observations were because of the high pH, CEC, and other chemical properties of clinoptilolite zeolite and compost. Urea can be amended with clinoptilolite zeolite and compost to improve NH4 (+) and NO3 (-) release from urea.

  8. Improving Ammonium and Nitrate Release from Urea Using Clinoptilolite Zeolite and Compost Produced from Agricultural Wastes

    PubMed Central

    Omar, Latifah; Ahmed, Osumanu Haruna; Majid, Nik Muhamad Ab.

    2015-01-01

    Improper use of urea may cause environmental pollution through NH3 volatilization and NO3− leaching from urea. Clinoptilolite zeolite and compost could be used to control N loss from urea by controlling NH4+ and NO3− release from urea. Soil incubation and leaching experiments were conducted to determine the effects of clinoptilolite zeolite and compost on controlling NH4+ and NO3− losses from urea. Bekenu Series soil (Typic Paleudults) was incubated for 30, 60, and 90 days. A soil leaching experiment was conducted for 30 days. Urea amended with clinoptilolite zeolite and compost significantly reduced NH4+ and NO3− release from urea (soil incubation study) compared with urea alone, thus reducing leaching of these ions. Ammonium and NO3− leaching losses during the 30 days of the leaching experiment were highest in urea alone compared with urea with clinoptilolite zeolite and compost treatments. At 30 days of the leaching experiment, NH4+ retention in soil with urea amended with clinoptilolite zeolite and compost was better than that with urea alone. These observations were because of the high pH, CEC, and other chemical properties of clinoptilolite zeolite and compost. Urea can be amended with clinoptilolite zeolite and compost to improve NH4+ and NO3− release from urea. PMID:25793220

  9. National health expenditure projections, 2012-22: slow growth until coverage expands and economy improves.

    PubMed

    Cuckler, Gigi A; Sisko, Andrea M; Keehan, Sean P; Smith, Sheila D; Madison, Andrew J; Poisal, John A; Wolfe, Christian J; Lizonitz, Joseph M; Stone, Devin A

    2013-10-01

    Health spending growth through 2013 is expected to remain slow because of the sluggish economic recovery, continued increases in cost-sharing requirements for the privately insured, and slow growth for public programs. These factors lead to projected growth rates of near 4 percent through 2013. However, improving economic conditions, combined with the coverage expansions in the Affordable Care Act and the aging of the population, drive faster projected growth in health spending in 2014 and beyond. Expected growth for 2014 is 6.1 percent, with an average projected growth of 6.2 percent per year thereafter. Over the 2012-22 period, national health spending is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.8 percent. By 2022 health spending financed by federal, state, and local governments is projected to account for 49 percent of national health spending and to reach a total of $2.4 trillion.

  10. Interannual climate variability and spatially heterogeneous improvement of agricultural management impede detection of a decreasing trend in nitrate pollution in an agricultural catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fovet, Ophélie; Dupas, Rémi; Durand, Patrick; Gascuel-Odoux, Chantal; Gruau, Gérard; Hamon, Yannick; Petitjean, Patrice

    2016-04-01

    Despite widespread implementation of the nitrate directive in the European Union since the 1990s, the impact on nitrate concentration in rivers is limited (Bouraoui and Grizzetti, 2011). To assess whether this lack of response is due to the long time lags of nitrate transfer or to inadequate programs of measure, long term river and groundwater monitoring data are necessary. This study analyses 15 years of daily nitrate concentration data at the outlet of an intensively farmed catchment in Western France (Kervidy-Naizin, 5 km²) and quarterly nitrate concentration data in the groundwater of two hillslopes equipped with piezometers (Kerroland and Gueriniec) within the same catchment. In this catchment groundwater contribution to annual stream flow is dominant. The objectives of this study were to i) disentangle the influence of interannual climate variability and improvement of agricultural practices (i.e. reduction in N surplus) in the stream chemistry and ii) discuss the reasons for slow catchment recovery from nitrate pollution by comparing trends in groundwater and stream concentrations. Analysis of stream data showed that flow-weighted mean annual concentration at the outlet of the Kervidy-Naizin catchment has decreased by 1.2 mg NO3- l-1 yr-1 from 1999 to 2015. This decrease was slow but significant (p value < 0.01) even though interannual climate variability (i.e. annual cumulated runoff) added noise to the signal: i) deviation in the linear model of nitrate decrease with time was negatively correlated with annual runoff (r = -0.54, p < 0.01) and ii) local minimums in the nitrate time series were coincident with local maximums in the annual runoff. Thus high runoff during wet years led to dilution of the nitrate originating from groundwater, which added variability to the signal of linear decrease in stream concentration. Analysis of groundwater data showed a significant and sharp decrease in nitrate concentration in the Kerroland piezometer transect (4.0 mg

  11. The links between agriculture and health: an intersectoral opportunity to improve the health and livelihoods of the poor.

    PubMed

    Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie

    2006-12-01

    Agriculture and health are linked in many ways. First, agriculture is essential for good health: it produces the world's food, fibre and materials for shelter; in many countries it is also an important source of livelihood among the poor. At the same time, agriculture can be linked with poor health, including malnutrition, malaria, foodborne illnesses, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), livestock-related diseases, chronic diseases and occupational ill-health. Health also affects agriculture: people's health status influences the demand for agricultural outputs, and in agricultural communities, poor health reduces work performance, reducing income and productivity and perpetuating a downward spiral into ill-health. This paper presents an overview of the bidirectional links between agriculture and health with a focus on the developing world. It develops a conceptual framework that brings together the various links between agriculture and health into a single broad framework. The framework comprises the core components of the agricultural supply chain (producers, systems and outputs), key health concerns and the mechanisms of common interaction between the agricultural and health components: income, labour, environment and access -- all key social determinants of health. These links between agriculture and health present an opportunity for the two sectors to work together to find solutions to each other's problems. Yet the health and agricultural sectors remain poorly coordinated. Leadership from global health and agricultural institutions is needed to build policies and good governance to facilitate integration, while capacity building is needed at all levels to help translate the conceptual links into comprehensive action on the ground. Health and agricultural researchers likewise need to work more closely together to achieve common goals. PMID:17242835

  12. The links between agriculture and health: an intersectoral opportunity to improve the health and livelihoods of the poor.

    PubMed Central

    Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie

    2006-01-01

    Agriculture and health are linked in many ways. First, agriculture is essential for good health: it produces the world's food, fibre and materials for shelter; in many countries it is also an important source of livelihood among the poor. At the same time, agriculture can be linked with poor health, including malnutrition, malaria, foodborne illnesses, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), livestock-related diseases, chronic diseases and occupational ill-health. Health also affects agriculture: people's health status influences the demand for agricultural outputs, and in agricultural communities, poor health reduces work performance, reducing income and productivity and perpetuating a downward spiral into ill-health. This paper presents an overview of the bidirectional links between agriculture and health with a focus on the developing world. It develops a conceptual framework that brings together the various links between agriculture and health into a single broad framework. The framework comprises the core components of the agricultural supply chain (producers, systems and outputs), key health concerns and the mechanisms of common interaction between the agricultural and health components: income, labour, environment and access -- all key social determinants of health. These links between agriculture and health present an opportunity for the two sectors to work together to find solutions to each other's problems. Yet the health and agricultural sectors remain poorly coordinated. Leadership from global health and agricultural institutions is needed to build policies and good governance to facilitate integration, while capacity building is needed at all levels to help translate the conceptual links into comprehensive action on the ground. Health and agricultural researchers likewise need to work more closely together to achieve common goals. PMID:17242835

  13. The links between agriculture and health: an intersectoral opportunity to improve the health and livelihoods of the poor.

    PubMed

    Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie

    2006-12-01

    Agriculture and health are linked in many ways. First, agriculture is essential for good health: it produces the world's food, fibre and materials for shelter; in many countries it is also an important source of livelihood among the poor. At the same time, agriculture can be linked with poor health, including malnutrition, malaria, foodborne illnesses, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), livestock-related diseases, chronic diseases and occupational ill-health. Health also affects agriculture: people's health status influences the demand for agricultural outputs, and in agricultural communities, poor health reduces work performance, reducing income and productivity and perpetuating a downward spiral into ill-health. This paper presents an overview of the bidirectional links between agriculture and health with a focus on the developing world. It develops a conceptual framework that brings together the various links between agriculture and health into a single broad framework. The framework comprises the core components of the agricultural supply chain (producers, systems and outputs), key health concerns and the mechanisms of common interaction between the agricultural and health components: income, labour, environment and access -- all key social determinants of health. These links between agriculture and health present an opportunity for the two sectors to work together to find solutions to each other's problems. Yet the health and agricultural sectors remain poorly coordinated. Leadership from global health and agricultural institutions is needed to build policies and good governance to facilitate integration, while capacity building is needed at all levels to help translate the conceptual links into comprehensive action on the ground. Health and agricultural researchers likewise need to work more closely together to achieve common goals.

  14. Mitigation options to reduce phosphorus losses from the agricultural sector and improve surface water quality: a review.

    PubMed

    Schoumans, O F; Chardon, W J; Bechmann, M E; Gascuel-Odoux, C; Hofman, G; Kronvang, B; Rubæk, G H; Ulén, B; Dorioz, J-M

    2014-01-15

    The EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) obliges Member States to improve the quality of surface water and groundwater. The measures implemented to date have reduced the contribution of point sources of pollution, and hence diffuse pollution from agriculture has become more important. In many catchments the water quality remains poor. COST Action 869 was an EU initiative to improve surface water quality that ran from 2006 to 2011, in which 30 countries participated. Its main aim was a scientific evaluation of the suitability and cost-effectiveness of options for reducing nutrient loss from rural areas to surface waters at catchment scale, including the feasibility of the options under different climatic and geographical conditions. This paper gives an overview of various categories of mitigation options in relation to phosphorus (P). The individual measures are described in terms of their mode of action, applicability, effectiveness, time frame, environmental side-effects (N cycling) and cost. In total, 83 measures were evaluated in COST Action 869.

  15. Improvement of the growth and yield of lettuce plants by non-uniform magnetic fields.

    PubMed

    De Souza, Angel; Sueiro, Lilita; González, Luis Manuel; Licea, Luis; Porras, Elia Porras; Gilart, Fidel

    2008-01-01

    Influence of pre-sowing magnetic treatments on plant growth and final yield of lettuce (cv. Black Seeded Simpson) were studied under organoponic conditions. Lettuce seeds were exposed to full-wave rectified sinusoidal non uniform magnetic fields (MFs) induced by an electromagnet at 120 mT (rms) for 3 min, 160 mT (rms) for 1 min, and 160 mT (rms) for 5 min. Non treated seeds were considered as controls. Plants were grown in experimental stonemasons (25.2 m(2)) of an organoponic and cultivated according to standard agricultural practices. During nursery and vegetative growth stages, samples were collected at regular intervals for growth analyses. At physiological maturity, the plants were harvested from each stonemason and the final yield and yield parameters were determined. In the nursery stage, the magnetic treatments induced a significant increase of root length and shoot height in plants derived from magnetically treated seeds. In the vegetative stage, the relative growth rates of plants derived from magnetically exposed seeds were greater than those shown by the control plants. At maturity stage, all magnetic treatments increased significantly (p < 0.05)--plant height, leaf area per plant, final yield per area, and fresh mass per plant--in comparison with the controls. Pre-sowing magnetic treatments would enhance the growth and final yield of lettuce crop. PMID:18568935

  16. Metabolic Engineering of Gluconobacter oxydans for Improved Growth Rate and Growth Yield on Glucose by Elimination of Gluconate Formation▿

    PubMed Central

    Krajewski, Vera; Simić, Petra; Mouncey, Nigel J.; Bringer, Stephanie; Sahm, Hermann; Bott, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Gluconobacter oxydans N44-1, an obligatory aerobic acetic acid bacterium, oxidizes glucose primarily in the periplasm to the end products 2-ketogluconate and 2,5-diketogluconate, with intermediate formation of gluconate. Only a minor part of the glucose (less than 10%) is metabolized in the cytoplasm after conversion to gluconate or after phosphorylation to glucose-6-phosphate via the only functional catabolic routes, the pentose phosphate pathway and the Entner-Doudoroff pathway. This unusual method of glucose metabolism results in a low growth yield. In order to improve it, we constructed mutants of strain N44-1 in which the gene encoding the membrane-bound glucose dehydrogenase was inactivated either alone or together with the gene encoding the cytoplasmic glucose dehydrogenase. The growth and product formation from glucose of the resulting strains, N44-1 mgdH::kan and N44-1 ΔmgdH sgdH::kan, were analyzed. Both mutant strains completely consumed the glucose but produced neither gluconate nor the secondary products 2-ketogluconate and 2,5-diketogluconate. Instead, carbon dioxide formation of the mutants increased by a factor of 4 (N44-1 mgdH::kan) or 5.5 (N44-1 ΔmgdH sgdH::kan), and significant amounts of acetate were produced, presumably by the activities of pyruvate decarboxylase and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase. Most importantly, the growth yields of the two mutants increased by 110% (N44-1 mgdH::kan) and 271% (N44-1 ΔmgdH sgdH::kan). In addition, the growth rates improved by 39% (N44-1 mgdH::kan) and 78% (N44-1 ΔmgdH sgdH::kan), respectively, compared to the parental strain. These results show that the conversion of glucose to gluconate and ketogluconates has a strong negative impact on the growth of G. oxydans. PMID:20453146

  17. The need for an improved risk index for phosphorus losses to water from tile-drained agricultural land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ulén, Barbro; Djodjic, Faruk; Etana, Araso; Johansson, Göran; Lindström, Jan

    2011-03-01

    SummaryA refined version of a conditional phosphorus risk index (PRI) for P losses to waters was developed based on monitoring and analyses of PRI factors from an agricultural catchment in Sweden. The catchment has a hummocky landscape of heavy glacial till overlying moraine and an overall balanced soil P level. Single P source factors and combinations of factors were tested and discussed together with water movement and water management factors important for catchments dominated by drained clay soils. An empirical relationship was established (Pearson correlation coefficient 0.861, p < 0.001) between phosphorus sorption index (PSI-CaCl 2), measured in a weak calcium chloride solution, and iron (Fe-AL) aluminium (Al-AL) and phosphorus (P-AL) in soil extract with acid ammonium lactate. Differing relationships were found for a field that had not received any manure in the last 15 years and a field that had received chicken litter very recently. In addition, a general relationship (Pearson correlation coefficient 0.839, p < 0.001) was found between the ratio of phosphorus extracted from fresh soil in water (Pw) to PSI-CaCl 2 and the degree of phosphorus saturation in lactate extract (DPS-AL). One exception was a single field, representing 7% of agricultural land in the catchment, that had been treated with glyphosate shortly before soil sampling. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (SHC) in heavy clay in contact with the moraine base (at 1 m depth) was on average 0.06 m day -1. In clay not in contact with moraine, SHC was significantly lower (mean 0.007 m day -1). A reduction in the present tile drain spacing (from 14-16 m to 11 m) is theoretically required to maintain satisfactory water discharge and groundwater level. Up to 10% of the arable land was estimated to be a potential source area for P, based on different indices. Parts of a few fields close to farm buildings (1% of total arable land) were identified as essential P source areas, with high DPS-AL values and

  18. Evolving Methanococcoides burtonii archaeal Rubisco for improved photosynthesis and plant growth.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robert H; Alonso, Hernan; Whitney, Spencer M

    2016-03-01

    In photosynthesis Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyses the often rate limiting CO2-fixation step in the Calvin cycle. This makes Rubisco both the gatekeeper for carbon entry into the biosphere and a target for functional improvement to enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. Encumbering the catalytic performance of Rubisco is its highly conserved, complex catalytic chemistry. Accordingly, traditional efforts to enhance Rubisco catalysis using protracted "trial and error" protein engineering approaches have met with limited success. Here we demonstrate the versatility of high throughput directed (laboratory) protein evolution for improving the carboxylation properties of a non-photosynthetic Rubisco from the archaea Methanococcoides burtonii. Using chloroplast transformation in the model plant Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) we confirm the improved forms of M. burtonii Rubisco increased photosynthesis and growth relative to tobacco controls producing wild-type M. burtonii Rubisco. Our findings indicate continued directed evolution of archaeal Rubisco offers new potential for enhancing leaf photosynthesis and plant growth.

  19. New and Improved Remotely Sensed Products and Tools for Agricultural Monitoring Applications in Support of Famine Early Warning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budde, M. E.; Rowland, J.; Senay, G. B.; Funk, C. C.; Pedreros, D.; Husak, G. J.; Bohms, S.

    2011-12-01

    The high global food prices in 2008 led to the acknowledgement that there is a need to monitor the inter-connectivity of global and regional markets and their potential impacts on food security in many more regions than previously considered. The crisis prompted an expansion of monitoring by the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) to include additional countries, beyond those where food security has long been of concern. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center and the University of California Santa Barbara Climate Hazards Group have provided new and improved data products as well as visualization and analysis tools in support of this increased mandate for remote monitoring. We present a new product for measuring actual evapotranspiration (ETa) based on the implementation of a surface energy balance model and site improvements of two standard FEWS NET monitoring products: normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and satellite-based rainfall estimates. USGS FEWS NET has implemented a simplified surface energy balance model to produce operational ETa anomalies for Africa. During the growing season, ETa anomalies express surplus or deficit crop water use which is directly related to crop condition and biomass. The expedited Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (eMODIS) production system provides FEWS NET with a much improved NDVI dataset for crop and rangeland monitoring. eMODIS NDVI provides a reliable data stream with a vastly improved spatial resolution (250-m) and short latency period (less than 12 hours) which allows for better operational vegetation monitoring. FEWS NET uses satellite rainfall estimates as inputs for monitoring agricultural food production. By combining high resolution (0.05 deg) rainfall mean fields with Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission rainfall estimates and infrared temperature data, we provide pentadal (5-day) rainfall fields suitable for crop

  20. Maximizing root/rhizosphere efficiency to improve crop productivity and nutrient use efficiency in intensive agriculture of China.

    PubMed

    Shen, Jianbo; Li, Chunjian; Mi, Guohua; Li, Long; Yuan, Lixing; Jiang, Rongfeng; Zhang, Fusuo

    2013-03-01

    Root and rhizosphere research has been conducted for many decades, but the underlying strategy of root/rhizosphere processes and management in intensive cropping systems remain largely to be determined. Improved grain production to meet the food demand of an increasing population has been highly dependent on chemical fertilizer input based on the traditionally assumed notion of 'high input, high output', which results in overuse of fertilizers but ignores the biological potential of roots or rhizosphere for efficient mobilization and acquisition of soil nutrients. Root exploration in soil nutrient resources and root-induced rhizosphere processes plays an important role in controlling nutrient transformation, efficient nutrient acquisition and use, and thus crop productivity. The efficiency of root/rhizosphere in terms of improved nutrient mobilization, acquisition, and use can be fully exploited by: (1) manipulating root growth (i.e. root development and size, root system architecture, and distribution); (2) regulating rhizosphere processes (i.e. rhizosphere acidification, organic anion and acid phosphatase exudation, localized application of nutrients, rhizosphere interactions, and use of efficient crop genotypes); and (3) optimizing root zone management to synchronize root growth and soil nutrient supply with demand of nutrients in cropping systems. Experiments have shown that root/rhizosphere management is an effective approach to increase both nutrient use efficiency and crop productivity for sustainable crop production. The objectives of this paper are to summarize the principles of root/rhizosphere management and provide an overview of some successful case studies on how to exploit the biological potential of root system and rhizosphere processes to improve crop productivity and nutrient use efficiency.

  1. Pre-training to improve workshop performance in supervisor skills: an exploratory study of Latino agricultural workers.

    PubMed

    Austin, J; Alvero, A M; Fuchs, M M; Patterson, L; Anger, W K

    2009-07-01

    Employees with limited education may be excluded from advanced training due to assumptions that they might not learn rapidly. However, preparatory training may be able to overcome missing experience in education. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that computer-based training (CBT) in supervisor skills of Latino agricultural workers would improve subsequent performance in a workshop designed to teach supervisor skills. Ten men born and educated in Mexico participated in the study; all spoke Spanish, the language of the training. Five participants (mean 6.4 years of education) completed supervisor skills CBT, and five participants (mean 8.2 years of education) completed hazard communication (HazCom) CBT as a control condition. Following the CBT, all participants completed a two-day face-to-face workshop on supervisory skills conducted by an experienced behavior management consultant. Although the groups did not differ in their knowledge scores on a multiple-choice test before the face-to-face workshop, after the workshop the HazCom group had a mean test score of 51.2% (SD = 8.7) while the supervisor group had a higher mean test score of 65.2% (SD = 14.3). The difference was marginally significant by a t-test (p = 0.052), and the effect size was large (d = 1.16). The results suggest that computer-based training in supervisor skills can be effective in preparing participants with limited education to learn supervisor skills from a face-to-face workshop. This result suggests that limited educational attainment is not a barrier to learning the complex knowledge required to supervise employees, that pre-training may improve learning in a workshop format, and that training may be presented effectively in a computer-based format to employees with limited education.

  2. Shamba Maisha: Randomized controlled trial of an agricultural and finance intervention to improve HIV health outcomes in Kenya

    PubMed Central

    WEISER, Sheri D.; BUKUSI, Elizabeth A.; STEINFELD, Rachel L.; FRONGILLO, Edward A.; WEKE, Elly; DWORKIN, Shari L.; PUSATERI, Kyle; SHIBOSKI, Stephen; SCOW, Kate; BUTLER, Lisa M.; COHEN, Craig R.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives Food insecurity and HIV/AIDS outcomes are inextricably linked in sub-Saharan Africa. We report on health and nutritional outcomes of a multisectoral agricultural intervention trial among HIV-infected adults in rural Kenya. Design Pilot cluster randomized controlled trial Methods The intervention included a human-powered water pump, a microfinance loan to purchase farm commodities, and education in sustainable farming practices and financial management. Two health facilities in Nyanza Region, Kenya were randomly assigned as intervention or control. HIV-infected adults 18 to 49 years old who were on antiretroviral therapy and had access to surface water and land were enrolled beginning in April 2012 and followed quarterly for one year. Data were collected on nutritional parameters, CD4 T lymphocyte counts, and HIV RNA. Difference in difference fixed-effects regression models were used to test whether patterns in health outcomes differed over time from baseline between the intervention and control arms. Results We enrolled 72 and 68 participants in the intervention and control groups, respectively. At 12 months follow-up, we found a statistically significant increase in CD4 cell counts (165 cells/mm3, p<0.001) and proportion virologically suppressed in the intervention arm compared to the control arm (comparative improvement in proportion of 0.33 suppressed, OR 7.6, 95% CI: 2.2–26.8). Intervention participants experienced significant improvements in food security (3.6 scale points higher, p<0.001) and frequency of food consumption (9.4 times per week greater frequency, p=0.013) compared to controls. Conclusion Livelihood interventions may be a promising approach to tackle the intersecting problems of food insecurity, poverty and HIV/AIDS morbidity. PMID:26214684

  3. Case history: improved maxillary growth and development following digit sucking elimination and orofacial myofunctional therapy.

    PubMed

    Green, Shari

    2013-11-01

    Orofacial myologists are frequently called upon to address retained oral habit concerns. During this process, current I.A.O.M. recommended treatment includes addressing tongue, lip, and jaw rest posture concerns. Following digit sucking remediation, we may also be called upon to address these rest posture issues, and tongue thrust more aggressively together. In this process, facial growth and development and jaw structure may coincidentally improve as a result of 'nature taking its course' by addressing both swallow AND rest posture. In a select subset of clients, dramatic improvements may occur if the timing is right. This article discusses one such case that appears to have yielded a significant improvement in oral postures influencing improved facial and oral growth and development.

  4. An Improved Reaction Rate Equation for Simulating the Ignition and Growth of Reaction in High Explosives

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, M J

    2010-03-08

    We describe an improved reaction rate equation for simulating ignition and growth of reaction in high explosives. It has been implemented into CALE and ALE3D as an alternate to the baseline the Lee-Tarver reactive flow model. The reactive flow model treats the explosive in two phases (unreacted/reactants and reacted/products) with a reaction rate equation to determine the fraction reacted, F. The improved rate equation has fewer parameters, is continuous with continuous derivative, results in a unique set of reaction rate parameters for each explosive while providing the same functionality as the baseline rate equation. The improved rate equation uses a cosine function in the ignition term and a sine function in the growth and completion terms. The improved rate equation is simpler with fewer parameters.

  5. Monolayer-Mediated Growth of Organic Semiconductor Films with Improved Device Performance.

    PubMed

    Huang, Lizhen; Hu, Xiaorong; Chi, Lifeng

    2015-09-15

    Increased interest in wearable and smart electronics is driving numerous research works on organic electronics. The control of film growth and patterning is of great importance when targeting high-performance organic semiconductor devices. In this Feature Article, we summarize our recent work focusing on the growth, crystallization, and device operation of organic semiconductors intermediated by ultrathin organic films (in most cases, only a monolayer). The site-selective growth, modified crystallization and morphology, and improved device performance of organic semiconductor films are demonstrated with the help of the inducing layers, including patterned and uniform Langmuir-Blodgett monolayers, crystalline ultrathin organic films, and self-assembled polymer brush films. The introduction of the inducing layers could dramatically change the diffusion of the organic semiconductors on the surface and the interactions between the active layer with the inducing layer, leading to improved aggregation/crystallization behavior and device performance. PMID:25992464

  6. Assessing the impacts of sustainable agricultural practices for water quality improvements in the Vouga catchment (Portugal) using the SWAT model.

    PubMed

    Rocha, João; Roebeling, Peter; Rial-Rivas, María Ermitas

    2015-12-01

    The extensive use of fertilizers has become one of the most challenging environmental issues in agricultural catchment areas. In order to reduce the negative impacts from agricultural activities and to accomplish the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive we must consider the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. In this study, we assess sustainable agricultural practices based on reductions in N-fertilizer application rates (from 100% to 0%) and N-application methods (single, split and slow-release) across key agricultural land use classes in the Vouga catchment, Portugal. The SWAT model was used to relate sustainable agricultural practices, agricultural yields and N-NO3 water pollution deliveries. Results show that crop yields as well as N-NO3 exportation rates decrease with reductions in N-application rates and single N-application methods lead to lower crop yields and higher N-NO3 exportation rates as compared to split and slow-release N-application methods.

  7. Assessing the impacts of sustainable agricultural practices for water quality improvements in the Vouga catchment (Portugal) using the SWAT model.

    PubMed

    Rocha, João; Roebeling, Peter; Rial-Rivas, María Ermitas

    2015-12-01

    The extensive use of fertilizers has become one of the most challenging environmental issues in agricultural catchment areas. In order to reduce the negative impacts from agricultural activities and to accomplish the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive we must consider the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. In this study, we assess sustainable agricultural practices based on reductions in N-fertilizer application rates (from 100% to 0%) and N-application methods (single, split and slow-release) across key agricultural land use classes in the Vouga catchment, Portugal. The SWAT model was used to relate sustainable agricultural practices, agricultural yields and N-NO3 water pollution deliveries. Results show that crop yields as well as N-NO3 exportation rates decrease with reductions in N-application rates and single N-application methods lead to lower crop yields and higher N-NO3 exportation rates as compared to split and slow-release N-application methods. PMID:26196068

  8. Building a Culture of Inclusion: Disability as Opportunity for Organizational Growth and Improving Patient Care.

    PubMed

    Ailey, Sarah H; Brown, Paula; Friese, Tanya R; Dugan, Shelia

    2016-01-01

    Administrators at Rush University Medical Center have made a commitment to diversity, including accommodating disabilities in the workplace and for students. This article explains extensive multilevel accommodations instituted by Rush University Medical Center that promote organizational growth and a healthier work environment and improve patient care.

  9. Lysozyme as an alternative to antibiotics improves growth performance and small intestinal morphology in nursery pigs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lysozyme is a 1,4-ß-N-acetylmuramidase that has antimicrobial properties. The objective of this experiment was to determine if lysozyme in nursery diets improved growth performance and gastrointestinal health of pigs weaned from the sow at 24 d of age. Two replicates of 96 pigs (192 total 96 males,...

  10. Building a Culture of Inclusion: Disability as Opportunity for Organizational Growth and Improving Patient Care.

    PubMed

    Ailey, Sarah H; Brown, Paula; Friese, Tanya R; Dugan, Shelia

    2016-01-01

    Administrators at Rush University Medical Center have made a commitment to diversity, including accommodating disabilities in the workplace and for students. This article explains extensive multilevel accommodations instituted by Rush University Medical Center that promote organizational growth and a healthier work environment and improve patient care. PMID:26641467

  11. Practical aspects of running DOE for improving growth media for in vitro plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Experiments using DOE software to improve plant tissue culture growth medium are complicated and require complex setups. Once the experimental design is set and the treatment points calculated, media sheets and mixing charts must be developed. Since these experiments require three passages on the sa...

  12. Assimilation of active and passive microwave observations for improved estimates of soil moisture and crop growth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An Ensemble Kalman Filter-based data assimilation framework that links a crop growth model with active and passive (AP) microwave models was developed to improve estimates of soil moisture (SM) and vegetation biomass over a growing season of soybean. Complementarities in AP observations were incorpo...

  13. Selective Reinforcement to Improve Fracture Toughness and Fatigue Crack Growth Resistance in Metallic Structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farley, Gary L.; Newman, John A.; James, Mark A.

    2004-01-01

    Experimental and analytical investigations of the fatigue crack growth and fracture response of aluminum selectively reinforced compact tension specimens were performed. It was shown that selective reinforcement significantly improved these responses primarily through load sharing by the reinforcement. With the appropriate combination of reinforcement architecture and mechanical properties, as well as reinforcement to base aluminum interface properties, fatigue cracks can be arrested using selective reinforcement. Maximum load associated with fracture increased up to 20 percent for the cases investigated and crack growth at maximum load increased as much as 150 percent. For both fatigue crack growth and fracture, the three most influential properties identified within the bounds of this investigation that influence this response are reinforcement width, reinforcement stiffness and interface stiffness. Considerable coupling occurs between the different fiber architecture and material properties and how they influence fatigue crack growth and fracture responses.

  14. Measuring the growth rate of UK dairy heifers to improve future productivity.

    PubMed

    Bazeley, Katrine J; Barrett, David C; Williams, Paul D; Reyher, Kristen K

    2016-06-01

    Sub-optimal heifer growth is associated with higher disease rates and reduced future performance and longevity in the dairy herd. This report describes a system for measuring heifer growth from birth to first calving that was used on commercial dairy farms in South West England, in order to gather benchmarking data to feed back to farmers. Weights (n = 8443) were collected from 20 farms. There was a marked variation in individual and herd mean growth rates. Overall, calves gained no weight in the first 8 days after birth and had a very low growth rate (median 0.12 kg/day) up to 30 days, a period when feed conversion efficiency is high and calves are vulnerable to disease. Heifers whose growth rate up to 180 days was low were significantly less likely to achieve target service weight (374 kg) by 420 days. Monitoring heifer growth during the rearing period enables farmers to improve heifer growth rates and so impact both the efficiency of heifer rearing and, potentially, the productivity and performance of the adult herd. PMID:27256019

  15. Ethnography of a Sustainable Agriculture Program: A Case Study of a Social Movement's Inception and Growth on a University Campus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Triana, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    This ethnography documents how the message of sustainability was interpreted and communicated through a sustainable agricultural (SAG) program at an American higher education institution. The ethnography documents the evolution of the program as the program tackled obstacles and accomplished its goals during the initial phases of the program's…

  16. Soil water infiltration impacted by maize (zea mays) growth on sloping agricultural land of the loess plateau

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing infiltration rates of sloping agricultural land from arid and semiarid regions not only affects water supply and precipitation transformations in soil directly, but also impacts erosion intensity. This is extremely important to the Loess Plateau regions of Northwest China, where a majorit...

  17. Utilization of starch films plasticized with urea as fertilizer for improvement of plant growth.

    PubMed

    Rychter, Piotr; Kot, Marta; Bajer, Krzysztof; Rogacz, Diana; Šišková, Alena; Kapuśniak, Janusz

    2016-02-10

    The utilization of starch films, obtained by extrusion of potato starch with urea as plasticizer, for the fertilization of plants has been undertaken. Release rate of urea from the starch films was conducted in water conditions. The molecular weight distribution, surface erosion and weight loss of the starch samples have been determined. The evaluation of efficiency of urea as a fertilizer in the process of release from the starch films was performed under laboratory conditions based on the plant growth test proposed by OECD 208 Guideline and the PN-ISO International Standard using oat and common radish. Although among extruded starch-based films, those that contain the highest amount of fertilizer hold the most promise for a delayed release system, the time of release of fertilizer from obtained films in undertaken study was not satisfactory. All the same, in the present study effort has been made to utilize extruded samples as a fertilizer for agriculture or horticulture purposes. Urea-plasticized starch was successfully used as a fertilizer. Plant growth assessment, including determination of such parameters as fresh and dry matter of plants and their visual evaluation, has proved the stimulating effect of using extruded films on the growth and development of cultivated plants.

  18. Processed vs. Non-Processed Biowastes for Agriculture: Effects of Post-Harvest Tomato Plants and Biochar on Radish Growth, Chlorophyll Content and Protein Production

    PubMed Central

    Mozzetti Monterumici, Chiara; Rosso, Daniele; Montoneri, Enzo; Ginepro, Marco; Baglieri, Andrea; Novotny, Etelvino Henrique; Kwapinski, Witold; Negre, Michèle

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was to address the issue of processed vs. non-processed biowastes for agriculture, by comparing materials widely differing for the amount of process energy consumption. Thus, residual post harvest tomato plants (TP), the TP hydrolysates obtained at pH 13 and 60 °C, and two known biochar products obtained by 650 °C pyrolysis were prepared. All products were characterized and used in a cultivation of radish plants. The chemical composition and molecular nature of the materials was investigated by solid state 13C NMR spectrometry, elemental analysis and potentiometric titration. The plants were analysed for growth and content of chlorophyll, carotenoids and soluble proteins. The results show that the TP and the alkaline hydrolysates contain lignin, hemicellulose, protein, peptide and/or amino acids moieties, and several mineral elements. The biochar samples contain also similar mineral elements, but the organic fraction is characterized mainly by fused aromatic rings. All materials had a positive effect on radish growth, mainly on the diameter of roots. The best performances in terms of plant growth were given by miscanthus originated biochar and TP. The most significant effect was the enhancement of soluble protein content in the plants treated with the lowest energy consumption non processed TP. The significance of these findings for agriculture and the environment is discussed. PMID:25906472

  19. Processed vs. non-processed biowastes for agriculture: effects of post-harvest tomato plants and biochar on radish growth, chlorophyll content and protein production.

    PubMed

    Mozzetti Monterumici, Chiara; Rosso, Daniele; Montoneri, Enzo; Ginepro, Marco; Baglieri, Andrea; Novotny, Etelvino Henrique; Kwapinski, Witold; Negre, Michèle

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was to address the issue of processed vs. non-processed biowastes for agriculture, by comparing materials widely differing for the amount of process energy consumption. Thus, residual post harvest tomato plants (TP), the TP hydrolysates obtained at pH 13 and 60 °C, and two known biochar products obtained by 650 °C pyrolysis were prepared. All products were characterized and used in a cultivation of radish plants. The chemical composition and molecular nature of the materials was investigated by solid state 13C NMR spectrometry, elemental analysis and potentiometric titration. The plants were analysed for growth and content of chlorophyll, carotenoids and soluble proteins. The results show that the TP and the alkaline hydrolysates contain lignin, hemicellulose, protein, peptide and/or amino acids moieties, and several mineral elements. The biochar samples contain also similar mineral elements, but the organic fraction is characterized mainly by fused aromatic rings. All materials had a positive effect on radish growth, mainly on the diameter of roots. The best performances in terms of plant growth were given by miscanthus originated biochar and TP. The most significant effect was the enhancement of soluble protein content in the plants treated with the lowest energy consumption non processed TP. The significance of these findings for agriculture and the environment is discussed. PMID:25906472

  20. The iPot Project: improved potato monitoring in Belgium using remote sensing and crop growth modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccard, Isabelle; Nackaerts, Kris; Gobin, Anne; Goffart, Jean-Pierre; Planchon, Viviane; Curnel, Yannick; Tychon, Bernard; Wellens, Joost; Cools, Romain; Cattoor, Nele

    2015-04-01

    Belgian potato processors, traders and packers are increasingly working with potato contracts. The close follow up of contracted parcels on the land as well as from above is becoming an important tool to improve the quantity and quality of the potato crop and reduce risks in order to plan the storage, packaging or processing and as such to strengthen the competitiveness of the Belgian potato chain in a global market. At the same time, precision agriculture continues to gain importance and progress. Farmers are obligated to invest in new technologies. Between mid-May and the end of June 2014 potato fields in Gembloux were monitored from emergence till canopy closure. UAV images (RGB) and digital (hemispherical) photographs were taken at ten-daily intervals. Crop emergence maps show the time (date) and degree of crop emergence and crop closure (in terms of % cover). For three UAV flights during the growing season RGB images at 3 cm resolution were processed using a K-means clustering algorithm to classify the crop according to its greenness. Based on the greenness %cover and daily cover growth were derived for 5x5m pixels and 25x25m pixels. The latter resolution allowed for comparison with high resolution satellite imagery. Vegetation indices such as %Cover and LAI were calculated with the Cyclopes algorithm (INRA-EMMAH) from high resolution satellite images (DMC/Deimos, 22m pixel size). DMC based cover maps showed similar patterns as compared with the UAV-based cover maps, and allows for further applications of the data in crop management. Today the use of geo-information by the (private) agricultural sector in Belgium is rather limited, notwithstanding the great benefits this type of information may offer, as recognized by the sector. The iPot project, financed by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), aims to provide the Belgian potato sector, represented by Belgapom, with near real time information on field condition (weather-soil) and crop development and

  1. Improvements in growth following iron supplementation in young Kenyan school children.

    PubMed

    Latham, M C; Stephenson, L S; Kinoti, S N; Zaman, M S; Kurz, K M

    1990-01-01

    The study was conducted to determine whether provision of oral supplementary iron to primary school children in Kenya would improve their growth. Children in the two lowest grades who satisfied study criteria were allocated to either an iron-supplementation group (n = 29) or a placebo group (n = 26). At the baseline before intervention the groups did not differ significantly in age, sex ratio, prevalence and intensity of intestinal helminthic infections, most anthropometric measurements or hemoglobin levels. Although the study lasted for 32 weeks, children only took iron or placebos on school days thus omitting weekends and school holidays. Examination at the end of the study showed that the iron-supplemented children had grown significantly more in terms of weight, weight for height, arm circumference and skinfold thickness compared with the placebo group. Hemoglobin levels had also improved significantly. We conclude that where iron deficiency anemia and undernutrition are prevalent in children, iron supplementation will improve growth and hemoglobin levels.

  2. Overexpression of Arabidopsis NLP7 improves plant growth under both nitrogen-limiting and -sufficient conditions by enhancing nitrogen and carbon assimilation

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Lin-Hui; Wu, Jie; Tang, Hui; Yuan, Yang; Wang, Shi-Mei; Wang, Yu-Ping; Zhu, Qi-Sheng; Li, Shi-Gui; Xiang, Cheng-Bin

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen is essential for plant survival and growth. Excessive application of nitrogenous fertilizer has generated serious environment pollution and increased production cost in agriculture. To deal with this problem, tremendous efforts have been invested worldwide to increase the nitrogen use ability of crops. However, only limited success has been achieved to date. Here we report that NLP7 (NIN-LIKE PROTEIN 7) is a potential candidate to improve plant nitrogen use ability. When overexpressed in Arabidopsis, NLP7 increases plant biomass under both nitrogen-poor and -rich conditions with better-developed root system and reduced shoot/root ratio. NLP7–overexpressing plants show a significant increase in key nitrogen metabolites, nitrogen uptake, total nitrogen content, and expression levels of genes involved in nitrogen assimilation and signalling. More importantly, overexpression of NLP7 also enhances photosynthesis rate and carbon assimilation, whereas knockout of NLP7 impaired both nitrogen and carbon assimilation. In addition, NLP7 improves plant growth and nitrogen use in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). Our results demonstrate that NLP7 significantly improves plant growth under both nitrogen-poor and -rich conditions by coordinately enhancing nitrogen and carbon assimilation and sheds light on crop improvement. PMID:27293103

  3. Overexpression of Arabidopsis NLP7 improves plant growth under both nitrogen-limiting and -sufficient conditions by enhancing nitrogen and carbon assimilation.

    PubMed

    Yu, Lin-Hui; Wu, Jie; Tang, Hui; Yuan, Yang; Wang, Shi-Mei; Wang, Yu-Ping; Zhu, Qi-Sheng; Li, Shi-Gui; Xiang, Cheng-Bin

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen is essential for plant survival and growth. Excessive application of nitrogenous fertilizer has generated serious environment pollution and increased production cost in agriculture. To deal with this problem, tremendous efforts have been invested worldwide to increase the nitrogen use ability of crops. However, only limited success has been achieved to date. Here we report that NLP7 (NIN-LIKE PROTEIN 7) is a potential candidate to improve plant nitrogen use ability. When overexpressed in Arabidopsis, NLP7 increases plant biomass under both nitrogen-poor and -rich conditions with better-developed root system and reduced shoot/root ratio. NLP7-overexpressing plants show a significant increase in key nitrogen metabolites, nitrogen uptake, total nitrogen content, and expression levels of genes involved in nitrogen assimilation and signalling. More importantly, overexpression of NLP7 also enhances photosynthesis rate and carbon assimilation, whereas knockout of NLP7 impaired both nitrogen and carbon assimilation. In addition, NLP7 improves plant growth and nitrogen use in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). Our results demonstrate that NLP7 significantly improves plant growth under both nitrogen-poor and -rich conditions by coordinately enhancing nitrogen and carbon assimilation and sheds light on crop improvement. PMID:27293103

  4. Improving the prediction of arsenic contents in agricultural soils by combining the reflectance spectroscopy of soils and rice plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Tiezhu; Wang, Junjie; Chen, Yiyun; Wu, Guofeng

    2016-10-01

    2290 nm, leaf spectral bands near 700, 890 and 900 nm in PLSR models were important wavelengths for soil arsenic prediction. Moreover, soil arsenic showed significantly positive correlations with soil organic matter (r = 0.62, p < 0.01) and leaf arsenic (r = 0.77, p < 0.01), and a significantly negative correlation with leaf chlorophyll (r = -0.67, p < 0.01). The results showed that the prediction of arsenic contents using soil and leaf spectra may be based on their relationships with soil organic matter and leaf chlorophyll contents, respectively. Although RPD of 1.47 was below the recommended RPD of >2 for soil analysis, arsenic prediction in agricultural soils can be improved by combining the leaf and soil spectra.

  5. Improvement of growth rate of plants by bubble discharge in water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahata, Junichiro; Takaki, Koichi; Satta, Naoya; Takahashi, Katsuyuki; Fujio, Takuya; Sasaki, Yuji

    2015-01-01

    The effect of bubble discharge in water on the growth rate of plants was investigated experimentally for application to plant cultivation systems. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea), radish (Raphanus sativus var. sativus), and strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) were used as specimens to clarify the effect of the discharge treatment on edible parts of the plants. The specimens were cultivated in pots filled with artificial soil, which included chicken manure charcoal. Distilled water was sprayed on the artificial soil and drained through a hole in the pots to a water storage tank. The water was circulated from the water storage tank to the cultivation pots after 15 or 30 min discharge treatment on alternate days. A magnetic compression-type pulsed power generator was used to produce the bubble discharge with a repetition rate of 250 pps. The plant height in the growth phase and the dry weight of the harvested plants were improved markedly by the discharge treatment in water. The soil and plant analyzer development (SPAD) value of the plants also improved in the growth phase of the plants. The concentration of nitrate nitrogen, which mainly contributed to the improvement of the growth rate, in the water increased with the discharge treatment. The Brix value of edible parts of Fragaria × ananassa increased with the discharge treatment. The inactivation of bacteria in the water was also confirmed with the discharge treatment.

  6. Methylotrophic bacteria in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Manish; Tomar, Rajesh Singh; Lade, Harshad; Paul, Diby

    2016-07-01

    Excessive use of chemical fertilizers to increase production from available land has resulted in deterioration of soil quality. To prevent further soil deterioration, the use of methylotrophic bacteria that have the ability to colonize different habitats, including soil, sediment, water, and both epiphytes and endophytes as host plants, has been suggested for sustainable agriculture. Methylotrophic bacteria are known to play a significant role in the biogeochemical cycle in soil ecosystems, ultimately fortifying plants and sustaining agriculture. Methylotrophs also improve air quality by using volatile organic compounds such as dichloromethane, formaldehyde, methanol, and formic acid. Additionally, methylotrophs are involved in phosphorous, nitrogen, and carbon cycling and can help reduce global warming. In this review, different aspects of the interaction between methylotrophs and host plants are discussed, including the role of methylotrophs in phosphorus acquisition, nitrogen fixation, phytohormone production, iron chelation, and plant growth promotion, and co-inoculation of these bacteria as biofertilizers for viable agriculture practices.

  7. Methylotrophic bacteria in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Manish; Tomar, Rajesh Singh; Lade, Harshad; Paul, Diby

    2016-07-01

    Excessive use of chemical fertilizers to increase production from available land has resulted in deterioration of soil quality. To prevent further soil deterioration, the use of methylotrophic bacteria that have the ability to colonize different habitats, including soil, sediment, water, and both epiphytes and endophytes as host plants, has been suggested for sustainable agriculture. Methylotrophic bacteria are known to play a significant role in the biogeochemical cycle in soil ecosystems, ultimately fortifying plants and sustaining agriculture. Methylotrophs also improve air quality by using volatile organic compounds such as dichloromethane, formaldehyde, methanol, and formic acid. Additionally, methylotrophs are involved in phosphorous, nitrogen, and carbon cycling and can help reduce global warming. In this review, different aspects of the interaction between methylotrophs and host plants are discussed, including the role of methylotrophs in phosphorus acquisition, nitrogen fixation, phytohormone production, iron chelation, and plant growth promotion, and co-inoculation of these bacteria as biofertilizers for viable agriculture practices. PMID:27263015

  8. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) improved growth and nutritional quality of greenhouse-grown lettuce.

    PubMed

    Baslam, Marouane; Garmendia, Idoia; Goicoechea, Nieves

    2011-05-25

    Lettuce can be associated with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). This symbiosis involves a molecular dialogue between fungus and plant that includes the activation of antioxidant, phenylpropanoid, or carotenoid pathways. The objective of this study was to test if the association of lettuce with AMF benefited plant growth and increased the contents of compounds potentially beneficial for human health. Results showed that AMF improved growth of lettuce, thus producing a dilution effect on the concentrations of some mineral nutrients (e.g., Ca and Mn). However, Cu, Fe, anthocyanins, carotenoids, and, to a lesser extent, phenolics appeared in higher concentrations (on a wet basis) in mycorrhizal than in nonmycorrhizal plants.

  9. Improved Growth Methods for LaBr3 Scintillation Radiation Detectors

    SciTech Connect

    McGregor, Douglas S

    2011-05-01

    The objective is to develop advanced materials for deployment as high-resolution gamma ray detectors. Both LaBr3 and CeBr3 are advanced scintillation materials, and will be studied in this research. Prototype devices, in collaboration Sandia National Laboratories, will be demonstrated along with recommendations for mass production and deployment. It is anticipated that improved methods of crystal growth will yield larger single crystals of LaBr3 for deployable room-temperature operated gamma radiation spectrometers. The growth methods will be characterized. The LaBr3 and CeBr3 scintillation crystals will be characterized for light yield, spectral resolution, and for hardness.

  10. Information for Agricultural Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaungamno, E. E.

    This paper describes the major international agricultural information services, sources, and systems; outlines the existing information situation in Tanzania as it relates to problems of agricultural development; and reviews the improvements in information provision resources required to support the process of agricultural development in Tanzania.…

  11. Evaluating multiple indices of agricultural water use efficiency and productivity to improve comparisons between sites and trends

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, M. C.

    2012-12-01

    Approximately 70% of global available freshwater supplies are used in the agricultural sector. Increased demands for water to meet growing population food requirements, and expected changes in the reliability of freshwater supplies due to climate change, threaten the sustainability of water supplies worldwide - not only on farms, but in connected cities and industries. Researchers concerned with agricultural water use sustainability use a variety of theoretical and empirical measures of efficiency and productivity to gain insight into the sustainability of agricultural water use. However, definitions of measures, or indices, vary between different natural and political boundaries, across regions, states and nations and between their respective research, industry, and environmental groups. Index development responds to local data availability and local agendas, and there is debate about the validity of various indices. However, real differences in empirical index measures are not well-understood across the multiple disciplines that study agricultural water use, including engineering and hydrology, agronomy, climate and soil sciences, and economics. Nevertheless reliable, accessible, and generalizable indices are required for planners and policymakers to promote sustainable water use systems. This study synthesizes a set of water use efficiency and productivity indices based on academic, industry and government literature in California and Australia, two locations with similarly water-stressed and valuable agricultural industries under pressure to achieve optimal water use efficiency and productivity. Empirical data at the irrigation district level from the California San Joaquin Valley and Murray Darling Basin states of Victoria and New South Wales in Australia are used to compute indices that estimate efficiency, yield productivity, and economic productivity of agricultural water use. Multiple index estimates of same time-series data demonstrate historical spread

  12. Mapping Crop Patterns in Central US Agricultural Systems from 2000 to 2014 Based on Landsat Data: To What Degree Does Fusing MODIS Data Improve Classification Accuracies?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, L.; Radeloff, V.; Ives, A. R.; Barton, B.

    2015-12-01

    Deriving crop pattern with high accuracy is of great importance for characterizing landscape diversity, which affects the resilience of food webs in agricultural systems in the face of climatic and land cover changes. Landsat sensors were originally designed to monitor agricultural areas, and both radiometric and spatial resolution are optimized for monitoring large agricultural fields. Unfortunately, few clear Landsat images per year are available, which has limited the use of Landsat for making crop classification, and this situation is worse in cloudy areas of the Earth. Meanwhile, the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data has better temporal resolution but cannot capture fine spatial heterogeneity of agricultural systems. Our question was to what extent fusing imagery from both sensors could improve crop classifications. We utilized the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STARFM) algorithm to simulate Landsat-like images at MODIS temporal resolution. Based on Random Forests (RF) classifier, we tested whether and by what degree crop maps from 2000 to 2014 of the Arlington Agricultural Research Station (Wisconsin, USA) were improved by integrating available clear Landsat images each year with synthetic images. We predicted that the degree to which classification accuracy can be improved by incorporating synthetic imagery depends on the number and acquisition time of clear Landsat images. Moreover, multi-season data are essential for mapping crop types by capturing their phenological dynamics, and STARFM-simulated images can be used to compensate for missing Landsat observations. Our study is helpful for eliminating the limits of the use of Landsat data in mapping crop patterns, and can provide a benchmark of accuracy when choosing STARFM-simulated images to make crop classification at broader scales.

  13. Circadian rhythms of hydraulic conductance and growth are enhanced by drought and improve plant performance.

    PubMed

    Caldeira, Cecilio F; Jeanguenin, Linda; Chaumont, François; Tardieu, François

    2014-11-05

    Circadian rhythms enable plants to anticipate daily environmental variations, resulting in growth oscillations under continuous light. Because plants daily transpire up to 200% of their water content, their water status oscillates from favourable during the night to unfavourable during the day. We show that rhythmic leaf growth under continuous light is observed in plants that experience large alternations of water status during an entrainment period, but is considerably buffered otherwise. Measurements and computer simulations show that this is due to oscillations of plant hydraulic conductance and plasma membrane aquaporin messenger RNA abundance in roots during continuous light. A simulation model suggests that circadian oscillations of root hydraulic conductance contribute to acclimation to water stress by increasing root water uptake, thereby favouring growth and photosynthesis. They have a negative effect in favourable hydraulic conditions. Climate-driven control of root hydraulic conductance therefore improves plant performances in both stressed and non-stressed conditions.

  14. Circadian rhythms of hydraulic conductance and growth are enhanced by drought and improve plant performance

    PubMed Central

    Caldeira, Cecilio F.; Jeanguenin, Linda; Chaumont, François; Tardieu, François

    2014-01-01

    Circadian rhythms enable plants to anticipate daily environmental variations, resulting in growth oscillations under continuous light. Because plants daily transpire up to 200% of their water content, their water status oscillates from favourable during the night to unfavourable during the day. We show that rhythmic leaf growth under continuous light is observed in plants that experience large alternations of water status during an entrainment period, but is considerably buffered otherwise. Measurements and computer simulations show that this is due to oscillations of plant hydraulic conductance and plasma membrane aquaporin messenger RNA abundance in roots during continuous light. A simulation model suggests that circadian oscillations of root hydraulic conductance contribute to acclimation to water stress by increasing root water uptake, thereby favouring growth and photosynthesis. They have a negative effect in favourable hydraulic conditions. Climate-driven control of root hydraulic conductance therefore improves plant performances in both stressed and non-stressed conditions. PMID:25370944

  15. Improved growth and clinical, nutritional, and respiratory changes in response to nutritional therapy in cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, R; Cooksley, W G; Cooke, W D

    1980-09-01

    To investigate the role of nutritional factors in growth and in the clinical, nurtitional, and respiratory status in cystic fibrosis, we studied 12 problem CF patients from six months before to six months after a period of supplemental parenteral nutrition. During the initial six months' observation period on appropriate conventional therapy, the patients (aged 0.5 to 11 years) had inadequate growth and weight gain, a total of 21 active pulmonary infections, and, despite dietary supplements, inadequate ad libitum nutrient intakes. After nutritional therapy, providing a balanced consistent hypercaloric intake for 21 days, catch-up weight gain occurred by one month and continued at six months; catch-up in linear growth was observed by three months and continued at six months. In addition, significantly fewer pulmonary infections were observed in the six months' post-therapy (n = 3), sustained and significant improvements were noted in clinical score and plumonary function, and there was a marked improvement in well-being and ad libitum nutrient intake. We conclude that adequate nutritional support can favorably affect growth, clinical status, and the course of chronic pulmonary disease in problem cases of CF. PMID:6774070

  16. Improved growth and clinical, nutritional, and respiratory changes in response to nutritional therapy in cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, R; Cooksley, W G; Cooke, W D

    1980-09-01

    To investigate the role of nutritional factors in growth and in the clinical, nurtitional, and respiratory status in cystic fibrosis, we studied 12 problem CF patients from six months before to six months after a period of supplemental parenteral nutrition. During the initial six months' observation period on appropriate conventional therapy, the patients (aged 0.5 to 11 years) had inadequate growth and weight gain, a total of 21 active pulmonary infections, and, despite dietary supplements, inadequate ad libitum nutrient intakes. After nutritional therapy, providing a balanced consistent hypercaloric intake for 21 days, catch-up weight gain occurred by one month and continued at six months; catch-up in linear growth was observed by three months and continued at six months. In addition, significantly fewer pulmonary infections were observed in the six months' post-therapy (n = 3), sustained and significant improvements were noted in clinical score and plumonary function, and there was a marked improvement in well-being and ad libitum nutrient intake. We conclude that adequate nutritional support can favorably affect growth, clinical status, and the course of chronic pulmonary disease in problem cases of CF.

  17. The role of mycorrhizae and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in improving crop productivity under stressful environments.

    PubMed

    Nadeem, Sajid Mahmood; Ahmad, Maqshoof; Zahir, Zahir Ahmad; Javaid, Arshad; Ashraf, Muhammad

    2014-01-01

    Both biotic and abiotic stresses are major constrains to agricultural production. Under stress conditions, plant growth is affected by a number of factors such as hormonal and nutritional imbalance, ion toxicity, physiological disorders, susceptibility to diseases, etc. Plant growth under stress conditions may be enhanced by the application of microbial inoculation including plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and mycorrhizal fungi. These microbes can promote plant growth by regulating nutritional and hormonal balance, producing plant growth regulators, solubilizing nutrients and inducing resistance against plant pathogens. In addition to their interactions with plants, these microbes also show synergistic as well as antagonistic interactions with other microbes in the soil environment. These interactions may be vital for sustainable agriculture because they mainly depend on biological processes rather than on agrochemicals to maintain plant growth and development as well as proper soil health under stress conditions. A number of research articles can be deciphered from the literature, which shows the role of rhizobacteria and mycorrhizae alone and/or in combination in enhancing plant growth under stress conditions. However, in contrast, a few review papers are available which discuss the synergistic interactions between rhizobacteria and mycorrhizae for enhancing plant growth under normal (non-stress) or stressful environments. Biological interactions between PGPR and mycorrhizal fungi are believed to cause a cumulative effect on all rhizosphere components, and these interactions are also affected by environmental factors such as soil type, nutrition, moisture and temperature. The present review comprehensively discusses recent developments on the effectiveness of PGPR and mycorrhizal fungi for enhancing plant growth under stressful environments. The key mechanisms involved in plant stress tolerance and the effectiveness of microbial inoculation for

  18. Changes in serum growth factors in stroke rehabilitation patients and their relation to hemiparesis improvement.

    PubMed

    Okazaki, Hideto; Beppu, Hidehiko; Mizutani, Kenmei; Okamoto, Sayaka; Sonoda, Shigeru

    2014-07-01

    Predicting recovery from hemiparesis after stroke is important for rehabilitation. A few recent studies reported that the levels of some growth factors shortly after stroke were positively correlated with the clinical outcomes during the chronic phase. The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between the serum levels of growth factors (vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF], insulin-like growth factor-I [IGF-I], and hepatocyte growth factor [HGF]) and improvement in hemiparesis in stroke patients who received rehabilitation in a postacute rehabilitation hospital. Subjects were 32 stroke patients (cerebral infarction: 21 and intracerebral hemorrhage [ICH]: 11). We measured serum levels of VEGF, IGF-I, and HGF and 5 items of the Stroke Impairment Assessment Set (SIAS) for hemiparesis on admission and at discharge. Age-matched healthy subjects (n=15) served as controls. Serum levels of VEGF and HGF in cerebral infarct patients on admission were higher than those in control subjects, and the serum levels of IGF-I in stroke patients were lower than those in controls. The level of HGF in ICH patients on admission was negatively correlated with gains in SIAS, and higher outliers in HGF concentration were correlated with lower gains in SIAS. Focusing on the extremely high levels of these factors may be a predictor of the low recovery from hemiparesis after stroke.

  19. Evolving Methanococcoides burtonii archaeal Rubisco for improved photosynthesis and plant growth

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Robert H.; Alonso, Hernan; Whitney, Spencer M.

    2016-01-01

    In photosynthesis Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyses the often rate limiting CO2-fixation step in the Calvin cycle. This makes Rubisco both the gatekeeper for carbon entry into the biosphere and a target for functional improvement to enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. Encumbering the catalytic performance of Rubisco is its highly conserved, complex catalytic chemistry. Accordingly, traditional efforts to enhance Rubisco catalysis using protracted “trial and error” protein engineering approaches have met with limited success. Here we demonstrate the versatility of high throughput directed (laboratory) protein evolution for improving the carboxylation properties of a non-photosynthetic Rubisco from the archaea Methanococcoides burtonii. Using chloroplast transformation in the model plant Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) we confirm the improved forms of M. burtonii Rubisco increased photosynthesis and growth relative to tobacco controls producing wild-type M. burtonii Rubisco. Our findings indicate continued directed evolution of archaeal Rubisco offers new potential for enhancing leaf photosynthesis and plant growth. PMID:26926260

  20. Evolving Methanococcoides burtonii archaeal Rubisco for improved photosynthesis and plant growth.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Robert H; Alonso, Hernan; Whitney, Spencer M

    2016-01-01

    In photosynthesis Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyses the often rate limiting CO2-fixation step in the Calvin cycle. This makes Rubisco both the gatekeeper for carbon entry into the biosphere and a target for functional improvement to enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. Encumbering the catalytic performance of Rubisco is its highly conserved, complex catalytic chemistry. Accordingly, traditional efforts to enhance Rubisco catalysis using protracted "trial and error" protein engineering approaches have met with limited success. Here we demonstrate the versatility of high throughput directed (laboratory) protein evolution for improving the carboxylation properties of a non-photosynthetic Rubisco from the archaea Methanococcoides burtonii. Using chloroplast transformation in the model plant Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) we confirm the improved forms of M. burtonii Rubisco increased photosynthesis and growth relative to tobacco controls producing wild-type M. burtonii Rubisco. Our findings indicate continued directed evolution of archaeal Rubisco offers new potential for enhancing leaf photosynthesis and plant growth. PMID:26926260

  1. Improved (ERTS) information and its impact on U.S. markets for agricultural commodities: A quantitiative economic investigation of production, distribution and net export effects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    An econometric investigation into the markets for agricultural commodities is summarized. An overview of the effort including the objectives, scope, and architecture of the analysis and the estimation strategy employed is presented. The major empirical results and policy conclusions are set forth. These results and conclusions focus on the economic importance of improved crop forecasts, U.S. exports, and government policy operations. A number of promising avenues of further investigation are suggested.

  2. Retrospective Analog Year Analyses Using NASA Satellite Data to Improve USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teng, William; Shannon, Harlan

    2011-01-01

    The USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) is responsible for monitoring weather and climate impacts on domestic and foreign crop development. One of WAOB's primary goals is to determine the net cumulative effect of weather and climate anomalies on final crop yields. To this end, a broad array of information is consulted, including maps, charts, and time series of recent weather, climate, and crop observations; numerical output from weather and crop models; and reports from the press, USDA attach s, and foreign governments. The resulting agricultural weather assessments are published in the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, to keep farmers, policy makers, and commercial agricultural interests informed of weather and climate impacts on agriculture. Because both the amount and timing of precipitation significantly affect crop yields, WAOB often uses precipitation time series to identify growing seasons with similar weather patterns and help estimate crop yields for the current growing season, based on observed yields in analog years. Historically, these analog years are visually identified; however, the qualitative nature of this method sometimes precludes the definitive identification of the best analog year. Thus, one goal of this study is to derive a more rigorous, statistical approach for identifying analog years, based on a modified coefficient of determination, termed the analog index (AI). A second goal is to compare the performance of AI for time series derived from surface-based observations vs. satellite-based measurements (NASA TRMM and other data).

  3. Judicious use of kinetin to improve growth and yield of rice in nickel contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Nazir, Hina; Asghar, Hafiz Naeem; Zahir, Zahir Ahmad; Akhtar, Muhammad Javed; Saleem, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of kinetin on growth and yield of rice in the presence and absence of nickel contamination. Rice seedlings were dipped in kinetin solution (10(-3), 10(-4) and 10 M(-5)) for 2 hours and transplanted in pots having soil contaminated with nickel sulfate @ 130 mg kg(-1). Experiment was laid out according to completely randomized design with four replications. Results revealed that kinetin significantly improved growth and yield of rice grown in nickel contamination. Kinetin @ 10(-4) M showed maximum improvement in plant height, paddy yield, 1000 grain weight, number of tillers and panicles up to 9.76, 15.72, 11.77, 11.87, and 10.90%, respectively, as compared to plants grown in contaminated soil without kinetin. Kinetin also improved the uptake of nutrients (NPK) in straw and grain of plants grown in Ni contaminated soil. Plants treated with kinetin had more concentration of Ni in shoot but less in grain compared to plants grown in Ni contaminated soil without application of kinetin. The application of kinetin can reduce stress effect on plants through improvement in the biomass of plant. This strategy could be used to increase the phytoextraction of Ni from the contaminated soil. PMID:26457741

  4. Judicious use of kinetin to improve growth and yield of rice in nickel contaminated soil.

    PubMed

    Nazir, Hina; Asghar, Hafiz Naeem; Zahir, Zahir Ahmad; Akhtar, Muhammad Javed; Saleem, Muhammad

    2016-01-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of kinetin on growth and yield of rice in the presence and absence of nickel contamination. Rice seedlings were dipped in kinetin solution (10(-3), 10(-4) and 10 M(-5)) for 2 hours and transplanted in pots having soil contaminated with nickel sulfate @ 130 mg kg(-1). Experiment was laid out according to completely randomized design with four replications. Results revealed that kinetin significantly improved growth and yield of rice grown in nickel contamination. Kinetin @ 10(-4) M showed maximum improvement in plant height, paddy yield, 1000 grain weight, number of tillers and panicles up to 9.76, 15.72, 11.77, 11.87, and 10.90%, respectively, as compared to plants grown in contaminated soil without kinetin. Kinetin also improved the uptake of nutrients (NPK) in straw and grain of plants grown in Ni contaminated soil. Plants treated with kinetin had more concentration of Ni in shoot but less in grain compared to plants grown in Ni contaminated soil without application of kinetin. The application of kinetin can reduce stress effect on plants through improvement in the biomass of plant. This strategy could be used to increase the phytoextraction of Ni from the contaminated soil.

  5. Toward a Sustainable Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Future trends in population growth, energy use, climate change, and globalization will challenge agriculturists to develop innovative production systems that are highly productive and environmentally sound. Furthermore, future agricultural production systems must possess an inherent capacity to adap...

  6. Agricultural biotechnology and its contribution to the global knowledge economy.

    PubMed

    Aerni, Philipp

    2007-01-01

    The theory of neoclassical welfare economics largely shaped international and national agricultural policies during the Cold War period. It treated technology as an exogenous factor that could boost agricultural productivity but not necessarily sustainable agriculture. New growth theory, the economic theory of the new knowledge economy, treats technological change as endogenous and argues that intangible assets such as human capital and knowledge are the drivers of sustainable economic development. In this context, the combined use of agricultural biotechnology and information technology has a great potential, not just to boost economic growth but also to empower people in developing countries and improve the sustainable management of natural resources. This article outlines the major ideas behind new growth theory and explains why agricultural economists and agricultural policy-makers still tend to stick to old welfare economics. Finally, the article uses the case of the Cassava Biotechnology Network (CBN) to illustrate an example of how new growth theory can be applied in the fight against poverty. CBN is a successful interdisciplinary crop research network that makes use of the new knowledge economy to produce new goods that empower the poor and improve the productivity and nutritional quality of cassava. It shows that the potential benefits of agricultural biotechnology go far beyond the already known productivity increases and pesticide use reductions of existing GM crops.

  7. A study of backscattered spectra dynamics of agricultural crops during growth period on the territory of the Krasnoyarskii Krai (Russia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pugacheva, I. Yu.; Sid'ko, A. F.; Shevyrnogov, A. P.

    2010-05-01

    The work presents the results of the study aimed at determining the seasonal dynamics of the spectral brightness and reflectance of agricultural crops (wheat, barley and oats) in the Krasnoyarskii Krai (Russia). The analysis of spectral curves obtained through field ground measurements and from satellite data showed that fine spectral differences can be used to study the spatial distribution of various types of vegetation and their ecological state. Based on the created electronic spectral brightness data base, the possibilities are shown of using spectrophotometric information for determining morphophysiological changes occurring in the plants and their species composition. The determined contrasts can be effectively used to obtain necessary information while processing space images, which suffer from natural interferences (varying optical thickness of the atmosphere, cloudiness, alterations in the scanner's angle of view, varying solar height, and highly inhomogeneous underlying surface).

  8. Synthesis of Ag-coated polystyrene colloids by an improved surface seeding and shell growth technique

    SciTech Connect

    Tian Chungui; Wang Enbo . E-mail: wangenbo@public.cc.jl.cn; Kang Zhenhui; Mao Baodong; Zhang Chao; Lan Yang; Wang Chunlei; Song Yanli

    2006-11-15

    In this paper, an improved surface seeding and shell growth technique was developed to prepare Ag-polystyrene core shell composite. Polyethyleneimine (PEI) could act as the linker between Ag ions (Ag nanoparticles) and polystyrene (PS) colloids and the reducing agent in the formation of Ag nanoparticles. Due to the multi-functional characteristic of PEI, Ag seeds formed in-situ and were immobilized on the surface of PEI-modified PS colloids and no free Ag clusters coexist with the Ag 'seeding' PS colloids in the system. Then, the additional agents could be added into the resulting dispersions straightly to produce a thick Ag nanoshell. The Ag nanoshell with controllable thickness was formed on the surface of PS by the 'one-pot' surface seeding and shell growth method. The Ag-coverage increased gradually with the increasing of mass ratio of AgNO{sub 3}/PS. The optical properties of the Ag-PS colloids could be tailored by changing the coverage of Ag. - Graphical abstract: An improved surface seeding and shell growth technique was developed to prepare Ag-polystyrene core shell composite. The optical properties of the Ag-PS colloids could be tailored by changing the coverage of Ag. Display Omitted.

  9. A review on possible elicitor molecules of cyanobacteria: their role in improving plant growth and providing tolerance against biotic or abiotic stress.

    PubMed

    Singh, S

    2014-11-01

    Cyanobacteria are prominent inhabitants of many agricultural soils, where they potentially contribute towards biological nitrogen fixation, help in phosphate solubilization and mineral release to improve soil fertility and crop productivity. However, beside naturally fertilizing and balancing mineral nutrition in the soil, many cyanobacteria are known to release various kinds of biologically active substances like proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, amino acids, polysaccharides and phytohormones that function as elicitor molecules to promote plant growth and help them to fight against biotic and abiotic stress. These metabolites produced by the cyanobacteria affect the gene expression of the host plants and thereby bring about qualitative and quantitative changes in the phytochemical composition of the plants. Experiments carried out with live inoculum or with the extracts of cyanobacterial strains on several plant species, such as rice, wheat, maize, cotton etc., have demonstrated the synthesis of signalling metabolites. Thus, in view of its beneficial effect, this paper reviews the role of cyanobacteria in triggering the growth and development of plants and hence its utilization in agriculture.

  10. Application of Plant-Growth-Promoting Fungi Trichoderma longibrachiatum T6 Enhances Tolerance of Wheat to Salt Stress through Improvement of Antioxidative Defense System and Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shuwu; Gan, Yantai; Xu, Bingliang

    2016-01-01

    Soil salinity is a serious problem worldwide that reduces agricultural productivity. Trichoderma longibrachiatum T6 (T6) has been shown to promote wheat growth and induce plant resistance to parasitic nematodes, but whether the plant-growth-promoting fungi T6 can enhance plant tolerance to salt stress is unknown. Here, we determined the effect of plant-growth-promoting fungi T6 on wheat seedlings’ growth and development under salt stress, and investigated the role of T6 in inducing the resistance to NaCl stress at physiological, biochemical, and molecular levels. Wheat seedlings were inoculated with the strain of T6 and then compared with non-inoculated controls. Shoot height, root length, and shoot and root weights were measured on 15 days old wheat seedlings grown either under 150 mM NaCl or in a controlled setting without any NaCl. A number of colonies were re-isolated from the roots of wheat seedlings under salt stress. The relative water content in the leaves and roots, chlorophyll content, and root activity were significantly increased, and the accumulation of proline content in leaves was markedly accelerated with the plant growth parameters, but the content of leaf malondialdehyde under saline condition was significantly decreased. The antioxidant enzymes-superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) in wheat seedlings were increased by 29, 39, and 19%, respectively, with the application of the strain of T6 under salt stress; the relative expression of SOD, POD, and CAT genes in these wheat seedlings were significantly up-regulated. Our results indicated that the strain of T6 ameliorated the adverse effects significantly, protecting the seedlings from salt stress during their growth period. The possible mechanisms by which T6 suppresses the negative effect of NaCl stress on wheat seedling growth may be due to the improvement of the antioxidative defense system and gene expression in the stressed wheat plants.

  11. Application of Plant-Growth-Promoting Fungi Trichoderma longibrachiatum T6 Enhances Tolerance of Wheat to Salt Stress through Improvement of Antioxidative Defense System and Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shuwu; Gan, Yantai; Xu, Bingliang

    2016-01-01

    Soil salinity is a serious problem worldwide that reduces agricultural productivity. Trichoderma longibrachiatum T6 (T6) has been shown to promote wheat growth and induce plant resistance to parasitic nematodes, but whether the plant-growth-promoting fungi T6 can enhance plant tolerance to salt stress is unknown. Here, we determined the effect of plant-growth-promoting fungi T6 on wheat seedlings’ growth and development under salt stress, and investigated the role of T6 in inducing the resistance to NaCl stress at physiological, biochemical, and molecular levels. Wheat seedlings were inoculated with the strain of T6 and then compared with non-inoculated controls. Shoot height, root length, and shoot and root weights were measured on 15 days old wheat seedlings grown either under 150 mM NaCl or in a controlled setting without any NaCl. A number of colonies were re-isolated from the roots of wheat seedlings under salt stress. The relative water content in the leaves and roots, chlorophyll content, and root activity were significantly increased, and the accumulation of proline content in leaves was markedly accelerated with the plant growth parameters, but the content of leaf malondialdehyde under saline condition was significantly decreased. The antioxidant enzymes-superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) in wheat seedlings were increased by 29, 39, and 19%, respectively, with the application of the strain of T6 under salt stress; the relative expression of SOD, POD, and CAT genes in these wheat seedlings were significantly up-regulated. Our results indicated that the strain of T6 ameliorated the adverse effects significantly, protecting the seedlings from salt stress during their growth period. The possible mechanisms by which T6 suppresses the negative effect of NaCl stress on wheat seedling growth may be due to the improvement of the antioxidative defense system and gene expression in the stressed wheat plants. PMID:27695475

  12. Improving cell growth and lipid accumulation in green microalgae Chlorella sp. via UV irradiation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuyu; Zhao, Yueping; Liu, Li; Ao, Xiyong; Ma, Liyan; Wu, Minghong; Ma, Fang

    2015-04-01

    Microalgae with high biomass and high lipid content are the ideal feedstock for biodiesel production. To obtain such microalgae, ultraviolet (UV) irradiation was applied to Chlorella sp. to induce mutagenesis. The growth characteristics, total nitrogen (TN), and biochemical compositions of the control and UV mutation strains were analyzed. Compared to the control strain, the biomass for the UV mutation strain was 7.6 % higher and it presented a higher growth rate. The lipid content of the UV mutation strain showed different levels of increase and reached the maximum value of 28.1 % on day 15. Furthermore, the lipid productivity of the UV mutation strain showed a desired increase. The nitrogen consumption and Acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) activity contributed to the lipid production by UV. All these results indicate that UV mutagenesis is an efficient method to improve probability for using Chlorella sp. as the potential raw material for biodiesel production.

  13. Normalisation of plasma growth hormone levels improved cardiac dysfunction due to acromegalic cardiomyopathy with severe fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Yokota, Fumiko; Arima, Hiroshi; Hirano, Miho; Uchikawa, Tomohiro; Inden, Yasuya; Nagatani, Tetsuya; Oiso, Yutaka

    2010-09-19

    A 51-year-old man was referred to the Department of Cardiology in our hospital due to severe congestive heart failure and ventricular arrhythmias in March 2008. He had repeated ventricular tachycardia for years and the left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) was 11% on admission. A myocardial biopsy revealed that over 50% cardiomyocytes were replaced by fibrosis. Due to the typical acromegalic features, he was referred to the endocrinology department and diagnosed as acromegaly. He was treated with octreotide for 8 months followed by trans-sphenoidal surgery. The plasma levels of growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) decreased by octreotide and normalised by surgery after which the cardiac function improved drastically. The current case demonstrates that cardiac dysfunction in acromegaly could be recovered by normalisation of GH and IGF-1 even in the presence of severe fibrosis in the myocardium.

  14. Physiological Changes in Rhizobia after Growth in Peat Extract May Be Related to Improved Desiccation Tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Wilkes, Meredith A.; Deaker, Rosalind

    2013-01-01

    Improved survival of peat-cultured rhizobia compared to survival of liquid-cultured cells has been attributed to cellular adaptations during solid-state fermentation in moist peat. We have observed improved desiccation tolerance of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii TA1 and Bradyrhizobium japonicum CB1809 after aerobic growth in water extracts of peat. Survival of TA1 grown in crude peat extract was 18-fold greater than that of cells grown in a defined liquid medium but was diminished when cells were grown in different-sized colloidal fractions of peat extract. Survival of CB1809 was generally better when grown in crude peat extract than in the control but was not statistically significant (P > 0.05) and was strongly dependent on peat extract concentration. Accumulation of intracellular trehalose by both TA1 and CB1809 was higher after growth in peat extract than in the defined medium control. Cells grown in water extracts of peat exhibit morphological changes similar to those observed after growth in moist peat. Electron microscopy revealed thickened plasma membranes, with an electron-dense material occupying the periplasmic space in both TA1 and CB1809. Growth in peat extract also resulted in changes to polypeptide expression in both strains, and peptide analysis by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry indicated increased expression of stress response proteins. Our results suggest that increased capacity for desiccation tolerance in rhizobia is multifactorial, involving the accumulation of trehalose together with increased expression of proteins involved in protection of the cell envelope, repair of DNA damage, oxidative stress responses, and maintenance of stability and integrity of proteins. PMID:23603686

  15. Physiological changes in rhizobia after growth in peat extract may be related to improved desiccation tolerance.

    PubMed

    Casteriano, Andrea; Wilkes, Meredith A; Deaker, Rosalind

    2013-07-01

    Improved survival of peat-cultured rhizobia compared to survival of liquid-cultured cells has been attributed to cellular adaptations during solid-state fermentation in moist peat. We have observed improved desiccation tolerance of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii TA1 and Bradyrhizobium japonicum CB1809 after aerobic growth in water extracts of peat. Survival of TA1 grown in crude peat extract was 18-fold greater than that of cells grown in a defined liquid medium but was diminished when cells were grown in different-sized colloidal fractions of peat extract. Survival of CB1809 was generally better when grown in crude peat extract than in the control but was not statistically significant (P > 0.05) and was strongly dependent on peat extract concentration. Accumulation of intracellular trehalose by both TA1 and CB1809 was higher after growth in peat extract than in the defined medium control. Cells grown in water extracts of peat exhibit morphological changes similar to those observed after growth in moist peat. Electron microscopy revealed thickened plasma membranes, with an electron-dense material occupying the periplasmic space in both TA1 and CB1809. Growth in peat extract also resulted in changes to polypeptide expression in both strains, and peptide analysis by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry indicated increased expression of stress response proteins. Our results suggest that increased capacity for desiccation tolerance in rhizobia is multifactorial, involving the accumulation of trehalose together with increased expression of proteins involved in protection of the cell envelope, repair of DNA damage, oxidative stress responses, and maintenance of stability and integrity of proteins.

  16. Improved gene ontology annotation for biofilm formation, filamentous growth, and phenotypic switching in Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Inglis, Diane O; Skrzypek, Marek S; Arnaud, Martha B; Binkley, Jonathan; Shah, Prachi; Wymore, Farrell; Sherlock, Gavin

    2013-01-01

    The opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans is a significant medical threat, especially for immunocompromised patients. Experimental research has focused on specific areas of C. albicans biology, with the goal of understanding the multiple factors that contribute to its pathogenic potential. Some of these factors include cell adhesion, invasive or filamentous growth, and the formation of drug-resistant biofilms. The Gene Ontology (GO) (www.geneontology.org) is a standardized vocabulary that the Candida Genome Database (CGD) (www.candidagenome.org) and other groups use to describe the functions of gene products. To improve the breadth and accuracy of pathogenicity-related gene product descriptions and to facilitate the description of as yet uncharacterized but potentially pathogenicity-related genes in Candida species, CGD undertook a three-part project: first, the addition of terms to the biological process branch of the GO to improve the description of fungus-related processes; second, manual recuration of gene product annotations in CGD to use the improved GO vocabulary; and third, computational ortholog-based transfer of GO annotations from experimentally characterized gene products, using these new terms, to uncharacterized orthologs in other Candida species. Through genome annotation and analysis, we identified candidate pathogenicity genes in seven non-C. albicans Candida species and in one additional C. albicans strain, WO-1. We also defined a set of C. albicans genes at the intersection of biofilm formation, filamentous growth, pathogenesis, and phenotypic switching of this opportunistic fungal pathogen, which provides a compelling list of candidates for further experimentation.

  17. Improved growth and nutrient status of an oat cover crop in sod-based versus conventional peanut-cotton rotations

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrogen (N) leaching from agricultural soils is a major concern in the southeastern USA. A winter cover crop following the summer crop rotation is essential for controlling N leaching and soil run-off, thereby improving sustainable development. Rotation of peanut (Arachis hypogea L.) and cotton (Go...

  18. Differential effects of AM fungal isolates on Medicago truncatula growth and metal uptake in a multimetallic (Cd, Zn, Pb) contaminated agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Redon, Paul-Olivier; Béguiristain, Thierry; Leyval, Corinne

    2009-03-01

    Toxic metal accumulation in soils of agricultural interest is a serious problem needing more attention, and investigations on soil-plant metal transfer must be pursued to better understand the processes involved in metal uptake. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are known to influence metal transfer in plants by increasing plant biomass and reducing metal toxicity to plants even if diverging results were reported. The effects of five AM fungi isolated from metal contaminated or non-contaminated soils on metal (Cd, Zn) uptake by plant and transfer to leachates was assessed with Medicago truncatula grown in a multimetallic contaminated agricultural soil. Fungi isolated from metal-contaminated soils were more effective to reduce shoot Cd concentration. Metal uptake capacity differed between AM fungi and depended on the origin of the isolate. Not only fungal tolerance and ability to reduce metal concentrations in plant but also interactions with rhizobacteria affected heavy metal transfer and plant growth. Indeed, thanks to association with nodulating rhizobacteria, one Glomus intraradices inoculum increased particularly plant biomass which allowed exporting twofold more Cd and Zn in shoots as compared to non-mycorrhizal treatment. Cd concentrations in leachates were variable among fungal treatments, but can be significantly influenced by AM inoculation. The differential strategies of AM fungal colonisation in metal stress conditions are also discussed. PMID:19169716

  19. Growth Factor Stimulation Improves the Structure and Properties of Scaffold-Free Engineered Auricular Cartilage Constructs

    PubMed Central

    Rosa, Renata G.; Joazeiro, Paulo P.; Bianco, Juares; Kunz, Manuela; Weber, Joanna F.; Waldman, Stephen D.

    2014-01-01

    The reconstruction of the external ear to correct congenital deformities or repair following trauma remains a significant challenge in reconstructive surgery. Previously, we have developed a novel approach to create scaffold-free, tissue engineering elastic cartilage constructs directly from a small population of donor cells. Although the developed constructs appeared to adopt the structural appearance of native auricular cartilage, the constructs displayed limited expression and poor localization of elastin. In the present study, the effect of growth factor supplementation (insulin, IGF-1, or TGF-β1) was investigated to stimulate elastogenesis as well as to improve overall tissue formation. Using rabbit auricular chondrocytes, bioreactor-cultivated constructs supplemented with either insulin or IGF-1 displayed increased deposition of cartilaginous ECM, improved mechanical properties, and thicknesses comparable to native auricular cartilage after 4 weeks of growth. Similarly, growth factor supplementation resulted in increased expression and improved localization of elastin, primarily restricted within the cartilaginous region of the tissue construct. Additional studies were conducted to determine whether scaffold-free engineered auricular cartilage constructs could be developed in the 3D shape of the external ear. Isolated auricular chondrocytes were grown in rapid-prototyped tissue culture molds with additional insulin or IGF-1 supplementation during bioreactor cultivation. Using this approach, the developed tissue constructs were flexible and had a 3D shape in very good agreement to the culture mold (average error <400 µm). While scaffold-free, engineered auricular cartilage constructs can be created with both the appropriate tissue structure and 3D shape of the external ear, future studies will be aimed assessing potential changes in construct shape and properties after subcutaneous implantation. PMID:25126941

  20. Genetics of Microenvironmental Sensitivity of Body Weight in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Selected for Improved Growth

    PubMed Central

    Janhunen, Matti; Kause, Antti; Vehviläinen, Harri; Järvisalo, Otso

    2012-01-01

    Microenvironmental sensitivity of a genotype refers to the ability to buffer against non-specific environmental factors, and it can be quantified by the amount of residual variation in a trait expressed by the genotype’s offspring within a (macro)environment. Due to the high degree of polymorphism in behavioral, growth and life-history traits, both farmed and wild salmonids are highly susceptible to microenvironmental variation, yet the heritable basis of this characteristic remains unknown. We estimated the genetic (co)variance of body weight and its residual variation in 2-year-old rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) using a multigenerational data of 45,900 individuals from the Finnish national breeding programme. We also tested whether or not microenvironmental sensitivity has been changed as a correlated genetic response when genetic improvement for growth has been practiced over five generations. The animal model analysis revealed the presence of genetic heterogeneity both in body weight and its residual variation. Heritability of residual variation was remarkably lower (0.02) than that for body weight (0.35). However, genetic coefficient of variation was notable in both body weight (14%) and its residual variation (37%), suggesting a substantial potential for selection responses in both traits. Furthermore, a significant negative genetic correlation (−0.16) was found between body weight and its residual variation, i.e., rapidly growing genotypes are also more tolerant to perturbations in microenvironment. The genetic trends showed that fish growth was successfully increased by selective breeding (an average of 6% per generation), whereas no genetic change occurred in residual variation during the same period. The results imply that genetic improvement for body weight does not cause a concomitant increase in microenvironmental sensitivity. For commercial production, however, there may be high potential to simultaneously improve weight gain and increase its

  1. Urban Agriculture Program Planning Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hemp, Paul E.; Ethridge, Jim

    Urban agriculture may be defined as those areas of agriculture that are practiced in metropolitan settings, plus knowledge and skills in agricultural subject areas which lead to vocational proficiency and improved quality of life or effective citizenship. Agriculture areas that are especially significant in urban settings include ornamental…

  2. Reduced growth hormone signaling and methionine restriction: interventions that improve metabolic health and extend life span.

    PubMed

    Brown-Borg, Holly M

    2016-01-01

    Interventions that improve health are often associated with longevity. Reduced growth hormone signaling has been shown to increase life span in mice by over 50%. Similarly, reductions in dietary intake of methionine, in rats and mice, result in life-span extension. Many factors affect metabolic health, mitochondrial function, and resistance to stressors, each of which influence aging and life span. This paper presents a comparison of these two interventions, as well as the results of a study combining these interventions, to understand potential mechanisms underlying their effectiveness in enhancing healthy aging.

  3. Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waag, Andreas

    , molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) delivers high quality ZnMgO-ZnO quantum well structures. Other thin film techniques such as PLD or MOCVD are also widely used. The main problem at present is to consistently achieve reliable p-type doping. For this topic, see also Chap. 5. In the past years, there have been numerous publications on p-type doping of ZnO, as well as ZnO p-n junctions and light emitting diodes (LEDs). However, a lot of these reports are in one way or the other inconsistent or at least incomplete. It is quite clear from optical data that once a reliable hole injection can be achieved, high brightness ZnO LEDs should be possible. In contrast to that expectation, none of the LEDs reported so far shows efficient light emission, as would be expected from a reasonable quality ZnO-based LED. See also Chap. 13. As a matter of fact, there seems to be no generally accepted and reliable technique for p-type doping available at present. The reason for this is the unfavorable position of the band structure of ZnO relative to the vacuum level, with a very low lying valence band. See also Fig. 5.1. This makes the incorporation of electrically active acceptors difficult. Another difficulty is the huge defect density in ZnO. There are many indications that defects play a major role in transport and doping. In order to solve the doping problem, it is generally accepted that the quality of the ZnO material grown by the various techniques needs to be improved. Therefore, the optimization of ZnO epitaxy is thought to play a key role in the further development of this material system. Besides being used as an active material in optoelectronic devices, ZnO plays a major role as transparent contact material in thin film solar cells. Polycrystalline, heavily n-type doped ZnO is used for this, combining a high electrical conductivity with a good optical transparency. In this case, ZnO thin films are fabricated by large area growth techniques such as sputtering. For this and other

  4. Assessment of the extent of bacterial growth in reverse osmosis system for improving drinking water quality.

    PubMed

    Park, Se-keun; Hu, Jiang Yong

    2010-01-01

    This study was carried out to assess reverse osmosis (RO) treatment efficacy of drinking water in terms of biological stability in the distribution system. Two flat-sheet RO membranes were used in this study. Experiments were designed to investigate the growth of biofilm and bulk phase bacteria for the RO-treated water flowing through a model distribution system under controlled conditions without disinfectants. RO membranes improved the water quality of drinking water in terms of inorganic, organic and bacterial contents. Organic matter including the fraction available for microbes was efficiently removed by the RO membranes tested. More than 99% of bacterial cells in the tap water was retained by the RO membranes, leaving <50 cells/mL in the permeate water. In spite of the low nutrient contents and few cells in the RO permeates, monitoring of the model distribution systems receiving the RO permeates showed that remarkable biofilm accumulation and bulk cell growth occurred in the RO permeate water. In quasi-steady state, the total cell numbers in the biofilm and bulk water were of order 10(3) cells/cm(2) and 10(3) cells/mL, respectively, which were about 2 orders of magnitude lower than those grown in the tap water produced from conventional water treatment. The culturable heterotrophic bacteria constituted a significant part of the total cells (20.7-32.1% in biofilms and 21.3-46.3% in bulk waters). Biofilm maximum density and production rate were of the order 10(4) cells/cm(2) and 10(2) cells/cm(2)/day, respectively. The specific cell growth rate of bacteria in the biofilms was found to be much lower than those in the bulk waters (0.04-0.05 day(-1) versus 0.28-0.36 day(-1)). The overall specific cell growth rate which indicates the growth potential in the whole system was calculated as 0.07-0.08 day(-1), representing a doubling time of 9.1-10.1 days. These observations can be indicative of possibilities for bacterial growth in the RO permeate water with easily

  5. Interactively Improving Agricultural Field Mapping in Sub-Saharan Africa with Crowd-Sourcing and Active Learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debats, S. R.; Estes, L. D.; Caylor, K. K.

    2015-12-01

    As satellite imagery becomes increasingly available, management of large image databases becomes more important for efficient image processing. We have developed a computer vision-based classification algorithm to distinguish smallholder agricultural land cover in Sub-Saharan Africa, using a group of high-resolution images from South Africa as a case study. For supervised classification, smallholder agriculture, with ambiguous patterns of small, irregular fields, requires a wide range of training data samples to adequately describe the variability in appearance. We employ crowd-sourcing to obtain new training data to expand the geographic range of our algorithm. A crowd-sourcing user is asked to hand-digitize the boundaries of agricultural fields in an assigned 1 km2 image. Yet random assignment of images to users could result in a highly redundant training data set with limited discriminative power. Furthermore, larger training data sets require a greater number of users to hand-digitize fields, which increases costs through crowd-sourcing engines like Amazon Mechanical Turk, as well as longer algorithm training times, which increases computing costs. Therefore, we employ an active learning approach to interactively select the most informative images to be hand-digitized for training data by crowd-sourcing users, based on changes in algorithm accuracy. We investigate the use of various image similarity measures used in content-based image retrieval systems, which quantify the distance, such as Euclidean distance or Manhattan distance, between a variety of extracted feature spaces to determine how similar the content of two images are. We determine the minimum training data set needed to maximize algorithm accuracy, as well as automate the selection of additional training images to classify a new target image that expands the geographic range of our algorithm.

  6. Identifying the Barriers and Opportunities for Enhanced Coherence between Agriculture and Public Health Policies: Improving the Fat Supply in India.

    PubMed

    Downs, Shauna M; Thow, Anne Marie; Ghosh-Jerath, Suparna; Leeder, Stephen R

    2015-01-01

    The national Government of India has published draft regulation proposing a 5% upper limit of trans fat in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs). Global recommendations are to replace PHVOs with unsaturated fat but it is not known whether this will be feasible in India. We systematically identified policy options to address the three major underlying agricultural sector issues that influence reformulation with healthier oils: the low productivity of domestically produced oilseeds leading to a reliance on palm oil imports, supply chain wastage, and the low availability of oils high in unsaturated fats. Strengthening domestic supply chains in India will be necessary to maximize health gains associated with product reformulation. PMID:25879914

  7. Identifying the Barriers and Opportunities for Enhanced Coherence between Agriculture and Public Health Policies: Improving the Fat Supply in India.

    PubMed

    Downs, Shauna M; Thow, Anne Marie; Ghosh-Jerath, Suparna; Leeder, Stephen R

    2015-01-01

    The national Government of India has published draft regulation proposing a 5% upper limit of trans fat in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs). Global recommendations are to replace PHVOs with unsaturated fat but it is not known whether this will be feasible in India. We systematically identified policy options to address the three major underlying agricultural sector issues that influence reformulation with healthier oils: the low productivity of domestically produced oilseeds leading to a reliance on palm oil imports, supply chain wastage, and the low availability of oils high in unsaturated fats. Strengthening domestic supply chains in India will be necessary to maximize health gains associated with product reformulation.

  8. Maternal Postsecondary Education Associated With Improved Cerebellar Growth After Preterm Birth.

    PubMed

    Stiver, Mikaela L; Kamino, Daphne; Guo, Ting; Thompson, Angela; Duerden, Emma G; Taylor, Margot J; Tam, Emily W Y

    2015-10-01

    The preterm cerebellum is vulnerable to impaired development impacting long-term outcome. Preterm newborns (<32 weeks) underwent serial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The association between parental education and cerebellar volume at each time point was assessed, adjusting for age at scan. In 26 infants, cerebellar volumes at term (P = .001), but not birth (P = .4), were associated with 2-year volumes. For 1 cm(3) smaller cerebellar volume (4% total volume) at term, the cerebellum was 3.18 cm(3) smaller (3% total volume) by 2 years. Maternal postsecondary education was not associated with cerebellar volume at term (P = .16). Maternal postsecondary education was a significant confounder in the relationship between term and 2-year cerebellar volumes (P = .016), with higher education associated with improved volumes by 2 years. Although preterm birth has been found to be associated with smaller cerebellar volumes at term, maternal postsecondary education is associated with improved growth detectable by 2 years.

  9. Mycorrhizal phosphate uptake pathway in maize: vital for growth and cob development on nutrient poor agricultural and greenhouse soils

    PubMed Central

    Willmann, Martin; Gerlach, Nina; Buer, Benjamin; Polatajko, Aleksandra; Nagy, Réka; Koebke, Eva; Jansa, Jan; Flisch, René; Bucher, Marcel

    2013-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form a mutually beneficial symbiosis with plant roots providing predominantly phosphorus in the form of orthophosphate (Pi) in exchange for plant carbohydrates on low P soils. The goal of this work was to generate molecular-genetic evidence in support of a major impact of the mycorrhizal Pi uptake (MPU) pathway on the productivity of the major crop plant maize under field and controlled conditions. Here we show, that a loss-of-function mutation in the mycorrhiza-specific Pi transporter gene Pht1;6 correlates with a dramatic reduction of above-ground biomass and cob production in agro-ecosystems with low P soils. In parallel mutant pht1;6 plants exhibited an altered fingerprint of chemical elements in shoots dependent on soil P availability. In controlled environments mycorrhiza development was impaired in mutant plants when grown alone. The presence of neighboring mycorrhizal nurse plants enhanced the reduced mycorrhiza formation in pht1;6 roots. Uptake of 33P-labeled orthophosphate via the MPU pathway was strongly impaired in colonized mutant plants. Moreover, repression of the MPU pathway resulted in a redirection of Pi to neighboring plants. In line with previous results, our data highlight the relevance of the MPU pathway in Pi allocation within plant communities and in particular the role of Pht1;6 for the establishment of symbiotic Pi uptake and for maize productivity and nutritional value in low-input agricultural systems. In a first attempt to identify cellular pathways which are affected by Pht1;6 activity, gene expression profiling via RNA-Seq was performed and revealed a set of maize genes involved in cellular signaling which exhibited differential regulation in mycorrhizal pht1;6 and control plants. The RNA data provided support for the hypothesis that fungal supply of Pi and/or Pi transport across Pht1;6 affects cell wall biosynthesis and hormone metabolism in colonized root cells. PMID:24409191

  10. Mycorrhizal phosphate uptake pathway in maize: vital for growth and cob development on nutrient poor agricultural and greenhouse soils.

    PubMed

    Willmann, Martin; Gerlach, Nina; Buer, Benjamin; Polatajko, Aleksandra; Nagy, Réka; Koebke, Eva; Jansa, Jan; Flisch, René; Bucher, Marcel

    2013-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) form a mutually beneficial symbiosis with plant roots providing predominantly phosphorus in the form of orthophosphate (Pi) in exchange for plant carbohydrates on low P soils. The goal of this work was to generate molecular-genetic evidence in support of a major impact of the mycorrhizal Pi uptake (MPU) pathway on the productivity of the major crop plant maize under field and controlled conditions. Here we show, that a loss-of-function mutation in the mycorrhiza-specific Pi transporter gene Pht1;6 correlates with a dramatic reduction of above-ground biomass and cob production in agro-ecosystems with low P soils. In parallel mutant pht1;6 plants exhibited an altered fingerprint of chemical elements in shoots dependent on soil P availability. In controlled environments mycorrhiza development was impaired in mutant plants when grown alone. The presence of neighboring mycorrhizal nurse plants enhanced the reduced mycorrhiza formation in pht1;6 roots. Uptake of (33)P-labeled orthophosphate via the MPU pathway was strongly impaired in colonized mutant plants. Moreover, repression of the MPU pathway resulted in a redirection of Pi to neighboring plants. In line with previous results, our data highlight the relevance of the MPU pathway in Pi allocation within plant communities and in particular the role of Pht1;6 for the establishment of symbiotic Pi uptake and for maize productivity and nutritional value in low-input agricultural systems. In a first attempt to identify cellular pathways which are affected by Pht1;6 activity, gene expression profiling via RNA-Seq was performed and revealed a set of maize genes involved in cellular signaling which exhibited differential regulation in mycorrhizal pht1;6 and control plants. The RNA data provided support for the hypothesis that fungal supply of Pi and/or Pi transport across Pht1;6 affects cell wall biosynthesis and hormone metabolism in colonized root cells. PMID:24409191

  11. Dietary mannanase-hydrolyzed copra meal improves growth and increases muscle weights in growing broiler chickens.

    PubMed

    Ibuki, Masahisa; Yoshimoto, Yu; Inui, Mariko; Fukui, Kensuke; Yonemoto, Hiroko; Saneyasu, Takaoki; Honda, Kazuhisa; Kamisoyama, Hiroshi

    2014-05-01

    The utilization of copra meal as a feed ingredient is limited because it contains a high level of mannan. However, recent findings indicate that the effect of copra meal on growth performance in broiler chickens can be improved by the supplementation of mannanase in the diet. In the present study, we examined the effect of mannanase-hydrolyzed copra meal (MCM) on growth performance and muscle protein metabolism in growing broiler chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus). Forty 8-day-old male broiler chicks were assigned to two groups (four birds in each pen, five replicates) and fed either a commercial diet (as a control diet) or a diet containing MCM at 0.2% until 22 days of age. Dietary MCM significantly increased the weights of body, breast muscle, and thighs in chickens, whereas the weights of abdominal adipose tissue and liver were not affected. Cumulative feed intake was significantly increased by MCM. Dietary MCM significantly decreased plasma 3-methylhistidine level. The messenger RNA and protein levels of muscle protein metabolism-related factors were not altered by MCM. These findings suggest that the growth-promoting effect of MCM is related to the suppression of muscle proteolysis in growing broiler chickens.

  12. Seamustard (Undaria pinnatifida) Improves Growth, Immunity, Fatty Acid Profile and Reduces Cholesterol in Hanwoo Steers

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, J. A.; Islam, M. M.; Ahmed, S. T.; Mun, H. S.; Kim, G. M.; Kim, Y. J.; Yang, C. J.

    2014-01-01

    The study was designed to evaluate the effect of 2% seamustard (Undaria pinnatifida) by-product (SW) on growth performance, immunity, carcass characteristics, cholesterol content and fatty acid profile in Hanwoo steers. A total of 20 Hanwoo steers (ave. 22 months old; 619 kg body weight) were randomly assigned to control (basal diet) and 2% SW supplemented diet. Dietary SW supplementation significantly (p<0.05) improved average daily gain and gain:feed ratio as well as serum immunoglobulin G concentration. Chemical composition and quality grade of meat and carcass yield grades evaluated at the end of the trial were found to be unaffected by SW supplementation. Dietary SW significantly reduced meat cholesterol concentration (p<0.05). Dietary SW supplementation significantly reduced the myristic acid (C14:0) and palmitoleic acid (C16:ln-7) concentration, while SW increased the concentration of stearic acid (C18:0) and linolenic acid (C18:3n-3) compared to control (p<0.05). Dietary SW supplementation had no effect on saturated fatty acids (SFA), unsaturated fatty acids, poly unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) or mono unsaturated fatty acid content in muscles. A reduced ratio of PUFA/SFA and n-6/n-3 were found in SW supplemented group (p<0.05). In conclusion, 2% SW supplementation was found to improve growth, immunity and fatty acid profile with significantly reduced cholesterol of beef. PMID:25083105

  13. NIDCAP improves brain function and structure in preterm infants with severe intrauterine growth restriction

    PubMed Central

    Als, H; Duffy, F H; McAnulty, G; Butler, S C; Lightbody, L; Kosta, S; Weisenfeld, N I; Robertson, R; Parad, R B; Ringer, S A; Blickman, J G; Zurakowski, D; Warfield, S K

    2012-01-01

    Objective: The effect of NIDCAP (Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program) was examined on the neurobehavioral, electrophysiological and neurostructural development of preterm infants with severe intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). Study Design: A total of 30 infants, 27–33 weeks gestation, were randomized to control (C; N=17) or NIDCAP/experimental (E; N=13) care. Baseline health and demographics were assessed at intake; electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 35 and 42 weeks postmenstrual age; and health, growth and neurobehavior at 42 weeks and 9 months corrected age (9 months). Results: C and E infants were comparable in health and demographics at baseline. At follow-up, E infants were healthier, showed significantly improved brain development and better neurobehavior. Neurobehavior, EEG and MRI discriminated between C and E infants. Neurobehavior at 42 weeks correlated with EEG and MRI at 42 weeks and neurobehavior at 9 months. Conclusion: NIDCAP significantly improved IUGR preterm infants' neurobehavior, electrophysiology and brain structure. Longer-term outcome assessment and larger samples are recommended. PMID:22301525

  14. Sustained swimming improves muscle growth and cellularity in gilthead sea bream.

    PubMed

    Ibarz, Antoni; Felip, Olga; Fernández-Borràs, Jaume; Martín-Pérez, Miguel; Blasco, Josefina; Torrella, Joan R

    2011-02-01

    Two groups of juvenile gilthead sea bream were kept on two different swimming regimes (Exercise, E: 1.5 body length s(-1) or Control, C: voluntary activity) for 1 month. All fish were first adapted to an experimental diet low in protein and rich in digestible carbohydrates (37.2% protein, 40.4% carbohydrates, 12.5% lipid). The cellularity and capillarisation of white muscle from two selected areas (cranial (Cr), below the dorsal fin, and caudal (Ca), behind the anal fin) were compared. The body weight and specific growth rate (SGR) of group E rose significantly without an increment in feed intake, pointing to higher nutrient-use efficiency. The white muscle fibre cross-sectional area and the perimeter of cranial samples increased after sustained activity, evidencing that sustained exercise enhances hypertrophic muscle development. However, we cannot conclude or rule out the possibility of fibre recruitment because the experimental period was too short. In the control group, capillarisation, which is extremely low in gilthead sea bream white muscle, showed a significantly higher number of fibres with no surrounding capillaries (F0) in the cranial area than in the caudal area, unlike the exercise group. Sustained swimming improved muscle machinery even in tissue normally associated with short bouts of very rapid anaerobic activity. So, through its effect on the use of tissue reserves and nutrients, exercise contributes to improvements in fish growth what can contribute to reducing nitrogen losses.

  15. Reformulating Tylocrebrine in Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Targeted Polymeric Nanoparticles Improves Its Therapeutic Index

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Several promising anticancer drug candidates have been sidelined owing to their poor physicochemical properties or unfavorable pharmacokinetics, resulting in high overall cost of drug discovery and development. Use of alternative formulation strategies that alleviate these issues can help advance new molecules to the clinic at a significantly lower cost. Tylocrebrine is a natural product with potent anticancer activity. Its clinical trial was discontinued following the discovery of severe central nervous system toxicities. To improve the safety and potency of tylocrebrine, we formulated the drug in polymeric nanoparticles targeted to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) overexpressed on several types of tumors. Through in vitro studies in different cancer cell lines, we found that EGFR targeted nanoparticles were significantly more effective in killing tumor cells than the free drug. In vivo pharmacokinetic studies revealed that encapsulation in nanoparticles resulted in lower brain penetration and enhanced tumor accumulation of the drug. Further, targeted nanoparticles were characterized by significantly enhanced tumor growth inhibitory activity in a mouse xenograft model of epidermoid cancer. These results suggest that the therapeutic index of drugs that were previously considered unusable could be significantly improved by reformulation. Application of novel formulation strategies to previously abandoned drugs provides an opportunity to advance new molecules to the clinic at a lower cost. This can significantly increase the repertoire of treatment options available to cancer patients. PMID:26065924

  16. Exposure to omega-3 fatty acids at early age accelerate bone growth and improve bone quality.

    PubMed

    Koren, Netta; Simsa-Maziel, Stav; Shahar, Ron; Schwartz, Betty; Monsonego-Ornan, Efrat

    2014-06-01

    Omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) are essential nutritional components that must be obtained from foods. Increasing evidence validate that omega-3 FAs are beneficial for bone health, and several mechanisms have been suggested to mediate their effects on bone, including alterations in calcium absorption and urinary calcium loss, prostaglandin synthesis, lipid oxidation, osteoblast formation and inhibition of osteoclastogenesis. However, to date, there is scant information regarding the effect of omega-3 FAs on the developing skeleton during the rapid growth phase. In this study we aim to evaluate the effect of exposure to high levels of omega-3 FAs on bone development and quality during prenatal and early postnatal period. For this purpose, we used the fat-1 transgenic mice that have the ability to convert omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and the ATDC5 chondrogenic cell line as models. We show that exposure to high concentrations of omega-3 FAs at a young age accelerates bone growth through alterations of the growth plate, associated with increased chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation. We further propose that those effects are mediated by the receptors G-protein coupled receptor 120 (GPR120) and hepatic nuclear factor 4α, which are expressed by chondrocytes in culture. Additionally, using a combined study on the structural and mechanical bone parameters, we show that high omega-3 levels contribute to superior trabecular and cortical structure, as well as to stiffer bones and improved bone quality. Most interestingly, the fat-1 model allowed us to demonstrate the role of maternal high omega-3 concentration on bone growth during the gestation and postnatal period.

  17. Formulations of polymeric biodegradable low-cost foam by melt extrusion to deliver plant growth-promoting bacteria in agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Marcelino, Paulo Ricardo Franco; Milani, Karina Maria Lima; Mali, Suzana; Santos, Odair José Andrade Pais Dos; de Oliveira, André Luiz Martinez

    2016-08-01

    The extrusion technology of blends formed by compounds with different physicochemical properties often results in new materials that present properties distinctive from its original individual constituents. Here, we report the use of melt extrusion of blends made from low-cost materials to produce a biodegradable foam suitable for use as an inoculant carrier of plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB). Six formulations were prepared with variable proportions of the raw materials; the resulting physicochemical and structural properties are described, as well as formulation performance in the maintenance of bacterial viability during 120 days of storage. Differences in blend composition influenced foam density, porosity, expansion index, and water absorption. Additionally, differences in the capability of sustaining bacterial viability for long periods of time were more related to the foam composition than to the resulting physicochemical characteristics. Microscopic analyses showed that the inoculant bacteria had firmly attached to the extruded material by forming biofilms. Inoculation assays using maize plants demonstrated that the bacteria attached to the extruded foams could survive in the soil for up to 10 days before maize sowing, without diminishing its ability to promote plant growth. The results presented demonstrate the viability of the new matrix as a biotechnological material for bacterial delivery not only in agriculture but also in other biotechnological applications, according to the selected bacterial strains.

  18. Screening of plant growth-promoting traits in arsenic-resistant bacteria isolated from agricultural soil and their potential implication for arsenic bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Das, Suvendu; Jean, Jiin-Shuh; Kar, Sandeep; Chou, Mon-Lin; Chen, Chien-Yen

    2014-05-15

    Twelve arsenic (As)-resistant bacteria (minimum inhibitory concentration ranging from 10 to 30mM and 150 to 320mM for As(III) and As(V), respectively) were isolated from the agricultural soil of the Chianan Plain in southwestern Taiwan using enrichment techniques. Eight isolates capable of oxidizing As(III) (rate of oxidation from 0.029 to 0.059μMh(-1) 10(-9) cell) and exhibiting As(III)-oxidase enzyme activity belong to Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Klebsiella and Comamonas genera, whereas four isolates that did not show As(III)-oxidizing activity belong to Geobacillus, Bacillus, Paenibacillus, and Enterobacter genera. Assessment of the parameters of plant growth promotion revealed that Pseudomonas sp. ASR1, ASR2 and ASR3, Geobacillus sp. ASR4, Bacillus sp. ASR5, Paenibacillus sp. ASR6, Enterobacter sp. ASR10 and Comamonas sp. ASR11, and ASR12 possessed some or all of the studied plant growth-promoting traits, including phosphate-solubilization, siderophore, IAA-like molecules and ACC deaminase production. In addition, the ability of As-resistant isolates to grow over wide ranges of pH and temperatures signify their potential application for sustainable bioremediation of As in the environment. PMID:24685527

  19. Improving food and agriculture productivity and the environment: Canadian initiatives in methyl bromide alternatives and emission control technologies. Revised edition

    SciTech Connect

    Marcotte, M.; Tibelius, C.

    1998-12-31

    Methyl bromide, a fumigant used in the agricultural sector, was listed as an ozone-depleting substance under the Montreal Protocol and is scheduled for phasing out in Canada. This report begins with a review of the joint industry/government approach being taken to plan and manage this phase-out. It then reviews alternative solutions that have been formulated and tested as replacements for the use of methyl bromide in greenhouse cultivation, soil fumigation, strawberry transplant production, tobacco production, grain production, and food processing facilities. Contact names and addresses are provided for those seeking further information. The final sections describe activities in methyl bromide recovery and recycling and list industry and government organizations that have expertise in methyl bromide alternatives.

  20. Population growth and economic growth.

    PubMed

    Narayana, D L

    1984-01-01

    the exponential growth of population as the source of several complications for economic growth and human welfare. Stabilization of population by reducing fertility is conducive for improving the quality of population and also advances the longterm management of the population growth and work force utilization. The perspective of longterm economic management involves populatio n planning, control of environmental pollution, conservation of scarce resources, exploration of resources, realization of technological possibilities in agriculture and industry and in farm and factory, and achievement of economic growth and its equitable distribution.

  1. Population growth and economic growth.

    PubMed

    Narayana, D L

    1984-01-01

    the exponential growth of population as the source of several complications for economic growth and human welfare. Stabilization of population by reducing fertility is conducive for improving the quality of population and also advances the longterm management of the population growth and work force utilization. The perspective of longterm economic management involves populatio n planning, control of environmental pollution, conservation of scarce resources, exploration of resources, realization of technological possibilities in agriculture and industry and in farm and factory, and achievement of economic growth and its equitable distribution. PMID:12314595

  2. Initiative for Future Agricultural Food Systems (IFAFS) From Farm to School: Improving Small Farm Viability and School Meals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kish, Stacy

    2008-01-01

    Improving the nutritional value of school meals is a growing priority among school systems across the United States. To assist in this effort, the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) funded a coalition, which developed a new program called "From Farm to School: Improving Small Farm Viability and School…

  3. Recombinant human growth hormone improves cognitive capacity in a pain patient exposed to chronic opioids.

    PubMed

    Rhodin, A; von Ehren, M; Skottheim, B; Grönbladh, A; Ortiz-Nieto, F; Raininko, R; Gordh, T; Nyberg, F

    2014-07-01

    During recent decades, the increasing use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain has raised concerns regarding tolerance, addiction, and importantly cognitive dysfunction. Current research suggests that the somatotrophic axis could play an important role in cognitive function. Administration of growth hormone (GH) to GH-deficient humans and experimental animals has been shown to result in significant improvements in cognitive capacity. In this report, a patient with cognitive disabilities resulting from chronic treatment with opioids for neuropathic pain received recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) replacement therapy. A 61-year-old man presented with severe cognitive dysfunction after long-term methadone treatment for intercostal neuralgia and was diagnosed with GH insufficiency by GH releasing hormone-arginine testing. The effect of rhGH replacement therapy on his cognitive capacity and quality of life was investigated. The hippocampal volume was measured using magnetic resonance imaging, and the ratios of the major metabolites were calculated using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Cognitive testing revealed significant improvements in visuospatial cognitive function after rhGH. The hippocampal volume remained unchanged. In the right hippocampus, the N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratio (reflecting nerve cell function) was initially low but increased significantly during rhGH treatment, as did subjective cognitive, physical and emotional functioning. This case report indicates that rhGH replacement therapy could improve cognitive behaviour and well-being, as well as hippocampal metabolism and functioning in opioid-treated patients with chronic pain. The idea that GH could affect brain function and repair disabilities induced by long-term exposure to opioid analgesia is supported.

  4. Early grass seedling growth stage improves explanation of future stand success

    SciTech Connect

    Ries, R.E.

    1999-07-01

    Predicting future grass stand success shortly after seeding improves the author's understanding of the mechanism of seeding success and makes possible timely decisions on the potential productivity of new grass stands. A 3-year field study with 5 species and 11 seeding dates per year was conducted to evaluate grass development and success when grass was direct seeded into wheat stubble with a double disk come seeder with depth bands and packer wheels. The number of grass seedlings/m{sup 2}, the number of adventitious roots, Haun stage, leaf length, leaf area, and number of tillers were measured 45 days after emergence. Earlier results showed that grass stand success can be reasonably predicted from the relationship of seedlings/m{sup 2} at 45 days after emergence with grass stems or plants/m{sup 2} 2 years after seeding. However, the simple coefficient of determination (r{sup 2}) for these relationships was quite low. further multiple regression analysis has shown that the R{sup 2} values can be significantly improved by adding the appropriate seedling growth stage to the number of seedlings/m{sup 2} at 45 days. For smooth bromegrass, the r{sup 2} was improved to 0.75 with the addition of adventitious roots, leaf area, and leaf length. The R{sup 2} was increased to 0.58 for crested wheatgrass and improved to 0.38 for western wheatgrass with the addition of number of adventitious roots. The R{sup 2} for blue grama was increased to 0.65 with the addition of number of adventitious roots. These data show that the explanation of the number of stems or plants/m{sup 2} estimated 2 years into the future is improved by knowing something about the developmental stage of the seedlings/m{sup 2} at 45 days after emergence.

  5. Radiotherapy planning for glioblastoma based on a tumor growth model: improving target volume delineation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unkelbach, Jan; Menze, Bjoern H.; Konukoglu, Ender; Dittmann, Florian; Le, Matthieu; Ayache, Nicholas; Shih, Helen A.

    2014-02-01

    Glioblastoma differ from many other tumors in the sense that they grow infiltratively into the brain tissue instead of forming a solid tumor mass with a defined boundary. Only the part of the tumor with high tumor cell density can be localized through imaging directly. In contrast, brain tissue infiltrated by tumor cells at low density appears normal on current imaging modalities. In current clinical practice, a uniform margin, typically two centimeters, is applied to account for microscopic spread of disease that is not directly assessable through imaging. The current treatment planning procedure can potentially be improved by accounting for the anisotropy of tumor growth, which arises from different factors: anatomical barriers such as the falx cerebri represent boundaries for migrating tumor cells. In addition, tumor cells primarily spread in white matter and infiltrate gray matter at lower rate. We investigate the use of a phenomenological tumor growth model for treatment planning. The model is based on the Fisher-Kolmogorov equation, which formalizes these growth characteristics and estimates the spatial distribution of tumor cells in normal appearing regions of the brain. The target volume for radiotherapy planning can be defined as an isoline of the simulated tumor cell density. This paper analyzes the model with respect to implications for target volume definition and identifies its most critical components. A retrospective study involving ten glioblastoma patients treated at our institution has been performed. To illustrate the main findings of the study, a detailed case study is presented for a glioblastoma located close to the falx. In this situation, the falx represents a boundary for migrating tumor cells, whereas the corpus callosum provides a route for the tumor to spread to the contralateral hemisphere. We further discuss the sensitivity of the model with respect to the input parameters. Correct segmentation of the brain appears to be the most

  6. Genetic Technology and Agricultural Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Staub, William J.; Blase, Melvin G.

    1971-01-01

    Examines the nature, application, limits and potential of applied genetics in plant breeding as a factor in South Asian agricultural development. Concludes other factors were also present in recent agricultural growth, and indicates some economic implications of continued growth, including problems of employment of displaced rural workers. (AL)

  7. Treatment of Trichuris trichiura infections improves growth, spelling scores and school attendance in some children.

    PubMed

    Simeon, D T; Grantham-McGregor, S M; Callender, J E; Wong, M S

    1995-07-01

    The effects of treating Trichuris trichiura infections were investigated in 407 Jamaican children age 6 to 12 y. The children were randomly assigned to receive treatment (albendazole) or a placebo. The outcome variables included growth, tests of reading, spelling and arithmetic, and school attendance. After 6 mo of treatment, there was no significant main effect on any of the outcomes. However, there were significant treatment-by-infection intensity interactions with spelling (P < 0.05) and body mass index (P < 0.01), and a significant treatment-by-stunting interaction with school attendance (P < 0.01). In spelling, the children with heavy infections showed improvements with treatment that approached significance (P = 0.06), whereas those with lower intensities did not. However, the children with lower infection intensities had increased body mass index with treatment (P = 0.02), although there was no difference in children with heavy infections. In school attendance, the stunted children improved with treatment (P < 0.04), whereas there was no difference in the nonstunted children. These findings suggest that in the sample of Jamaican children examined, the treatment of T. trichiura was more likely to benefit school performance in children of poor nutritional status and those with heavy infections, and to improve weight gain in children with lighter infection intensities.

  8. Elemental sulfur improves growth and phytoremediative ability of wheat grown in lead-contaminated calcareous soil.

    PubMed

    Saifullah; Khan, Muhammad Naeem; Iqbal, Muhammad; Naeem, Asif; Bibi, Sadia; Waraich, Ejaz Ahmad; Dahlawi, Saad

    2016-10-01

    Little is known about the effect of elemental sulfur on lead uptake and its toxicity in wheat. A pot experiment was conducted with the purpose to examine the impact of sulfur on improving Pb solubility in soil, and uptake and accumulation in wheat plants. The effect of three levels of lead (0, 50, and 100 mg/kg soil) and sulfur (0, 150, and 300 mmol/kg soil) was tested in all possible combinations. Root dry matter, straw, and grain yields, and the photosynthetic and transpiration rates decreased significantly with increase in the concentration of Pb in the soil. However, sulfur fertilization in the presence of Pb improved the photosynthetic and transpiration rates and consequently increased the straw and grain yields of wheat. It also enhanced Pb accumulation in roots, its translocation from roots to shoot, and accumulation in grain. S and Zn contents of different plant parts were also enhanced. Thus, by mitigating the toxic effect of Pb and improving wheat growth, sulfur enhances Pb accumulation by the aboveground plant parts and hence the phytoextraction capacity of wheat. However, total accumulation of Pb shows that wheat plant cannot be considered as a suitable candidate for phytoremediation. PMID:26852881

  9. Isolation and identification of indigenous plant growth promoting rhizobacteria from Himalayan region of Kashmir and their effect on improving growth and nutrient contents of maize (Zea mays L.)

    PubMed Central

    Zahid, Mahwish; Abbasi, M. Kaleem; Hameed, Sohail; Rahim, Nasir

    2015-01-01

    Introduction and exploitation of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in agro-ecosystems enhance plant–microbes interactions that may affect ecosystems sustainability, agricultural productivity, and environmental quality. The present study was conducted to isolate and identify PGPRs associated with maize (Zea mays L.) from twenty sites of Himalayan region of Hajira-Rawalakot, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Pakistan. A total of 100 isolates were isolated from these sites, out of which eight (HJR1, HJR2, HJR3, HJR4, HJR5, MR6, HJR7, HJR8) were selected in vitro for their plant growth promoting ability (PGPA) including phosphorus solubilization, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production and N2 fixation. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing technique was used for molecular identity and authentication. Isolates were then further tested for their effects on growth and nutrient contents of maize (Z. mays L.) under pouch and pot conditions. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis identified these isolates belong to Pseudomonas and Bacillus genera. The isolates promoted plant growth by solubilizing soil P which ranged between 19.2 and 35.6 μg mL-1. The isolates HJR1, HJR2, HJR3, and HJR5 showed positive activity in acetylene reduction assay showing their N2-fixation potential. All eight isolates showed the potential to produce IAA in the range of 0.9–5.39 μg mL-1 and promote plant growth. Results from a subsequent pot experiment indicated PGPRs distinctly increased maize shoot and root length, shoot and root dry weight, root surface area, leaf surface area, shoot and root N and P contents. Among the eight isolates, HR3 showed a marked P-solubilizing activity, plant growth-promoting attributes, and the potential to be developed as a biofertilizers for integrated nutrient management strategies. PMID:25852667

  10. Isolation and identification of indigenous plant growth promoting rhizobacteria from Himalayan region of Kashmir and their effect on improving growth and nutrient contents of maize (Zea mays L.).

    PubMed

    Zahid, Mahwish; Abbasi, M Kaleem; Hameed, Sohail; Rahim, Nasir

    2015-01-01

    Introduction and exploitation of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in agro-ecosystems enhance plant-microbes interactions that may affect ecosystems sustainability, agricultural productivity, and environmental quality. The present study was conducted to isolate and identify PGPRs associated with maize (Zea mays L.) from twenty sites of Himalayan region of Hajira-Rawalakot, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Pakistan. A total of 100 isolates were isolated from these sites, out of which eight (HJR1, HJR2, HJR3, HJR4, HJR5, MR6, HJR7, HJR8) were selected in vitro for their plant growth promoting ability (PGPA) including phosphorus solubilization, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production and N2 fixation. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing technique was used for molecular identity and authentication. Isolates were then further tested for their effects on growth and nutrient contents of maize (Z. mays L.) under pouch and pot conditions. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis identified these isolates belong to Pseudomonas and Bacillus genera. The isolates promoted plant growth by solubilizing soil P which ranged between 19.2 and 35.6 μg mL(-1). The isolates HJR1, HJR2, HJR3, and HJR5 showed positive activity in acetylene reduction assay showing their N2-fixation potential. All eight isolates showed the potential to produce IAA in the range of 0.9-5.39 μg mL(-1) and promote plant growth. Results from a subsequent pot experiment indicated PGPRs distinctly increased maize shoot and root length, shoot and root dry weight, root surface area, leaf surface area, shoot and root N and P contents. Among the eight isolates, HR3 showed a marked P-solubilizing activity, plant growth-promoting attributes, and the potential to be developed as a biofertilizers for integrated nutrient management strategies.

  11. Improving soil moisture simulation to support Agricultural Water Resource Management using Satellite-based water cycle observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Manika; Bolten, John; Lakshmi, Venkat

    2016-04-01

    Efficient and sustainable irrigation systems require optimization of operational parameters such as irrigation amount which are dependent on the soil hydraulic parameters that affect the model's accuracy in simulating soil water content. However, it is a scientific challenge to provide reliable estimates of soil hydraulic parameters and irrigation estimates, given the absence of continuously operating soil moisture and rain gauge network. For agricultural water resource management, the in-situ measurements of soil moisture are currently limited to discrete measurements at specific locations, and such point-based measurements do not represent the spatial distribution at a larger scale accurately, as soil moisture is highly variable both spatially and temporally (Wang and Qu 2009). In the current study, flood irrigation scheme within the land surface model is triggered when the root-zone soil moisture deficit reaches below a threshold of 25%, 50% and 75% with respect to the maximum available water capacity (difference between field capacity and wilting point) and applied until the top layer is saturated. An additional important criterion needed to activate the irrigation scheme is to ensure that it is irrigation season by assuming that the greenness vegetation fraction (GVF) of the pixel exceed 0.40 of the climatological annual range of GVF (Ozdogan et al. 2010). The main hypothesis used in this study is that near-surface remote sensing soil moisture data contain useful information that can describe the effective hydrological conditions of the basin such that when appropriately inverted, it would provide field capacity and wilting point soil moisture, which may be representative of that basin. Thus, genetic algorithm inverse method is employed to derive the effective parameters and derive the soil moisture deficit for the root zone by coupling of AMSR-E soil moisture with the physically based hydrological model. Model performance is evaluated using MODIS

  12. Monitoring agricultural crop growth: comparison of high spatial-temporal satellite imagery versus UAV-based imaging spectrometer time series measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mucher, Sander; Roerink, Gerbert; Franke, Jappe; Suomalainen, Juha; Kooistra, Lammert

    2014-05-01

    In 2012, the Dutch National Satellite Data Portal (NSD) was launched as a preparation to the launch of the European SENTINEL satellites in the framework of the Copernicus Programme. At the same time the Unmanned Aerial Remote Sensing Facility (UARSF: www.wageningenUR.nl/uarsf) has been established as research facility at Wageningen University and Research Centre. The NSD became available for the development of services and advice through an investment from the Dutch government in collaboration with the Netherlands Space Office (NSO) in order to develop new services for precision agriculture. The NSD contains Formosat, Radarsat as well as DMC satellite imagery. The processing of the DMC imagery resulted in the Greenmonitor service (www.groenmonitor.nl). The Greenmonitor is an unique product that covers the Netherlands with a high spatial and temporal resolution. The Greenmonitor is now being exploited for various applications, amongst others crop identification, crop phenology, and identification of management activities. The UARSF of Wageningen UR has three objectives: 1) to develop innovation in the field of remote sensing science using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) by providing a platform for dedicated and high-quality experiments; 2) to support high quality UAV services by providing calibration facilities and disseminating processing procedures to the UAV user community; 3) to promote and test the use of UAV in a broad range of application fields such as precision agriculture and habitat monitoring. Through this coincidence of new developments the goal of our study was to compare the information for the measurements of spatial variation in crops and soils as derived from high spatial-temporal satellite imagery from the national data portal compared to the exploitation of UAVs, in our case an Altura octocopter with a hyperspectral camera. As such, the focus is on the applications in precision agriculture. Both primary producers and chain partners and service

  13. Dietary administration of laminarin improves the growth performance and immune responses in Epinephelus coioides.

    PubMed

    Yin, Guangwen; Li, Wenwu; Lin, Qian; Lin, Xi; Lin, Jianbin; Zhu, Qingguo; Jiang, Heji; Huang, Zhijian

    2014-12-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of laminarin on the growth performance, immunological and biochemical parameters, as well as immune related genes expression in the grouper, Epinephelus coioides. One hundred and eight fish were randomly divided into four groups (45 groupers/group). Blank control group was fed with the basal diet, while low, medium and high doses of laminarin groups were fed with the basal diet supplemented with 0.5%, 1.0%, and 1.5% laminarin, respectively, for 48 days. The immunological and biochemical parameters in blood were investigated. The mRNA levels of IL-1β, IL-8, and TLR2 in midgut were also evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. Dietary laminarin supplementation significantly improved the specific growth rate and the feed efficiency ratio of the fish. The level of TP and the activity of LZM, CAT and SOD were higher than that of the control. The levels of UREA and CREA as well as the activity of ALP were lower than of the control. There was no significant difference in the levels of ALT and AST between control groups and treated groups. In addition, dietary laminarin supplementation decreased the levels of C3 and C4. The expression of immune response genes IL-1β, IL-8, and TLR2 showed significant increases (P < 0.05) in groupers fed low dose (0.5%) and medium dose (1.0%) of laminarin compared with the blank control. These results suggest that laminarin modulates the immune response and stimulates growth of the fish. PMID:25266890

  14. Improving microalgal growth with small bubbles in a raceway pond with swing gas aerators.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zongbo; Cheng, Jun; Liu, Jianzhong; Zhou, Junhu; Cen, Kefa

    2016-09-01

    A novel swing gas aerator was developed to generate small bubbles for improving the mass transfer coefficient and microalgal growth rate in a raceway pond. A high-speed photography system (HSP) was used to measure the bubble diameter and generation time, and online precise dissolved oxygen probes and pH probes were used to measure the mass transfer coefficient and mixing time. Bubble generation time and diameter decreased by 21% and 9%, respectively, when rubber gas aerators were swung in the microalgae solution. When water pump power and gas aeration rate increased in a raceway pond with swing gas aerators and oscillating baffles (SGAOB), bubble generation time and diameter decreased but solution velocity and mass transfer coefficient increased. The mass transfer coefficient increased by 25% and the solution velocity increased by 11% when SGAOB was used, and the microalgal biomass yield increased by 18%.

  15. Improved procedure for the purification of an iodinated protein: beta nerve growth factor

    SciTech Connect

    Ennulat, D.J.; Stach, R.W.

    1985-07-01

    An improved procedure for the isolation of iodinated beta Nerve Growth Factor ( SVI-beta NGF) has been devised. Use of Centricon microconcentrators (Amicon) has allowed the facile and efficient recovery of ultrapure SVI-beta NGF in high yields. Centricon microconcentrators are supplied with two molecular weight cutoffs of 10 K and 30 K daltons. beta NGF is a basic protein with a molecular weight of 26 K daltons. It is therefore possible to filter the SVI-beta NGF through the 30 K filter (30 K Filtrate) leaving behind any aggregates or reactants greater than 30 K while the SVI-beta NGF can be retained and concentrated on the 10 K filter (10 K Retentate). Any free SVI is easily removed, passing through the 10 K filter and then being discarded. In this way SVI-beta NGF can be easily purified.

  16. Improving microalgal growth with small bubbles in a raceway pond with swing gas aerators.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zongbo; Cheng, Jun; Liu, Jianzhong; Zhou, Junhu; Cen, Kefa

    2016-09-01

    A novel swing gas aerator was developed to generate small bubbles for improving the mass transfer coefficient and microalgal growth rate in a raceway pond. A high-speed photography system (HSP) was used to measure the bubble diameter and generation time, and online precise dissolved oxygen probes and pH probes were used to measure the mass transfer coefficient and mixing time. Bubble generation time and diameter decreased by 21% and 9%, respectively, when rubber gas aerators were swung in the microalgae solution. When water pump power and gas aeration rate increased in a raceway pond with swing gas aerators and oscillating baffles (SGAOB), bubble generation time and diameter decreased but solution velocity and mass transfer coefficient increased. The mass transfer coefficient increased by 25% and the solution velocity increased by 11% when SGAOB was used, and the microalgal biomass yield increased by 18%. PMID:27243604

  17. Going for growth: improvement in the infrastructural and management support for clinical academic research.

    PubMed

    Fowler Davis, Sally

    2015-01-01

    each professional group to champion research and undertake the organisational change that would be needed. The two cycles of improvement over 14 months were used to achieve "academic status" within the organisation, to include clinical staff in the delivery of the research strategy and to create a clinical academic infrastructure that incorporated a well organised public and patient involvement (PPI) panel. Additional measures included the level of participation of clinical academic staff in grant capture and the level of income from research to sustain the growth in activity. PMID:26734386

  18. Going for growth: improvement in the infrastructural and management support for clinical academic research.

    PubMed

    Fowler Davis, Sally

    2015-01-01

    each professional group to champion research and undertake the organisational change that would be needed. The two cycles of improvement over 14 months were used to achieve "academic status" within the organisation, to include clinical staff in the delivery of the research strategy and to create a clinical academic infrastructure that incorporated a well organised public and patient involvement (PPI) panel. Additional measures included the level of participation of clinical academic staff in grant capture and the level of income from research to sustain the growth in activity.

  19. Going for growth: improvement in the infrastructural and management support for clinical academic research

    PubMed Central

    Fowler Davis, Sally

    2015-01-01

    managers in each professional group to champion research and undertake the organisational change that would be needed. The two cycles of improvement over 14 months were used to achieve “academic status” within the organisation, to include clinical staff in the delivery of the research strategy and to create a clinical academic infrastructure that incorporated a well organised public and patient involvement (PPI) panel. Additional measures included the level of participation of clinical academic staff in grant capture and the level of income from research to sustain the growth in activity. PMID:26734386

  20. Climate change and agriculture in developing countries

    SciTech Connect

    Antle, J.M.

    1995-08-01

    Most analysts agree that the poorest countries` agricultures are likely to be the most vulnerable to-and least capable of adapting to-climate change or other environmental disruptions. Research has only recently begun to assess what the likely impacts of climate change on developing countries` agricultures may be, how these agricultures might adapt to climate change, and how policies might be designed to facilitate adaptation. This paper begins with a discussion of what researchers currently believe the impacts of climate change could be on developing country agriculture, principally tropical agriculture. Climate changes are expected to occur from thirty to more than one hundred years in the future. These time horizons mean that predictions of the key factors determining impacts and adaptation-population, income, institutions, and technology-are probably as uncertain as predictions of climate change itself. Rates of productivity growth and technological adaptation will be critical to future food supplies, with or without climate change. Continuation of the trend of the past forty years could make so abundant that climate change effects would be inconsequential, but lower rates of growth could result in population growth outstripping food supplies. The second section of this paper addresses the critical issue of predicting the long-term trend in productivity by building on the substantial knowledge we have about the economic factors determining agricultural innovation and adaptation. Considering the time horizons and uncertainties involved in climate change, the wise policy strategy is to pursue investments that are economically justified, whether or not climate change occurs. A better understanding of managed ecosystems would improve our understanding of agricultural sustainability as well as climate change impacts and adaptation. The third section of this paper outlines an economic approach to modeling managed ecosystems. 21 refs.

  1. Improved synthesis and growth of graphene oxide for field effect transistor biosensors.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jingfeng; Chen, Hu; Jing, Lin; Fam, Derrick; Tok, Alfred Iing Yoong

    2016-08-01

    Reduced graphene oxide (RGO) has many advantages over graphene such as low-cost, aqueous processable and industrial-scalable. However, two main limitations that prevent the use of RGO in electronics are the high electrical resistance and large electrical resistance deviation between fabricated devices. This limits RGO's use in biosensors, capacitors and other electronic devices. Herein, we present (1) a modified Hummer's method to obtain large RGO flakes via in-situ size fractionation and (2) the novel growth of RGO which can bridge the gaps in-between existing RGO flakes. Together, these two processes reduced the electrical resistance drastically from 1.99E + 06 to 4.68E + 03 Ω/square and the standard deviation decreased from 80.5 % to 16.5 %. The RGO was then fabricated into a field-effect transistor biosensor. A 1 pmol to 100 nmol change in Cytochrome C protein corresponded to a 3 % change in electrical resistance. The reported improved RGO synthesis method and subsequent growth enable large-scale application of RGO in practical electronic devices such as biosensors.

  2. Improved synthesis and growth of graphene oxide for field effect transistor biosensors.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jingfeng; Chen, Hu; Jing, Lin; Fam, Derrick; Tok, Alfred Iing Yoong

    2016-08-01

    Reduced graphene oxide (RGO) has many advantages over graphene such as low-cost, aqueous processable and industrial-scalable. However, two main limitations that prevent the use of RGO in electronics are the high electrical resistance and large electrical resistance deviation between fabricated devices. This limits RGO's use in biosensors, capacitors and other electronic devices. Herein, we present (1) a modified Hummer's method to obtain large RGO flakes via in-situ size fractionation and (2) the novel growth of RGO which can bridge the gaps in-between existing RGO flakes. Together, these two processes reduced the electrical resistance drastically from 1.99E + 06 to 4.68E + 03 Ω/square and the standard deviation decreased from 80.5 % to 16.5 %. The RGO was then fabricated into a field-effect transistor biosensor. A 1 pmol to 100 nmol change in Cytochrome C protein corresponded to a 3 % change in electrical resistance. The reported improved RGO synthesis method and subsequent growth enable large-scale application of RGO in practical electronic devices such as biosensors. PMID:27379845

  3. Improvement of chemical and biological characteristics of gossan mine wastes following application of amendments and growth of Cistus ladanifer L.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos, Erika; Abreu, Maria Manuela; Macías, Felipe; de Varennes, Amarilis

    2013-04-01

    Cistus ladanifer is considered a good option for phytostabilization of mine wastes, composed of several materials, but its growth is very slow due to substrata conditions (acidic pH, low fertility and water availability, high total concentrations of hazardous elements). To enhance the growth of C. ladanifer with application of organic/inorganic amendments can be a strategy to speed up remediation. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of different rates of amendments and C. ladanifer growth on the improvement of chemical and biological characteristics of gossan wastes. Composite samples of mining wastes (gossan+host rocks) were collected at the São Domingos mine. Amendments used were mixtures (30, 75, 150 Mg/ha) of rockwool, agriculture wastes and wastes from liquor distillation obtained from fruits of Arbutus unedo. Four treatments (n=6 replicates) were carried out (control and three amended treatments) under controlled conditions in a greenhouse. After one month of incubation at 70% of water holding capacity, C. ladanifer was sown in half of the pots from each treatment (n=3), and the other three pots remained in the same conditions without plant. Chemical and biological characteristics of the wastes (with/without plants) were analysed after incubation and fifteen months. Gossan wastes had great total concentrations of several elements (g/kg; Al: 24.8, As: 3.03, Cu: 0.23, Pb; 9.21) whereas in an extracting solution (diluted solution of organic acids) these were small (0.5 units), fertility (Corganic, Pextractable, Ntotal) and dehydrogenase activity of mine wastes, principally with the rate of 150 Mg/ha, even after one month of incubation and after the plants be sown. In both sampling periods (beginning/end of the experiment), Kextractable concentrations increased only with the high application rates (control and 30 Mg/ha treatment: 1.02-1.88 mg/kg; other amended treatments: 2.13-3.55 mg/kg). At the end of the experiment, the presence of the plant increased

  4. Assessing multiple novel tracers to improve the understanding of the contribution of agricultural farm waste to diffuse water pollution.

    PubMed

    Granger, Steven J; Bol, Roland; Dixon, Liz; Naden, Pam S; Old, Gareth H; Marsh, Jon K; Bilotta, Gary; Brazier, Richard; White, Sue M; Haygarth, Philip M

    2010-05-01

    A study was undertaken on drained and undrained 1 ha grassland lysimeters to assess the effectiveness of multiple novel tracing techniques in understanding how agricultural slurry waste moves from land to water. Artificial fluorescent particles designed to mimic the size and density of organic slurry particles were found to move off the grassland via inter-flow (surface + lateral through-flow) and drain-flow. Where both pathways were present the drains carried the greater number of particles. The results of the natural fluorescence and δ13C of water samples were inconclusive. Natural fluorescence was higher from slurry-amended lysimeters than from zero-slurry lysimeters, however, a fluorescence decay experiment suggested that no slurry signal should be present given the time between slurry application and the onset of drainage. The δ13C values of >0.7 microm and <0.7 microm material in drainage were varied and unrelated to discharge. The mean value of >0.7 microm δ13C in water from the drain-flow pathways was higher from the lysimeter which had received naturally enriched maize slurry compared to the lysimeter which received grass slurry indicating a contribution of slurry-derived material. Values of <0.7 microm δ13C from the same pathway, however, produced counter intuitive trends and may indicate that different fractions of the slurry have different δ13C values.

  5. Improving accuracy and usability of growth charts: case study in Rwanda

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Suzana; McSharry, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Objectives We evaluate and compare manually collected paper records against electronic records for monitoring the weights of children under the age of 5. Setting Data were collected by 24 community health workers (CHWs) in 2 Rwandan communities, 1 urban and 1 rural. Participants The same CHWs collected paper and electronic records. Paper data contain weight and age for 320 boys and 380 girls. Electronic data contain weight and age for 922 girls and 886 boys. Electronic data were collected over 9 months; most of the data is cross-sectional, with about 330 children with time-series data. Both data sets are compared with the international standard provided by the WHO growth chart. Primary and secondary outcome measures The plan was to collect 2000 individual records for the electronic data set—we finally collected 1878 records. Paper data were collected by the same CHWs, but most data were fragmented and hard to read. We transcribed data only from children for whom we were able to obtain the date of birth, to determine the exact age at the time of measurement. Results Mean absolute error (MAE) and mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) provide a way to quantify the magnitude of the error in using a given model. Comparing a model, log(weight)=a+b log(age), shows that electronic records provide considerable improvements over paper records, with 40% reduction in both performance metrics. Electronic data improve performance over the WHO model by 10% in MAPE and 7% in MAE. Results are statistically significant using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test at p<0.01. Conclusions This study demonstrates that using modern electronic tools for health data collection is allowing better tracking of health indicators. We have demonstrated that electronic records facilitate development of a country-specific model that is more accurate than the international standard provided by the WHO growth chart. PMID:26817635

  6. Improving root-zone soil moisture estimations using dynamic root growth and crop phenology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hashemian, Minoo; Ryu, Dongryeol; Crow, Wade T.; Kustas, William P.

    2015-12-01

    Water Energy Balance (WEB) Soil Vegetation Atmosphere Transfer (SVAT) modelling can be used to estimate soil moisture by forcing the model with observed data such as precipitation and solar radiation. Recently, an innovative approach that assimilates remotely sensed thermal infrared (TIR) observations into WEB-SVAT to improve the results has been proposed. However, the efficacy of the model-observation integration relies on the model's realistic representation of soil water processes. Here, we explore methods to improve the soil water processes of a simple WEB-SVAT model by adopting and incorporating an exponential root water uptake model with water stress compensation and establishing a more appropriate soil-biophysical linkage between root-zone moisture content, above-ground states and biophysical indices. The existing WEB-SVAT model is extended to a new Multi-layer WEB-SVAT with Dynamic Root distribution (MWSDR) that has five soil layers. Impacts of plant root depth variations, growth stages and phenological cycle of the vegetation on transpiration are considered in developing stages. Hydrometeorological and biogeophysical measurements collected from two experimental sites, one in Dookie, Victoria, Australia and the other in Ponca, Oklahoma, USA, are used to validate the new model. Results demonstrate that MWSDR provides improved soil moisture, transpiration and evaporation predictions which, in turn, can provide an improved physical basis for assimilating remotely sensed data into the model. Results also show the importance of having an adequate representation of vegetation-related transpiration process for an appropriate simulation of water transfer in a complicated system of soil, plants and atmosphere.

  7. Advancing agricultural greenhouse gas quantification*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olander, Lydia; Wollenberg, Eva; Tubiello, Francesco; Herold, Martin

    2013-03-01

    1. Introduction Better information on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigation potential in the agricultural sector is necessary to manage these emissions and identify responses that are consistent with the food security and economic development priorities of countries. Critical activity data (what crops or livestock are managed in what way) are poor or lacking for many agricultural systems, especially in developing countries. In addition, the currently available methods for quantifying emissions and mitigation are often too expensive or complex or not sufficiently user friendly for widespread use. The purpose of this focus issue is to capture the state of the art in quantifying greenhouse gases from agricultural systems, with the goal of better understanding our current capabilities and near-term potential for improvement, with particular attention to quantification issues relevant to smallholders in developing countries. This work is timely in light of international discussions and negotiations around how agriculture should be included in efforts to reduce and adapt to climate change impacts, and considering that significant climate financing to developing countries in post-2012 agreements may be linked to their increased ability to identify and report GHG emissions (Murphy et al 2010, CCAFS 2011, FAO 2011). 2. Agriculture and climate change mitigation The main agricultural GHGs—methane and nitrous oxide—account for 10%-12% of anthropogenic emissions globally (Smith et al 2008), or around 50% and 60% of total anthropogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions, respectively, in 2005. Net carbon dioxide fluxes between agricultural land and the atmosphere linked to food production are relatively small, although significant carbon emissions are associated with degradation of organic soils for plantations in tropical regions (Smith et al 2007, FAO 2012). Population growth and shifts in dietary patterns toward more meat and dairy consumption will lead to

  8. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts.

  9. [Effects of agricultural activities and transgenic crops on agricultural biodiversity].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xi-Tao; Luo, Hong-Bing; Li, Jun-Sheng; Huang, Hai; Liu, Yong-Bo

    2014-09-01

    Agricultural biodiversity is a key part of the ecosystem biodiversity, but it receives little concern. The monoculture, environmental pollution and habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural activities have threatened agricultural biodiversity over the past 50 years. To optimize agricultural management measures for crop production and environmental protection, we reviewed the effects of agricultural activities, including cultivation patterns, plastic mulching, chemical additions and the cultivation of transgenic crops, on agricultural biodiversity. The results showed that chemical pesticides and fertilizers had the most serious influence and the effects of transgenic crops varied with other factors like the specific transgene inserted in crops. The environmental risk of transgenic crops should be assessed widely through case-by-case methods, particularly its potential impacts on agricultural biodiversity. It is important to consider the protection of agricultural biodiversity before taking certain agricultural practices, which could improve agricultural production and simultaneously reduce the environmental impacts. PMID:25757330

  10. Assessing the Effect of Using a Science-Enhanced Curriculum to Improve Agriculture Students' Science Scores: A Causal Comparative Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haynes, J. Chris; Robinson, J. Shane; Edwards, M. Craig; Key, James P.

    2012-01-01

    The academic skills of today's teenagers are diminishing, and are a cause for concern. One of the academic areas in need of improvement is science. The purpose of this causal comparative study was to determine the effect that a science-enhanced, curriculum would have on students' achievement in science. The population for this study consisted of…

  11. Improving Agricultural Extension Services through University Outreach Initiatives: A Case of Farmers in Model Villages in Ogun State, Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oloruntoba, Abayomi; Adegbite, Dorcas A.

    2006-01-01

    University outreach is an educational and research-based information source enabling farmers to make decisions that improve the quality of their lives. This paper explores how collaborative efforts between the university and farmers have directly impacted in albeit Striga ("noxious witch weed") ravaged maize farms in rainforest farming systems in…

  12. Grassland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in grassland environments is facing multiple stresses from: shifting demographics, declining and fragmented agricultural landscapes, declining environmental quality, variable and changing climate, volatile and increasing energy costs, marginal economic returns, and globalization. Degrad...

  13. BrUGE1 transgenic rice showed improved growth performance with enhanced drought tolerance.

    PubMed

    Abdula, Sailila E; Lee, Hye Jung; Kim, Joonki; Niño, Marjohn C; Jung, Yu-Jin; Cho, Young-Chan; Nou, Illsup; Kang, Kwon-Kyoo; Cho, Yong-Gu

    2016-03-01

    UDP-glucose 4-epimerase (UGE) catalyzes the reversible conversion of UDP-glucose to UDP-galactose. To understand the biological function of UGE from Brassica rapa, the gene BrUGE1 was cloned and introduced into the genome of wild type rice 'Gopum' using the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. Four lines which carried a single copy gene were selected and forwarded to T3 generation. Agronomic traits evaluation of the transgenic T3 lines (CB01, CB03, and CB06) under optimal field conditions revealed enriched biomass production particularly in panicle length, number of productive tillers, number of spikelets per panicle, and filled spikelets. These remarkably improved agronomic traits were ascribed to a higher photosynthetic rate complemented with higher CO2 assimilation. Transcripts of BrUGE1 in transgenic lines continuously accumulated at higher levels after the 20% PEG6000 treatment, implying its probable role in drought stress regulation. This was paralleled by rapid accumulation of soluble sugars which act as osmoprotectants, leading to delayed leaf rolling and drying. Our findings suggest the potential of BrUGE1 in improving rice growth performance under optimal and water deficit conditions.

  14. BrUGE1 transgenic rice showed improved growth performance with enhanced drought tolerance.

    PubMed

    Abdula, Sailila E; Lee, Hye Jung; Kim, Joonki; Niño, Marjohn C; Jung, Yu-Jin; Cho, Young-Chan; Nou, Illsup; Kang, Kwon-Kyoo; Cho, Yong-Gu

    2016-03-01

    UDP-glucose 4-epimerase (UGE) catalyzes the reversible conversion of UDP-glucose to UDP-galactose. To understand the biological function of UGE from Brassica rapa, the gene BrUGE1 was cloned and introduced into the genome of wild type rice 'Gopum' using the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. Four lines which carried a single copy gene were selected and forwarded to T3 generation. Agronomic traits evaluation of the transgenic T3 lines (CB01, CB03, and CB06) under optimal field conditions revealed enriched biomass production particularly in panicle length, number of productive tillers, number of spikelets per panicle, and filled spikelets. These remarkably improved agronomic traits were ascribed to a higher photosynthetic rate complemented with higher CO2 assimilation. Transcripts of BrUGE1 in transgenic lines continuously accumulated at higher levels after the 20% PEG6000 treatment, implying its probable role in drought stress regulation. This was paralleled by rapid accumulation of soluble sugars which act as osmoprotectants, leading to delayed leaf rolling and drying. Our findings suggest the potential of BrUGE1 in improving rice growth performance under optimal and water deficit conditions. PMID:27162494

  15. BrUGE1 transgenic rice showed improved growth performance with enhanced drought tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Abdula, Sailila E.; Lee, Hye Jung; Kim, Joonki; Niño, Marjohn C.; Jung, Yu-Jin; Cho, Young-Chan; Nou, Illsup; Kang, Kwon-Kyoo; Cho, Yong-Gu

    2016-01-01

    UDP-glucose 4-epimerase (UGE) catalyzes the reversible conversion of UDP-glucose to UDP-galactose. To understand the biological function of UGE from Brassica rapa, the gene BrUGE1 was cloned and introduced into the genome of wild type rice ‘Gopum’ using the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. Four lines which carried a single copy gene were selected and forwarded to T3 generation. Agronomic traits evaluation of the transgenic T3 lines (CB01, CB03, and CB06) under optimal field conditions revealed enriched biomass production particularly in panicle length, number of productive tillers, number of spikelets per panicle, and filled spikelets. These remarkably improved agronomic traits were ascribed to a higher photosynthetic rate complemented with higher CO2 assimilation. Transcripts of BrUGE1 in transgenic lines continuously accumulated at higher levels after the 20% PEG6000 treatment, implying its probable role in drought stress regulation. This was paralleled by rapid accumulation of soluble sugars which act as osmoprotectants, leading to delayed leaf rolling and drying. Our findings suggest the potential of BrUGE1 in improving rice growth performance under optimal and water deficit conditions. PMID:27162494

  16. Calcitonin and vitamin D3 have high therapeutic potential for improving diabetic mandibular growth.

    PubMed

    Abbassy, Mona A; Watari, Ippei; Bakry, Ahmed S; Ono, Takashi; Hassan, Ali H

    2016-03-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the effect of the intermittent combination of an antiresorptive agent (calcitonin) and an anabolic agent (vitamin D3) on treating the detrimental effects of Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) on mandibular bone formation and growth. Forty 3-week-old male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: the control group (normal rats), the control C+D group (normal rats injected with calcitonin and vitamin D3), the diabetic C+D group (diabetic rats injected with calcitonin and vitamin D3) and the diabetic group (uncontrolled diabetic rats). An experimental DM condition was induced in the male Wistar rats in the diabetic and diabetic C+D groups using a single dose of 60 mg·kg(-1) body weight of streptozotocin. Calcitonin and vitamin D3 were simultaneously injected in the rats of the control C+D and diabetic C+D groups. All rats were killed after 4 weeks, and the right mandibles were evaluated by micro-computed tomography and histomorphometric analysis. Diabetic rats showed a significant deterioration in bone quality and bone formation (diabetic group). By contrast, with the injection of calcitonin and vitamin D3, both bone parameters and bone formation significantly improved (diabetic C+D group) (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that these two hormones might potentially improve various bone properties. PMID:27025264

  17. Calcitonin and vitamin D3 have high therapeutic potential for improving diabetic mandibular growth.

    PubMed

    Abbassy, Mona A; Watari, Ippei; Bakry, Ahmed S; Ono, Takashi; Hassan, Ali H

    2016-03-30

    The goal of this study was to assess the effect of the intermittent combination of an antiresorptive agent (calcitonin) and an anabolic agent (vitamin D3) on treating the detrimental effects of Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) on mandibular bone formation and growth. Forty 3-week-old male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: the control group (normal rats), the control C+D group (normal rats injected with calcitonin and vitamin D3), the diabetic C+D group (diabetic rats injected with calcitonin and vitamin D3) and the diabetic group (uncontrolled diabetic rats). An experimental DM condition was induced in the male Wistar rats in the diabetic and diabetic C+D groups using a single dose of 60 mg·kg(-1) body weight of streptozotocin. Calcitonin and vitamin D3 were simultaneously injected in the rats of the control C+D and diabetic C+D groups. All rats were killed after 4 weeks, and the right mandibles were evaluated by micro-computed tomography and histomorphometric analysis. Diabetic rats showed a significant deterioration in bone quality and bone formation (diabetic group). By contrast, with the injection of calcitonin and vitamin D3, both bone parameters and bone formation significantly improved (diabetic C+D group) (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that these two hormones might potentially improve various bone properties.

  18. Calcitonin and vitamin D3 have high therapeutic potential for improving diabetic mandibular growth

    PubMed Central

    Abbassy, Mona A; Watari, Ippei; Bakry, Ahmed S; Ono, Takashi; Hassan, Ali H

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the effect of the intermittent combination of an antiresorptive agent (calcitonin) and an anabolic agent (vitamin D3) on treating the detrimental effects of Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) on mandibular bone formation and growth. Forty 3-week-old male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: the control group (normal rats), the control C+D group (normal rats injected with calcitonin and vitamin D3), the diabetic C+D group (diabetic rats injected with calcitonin and vitamin D3) and the diabetic group (uncontrolled diabetic rats). An experimental DM condition was induced in the male Wistar rats in the diabetic and diabetic C+D groups using a single dose of 60 mg·kg−1 body weight of streptozotocin. Calcitonin and vitamin D3 were simultaneously injected in the rats of the control C+D and diabetic C+D groups. All rats were killed after 4 weeks, and the right mandibles were evaluated by micro-computed tomography and histomorphometric analysis. Diabetic rats showed a significant deterioration in bone quality and bone formation (diabetic group). By contrast, with the injection of calcitonin and vitamin D3, both bone parameters and bone formation significantly improved (diabetic C+D group) (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that these two hormones might potentially improve various bone properties. PMID:27025264

  19. Field-Based Stable Isotope Probing Reveals the Identities of Benzoic Acid-Metabolizing Microorganisms and Their In Situ Growth in Agricultural Soil▿

    PubMed Central

    Pumphrey, Graham M.; Madsen, Eugene L.

    2008-01-01

    We used a combination of stable isotope probing (SIP), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-based respiration, isolation/cultivation, and quantitative PCR procedures to discover the identity and in situ growth of soil microorganisms that metabolize benzoic acid. We added [13C]benzoic acid or [12C]benzoic acid (100 μg) once, four times, or five times at 2-day intervals to agricultural field plots. After monitoring 13CO2 evolution from the benzoic acid-dosed soil, field soils were harvested and used for nucleic acid extraction and for cultivation of benzoate-degrading bacteria. Exposure of soil to benzoate increased the number of culturable benzoate degraders compared to unamended soil, and exposure to benzoate shifted the dominant culturable benzoate degraders from Pseudomonas species to Burkholderia species. Isopycnic separation of heavy [13C]DNA from the unlabeled fraction allowed terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses to confirm that distinct 16S rRNA genes were localized in the heavy fraction. Phylogenetic analysis of sequenced 16S rRNA genes revealed a predominance (15 of 58 clones) of Burkholderia species in the heavy fraction. Burkholderia sp. strain EBA09 shared 99.5% 16S rRNA sequence similarity with a group of clones representing the dominant RFLP pattern, and the T-RFLP fragment for strain EBA09 and a clone from that cluster matched the fragment enriched in the [13C]DNA fraction. Growth of the population represented by EBA09 during the field-dosing experiment was demonstrated by using most-probable-number-PCR and primers targeting EBA09 and the closely related species Burkholderia hospita. Thus, the target population identified by SIP not only actively metabolized benzoic acid but reproduced in the field upon the addition of the substrate. PMID:18469130

  20. Field-based stable isotope probing reveals the identities of benzoic acid-metabolizing microorganisms and their in situ growth in agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Pumphrey, Graham M; Madsen, Eugene L

    2008-07-01

    We used a combination of stable isotope probing (SIP), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-based respiration, isolation/cultivation, and quantitative PCR procedures to discover the identity and in situ growth of soil microorganisms that metabolize benzoic acid. We added [(13)C]benzoic acid or [(12)C]benzoic acid (100 microg) once, four times, or five times at 2-day intervals to agricultural field plots. After monitoring (13)CO(2) evolution from the benzoic acid-dosed soil, field soils were harvested and used for nucleic acid extraction and for cultivation of benzoate-degrading bacteria. Exposure of soil to benzoate increased the number of culturable benzoate degraders compared to unamended soil, and exposure to benzoate shifted the dominant culturable benzoate degraders from Pseudomonas species to Burkholderia species. Isopycnic separation of heavy [(13)C]DNA from the unlabeled fraction allowed terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses to confirm that distinct 16S rRNA genes were localized in the heavy fraction. Phylogenetic analysis of sequenced 16S rRNA genes revealed a predominance (15 of 58 clones) of Burkholderia species in the heavy fraction. Burkholderia sp. strain EBA09 shared 99.5% 16S rRNA sequence similarity with a group of clones representing the dominant RFLP pattern, and the T-RFLP fragment for strain EBA09 and a clone from that cluster matched the fragment enriched in the [(13)C]DNA fraction. Growth of the population represented by EBA09 during the field-dosing experiment was demonstrated by using most-probable-number-PCR and primers targeting EBA09 and the closely related species Burkholderia hospita. Thus, the target population identified by SIP not only actively metabolized benzoic acid but reproduced in the field upon the addition of the substrate.

  1. Agricultural Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehigh County Area Vocational-Technical School, Schnecksville, PA.

    This brochure describes the philosophy and scope of a secondary-level course in agricultural production. Addressed in the individual units of the course are the following topics: careers in agriculture and agribusiness, animal science and livestock production, agronomy, agricultural mechanics, supervised occupational experience programs, and the…

  2. Effects of grass species and grass growth on atmospheric nitrogen deposition to a bog ecosystem surrounded by intensive agricultural land use

    PubMed Central

    Hurkuck, Miriam; Brümmer, Christian; Mohr, Karsten; Spott, Oliver; Well, Reinhard; Flessa, Heinz; Kutsch, Werner L

    2015-01-01

    We applied a 15N dilution technique called “Integrated Total Nitrogen Input” (ITNI) to quantify annual atmospheric N input into a peatland surrounded by intensive agricultural practices over a 2-year period. Grass species and grass growth effects on atmospheric N deposition were investigated using Lolium multiflorum and Eriophorum vaginatum and different levels of added N resulting in increased biomass production. Plant biomass production was positively correlated with atmospheric N uptake (up to 102.7 mg N pot−1) when using Lolium multiflorum. In contrast, atmospheric N deposition to Eriophorum vaginatum did not show a clear dependency to produced biomass and ranged from 81.9 to 138.2 mg N pot−1. Both species revealed a relationship between atmospheric N input and total biomass N contents. Airborne N deposition varied from about 24 to 55 kg N ha−1 yr−1. Partitioning of airborne N within the monitor system differed such that most of the deposited N was found in roots of Eriophorum vaginatum while the highest share was allocated in aboveground biomass of Lolium multiflorum. Compared to other approaches determining atmospheric N deposition, ITNI showed highest airborne N input and an up to fivefold exceedance of the ecosystem-specific critical load of 5–10 kg N ha−1 yr−1. PMID:26257870

  3. Impact of runoff water from an experimental agricultural field applied with Vertimec® 18EC (abamectin) on the survival, growth and gill morphology of zebrafish juveniles.

    PubMed

    Novelli, Andréa; Vieira, Bruna Horvath; Braun, Andréa Simone; Mendes, Lucas Bueno; Daam, Michiel Adriaan; Espíndola, Evaldo Luiz Gaeta

    2016-02-01

    Edge-of-field waterbodies in tropical agroecosystems have been reported to be especially prone to pesticide contamination through runoff resulting from intensive irrigation practices and tropical rainfall. In the present study, the effects of runoff from an experimental agricultural field applied with Vertimec(®) 18EC (active ingredient: abamectin) on zebrafish were evaluated. To this end, the experimental field was applied with the Vertimec(®) 18EC dose recommended for strawberry crop in Brazil, whereas another field was treated with water only to serve as control. No effects of runoff water from either plot were recorded on survival. Water from the treated field led to increased growth and gill alterations. In general, these alterations were of the first and second degree, including proliferation of cells between the secondary lamellae, dilation at the lamellar apex, detachment of the respiratory epithelium and aneurism. These results confirm the high toxic potential of Vertimec(®) 18EC and provide evidence that environmental risks are likely to occur in areas subject to runoff containing this pesticide. PMID:26492427

  4. Effects of grass species and grass growth on atmospheric nitrogen deposition to a bog ecosystem surrounded by intensive agricultural land use.

    PubMed

    Hurkuck, Miriam; Brümmer, Christian; Mohr, Karsten; Spott, Oliver; Well, Reinhard; Flessa, Heinz; Kutsch, Werner L

    2015-07-01

    We applied a (15)N dilution technique called "Integrated Total Nitrogen Input" (ITNI) to quantify annual atmospheric N input into a peatland surrounded by intensive agricultural practices over a 2-year period. Grass species and grass growth effects on atmospheric N deposition were investigated using Lolium multiflorum and Eriophorum vaginatum and different levels of added N resulting in increased biomass production. Plant biomass production was positively correlated with atmospheric N uptake (up to 102.7 mg N pot(-1)) when using Lolium multiflorum. In contrast, atmospheric N deposition to Eriophorum vaginatum did not show a clear dependency to produced biomass and ranged from 81.9 to 138.2 mg N pot(-1). Both species revealed a relationship between atmospheric N input and total biomass N contents. Airborne N deposition varied from about 24 to 55 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1). Partitioning of airborne N within the monitor system differed such that most of the deposited N was found in roots of Eriophorum vaginatum while the highest share was allocated in aboveground biomass of Lolium multiflorum. Compared to other approaches determining atmospheric N deposition, ITNI showed highest airborne N input and an up to fivefold exceedance of the ecosystem-specific critical load of 5-10 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1).

  5. Effects of grass species and grass growth on atmospheric nitrogen deposition to a bog ecosystem surrounded by intensive agricultural land use.

    PubMed

    Hurkuck, Miriam; Brümmer, Christian; Mohr, Karsten; Spott, Oliver; Well, Reinhard; Flessa, Heinz; Kutsch, Werner L

    2015-07-01

    We applied a (15)N dilution technique called "Integrated Total Nitrogen Input" (ITNI) to quantify annual atmospheric N input into a peatland surrounded by intensive agricultural practices over a 2-year period. Grass species and grass growth effects on atmospheric N deposition were investigated using Lolium multiflorum and Eriophorum vaginatum and different levels of added N resulting in increased biomass production. Plant biomass production was positively correlated with atmospheric N uptake (up to 102.7 mg N pot(-1)) when using Lolium multiflorum. In contrast, atmospheric N deposition to Eriophorum vaginatum did not show a clear dependency to produced biomass and ranged from 81.9 to 138.2 mg N pot(-1). Both species revealed a relationship between atmospheric N input and total biomass N contents. Airborne N deposition varied from about 24 to 55 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1). Partitioning of airborne N within the monitor system differed such that most of the deposited N was found in roots of Eriophorum vaginatum while the highest share was allocated in aboveground biomass of Lolium multiflorum. Compared to other approaches determining atmospheric N deposition, ITNI showed highest airborne N input and an up to fivefold exceedance of the ecosystem-specific critical load of 5-10 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1). PMID:26257870

  6. Transforming growth factor-beta improves healing of radiation-impaired wounds

    SciTech Connect

    Bernstein, E.F.; Harisiadis, L.; Salomon, G.; Norton, J.; Sollberg, S.; Uitto, J.; Glatstein, E.; Glass, J.; Talbot, T.; Russo, A. )

    1991-09-01

    Exogenously applied TGF-{beta} 1 has been shown to increase wound strength in incisional wounds early in the healing process. An impaired wound healing model was first established in guinea pigs by isolating flaps of skin and irradiating the flaps to 15 Gray in one fraction using a 4-MeV linear accelerator. Incisions made 2 d after irradiation were excised 7 d later, and showed decreased linear wound bursting strength (WBS) as compared to non-irradiated control wounds on the contralateral side of each animal (p = 0.001). The effect of TGF-{beta}on healing of radiation-impaired wounds was studied using this model. Skin on both left and right sides of guinea pigs was irradiated as above. A linear incision was made in each side. Collagen with either 1, 5, or 20 micrograms of TGF-{beta} was applied to one side prior to closure with staples, whereas the contralateral side received saline in collagen. Wounds given either 1 or 5 micrograms of TGF-{beta} were found to be stronger than controls at 7 d (p less than 0.05), whereas those receiving the higher 20-micrograms dose were weaker than controls (p less than 0.05). Thus, TGF-{beta} in lower doses improved healing at 7 d but very large amounts of the growth factor actually impaired healing. In situ hybridization done on wound samples showed increased type I collagen gene expression by fibroblasts in wounds treated with 1 micrograms TGF-{beta} over control wounds. These results indicate that TGF-{beta} improved wound healing as demonstrated by increased WBS. This improvement is accompanied by an up-regulation of collagen gene expression by resident fibroblasts.

  7. Triacontanol Reduces Transplanting Shock in Machine-Transplanted Rice by Improving the Growth and Antioxidant Systems

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaochun; Zhong, Qiuyi; Li, Yuxiang; Li, Ganghua; Ding, Yanfeng; Wang, Shaohua; Liu, Zhenghui; Tang, She; Ding, Chengqiang; Chen, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Machine transplantation results in serious transplant shock in seedlings and results in a longer recover stage, which negatively impacts the growth of low-position tillers and the yield of machine-transplanted rice. A barrel experiment was conducted to examine the effect of the foliar application of triacontanol (TRIA) on machine-transplanted rice during the recovery stage. TRIA (0, 1, 5, and 10 μM) was sprayed over leaves 2 days before transplanting. The chlorophyll content, sucrose content, oxidative damage, antioxidant enzyme levels, glutathione (GSH), and ascorbate (ASA) redox states, tiller dynamics and yield components of the plants were investigated. The results show that foliar-applied TRIA significantly alleviates the growth inhibition and oxidative damage caused by transplant shock. Furthermore, the application of TRIA increased the chlorophyll and sucrose contents of the plants. Importantly, TRIA not only significantly improved the activity of catalase (CAT) and guaiacol peroxidase (POD), demonstrating that POD can play an important role in scavenging H2O2 during the recovery stage, but it also enhanced the redox states of ASA and GSH by regulating the activities of enzymes involved in the ASA–GSH cycle, such as ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione reductase (GR). A dose of 10 μM TRIA was the most efficient in reducing the negative effects of transplant shock, increasing the panicles, grain filling, and grain yield per hill by 17.80, 5.86, and 16.49%, respectively. These results suggest that TRIA acts to reduce transplant shock in association with the regulation of the redox states of ASA and GSH and antioxidant enzymes and serves as an effective antioxidant to maintain photosynthetic capacity and promote the occurrence of low tillers. PMID:27379149

  8. Triacontanol Reduces Transplanting Shock in Machine-Transplanted Rice by Improving the Growth and Antioxidant Systems.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaochun; Zhong, Qiuyi; Li, Yuxiang; Li, Ganghua; Ding, Yanfeng; Wang, Shaohua; Liu, Zhenghui; Tang, She; Ding, Chengqiang; Chen, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Machine transplantation results in serious transplant shock in seedlings and results in a longer recover stage, which negatively impacts the growth of low-position tillers and the yield of machine-transplanted rice. A barrel experiment was conducted to examine the effect of the foliar application of triacontanol (TRIA) on machine-transplanted rice during the recovery stage. TRIA (0, 1, 5, and 10 μM) was sprayed over leaves 2 days before transplanting. The chlorophyll content, sucrose content, oxidative damage, antioxidant enzyme levels, glutathione (GSH), and ascorbate (ASA) redox states, tiller dynamics and yield components of the plants were investigated. The results show that foliar-applied TRIA significantly alleviates the growth inhibition and oxidative damage caused by transplant shock. Furthermore, the application of TRIA increased the chlorophyll and sucrose contents of the plants. Importantly, TRIA not only significantly improved the activity of catalase (CAT) and guaiacol peroxidase (POD), demonstrating that POD can play an important role in scavenging H2O2 during the recovery stage, but it also enhanced the redox states of ASA and GSH by regulating the activities of enzymes involved in the ASA-GSH cycle, such as ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione reductase (GR). A dose of 10 μM TRIA was the most efficient in reducing the negative effects of transplant shock, increasing the panicles, grain filling, and grain yield per hill by 17.80, 5.86, and 16.49%, respectively. These results suggest that TRIA acts to reduce transplant shock in association with the regulation of the redox states of ASA and GSH and antioxidant enzymes and serves as an effective antioxidant to maintain photosynthetic capacity and promote the occurrence of low tillers. PMID:27379149

  9. Exogenous treatments with phytohormones can improve growth and nickel yield of hyperaccumulating plants.

    PubMed

    Cabello-Conejo, M I; Prieto-Fernández, A; Kidd, P S

    2014-10-01

    The application of plant growth regulators (PGRs) or phytohormones could be an interesting option for stimulating biomass production of hyperaccumulating plants and, consequently, their metal phytoextraction capacity. The effect of exogenous applications of phytohormones (PGR) on the Ni phytoextraction capacity of four Ni hyperaccumulating species (Alyssum corsicum, Alyssum malacitanum, Alyssum murale and Noccaea goesingense) was evaluated. Four different commercially available phytohormones (B, C, K and P) based on gibberellins, cytokinins and auxins were applied to the plant aerial tissues. Each product was applied at three different concentrations (B1-3, C1-3, K1-3 and P1-3). The effect on biomass production was dependent on the species, the PGR type and the concentration at which it was applied. Two of the four products (K and P) consistently increased biomass production compared to untreated control plants in all four plant species. On the other hand, all four products led to a significant increase in the number of branches (and leaves in the case of N. goesingense) of all four species compared to control plants. Application of phytohormones generally led to a reduction in shoot Ni concentration. Nonetheless, in some cases as a consequence of the increase observed in biomass after the application of phytohormones a significant increase in the Ni phytoextraction efficiency was also observed (but this was species- and PGR type-dependent). The results show that PGRs can be successfully used to improve the growth and biomass production of hyperaccumulating species such as Alyssum and Noccaea. However, an increase in biomass did not always lead to a higher Ni removal, and the most effective PGR for increasing Ni removal was the IAA-based product. PMID:25016589

  10. Precision placement of separated dairy sludge improves early phosphorus nutrition and growth in corn ( L.).

    PubMed

    Bittman, S; Liu, A; Hunt, D E; Forge, T A; Kowalenko, C G; Chantigny, M H; Buckley, K

    2012-01-01

    Efficient use of manure nutrients by crops is necessary to minimize losses to the environment. This field study examined the possibility of replacing side-banded mineral P with precision-placed high-P sludge (6.2-11.0% dry matter) obtained after settling dairy manure slurry. The sludge was injected at about 30 kg P ha (36.0-51.2 m ha) into the soil at corn row spacing, and the corn was planted 5, 10, and 15 cm beside the injection furrow. Controls included no added P and side-banded commercial P fertilizer. The treatments were tested on corn with low and high root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM). The study showed that sludge did not impede AM root colonization, corn germination, or seedling growth. Corn plants with both high and low levels of AM colonization responded to the sludge from the three-leaf stage and showed the greatest benefit at the six-leaf stage. Corn responded more to sludge placed at 5 than at 15 cm from the corn rows, whereas the response at the 10-cm spacing was intermediate. There was little difference in seedling growth or final harvest parameters between the side-banded fertilizer P and the 5-cm sludge treatment. The results show a new way to use manure nutrients, namely precision-placement sludge for corn. This may obviate the need for chemical fertilizers for improving farm nutrient balances. Other anticipated benefits are less energy use for hauling and injection of the sludge fraction and reduced risk of nutrient loss by runoff and volatilization (ammonia) and nuisance odors due to injection. PMID:22370420

  11. STI571 (Gleevec) improves tumor growth delay and survival in irradiated mouse models of glioblastoma

    SciTech Connect

    Geng Ling; Shinohara, Eric T.; Kim, Dong; Tan Jiahuai; Osusky, Kate; Shyr, Yu; Hallahan, Dennis E. . E-mail: Dennis.Hallahan@mcmail.vanderbilt.edu

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a devastating brain neoplasm that is essentially incurable. Although radiation therapy prolongs survival, GBMs progress within areas of irradiation. Recent studies in invertebrates have shown that STI571 (Gleevec; Novartis, East Hanover, NJ) enhances the cytotoxicity of ionizing radiation. In the present study, the effectiveness of STI571 in combination with radiation was studied in mouse models of GBM. Methods and Materials: Murine GL261 and human D54 GBM cell lines formed tumors in brains and hind limbs of C57BL6 and nude mice, respectively. GL261 and D54 cells were treated with 5 {mu}mol/L of STI571 for 1 h and/or irradiated with 3 Gy. Protein was analyzed by Western immunoblots probed with antibodies to caspase 3, cleaved caspase 3, phospho-Akt, Akt, and platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) {alpha} and {beta}. Tumor volumes were assessed in mice bearing GL261 or D54 tumors treated with 21 Gy administered in seven fractionated doses. Histologic sections from STI571-treated mice were stained with phospho-Akt and phospho-PDGFR {beta} antibodies. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to study the response of mice bearing intracranial implants of GL261. Results: STI571 penetrated the blood-brain barrier, which resulted in a reduction in phospho-PDGFR in GBM. STI571-induced apoptosis in GBM was significantly enhanced by irradiation. STI571 combined with irradiation induced caspase 3 cleavage in GBM cells. Glioblastoma multiforme response to therapy correlated with an increase in tumor growth delay and survival when STI571 was administered in conjunction with daily irradiation. Conclusion: These findings suggest that STI571 has the potential to augment radiotherapy and thereby improve median survival.

  12. Triacontanol Reduces Transplanting Shock in Machine-Transplanted Rice by Improving the Growth and Antioxidant Systems.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaochun; Zhong, Qiuyi; Li, Yuxiang; Li, Ganghua; Ding, Yanfeng; Wang, Shaohua; Liu, Zhenghui; Tang, She; Ding, Chengqiang; Chen, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Machine transplantation results in serious transplant shock in seedlings and results in a longer recover stage, which negatively impacts the growth of low-position tillers and the yield of machine-transplanted rice. A barrel experiment was conducted to examine the effect of the foliar application of triacontanol (TRIA) on machine-transplanted rice during the recovery stage. TRIA (0, 1, 5, and 10 μM) was sprayed over leaves 2 days before transplanting. The chlorophyll content, sucrose content, oxidative damage, antioxidant enzyme levels, glutathione (GSH), and ascorbate (ASA) redox states, tiller dynamics and yield components of the plants were investigated. The results show that foliar-applied TRIA significantly alleviates the growth inhibition and oxidative damage caused by transplant shock. Furthermore, the application of TRIA increased the chlorophyll and sucrose contents of the plants. Importantly, TRIA not only significantly improved the activity of catalase (CAT) and guaiacol peroxidase (POD), demonstrating that POD can play an important role in scavenging H2O2 during the recovery stage, but it also enhanced the redox states of ASA and GSH by regulating the activities of enzymes involved in the ASA-GSH cycle, such as ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione reductase (GR). A dose of 10 μM TRIA was the most efficient in reducing the negative effects of transplant shock, increasing the panicles, grain filling, and grain yield per hill by 17.80, 5.86, and 16.49%, respectively. These results suggest that TRIA acts to reduce transplant shock in association with the regulation of the redox states of ASA and GSH and antioxidant enzymes and serves as an effective antioxidant to maintain photosynthetic capacity and promote the occurrence of low tillers.

  13. Dietary supplementation of honeysuckle improves the growth, survival and immunity of Penaeus monodon.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xu; Lin, Hei-Zhao; Jiang, Shi-Gui; Wu, Kai-Chang; Liu, Yong-Jian; Tian, Li-Xia; Zhang, Yun-Qiang; Niu, Jin

    2013-07-01

    basal diet was lower (P < 0.05) than that of shrimp fed 0.2%, 0.4% and 0.8% honeysuckle diets but without significant difference (P > 0.05) with shrimp fed 0.1% honeysuckle diet. Moreover, the oxidative stress level (MDA) recorded in the hepatopancreas with shrimp submitted to the honeysuckle diets were lower. In conclusion, results suggested that dietary intake containing honeysuckle could enhance the growth performance of P. monodon and improve its resistance to air exposure during simulated live transportation. Considering the effect of honeysuckle on both growth performance and survival of P. monodon, the level of honeysuckle supplemented in the diet should be between 0.2% and 0.4%. PMID:23639934

  14. Dietary supplementation of honeysuckle improves the growth, survival and immunity of Penaeus monodon.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xu; Lin, Hei-Zhao; Jiang, Shi-Gui; Wu, Kai-Chang; Liu, Yong-Jian; Tian, Li-Xia; Zhang, Yun-Qiang; Niu, Jin

    2013-07-01

    basal diet was lower (P < 0.05) than that of shrimp fed 0.2%, 0.4% and 0.8% honeysuckle diets but without significant difference (P > 0.05) with shrimp fed 0.1% honeysuckle diet. Moreover, the oxidative stress level (MDA) recorded in the hepatopancreas with shrimp submitted to the honeysuckle diets were lower. In conclusion, results suggested that dietary intake containing honeysuckle could enhance the growth performance of P. monodon and improve its resistance to air exposure during simulated live transportation. Considering the effect of honeysuckle on both growth performance and survival of P. monodon, the level of honeysuckle supplemented in the diet should be between 0.2% and 0.4%.

  15. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

    Xue, Ling; Zhang, Panpan; Shu, Huajie; Chang, Chein-Chi; Wang, Renqing; Zhang, Shuping

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, the quantity of agricultural waste has been rising rapidly all over the world. As a result, the environmental problems and negative impacts of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention. Therefore, there is a need to adopt proper approaches to reduce and reuse agricultural waste. This review presented about 200 literatures published in 2015 relating to the topic of agricultural waste. The review examined research on agricultural waste in 2015 from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management. Researchers highlighted the importance to reuse agricultural waste and investigated the potential to utilize it as biofertilizers, cultivation material, soil amendments, adsorbent, material, energy recycling, enzyme and catalyst etc. The treatment of agricultural waste included carbonization, biodegradation, composting hydrolysis and pyrolysis. Moreover, this review analyzed the differences of the research progress in 2015 from 2014. It may help to reveal the new findings and new trends in this field in 2015 comparing to 2014. PMID:27620093

  16. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

    Xue, Ling; Zhang, Panpan; Shu, Huajie; Chang, Chein-Chi; Wang, Renqing; Zhang, Shuping

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, the quantity of agricultural waste has been rising rapidly all over the world. As a result, the environmental problems and negative impacts of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention. Therefore, there is a need to adopt proper approaches to reduce and reuse agricultural waste. This review presented about 200 literatures published in 2015 relating to the topic of agricultural waste. The review examined research on agricultural waste in 2015 from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management. Researchers highlighted the importance to reuse agricultural waste and investigated the potential to utilize it as biofertilizers, cultivation material, soil amendments, adsorbent, material, energy recycling, enzyme and catalyst etc. The treatment of agricultural waste included carbonization, biodegradation, composting hydrolysis and pyrolysis. Moreover, this review analyzed the differences of the research progress in 2015 from 2014. It may help to reveal the new findings and new trends in this field in 2015 comparing to 2014.

  17. Improving Soil Organic Carbon stock estimates in agricultural topsoil at a regional scale using a Stochastic Gradient Boosting technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schillaci, Calogero; Lombardo, Luigi; Saia, Sergio; Fantappiè, Maria; Märker, Michael; Acutis, Marco

    2016-04-01

    soil texture, land use and the Band8 among the most important contributors to the model. Conversely, GLMM selected temperature, annual rainfall, slope and LS-factor as primary contributors. Finally, total CS stock was extracted per each agricultural land use within the area of study. The cumulated topsoil CS (0-30cm) within the aforementioned classes accounted for about 59·106 tons, on 1,6 million hectares (about 60% of the island surface). In particular, Non irrigated (rainfed) arable lands, fruit trees and berry plantations, olive groves, and vineyards accounted for 47,4% and 10,2% 13,5%, 9.0 %, of the total CS, respectively, and 48,9%, 9,5%, 13,5%, 9.6% of the total area respectively. The results have implication on both the landscape management when aiming to reduce GHG emission and the computation of the contribute of each land use class to the potential CS and GHG variation. In addition, the model and map resulting from the present work have particular implication when aiming to infer SOC dynamics under climate change or varying ecosystem management scenarios.

  18. Improvements to III-nitride light-emitting diodes through characterization and material growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Getty, Amorette Rose Klug

    A variety of experiments were conducted to improve or aid the improvement of the efficiency of III-nitride light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which are a critical area of research for multiple applications, including high-efficiency solid state lighting. To enhance the light extraction in ultraviolet LEDs grown on SiC substrates, a distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) optimized for operation in the range from 250 to 280 nm has been developed using MBE growth techniques. The best devices had a peak reflectivity of 80% with 19.5 periods, which is acceptable for the intended application. DBR surfaces were sufficiently smooth for subsequent epitaxy of the LED device. During the course of this work, pros and cons of AlGaN growth techniques, including analog versus digital alloying, were examined. This work highlighted a need for more accurate values of the refractive index of high-Al-content AlxGa1-xNin the UV wavelength range. We present refractive index results for a wide variety of materials pertinent to the fabrication of optical III-nitride devices. Characterization was done using Variable-Angle Spectroscopic Ellipsometry. The three binary nitrides, and all three ternaries, have been characterized to a greater or lesser extent depending on material compositions available. Semi-transparent p-contact materials and other thin metals for reflecting contacts have been examined to allow optimization of deposition conditions and to allow highly accurate modeling of the behavior of light within these devices. Standard substrate materials have also been characterized for completeness and as an indicator of the accuracy of our modeling technique. We have demonstrated a new technique for estimating the internal quantum efficiency (IQE) of nitride light-emitting diodes. This method is advantageous over the standard low-temperature photoluminescence-based method of estimating IQE, as the new method is conducted under the same conditions as normal device operation. We have developed

  19. Physiologic growth hormone replacement improves fasting lipid kinetics in patients with HIV lipodystrophy syndrome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    HIV lipodystrophy syndrome (HLS) is characterized by accelerated lipolysis, inadequate fat oxidation, increased hepatic reesterification, and a high frequency of growth hormone deficiency (GHD). The effect of growth hormone (GH) replacement on these lipid kinetic abnormalities is unknown. We aimed ...

  20. AlN interlayer to improve the epitaxial growth of SmN on GaN (0001)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vézian, S.; Damilano, B.; Natali, F.; Khalfioui, M. Al; Massies, J.

    2016-09-01

    An in situ study of the epitaxial growth of SmN thin films on Ga-polar GaN (0001) templates by molecular beam epitaxy is reported. Using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy we found that Ga segregates at the surface during the first stages of growth. We showed that the problem related to Ga surface segregation can be simply suppressed by growing a few monolayers of AlN before starting the SmN growth. This results in a significant improvement of the crystallinity of SmN thin films assessed by X-ray diffraction.

  1. Endophytic fungal association via gibberellins and indole acetic acid can improve plant growth under abiotic stress: an example of Paecilomyces formosus LHL10

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    plant growth and alleviate adverse effects of salt stress. Such fungal strain could be used for further field trials to improve agricultural productivity under saline conditions. PMID:22235902

  2. The value of improved (ERS) information based on domestic distribution effects of U.S. agriculture crops

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bradford, D. F.; Kelejian, H. H.; Brusch, R.; Gross, J.; Fishman, H.; Feenberg, D.

    1974-01-01

    The value of improving information for forecasting future crop harvests was investigated. Emphasis was placed upon establishing practical evaluation procedures firmly based in economic theory. The analysis was applied to the case of U.S. domestic wheat consumption. Estimates for a cost of storage function and a demand function for wheat were calculated. A model of market determinations of wheat inventories was developed for inventory adjustment. The carry-over horizon is computed by the solution of a nonlinear programming problem, and related variables such as spot and future price at each stage are determined. The model is adaptable to other markets. Results are shown to depend critically on the accuracy of current and proposed measurement techniques. The quantitative results are presented parametrically, in terms of various possible values of current and future accuracies.

  3. Antenatal taurine supplementation for improving brain ultrastructure in fetal rats with intrauterine growth restriction.

    PubMed

    Liu, J; Liu, L; Chen, H

    2011-05-01

    Changes in brain ultrastructure of fetal rats with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) were explored and the effects of antenatal taurine supplementation on their brain ultrastructure were determined. Fifteen pregnant rats were randomly divided into three groups: control group, IUGR model group and IUGR group given antenatal taurine supplements. Taurine was added to the diet of the taurine group at a dose of 300 mg/kg/d from 12 days after conception until natural delivery. Transmission electron microscopy was used to observe ultrastructural changes in the brains of the newborn rats. At the same time, brain cellular apoptosis was detected using TUNEL, and the changes in protein expression of neuron specific enolase and glial fibrillary acidic protein were analyzed using immunohistochemistry. The results showed that: 1) The average body weight and cerebral weight were significantly lower in the IUGR group than in the control group (p<0.01) and both of them were less so after taurine was supplemented (p<0.01). 2) Transmission electron microscopy revealed that brain cortex structures were sparse IUGR rats, showing many scattered apoptotic cells, decreased numbers of synapses, lower glial cell proliferation, and fewer neurons, more sparsely arranged, while these factors were significantly improved with taurine supplementation. 3) The results of TUNEL showed that the counts of apoptotic brain cells in IUGR groups were significantly increased from those in control groups and that taurine could significantly decrease brain cell apoptosis (p<0.001). 4) The results of immunohistochemistry showed that antenatal taurine-supplementation could significantly increase the counts of neuron specific enolase and glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactive cells in fetal rats with IUGR (p<0.001). It can be concluded that it IUGR has a significant detrimental influence on the development of fetal rat brains, and antenatal supplement of taurine can significantly improve the IUGR

  4. Improving recombinant Rubisco biogenesis, plant photosynthesis and growth by coexpressing its ancillary RAF1 chaperone.

    PubMed

    Whitney, Spencer M; Birch, Rosemary; Kelso, Celine; Beck, Jennifer L; Kapralov, Maxim V

    2015-03-17

    Enabling improvements to crop yield and resource use by enhancing the catalysis of the photosynthetic CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco has been a longstanding challenge. Efforts toward realization of this goal have been greatly assisted by advances in understanding the complexities of Rubisco's biogenesis in plastids and the development of tailored chloroplast transformation tools. Here we generate transplastomic tobacco genotypes expressing Arabidopsis Rubisco large subunits (AtL), both on their own (producing tob(AtL) plants) and with a cognate Rubisco accumulation factor 1 (AtRAF1) chaperone (producing tob(AtL-R1) plants) that has undergone parallel functional coevolution with AtL. We show AtRAF1 assembles as a dimer and is produced in tob(AtL-R1) and Arabidopsis leaves at 10-15 nmol AtRAF1 monomers per square meter. Consistent with a postchaperonin large (L)-subunit assembly role, the AtRAF1 facilitated two to threefold improvements in the amount and biogenesis rate of hybrid L8(A)S8(t) Rubisco [comprising AtL and tobacco small (S) subunits] in tob(AtL-R1) leaves compared with tob(AtL), despite >threefold lower steady-state Rubisco mRNA levels in tob(AtL-R1). Accompanying twofold increases in photosynthetic CO2-assimilation rate and plant growth were measured for tob(AtL-R1) lines. These findings highlight the importance of ancillary protein complementarity during Rubisco biogenesis in plastids, the possible constraints this has imposed on Rubisco adaptive evolution, and the likely need for such interaction specificity to be considered when optimizing recombinant Rubisco bioengineering in plants. PMID:25733857

  5. DEVELOPMENT OF IMPROVED ANAEROBIC GROWTH OF BACILLUS MOJAVENSIS STRAIN JF-2 FOR THE PURPOSE OF IMPROVED ANAEROBIC BIOSURFACTANT PRODUCTION FOR ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY

    SciTech Connect

    M.J. McInerney; M. Folmsbee; D. Nagle

    2004-05-31

    for anaerobic growth and biosurfactant production in DNA-supplemented Medium E. In addition to DNA or deoxyribonucleosides, nitrate, amino acids and vitamins were all required for anaerobic growth of JF-2. Bacillus mojavensisT (ABO21191), Bacillus mojavensis, strain ROB2 also required DNA or deoxyribonucleosides for anaerobic growth. The improved anaerobic growth of Bacillus mojavensis JF-2 was a prerequisite for studies that will lead to improved anaerobic biosurfactant production.

  6. A Farming Revolution: Sustainable Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klinkenborg, Verlyn

    1995-01-01

    Growing realization of the economic, social, and environmental costs of conventional agriculture has led many U.S. farmers to embrace and become advocates for agricultural practices that limit the need for pesticides and chemical fertilizers, decrease soil erosion, and improve soil health. Some hope that sustainable agriculture can promote smaller…

  7. Chimeric neuraminidase and mutant PB1 gene constellation improves growth and yield of H5N1 vaccine candidate virus.

    PubMed

    Plant, Ewan P; Ye, Zhiping

    2015-04-01

    We previously showed that a mutated PB1 gene improved the growth kinetics of a H3N2 influenza reassortant. Here, we showed that the same mutations improved the growth kinetics of a virus containing the A/Vietnam/1203/2004 (H5N1) haemagglutinin and neuraminidase (NA). Total protein yield and NA activity were increased when a chimeric NA was included. These increases indicated that the synergistic effect was due to the gene constellation containing both the altered PB1 gene and the chimeric NA gene.

  8. Sequential delivery of angiogenic growth factors improves revascularization and heart function after myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Awada, Hassan K.; Johnson, Noah R.; Wang, Yadong

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of ischemia through therapeutic angiogenesis faces significant challenges. Growth factor (GF)-based therapies can be more effective when concerns such as GF spatiotemporal presentation, bioactivity, bioavailability, and localization are addressed. During angiogenesis, vascular endothelial GF (VEGF) is required early to initiate neovessel formation while platelet-derived GF (PDGF-BB) is needed later to stabilize the neovessels. The spatiotemporal delivery of multiple bioactive GFs involved in angiogenesis, in a close mimic to physiological cues, holds great potential to treat ischemic diseases. To achieve sequential release of VEGF and PDGF, we embed VEGF in fibrin gel and PDGF in a heparin-based coacervate that is distributed in the same fibrin gel. In vitro, we show the benefits of this controlled delivery approach on cell proliferation, chemotaxis, and capillary formation. A rat myocardial infarction (MI) model demonstrated the effectiveness of this delivery system in improving cardiac function, ventricular wall thickness, angiogenesis, cardiac muscle survival, and reducing fibrosis and inflammation in the infarct zone compared to saline, empty vehicle, and free GFs. Collectively, our results show that this delivery approach mitigated the injury caused by MI and may serve as a new therapy to treat ischemic hearts pending further examination. PMID:25836592

  9. Paying for value: replacing Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula with incentives to improve care.

    PubMed

    Guterman, Stuart; Zezza, Mark A; Schoen, Cathy

    2013-03-01

    This brief sets forth a set of policy options to improve the way health care providers are paid by Medicare. The authors suggest repealing Medicare's sustain­able growth rate (SGR) formula for physician fees and replacing it with a pay-for-value approach that would: 1) increase payments over time only for physicians and other provid­ers who participate in innovative care arrangements; 2) strengthen primary care and care teams; and 3) implement bundled payments for hospital-related care. These reforms would be adopted by Medicare, Medicaid, and private plans in the new insurance marketplaces, with the goal of accelerating innovation in care delivery throughout the health system. Together, these policies could more than offset the cost of repealing the SGR formula, saving $788 billion for the federal government over 10 years and $1.3 trillion nationwide. Savings also would accrue to state and local governments ($163 billion), private employ­ers ($91 billion), and households ($291 billion). PMID:23547336

  10. Using Improved Equation of State to Model Simultaneous Nucleation and Bubble Growth in Thermoplastic Foams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khan, Irfan; Costeux, Stephane; Adrian, David; Cristancho, Diego

    2013-11-01

    Due to environmental regulations carbon-dioxide (CO2) is increasingly being used to replace traditional blowing agents in thermoplastic foams. CO2 is dissolved in the polymer matrix under supercritical conditions. In order to predict the effect of process parameters on foam properties using numerical modeling, the P-V-T relationship of the blowing agents should accurately be represented at the supercritical state. Previous studies in the area of foam modeling have all used ideal gas equation of state to predict the behavior of the blowing agent. In this work the Peng-Robinson equation of state is being used to model the blowing agent during its diffusion into the growing bubble. The model is based on the popular ``Influence Volume Approach,'' which assumes a growing boundary layer with depleted blowing agent surrounds each bubble. Classical nucleation theory is used to predict the rate of nucleation of bubbles. By solving the mass balance, momentum balance and species conservation equations for each bubble, the model is capable of predicting average bubble size, bubble size distribution and bulk porosity. The effect of the improved model on the bubble growth and foam properties are discussed.

  11. Paying for value: replacing Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula with incentives to improve care.

    PubMed

    Guterman, Stuart; Zezza, Mark A; Schoen, Cathy

    2013-03-01

    This brief sets forth a set of policy options to improve the way health care providers are paid by Medicare. The authors suggest repealing Medicare's sustain­able growth rate (SGR) formula for physician fees and replacing it with a pay-for-value approach that would: 1) increase payments over time only for physicians and other provid­ers who participate in innovative care arrangements; 2) strengthen primary care and care teams; and 3) implement bundled payments for hospital-related care. These reforms would be adopted by Medicare, Medicaid, and private plans in the new insurance marketplaces, with the goal of accelerating innovation in care delivery throughout the health system. Together, these policies could more than offset the cost of repealing the SGR formula, saving $788 billion for the federal government over 10 years and $1.3 trillion nationwide. Savings also would accrue to state and local governments ($163 billion), private employ­ers ($91 billion), and households ($291 billion).

  12. Improved health and growth of fish fed mannan oligosaccharides: potential mode of action.

    PubMed

    Torrecillas, Silvia; Montero, Daniel; Izquierdo, Marisol

    2014-02-01

    Nowadays, aquaculture industry still confronts several disease-related problems mainly caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites. In the last decade, the use of mannan oligosaccharides (MOS) in fish production has received increased attention due to its beneficial effects on fish performance and disease resistance. This review shows the MOS use in aquaculture with a specific emphasis on the effectiveness of the several MOS forms available in the market related to disease resistance, fish nutrition and the possible mechanisms involved. Among the main beneficial effects attributed to MOS dietary supplementation, enhanced fish performance, feed efficiency and pathogen protection by potentiation of the systemic and local immune system and the reinforcement of the epithelial barrier structure and functionality are some of the most commonly demonstrated benefits. These combined effects suggest that the reinforcement of the intestinal integrity and functionality, together with the stimulation of the innate immune system, are the primary mode of action of MOS in fish. However, the supplementation strategy related to the structure of the MOS added, the correct dose and duration, as well as fish species, size and culture conditions are determinant factors to achieve improvements in health status and growth performance.

  13. Agriculture and water quality. Agriculture Information Bulletin

    SciTech Connect

    Crowder, B.M.; Ribaudo, M.O.; Young, C.E.

    1988-08-01

    Agriculture generates byproducts that may contribute to the contamination of the Nation's water supply. Any effective regulations to ban or restrict agricultural-chemical or land-use practices in order to improve water quality will affect the farm economy. Some farmers will benefit; some will not. Most agricultural pollutants reach surface waterways in runoff; some leach through soil into ground water. Because surface-water systems and ground water systems are interrelated, farm-management practices need to focus on water quality in both systems. Modifying farm-management practices may raise production costs in some areas. Farmers can reduce runoff losses by reducing input use, implementing soil-conservation practices, and changing land use. Also at issue is who should pay for improving water quality.

  14. Agriculture and Water Quality. Issues in Agricultural Policy. Agriculture Information Bulletin Number 548.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crowder, Bradley M.; And Others

    Agriculture generates byproducts that may contribute to the contamination of the United States' water supply. Any effective regulations to ban or restrict agricultural chemical or land use practices in order to improve water quality will affect the farm economy. Some farmers will benefit; some will not. Most agricultural pollutants reach surface…

  15. Improving Managed Aquifer Recharge Operation to Reduce Nutrient Load in an Agricultural Basin: Delineation of Processes, Controls, and In-situ Potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, C. M.; Fisher, A.; Wheat, G.; Sharkey, J.; Los Huertos, M.; Lear, J.

    2007-12-01

    Nitrate is the most common nonpoint source pollutant in surface and ground water in the United States, and is a problem particularly in basins developed for agriculture. There is growing municipal and environmental demand for fresh water in basins that have been influenced by decades of agricultural activity. The goal of this research is to assess the potential for a managed aquifer recharge (MAR) system to improve water quality, with an emphasis on reducing the nitrate load to underlying aquifers. The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PVWMA), in central coastal California, currently operates a MAR project that is permitted to divert and recharge up to 2.5 x 106 m3/yr (2000 ac-ft/year) from a slough (wetland) to augment available ground water supplies. As a result of agricultural runoff and infiltration, diverted slough water is often rich in nitrate, as is the water in the underlying aquifer. However, nitrate concentrations in water samples recovered from the aquifer soon after MAR percolation are often relatively low, suggesting that nitrate may be removed as water percolates from the pond into the aquifer. Autonomous Osmosampler systems were deployed in the recharge pond and four nearby monitoring wells, as part of a pilot study, to collect fluid samples during and after pond operation. Samples collected with these instruments recorded the chemical arrival of water in the aquifer soon after percolation began, in some cases showing a 50% reduction in the concentration of nitrate. The chemical response in the aquifer recorded by the Osmosamplers was consistent with pressure data collected simultaneously in the monitoring wells, demonstrating that Osmosamplers should be useful tools for investigating changes in water quality associated with MAR operation. As this research project becomes fully developed during the 2007-08 water year, we will install Osmosampler systems in ground water monitoring wells surrounding the pond, and will collect shallow fluid

  16. Modeling water quality to improve agricultural practices and land management in a tunisian catchment using the soil and water assessment tool.

    PubMed

    Aouissi, Jalel; Benabdallah, Sihem; Chabaâne, Zohra Lili; Cudennec, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Agriculture intensification has impaired water quality. In this study, the risk of pollution by nitrates was assessed by experimental monitoring, spatial integration of farm census, and modeling of water quality using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), version 2009, over the period of 1990 to 2006 for a catchment located northern Tunisia. Under a semiarid climate, the water quality is influenced by the predominating agriculture activities. The hydrological results are compared with the observed flows derived from measurements at the outlet of the Joumine watershed. Model performance showed good statistical agreements, with a Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency of 0.9 and a value of 0.92 after monthly calibration. The model predicted the timing of monthly peak flow values reasonably well. During the validation period, SWAT simulations were nearly as accurate, with Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency and values of 0.89 and 0.92, respectively. The model was used to simulate NO concentrations. The predicted NO concentration values were compared with in situ measured concentrations. The simulated and measured NO-N concentrations varied in the same range of 0 to 5 mg L at the E3 and E5 locations. The calibrated model was then used for simulating the impact of the best management practice scenarios to reduce NO loads to the river. The first set-up consisted of reducing the N fertilizer application by 20 and 100% from the current state. These two scenarios induced a reduction in NO loads by 22 and 72%, respectively. The second set-up consisted of using vegetation filter strips. The last scenario combined filter strips and a reduction of 20% in N fertilizer application. Results showed NO reduction rates of 20 and 36%, respectively. The SWAT model allowed managers to have several options to improve the water quality in the Joumine watershed. PMID:25602536

  17. iPot: Improved potato monitoring in Belgium using remote sensing and crop growth modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccard, Isabelle; Gobin, Anne; Curnel, Yannick; Goffart, Jean-Pierre; Planchon, Viviane; Wellens, Joost; Tychon, Bernard; Cattoor, Nele; Cools, Romain

    2016-04-01

    Potato processors, traders and packers largely work with potato contracts. The close follow up of contracted parcels is important to improve the quantity and quality of the crop and reduce risks related to storage, packaging or processing. The use of geo-information by the sector is limited, notwithstanding the great benefits that this type of information may offer. At the same time, new sensor-based technologies continue to gain importance and farmers increasingly invest in these. The combination of geo-information and crop modelling might strengthen the competitiveness of the Belgian potato chain in a global market. The iPot project, financed by the Belgian Science Policy Office (Belspo), aims at providing the Belgian potato processing sector, represented by Belgapom, with near real time information on field condition (weather-soil), crop development and yield estimates, derived from a combination of satellite images and crop growth models. During the cropping season regular UAV flights (RGB, 3x3 cm) and high resolution satellite images (DMC/Deimos, 22m pixel size) were combined to elucidate crop phenology and performance at variety trials. UAV images were processed using a K-means clustering algorithm to classify the crop according to its greenness at 5m resolution. Vegetation indices such as %Cover and LAI were calculated with the Cyclopes algorithm (INRA-EMMAH) on the DMC images. Both DMC and UAV-based cover maps showed similar patterns, and helped detect different crop stages during the season. A wide spread field monitoring campaign with crop observations and measurements allowed for further calibration of the satellite image derived vegetation indices. Curve fitting techniques and phenological models were developed and compared with the vegetation indices during the season, both at trials and farmers' fields. Understanding and predicting crop phenology and canopy development is important for timely crop management and ultimately for yield estimates. An

  18. Transforming Growth Factor-α Improves Memory Impairment and Neurogenesis Following Ischemia Reperfusion

    PubMed Central

    Alipanahzadeh, Hassan; Soleimani, Mansooreh; Soleimani Asl, Sara; Pourheydar, Bagher; Nikkhah, Ali; Mehdizadeh, Mehdi

    2014-01-01

    Objective Stroke is most important cause of death and disability in adults. The hippocampal CA1 and sub-ventricular zone neurons are vulnerable to ischemia that can impair memory and learning functions. Although neurogenesis normally occurs in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus and sub-ventricular zone (SVZ) following brain damage, this response is unable to compensate for severely damaged areas. This study aims to assess both neurogenesis and the neuroprotective effects of transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-α) on the hippocampus and SVZ following ischemia-reperfusion. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, a total of 48 male Wistar rats were divided into the following groups: surgical (n=12), phosphate buffered saline (PBS) treated vehicle shams (n=12), ischemia (n=12) and treatment (n=12) groups. Ischemia was induced by common carotid occlusion for 30 minutes followed by reperfusion, and TGF-α was then injected into the right lateral ventricle. Spatial memory was assessed using Morris water maze (MWM). Nestin and Bcl-2 family protein expressions were studied by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blot methods, respectively. Finally, data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS, SPSS Inc., Chicago, USA) version 16 and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results TGF-α injection significantly increased nestin expression in both the hippocampal DG and SVZ areas. TGF-α treatment caused a significant decrease in Bax expression and an increase in Bcl-2 anti-apoptotic protein expression in the hippocampus. Our results showed a significant increase in the number of pyramidal neurons. Memory also improved significantly following TGF-α treatment. Conclusion Our findings proved that TGF-α reduced ischemic injury and played a neuroprotective role in the pathogenesis of ischemic injury. PMID:24611146

  19. Fertilizer-dependent efficiency of Pseudomonads for improving growth, yield, and nutrient use efficiency of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Shaharoona, Baby; Naveed, Muhammad; Arshad, Muhammad; Zahir, Zahir A

    2008-05-01

    Acquisition of nutrients by plants is primarily dependent on root growth and bioavailability of nutrients in the rooting medium. Most of the beneficial bacteria enhance root growth, but their effectiveness could be influenced by the nutrient status around the roots. In this study, two 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC)-deaminase containing plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), Pseudomonas fluorescens and P. fluorescens biotype F were tested for their effect on growth, yield, and nutrient use efficiency of wheat under simultaneously varying levels of all the three major nutrients N, P, and K (at 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of recommended doses). Results of pot and field trials revealed that the efficacy of these strains for improving growth and yield of wheat reduced with the increasing rates of NPK added to the soil. In most of the cases, significant negative linear correlations were recorded between percentage increases in growth and yield parameters of wheat caused by inoculation and increasing levels of applied NPK fertilizers. It is highly likely that under low fertilizer application, the ACC-deaminase activity of PGPR might have caused reduction in the synthesis of stress (nutrient)-induced inhibitory levels of ethylene in the roots through ACC hydrolysis into NH(3) and alpha-ketobutyrate. The results of this study imply that these Pseudomonads could be employed in combination with appropriate doses of fertilizers for better plant growth and savings of fertilizers. PMID:18340443

  20. Fertilizer-dependent efficiency of Pseudomonads for improving growth, yield, and nutrient use efficiency of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Shaharoona, Baby; Naveed, Muhammad; Arshad, Muhammad; Zahir, Zahir A

    2008-05-01

    Acquisition of nutrients by plants is primarily dependent on root growth and bioavailability of nutrients in the rooting medium. Most of the beneficial bacteria enhance root growth, but their effectiveness could be influenced by the nutrient status around the roots. In this study, two 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC)-deaminase containing plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), Pseudomonas fluorescens and P. fluorescens biotype F were tested for their effect on growth, yield, and nutrient use efficiency of wheat under simultaneously varying levels of all the three major nutrients N, P, and K (at 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of recommended doses). Results of pot and field trials revealed that the efficacy of these strains for improving growth and yield of wheat reduced with the increasing rates of NPK added to the soil. In most of the cases, significant negative linear correlations were recorded between percentage increases in growth and yield parameters of wheat caused by inoculation and increasing levels of applied NPK fertilizers. It is highly likely that under low fertilizer application, the ACC-deaminase activity of PGPR might have caused reduction in the synthesis of stress (nutrient)-induced inhibitory levels of ethylene in the roots through ACC hydrolysis into NH(3) and alpha-ketobutyrate. The results of this study imply that these Pseudomonads could be employed in combination with appropriate doses of fertilizers for better plant growth and savings of fertilizers.

  1. Agricultural Wastes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jewell, W. J.; Switzenbaum, M. S.

    1978-01-01

    Presents a literature review of agricultural wastes, covering publications of 1976-77. Some of the areas covered are: (1) water characteristics and impacts; (2) waste treatment; (3) reuse of agricultural wastes; and (4) nonpoint pollution sources. A list of 150 references is also presented. (HM)

  2. VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento. Research Coordinating Unit.

    TO ASSIST THOSE WHO MAKE DECISIONS RELATING TO EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS IN AGRICULTURE, RECENT RESEARCH IN VOCATIONAL AGRICULTURE IS SUMMARIZED. A 1963 STUDY TREATS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORK EXPERIENCE AND STUDENT CHARACTERISTICS, PLANS, AND ASPIRATIONS. STUDIES ON POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION CONCERN GUIDELINES FOR TECHNICIAN PROGRAMS, JUSTIFICATION…

  3. Minor nutrients are critical for the improved growth of Corylus avellana shoot cultures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) cultivars fail to thrive on standard growth media and the reasons for poor growth are not well understood. Our initial study of five C. avellana cultivars showed that changes in the mineral nutrients of Driver and Kuniyuki Walnut (DKW) medium, including doubling t...

  4. National health expenditure projections, 2013-23: faster growth expected with expanded coverage and improving economy.

    PubMed

    Sisko, Andrea M; Keehan, Sean P; Cuckler, Gigi A; Madison, Andrew J; Smith, Sheila D; Wolfe, Christian J; Stone, Devin A; Lizonitz, Joseph M; Poisal, John A

    2014-10-01

    In 2013 health spending growth is expected to have remained slow, at 3.6 percent, as a result of the sluggish economic recovery, the effects of sequestration, and continued increases in private health insurance cost-sharing requirements. The combined effects of the Affordable Care Act's coverage expansions, faster economic growth, and population aging are expected to fuel health spending growth this year and thereafter (5.6 percent in 2014 and 6.0 percent per year for 2015-23). However, the average rate of increase through 2023 is projected to be slower than the 7.2 percent average growth experienced during 1990-2008. Because health spending is projected to grow 1.1 percentage points faster than the average economic growth during 2013-23, the health share of the gross domestic product is expected to rise from 17.2 percent in 2012 to 19.3 percent in 2023.

  5. Addition of Selenium Nanoparticles to Electrospun Silk Scaffold Improves the Mammalian Cell Activity While Reducing Bacterial Growth.

    PubMed

    Chung, Stanley; Ercan, Batur; Roy, Amit K; Webster, Thomas J

    2016-01-01

    Silk possesses many beneficial wound healing properties, and electrospun scaffolds are especially applicable for skin applications, due to their smaller interstices and higher surface areas. However, purified silk promotes microbial growth. Selenium nanoparticles have shown excellent antibacterial properties and are a novel antimicrobial chemistry. Here, electrospun silk scaffolds were doped with selenium nanoparticles to impart antibacterial properties to the silk scaffolds. Results showed significantly improved bacterial inhibition and mild improvement in human dermal fibroblast metabolic activity. These results suggest that the addition of selenium nanoparticles to electrospun silk is a promising approach to improve wound healing with reduced infection, without relying on antibiotics. PMID:27471473

  6. Addition of Selenium Nanoparticles to Electrospun Silk Scaffold Improves the Mammalian Cell Activity While Reducing Bacterial Growth

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Stanley; Ercan, Batur; Roy, Amit K.; Webster, Thomas J.

    2016-01-01

    Silk possesses many beneficial wound healing properties, and electrospun scaffolds are especially applicable for skin applications, due to their smaller interstices and higher surface areas. However, purified silk promotes microbial growth. Selenium nanoparticles have shown excellent antibacterial properties and are a novel antimicrobial chemistry. Here, electrospun silk scaffolds were doped with selenium nanoparticles to impart antibacterial properties to the silk scaffolds. Results showed significantly improved bacterial inhibition and mild improvement in human dermal fibroblast metabolic activity. These results suggest that the addition of selenium nanoparticles to electrospun silk is a promising approach to improve wound healing with reduced infection, without relying on antibiotics. PMID:27471473

  7. Genetic diversity of different populations and improved growth in the F1 hybrids in the swimming crab (Portunus trituberculatus).

    PubMed

    Gao, B Q; Liu, P; Li, J; Wang, Q Y; Li, X P

    2014-01-01

    The swimming crab, Portunus trituberculatus, is widely distributed throughout the coastal waters of Asian-Pacific nations and is an important economic species in this region. The aquaculture of swimming crabs has been plagued by problems associated with low growth rates, poor flesh quality, and weak disease resistance. To overcome these problems, selective breeding programs have been suggested as a means of genetically improving these traits in stock populations. In this study, we evaluated the genetic differentiation of 3 different geographical populations (Zhoushan: S; Laizhou Bay: L; and Haizhou Bay: H) using 8 polymorphic microsatellite loci. Nine strains of first filial generation were obtained, with 3 geographically populations as parental stock. We assessed the growth and survival rates of the F1 generation to identify new strains or breeds showing improvements in these economically important traits. Our results indicated that pairwise FST among populations was significantly higher than 0 (P = 0.0000) for every population pair, ranging from 0.0810 to 0.1083 for 3 different geographical populations. We observed significant heterosis for the growth and viability (survival) traits, although some strains (crossbred combinations) showed evidence of hybrid weakness in some growth measurements. One particular strain ("SL") outperformed other combinations, displaying the greatest extent of heterosis over the growth and viability (survival) traits. These results indicate that hybridization may be used to increase the performance of P. trituberculatus in aquaculture.

  8. Exogenous γ-aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Application Improved Early Growth, Net Photosynthesis, and Associated Physio-Biochemical Events in Maize

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wu; Liu, Jianhua; Ashraf, Umair; Li, Gaoke; Li, Yuliang; Lu, Wenjia; Gao, Lei; Han, Fuguang; Hu, Jianguang

    2016-01-01

    γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an endogenous signaling molecule and involved in growth regulations and plant development, however, a little information is available on the consequences of exogenous GABA application on growth, development, and associated physio-biochemical processes in maize. The present study examined the GABA-induced regulations in early growth, net photosynthetic rate, gas exchange, osmoregulation, and enzymatic activities in three maize cultivars, i.e., Yuecainuo 6, Zhengtian 68, and Yuecainuo 2. Two levels of GABA, i.e., 0 mg L-1 and 50 mg L-1, in solution form, with total application volume of 100 ml per pot containing 15 maize seedlings were exogenously applied. Results revealed that exogenous GABA application improved seedling growth in terms of seedling length and biomass accumulation in all maize cultivars at both 3 and 7 days after treatment (DAT). It also promoted net photosynthesis and variably affected gas exchange attributes, i.e., stomatal conductance (Gs), intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), and transpiration rate (Tr), as well as leaves SPAD value. Furthermore, lipid peroxidation [in terms of malondialdehyde (MDA)] under GABA treated maize seedlings were also remained variable; however, osmolyte accumulation (protein and proline) and activities of anti-oxidants enzymes, i.e., super-oxide dismutase and peroxidase were also affected differently at both 3 and 7 DAT in all maize cultivars. Furthermore, enzymes involved in nitrogen metabolism, e.g., nitrate reductase and glutamine synthetase were improved. These results suggest the involvement of GABA in various physio-metablical mechanisms which might lead to improvement in morphological growth of maize. In future, research is still needed at molecular and genetic levels to unravel the involvement of GABA-mediated regulations in growth and its associated physio-biochemical mechanisms. PMID:27446149

  9. Exogenous γ-aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Application Improved Early Growth, Net Photosynthesis, and Associated Physio-Biochemical Events in Maize.

    PubMed

    Li, Wu; Liu, Jianhua; Ashraf, Umair; Li, Gaoke; Li, Yuliang; Lu, Wenjia; Gao, Lei; Han, Fuguang; Hu, Jianguang

    2016-01-01

    γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an endogenous signaling molecule and involved in growth regulations and plant development, however, a little information is available on the consequences of exogenous GABA application on growth, development, and associated physio-biochemical processes in maize. The present study examined the GABA-induced regulations in early growth, net photosynthetic rate, gas exchange, osmoregulation, and enzymatic activities in three maize cultivars, i.e., Yuecainuo 6, Zhengtian 68, and Yuecainuo 2. Two levels of GABA, i.e., 0 mg L(-1) and 50 mg L(-1), in solution form, with total application volume of 100 ml per pot containing 15 maize seedlings were exogenously applied. Results revealed that exogenous GABA application improved seedling growth in terms of seedling length and biomass accumulation in all maize cultivars at both 3 and 7 days after treatment (DAT). It also promoted net photosynthesis and variably affected gas exchange attributes, i.e., stomatal conductance (Gs), intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), and transpiration rate (Tr), as well as leaves SPAD value. Furthermore, lipid peroxidation [in terms of malondialdehyde (MDA)] under GABA treated maize seedlings were also remained variable; however, osmolyte accumulation (protein and proline) and activities of anti-oxidants enzymes, i.e., super-oxide dismutase and peroxidase were also affected differently at both 3 and 7 DAT in all maize cultivars. Furthermore, enzymes involved in nitrogen metabolism, e.g., nitrate reductase and glutamine synthetase were improved. These results suggest the involvement of GABA in various physio-metablical mechanisms which might lead to improvement in morphological growth of maize. In future, research is still needed at molecular and genetic levels to unravel the involvement of GABA-mediated regulations in growth and its associated physio-biochemical mechanisms.

  10. Exogenous γ-aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Application Improved Early Growth, Net Photosynthesis, and Associated Physio-Biochemical Events in Maize.

    PubMed

    Li, Wu; Liu, Jianhua; Ashraf, Umair; Li, Gaoke; Li, Yuliang; Lu, Wenjia; Gao, Lei; Han, Fuguang; Hu, Jianguang

    2016-01-01

    γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an endogenous signaling molecule and involved in growth regulations and plant development, however, a little information is available on the consequences of exogenous GABA application on growth, development, and associated physio-biochemical processes in maize. The present study examined the GABA-induced regulations in early growth, net photosynthetic rate, gas exchange, osmoregulation, and enzymatic activities in three maize cultivars, i.e., Yuecainuo 6, Zhengtian 68, and Yuecainuo 2. Two levels of GABA, i.e., 0 mg L(-1) and 50 mg L(-1), in solution form, with total application volume of 100 ml per pot containing 15 maize seedlings were exogenously applied. Results revealed that exogenous GABA application improved seedling growth in terms of seedling length and biomass accumulation in all maize cultivars at both 3 and 7 days after treatment (DAT). It also promoted net photosynthesis and variably affected gas exchange attributes, i.e., stomatal conductance (Gs), intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), and transpiration rate (Tr), as well as leaves SPAD value. Furthermore, lipid peroxidation [in terms of malondialdehyde (MDA)] under GABA treated maize seedlings were also remained variable; however, osmolyte accumulation (protein and proline) and activities of anti-oxidants enzymes, i.e., super-oxide dismutase and peroxidase were also affected differently at both 3 and 7 DAT in all maize cultivars. Furthermore, enzymes involved in nitrogen metabolism, e.g., nitrate reductase and glutamine synthetase were improved. These results suggest the involvement of GABA in various physio-metablical mechanisms which might lead to improvement in morphological growth of maize. In future, research is still needed at molecular and genetic levels to unravel the involvement of GABA-mediated regulations in growth and its associated physio-biochemical mechanisms. PMID:27446149

  11. Agriculture Education. Agricultural Metal Working.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stuttgart Public Schools, AR.

    This curriculum guide is designed for group instruction of secondary agricultural education students enrolled in one or two semester-long courses in agricultural metal working. The guide presents units of study in the following areas: (1) oxyacetylene welding, (2) arc welding, (3) sheet metal, (4) blueprint reading for welders and (5) job…

  12. The transition to agricultural sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Ruttan, Vernon W.

    1999-01-01

    The transition to sustainable growth in agricultural production during the 21st century will take place within the context of a transition to a stable population and a possible transition to a stable level of material consumption. If the world fails to successfully navigate a transition to sustainable growth in agricultural production, the failure will be due more to a failure in the area of institutional innovation than to resource and environmental constraints. PMID:10339524

  13. Age, genotype and sex effects on growth performance of local chickens kept under improved management in Ghana.

    PubMed

    Osei-Amponsah, Richard; Kayang, Boniface B; Naazie, Augustine

    2012-01-01

    Characterisation of animal genetic resources has been recognised globally as an important step towards their sustainable use. Body weight data of local chickens (213 forest and 160 savannah chickens) and 183 French free-ranging SASSO T44 chickens kept under improved management were collected from hatch to 40 weeks of age and analysed to determine the effects of age, genotype and sex on their growth performance. At all ages, SASSO T44 chickens had significantly (P<0.05) higher weights (2.6-3.2 kg at 28 weeks) than the local chickens (1.2-1.7 kg at 28 weeks). The rate of growth at the earlier ages in the local genotypes (5.57-7.80 g/day) was lower than the range of 13.81-15.42 in SASSO T44 chickens. Except at hatch, savannah chickens were significantly heavier (P<0.05) than the forest chickens at all ages. Male chickens had significantly (P<0.05) superior growth rates than females across all genotypes except from the 20th to the 28th week. Growth trends in both sexes depicted linear increase in body weights; however, the rate of increase in body weights was higher in males as compared to females, thus showing clear sexual dimorphism. There were no significant (P>0.05) differences in the growth rates of SASSO T44 chickens and local genotypes at the later ages (20-28 weeks). Local chickens from the savannah zone had better growth rate than forest chickens. The significant effect of ecozone on the growth potential of local chickens is an indication that their productive potential could be improved through interventions in the environment such as provision of feed and some veterinary care.

  14. Nepal Vocational Agriculture Teacher's Handbook.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woods, Harvey S.; Stitt, Thomas R.

    This two-part handbook reviews present teaching materials used by vocational agriculture teachers of Nepal, discusses opportunities for improvement of curriculum materials and teaching methods, and provides additional materials for the improvement of academic, vocational, and professional competencies for all vocational agriculture teachers of…

  15. Endophytic Fungi from Frankincense Tree Improves Host Growth and Produces Extracellular Enzymes and Indole Acetic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Abdul Latif; Al-Harrasi, Ahmed; Al-Rawahi, Ahmed; Al-Farsi, Zainab; Al-Mamari, Aza; Waqas, Muhammad; Asaf, Sajjad; Elyassi, Ali; Mabood, Fazal; Shin, Jae-Ho; Lee, In-Jung

    2016-01-01

    Boswellia sacra, an economically important frankincense-producing tree found in the desert woodlands of Oman, is least known for its endophytic fungal diversity and the potential of these fungi to produce extracellular enzymes and auxins. We isolated various fungal endophytes belonging to Eurotiales (11.8%), Chaetomiaceae (17.6%), Incertae sadis (29.5%), Aureobasidiaceae (17.6%), Nectriaceae (5.9%) and Sporomiaceae (17.6%) from the phylloplane (leaf) and caulosphere (stem) of the tree. Endophytes were identified using genomic DNA extraction, PCR amplification and sequencing the internal transcribed spacer regions, whereas a detailed phylogenetic analysis of the same gene fragment was made with homologous sequences. The endophytic colonization rate was significantly higher in the leaf (5.33%) than the stem (0.262%). The Shannon-Weiner diversity index was H′ 0.8729, while Simpson index was higher in the leaf (0.583) than in the stem (0.416). Regarding the endophytic fungi’s potential for extracellular enzyme production, fluorogenic 4-methylumbelliferone standards and substrates were used to determine the presence of cellulases, phosphatases and glucosidases in the pure culture. Among fungal strains, Penicillum citrinum BSL17 showed significantly higher amounts of glucosidases (62.15±1.8 μM-1min-1mL) and cellulases (62.11±1.6 μM-1min-1mL), whereas Preussia sp. BSL10 showed significantly higher secretion of glucosidases (69.4±0.79 μM-1min-1mL) and phosphatases (3.46±0.31μM-1min-1mL) compared to other strains. Aureobasidium sp. BSS6 and Preussia sp. BSL10 showed significantly higher potential for indole acetic acid production (tryptophan-dependent and independent pathways). Preussia sp. BSL10 was applied to the host B. sacra tree saplings, which exhibited significant improvements in plant growth parameters and accumulation of photosynthetic pigments. The current study concluded that endophytic microbial resources producing extracellular enzymes and auxin

  16. Endophytic Fungi from Frankincense Tree Improves Host Growth and Produces Extracellular Enzymes and Indole Acetic Acid.

    PubMed

    Khan, Abdul Latif; Al-Harrasi, Ahmed; Al-Rawahi, Ahmed; Al-Farsi, Zainab; Al-Mamari, Aza; Waqas, Muhammad; Asaf, Sajjad; Elyassi, Ali; Mabood, Fazal; Shin, Jae-Ho; Lee, In-Jung

    2016-01-01

    Boswellia sacra, an economically important frankincense-producing tree found in the desert woodlands of Oman, is least known for its endophytic fungal diversity and the potential of these fungi to produce extracellular enzymes and auxins. We isolated various fungal endophytes belonging to Eurotiales (11.8%), Chaetomiaceae (17.6%), Incertae sadis (29.5%), Aureobasidiaceae (17.6%), Nectriaceae (5.9%) and Sporomiaceae (17.6%) from the phylloplane (leaf) and caulosphere (stem) of the tree. Endophytes were identified using genomic DNA extraction, PCR amplification and sequencing the internal transcribed spacer regions, whereas a detailed phylogenetic analysis of the same gene fragment was made with homologous sequences. The endophytic colonization rate was significantly higher in the leaf (5.33%) than the stem (0.262%). The Shannon-Weiner diversity index was H' 0.8729, while Simpson index was higher in the leaf (0.583) than in the stem (0.416). Regarding the endophytic fungi's potential for extracellular enzyme production, fluorogenic 4-methylumbelliferone standards and substrates were used to determine the presence of cellulases, phosphatases and glucosidases in the pure culture. Among fungal strains, Penicillum citrinum BSL17 showed significantly higher amounts of glucosidases (62.15±1.8 μM-1min-1mL) and cellulases (62.11±1.6 μM-1min-1mL), whereas Preussia sp. BSL10 showed significantly higher secretion of glucosidases (69.4±0.79 μM-1min-1mL) and phosphatases (3.46±0.31μM-1min-1mL) compared to other strains. Aureobasidium sp. BSS6 and Preussia sp. BSL10 showed significantly higher potential for indole acetic acid production (tryptophan-dependent and independent pathways). Preussia sp. BSL10 was applied to the host B. sacra tree saplings, which exhibited significant improvements in plant growth parameters and accumulation of photosynthetic pigments. The current study concluded that endophytic microbial resources producing extracellular enzymes and auxin could

  17. Endophytic Fungi from Frankincense Tree Improves Host Growth and Produces Extracellular Enzymes and Indole Acetic Acid.

    PubMed

    Khan, Abdul Latif; Al-Harrasi, Ahmed; Al-Rawahi, Ahmed; Al-Farsi, Zainab; Al-Mamari, Aza; Waqas, Muhammad; Asaf, Sajjad; Elyassi, Ali; Mabood, Fazal; Shin, Jae-Ho; Lee, In-Jung

    2016-01-01

    Boswellia sacra, an economically important frankincense-producing tree found in the desert woodlands of Oman, is least known for its endophytic fungal diversity and the potential of these fungi to produce extracellular enzymes and auxins. We isolated various fungal endophytes belonging to Eurotiales (11.8%), Chaetomiaceae (17.6%), Incertae sadis (29.5%), Aureobasidiaceae (17.6%), Nectriaceae (5.9%) and Sporomiaceae (17.6%) from the phylloplane (leaf) and caulosphere (stem) of the tree. Endophytes were identified using genomic DNA extraction, PCR amplification and sequencing the internal transcribed spacer regions, whereas a detailed phylogenetic analysis of the same gene fragment was made with homologous sequences. The endophytic colonization rate was significantly higher in the leaf (5.33%) than the stem (0.262%). The Shannon-Weiner diversity index was H' 0.8729, while Simpson index was higher in the leaf (0.583) than in the stem (0.416). Regarding the endophytic fungi's potential for extracellular enzyme production, fluorogenic 4-methylumbelliferone standards and substrates were used to determine the presence of cellulases, phosphatases and glucosidases in the pure culture. Among fungal strains, Penicillum citrinum BSL17 showed significantly higher amounts of glucosidases (62.15±1.8 μM-1min-1mL) and cellulases (62.11±1.6 μM-1min-1mL), whereas Preussia sp. BSL10 showed significantly higher secretion of glucosidases (69.4±0.79 μM-1min-1mL) and phosphatases (3.46±0.31μM-1min-1mL) compared to other strains. Aureobasidium sp. BSS6 and Preussia sp. BSL10 showed significantly higher potential for indole acetic acid production (tryptophan-dependent and independent pathways). Preussia sp. BSL10 was applied to the host B. sacra tree saplings, which exhibited significant improvements in plant growth parameters and accumulation of photosynthetic pigments. The current study concluded that endophytic microbial resources producing extracellular enzymes and auxin could

  18. Fibroblast Growth Factor-Peptide Improves Barrier Function and Proliferation in Human Keratinocytes After Radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang Kunzhong; Tian Yeping; Yin Liangjie; Zhang Mei; Beck, Lisa A.; Zhang, Bingrong; Okunieff, Paul; Zhang Lurong; Vidyasagar, Sadasivan

    2011-09-01

    Purpose: Epidermal keratinocytes, which can be severely damaged after ionizing radiation (IR), are rapid turnover cells that function as a barrier, protecting the host from pathogenic invasion and fluid loss. We tested fibroblast growth factor-peptide (FGF-P), a small peptide derived from the receptor-binding domain of FGF-2, as a potential mitigator of radiation effects via proliferation and the barrier function of keratinocytes. Methods and Materials: Keratinocytes isolated from neonatal foreskin were grown on transwells. After being exposed to 0, 5, or 10 Gy IR, the cells were treated with a vehicle or FGF-P. The permeability of IR cells was assessed by using transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) and a paracellular tracer flux of fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated bovine serum albumin (FITC-BSA) with Ussing chambers. The cell proliferation was measured with yellow tetrazolium salt (MTT) and tritiated thymidine ([{sup 3}H]-TdR) assays. The phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) was measured in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA)-like assay, and the proteins related to tight junctions (TJ) and adherens junctions (AJ) were examined with Western blotting. We used a mouse model to assess the ability of FGF-P to promote the healing of skin {beta} burns created with a strontium applicator. Results: We found (1) FGF-P reduced the permeability of irradiated keratinocytes, as evidenced by increased TEER and decreased diffusion of FITC-BSA, both associated with the regulation of different proteins and levels of TJ and AJ; and (2) FGF-P enhanced the proliferation of irradiated keratinocytes, as evidenced by increased MTT activity and [{sup 3}H]-TdR incorporation, which was associated with activation of the ERK pathway; and (3) FGF-P promoted the healing of skin {beta} burns. Conclusions: FGF-P enhances the barrier function, including up-regulation of TJ proteins, increases proliferation of human keratinocytes, and accelerates the

  19. Nutritional Requirements for the Improvement of Growth and Sporulation of Several Strains of Monascus purpureus on Solid State Cultivation

    PubMed Central

    Ajdari, Zahra; Ebrahimpour, Afshin; Abdul Manan, Musaalbakri; Hamid, Muhajir; Mohamad, Rosfarizan; Ariff, Arbakariya B.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes the nutritional requirements for the improvement of growth and sporulation of several strains of Monascus purpureus on solid state cultivation. The findings revealed that glucose enhanced growth of all M. purpureus strains tested but inhibited the sporulation rate. On the other hand, sucrose induced sporulation but inhibited production of cell mass. A combination of glucose and sucrose greatly enhanced sporulation and cell mass production of M. purpureus. Although growth and sporulation rate were related to the ratio of carbon to nitrogen (C/N ratio), the types and concentrations of carbon and nitrogen sources also greatly influenced the growth kinetics. Among the media tested, Hiroi-PDA medium was the most preferred medium for all M. purpureus strains tested for the enhancement of radial growth rate, sporulation, and cell production. Hence, Hiroi-PDA could be suggested as the generic basal medium for the cultivation of M. purpureus. However, individual medium optimization is required for significant enhancement in growth and sporulation of each strain of M. purpureus. PMID:22253529

  20. Relationship between in vitro characterization and comparative efficacy of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria for improving cucumber salt tolerance.

    PubMed

    Nadeem, Sajid Mahmood; Ahmad, Maqshoof; Naveed, Muhammad; Imran, Muhammad; Zahir, Zahir Ahmad; Crowley, David E

    2016-05-01

    Phosphate solubilization, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC)-deaminase activity and production of siderophores and indole acetic acid (IAA) are well-known traits of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Here we investigated the expression of these traits as affected by salinity for three PGPR strains (Pseudomonas fluorescens, Bacillus megaterium and Variovorax paradoxus) at two salinity levels [2 and 5 % NaCl (w/v)]. Among the three strains, growth of B. megaterium was the least affected by high salinity. However, P. fluorescens was the best strain for maintaining ACC-deaminase activity, siderophore and IAA production under stressed conditions. V. paradoxus was the least tolerant to salts and had minimal growth and low PGPR trait expression under salt stress. Results of experiment examining the impact of bacterial inoculation on cucumber growth at three salinity levels [1 (normal), 7 and 10 dS m(-1)] revealed that P. fluorescens also had good rhizosphere competence and was the most effective for alleviating the negative impacts of salinity on cucumber growth. The results suggest that in addition to screening the PGPR regarding their effect on growth under salinity, PGPR trait expression is also an important aspect that may be useful for selecting the most promising PGPR bacterial strains for improving plant tolerance to salinity stress.

  1. Relationship between in vitro characterization and comparative efficacy of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria for improving cucumber salt tolerance.

    PubMed

    Nadeem, Sajid Mahmood; Ahmad, Maqshoof; Naveed, Muhammad; Imran, Muhammad; Zahir, Zahir Ahmad; Crowley, David E

    2016-05-01

    Phosphate solubilization, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC)-deaminase activity and production of siderophores and indole acetic acid (IAA) are well-known traits of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Here we investigated the expression of these traits as affected by salinity for three PGPR strains (Pseudomonas fluorescens, Bacillus megaterium and Variovorax paradoxus) at two salinity levels [2 and 5 % NaCl (w/v)]. Among the three strains, growth of B. megaterium was the least affected by high salinity. However, P. fluorescens was the best strain for maintaining ACC-deaminase activity, siderophore and IAA production under stressed conditions. V. paradoxus was the least tolerant to salts and had minimal growth and low PGPR trait expression under salt stress. Results of experiment examining the impact of bacterial inoculation on cucumber growth at three salinity levels [1 (normal), 7 and 10 dS m(-1)] revealed that P. fluorescens also had good rhizosphere competence and was the most effective for alleviating the negative impacts of salinity on cucumber growth. The results suggest that in addition to screening the PGPR regarding their effect on growth under salinity, PGPR trait expression is also an important aspect that may be useful for selecting the most promising PGPR bacterial strains for improving plant tolerance to salinity stress. PMID:26860842

  2. Improved tumor-to-organ ratios of a novel 67Ga-human epidermal growth factor radionuclide conjugate with preadministered antiepidermal growth factor receptor affibody molecules.

    PubMed

    Sandström, Karl; Haylock, Anna-Karin; Velikyan, Irina; Spiegelberg, Diana; Kareem, Heewa; Tolmachev, Vladimir; Lundqvist, Hans; Nestor, Marika

    2011-10-01

    The overexpression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is associated with poor prognosis. Targeted nuclear imaging of the EGFR expression could improve the diagnostics in patients with HNSCC. However, the high expression of EGFR in normal organs may conceal the tumor uptake and therefore limit the use. This study assesses the biodistribution of a novel human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) radionuclide conjugate after preinjection with anti-EGFR affibody molecules. hEGF was conjugated with p-SCN-Bn-NOTA and labeled with (67)Ga. The biodistribution of [(67)Ga]Ga-NOTA-Bn-NCS-hEGF in nude mice with EGFR-expressing xenografts was evaluated either alone or 45 minutes after preinjection with one of the anti-EGFR affibody molecules Z(EGFR:1907), (Z(EGFR:1907))(2), or (Z(EGFR:955))(2). The novel radioimmunoconjugate, [(67)Ga]Ga-NOTA-Bn-NCS-hEGF, demonstrated high stability in vitro and specific binding to hEGF in vitro and in vivo. Preinjection with anti-EGFR affibody molecules improved the tumor-to-organ ratio in the liver, salivary glands, and colon. Overall, the dimeric high-affinity affibody molecule (Z(EGFR:1907))(2) exhibited the best results. These findings show that preblocking with an anti-EGFR affibody molecule is a promising tool that could improve the outcome of radionuclide-based imaging of EGFR-expressing tumors. PMID:21834651

  3. Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition Impact through the Feed the Future Initiative.

    PubMed

    Du, Lidan; Pinga, Victor; Klein, Alyssa; Danton, Heather

    2015-01-01

    Nutrition is a multisectoral problem; current state of empirical evidence for agricultural interventions' impacts on nutrition is weak. In the past 10 years, both agriculture and nutrition have risen on the global policy agenda. Several recent international movements have created great momentum for nutrition among global political leaders and policymakers. The 2008 world food price crisis prompted larger investment pledges to agricultural development. The U.S. Government launched the Feed the Future initiative in 2009 to address global hunger and food security, with a primary goal to reduce poverty and undernutrition by simultaneously promoting inclusive agriculture sector growth and improved nutritional status for women and children. With operations in 19 focus countries, Feed the Future provides an important laboratory of learning where efforts can be effective and, once proven, taken to scale to make agriculture work for nutrition. The Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project has been conducting a series of research on the Feed the Future initiative. This chapter will first provide a review of the nutrition narrative in relation to food and nutrition, introduce the current understanding of linkages between agriculture and nutrition and the Feed the Future initiative's efforts to strengthen the nutritional impact of agricultural and economic growth activities, and describe an extensive review of how the design and early implementation of Feed the Future activities linked agriculture and nutrition. Finally, the chapter presents an updated framework that incorporates ways to improve nutrition outcomes of agricultural programming in the broader context of food system. PMID:25624034

  4. Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition Impact through the Feed the Future Initiative.

    PubMed

    Du, Lidan; Pinga, Victor; Klein, Alyssa; Danton, Heather

    2015-01-01

    Nutrition is a multisectoral problem; current state of empirical evidence for agricultural interventions' impacts on nutrition is weak. In the past 10 years, both agriculture and nutrition have risen on the global policy agenda. Several recent international movements have created great momentum for nutrition among global political leaders and policymakers. The 2008 world food price crisis prompted larger investment pledges to agricultural development. The U.S. Government launched the Feed the Future initiative in 2009 to address global hunger and food security, with a primary goal to reduce poverty and undernutrition by simultaneously promoting inclusive agriculture sector growth and improved nutritional status for women and children. With operations in 19 focus countries, Feed the Future provides an important laboratory of learning where efforts can be effective and, once proven, taken to scale to make agriculture work for nutrition. The Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project has been conducting a series of research on the Feed the Future initiative. This chapter will first provide a review of the nutrition narrative in relation to food and nutrition, introduce the current understanding of linkages between agriculture and nutrition and the Feed the Future initiative's efforts to strengthen the nutritional impact of agricultural and economic growth activities, and describe an extensive review of how the design and early implementation of Feed the Future activities linked agriculture and nutrition. Finally, the chapter presents an updated framework that incorporates ways to improve nutrition outcomes of agricultural programming in the broader context of food system.

  5. Using Design Thinking to Improve Psychological Interventions: The Case of the Growth Mindset During the Transition to High School

    PubMed Central

    Yeager, David S.; Romero, Carissa; Paunesku, Dave; Hulleman, Christopher S.; Schneider, Barbara; Hinojosa, Cintia; Lee, Hae Yeon; O’Brien, Joseph; Flint, Kate; Roberts, Alice; Trott, Jill; Greene, Daniel; Walton, Gregory M.; Dweck, Carol S.

    2016-01-01

    There are many promising psychological interventions on the horizon, but there is no clear methodology for preparing them to be scaled up. Drawing on design thinking, the present research formalizes a methodology for redesigning and tailoring initial interventions. We test the methodology using the case of fixed versus growth mindsets during the transition to high school. Qualitative inquiry and rapid, iterative, randomized “A/B” experiments were conducted with ~3,000 participants to inform intervention revisions for this population. Next, two experimental evaluations showed that the revised growth mindset intervention was an improvement over previous versions in terms of short-term proxy outcomes (Study 1, N=7,501), and it improved 9th grade core-course GPA and reduced D/F GPAs for lower achieving students when delivered via the Internet under routine conditions with ~95% of students at 10 schools (Study 2, N=3,676). Although the intervention could still be improved even further, the current research provides a model for how to improve and scale interventions that begin to address pressing educational problems. It also provides insight into how to teach a growth mindset more effectively. PMID:27524832

  6. Practical improvements in soil redox potential (Eh) measurement for characterisation of soil properties. Application for comparison of conventional and conservation agriculture cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Husson, Olivier; Husson, Benoit; Brunet, Alexandre; Babre, Daniel; Alary, Karine; Sarthou, Jean-Pierre; Charpentier, Hubert; Durand, Michel; Benada, Jaroslav; Henry, Marc

    2016-02-01

    The soil redox potential (Eh) can provide essential information to characterise soil conditions. In practice, however, numerous problems may arise regarding: (i) Eh determination in soils, especially aerobic soils, e.g. variations in the instrumentation and methodology for Eh measurement, high spatial and temporal Eh variability in soils, irreversibility of the redox reaction at the surface electrode, chemical disequilibrium; and (ii) measurement interpretation. This study aimed at developing a standardised method for redox potential measurement in soils, in order to use Eh as a soil quality indicator. This paper presents practical improvements in soil Eh measurement, especially regarding the control of electromagnetic perturbations, electrode choice and preparation, soil sample preparation (drying procedure) and soil:water extraction rate. The repeatability and reproducibility of the measurement method developed are highlighted. The use of Eh corrected at pH7, pe+pH or rH2, which are equivalent notions, is proposed to facilitate interpretation of the results. The application of this Eh measurement method allows characterisation of soil conditions with sufficient repeatability, reproducibility and accuracy to demonstrate that conservation agriculture systems positively alter the protonic and electronic balance of soil as compared to conventional systems.

  7. Molecular evaluation of soil organic matter characteristics in three agricultural soils by improved off-line thermochemolysis: the effect of hydrofluoric acid demineralisation treatment.

    PubMed

    Spaccini, Riccardo; Song, XiangYun; Cozzolino, Vincenza; Piccolo, Alessandro

    2013-11-13

    The molecular composition of soil organic matter (SOM) in three agricultural fields under different managements, was evaluated by off-line thermochemolysis followed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry analysis (THM-GC-MS). While this technique enabled the characterization of SOM components in coarse textured soil, its efficiency in heavy textured soils was seriously affected by the interference of clay minerals, which catalyzed the formation of secondary artifacts in pyrolysates. Soil demineralization with hydrofluoric acid (HF) solutions effectively improved the reliable characterization of organic compounds in clayey soils by thermochemolysis, while did not alter significantly the results of coarse textured soil. A wide range of lignin monomers and lipids molecules, of plant and microbial origin, were identified in the pyrograms of HF treated soils, thereby revealing interesting molecular differences between SOM management practices. Our results indicated that clay removal provided by HF pretreatment enhanced the capacity of thermochemolysis to be a valuable and accurate technique to study the SOM dynamics also in heavy-textured and OC-depleted cultivated soils.

  8. Practical improvements in soil redox potential (Eh) measurement for characterisation of soil properties. Application for comparison of conventional and conservation agriculture cropping systems.

    PubMed

    Husson, Olivier; Husson, Benoit; Brunet, Alexandre; Babre, Daniel; Alary, Karine; Sarthou, Jean-Pierre; Charpentier, Hubert; Durand, Michel; Benada, Jaroslav; Henry, Marc

    2016-02-01

    The soil redox potential (Eh) can provide essential information to characterise soil conditions. In practice, however, numerous problems may arise regarding: (i) Eh determination in soils, especially aerobic soils, e.g. variations in the instrumentation and methodology for Eh measurement, high spatial and temporal Eh variability in soils, irreversibility of the redox reaction at the surface electrode, chemical disequilibrium; and (ii) measurement interpretation. This study aimed at developing a standardised method for redox potential measurement in soils, in order to use Eh as a soil quality indicator. This paper presents practical improvements in soil Eh measurement, especially regarding the control of electromagnetic perturbations, electrode choice and preparation, soil sample preparation (drying procedure) and soil:water extraction rate. The repeatability and reproducibility of the measurement method developed are highlighted. The use of Eh corrected at pH7, pe+pH or rH2, which are equivalent notions, is proposed to facilitate interpretation of the results. The application of this Eh measurement method allows characterisation of soil conditions with sufficient repeatability, reproducibility and accuracy to demonstrate that conservation agriculture systems positively alter the protonic and electronic balance of soil as compared to conventional systems. PMID:26772129

  9. Rural development, agriculture, and food security.

    PubMed

    Ayres, W S; Mccalla, A F

    1996-12-01

    Within 30 years the world will be supplying food for an additional 2.5 billion people, most of whom will live in developing countries. Developing countries in meeting future challenges will need to implement sound and stable macroeconomic and sector policies. The World Bank is providing analysis, policy dialogue, and financial support in specific countries for opening up agricultural markets globally. Developing countries need to enhance food supplies by encouraging rapid technological change, increasing the efficiency of irrigation, and improving natural resource management. Agricultural and income growth in developing countries is dependent upon transfer of the breakthroughs in agricultural technology to the millions of small farms in the developing world. People currently use about 70% of available fresh water for irrigation, and competition for water resources with urban and industrial users has increased. Agriculture and other sectors must increase the efficiency of water use. Natural resource planning and comprehensive water and natural resource management that rely on a community-based approach have proven successful. Developing countries need to improve access to food by strengthening markets and agribusinesses, providing education and health services to both boys and girls, investing in infrastructure, and fostering broad participation. The major challenge ahead is to ensure food security for the hundreds of millions of families living in poverty. This large and complex task involves increasing agricultural output worldwide, reducing poverty, and improving health and nutrition. Progress has been made in the past 25 years in improving living conditions, but not everyone has benefitted. Almost 75% of the poor live in rural areas without access to land, and 25% are urban poor without jobs. Most of the poor live in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. The World Bank mandate is to reduce poverty and hunger through revitalized rural development.

  10. Agricultural Microbiology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brill, Winston J.

    1981-01-01

    Elucidates strategies for applying microbiological techniques to traditional agricultural practices. Discusses the manipulation of microorganisms that live with plants and also the problems involved in the introduction of new genes into crop plants by recombinant DNA methods. (CS)

  11. Agricultural Geophysics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The four geophysical methods predominantly used for agricultural purposes are resistivity, electromagnetic induction, ground penetrating radar (GPR), and time domain reflectometry (TDR). Resistivity and electromagnetic induction methods are typically employed to map lateral variations of apparent so...

  12. Does a Curriculum Integration Intervention to Improve the Mathematics Achievement of Students Diminish Their Acquisition of Technical Competence? An Experimental Study in Agricultural Mechanics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parr, Brian A.; Edwards, M. Craig; Leising, James G.

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to empirically test the hypothesis that students who participated in a contextualized, mathematics-enhanced high school agricultural power and technology curriculum and aligned instructional approach would not experience significant diminishment in acquisition of technical skills related to agricultural power and…

  13. The Effectiveness of Instructional Methods Based on Learning Style Preferences of Agricultural Students: A Research Tool for Continuous Improvement for Faculty in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fazarro, Dominick E.; Pannkuk, Tim; Pavelock, Dwayne; Hubbard, Darcy

    2009-01-01

    This study was conducted to research learning style preferences of agriculture students. Specifically, the objectives which guided the study were: (1) to determine the learning style preferences of undergraduate agricultural students enrolled in a given Soil Science course and (2) to ascertain if there were differences in the students' course…

  14. [Changes of China agricultural climate resources under the background of climate change. VIII. Change characteristics of heat resources during the growth period of double cropping rice in Jiangxi Province].

    PubMed

    Ye, Qing; Yang, Xiao-guang; Li, Yong; Dai, Shu-wei; Xiao, Jin-xiang

    2011-08-01

    Based on the observation data from the meteorological stations and agricultural experimental stations in Jiangxi Province, this paper studied the change trend of the growth period of double cropping rice in the province, and, by using the indices growing degree-days (GDD), cool degree-days (CDD), and heat degree-days (HDD), the change trends of the heat resources at each growth stage of the double cropping rice in 1981-2007 were analyzed. Under the background of climate warming, the mean air temperature, mean minimum air temperature, mean maximum air temperature during the growth period of the double cropping rice all had an increasing trend, leading to the shortening of double cropping rice growth season, with the most obvious decrease of vegetative growth phase and the prolonged reproductive growth phase. In the vegetative growth phase, the GDD and HDD increased, while the CDD decreased. In 1981-2007, the effective heat resources of double cropping rice in Jiangxi Province increased, low temperature risk reduced, while high temperature risk increased. The increment of the effective heat resources for double cropping rice was higher in northeast Jiangxi than in southwest Jiangxi, low temperature risk was higher in south Jiangxi than that in north Jiangxi, and high temperature risk was the highest in middle Jiangxi.

  15. Population pressure and agricultural productivity in Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Chaudhury, R H

    1983-01-01

    The relationship between population pressure or density and agricultural productivity is examined by analyzing the changes in the land-man ratio and the changes in the level of land yield in the 17 districts of Bangladesh from 1961-64 and 1974-77. The earlier years were pre-Green Revolution, whereas in the later years new technology had been introduced in some parts of the country. Net sown area, value of total agricultural output, and number of male agricultural workers were the main variables. For the country as a whole, agricultural output grew by 1.2%/year during 1961-64 to 1974-77, while the number of male agricultural workers grew at 1.5%/year. The major source of agricultural growth during the 1960s was found to be increased land-yield associated with a higher ratio of labor to land. The findings imply that a more intensified pattern of land use, resulting in both higher yield and higher labor input/unit of land, is the main source of growth of output and employment in agriculture. There is very little scope for extending the arable area in Bangladesh; increased production must come from multiple cropping, especially through expansion of irrigation and drainage, and from increases in per acre yields, principly through adoption of high yield variants, which explained 87% of the variation in output per acre during the 1970s. Regional variation in output was also associated with variation in cropping intensity and proportion of land given to high yield variants. There is considerable room for modernizing agricultural technology in Bangladesh: in 1975-76 less than 9% of total crop land was irrigated and only 12% of total acreage was under high yield variants. The adoption of new food-grain technology and increased use of high yield variants in Bangladesh's predominantly subsistence-based agriculture would require far-reaching institutional and organizational changes and more capital. Without effective population control, expansion of area under high yield

  16. Improvement of (004) texturing by slow growth of Nd doped TiO{sub 2} films

    SciTech Connect

    Ali, A.; Bhatti, A. S.; Yassitepe, E.; Ruzybayev, I.; Ismat Shah, S.

    2012-12-01

    In this work, we present preferred (004) texturing of sputter deposited titanium dioxide (TiO{sub 2}) films on glass substrates as a consequence of Nd doping at very slow growth rate. Nd concentration was varied from 0.0 to 2.0 atomic percent (at. %) in TiO{sub 2} thin films deposited under identical growth conditions, i.e., the growth rate of 0.6 A/s and at 500 Degree-Sign C. At 2 at. % Nd, complete texturing along (004) plane was observed, as indicated by the X-ray diffraction analyses. Morphology of the deposited TiO{sub 2} films from pure to 2 at. % Nd doped TiO{sub 2} films showed faceted to planar growth. Visualization of electrical and structural analysis (VESTA) software revealed that the change in the morphology was due to preferential growth in (004) orientation. Raman spectroscopy highlighted the phonon confinement in the Eg mode, and a red shift was observed due to an increase in the anti-symmetry in bonding with increased Nd concentration. XPS results confirmed the variation in oxygen vacancy concentration along with the reduction of Ti and Nd valance states with the change in the dopant concentration. Our experiments confirmed that the substitution of Nd at Ti sites was responsible for texturing in (004) orientation and this was possible by growing films at a very slow rate.

  17. Abbreviated epitaxial growth mode (AGM) method for reducing cost and improving quality of LEDs and lasers

    DOEpatents

    Tansu, Nelson; Chan, Helen M; Vinci, Richard P; Ee, Yik-Khoon; Biser, Jeffrey

    2013-09-24

    The use of an abbreviated GaN growth mode on nano-patterned AGOG sapphire substrates, which utilizes a process of using 15 nm low temperature GaN buffer and bypassing etch-back and recovery processes during epitaxy, enables the growth of high-quality GaN template on nano-patterned AGOG sapphire. The GaN template grown on nano-patterned AGOG sapphire by employing abbreviated growth mode has two orders of magnitude lower threading dislocation density than that of conventional GaN template grown on planar sapphire. The use of abbreviated growth mode also leads to significant reduction in cost of the epitaxy. The growths and characteristics of InGaN quantum wells (QWs) light emitting diodes (LEDs) on both templates were compared. The InGaN QWs LEDs grown on the nano-patterned AGOG sapphire demonstrated at least a 24% enhancement of output power enhancement over that of LEDs grown on conventional GaN templates.

  18. Low-Temperature Growth of DKDP for Improving Laser-Induced Damage resistance at 350nm

    SciTech Connect

    Burnham, A K; Runkel, M; Hawley-Fedder, R A; Carman, M L; Torres, R A; Whitman, P K

    2000-12-06

    A set of twenty-three 20-L crystallizer runs exploring the importance of several engineering variables found that growth temperature is the most important variable controlling damage resistance of DKDP over the conditions investigated. Boules grown between 45 C and room temperature have a 50% probability of 3{omega} bulk damage that is 1.5 to 2 times higher than boules grown between 65 and 45 C. This raises their damage resistance above the NIF tripler specification for 8 J/cm{sup 2} operation by a comfortable margin. Solution impurity levels do not correlate with damage resistance for iron less than 200 ppb and aluminum less than 2000 ppb. The possibility that low growth temperatures could increase damage resistance in NIF-scale boules was tested by growing a large boule in a 1000-L crystallizer with a supplemental growth solution tank. Four samples representing early and late pyramid and prism growth are very close to the specification as best it is understood at the present. Implications of low temperature growth for meeting absorbance, homogeneity, and other material specifications are discussed.

  19. Nerve growth factor improves visual loss in childhood optic gliomas: a randomized, double-blind, phase II clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Falsini, Benedetto; Chiaretti, Antonio; Rizzo, Daniela; Piccardi, Marco; Ruggiero, Antonio; Manni, Luigi; Soligo, Marzia; Dickmann, Anna; Federici, Matteo; Salerni, Annabella; Timelli, Laura; Guglielmi, Gaspare; Lazzareschi, Ilaria; Caldarelli, Massimo; Galli-Resta, Lucia; Colosimo, Cesare; Riccardi, Riccardo

    2016-02-01

    Paediatric optic pathway gliomas are low-grade brain tumours characterized by slow progression and invalidating visual loss. Presently there is no strategy to prevent visual loss in this kind of tumour. This study evaluated the effects of nerve growth factor administration in protecting visual function in patients with optic pathway glioma-related visual impairment. A prospective randomized double-blind phase II clinical trial was conducted in 18 optic pathway glioma patients, aged from 2 to 23 years, with stable disease and severe visual loss. Ten patients were randomly assigned to receive a single 10-day course of 0.5 mg murine nerve growth factor as eye drops, while eight patients received placebo. All patients were evaluated before and after treatment, testing visual acuity, visual field, visual-evoked potentials, optic coherence tomography, electroretinographic photopic negative response, and magnetic resonance imaging. Post-treatment evaluations were repeated at 15, 30, 90, and 180 days Brain magnetic resonance imaging was performed at baseline and at 180 days. Treatment with nerve growth factor led to statistically significant improvements in objective electrophysiological parameters (electroretinographic photopic negative response amplitude at 180 days and visual-evoked potentials at 30 days), which were not observed in placebo-treated patients. Furthermore, in patients in whom visual fields could still be measured, visual field worsening was only observed in placebo-treated cases, while three of four nerve growth factor-treated subjects showed significant visual field enlargement. This corresponded to improved visually guided behaviour, as reported by the patients and/or the caregivers. There was no evidence of side effects related to nerve growth factor treatment. Nerve growth factor eye drop administration appears a safe, easy and effective strategy for the treatment of visual loss associated with optic pathway gliomas. PMID:26767384

  20. Agricultural expansion and its impacts on tropical nature.

    PubMed

    Laurance, William F; Sayer, Jeffrey; Cassman, Kenneth G

    2014-02-01

    The human population is projected to reach 11 billion this century, with the greatest increases in tropical developing nations. This growth, in concert with rising per-capita consumption, will require large increases in food and biofuel production. How will these megatrends affect tropical terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity? We foresee (i) major expansion and intensification of tropical agriculture, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South America; (ii) continuing rapid loss and alteration of tropical old-growth forests, woodlands, and semi-arid environments; (iii) a pivotal role for new roadways in determining the spatial extent of agriculture; and (iv) intensified conflicts between food production and nature conservation. Key priorities are to improve technologies and policies that promote more ecologically efficient food production while optimizing the allocation of lands to conservation and agriculture.

  1. World population and energy growth: Impact on the Caribbean and the roles of energy efficiency improvements and renewable energies

    SciTech Connect

    Sheffield, J.

    1997-06-01

    This paper briefly describes population and energy use trends and their consequences, particularly to the Caribbean region. Historical trends for transitional countries show a decrease in population growth rate as annual per capita commercial energy use increases. If trends continue, an increase in per capita energy will be important to stabilizing populations of transitional countries. Energy efficiency improvements, the role of fossil energy, and the use of alternative energy sources in Caribbean nations are briefly discussed. 6 refs., 3 figs.

  2. Rhizobacterial Strain Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 Induces Cellular Polyamine Changes that Improve Plant Growth and Drought Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Cheng; Ma, Zhongyou; Zhu, Lin; Xiao, Xin; Xie, Yue; Zhu, Jian; Wang, Jianfei

    2016-01-01

    Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria can improve plant growth, development, and stress adaptation. However, the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. We investigated the effects of Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 on Arabidopsis plants. BOFC15 produced and secreted spermidine (Spd), a type of polyamine (PA) that plays an important role in plant growth. Moreover, BOFC15 induced changes in the cellular PAs of plants that promoted an increase of free Spd and spermine levels. However, these effects were remarkably abolished by the addition of dicyclohexylamine (DCHA), a Spd biosynthetic inhibitor. Additionally, the inoculation with BOFC15 remarkably increased plant biomass, improved root system architecture, and augmented photosynthetic capacity. Inoculated plants also displayed stronger ability to tolerate drought stress than non-inoculated (control) plants. Abscisic acid (ABA) content was notably higher in the inoculated plants than in the control plants under drought stress and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced stress conditions. However, the BOFC15-induced ABA synthesis was markedly inhibited by DCHA. Thus, microbial Spd participated in the modulation of the ABA levels. The Spd-producing BOFC15 improved plant drought tolerance, which was associated with altered cellular ABA levels and activated adaptive responses. PMID:27338359

  3. Rhizobacterial Strain Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 Induces Cellular Polyamine Changes that Improve Plant Growth and Drought Resistance.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Cheng; Ma, Zhongyou; Zhu, Lin; Xiao, Xin; Xie, Yue; Zhu, Jian; Wang, Jianfei

    2016-01-01

    Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria can improve plant growth, development, and stress adaptation. However, the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. We investigated the effects of Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 on Arabidopsis plants. BOFC15 produced and secreted spermidine (Spd), a type of polyamine (PA) that plays an important role in plant growth. Moreover, BOFC15 induced changes in the cellular PAs of plants that promoted an increase of free Spd and spermine levels. However, these effects were remarkably abolished by the addition of dicyclohexylamine (DCHA), a Spd biosynthetic inhibitor. Additionally, the inoculation with BOFC15 remarkably increased plant biomass, improved root system architecture, and augmented photosynthetic capacity. Inoculated plants also displayed stronger ability to tolerate drought stress than non-inoculated (control) plants. Abscisic acid (ABA) content was notably higher in the inoculated plants than in the control plants under drought stress and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced stress conditions. However, the BOFC15-induced ABA synthesis was markedly inhibited by DCHA. Thus, microbial Spd participated in the modulation of the ABA levels. The Spd-producing BOFC15 improved plant drought tolerance, which was associated with altered cellular ABA levels and activated adaptive responses. PMID:27338359

  4. Emerging Agricultural Biotechnologies for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jennifer A; Gipmans, Martijn; Hurst, Susan; Layton, Raymond; Nehra, Narender; Pickett, John; Shah, Dilip M; Souza, Thiago Lívio P O; Tripathi, Leena

    2016-01-20

    As global populations continue to increase, agricultural productivity will be challenged to keep pace without overtaxing important environmental resources. A dynamic and integrated approach will be required to solve global food insecurity and position agriculture on a trajectory toward sustainability. Genetically modified (GM) crops enhanced through modern biotechnology represent an important set of tools that can promote sustainable agriculture and improve food security. Several emerging biotechnology approaches were discussed in a recent symposium organized at the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA. This paper summarizes the innovative research and several of the new and emerging technologies within the field of agricultural biotechnology that were presented during the symposium. This discussion highlights how agricultural biotechnology fits within the context of sustainable agriculture and improved food security and can be used in support of further development and adoption of beneficial GM crops. PMID:26785813

  5. Emerging Agricultural Biotechnologies for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jennifer A; Gipmans, Martijn; Hurst, Susan; Layton, Raymond; Nehra, Narender; Pickett, John; Shah, Dilip M; Souza, Thiago Lívio P O; Tripathi, Leena

    2016-01-20

    As global populations continue to increase, agricultural productivity will be challenged to keep pace without overtaxing important environmental resources. A dynamic and integrated approach will be required to solve global food insecurity and position agriculture on a trajectory toward sustainability. Genetically modified (GM) crops enhanced through modern biotechnology represent an important set of tools that can promote sustainable agriculture and improve food security. Several emerging biotechnology approaches were discussed in a recent symposium organized at the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA. This paper summarizes the innovative research and several of the new and emerging technologies within the field of agricultural biotechnology that were presented during the symposium. This discussion highlights how agricultural biotechnology fits within the context of sustainable agriculture and improved food security and can be used in support of further development and adoption of beneficial GM crops.

  6. Modeling the effects of mineral nutrition for improving growth and development of micropropagated red raspberries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In vitro propagation is important for rapid multiplication of a wide range of nursery crops, including red raspberries. The genetic variation of the many red raspberry cultivars makes it difficult to use one growth medium for all. Although some cultivars grow well on Murashige and Skoog (1962) mediu...

  7. Insulin and acivicin improve host nutrition and prevent tumor growth during total parenteral nutrition.

    PubMed Central

    Chance, W T; Cao, L; Fischer, J E

    1988-01-01

    The effect that a 14-day treatment program of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) combined with the glutamine antimetabolite, acivicin, and anabolic hormone, insulin, has on carcass weight and muscle sparing was investigated in tumor-bearing rats. Although TPN resulted in increased carcass weight gain as compared to chow-fed tumor-bearing rats, no savings in gastrocnemius muscle could be demonstrated. The combination of TPN with daily insulin treatment elicited significant increases in both carcass weight and muscle savings, with no alteration in tumor growth. Although combining acivicin with TPN halted tumor growth and increased carcass weight, the change in carcass weight was less than that observed with the insulin-TPN combination. No muscle savings were observed in the acivicin-TPN-treated rats. Yet when acivicin and insulin were combined with TPN, tumor growth was stopped, carcass weight was gained, and muscle mass was saved. Therefore, these experiments suggest that it is possible to add lean body tissue and stabilize tumor growth in rats that receive TPN through anabolic hormone treatment combined with an inhibitor of tumor metabolism. PMID:3140745

  8. Does fungal endophyte infection improve tall fescue's growth response to fire and water limitation?

    PubMed

    Hall, Sarah L; McCulley, Rebecca L; Barney, Robert J; Phillips, Timothy D

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species may owe some of their success in competing and co-existing with native species to microbial symbioses they are capable of forming. Tall fescue is a cool-season, non-native, invasive grass capable of co-existing with native warm-season grasses in North American grasslands that frequently experience fire, drought, and cold winters, conditions to which the native species should be better-adapted than tall fescue. We hypothesized that tall fescue's ability to form a symbiosis with Neotyphodium coenophialum, an aboveground fungal endophyte, may enhance its environmental stress tolerance and persistence in these environments. We used a greenhouse experiment to examine the effects of endophyte infection (E+ vs. E-), prescribed fire (1 burn vs. 2 burn vs. unburned control), and watering regime (dry vs. wet) on tall fescue growth. We assessed treatment effects for growth rates and the following response variables: total tiller length, number of tillers recruited during the experiment, number of reproductive tillers, tiller biomass, root biomass, and total biomass. Water regime significantly affected all response variables, with less growth and lower growth rates observed under the dry water regime compared to the wet. The burn treatments significantly affected total tiller length, number of reproductive tillers, total tiller biomass, and total biomass, but treatment differences were not consistent across parameters. Overall, fire seemed to enhance growth. Endophyte status significantly affected total tiller length and tiller biomass, but the effect was opposite what we predicted (E->E+). The results from our experiment indicated that tall fescue was relatively tolerant of fire, even when combined with dry conditions, and that the fungal endophyte symbiosis was not important in governing this ecological ability. The persistence of tall fescue in native grassland ecosystems may be linked to other endophyte-conferred abilities not measured here (e

  9. FROM DUST TO PLANETESIMALS: AN IMPROVED MODEL FOR COLLISIONAL GROWTH IN PROTOPLANETARY DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Garaud, Pascale; Meru, Farzana; Galvagni, Marina; Olczak, Christoph

    2013-02-20

    Planet formation occurs within the gas- and dust-rich environments of protoplanetary disks. Observations of these objects show that the growth of primordial submicron-sized particles into larger aggregates occurs at the earliest evolutionary stages of the disks. However, theoretical models of particle growth that use the Smoluchowski equation to describe collisional coagulation and fragmentation have so far failed to produce large particles while maintaining a significant population of small grains. This has generally been attributed to the existence of two barriers impeding growth due to bouncing and fragmentation of colliding particles. In this paper, we demonstrate that the importance of these barriers has been artificially inflated through the use of simplified models that do not take into account the stochastic nature of the particle motions within the gas disk. We present a new approach in which the relative velocities between two particles are described by a probability distribution function that models both deterministic motion (from the vertical settling, radial drift, and azimuthal drift) and stochastic motion (from Brownian motion and turbulence). Taking both into account can give quite different results to what has been considered recently in other studies. We demonstrate the vital effect of two 'ingredients' for particle growth: the proper implementation of a velocity distribution function that overcomes the bouncing barrier and, in combination with mass transfer in high-mass-ratio collisions, boosts the growth of larger particles beyond the fragmentation barrier. A robust result of our simulations is the emergence of two particle populations (small and large), potentially explaining simultaneously a number of longstanding problems in protoplanetary disks, including planetesimal formation close to the central star, the presence of millimeter- to centimeter-sized particles far out in the disk, and the persistence of {mu}m-sized grains for millions of

  10. Does Fungal Endophyte Infection Improve Tall Fescue’s Growth Response to Fire and Water Limitation?

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Sarah L.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Barney, Robert J.; Phillips, Timothy D.

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species may owe some of their success in competing and co-existing with native species to microbial symbioses they are capable of forming. Tall fescue is a cool-season, non-native, invasive grass capable of co-existing with native warm-season grasses in North American grasslands that frequently experience fire, drought, and cold winters, conditions to which the native species should be better-adapted than tall fescue. We hypothesized that tall fescue’s ability to form a symbiosis with Neotyphodium coenophialum, an aboveground fungal endophyte, may enhance its environmental stress tolerance and persistence in these environments. We used a greenhouse experiment to examine the effects of endophyte infection (E+ vs. E−), prescribed fire (1 burn vs. 2 burn vs. unburned control), and watering regime (dry vs. wet) on tall fescue growth. We assessed treatment effects for growth rates and the following response variables: total tiller length, number of tillers recruited during the experiment, number of reproductive tillers, tiller biomass, root biomass, and total biomass. Water regime significantly affected all response variables, with less growth and lower growth rates observed under the dry water regime compared to the wet. The burn treatments significantly affected total tiller length, number of reproductive tillers, total tiller biomass, and total biomass, but treatment differences were not consistent across parameters. Overall, fire seemed to enhance growth. Endophyte status significantly affected total tiller length and tiller biomass, but the effect was opposite what we predicted (E−>E+). The results from our experiment indicated that tall fescue was relatively tolerant of fire, even when combined with dry conditions, and that the fungal endophyte symbiosis was not important in governing this ecological ability. The persistence of tall fescue in native grassland ecosystems may be linked to other endophyte-conferred abilities not measured here (e

  11. Modification of nutrition strategy for improvement of postnatal growth in very low birth weight infants

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Ah Young; Lee, Yong Wook

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To identify the effects of modified parenteral nutrition (PN) and enteral nutrition (EN) regimens on the growth of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. Methods The study included VLBW infants weighing <1,500 g, admitted to Chungnam National University Hospital between October 2010 and April 2014, who were alive at the time of discharge. Subjects were divided according to 3 periods: period 1 (n=37); prior to the PN and EN regimen being modified, period 2 (n=50); following the PN-only regimen modification, period 3 (n=37); following both PN and EN regimen modification. The modified PN regimen provided 3 g/kg/day of protein and 1 g/kg/day of lipid on the first day of life. The modified EN regimen provided 3.5-4.5 g/kg/day of protein and 150 kcal/kg/day of energy. We investigated growth rate, anthropometric measurements at 40 weeks postconceptional age (PCA) and the incidence of extrauterine growth restriction (EUGR) at 40 weeks PCA. Results Across the 3 periods, clinical characteristics, including gestational age, anthropometric measurements at birth, multiple births, sex, Apgar score, surfactant use and PDA treatment, were similar. Growth rates for weight and height, from time of full enteral feeding to 40 weeks PCA, were higher in period 3. Anthropometric measurements at 40 weeks PCA were greatest in period 3. Incidence of weight, height and head circumference EUGR at 40 weeks PCA decreased in period 3. Conclusion Beginning PN earlier, with a greater supply of protein and energy during PN and EN, is advantageous for postnatal growth in VLBW infants. PMID:27186226

  12. Enabling Web-Based GIS Tools for Internet and Mobile Devices To Improve and Expand NASA Data Accessibility and Analysis Functionality for the Renewable Energy and Agricultural Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, A.; Stackhouse, P. W.; Tisdale, B.; Tisdale, M.; Chandler, W.; Hoell, J. M., Jr.; Kusterer, J.

    2014-12-01

    The NASA Langley Research Center Science Directorate and Atmospheric Science Data Center have initiated a pilot program to utilize Geographic Information System (GIS) tools that enable, generate and store climatological averages using spatial queries and calculations in a spatial database resulting in greater accessibility of data for government agencies, industry and private sector individuals. The major objectives of this effort include the 1) Processing and reformulation of current data to be consistent with ESRI and openGIS tools, 2) Develop functions to improve capability and analysis that produce "on-the-fly" data products, extending these past the single location to regional and global scales. 3) Update the current web sites to enable both web-based and mobile application displays for optimization on mobile platforms, 4) Interact with user communities in government and industry to test formats and usage of optimization, and 5) develop a series of metrics that allow for monitoring of progressive performance. Significant project results will include the the development of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) compliant web services (WMS, WCS, WFS, WPS) that serve renewable energy and agricultural application products to users using GIS software and tools. Each data product and OGC service will be registered within ECHO, the Common Metadata Repository, the Geospatial Platform, and Data.gov to ensure the data are easily discoverable and provide data users with enhanced access to SSE data, parameters, services, and applications. This effort supports cross agency, cross organization, and interoperability of SSE data products and services by collaborating with DOI, NRCan, NREL, NCAR, and HOMER for requirements vetting and test bed users before making available to the wider public.

  13. Improvement in the Grain Growth of Plasma-Treated Nano-Sized ZnO Films and Their Characterization.

    PubMed

    Chen, Mi; Chou, Ching-Chuan; Lin, Ching-Cheng; Koo, Horng-Show

    2015-11-01

    The well-aligned ZnO nanorods were rapidly grown on an indium tin oxide (ITO)-coated glass substrate using Al-doped ZnO (AZO) thin film as seed layer by the microwave-assisted hydrothermal chemical route. The optimal growth conditions for the well-aligned ZnO nanorods were obtained by modulating H2 plasma pretreatment time for the seed layer and synthesis time for ZnO nanorods. The H2 plasma effect of the seed layer on the alignment, growth rate and crysallinity of ZnO nanods is also demonstrated. The synthesized ZnO nanorods were annealed in atmosphere of N2, O2 and H2 + N2 mixed gas to improve the related physical characteristics, the ZnO nanorods on grapheme/ITO substrate were also investigated. The results show that the alignment and growth rate of ZnO nanorods depends on the physical characteristics and roughness of the seed layer, which can be improved by H2 plasma pretreatment. The average growth rate of ZnO nanorods synthesized by microwave hydrothermal technique is about 2.2 μm/hr which significantly superior to other conventional techniques. After the appropriate N2 annealing treatment, good quality and well-aligned ZnO nanorods, which are single crystal with stacking defects and pyramid or candle shape, were obtained. A fundamental model of the effect of H2 plasma pretreatment on the surface of seed layer and the growth of ZnO nanorods using a microwave-assisted hydrothermal chemical route is also described. PMID:26726662

  14. Improved function and myocardial repair of infarcted heart by intracoronary injection of mesenchymal stem cell-derived growth factors.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Ba-Khoi; Maltais, Simon; Perrault, Louis P; Tanguay, Jean-François; Tardif, Jean-Claude; Stevens, Louis-Mathieu; Borie, Mélanie; Harel, François; Mansour, Samer; Noiseux, Nicolas

    2010-10-01

    Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) improves repair and function recovery following myocardial infarction (MI), but underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. We hypothesize that MSC could achieve protection by paracrine effects through released mediators rather than direct cardiac regeneration. We sought to characterize the effects of MSC-secreted growth factors on extent of early recovery from MI. Swine subjected to acute MI by temporary balloon occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery using percutaneous techniques received intracoronary injection of either concentrated MSC-derived growth factors or control medium. Animals were killed at 7 days to evaluate early effects. Treatment with MSC-derived factors significantly reduced cardiac troponin-T elevation and improved echocardiographic parameters, including fractional area shortening, stroke volume, cardiac output, and wall motion score index. Quantitative evaluation of fibrosis by Verhoff staining revealed a reduction of the fibrotic area in the infarcted zone. Similarly, Masson's trichrome staining revealed reduced myocardial damage as demonstrated by areas of relatively preserved myocardium in the infarcted area. TUNEL assay demonstrated less cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Protein array detected the presence of angiogenic (vascular endothelial growth factor, endothelin, and epiregulin), anti-apoptotic (Galectin-3, Smad-5, sRFP-1, and sRFP-4) and anti-remodeling factors. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction confirmed the expression of these factors. In summary, a single intracoronary injection of concentrated biologically active factors secreted by MSC could achieve early protection of ischemic myocardium and improve cardiac repair and contractility. MSC-derived growth factors injection (rather than MSC themselves) should be evaluated as a novel therapy to treat ischemic heart disease, avoiding many practical and technical issues of cell therapy. PMID:20559784

  15. Incorporation of plant growth regulators into the priming solution improves sugar beet germination, emergence and seedling growth at low-temperature.

    PubMed

    Govahi, Mostafa; Arvin, Mohammad Javad; Saffari, Ghazaleh

    2007-10-01

    In a series of experiments, impact of inclusion of plant growth regulators into the KNO3 priming solution on low temperature seed germination, emergence percentage and seedling growth of sugar beet was investigated. Seeds were primed in 3% KNO3 solution for 6 days at 25 degrees C in darkness containing one of the following: 0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, or 1 mM acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) or 1, 3, 5 or 10 microM methyl jasmonated (MeJA). A non-primed treatment was also included in the experiment. Priming seeds in the presence or absence of plant growth regulators in general improved final germination percentage (FGP), germination rate (G50) and germination synchrony (G10-90) at 15 degrees C compared with non-primed seeds which had an FGP of 42%, G50 of 11.3 days and G10-90 of 11.7 days. Priming seeds in KNO3 solution containing 0.05 mM of ASA resulted in the highest germination percentage (89%), fastest germination rate (G50 = 5.3 days) and the most synchronous germination (G10-90 = 10.7 days). Emergence percentages were the highest for the seeds primed in the presence of 0.05 mM ASA (83%) and 3 microM MeJA (81%) while non-primed seeds had an emergence percentage of 40%. Fastest emergence rate (E50) were also obtained from seeds primed in KNO3 supplemented with 3 microM MeJA (E50 = 14.4 days) and 0.05 mM ASA (E50 = 14.4 days). Shoot fresh and dry weight of seedlings were significantly affected by treatments and priming in the presence of 0.05 mM ASA resulted in highest seedling shoot fresh and dry weight. These results indicate that priming seeds in 0.05 mM of ASA or 3 microM MeJA incorporated into the KNO3 solution can be more effective than KNO3 alone to improve low temperature germination performance of seeds and subsequent seedling growth.

  16. Dietary medicinal plant extracts improve growth, immune activity and survival of tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Immanuel, G; Uma, R P; Iyapparaj, P; Citarasu, T; Peter, S M Punitha; Babu, M Michael; Palavesam, A

    2009-05-01

    The effects of supplementing diets with acetone extract (1% w/w) from four medicinal plants (Bermuda grass Cynodon dactylon, H(1), beal Aegle marmelos, H(2), winter cherry Withania somnifera, H(3) and ginger Zingiber officinale, H(4)) on growth, the non-specific immune response and ability to resist pathogen infection in tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus were assessed. In addition, the antimicrobial properties of the extract were assessed against Vibrio alginolyticus, Vibrioparahaemolyticus, Vibrio mimicus, Vibrio campbelli, Vibrio vulnificus, Vibrio harveyi and Photobacterium damselae. Oreochromis mossambicus were fed 5% of their body mass per day for 45 days, and those fed the experimental diets showed a greater increase in mass (111-139%) over the 45 days compared to those that received the control diet (98%). The specific growth rate of O. mossambicus fed the four diets was also significantly greater (1.66-1.93%) than control (1.52%) diet-fed fish. The blood plasma chemistry analysis revealed that protein, albumin, globulin, cholesterol, glucose and triglyceride levels of experimental fish were significantly higher than that of control fish. Packed cell volume of the blood samples of experimental diet-fed fish was also significantly higher (34.16-37.95%) than control fish (33.0%). Leucocrit value, phagocytic index and lysozyme activity were enhanced in fish fed the plant extract-supplemented diets. The acetone extract of the plants inhibited growth of Vibrio spp. and P. damselae with extracts from W. somnifera showing maximum growth inhibition. A challenge test with V. vulnificus showed 100% mortality in O. mossambicus fed the control diet by day 15, whereas the fish fed the experimental diets registered only 63-80% mortality at the end of challenge experiment (30 days). The cumulative mortality index for the control group was 12,000, which was equated to 1.0% mortality, and accordingly, the lowest mortality of 0.35% was registered in H(4)-diet-fed group. PMID

  17. A School-Based Resistance Intervention Improves Skeletal Growth in Adolescent Females

    PubMed Central

    Bernardoni, Brittney; Thein-Nissenbaum, Jill; Fast, Joshua; Day, Molly; Li, Quefeng; Wang, Sijian; Scerpella, Tamara

    2014-01-01

    Physical activity modulates bone growth during adolescence, but an effective activity has not been identified for general use. PURPOSE To examine the effect of a school-based resistance-training program on skeletal growth in peri-menarcheal females. METHODS 6th grade girls participated in a 7-month, resistance-training program (INT) embedded in physical education classes (PE). Age and maturity matched controls (CON) from a neighboring school participated in standard PE. INT dose defined high (HI) and low (LO) groups. At baseline (BL) and follow-up (FU), Non-INT organized activity (PA, h/wk) and maturity status were recorded; DXA scans assessed total-body, distal radius, proximal femur, and lumbar spine. Regression models analyzed growth in bone outcomes for HI v CON, accounting for age, Tanner stage, height, and PA. RESULTS 44 girls (22 HI, 22 CON) were 11.7 ± 0.3 yrs at BL; all were ≤6 mo post-menarche and did not differ in bone growth over the course of the intervention (p>0.05). However, in a sub-analysis limited to subjects who were Tanner breast II (T2) or III (T3) at BL (n=21 CON, n=17 HI), T2 HI had greater gains in narrow neck (NN) width (p=0.01) compared to T2 CON, while T3 HI had greater gains in L3 BMD (p=0.03) compared to T3 CON. CONCLUSIONS In a group of T2 and T3 6th grade girls, a school-based resistance-training intervention produced maturity-specific differential gains for HI v CON at the hip and spine. PMID:24114402

  18. Improved growth, productivity and quality of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants through application of shikimic acid

    PubMed Central

    Al-Amri, Salem M.

    2013-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of seed presoaking of shikimic acid (30, 60 and 120 ppm) on growth parameters, fruit productivity and quality, transpiration rate, photosynthetic pigments and some mineral nutrition contents of tomato plants. Shikimic acid at all concentrations significantly increased fresh and dry weights, fruit number, average fresh and dry fruit yield, vitamin C, lycopene, carotenoid contents, total acidity and fruit total soluble sugars of tomato plants when compared to control plants. Seed pretreatment with shikimic acid at various doses induces a significant increase in total leaf conductivity, transpiration rate and photosynthetic pigments (Chl. a, chl. b and carotenoids) of tomato plants. Furthermore, shikimic acid at various doses applied significantly increased the concentration of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in tomato leaves as compared to control non-treated tomato plants. Among all doses of shikimic acid treatment, it was found that 60 ppm treatment caused a marked increase in growth, fruit productivity and quality and most studied parameters of tomato plants when compared to other treatments. On the other hand, no significant differences were observed in total photosynthetic pigments, concentrations of nitrogen and potassium in leaves of tomato plants treated with 30 ppm of shikimic acid and control plants. According to these results, it could be suggested that shikimic acid used for seed soaking could be used for increasing growth, fruit productivity and quality of tomato plants growing under field conditions. PMID:24235870

  19. Material growth and characterization directed toward improving III-V heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stefanakos, E. K.; Alexander, W. E.; Collis, W.; Abul-Fadl, A.

    1979-01-01

    In addition to the existing materials growth laboratory, the photolithographic facility and the device testing facility were completed. The majority of equipment for data acquisition, solar cell testing, materials growth and device characterization were received and are being put into operation. In the research part of the program, GaAs and GaA1As layers were grown reproducibly on GaAs substrates. These grown layers were characterized as to surface morphology, thickness and thickness uniformity. The liquid phase epitaxial growth process was used to fabricate p-n junctions in Ga(1-x)A1(x)As. Sequential deposition of two alloy layers was accomplished and detailed analysis of the effect of substrate quality and dopant on the GaA1As layer quality is presented. Finally, solar cell structures were formed by growing a thin p-GaA1As layer upon an epitaxial n-GaA1As layer. The energy gap corresponding to the long wavelength cutoff of the spectral response characteristic was 1.51-1.63 eV. Theoretical calculations of the spectral response were matched to the measured response.

  20. Isolation from Animal Tissue and Genetic Transformation of Coxiella burnetii Are Facilitated by an Improved Axenic Growth Medium▿

    PubMed Central

    Omsland, Anders; Beare, Paul A.; Hill, Joshua; Cockrell, Diane C.; Howe, Dale; Hansen, Bryan; Samuel, James E.; Heinzen, Robert A.

    2011-01-01

    We recently described acidified citrate cysteine medium (ACCM), which supports host cell-free (axenic) growth of Coxiella burnetii. After 6 days of incubation, greater than 3 logs of growth was achieved with the avirulent Nine Mile phase II (NMII) strain. Here, we describe modified ACCM and culture conditions that support improved growth of C. burnetii and their use in genetic transformation and pathogen isolation from tissue samples. ACCM was modified by replacing fetal bovine serum with methyl-β-cyclodextrin to generate ACCM-2. Cultivation of NMII in ACCM-2 with moderate shaking and in 2.5% oxygen yielded 4 to 5 logs of growth over 7 days. Similar growth was achieved with the virulent Nine Mile phase I and G isolates of C. burnetii. Colonies that developed after 6 days of growth in ACCM-2 agarose were approximately 0.5 mm in diameter, roughly 5-fold larger than those formed in ACCM agarose. By electron microscopy, colonies consisted primarily of the C. burnetii small cell variant morphological form. NMII was successfully cultured in ACCM-2 when medium was inoculated with as little as 10 genome equivalents contained in tissue homogenates from infected SCID mice. A completely axenic C. burnetii genetic transformation system was developed using ACCM-2 that allowed isolation of transformants in about 2 1/2 weeks. Transformation experiments demonstrated clonal populations in colonies and a transformation frequency of approximately 5 × 10−5. Cultivation in ACCM-2 will accelerate development of C. burnetii genetic tools and provide a sensitive means of primary isolation of the pathogen from Q fever patients. PMID:21478315

  1. Agriculture Sales and Services.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlile, Robert

    Designed to assist teachers in improving instruction in agriculture and related areas, this curriculum guide is written in terms of student performance using measurable objectives, and is a suggested method of group instruction for students who are employed in an agribusiness program. The material is intended to cover those items which every…

  2. Theme: Teaching the Science of Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutphin, Dean; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Discusses bridging the gap between agricultural and science education; involving the science department in animal science classes; working with industry to improve educational programs; integrating science and agriculture; improving scientific literacy through an agriscience curriculum; and industry's role in developing science-based agriculture.…

  3. Population pressure, intensification of agriculture, and rural-urban migration.

    PubMed

    Salehi-isfahani, D

    1993-04-01

    "In this paper I provide an analytical basis for why labor absorption [in agriculture] may improve with higher population density. My argument is in two parts. First, analysing agriculture in isolation, I use the Boserup insight to show that higher population density is associated with more intensive techniques of land use. Second, using a two-sector model, I show that the rate of labor absorption (defined as the rate of natural population growth minus the rate of rural-urban migration) increases with the intensity of land use." Cross-sectional data for Iran are used to illustrate the model.

  4. Low intensity pulse ultrasound stimulate chondrocytes growth in a 3-D alginate scaffold through improved porosity and permeability.

    PubMed

    Guo, Gepu; Lu, Lu; Ji, Hongfei; Ma, Yong; Dong, Rui; Tu, Juan; Guo, Xiasheng; Qiu, Yuanyuan; Wu, Junru; Zhang, Dong

    2015-04-01

    A 3-D scaffold culture system has been used to promote in producing functional chondrocytes for repairing damaged cartilage. In the present study, the low intensity pulse ultrasound (LIPUS) (P(-)=0, 0.055, 0.085 and 0.11 MPa) was applied to improve the porosity and permeability of a 3-D alginate scaffold which was beneficial for the nutrition supply and metabolism during cell growth in 3-D alginate scaffold. The porosity and permeability of the scaffold was quantitatively analyzed based on scanning electron microscopy examination and fluorescence image observation. The results suggest that, for the scaffold exposed to LIPUS, its porosity and permeability could be significantly enhanced by the increasing LIPUS amplitude, which might be induced by the microstreaming shear stress generated by ultrasound-driven microbubble oscillations. Furthermore, the assessments of cell proliferation and collagen II expression confirmed that chondrocytes growth could be effectively promoted in 3-D alginate scaffolds treated by LIPUS, because of the improved scaffold porosity and permeability might benefit cell growth space and nutrition supply. It should also be noticed that appropriate LIPUS driving parameters should be adapted to achieve optimized chondrocytes culture effect in 3-D alginate scaffold. PMID:25543661

  5. Combination of Xylanase and Debranching Enzymes Specific to Wheat Arabinoxylan Improve the Growth Performance and Gut Health of Broilers.

    PubMed

    Lei, Zhao; Shao, Yuxin; Yin, Xiaonan; Yin, Dafei; Guo, Yuming; Yuan, Jianmin

    2016-06-22

    Arabinoxylan (AX) is the major antinutritional factor of wheat. This study evaluated the synergistic effects of xylanase and debranching enzymes (arabinofuranosidase [ABF] and feruloyl esterase [FAE]) on AX. During in vitro tests, the addition of ABF or FAE accelerated the hydrolysis of water-soluble AX (WE-AX) and water-insoluble AX (WU-AX) and produced more xylan oligosaccharides (XOS) than xylanase alone. XOS obtained from WE-AX stimulated greater proliferation of Lactobacillus brevis and Bacillus subtilis than did fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and glucose. During in vivo trials, xylanase increased the average daily growth (ADG), decreased the feed-conversion ratio (FCR), and reduced the digesta viscosity of jejunum and intestinal lesions of broilers fed a wheat-based diet on day 36. ABF or FAE additions further improved these effects. Broilers fed a combination of xylanase, ABF, and FAE exhibited the best growth. In conclusion, the synergistic effects among xylanase, ABF, and FAE increased AX degradation, which improve the growth performance and gut health of broilers. PMID:27285356

  6. Recombinant Escherichia coli strains with inducible Campylobacter jejuni single domain hemoglobin CHb expression exhibited improved cell growth in bioreactor culture.

    PubMed

    Xu, Li; Xiong, Wei; Yang, Jiang-Ke; Li, Jia; Tao, Xing-Wu

    2015-01-01

    Maintaining an appropriate concentration of dissolved oxygen in aqueous solution is critical for efficient operation of a bioreactor, requiring sophisticated engineering design and a system of regulation to maximize oxygen transfer from the injected air bubbles to the cells. Bacterial hemoglobins are oxygen-binding proteins that transfer oxygen from the environment to metabolic processes and allow bacteria to grow even under microaerophilic conditions. To improve the oxygen utilization efficiency of cells and overcome the oxygen shortage in bioreactors, the gene coding for the Campylobacter jejuni single domain hemoglobin (CHb) gene was artificially synthesized and functionally expressed under the control of inducible expression promoters PT7 and Pvgh in Escherichia coli. The effects of the recombinants PT7-CHb and Pvgh-CHb on cell growth were evaluated in aerobic shake flasks, anaerobic capped bottles and a 5-L bioreactor, and a pronounced improvement in cell biomass was observed for CHb-expressing cells. To determine the growth curves, CHb gene expression, and CHb oxygen-binding capacity of specific recombinants with different promoters, we determined the time course of CHb gene expression in the two recombinants by semi-quantitative RT-PCR and CO differential spectrum assays. Based on the growth patterns of the two recombinants in the bioreactor, we proposed different recombinant types with optimal performance under specific culture conditions.

  7. Effects of ultrasonication on increased germination and improved seedling growth of aged grass seeds of tall fescue and Russian wildrye

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Juan; Wang, Quanzhen; Karagić, Đura; Liu, Xv; Cui, Jian; Gui, Jing; Gu, Muyu; Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

    The effects of ultrasonic treatments on the germination and seedling growth of aged tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) and Russian wild rye (Psathyrostaehys juncea Nevski) seeds were determined using orthogonal matrix experimental design with four ultrasonic factors. The multivariate analysis of variance detected significant differences and coupling effects of the pair-wise factors. The activities of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and Peroxidase (POD) and the Malondialdehyde (MDA) content were affected. The ultrasonic treatments had positive effects on the germination percentage (GP) of the aged seeds and the growth of the seedlings (GS) and therefore we provided a basic evidence for the application of ultrasonic treatment to pretreat aged grass seeds. For the four ultrasonic factors, the optimal conditions were a sonication time of 36.7 min, a sonication temperature of 35 °C, an output power of 367 W and a seed soaking time 4.1 h after binary quadratic regressions analyses. The ultrasonic treatment has the potential to improve seedling growth. Moreover, the longevity of the tall fescue and the Russian wild rye seeds was approximately 9.5 and 11.5 years, respectively, under natural conditions of storage. The physiological mechanisms that might contribute to the improved GP and GS were discussed. PMID:26928881

  8. Surface colonization by Azospirillum brasilense SM in the indole-3-acetic acid dependent growth improvement of sorghum.

    PubMed

    Kochar, Mandira; Srivastava, Sheela

    2012-04-01

    The key to improving plant productivity is successful bacterial-plant interaction in the rhizosphere that can be maintained in the environment. The results presented here confirm Azospirillum brasilense strain SM as a competent plant growth promoting bacterium over mid- and long-term associations with sorghum. This study establishes that plant growth can be directly correlated with the associated bacterium's indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) production capability as IAA over-expressing variants, SMp30 and SMΔi3-6 fared better than the wild type strain. The auxin antagonist, p-chlorophenoxy isobutyric acid confirmed the role of bacterial IAA in plant growth promotion and verified the presence of larger amount of IAA available to the seeds on inoculation with IAA over-expressing mutants. Microscopic analysis identified the bacterial association at root tips, root-shoot junction and elongation zone and their surface colonizing nature. Scanning electron microscopy identified larger number of root hairs and extensive exopolysaccharide covering in comparison to untreated ones. In addition, vibroid-shaped Azospirilla attached by means of fibrillar material were dispersed along the elongation zone. The notable difference with IAA over-expressing variants was enhanced number of root hairs. Thus, the variant strains may be more efficient surface colonizers of the sorghum root and used as superior bio-inoculants for improving plant productivity.

  9. Low intensity pulse ultrasound stimulate chondrocytes growth in a 3-D alginate scaffold through improved porosity and permeability.

    PubMed

    Guo, Gepu; Lu, Lu; Ji, Hongfei; Ma, Yong; Dong, Rui; Tu, Juan; Guo, Xiasheng; Qiu, Yuanyuan; Wu, Junru; Zhang, Dong

    2015-04-01

    A 3-D scaffold culture system has been used to promote in producing functional chondrocytes for repairing damaged cartilage. In the present study, the low intensity pulse ultrasound (LIPUS) (P(-)=0, 0.055, 0.085 and 0.11 MPa) was applied to improve the porosity and permeability of a 3-D alginate scaffold which was beneficial for the nutrition supply and metabolism during cell growth in 3-D alginate scaffold. The porosity and permeability of the scaffold was quantitatively analyzed based on scanning electron microscopy examination and fluorescence image observation. The results suggest that, for the scaffold exposed to LIPUS, its porosity and permeability could be significantly enhanced by the increasing LIPUS amplitude, which might be induced by the microstreaming shear stress generated by ultrasound-driven microbubble oscillations. Furthermore, the assessments of cell proliferation and collagen II expression confirmed that chondrocytes growth could be effectively promoted in 3-D alginate scaffolds treated by LIPUS, because of the improved scaffold porosity and permeability might benefit cell growth space and nutrition supply. It should also be noticed that appropriate LIPUS driving parameters should be adapted to achieve optimized chondrocytes culture effect in 3-D alginate scaffold.

  10. Advancing agricultural greenhouse gas quantification*

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olander, Lydia; Wollenberg, Eva; Tubiello, Francesco; Herold, Martin

    2013-03-01

    1. Introduction Better information on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and mitigation potential in the agricultural sector is necessary to manage these emissions and identify responses that are consistent with the food security and economic development priorities of countries. Critical activity data (what crops or livestock are managed in what way) are poor or lacking for many agricultural systems, especially in developing countries. In addition, the currently available methods for quantifying emissions and mitigation are often too expensive or complex or not sufficiently user friendly for widespread use. The purpose of this focus issue is to capture the state of the art in quantifying greenhouse gases from agricultural systems, with the goal of better understanding our current capabilities and near-term potential for improvement, with particular attention to quantification issues relevant to smallholders in developing countries. This work is timely in light of international discussions and negotiations around how agriculture should be included in efforts to reduce and adapt to climate change impacts, and considering that significant climate financing to developing countries in post-2012 agreements may be linked to their increased ability to identify and report GHG emissions (Murphy et al 2010, CCAFS 2011, FAO 2011). 2. Agriculture and climate change mitigation The main agricultural GHGs—methane and nitrous oxide—account for 10%-12% of anthropogenic emissions globally (Smith et al 2008), or around 50% and 60% of total anthropogenic methane and nitrous oxide emissions, respectively, in 2005. Net carbon dioxide fluxes between agricultural land and the atmosphere linked to food production are relatively small, although significant carbon emissions are associated with degradation of organic soils for plantations in tropical regions (Smith et al 2007, FAO 2012). Population growth and shifts in dietary patterns toward more meat and dairy consumption will lead to

  11. Agricultural Biodiversity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Postance, Jim

    1998-01-01

    The extinction of farm animals and crops is rarely brought up during discussions of endangered species and biodiversity; however, the loss of diversity in crops and livestock threatens the sustainability of agriculture. Presents three activities: (1) "The Colors of Diversity"; (2) "Biodiversity among Animals"; and (3) "Heirloom Plants." Discusses…

  12. AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    STEVENS, GLENN Z.

    FEDERAL LEGISLATION HAS PROVIDED FOR PUBLIC PROGRAMS OF OCCUPATIONAL AGRICULTURE EDUCATION IN LAND GRANT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS, AND MANPOWER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES SHOULD BE TO DEVELOP KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS, PROVIDE OCCUPATIONAL GUIDANCE AND PLACEMENT, AND DEVELOP ABILITIES IN HUMAN RELATIONS AND…

  13. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    FARQUHAR, R.N.

    AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION HAS LONG EMPHASIZED TECHNICAL ADVISORY SERVICE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE SOCIOECONOMIC ASPECTS OF FARM PRODUCTION AND FARM LIFE. ONLY IN TASMANIA HAS FARM MANAGEMENT BEEN STRESSED. DEMANDS FOR THE WHOLE-FARM APPROACH HAVE PRODUCED A TREND TOWARD GENERALISM FOR DISTRICT OFFICERS IN MOST STATES. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT,…

  14. Root Associated Bacillus sp. Improves Growth, Yield and Zinc Translocation for Basmati Rice (Oryza sativa) Varieties

    PubMed Central

    Shakeel, Muhammad; Rais, Afroz; Hassan, Muhammad Nadeem; Hafeez, Fauzia Yusuf

    2015-01-01

    Plant associated rhizobacteria prevailing in different agro-ecosystems exhibit multiple traits which could be utilized in various aspect of sustainable agriculture. Two hundred thirty four isolates were obtained from the roots of basmati-385 and basmati super rice varieties growing in clay loam and saline soil at different locations of Punjab (Pakistan). Out of 234 isolates, 27 were able to solubilize zinc (Zn) from different Zn ores like zinc phosphate [Zn3 (PO4)2], zinc carbonate (ZnCO3) and zinc oxide (ZnO). The strain SH-10 with maximum Zn solubilization zone of 24 mm on Zn3 (PO4)2ore and strain SH-17 with maximum Zn solubilization zone of 14–15 mm on ZnO and ZnCO3ores were selected for further studies. These two strains solubilized phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) in vitro with a solubilization zone of 38–46 mm and 47–55 mm respectively. The strains also suppressed economically important rice pathogens Pyricularia oryzae and Fusarium moniliforme by 22–29% and produced various biocontrol determinants in vitro. The strains enhanced Zn translocation toward grains and increased yield of basmati-385 and super basmati rice varieties by 22–49% and 18–47% respectively. The Zn solubilizing strains were identified as Bacillus sp. and Bacillus cereus by 16S rRNA gene analysis. PMID:26635754

  15. Root Associated Bacillus sp. Improves Growth, Yield and Zinc Translocation for Basmati Rice (Oryza sativa) Varieties.

    PubMed

    Shakeel, Muhammad; Rais, Afroz; Hassan, Muhammad Nadeem; Hafeez, Fauzia Yusuf

    2015-01-01

    Plant associated rhizobacteria prevailing in different agro-ecosystems exhibit multiple traits which could be utilized in various aspect of sustainable agriculture. Two hundred thirty four isolates were obtained from the roots of basmati-385 and basmati super rice varieties growing in clay loam and saline soil at different locations of Punjab (Pakistan). Out of 234 isolates, 27 were able to solubilize zinc (Zn) from different Zn ores like zinc phosphate [Zn3 (PO4)2], zinc carbonate (ZnCO3) and zinc oxide (ZnO). The strain SH-10 with maximum Zn solubilization zone of 24 mm on Zn3 (PO4)2ore and strain SH-17 with maximum Zn solubilization zone of 14-15 mm on ZnO and ZnCO3ores were selected for further studies. These two strains solubilized phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) in vitro with a solubilization zone of 38-46 mm and 47-55 mm respectively. The strains also suppressed economically important rice pathogens Pyricularia oryzae and Fusarium moniliforme by 22-29% and produced various biocontrol determinants in vitro. The strains enhanced Zn translocation toward grains and increased yield of basmati-385 and super basmati rice varieties by 22-49% and 18-47% respectively. The Zn solubilizing strains were identified as Bacillus sp. and Bacillus cereus by 16S rRNA gene analysis. PMID:26635754

  16. Inherent agricultural constraints in Allegheny Plateau soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    World population increases demand increased agricultural production. This can be accomplished through improved cultivars and production techniques or increased use of previously marginal agricultural regions. In the Allegheny Plateau (AP) region of the Appalachian Mountains, acid soils with toxic ...

  17. Evaluating Internet for Extension in Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gelb, E. M.; Bonati, G.

    1998-01-01

    Participants in an international agriculture extension workshop rated the following as critical subjects to study regarding farmers' use of the Internet: technical problems, user benefits, drawbacks, and accessibility. Ways to improve effective use in agriculture were identified. (SK)

  18. Embracing the Role of Science in Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sparace, Salvatore A.; Layfield, K. Dale

    2003-01-01

    The approach to agricultural production has come to rely on the application of modern science and technology for improvements and innovation. There has been a shift from traditional production careers to those involving science-driven agricultural development. (JOW)

  19. How much detail and accuracy is required in plant growth sub-models to address questions about optimal management strategies in agricultural systems?

    PubMed Central

    Renton, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Background and aims Simulations that integrate sub-models of important biological processes can be used to ask questions about optimal management strategies in agricultural and ecological systems. Building sub-models with more detail and aiming for greater accuracy and realism may seem attractive, but is likely to be more expensive and time-consuming and result in more complicated models that lack transparency. This paper illustrates a general integrated approach for constructing models of agricultural and ecological systems that is based on the principle of starting simple and then directly testing for the need to add additional detail and complexity. Methodology The approach is demonstrated using LUSO (Land Use Sequence Optimizer), an agricultural system analysis framework based on simulation and optimization. A simple sensitivity analysis and functional perturbation analysis is used to test to what extent LUSO's crop–weed competition sub-model affects the answers to a number of questions at the scale of the whole farming system regarding optimal land-use sequencing strategies and resulting profitability. Principal results The need for accuracy in the crop–weed competition sub-model within LUSO depended to a small extent on the parameter being varied, but more importantly and interestingly on the type of question being addressed with the model. Only a small part of the crop–weed competition model actually affects the answers to these questions. Conclusions This study illustrates an example application of the proposed integrated approach for constructing models of agricultural and ecological systems based on testing whether complexity needs to be added to address particular questions of interest. We conclude that this example clearly demonstrates the potential value of the general approach. Advantages of this approach include minimizing costs and resources required for model construction, keeping models transparent and easy to analyse, and ensuring the model

  20. Cold atmospheric plasma in combination with mechanical treatment improves osteoblast growth on biofilm covered titanium discs.

    PubMed

    Duske, Kathrin; Jablonowski, Lukasz; Koban, Ina; Matthes, Rutger; Holtfreter, Birte; Sckell, Axel; Nebe, J Barbara; von Woedtke, Thomas; Weltmann, Klaus Dieter; Kocher, Thomas

    2015-06-01

    Treatment of implants with peri-implantitis is often unsuccessful, because an instrumented implant surface and residual microbial biofilm impedes re-osseointegration. The application of cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) could be a simple and effective strategy to overcome the inherent problems of peri-implantitis treatment. CAP is able to destroy and eliminate bacterial biofilms. Additionally, it increases the wettability of titanium, which supports cellular attachment. In this study, the behaviour of osteoblasts on titanium discs was analysed after treatment of bacterial biofilms with CAP, brushing, or a combination of both. A human plaque biofilm was cultured on titanium discs. Treatment with a brush (BR), 1% oxygen/argon CAP (PL), or brushing combined with CAP (BR+PL) was used to eliminate the biofilm. Discs without biofilm (C), autoclaved biofilm (AUTO) and untreated biofilm (BIO) served as controls. Subsequently, human osteoblastic cell growth (MG-63) was observed after 1 and 24 h. Biofilm remnants on BR and PL impaired osteoblastic cell development, whereas the BR+PL provided an increased area of osteoblastic cells. A five-day cell growth was only detectable on BR+PL treated discs. The combination of established brushing and CAP application may be a promising strategy to treat peri-implantitis.

  1. Ripping improves tree survival and growth on unused reclaimed mined lands.

    PubMed

    Fields-Johnson, Christopher W; Burger, James A; Evans, Daniel M; Zipper, Carl E

    2014-06-01

    There is renewed interest in re-establishing trees on 0.6 million ha of mining-disturbed lands in the Appalachian mountains of Eastern United States. Many coal-mined lands reclaimed to meet requirements of US federal law have thick herbaceous vegetation and compacted soils which impede tree establishment. Mitigation practices were applied on three mine sites and evaluated for success in enabling planted trees to become established. Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), hybrid poplar (Populus deltoids × Populus trichocarpa), and mixed Appalachian hardwoods were established using weed control only and weed control with subsoil ripping. Trees were measured in October of 2008 after 5 years of growth. Subsoil ripping increased mixed hardwood survival from 43 to 71%, hybrid poplar biomass index from 1.51 to 8.97 Mg ha(-1), and Eastern white pine biomass index from 0.10 to 0.32 Mg ha(-1). When restoring trees to unused mined sites, subsoil ripping can aid survival and growth to an extent that will result in a valuable forest. PMID:24668411

  2. Ripping Improves Tree Survival and Growth on Unused Reclaimed Mined Lands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fields-Johnson, Christopher W.; Burger, James A.; Evans, Daniel M.; Zipper, Carl E.

    2014-06-01

    There is renewed interest in re-establishing trees on 0.6 million ha of mining-disturbed lands in the Appalachian mountains of Eastern United States. Many coal-mined lands reclaimed to meet requirements of US federal law have thick herbaceous vegetation and compacted soils which impede tree establishment. Mitigation practices were applied on three mine sites and evaluated for success in enabling planted trees to become established. Eastern white pine ( Pinus strobus), hybrid poplar ( Populus deltoids × Populus trichocarpa), and mixed Appalachian hardwoods were established using weed control only and weed control with subsoil ripping. Trees were measured in October of 2008 after 5 years of growth. Subsoil ripping increased mixed hardwood survival from 43 to 71 %, hybrid poplar biomass index from 1.51 to 8.97 Mg ha-1, and Eastern white pine biomass index from 0.10 to 0.32 Mg ha-1. When restoring trees to unused mined sites, subsoil ripping can aid survival and growth to an extent that will result in a valuable forest.

  3. Targeting endothelial connexin40 inhibits tumor growth by reducing angiogenesis and improving vessel perfusion

    PubMed Central

    Alonso, Florian; Domingos-Pereira, Sonia; Le Gal, Loïc; Derré, Laurent; Meda, Paolo; Jichlinski, Patrice; Nardelli-Haefliger, Denise; Haefliger, Jacques-Antoine

    2016-01-01

    Endothelial connexin40 (Cx40) contributes to regulate the structure and function of vessels. We have examined whether the protein also modulates the altered growth of vessels in tumor models established in control mice (WT), mice lacking Cx40 (Cx40−/−), and mice expressing the protein solely in endothelial cells (Tie2-Cx40). Tumoral angiogenesis and growth were reduced, whereas vessel perfusion, smooth muscle cell (SMC) coverage and animal survival were increased in Cx40−/− but not Tie2-Cx40 mice, revealing a critical involvement of endothelial Cx40 in transformed tissues independently of the hypertensive status of Cx40−/− mice. As a result, Cx40−/− mice bearing tumors survived significantly longer than corresponding controls, including after a cytotoxic administration. Comparable observations were made in WT mice injected with a peptide targeting Cx40, supporting the Cx40 involvement. This involvement was further confirmed in the absence of Cx40 or by peptide-inhibition of this connexin in aorta-sprouting, matrigel plug and SMC migration assays, and associated with a decreased expression of the phosphorylated form of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. The data identify Cx40 as a potential novel target in cancer treatment. PMID:26883111

  4. Ripping improves tree survival and growth on unused reclaimed mined lands.

    PubMed

    Fields-Johnson, Christopher W; Burger, James A; Evans, Daniel M; Zipper, Carl E

    2014-06-01

    There is renewed interest in re-establishing trees on 0.6 million ha of mining-disturbed lands in the Appalachian mountains of Eastern United States. Many coal-mined lands reclaimed to meet requirements of US federal law have thick herbaceous vegetation and compacted soils which impede tree establishment. Mitigation practices were applied on three mine sites and evaluated for success in enabling planted trees to become established. Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), hybrid poplar (Populus deltoids × Populus trichocarpa), and mixed Appalachian hardwoods were established using weed control only and weed control with subsoil ripping. Trees were measured in October of 2008 after 5 years of growth. Subsoil ripping increased mixed hardwood survival from 43 to 71%, hybrid poplar biomass index from 1.51 to 8.97 Mg ha(-1), and Eastern white pine biomass index from 0.10 to 0.32 Mg ha(-1). When restoring trees to unused mined sites, subsoil ripping can aid survival and growth to an extent that will result in a valuable forest.

  5. Vermicompost as a soil supplement to improve growth, yield and fruit quality of tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum).

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Miceli, Federico A; Santiago-Borraz, Jorge; Montes Molina, Joaquín Adolfo; Nafate, Camerino Carlos; Abud-Archila, Miguel; Oliva Llaven, María Angela; Rincón-Rosales, Reiner; Dendooven, Luc

    2007-11-01

    The effects of earthworm-processed sheep-manure (vermicompost) on the growth, productivity and chemical characteristics of tomatoes (Lycopersicum esculentum) (c.v. Rio Grande) were investigated in a greenhouse experiment. Five treatments were applied combining vermicompost and soil in proportions of 0:1, 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4 and 1:5 (v/v). Growth and yield parameters were measured 85 days and 100 days after transplanting. Addition of vermicompost increased plant heights significantly, but had no significant effect on the numbers of leaves or yields 85 days after transplanting. Yields of tomatoes were significantly greater when the relationship vermicompost:soil was 1:1, 1:2 or 1:3, 100 days after transplanting. Addition of sheep-manure vermicompost decreased soil pH, titratable acidity and increased soluble and insoluble solids, in tomato fruits compared to those harvested from plants cultivated in unamended soil. Sheep-manure vermicompost as a soil supplement increased tomato yields and soluble, insoluble solids and carbohydrate concentrations.

  6. Improvement of plant growth and seed yield in Jatropha curcas by a novel nitrogen-fixing root associated Enterobacter species

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Jatropha curcas L. is an oil seed producing non-leguminous tropical shrub that has good potential to be a fuel plant that can be cultivated on marginal land. Due to the low nutrient content of the targeted plantation area, the requirement for fertilizer is expected to be higher than other plants. This factor severely affects the commercial viability of J. curcas. Results We explored the feasibility to use endophytic nitrogen-fixing bacteria that are native to J. curcas to improve plant growth, biomass and seed productivity. We demonstrated that a novel N-fixing endophyte, Enterobacter sp. R4-368, was able to colonize in root and stem tissues and significantly promoted early plant growth and seed productivity of J. curcas in sterilized and non-sterilized soil. Inoculation of young seedling led to an approximately 57.2% increase in seedling vigour over a six week period. At 90 days after planting, inoculated plants showed an average increase of 25.3%, 77.7%, 27.5%, 45.8% in plant height, leaf number, chlorophyll content and stem volume, respectively. Notably, inoculation of the strain led to a 49.0% increase in the average seed number per plant and 20% increase in the average single seed weight when plants were maintained for 1.5 years in non-sterilized soil in pots in the open air. Enterobacter sp. R4-368 cells were able to colonize root tissues and moved systemically to stem tissues. However, no bacteria were found in leaves. Promotion of plant growth and leaf nitrogen content by the strain was partially lost in nifH, nifD, nifK knockout mutants, suggesting the presence of other growth promoting factors that are associated with this bacterium strain. Conclusion Our results showed that Enterobacter sp. R4-368 significantly promoted growth and seed yield of J. curcas. The application of the strains is likely to significantly improve the commercial viability of J. curcas due to the reduced fertilizer cost and improved oil yield. PMID:24083555

  7. Influence of the pesticides glyphosate, chlorpyrifos and atrazine on growth parameters of nonochratoxigenic Aspergillus section Nigri strains isolated from agricultural soils.

    PubMed

    Carranza, Cecilia S; Barberis, Carla L; Chiacchiera, Stella M; Magnoli, Carina E

    2014-01-01

    This investigation was undertake to determine the effect of glyphosate, chlorpyrifos and atrazine on the lag phase and growth rate of nonochratoxigenic A. niger aggregate strains growing on soil extract medium at -0.70, -2.78 and -7.06 MPa. Under certain conditions, the glyphosate concentrations used significantly increased micelial growth as compared to control. An increase of about 30% was observed for strain AN 251 using 5 and 20 mg L(-1) of glyphosate at -2.78 MPa. The strains behaved differently in the presence of the insecticide chlorpyrifos. A significant decrease in growth rate, compared to control, was observed for all strains except AN 251 at -2.78 MPa with 5 mg L(-1). This strain showed a significant increase in growth rate. With regard to atrazine, significant differences were observed only under some conditions compared to control. An increase in growth rate was observed for strain AN 251 at -2.78 MPa with 5 and 10 mg L(-1) of atrazine. By comparison, a reduction of 25% in growth rate was observed at -7.06 MPa and higher atrazine concentrations. This study shows that glyphosate, chlorpyrifos and atrazine affect the growth parameters of nonochratoxigenic A. niger aggregate strains under in vitro conditions.

  8. Amending metal contaminated mine soil with biochars to sequester metals and improve plant growth cover

    EPA Science Inventory

    There are numerous mine spoil sites in the U.S. Pacific Northwest that contain highly acidic, heavy metal-laden soils, which limits establishment of a soil-stabilizing plant cover. Biochars may be a suitable soil amendment to reduce toxic metals, improve soil fertility, soil wa...

  9. A candidate gene association study for growth performance in an improved giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii ) culture line.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hyungtaek; Lyons, Russell E; Li, Yutao; Thanh, Nguyen Minh; Dinh, Hung; Hurwood, David A; Salin, Krishna R; Mather, Peter B

    2014-04-01

    A candidate gene approach using type I single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers can provide an effective method for detecting genes and gene regions that underlie phenotypic variation in adaptively significant traits. In the absence of available genomic data resources, transcriptomes were recently generated in Macrobrachium rosenbergii to identify candidate genes and markers potentially associated with growth. The characterisation of 47 candidate loci by ABI re-sequencing of four cultured and eight wild samples revealed 342 putative SNPs. Among these, 28 SNPs were selected in 23 growth-related candidate genes to genotype in 200 animals selected for improved growth performance in an experimental GFP culture line in Vietnam. The associations between SNP markers and individual growth performance were then examined. For additive and dominant effects, a total of three exonic SNPs in glycogen phosphorylase (additive), heat shock protein 90 (additive and dominant) and peroxidasin (additive), and a total of six intronic SNPs in ankyrin repeats-like protein (additive and dominant), rolling pebbles (dominant), transforming growth factor-β induced precursor (dominant), and UTP-glucose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase 2 (dominant) genes showed significant associations with the estimated breeding values in the experimental animals (P =0.001-0.031). Individually, they explained 2.6-4.8 % of the genetic variance (R²=0.026-0.048). This is the first large set of SNP markers reported for M. rosenbergii and will be useful for confirmation of associations in other samples or culture lines as well as having applications in marker-assisted selection in future breeding programs.

  10. Improvement in Growth After 1 Year of Growth Hormone Therapy in Well-Nourished Infants with Growth Retardation Secondary to Chronic Renal Failure: Results of a Multicenter, Controlled, Randomized, Open Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, M. Llanos; Neto, Arlete; Ariceta, Gema; Vara, Julia; Alonso, Angel; Bueno, Alberto; Afonso, Alberto Caldas; Correia, António Jorge; Muley, Rafael; Barrios, Vicente; Gómez, Carlos; Argente, Jesús

    2010-01-01

    Background and objectives: Our aim was to evaluate the growth-promoting effect of growth hormone (GH) treatment in infants with chronic renal failure (CRF) and persistent growth retardation despite adequate nutritional and metabolic management. Design, setting, participants, & measurements: The study design included randomized, parallel groups in an open, multicenter trial comparing GH (0.33 mg/kg per wk) with nontreatment with GH during 12 months. Sixteen infants who had growth retardation, were aged 12 ± 3 months, had CRF (GFR ≤60 ml/min per 1.73 m2), and had adequate nutritional intake and good metabolic control were recruited from eight pediatric nephrology departments from Spain and Portugal. Main outcome measures were body length, body weight, bone age, biochemical and hormonal analyses, renal function, bone mass, and adverse effects. Results: Length gain in infants who were treated with GH was statistically greater (P < 0.05) than that of nontreated children (14.5 versus 9.5 cm/yr; SD score 1.43 versus −0.11). The GH-induced stimulation of growth was associated with no undesirable effects on bone maturation, renal failure progression, or metabolic control. In addition, GH treatment improved forearm bone mass and increased serum concentrations of total and free IGF-I and IGF-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3), whereas IGF-II, IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, GH-binding protein, ghrelin, and leptin were not modified. Conclusions: Infants with CRF and growth retardation despite good metabolic and nutritional control benefit from GH treatment without adverse effects during 12 months of therapy. PMID:20522533

  11. Conservation agriculture among small scale farmers in semi-arid region of Kenya does improve soil biological quality and soil organic carbon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waweru, Geofrey; Okoba, Barrack; Cornelis, Wim

    2016-04-01

    The low food production in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has been attributed to declining soil quality. This is due to soil degradation and fertility depletion resulting from unsustainable conventional farming practices such as continuous tillage, crop residue burning and mono cropping. To overcome these challenges, conservation agriculture (CA) is actively promoted. However, little has been done in evaluating the effect of each of the three principles of CA namely: minimum soil disturbance, maximum surface cover and diversified/crop rotation on soil quality in SSA. A study was conducted for three years from 2012 to 2015 in Laikipia East sub county in Kenya to evaluate the effect of tillage, surface cover and intercropping on a wide variety of physical, chemical and biological soil quality indicators, crop parameters and the field-water balance. This abstract reports on soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC) and soil organic carbon (SOC). The experimental set up was a split plot design with tillage as main treatment (conventional till (CT), no-till (NT) and no-till with herbicide (NTH)), and intercropping and surface cover as sub treatment (intercropping maize with: beans, MB; beans and leucaena, MBL; beans and maize residues at 1.5 Mg ha-1 MBMu, and dolichos, MD). NT had significantly higher SMBC by 66 and 31% compared with CT and NTH respectively. SOC was significantly higher in NTH than CT and NT by 15 and 4%, respectively. Intercropping and mulching had significant effect on SMBC and SOC. MBMu resulted in higher SMBC by 31, 38 and 43%, and SOC by 9, 20 and 22% as compared with MBL, MD and MB, respectively. SMBC and SOC were significantly affected by the interaction between tillage, intercropping and soil cover with NTMBMu and NTHMBMu having the highest SMBC and SOC, respectively. We conclude that indeed tillage, intercropping and mulching substantially affect SMBC and SOC. On the individual components of CA, tillage and surface cover had the highest effect on SMBC and

  12. Changes of water demand - possible adaptation of agricultural crops and management options to improve water use efficiency in the Marchfeld area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thaler, S.; Eitzinger, J.; Dubrovsky, M.; Trnka, M.

    2009-04-01

    The main objective of this study was to determine the vulnerability of current agricultural cropping systems in the Marchfeld region to climate change. The investigation area Marchfeld is located in the north-eastern (NE) part of Austria and is characterized by a semi-arid climate with low annual rainfall. It is one of the driest regions in the country, but also one of the main field crop production areas. The soil conditions in Marchfeld demonstrate a significant spatial variability, which include soils with low to moderate water-storage capacities. Higher temperatures in the next decades imply higher evaporation and consequently higher water demand for the crops. The phenological development rates of the cultivars will accelerate and an increase of heat stress as well as drought stress can be expected. These points influence intense the water balance and subsequently the yield of the crops in the investigation area. In order to improve water use efficiency under those changing conditions, a shift of average sowing dates and an adjustment of tillage were analyzed. The DSSAT cropping system model was applied for winter wheat and spring barley to assess potential yield under climate scenarios for NE Austria. The scenarios were carried out with ECHAM5, HadCM3 and NCAR PCM global circulation models (GCMs) for present conditions (reference period 1961-1990) and 2035's (2021-2050), based on SRES-A1B emission scenarios. Yield model simulations were done for all defined scenarios (climate, management, crop) and different soil classes. The simulations contain the CO2 fertilizing effect, rain fed farming, adapted sowing date and contemporary crops without consideration of potential profit cuts caused by pest or diseases. Simulation results indicate that climate change will force a delay of the sowing date for winter wheat of maximal 14 days in October. In case of spring barley, climate change allows an earlier sowing date in spring (up to 14 days). Both crops show a

  13. Bilirubin modulated cytokines, growth factors and angiogenesis to improve cutaneous wound healing process in diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Ram, Mahendra; Singh, Vishakha; Kumawat, Sanjay; Kant, Vinay; Tandan, Surendra Kumar; Kumar, Dinesh

    2016-01-01

    Bilirubin has shown cutaneous wound healing potential in some preliminary studies. Here we hypothesize that bilirubin facilitates wound healing in diabetic rats by modulating important healing factors/candidates and antioxidant parameters in a time-dependent manner. Diabetes was induced in male Wistar rats by streptozotocin. In all diabetic rats wounds were created under pentobarbitone anesthesia. All the rats were divided into two groups, of which one (control) was treated with ointment base and other with bilirubin ointment (0.3%). Wound closer measurement and tissue collection were done on days 3, 7, 14 and 19 post-wounding. The relative expressions of hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), stromal cell-derived factor-1 alpha (SDF-1α), transforming growth factor- beta1 (TGF-β1()), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interlukin-10 (IL-10) mRNA and proteins and the mRNA of interlukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and matrix metalloprteinase-9 (MMP-9) were determined in the wound tissues. CD-31 staining and collagen content were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and picrosirius red staining, respectively. Histopathological changes were assessed by H&E staining. The per cent wound closer was significantly higher from day 7 onwards in bilirubin-treated rats. HIF-1α, VEGF, SDF-1α, TGF-β1, IL-10 mRNA and protein levels were significantly higher on days 3, 7 and 14 in bilirubin-treated rats. The mRNA expression and protein level of TNF-α and the mRNA of IL-1β and MMP-9 were progressively and markedly reduced in bilirubin-treated rats. The collagen deposition and formation of blood vessels were greater in bilirubin-treated rats. Bilirubin markedly facilitated cutaneous wound healing in diabetic rats by modulating growth factors, cytokines, neovasculogenesis and collagen contents to the wound site. Topical application of bilirubin ointment might be of great use in cutaneous wound healing in diabetic patients.

  14. Precision agriculture and food security.

    PubMed

    Gebbers, Robin; Adamchuk, Viacheslav I

    2010-02-12

    Precision agriculture comprises a set of technologies that combines sensors, information systems, enhanced machinery, and informed management to optimize production by accounting for variability and uncertainties within agricultural systems. Adapting production inputs site-specifically within a field and individually for each animal allows better use of resources to maintain the quality of the environment while improving the sustainability of the food supply. Precision agriculture provides a means to monitor the food production chain and manage both the quantity and quality of agricultural produce.

  15. Bleomycin in Octaarginine-modified Fusogenic Liposomes Results in Improved Tumor Growth Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Koshkaryev, Alexander; Piroyan, Aleksandr; Torchilin, Vladimir P.

    2012-01-01

    Bleomycin (BLM) is an example of an anticancer drug that should be delivered into cytosol for its efficient therapeutic action. With this in mind, we developed octaarginine (R8)-modified fusogenic DOPE-liposomes (R8-DOPE-BLM). R8-modification dramatically increased (up to 50-fold) the cell-liposome interaction. R8-DOPE-liposomes were internalized via macropinocytosis and did not end up in the lysosomes. R8-DOPE-BLM led to a significantly stronger cell death and DNA damage in vitro relative to all controls. R8-DOPE-BLM demonstrated a prominent anticancer effect in the BALB/c mice bearing 4T1 tumors. Thus, R8-DOPE-BLM provided efficient intracellular delivery of BLM leading to strong tumor growth inhibition in vivo. PMID:22743614

  16. Bleomycin in octaarginine-modified fusogenic liposomes results in improved tumor growth inhibition.

    PubMed

    Koshkaryev, Alexander; Piroyan, Aleksandr; Torchilin, Vladimir P

    2013-07-01

    Bleomycin (BLM) is an example of an anticancer drug that should be delivered into cytosol for its efficient therapeutic action. With this in mind, we developed octaarginine (R8)-modified fusogenic DOPE-liposomes (R8-DOPE-BLM). R8-modification dramatically increased (up to 50-fold) the cell-liposome interaction. R8-DOPE-liposomes were internalized via macropinocytosis and did not end up in the lysosomes. R8-DOPE-BLM led to a significantly stronger cell death and DNA damage in vitro relative to all controls. R8-DOPE-BLM demonstrated a prominent anticancer effect in the BALB/c mice bearing 4T1 tumors. Thus, R8-DOPE-BLM provided efficient intracellular delivery of BLM leading to strong tumor growth inhibition in vivo. PMID:22743614

  17. Luminescent photobioreactor design for improved algal growth and photosynthetic pigment production through spectral conversion of light.

    PubMed

    Mohsenpour, Seyedeh Fatemeh; Willoughby, Nik

    2013-08-01

    Growth characteristics of two strains of microalgae in bubble column photobioreactors were investigated under different cultivation conditions. Chlorella vulgaris and Gloeothece membranacea were cultivated in luminescent acrylic photobioreactors at different seed culture densities. Luminescent acrylic photobioreactors in blue, green, yellow, orange, and red colours capable of spectral conversion of light were used. The results indicated that the red luminescent photobioreactor enhanced biomass production in both strains of microalgae while pigmentation was induced under different light colours. Green light promoted chlorophyll production in C. vulgaris however chlorophyll production in G. membranacea cultures was less influenced by the light condition or culture density. Phycobiliproteins were the dominant pigments in G. membranacea and red light favoured synthesis of these pigments.

  18. The economic value of remote sensing of earth resources from space: An ERTS overview and the value of continuity of service. Volume 3: Intensive use of living resources, agriculture. Part 3: The integrated impact of improved (ERS) information on US agricultural commodities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seidel, A. D.

    1974-01-01

    The economic value of information produced by an assumed operational version of an earth resources survey satellite of the ERTS class is assessed. The theoretical capability of an ERTS system to provide improved agricultural forecasts is analyzed and this analysis is used as a reasonable input to the econometric methods derived by ECON. An econometric investigation into the markets for agricultural commodities is summarized. An overview of the effort including the objectives, scopes, and architecture of the analysis, and the estimation strategy employed is presented. The results and conclusions focus on the economic importance of improved crop forecasts, U.S. exports, and government policy operations. Several promising avenues of further investigation are suggested.

  19. Dietary Phytoncide Supplementation Improved Growth Performance and Meat Quality of Finishing Pigs

    PubMed Central

    Li, Han Lin; Zhao, Pin Yao; Lei, Yan; Hossain, Md Manik; Kang, Jungsun; Kim, In Ho

    2016-01-01

    We conducted this 10-wk experiment to evaluate the effects of dietary phytoncide, Korean pine extract as phytogenic feed additive (PFA), on growth performance, blood characteristics, and meat quality in finishing pigs. A total of 160 pigs ([Landrace×Yorkshire]×Duroc, body weight (BW) = 58.2±1.0 kg) were randomly allocated into 1 of 4 treatments according to their BW and sex, 10 replicate pens per treatment with 4 pigs per pen were used (2 barrows and 2 gilts). Dietary treatments were: CON, control diet; PT2, CON+0.02% PFA; PT4, CON+0.04% PFA; PT6, CON+0.06% PFA. Overall, average daily gain (ADG) was higher in PT4 (p<0.05) than in PT6, average daily feed intake (ADFI) was lower in PT6 than in CON (p<0.05). Besides ADFI decreased linearly (p<0.05) with the increased level of phytoncide and gain:feed ratio in PT4 treatment was higher (p<0.05) than CON treatment. During 5 to 10 weeks and overall, quadratic (p<0.05) effect was observed in ADG among the treatments. At the end of this experiment, pigs fed with PT4 diet had a greater (p<0.05) red blood cell concentration compared to the pigs fed CON diet. Water holding capacity increased linearly (p<0.05) with the increased level of phytoncide supplementation. Moreover, firmness, redness, yellowness, and drip loss at day 3 decreased linearly (p<0.05) with the increase in the level of phytoncide supplementation. In conclusion, inclusion of phytoncide could enhance growth performance without any adverse effects on meat quality in finishing pigs. PMID:26954131

  20. Meat supplementation improves growth, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes in Kenyan children.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Charlotte G; Murphy, Suzanne P; Gewa, Connie; Grillenberger, Monika; Bwibo, Nimrod O

    2007-04-01

    A randomized, controlled school feeding study was conducted in rural Embu District, Kenya to test for a causal link between animal-source food intake and changes in micronutrient nutrition and growth, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. Twelve primary schools were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups. Children in Standard I classes received the local plant-based dish githeri as a midmorning school snack supplemented with meat, milk, or fat added to equalize energy content in all feedings. The Control children received no feedings but participated in data collection. Main outcome measures assessed at baseline and longitudinally were 24-h food intake recall, anthropometry, cognitive function, physical activity, and behaviors during school free play. For cognitive function, the Meat group showed the steepest rate of increase on Raven's Progressive Matrices scores and in zone-wide school end-term total and arithmetic test scores. The Plain githeri and Meat groups performed better over time than the Milk and Control groups (P < 0.02-0.03) on arithmetic tests. The Meat group showed the greatest increase in percentage time in high levels of physical activity and in initiative and leadership behaviors compared with all other groups. For growth, in the Milk group only younger and stunted children showed a greater rate of gain in height. The Meat group showed near doubling of upper midarm muscle area, and the Milk group a smaller degree of increase. This is the first randomized, controlled feeding study to examine the effect of meat- vs. milk- vs. plant-based snacks on functional outcomes in children.

  1. Improved growth velocity of a patient with Noonan-like syndrome with loose anagen hair (NS/LAH) without growth hormone deficiency by low-dose growth hormone therapy.

    PubMed

    Takasawa, Kei; Takishima, Shigeru; Morioka, Chikako; Nishioka, Masato; Ohashi, Hirofumi; Aoki, Yoko; Shimohira, Masayuki; Kashimada, Kenichi; Morio, Tomohiro

    2015-10-01

    Noonan-like syndrome with loose anagen hair (NS/LAH; OMIM 607721) is caused by a heterozygous c.4A>G mutation in SHOC2. Most cases exhibit both growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and growth hormone insensitivity (GHI) and thus require a high dose of growth hormone (GH) therapy (e.g., 35-40 µg/kg/day). We report on a genetically diagnosed NS/LAH patient manifesting severe short stature (-3.85 SDs) with low serum level of IGF1, 30 ng/ml. The peak levels of GH stimulation tests were within the normal range, and GHI was not observed in the IGF1 generation test. However, with low-dose GH therapy (25 µg/kg/day) for two years, IGF1 level and height were remarkably improved (IGF1: 117 ng/ml, height SDs: -2.20 SDs). Further, catch-up of motor development and improvement of the proportion of extending limbs to trunk were observed (the Developmental Quotient score increased from 68 to 98 points, and the relative sitting height ratio decreased from 0.62 to 0.57). Our results suggest that endocrinological causes for short stature are variable in NS/LAH and that GH therapy should be considered as a possible treatment for delayed development in NS/LAH.

  2. Summer cover crops and soil amendments to improve growth and nutrient uptake of okra

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Q.R.; Li, Y.C.; Klassen, W.

    2006-04-15

    A pot experiment with summer cover crops and soil amendments was conducted in two consecutive years to elucidate the effects of these cover crops and soil amendments on 'Clemson Spineless 80' okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) yields and biomass production, and the uptake and distribution of soil nutrients and trace elements. The cover crops were sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), velvetbean (Mucuna deeringiana), and sorghum sudan-grass (Sorghum bicolor x S. bicolor var. sudanense) with fallow as the control. The organic soil amendments were biosolids (sediment from wastewater plants), N-Viro Soil (a mixture of biosolids and coal ash), coal ash (a combustion by-product from power plants), co-compost (a mixture of 3 biosolids: 7 yard waste), and yard waste compost (mainly from leaves and branches of trees and shrubs, and grass clippings) with a soil-incorporated cover crop as the control. As a subsequent vegetable crop, okra was grown after the cover crops, alone or together with the organic soil amendments, had been incorporated. All of the cover crops, except sorghum sudangrass in 2002-03, significantly improved okra fruit yields and the total biomass production. Both cover crops and soil amendments can substantially improve nutrient uptake and distribution. The results suggest that cover crops and appropriate amounts of soil amendments can be used to improve soil fertility and okra yield without adverse environmental effects or risk of contamination of the fruit. Further field studies will be required to confirm these findings.

  3. Endophytic Cultivable Bacteria of the Metal Bioaccumulator Spartina maritima Improve Plant Growth but Not Metal Uptake in Polluted Marshes Soils.

    PubMed

    Mesa, Jennifer; Mateos-Naranjo, Enrique; Caviedes, Miguel A; Redondo-Gómez, Susana; Pajuelo, Eloisa; Rodríguez-Llorente, Ignacio D

    2015-01-01

    Endophytic bacterial population was isolated from Spartina maritima tissues, a heavy metal bioaccumulator cordgrass growing in the estuaries of Tinto, Odiel, and Piedras River (south west Spain), one of the most polluted areas in the world. Strains were identified and ability to tolerate salt and heavy metals along with plant growth promoting and enzymatic properties were analyzed. A high proportion of these bacteria were resistant toward one or several heavy metals and metalloids including As, Cu, and Zn, the most abundant in plant tissues and soil. These strains also exhibited multiple enzymatic properties as amylase, cellulase, chitinase, protease and lipase, as well as plant growth promoting properties, including nitrogen fixation, phosphates solubilization, and production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), siderophores and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase. The best performing strains (Micrococcus yunnanensis SMJ12, Vibrio sagamiensis SMJ18, and Salinicola peritrichatus SMJ30) were selected and tested as a consortium by inoculating S. maritima wild plantlets in greenhouse conditions along with wild polluted soil. After 30 days, bacterial inoculation improved plant photosynthetic traits and favored intrinsic water use efficiency. However, far from stimulating plant metal uptake, endophytic inoculation lessened metal accumulation in above and belowground tissues. These results suggest that inoculation of S. maritima with indigenous metal-resistant endophytes could mean a useful approach in order to accelerate both adaption and growth of this indigenous cordgrass in polluted estuaries in restorative operations, but may not be suitable for rhizoaccumulation purposes. PMID:26733985

  4. Endophytic Cultivable Bacteria of the Metal Bioaccumulator Spartina maritima Improve Plant Growth but Not Metal Uptake in Polluted Marshes Soils

    PubMed Central

    Mesa, Jennifer; Mateos-Naranjo, Enrique; Caviedes, Miguel A.; Redondo-Gómez, Susana; Pajuelo, Eloisa; Rodríguez-Llorente, Ignacio D.

    2015-01-01

    Endophytic bacterial population was isolated from Spartina maritima tissues, a heavy metal bioaccumulator cordgrass growing in the estuaries of Tinto, Odiel, and Piedras River (south west Spain), one of the most polluted areas in the world. Strains were identified and ability to tolerate salt and heavy metals along with plant growth promoting and enzymatic properties were analyzed. A high proportion of these bacteria were resistant toward one or several heavy metals and metalloids including As, Cu, and Zn, the most abundant in plant tissues and soil. These strains also exhibited multiple enzymatic properties as amylase, cellulase, chitinase, protease and lipase, as well as plant growth promoting properties, including nitrogen fixation, phosphates solubilization, and production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), siderophores and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase. The best performing strains (Micrococcus yunnanensis SMJ12, Vibrio sagamiensis SMJ18, and Salinicola peritrichatus SMJ30) were selected and tested as a consortium by inoculating S. maritima wild plantlets in greenhouse conditions along with wild polluted soil. After 30 days, bacterial inoculation improved plant photosynthetic traits and favored intrinsic water use efficiency. However, far from stimulating plant metal uptake, endophytic inoculation lessened metal accumulation in above and belowground tissues. These results suggest that inoculation of S. maritima with indigenous metal-resistant endophytes could mean a useful approach in order to accelerate both adaption and growth of this indigenous cordgrass in polluted estuaries in restorative operations, but may not be suitable for rhizoaccumulation purposes. PMID:26733985

  5. Biocontrol of Fusarium wilt disease in cucumber with improvement of growth and mineral uptake using some antagonistic formulations.

    PubMed

    Moharam, Moustafa H A; Negim, Osama O

    2012-01-01

    Fusarium wilt disease in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is widespread, responsible for serious economic losses. Amongst totally 15 isolates of Fusarium spp., obtained from different localities of Sohag governorate, Egypt, only the identified isolates as F. oxysporum were pathogenic on cucumber Denmark Beta-Alpha cv. and caused wilt symptoms. Totally 22 isolates of Trichoderma spp., B. subtilis and Pseudomonas spp., were obtained from rhizosphere of cucumber and some available commercial formulations and then tested for antagonistic activity against F. oxysporum (FO5) in vitro. The highest inhibitory effect on growth of FO5 was observed by isolate Trichodex of T. harzianum (89.29%) followed by Th4 of T. harzianum, Serenade and MBI 600 of B. subtilis, PS3 of Pseudomonas spp., and Treico and Tv2 of T. viride. Pot experiments were performed to investigate the effects of formulated antagonists as seed treatment on Fusarium wilt incidence, growth and mineral uptake of cucumber. Results showed that all tested formulations significantly reduced percent of wilted plants and disease severity, and improved plant growth by increasing length of shoot and root, fresh and dry weight of shoot and root system, and number of leaves and flowers per plant compared with untreated control. They also significantly increased nutrient contents of plant shoot including N, P, K, Ca, Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn. Magnesium content in shoot slightly not significantly increased. Formulation of Trichodex was the most effective ones followed by Serenade, Th4 and PS3.

  6. Seed priming with chitosan improves maize germination and seedling growth in relation to physiological changes under low temperature stress.

    PubMed

    Guan, Ya-jing; Hu, Jin; Wang, Xian-ju; Shao, Chen-xia

    2009-06-01

    Low temperature stress during germination and early seedling growth is an important constraint of global production of maize. The effects of seed priming with 0.25%, 0.50%, and 0.75% (w/v) chitosan solutions at 15 degrees C on the growth and physiological changes were investigated using two maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines, HuangC (chilling-tolerant) and Mo17 (chilling-sensitive). While seed priming with chitosan had no significant effect on germination percentage under low temperature stress, it enhanced germination index, reduced the mean germination time (MGT), and increased shoot height, root length, and shoot and root dry weights in both maize lines. The decline of malondialdehyde (MDA) content and relative permeability of the plasma membrane and the increase of the concentrations of soluble sugars and proline, peroxidase (POD) activity, and catalase (CAT) activity were detected both in the chilling-sensitive and chilling-tolerant maize seedlings after priming with the three concentrations of chitosan. HuangC was less sensitive to responding to different concentrations of chitosan. Priming with 0.50% chitosan for about 60 approximately 64 h seemed to have the best effects. Thus, it suggests that seed priming with chitosan may improve the speed of germination of maize seed and benefit for seedling growth under low temperature stress.

  7. Development and application of predictive models for fungal growth as tools to improve quality control in yogurt production.

    PubMed

    Gougouli, Maria; Kalantzi, Kelly; Beletsiotis, Evangelos; Koutsoumanis, Konstantinos P

    2011-12-01

    The effect of storage temperature (0-40 °C) and inoculum size (10¹-10⁵ spores) on the mycelium growth kinetics of 12 fungal species on yogurt were monitored. A cardinal model with inflection (CMI) was used to describe the effect of temperature on the growth rate (μ) and the lag time (λ) of each isolate. Significant differences on the temperature dependence of the mycelium growth between the tested species were observed. Depending on the strain, the estimated minimum, optimum and maximum temperature parameters for μ (T(min), T(opt), T(max)) ranged from -7.6 to 9.6, 19.5 to 37.8 and 29.8 to 46.9 °C, respectively. Only λ was found to be affected by the inoculum size and a linear relation between Ln (λ) and Log (inoculum size) was revealed. The inoculum level did not influence the values of T(min), T(opt) and T(max) for λ. Based on the above observations, the combined effect of inoculum size and temperature on λ was modeled using a modified CMI. The parameter λ(opt) (λ at optimum conditions) was expressed as a function of the inoculum size. Validation studies showed a good performance of the developed models. The application scheme of the models for improving fungi control in yogurt productions is discussed.

  8. Evaluation of thermal treatments to improve physical and mechanical properties of bio-composites made from cotton byproducts and other agricultural fibers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Demand for wood products continues to grow at levels that challenge the available resources. Alternative materials are sought to sustainably supplement the wood fiber industry. Experiments were conducted on composite boards made from agricultural residues. The boards were subjected to thermal tre...

  9. Collaboration as a Tool to Improve Career and Technical Education: A Qualitative Study of Successful Collaboration among Extension Agents and Agricultural Science Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphrey, Theresa Pesl; Miller, Kimberley A.; Harlin, Julie; Rayfield, John

    2011-01-01

    Collaboration among Extension agents and agricultural science teachers has the potential to increase the reach of both organizations to serve clientele in obtaining critical skills and knowledge important to Career and Technical Education. However, successful collaboration requires that barriers be minimized and aspects of facilitation be…

  10. Satellite irrigation management support with the terrestrial observation and prediction system: A framework for integration of satellite & surface observations to support improvements in agricultural water resource management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In California and other regions vulnerable to water shortages, satellite-derived estimates of key hydrologic parameters can support agricultural producers and water managers in maximizing the benefits of available water supplies. The Satellite Irrigation Management Support (SIMS) project combines N...

  11. Circles of live buffer strips in a center pivot to improve multiple ecosystem services and sustainability of irrigated agriculture in the southern great plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Declining Ogallala Aquifer has threatened sustainability of highly productive irrigated agriculture in the region. The region, known for the dust bowl of thirties, is scared of its return. Lower well outputs and increasing pumping costs have compelled farmers to adapt alternative conservation strate...

  12. Feeding of Nigella sativa during neonatal and juvenile growth improves learning and memory of rats

    PubMed Central

    Beheshti, Farimah; Hosseini, Mahmoud; Vafaee, Farzaneh; Shafei, Mohammad Naser; Soukhtanloo, Mohammad

    2015-01-01

    The positive roles of antioxidants on brain development and learning and memory have been suggested. Nigella sativa (NS) has been suggested to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. This study was done to investigate the effects of feeding by the hydro-alcoholic extract of NS during neonatal and juvenile growth