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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 model intercomparison and improvement project: Overview of model intercomparisons

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Improvement of crop simulation models to better estimate growth and yield is one of the objectives of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP). The overall goal of AgMIP is to provide an assessment of crop model through rigorous intercomparisons and evaluate future clim...

  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. Agricultural change and population growth: a brief survey on the case of China in historical perspective.

    PubMed

    Liu, T

    1986-03-01

    A historical review of the relationship between agricultural change and population growth in China is presented. "This paper will try to discuss four aspects of agricultural change that are related to population growth. They are: (1) expansion of agricultural frontier, (2) changes in cultivation methods and land use, (3) improvements in agricultural technology, and (4) irrigation and water-control. Each of these aspects [is] treated briefly with temporal and spatial perspectives...." The relevance of the Boserup theory that population pressure leads to agricultural development is considered in the Chinese context. It is found that some evidence supports the theory. (summary in CHI)

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Improving the representation of agricultural management in land surface models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacks, William J.

    To gain a better understanding of processes affecting crop yield, as well as two-way feedbacks between agricultural management and climate, a number of groups have recently incorporated croplands into regional and global land surface models. However, many aspects of agricultural management are still treated in a rudimentary way in these models. For my doctoral research, I have aimed to improve the representation of two key agricultural processes in land surface models: crop phenology and irrigation. In addition, I have investigated the effects of these processes on both crop yields and climate. First, I assembled a dataset of global crop planting and harvesting dates for nineteen crops. I also investigated climatic and non-climatic factors that drive planting date decisions around the world. Second, I investigated trends and variability in crop planting dates and development progress across the U.S. I showed a trend to earlier planting of corn and soybeans, along with a trend to a longer crop growth period, and particularly a lengthening reproductive period in corn. In addition, I showed that growing degree days are a good predictor of the length of the vegetative period in corn, but less so for the reproductive period. Third, I used these observed trends along with the Agro-IBIS model to explore the implications of changes in crop phenology for both crop yields and fluxes of water and energy. I estimated that the trend to longer-season corn cultivars over the last three decades can account for 26% of the observed yield trend in the U.S. In addition, I found that earlier planting and longer-season cultivars shift the seasonality of water and energy fluxes, and have a small effect on annual-average fluxes. Finally, I investigated the effects of irrigation on climate, finding that this effect is significant in some large regions of the globe. Although the global-average temperature change was small, the large regional changes are important for both crop yields and

  10. Modifying agricultural crops for improved nutrition.

    PubMed

    McGloughlin, Martina Newell

    2010-11-30

    The first generation of biotechnology products commercialized were crops focusing largely on input agronomic traits whose value was often opaque to consumers. The coming generations of crop plants can be grouped into four broad areas each presenting what, on the surface, may appear as unique challenges and opportunities. The present and future focus is on continuing improvement of agronomic traits such as yield and abiotic stress resistance in addition to the biotic stress tolerance of the present generation; crop plants as biomass feedstocks for biofuels and "bio-synthetics"; value-added output traits such as improved nutrition and food functionality; and plants as production factories for therapeutics and industrial products. From a consumer perspective, the focus on value-added traits, especially improved nutrition, is undoubtedly one of the areas of greatest interest. From a basic nutrition perspective, there is a clear dichotomy in demonstrated need between different regions and socioeconomic groups, the starkest being inappropriate consumption in the developed world and under-nourishment in Less Developed Countries (LDCs). Dramatic increases in the occurrence of obesity and related ailments in affluent regions are in sharp contrast to chronic malnutrition in many LDCs. Both problems require a modified food supply, and the tools of biotechnology have a part to play. Developing plants with improved traits involves overcoming a variety of technical, regulatory and indeed perception hurdles inherent in perceived and real challenges of complex traits modifications. Continuing improvements in molecular and genomic technologies are contributing to the acceleration of product development to produce plants with the appropriate quality traits for the different regions and needs. Crops with improved traits in the pipeline, the evolving technologies and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead are covered.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-29

    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.

  13. Precision agriculture suitability to improve vineyard terroir management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terrón, J. M.; Blanco, J.; Moral, F. J.; Mancha, L. A.; Uriarte, D.; Marques da Silva, J. R.

    2014-11-01

    Precision agriculture is a useful tool to assess plant growth and development in vineyards. Current study was focused in the spatial and temporal vegetation growth variability analysis; considering four irrigation treatments with four replicates; carried out in a vineyard located in the southwest of Spain during 2012 and 2013 growing seasons. Two multispectral sensors mounted on ATV were used in the different growing seasons/stages in order to calculate the vineyard Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Soil apparent Electrical Conductivity (ECa) was measured up to 0.8 m soil depth using a geophysical sensor. All measured data was statistically analysed by means of Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The spatial and temporal NDVI and ECa variations showed relevant differences between irrigation treatments and climatological years.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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. .

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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,…

  3. 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.

  4. Agriculture

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.

  5. 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

    2015-09-02

    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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. NCSU Digitized Document Transmission Project: Improving Access to Agricultural Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casorso, Tracy M.

    1992-01-01

    Describes objectives and technical design of the NCSU (North Carolina State University) Digitized Document Transmission Project, a collaborative project among the NCSU libraries, the National Agricultural Library, and 11 land grant university libraries, which is exploring issues involved in developing network-based document delivery systems for…

  11. The agricultural model intercomparison and improvement project (AgMIP)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The agricultural sector faces the challenge of increasing production to provide food security for the projected human population of 9 billion by mid-century, while protecting the environment and the functioning of its ecosystems. These challenges are compounded by the need to adapt to climate change...

  12. Decomposition of China's CO2 emissions from agriculture utilizing an improved Kaya identity.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Ou, Qingxiang; Chen, Yulu

    2014-11-01

    In recent decades, China's agriculture has been experiencing flourishing growth accompanied by rising pesticide consumption, fertilizer consumption, energy consumption, etc. and increasing CO2 emissions. Analyzing the driving forces of agricultural CO2 emissions is key requirements for low-carbon agricultural policy formulation and decomposition analysis is widely used for this purpose. This study estimates the agricultural CO2 emissions in China from 1994 to 2011 and applies the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index (LMDI) as the decomposition technique. Change in agricultural CO2 emissions is decomposed from 1994 to 2011 and includes a measure of the effect of agricultural subsidy. Results illustrate that economic development acts to increase CO2 emissions significantly. Agricultural subsidy acts to reduce CO2 emissions effectively and has increased in recent years. Policy is needed to significantly optimize agricultural subsidy structure and change agricultural development pathway, if China's low-carbon agriculture target is to be achieved. This requires not only decreasing pesticide consumption, fertilizer consumption, energy consumption, etc. but also transformation of China's agricultural development path for optimal outcomes.

  13. An experimental study of vermi-biowaste composting for agricultural soil improvement.

    PubMed

    Padmavathiamma, Prabha K; Li, Loretta Y; Kumari, Usha R

    2008-04-01

    Vermitechnology was investigated as a means of reducing organic waste materials. Vermicomposting conditions were optimized to convert the biowastes to nutritious composts for amending agricultural soil. Studies were undertaken to select the most suitable earthworm species for vermicomposting, to enrich vermicompost by inoculation with beneficial microbes, to standardize an economically feasible method of vermicomposting, to achieve nutrient economy through vermicompost application in acid soils (pH 4.5), and to assess the performance of vermicompost as a bioinoculant in cow-pea, banana, and cassava. Earthworm species Eudrillus eugineae, Eisenia foetida, Perionyx sansibaricus, Pontoscolex corethrurus and Megascolex chinensis were compared for their efficiencies in biodegrading organic wastes. E. eugineae was found to be a superb agent. As a bioinoculant, vermicompost increased nitrogen and phosphorous availability by enhancing biological nitrogen fixation and phosphorous solubilisation. Vermicompost-amended acid-agriculture-soil significantly improved the yield, biometric character and quality of banana, cassava and cow-pea. Vermicompost application stimulated root growth, facilitating nutrient absorption and thereby favouring higher yield.

  14. 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...

  15. The Effect of No Agricultural Productivity Growth on Future Land Use and Climate through Biogeophysical Mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies-Barnard, T.; Valdes, P. J.; Singarayer, J. S.; Jones, C.

    2012-12-01

    Future land use and the consequent land cover change will have a significant impact on future climate through biogeophysical (albedo, surface roughness and latent heat transfer, etc.) as well as biogeochemical (greenhouse gas emissions etc.) mechanisms. One of the major determinants of the extent of land use induced land cover change is the agricultural productivity growth within the socio-economic models used for developing the RCP scenarios. There are considerable uncertainties in the size of agricultural productivity under climate change, as yields are projected to vary spatially in signal and strength. Previous climate modeling work has considered the impacts to the carbon cycle of different levels of agricultural productivity growth, but has failed to consider the biogeophysical effects of the land use induced land cover change on climate. Here we examine the climate impacts of the assumption of agricultural productivity growth and business as usual land use. The effects are considered through the biogeophysical land use induced land cover change, using the Hadley Centre climate model HadGEM2. The model simulations use the set biogeochemical climate forcing of the RCP 4.5 scenario, but the biogeophysical land use change specification is altered over a 100 year simulation. Simulations are run with combinations of no land use change; standard RCP 4.5 land use change; business as usual land use change; and zero agricultural productivity growth. The key effect of no agricultural productivity growth is that more cropland is required to feed the same population, necessitating cropland expansion. The expansion of cropland and consequent deforestation increases the albedo and gives an extensive cooling effect in the northern hemisphere (up to 2°C). Differences in global mean temperature between the zero agricultural productivity growth with business as usual land use change specified run and the standard RCP 4.5 run are -0.2°C by 2040 and -0.7°C by 2100. There is

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Agriculture and herbivorous waterfowl: a review of the scientific basis for improved management.

    PubMed

    Fox, Anthony D; Elmberg, Johan; Tombre, Ingunn M; Hessel, Rebecca

    2016-03-04

    Swans, geese and some ducks (Anatidae) are obligate herbivores, many are important quarry species and all contribute to a variety of ecosystem services. Population growth and shifting ranges have led to increasing proximity to man and thus increasing conflicts. We review and synthesize the role of these birds as herbivores on agricultural land (cropland, rotational grassland and pasture) and other terrestrial habitats where conflict with human interests may occur. A bibliographic analysis of peer-reviewed papers (N = 359) shows that publication activity peaked in 1991-2000 in North America and 2000-2010 in Europe, and has decreased since. Taxonomic and geographical biases are obvious in research to date: Snow Goose Chen caerulescens was the most studied species (N = 98), and Canada Branta canadensis, Barnacle B. leucopsis and Brent geese B. bernicla all featured in more than 40 studies; most studies originated in northwest Europe or North America, very few have been carried out in Asia and European Russia. On the basis of nutrient/energy budgets of herbivorous waterfowl, it is evident that dense single-species crops (such as rotational grassland, early-growth cereals and root crops) and spilled grain in agricultural landscapes offer elevated energetic and nutritional intake rates of food of higher quality compared to natural or semi-natural vegetation. Hence, although affected by seasonal nutritional demands, proximity to roost, field size, disturbance levels, access to water, food depletion and snow cover, agricultural landscapes tend to offer superior foraging opportunities over natural habitats, creating potential conflict with agriculture. Herbivorous waterfowl select for high protein, soluble carbohydrate and water content, high digestibility as well as low fibre and phenolic compounds, but intake rates from grazing varied with goose body and bill morphology, creating species-specific loci for conflict. Crop damage by trampling and puddling has not

  2. Population growth of Mexican free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana) predates human agricultural activity

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Human activities, such as agriculture, hunting, and habitat modification, exert a significant effect on native species. Although many species have suffered population declines, increased population fragmentation, or even extinction in connection with these human impacts, others seem to have benefitted from human modification of their habitat. Here we examine whether population growth in an insectivorous bat (Tadarida brasiliensis mexicana) can be attributed to the widespread expansion of agriculture in North America following European settlement. Colonies of T. b. mexicana are extremely large (~106 individuals) and, in the modern era, major agricultural insect pests form an important component of their food resource. It is thus hypothesized that the growth of these insectivorous bat populations was coupled to the expansion of agricultural land use in North America over the last few centuries. Results We sequenced one haploid and one autosomal locus to determine the rate and time of onset of population growth in T. b. mexicana. Using an approximate Maximum Likelihood method, we have determined that T. b. mexicana populations began to grow ~220 kya from a relatively small ancestral effective population size before reaching the large effective population size observed today. Conclusions Our analyses reject the hypothesis that T. b. mexicana populations grew in connection with the expansion of human agriculture in North America, and instead suggest that this growth commenced long before the arrival of humans. As T. brasiliensis is a subtropical species, we hypothesize that the observed signals of population growth may instead reflect range expansions of ancestral bat populations from southern glacial refugia during the tail end of the Pleistocene. PMID:21457563

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project: Phase I Activities by a Global Community of Science (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenzweig, C.; Jones, J.; Hatfield, J.; Antle, J. M.; Mutter, C.; Ruane, A. C.

    2013-12-01

    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. Currently, AgMIP has over 575 participants from more than 45 countries contributing their expertise to over 30 projects and activities. 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 with a strong grounding in observations of current agricultural systems around the world. The performance of agricultural models in current climate forms a key basis for our understanding of how crops will respond to future climate changes, and thus AgMIP has a particular focus on extreme heat and drought. Climate, crop model, economics, and information technology protocols are used to guide coordinated AgMIP research activities around the world, along with cross-cutting themes that address aggregation, uncertainty, and the development of Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) to enable testing of climate change adaptations in the context of other global trends. Research activities include ongoing crop-specific assessments (e.g., maize, wheat, sugarcane, rice) and improvement activities, global gridded crop and economic model intercomparisons, and many other initiatives that allow for the better evaluation of the impacts of climate change on agricultural production and food security around the world. AgMIP activities are improving the representation of crop response to changing carbon dioxide, temperature extremes, and water

  8. 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

  9. Learning improves growth rate in grasshoppers.

    PubMed

    Dukas, R; Bernays, E A

    2000-03-14

    To quantify the adaptive significance of insect learning, we documented the behavior and growth rate of grasshoppers (Schistocerca americana) in an environment containing two artificial food types, one providing a balanced diet of protein and carbohydrate, which maximizes growth, and the other being carbohydrate-deficient, which is unsuitable for growth. Grasshoppers in the Learning treatment experienced a predictable environment, where the spatial location, taste, and color of each food source remained constant throughout the experiment. In contrast, grasshoppers of the Random treatment developed in a temporally varying environment, where the spatial location, taste, and color of the balanced and deficient food types randomly alternated twice each day. Our results show that the grasshoppers that could employ associative learning for diet choice experienced higher growth rates than individuals of the Random treatment, demonstrating the adaptive significance of learning in a small short-lived insect.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Growth response of maize plantlets inoculated with Enterobacter spp., as a model for alternative agriculture.

    PubMed

    Morales-García, Yolanda E; Juárez-Hernández, Dalia; Aragón-Hernández, Celia; Mascarua-Esparza, Miguel A; Bustillos-Cristales, María R; Fuentes-Ramírez, Luis E; Martinez-Contreras, Rebeca D; Munoz-Rojas, Jesus

    2011-01-01

    A maize rhizosphere isolate was phenotypically and genotypically characterized and identified as Enterobacter spp. bacterium. Germinated seeds were inoculated, the plantlets were sown in vermiculite and in soil and grown under laboratory and field conditions, respectively. The adherence, colonization and plant growth promotion capability of Enterobacter sp. UAPS03001 was evaluated in "Rojo-Criollo" maize under laboratory conditions. Twenty days after inoculation, the treated plantlets showed larger biomass than non-inoculated ones. In field grown plants, the kernel biomass was also greater in inoculated than in non-inoculated plants. The inoculation of maize sprouts with plant growth- promoting bacteria before their sowing in the field would be an alternative practice for achieving successful yield in temporal agriculture.

  19. 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.

  20. Infrastructure mitigates the sensitivity of child growth to local agriculture and rainfall in Nepal and Uganda.

    PubMed

    Shively, Gerald E

    2017-01-31

    This paper investigates linear growth and weight gain among 11,946 children below the age of 5 y in Nepal and Uganda, testing the hypothesis that child growth is sensitive to precipitation during key periods in a child's early life. The paper also tests the importance of the economic and physical environments in which children reside. Outcomes are not completely explained by agricultural performance or the observed characteristics of children or their households. Associations between height-for-age z-score (HAZ) and weight-for-height z-score (WHZ) and rainfall are generally positive, but patterns are heterogeneous. At the mean, an increase of 1 SD in agricultural season rainfall is associated with a 0.05- to 0.25-point higher z-score, which translates into increases of roughly 4-13% for HAZ and 1-7% for WHZ. Nutrition sensitivity to rainfall is greater in Nepal, where rainfall is lower on average and wider ranging, than in Uganda. Health and transport infrastructure help to buffer children from the deleterious nutritional effects of precipitation shortfalls, underscoring the role of broadly based economic development in promoting child nutrition.

  1. Infrastructure mitigates the sensitivity of child growth to local agriculture and rainfall in Nepal and Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Shively, Gerald E.

    2017-01-01

    This paper investigates linear growth and weight gain among 11,946 children below the age of 5 y in Nepal and Uganda, testing the hypothesis that child growth is sensitive to precipitation during key periods in a child's early life. The paper also tests the importance of the economic and physical environments in which children reside. Outcomes are not completely explained by agricultural performance or the observed characteristics of children or their households. Associations between height-for-age z-score (HAZ) and weight-for-height z-score (WHZ) and rainfall are generally positive, but patterns are heterogeneous. At the mean, an increase of 1 SD in agricultural season rainfall is associated with a 0.05- to 0.25-point higher z-score, which translates into increases of roughly 4–13% for HAZ and 1–7% for WHZ. Nutrition sensitivity to rainfall is greater in Nepal, where rainfall is lower on average and wider ranging, than in Uganda. Health and transport infrastructure help to buffer children from the deleterious nutritional effects of precipitation shortfalls, underscoring the role of broadly based economic development in promoting child nutrition. PMID:28096416

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. Reducing environmental risk by improving N management in intensive Chinese agricultural systems.

    PubMed

    Ju, Xiao-Tang; Xing, Guang-Xi; Chen, Xin-Ping; Zhang, Shao-Lin; Zhang, Li-Juan; Liu, Xue-Jun; Cui, Zhen-Ling; Yin, Bin; Christie, Peter; Zhu, Zhao-Liang; Zhang, Fu-Suo

    2009-03-03

    Excessive N fertilization in intensive agricultural areas of China has resulted in serious environmental problems because of atmospheric, soil, and water enrichment with reactive N of agricultural origin. This study examines grain yields and N loss pathways using a synthetic approach in 2 of the most intensive double-cropping systems in China: waterlogged rice/upland wheat in the Taihu region of east China versus irrigated wheat/rainfed maize on the North China Plain. When compared with knowledge-based optimum N fertilization with 30-60% N savings, we found that current agricultural N practices with 550-600 kg of N per hectare fertilizer annually do not significantly increase crop yields but do lead to about 2 times larger N losses to the environment. The higher N loss rates and lower N retention rates indicate little utilization of residual N by the succeeding crop in rice/wheat systems in comparison with wheat/maize systems. Periodic waterlogging of upland systems caused large N losses by denitrification in the Taihu region. Calcareous soils and concentrated summer rainfall resulted in ammonia volatilization (19% for wheat and 24% for maize) and nitrate leaching being the main N loss pathways in wheat/maize systems. More than 2-fold increases in atmospheric deposition and irrigation water N reflect heavy air and water pollution and these have become important N sources to agricultural ecosystems. A better N balance can be achieved without sacrificing crop yields but significantly reducing environmental risk by adopting optimum N fertilization techniques, controlling the primary N loss pathways, and improving the performance of the agricultural Extension Service.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. [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.

  18. Research needs to improve agricultural productivity and food quality, with emphasis on biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Jennifer A

    2002-11-01

    Research into agricultural productivity, especially for crops in the developing world, should include resistance to plant viruses, fungi and the parasitic weed Striga. It must also include research into the development of resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxin-expressing crops. Drought- and heat-tolerant crops, and those that can combat the problems of soil deficiencies, are required, and vaccine production in plants should be a high priority. Research into food quality should include the equivalent of "golden rice" in maize, the enhancement of the production of phytosterols and improved qualities of vegetable oils.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. [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.

  10. Growth hormone improves growth retardation induced by rapamycin without blocking its antiproliferative and antiangiogenic effects on rat growth plate.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-García, Óscar; García-López, Enrique; Loredo, Vanessa; Gil-Peña, Helena; Mejía-Gaviria, Natalia; Rodríguez-Suárez, Julián; Ordóñez, Flor Á; Santos, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Rapamycin, an immunosuppressant agent used in renal transplantation with antitumoral properties, has been reported to impair longitudinal growth in young individuals. As growth hormone (GH) can be used to treat growth retardation in transplanted children, we aimed this study to find out the effect of GH therapy in a model of young rat with growth retardation induced by rapamycin administration. Three groups of 4-week-old rats treated with vehicle (C), daily injections of rapamycin alone (RAPA) or in combination with GH (RGH) at pharmacological doses for 1 week were compared. GH treatment caused a 20% increase in both growth velocity and body length in RGH animals when compared with RAPA group. GH treatment did not increase circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor I, a systemic mediator of GH actions. Instead, GH promoted the maturation and hypertrophy of growth plate chondrocytes, an effect likely related to AKT and ERK1/2 mediated inactivation of GSK3β, increase of glycogen deposits and stabilization of β-catenin. Interestingly, GH did not interfere with the antiproliferative and antiangiogenic activities of rapamycin in the growth plate and did not cause changes in chondrocyte autophagy markers. In summary, these findings indicate that GH administration improves longitudinal growth in rapamycin-treated rats by specifically acting on the process of growth plate chondrocyte hypertrophy but not by counteracting the effects of rapamycin on proliferation and angiogenesis.

  11. Growth Hormone Improves Growth Retardation Induced by Rapamycin without Blocking Its Antiproliferative and Antiangiogenic Effects on Rat Growth Plate

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-García, Óscar; García-López, Enrique; Loredo, Vanessa; Gil-Peña, Helena; Mejía-Gaviria, Natalia; Rodríguez-Suárez, Julián; Ordóñez, Flor Á.; Santos, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Rapamycin, an immunosuppressant agent used in renal transplantation with antitumoral properties, has been reported to impair longitudinal growth in young individuals. As growth hormone (GH) can be used to treat growth retardation in transplanted children, we aimed this study to find out the effect of GH therapy in a model of young rat with growth retardation induced by rapamycin administration. Three groups of 4-week-old rats treated with vehicle (C), daily injections of rapamycin alone (RAPA) or in combination with GH (RGH) at pharmacological doses for 1 week were compared. GH treatment caused a 20% increase in both growth velocity and body length in RGH animals when compared with RAPA group. GH treatment did not increase circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor I, a systemic mediator of GH actions. Instead, GH promoted the maturation and hypertrophy of growth plate chondrocytes, an effect likely related to AKT and ERK1/2 mediated inactivation of GSK3β, increase of glycogen deposits and stabilization of β-catenin. Interestingly, GH did not interfere with the antiproliferative and antiangiogenic activities of rapamycin in the growth plate and did not cause changes in chondrocyte autophagy markers. In summary, these findings indicate that GH administration improves longitudinal growth in rapamycin-treated rats by specifically acting on the process of growth plate chondrocyte hypertrophy but not by counteracting the effects of rapamycin on proliferation and angiogenesis. PMID:22493717

  12. Auxins as one of the factors of plant growth improvement by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Ambreen; Hasnain, Shahida

    2014-01-01

    Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) promote plant growth by various mechanisms such as phytohormone production, enhanced water and nutrient uptake, improved nitrogen availability in the soil, production of ACC-deaminase for ethylene breakdown, phosphate solubilization, siderophore production etc. Microbial auxin production is the major factor not only responsible for strengthening the plant-microbe relationship but it also promotes plant growth and development in a positive manner. Thus, bacterial auxin production potential can be exploited for plant growth improvement that may be effective in reducing the hazardous effects of chemical fertilizers on the ecosystem used to obtain higher yields. The present review gives a better understanding of various factors and mechanisms involved in auxin production by PGPR that may be helpful in proper exploitation of these natural resources in a beneficial way.

  13. Interact to Survive: Phyllobacterium brassicacearum Improves Arabidopsis Tolerance to Severe Water Deficit and Growth Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Bresson, Justine; Vasseur, François; Dauzat, Myriam; Labadie, Marc; Varoquaux, Fabrice; Touraine, Bruno; Vile, Denis

    2014-01-01

    Mutualistic bacteria can alter plant phenotypes and confer new abilities to plants. Some plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are known to improve both plant growth and tolerance to multiple stresses, including drought, but reports on their effects on plant survival under severe water deficits are scarce. We investigated the effect of Phyllobacterium brassicacearum STM196 strain, a PGPR isolated from the rhizosphere of oilseed rape, on survival, growth and physiological responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to severe water deficits combining destructive and non-destructive high-throughput phenotyping. Soil inoculation with STM196 greatly increased the survival rate of A. thaliana under several scenarios of severe water deficit. Photosystem II efficiency, assessed at the whole-plant level by high-throughput fluorescence imaging (Fv/Fm), was related to the probability of survival and revealed that STM196 delayed plant mortality. Inoculated surviving plants tolerated more damages to the photosynthetic tissues through a delayed dehydration and a better tolerance to low water status. Importantly, STM196 allowed a better recovery of plant growth after rewatering and stressed plants reached a similar biomass at flowering than non-stressed plants. Our results highlight the importance of plant-bacteria interactions in plant responses to severe drought and provide a new avenue of investigations to improve drought tolerance in agriculture. PMID:25226036

  14. Towards a New Generation of Agricultural System Data, Models and Knowledge Products: Design and Improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antle, John M.; Basso, Bruno; Conant, Richard T.; Godfray, H. Charles J.; Jones, James W.; Herrero, Mario; Howitt, Richard E.; Keating, Brian A.; Munoz-Carpena, Rafael; Rosenzweig, Cynthia

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents ideas for a new generation of agricultural system models that could meet the needs of a growing community of end-users exemplified by a set of Use Cases. We envision new data, models and knowledge products that could accelerate the innovation process that is needed to achieve the goal of achieving sustainable local, regional and global food security. We identify desirable features for models, and describe some of the potential advances that we envisage for model components and their integration. We propose an implementation strategy that would link a "pre-competitive" space for model development to a "competitive space" for knowledge product development and through private-public partnerships for new data infrastructure. Specific model improvements would be based on further testing and evaluation of existing models, the development and testing of modular model components and integration, and linkages of model integration platforms to new data management and visualization tools.

  15. Agricultural biotechnology for crop improvement in a variable climate: hope or hype?

    PubMed

    Varshney, Rajeev K; Bansal, Kailash C; Aggarwal, Pramod K; Datta, Swapan K; Craufurd, Peter Q

    2011-07-01

    Developing crops that are better adapted to abiotic stresses is important for food production in many parts of the world today. Anticipated changes in climate and its variability, particularly extreme temperatures and changes in rainfall, are expected to make crop improvement even more crucial for food production. Here, we review two key biotechnology approaches, molecular breeding and genetic engineering, and their integration with conventional breeding to develop crops that are more tolerant of abiotic stresses. In addition to a multidisciplinary approach, we also examine some constraints that need to be overcome to realize the full potential of agricultural biotechnology for sustainable crop production to meet the demands of a projected world population of nine billion in 2050.

  16. Bioaugmentation with hydrolytic microbes to improve the anaerobic biodegradability of lignocellulosic agricultural residues.

    PubMed

    Tsapekos, P; Kougias, P G; Vasileiou, S A; Treu, L; Campanaro, S; Lyberatos, G; Angelidaki, I

    2017-03-12

    Bioaugmentation with hydrolytic microbes was applied to improve the methane yield of bioreactors fed with agricultural wastes. The efficiency of Clostridium thermocellum and Melioribacter roseus to degrade lignocellulosic matter was evaluated in batch and continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTRs). Results from batch assays showed that C. thermocellum enhanced the methane yield by 34%. A similar increase was recorded in CSTR during the bioaugmentation period; however, at steady-state the effect was noticeably lower (7.5%). In contrast, the bioaugmentation with M. roseus did not promote markedly the anaerobic biodegradability, as the methane yield was increased up to 10% in batch and no effect was shown in CSTR. High-throughput 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing was used to assess the effect of bioaugmentation strategies on bacterial and archaeal populations. The microbial analysis revealed that both strains were not markedly resided into biogas microbiome. Additionally, the applied strategies did not alter significantly the microbial communities.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Community-Supported Agriculture as a Dietary and Health Improvement Strategy: A Narrative Review.

    PubMed

    Vasquez, Angie; Sherwood, Nancy E; Larson, Nicole; Story, Mary

    2017-01-01

    This narrative review summarizes the literature regarding community-supported agriculture (CSA) with a focus on its use as a dietary and health improvement strategy. CSA members are typically women, white, highly educated, and affluent. The majority of members are motivated to participate in CSA by a concern for the environment and a desire for locally grown, high-quality, and organic produce. Numerous studies have provided evidence of the economic, community, environmental, and food quality related benefits of CSAs. A substantial body of literature has also explored the CSA member experience and has found that members are generally very satisfied, but membership turnover rates are often high. Research regarding the association between dietary intake and health is more limited and mostly descriptive in nature. CSA members often report increased consumption and variety of fruits and vegetables, changes in the household food environment, and changes in meal patterns. A small number of anecdotal reports also support the association between CSA participation and improved health status. However, there is a dearth of experimental research in this area, and results of these studies are mixed. Future research opportunities include longitudinal studies to evaluate repeat CSA participation and the long-term sustainability of CSA-related dietary and health changes. In addition, research is needed to address some of the methodologic limitations of the current research with regard to survey tools, generalizability of results, self-reporting bias, and CSA member support.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Understanding water deficit stress-induced changes in the basic metabolism of higher plants - biotechnologically and sustainably improving agriculture and the ecoenvironment in arid regions of the globe.

    PubMed

    Shao, Hong-Bo; Chu, Li-Ye; Jaleel, C Abdul; Manivannan, P; Panneerselvam, R; Shao, Ming-An

    2009-01-01

    Water is vital for plant growth, development and productivity. Permanent or temporary water deficit stress limits the growth and distribution of natural and artificial vegetation and the performance of cultivated plants (crops) more than any other environmental factor. Productive and sustainable agriculture necessitates growing plants (crops) in arid and semiarid regions with less input of precious resources such as fresh water. For a better understanding and rapid improvement of soil-water stress tolerance in these regions, especially in the water-wind eroded crossing region, it is very important to link physiological and biochemical studies to molecular work in genetically tractable model plants and important native plants, and further extending them to practical ecological restoration and efficient crop production. Although basic studies and practices aimed at improving soil water stress resistance and plant water use efficiency have been carried out for many years, the mechanisms involved at different scales are still not clear. Further understanding and manipulating soil-plant water relationships and soil-water stress tolerance at the scales of ecology, physiology and molecular biology can significantly improve plant productivity and environmental quality. Currently, post-genomics and metabolomics are very important in exploring anti-drought gene resources in various life forms, but modern agriculturally sustainable development must be combined with plant physiological measures in the field, on the basis of which post-genomics and metabolomics have further practical prospects. In this review, we discuss physiological and molecular insights and effects in basic plant metabolism, drought tolerance strategies under drought conditions in higher plants for sustainable agriculture and ecoenvironments in arid and semiarid areas of the world. We conclude that biological measures are the bases for the solutions to the issues relating to the different types of

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Response of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) to salinity in the early growth stages for agricultural cultivation in saline environments.

    PubMed

    Akinci, Sermin; Yilmaz, Kadir; Akinci, Irfan Ersin

    2004-07-01

    Salinity is a serious environmental problem. Growing of plants like tomato can be solution for coping with soil salinity. For this purpose, response of tomato to salinity has been tested in the early growth stages. Characteristics of germination (percentage and period; length and fresh-dry weight of radicle and hypcotyl) and seedling (length and fresh-dry weight of root, shoot and whole plant; leaf number and area based on Relative Growth Rate); Na+ and K+ content of leaf; K+/Na+ rate of leaf has been studied at the 0, 50, 100 and 150 mM NaCl levels. Thus, it determined that tomato can be indicator for agricultural cultivation at the salinity environments at the early growth stages.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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

    2015-06-09

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Municipal biosolid applications: Improving ecosystem services across urban, agricultural, and wildlife interfaces in Austin, Texas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our project encompasses emerging contaminants, ecosystem services, and urban-agriculture-wildlife interfaces. This seminal research collaboration between USDA-ARS Grassland, Soil, and Water Research Laboratory, The City of Austin Water Utility, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Environmental Contaminant...

  1. 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

    ... Agricultural and Urban Water Management Plans AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. ACTION: Notice of... Urban Water Management Plans. In the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section, the Web site in which to...

  2. 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

  3. Plant protection and growth stimulation by microorganisms: biotechnological applications of Bacilli in agriculture.

    PubMed

    Pérez-García, Alejandro; Romero, Diego; de Vicente, Antonio

    2011-04-01

    The increasing demand for a steady, healthy food supply requires an efficient control of the major pests and plant diseases. Current management practices are based largely on the application of synthetic pesticides. The excessive use of agrochemicals has caused serious environmental and health problems. Therefore, there is a growing demand for new and safer methods to replace or at least supplement the existing control strategies. Biological control, that is, the use of natural antagonists to combat pests or plant diseases has emerged as a promising alternative to chemical pesticides. The Bacilli offer a number of advantages for their application in agricultural biotechnology. Several Bacillus-based products have been marketed as microbial pesticides, fungicides or fertilisers. Bacillus-based biopesticides are widely used in conventional agriculture, by contrast, implementation of Bacillus-based biofungicides and biofertilizers is still a pending issue.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. Data and analysis procedures for improved aerial applications mission performance. [agricultural aircraft wing geometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holmes, B. J.; Morris, D. K.; Razak, K.

    1979-01-01

    An analysis procedure is given and cases analyzed for the effects of wing geometry on lateral transport of a variety of agricultural particles released in the wake of an agricultural airplane. The cases analyzed simulate the release of particles from a fuselage centerline-mounted dry material spreader; however, the procedure applies to particles released anywhere along the wing span. Consideration is given to the effects of taper ratio, aspect ratio, wing loading, and deflected flaps. It is noted that significant lateral transport of large particles can be achieved using high-lift devices positioned to create a strong vortex near the location of particle release.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Amanullah; Iqbal, Asif; Irfanullah; Hidayat, Zeeshan

    2016-10-03

    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.

  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. 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.

  15. Innovative best management practices for improving nutrient reductions in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As the burgeoning human population increases pressures on agriculture for increasing yields, the concomitant strain on the aquatic environment downstream is elevated through non-point source pollution. Traditional management practices of conservation tillage, terracing, and cover crops are good prac...

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

    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 directly

  17. 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

  18. Analysis of nitrification in agricultural soil and improvement of nitrogen circulation with autotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria.

    PubMed

    Matsuno, Toshihide; Horii, Sachie; Sato, Takanobu; Matsumiya, Yoshiki; Kubo, Motoki

    2013-02-01

    Accumulations of inorganic nitrogen (NH₄⁺, NO₂⁻, and NO₃⁻) were analyzed to evaluate the nitrogen circulation activity in 76 agricultural soils. Accumulation of NH₄⁺ was observed, and the reaction of NH₄⁺→ NO₂⁻ appeared to be slower than that of NO₂⁻ → NO₃⁻ in agricultural soil. Two autotrophic and five heterotrophic ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) were isolated and identified from the soils, and the ammonia-oxidizing activities of the autotrophic AOB were 1.0 × 10³-1.0 × 10⁶ times higher than those of heterotrophic AOB. The relationship between AOB number, soil bacterial number, and ammonia-oxidizing activity was investigated with 30 agricultural soils. The ratio of autotrophic AOB number was 0.00032-0.26% of the total soil bacterial number. The soil samples rich in autotrophic AOB (>1.0 × 10⁴ cells/g soil) had a high nitrogen circulation activity, and additionally, the nitrogen circulation in the agricultural soil was improved by controlling the autotrophic AOBs.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-08

    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.

  2. Protected areas and agricultural expansion: Biodiversity conservation versus economic growth in the Southeast of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Moraes, Mayra Cristina Prado de; Mello, Kaline de; Toppa, Rogério Hartung

    2017-03-01

    The conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural land and urban areas plays a threat to the protected areas and the natural ecosystems conservation. The aim of this paper is to provide an analysis of the agricultural expansion and its impact on the landscape spatial and temporal patterns in a buffer zone of a protected area located in the transition zone between the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The land use and land cover were mapped between 1971 and 2008 and landscape metrics were calculated to provide a spatiotemporal analysis of the forest structure and the expansion of the croplands. The results showed that the landscape patterns were affected by the economic cycles. The predominant crop surrounding the protected area is sugar cane, which increased by 39% during this period, followed by citrus. This landscape change is connected to the Brazilian oil crisis in 1973. The rapid expansion of sugar cane was largely driven by Brazil's biofuel program, the "Proálcool" (pro-alcohol), a project in 1975 that mixed ethanol with gas for automotive fuel. The forest loss occurred mainly between 1971 and 1988, decreasing the forest cover from 17% in 1971 to 12.7% in 2008. Most of the forest patches are smaller than 50 ha and has low connectivity. Throughout the years, the fragments in the buffer zone have become smaller and with an elongated shape, and the park has become isolated. This forest fragmentation process and the predominance of monoculture lands in the buffer zone threaten the protected areas, and can represent a barrier for these areas to provide the effective biodiversity conservation. The measures proposed are necessary to ensure the capability of this ecosystem to sustain its original biodiversity.

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. Human health impacts of antibiotic use in agriculture: A push for improved causal inference.

    PubMed

    Singer, Randall S; Williams-Nguyen, Jessica

    2014-06-01

    Resistant bacterial infections in humans continue to pose a significant challenge globally. Antibiotic use in agriculture contributes to this problem, but failing to appreciate the relative importance of diverse potential causes represents a significant barrier to effective intervention. Standard epidemiologic methods alone are often insufficient to accurately describe the relationships between agricultural antibiotic use and resistance. The integration of diverse methodologies from multiple disciplines will be essential, including causal network modeling and population dynamics approaches. Because intuition can be a poor guide in directing investigative efforts of these non-linear and interconnected systems, integration of modeling efforts with empirical epidemiology and microbiology in an iterative process may result in more valuable information than either in isolation.

  7. Implementing a community-based social marketing project to improve agricultural worker health.

    PubMed

    Flocks, J; Clarke, L; Albrecht, S; Bryant, C; Monaghan, P; Baker, H

    2001-06-01

    The Together for Agricultural Safety project is a community-based social marketing project working to reduce the adverse health effects of pesticide exposure among fernery and nursery workers in Florida. In 3 years, the collaboration between university and community researchers has embodied many of the principles of community-based research while completing multiple stages of formative data collection required for a social marketing project. This hybrid approach to developing a health intervention for a minority community has been successful in its early stages because the community partners are organized, empowered, and motivated to execute research activities with the assistance of academic partners. However, this work has also been labor intensive and costly. This article describes the lessons learned by project partners and considers the limitations of this approach for agricultural health research.

  8. Implementing a community-based social marketing project to improve agricultural worker health.

    PubMed Central

    Flocks, J; Clarke, L; Albrecht, S; Bryant, C; Monaghan, P; Baker, H

    2001-01-01

    The Together for Agricultural Safety project is a community-based social marketing project working to reduce the adverse health effects of pesticide exposure among fernery and nursery workers in Florida. In 3 years, the collaboration between university and community researchers has embodied many of the principles of community-based research while completing multiple stages of formative data collection required for a social marketing project. This hybrid approach to developing a health intervention for a minority community has been successful in its early stages because the community partners are organized, empowered, and motivated to execute research activities with the assistance of academic partners. However, this work has also been labor intensive and costly. This article describes the lessons learned by project partners and considers the limitations of this approach for agricultural health research. PMID:11427397

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Aneuploidy and improved growth are coincident but not causal in a yeast cancer model.

    PubMed

    Li, Xin Chenglin; Schimenti, John C; Tye, Bik K

    2009-07-01

    Cancer cells have acquired mutations that alter their growth. Aneuploidy that typify cancer cells are often assumed to contribute to the abnormal growth characteristics. Here we test the idea of a link between aneuploidy and mutations allowing improved growth, using Saccharomyces cerevisiae containing a mcm4 helicase allele that was shown to cause cancer in mice. Yeast bearing this mcm4 allele are prone to undergoing a "hypermutable phase" characterized by a changing karyotype, ultimately yielding progeny with improved growth properties. When such progeny are returned to a normal karyotype by mating, their improved growth remains. Genetic analysis shows their improved growth is due to mutations in just a few loci. In sum, the effects of the mcm4 allele in mice are recapitulated in yeast, and the aneuploidy is not required to maintain improved growth.

  15. 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.

  16. The use of neutron radiography in agriculture to improve the food quality.

    PubMed

    de Jesus, Selma P; Crispim, Verginia R; Brandão, Luís E B

    2002-11-01

    The report presented in the 7th ONU's Conference (USA, 2001) about climatic changes that took place at the end of 2001 informs that, in less than 50 years, more than 45% of the world population will be suffering from lack of water. This fact occurs by the absence of management on water resources, mainly, in agriculture. As the excess as the lack of humidity in soil can change the harvest quality, causing physiologic anomalies in food and promoting soil diseases incidence caused by bacteria and fungus. In order to establish a larger control in the food quality, a study has been performed, through the neutron radiographic technique, that proposes the optimization of agricultural harvests in relation to the minimum quantity of water necessary for the plant to develop and, also, of the soil compactness. Thus, neutron radiographic images of the system root-soil can be produced so that each root will be evaluated for its ability to penetrate in the soil layers, having the advantage of not interfering in this system what it is not possible through the usual techniques yet. The initial tests using bean roots showed that the soil thickness, which involved the roots, resulted in low contrast images, what impeded their visualization with enough clearness so that their grow could not be observed. For this reason, it was opted to the gadolinium as a contrast agent so that we have been studying its transport through the roots.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Growth Versus Government Management Improvement During Economic Downturn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    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.

  1. Growth versus government management improvement during economic downturn.

    PubMed

    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 is proportional to GCI(α). 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.

  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

    DOEpatents

    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. Improved bacterial growth test for rapid water toxicity screening

    SciTech Connect

    Slabbert, J.L.

    1986-10-01

    Bacteria have several attributes which make them attractive as test organisms for the rapid screening of chemical pollution in natural waters. They have relatively short life cycles and, therefore, respond rapidly to environmental change. The degree of toxicity of chemicals to bacteria is normally established by measuring viability or growth. A very sensitive test has been described measuring cell multiplication inhibition of Pseudomonas putida, results being obtained after a 16 h incubation period. Because of their short generation time it is possible, however, that bacteria are capable of manifesting measurable growth within a shorter incubation period. In the present study P. putida was cultured under modified test conditions aiming at an equally sensitive but more rapid growth test. Subsequent to initial tests, using different growth media, a toxicity test procedure was developed which uses a medium with low complexing capacity, a standardized inoculum and a 6 h incubation period.

  5. 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

  6. Nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural landscapes: quantification tools, policy development, and opportunities for improved management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonitto, C.; Gurwick, N. P.

    2012-12-01

    Policy initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) have promoted the development of agricultural management protocols to increase SOC storage and reduce GHG emissions. We review approaches for quantifying N2O flux from agricultural landscapes. We summarize the temporal and spatial extent of observations across representative soil classes, climate zones, cropping systems, and management scenarios. We review applications of simulation and empirical modeling approaches and compare validation outcomes across modeling tools. Subsequently, we review current model application in agricultural management protocols. In particular, we compare approaches adapted for compliance with the California Global Warming Solutions Act, the Alberta Climate Change and Emissions Management Act, and by the American Carbon Registry. In the absence of regional data to drive model development, policies that require GHG quantification often use simple empirical models based on highly aggregated data of N2O flux as a function of applied N - Tier 1 models according to IPCC categorization. As participants in development of protocols that could be used in carbon offset markets, we observed that stakeholders outside of the biogeochemistry community favored outcomes from simulation modeling (Tier 3) rather than empirical modeling (Tier 2). In contrast, scientific advisors were more accepting of outcomes based on statistical approaches that rely on local observations, and their views sometimes swayed policy practitioners over the course of policy development. Both Tier 2 and Tier 3 approaches have been implemented in current policy development, and it is important that the strengths and limitations of both approaches, in the face of available data, be well-understood by those drafting and adopting policies and protocols. The reliability of all models is contingent on sufficient observations for model development and validation. Simulation models applied without site-calibration generally

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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)

  12. Application of agricultural biotechnology to improve food nutrition and healthcare products.

    PubMed

    Sun, Samuel S M

    2008-01-01

    Crop plants provide essential food nutrients to humans and livestock, including carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, minerals and vitamins, directly or indirectly. The level and composition of food nutrients vary significantly in different food crops. As a result, plant foods are often deficient in certain nutrient components. Relying on a single food crop as source of nutrients thus will not achieve a balanced diet and results in malnutrition and deficiency diseases, especially in the developing countries, due mainly to poverty. The development and application of biotechnology offers opportunities and novel possibilities to enhance the nutritional quality of crops, particularly when the necessary genetic variability is not available. While initial emphasis of agricultural biotechnology has been placed on input traits of crops such as herbicide tolerance, insect resistance and virus resistance, increasing effort and promising proof-of-concept products have been made in output traits including enhancing the nutritional quality of crops since 1990s. Advancements in plant transformation and transgene expression also allow the use of plants as bioreactors to produce a variety of bio-products at large scale and low cost. Many proof-of-concept plant-derived healthcare products have been generated and several commercialized.

  13. 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

  14. Improving Student Work Linked with Professional Growth: What Synergism!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Firlik, Russ

    This paper describes the establishment of a professional growth and evaluation system in Connecticut's New Canaan Public Schools. The effort included various significant opportunities for teachers to assess themselves and guide their own professional thinking and action. These opportunities resulted in richer feedback to teachers about their…

  15. Can We Improve Catfish Growth and FCR Through Oxygen Management?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Studies were conducted in 15 1-acre and six ¼-acre ponds over several years to determine the effect of low dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration on food conversion ratio (FCR), food consumption, growth, and net production of channel catfish. Control ponds in each study were maintained with a minimum D...

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Association of in utero organophosphate pesticide exposure and fetal growth and length of gestation in an agricultural population.

    PubMed

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

    2004-07-01

    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 [beta(adjusted) = -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 (beta(adjusted) = 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Effect of linear alkylbenzene sulfonates on the growth of aerobic heterotrophic cultivable bacteria isolated from an agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Peinado, María del Mar; González-López, Jesús; Rodelas, Belén; Galera, Vanesa; Pozo, Clementina; Martínez-Toledo, María Victoria

    2008-08-01

    An enrichment culture technique was used to isolate soil bacteria capable of growing in the presence of two different concentrations of linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LAS) (10 and 500 microg ml(-1)). Nine bacterial strains, representatives of the major colony types of aerobic heterotrophic cultivable bacteria in the enriched samples, were isolated and subsequently identified by PCR-amplification and partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Amongst the isolates, strains LAS05 (Pseudomonas syringae), LAS06 (Staphylococcus epidermidis), LAS07 (Delftia tsuruhatensis), LAS08 (Staphylococcus epidermidis) and LAS09 (Enterobacter aerogenes), were able to grow in pure culture in dialysed soil media amended with LAS (50 microg ml(-1)). The three Gram-negative strains grew to higher cell numbers in the presence of 50 microg ml(-1) of LAS, compared to LAS-unamended dialysed soil medium, and were selected for further testing of their ability to use LAS as carbon source. However, HPLC analysis of culture supernatants showed that the three strains can tolerate but not degrade LAS when grown in pure cultures. A higher concentration of soluble phosphates was recorded in dialysed soil media amended with LAS (50 microg ml(-1)) compared to unamended control media, suggesting an effect of the surfactant that enhanced the bioavailability of P from soil. The presence of LAS at a concentration of 50 microg ml(-1) had an important impact on growth of selected aerobic heterotrophic soil bacteria, a deleterious effect which may be relevant for the normal function and evolution of agricultural soil.

  3. Growth charts only marginally improved maternal learning from nutrition education and growth monitoring in Lesotho.

    PubMed

    Ruel, M T; Habicht, J P

    1992-09-01

    A study done in Lesotho in 1985-1986 assessed whether growth charts increased the impact of nutrition education and growth monitoring on maternal learning about weaning practices and diarrhea. Seven hundred and seventy six mothers were given three monthly sessions of group nutrition education along with growth monitoring of children and individual counseling. Growth charts, which were taught to one of two groups, fostered learning but only on issues related to diarrhea and only among new clinic attendants, mothers with less than secondary schooling and mothers of malnourished children. These benefits, however, were small (differences less than 10%) compared with the overall impact of the nutrition education and growth monitoring intervention (increases between baseline and post-intervention were greater than 50% for some questions). Our findings suggest that well-designed clinic-based nutrition education and growth monitoring can have a significant impact on maternal nutrition knowledge. Teaching growth charts to mothers may not be necessary for obtaining such results in programs conducted under ideal conditions. More research is needed to determine under what circumstances, for what purposes and for whom growth charts may be beneficial.

  4. Ventilation Homogeneity Improves with Growth Early in Life

    PubMed Central

    Chakr, Valentina C.; Llapur, Conrado J.; Sarria, Edgar E.; Mattiello, Rita; Kisling, Jeffrey; Tiller, Christina; Kimmel, Risa; Poindexter, Brenda; Tepper, Robert S.

    2011-01-01

    Some studies have suggested that lung clearance index (LCI) is age-independent among healthy subjects early in life, which implies that ventilation distribution does not vary with growth. However, other studies of older children and adolescents suggest that ventilation becomes more homogenous with somatic growth. We describe a new technique to obtain multiple breath washout (MBWO) in sedated infants and toddlers using slow augmented inflation breaths that yields an assessment of LCI and the slope of phase III, which is another index of ventilation inhomogeneity. We evaluated whether ventilation becomes more homogenous with increasing age early in life, and whether infants with chronic lung disease of infancy (CLDI) have increased ventilation inhomogeneity relative to full term controls. Fullterm controls (N = 28) and CLDI (N = 22) subjects between 3 and 28 months corrected-age were evaluated. LCI decreased with increasing age; however, there was no significant difference between the two groups (9.3 vs. 9.5; p = 0.56). Phase III slopes adjusted for expired volume (SND) increased with increasing breath number during the washout and decreased with increasing age. There was no significant difference in SND between fullterm and CLDI subjects (211 vs. 218; P = 0.77). Our findings indicate that ventilation becomes more homogenous with lung growth and maturation early in life; however, there is no evidence that ventilation inhomogeneity is a significant component of the pulmonary pathophysiology of CLDI. PMID:21901860

  5. Improved growth of toddlers fed a milk containing synbiotics.

    PubMed

    Firmansyah, Agus; Dwipoerwantoro, Pramita G; Kadim, Muzal; Alatas, Safira; Conus, Nelly; Lestarina, Leilani; Bouisset, Florilene; Steenhout, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    Bifidobacterium longum (BL999), Lactobacillus rhamonosus (LPR), prebiotics (inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides), and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) are believed to have health benefits. In a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial we compared growth and development of toddlers fed milk containing synbiotics (BL999, LPR, and prebiotics) and LCPUFA or a control milk. Three hundred and ninety three healthy, 12 month-old toddlers were fed approximately 400 mL/day for 12 months. Anthropometric measurements were taken at 12, 14, and 16 months. Toddlers' response to measles and hepatitis A vaccine was measured at 16 months, and Bayley scale for motor, cognitive, and behavioral functions made at 24 months. The primary outcome was weight gain between 12 and 16 months. Secondary outcomes were gain in length, head circumference, and body mass index, gastrointestinal tolerance (stool characteristics), stool bacterial counts, safety, anti-vaccine IgG, and neurodevelopment. Weight gain was greater in the synbiotics group (mean±SD, 7.57±4.13 g/day) compared with the control group (6.64±4.08 g/day). The difference of 0.93 g/day (with a 95% confidence interval of 0.12 to 1.75) is significant (p=0.025). The gain in the synbiotics group resulted in a change in z-score weight-for-age closer to WHO Child Growth Standard. There was a significant increase in lactobacilli and enterococci counts between 12 months and 16 months in the synbiotic group. We conclude that in healthy toddlers milk containing synbiotics and LCPUFA provides better growth and promotes favorable gut colonization, as shown by higher Lactobacillus counts.

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Capacity-Building Stewardship Model: Assessment of an agricultural network as a mechanism for improving regional agroecosystem sustainability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Working lands have potential to meet agricultural production targets while serving as reservoirs of biological diversity and as sources of ecological services. Yet agricultural policy creates disincentives for this integration of conservation and production goals. While necessary, the development of...

  11. College Reading Improvement Programs: An Issue of Growth.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Ronald B.

    College Reading Improvement Programs (CRIPs) have become increasingly significant in higher education because there is an increased need for the services they provide in colleges and universities. The first such program appeared in 1915. From 1956 to the present, research has documented a marked increase in the number of CRIPs. In examining the…

  12. An improved K-means clustering algorithm in agricultural image segmentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Huifeng; Peng, Hui; Liu, Shanmei

    Image segmentation is the first important step to image analysis and image processing. In this paper, according to color crops image characteristics, we firstly transform the color space of image from RGB to HIS, and then select proper initial clustering center and cluster number in application of mean-variance approach and rough set theory followed by clustering calculation in such a way as to automatically segment color component rapidly and extract target objects from background accurately, which provides a reliable basis for identification, analysis, follow-up calculation and process of crops images. Experimental results demonstrate that improved k-means clustering algorithm is able to reduce the computation amounts and enhance precision and accuracy of clustering.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Improving the growth of Rubrivivax gelatinosus cultivated in sewage environment.

    PubMed

    Wu, Pan; Li, Jian-zheng; Wang, Yan-ling; Tong, Qing-yue; Liu, Xian-shu; Du, Cong; Li, Ning

    2015-01-01

    Rubrivivax gelatinosus cultivated in wastewater environment can combine the biomass resource recycling for generating chemicals with sewage purification. However, low biomass accumulation restricts the exertion of this advantage. Thus, this paper investigated Fe(3+) advancement for biomass production in starch wastewater under light-anaerobic condition. Results showed that addition of Fe(3+) was successful in enhancing biomass production, which certainly improved the feasibility of biomass recycling in R. gelatinosus starch wastewater treatment. With optimal Fe(3+) dosage (20 mg/L), biomass production reached 4,060 mg/L, which was 1.63 times that of control group. Amylase activity was improved by 48 %. Both COD removal and starch removal reached 90 %. Hydraulic retention time was shortened by 25 %. Proper Fe(3+) dosage enhanced biomass production, but excess Fe(3+) was harmful for biomass accumulation.

  17. 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

  18. Vocational Agriculture Handbook for Agriculture Cooperative Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Texas A and M Univ., College Station. Vocational Instructional Services.

    This handbook was designed to assist school administrators, vocational administrators, vocational agricultural teachers, and area consultants of vocational agriculture in developing, implementing, and improving an agricultural cooperative training program (especially in Texas). The handbook, which presents information in a narrative format,…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Polyaspartate, a biodegradable chelant that improves the phytoremediation potential of poplar in a highly metal-contaminated agricultural soil.

    PubMed

    Lingua, Guido; Todeschini, Valeria; Grimaldi, Michele; Baldantoni, Daniela; Proto, Antonio; Cicatelli, Angela; Biondi, Stefania; Torrigiani, Patrizia; Castiglione, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    Phytoremediation is a cost-effective and environment friendly in situ technique for the reclamation of heavy metal-polluted soils. The efficacy of this technique, which relies on tolerant plant species, can be improved by the use of chelating agents. A pot experiment was carried out to evaluate the phytoextraction and phytostabilisation capacities of a white poplar (Populus alba L.) clone named AL35 previously selected for its marked tolerance to copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn). Cuttings were grown on agricultural soil highly contaminated with Cu and Zn, in the presence or not (controls) of a chelant mixture (EDTA/EDDS) known to enhance metal bioavailability and, hence, uptake by plant roots, or the not yet investigated synthetic, highly biodegradable polyaspartic acid (PASP). Both chelant treatments improved the phytostabilisation of Cu and Zn in AL35 plants, whilst the phytoextraction capacity was enhanced only in the case of Cu. Considering that the effectiveness of PASP as phytostabilizer was comparable or better than that of EDTA/EDDS, the low cost of its large-scale chemical synthesis and its biodegradability makes it a good candidate for chelant-enhanced metal phytoextraction from soil while avoiding the toxic side-effects previously described for both EDTA and EDDS.

  7. Analysis of copper tolerant rhizobacteria from the industrial belt of Gujarat, western India for plant growth promotion in metal polluted agriculture soils.

    PubMed

    Sharaff, Murali; Kamat, Shalmali; Archana, G

    2017-04-01

    Agricultural sites irrigated for long term with water polluted by industrial effluents containing heavy metals might adversely affect the soil microbial communities and crop yield. Hence it is important to study rhizobacterial communities and their metal tolerance in such affected agricultural fields to restore soil fertility and ecosystem. Present work deals with the study of rhizobacterial communities from plants grown in copper (Cu) contaminated agricultural fields along the industrial zone of Gujarat, India and are compared with communities from a Cu mine site. Microbial communities from rhizosphere soil samples varied in the magnitude of their Cu tolerance index indicating differences in long term pollution effects. Culture dependent denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (CD-DGGE) of bacterial communities revealed the diverse composition at the sampling sites and a reduced total diversity due to Cu toxicity. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene diversity of Cu tolerant rhizobacteria revealed the predominance of Enterobacter spp. and Pseudomonas spp. under Cu stress conditions. Cu tolerant bacterial isolates that were able to promote growth of mung bean plants in vitro under Cu stress were obtained from these samples. Cu tolerant rhizobacterium P36 identified as Enterobacter sp. exhibited multiple plant growth promoting traits and significantly alleviated Cu toxicity to mung bean plants by reducing the accumulation of Cu in plant roots and promoted the plant growth in CuSO4 amended soils.

  8. Improved thermodynamic analysis of gas reactions for compound semiconductor growth by vapor-phase epitaxy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inatomi, Yuya; Kangawa, Yoshihiro; Kakimoto, Koichi; Koukitu, Akinori

    2017-03-01

    An improved thermodynamic analysis method for vapor-phase epitaxy is proposed. In the conventional method, the mass-balance constraint equations are expressed in terms of variations in partial pressure. Although the conventional method is appropriate for gas–solid reactions occurring near the growth surface, it is not suitable for gas reactions that involve changes in the number of gas molecules. We reconsider the constraint equations in order to predict the effect of gas reactions on semiconductor growth processes. To demonstrate the feasibility of the improved method, the growth process of group-III nitrides by metalorganic vapor-phase epitaxy has been investigated.

  9. 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

  10. Enhanced nutrition improves growth and increases blood adiponectin concentrations in very low birth weight infants

    PubMed Central

    Blakstad, Elin W.; Moltu, Sissel J.; Nakstad, Britt; Veierød, Marit B.; Strømmen, Kenneth; Júlíusson, Pétur B.; Almaas, Astrid N.; Rønnestad, Arild E.; Brække, Kristin; Drevon, Christian A.; Iversen, Per O.

    2016-01-01

    Background Adequate nutrient supply is essential for optimal postnatal growth in very low birth weight (VLBW, birth weight<1,500 g) infants. Early growth may influence the risk of metabolic syndrome later in life. Objective To evaluate growth and blood metabolic markers (adiponectin, leptin, and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)) in VLBW infants participating in a randomized nutritional intervention study. Design Fifty VLBW infants were randomized to an enhanced nutrient supply or a standard nutrient supply. Thirty-seven infants were evaluated with growth measurements until 2 years corrected age (CA). Metabolic markers were measured at birth and 5 months CA. Results Weight gain and head growth were different in the two groups from birth to 2 years CA (weight gain: pinteraction=0.006; head growth: pinteraction=0.002). The intervention group improved their growth z-scores after birth, whereas the control group had a pronounced decline, followed by an increase and caught up with the intervention group after discharge. At 5 months CA, adiponectin concentrations were higher in the intervention group and correlated with weight gain before term (r=0.35) and nutrient supply (0.35≤r≤0.45). Leptin concentrations correlated with weight gain after term and IGF-1 concentrations with length growth before and after term and head growth after term (0.36≤r≤0.53). Conclusion Enhanced nutrient supply improved early postnatal growth and may have prevented rapid catch-up growth later in infancy. Adiponectin concentration at 5 months CA was higher in the intervention group and correlated positively with early weight gain and nutrient supply. Early nutrition and growth may affect metabolic markers in infancy. Clinical Trial Registration (ClinicalTrials.gov) no.: NCT01103219 PMID:27914187

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Employing native shrubs to improve agricultural potential of arid lands: Drawing on plants to draw water (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dragila, M. I.; Kizito, F.; Dick, R.

    2009-12-01

    Even though soil moisture poses limits on landscape dynamics, plant communities within the landscape can also regulate the spatial distribution of moisture, thus creating a biofeedback system that advances the system towards a specific landscape order. This behavior is evident in arid climates where specific parameters, such as soil moisture, are close to sustainability limits and result in a distinct spatial distribution of plant communities. Understanding plant-soil water relationships can lead to management tools to improve landscape function. Plant-soil interactions that influence soil moisture include, local changes in soil texture when plants trap airborne soil particles, increases in organic matter content below their foliage, and root distribution. We specifically focus on a process commonly referred to as hydraulic redistribution wherein plant roots draw moisture vertically to the near surface, raising the potential for seed germination and maintenance through short drought periods. Two fieldwork sites in Senegal were used to investigate the role of native shrubs in controlling soil moisture movement, and in particular, using these native plants to enhance agricultural potential.

  14. Teaching Transformational Leadership to Undergraduate Agricultural Leadership Students: Using the Personality Trait of Agreeableness to Improve Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamm, Kevan W.; Carter, Hannah S.; Stedman, Nicole L. P.; Lamm, Alexa J.

    2014-01-01

    Training undergraduate agricultural students to be strong, positive leaders will have a large impact on the industries they work within and therefore should be of utmost importance to agricultural educators. Transformational leaders (TL) tend to have higher performing, more satisfied teams; consequently, development of TL characteristics should…

  15. School Meal Programs: Sharing Information on Best Practices May Improve Programs' Operations. Report to the Secretary of Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Resources, Community, and Economic Development Div.

    At the request of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, this investigation identified state and local school food authorities' (SFA) management and operating practices recognized as best practice by the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) or other officials. In addition, the study determined whether some of these practices could be…

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. In situ earthworm breeding in orchards significantly improves the growth, quality and yield of papaya (Carica papaya L.)

    PubMed Central

    Xiang, Huimin; Guo, Lei; Zhao, Benliang

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the effects of four fertilizer applications—control (C), chemical fertilizer (F), compost (O), and in situ earthworm breeding (E)—on the growth, quality and yield of papaya (Carica papaya L.). In this study, 5 g plant−1 urea (CH4N2O, %N = 46.3%) and 100 g plant−1 microelement fertilizer was applied to each treatment. The fertilizer applications of these four treatments are different from each other. The results showed that the E treatment had the highest growth parameters over the whole growth period. At 127 days after transplantation, the order of plant heights from greatest to smallest was E > F > O > C, and the stem diameters were E > F > O > C, with significant differences between all treatments. Soluble-solid, sugar, vitamin C, and protein content significantly increased in the E treatment. In addition, the total acid and the electrical conductivity of the fruit significantly decreased in the E treatment. Fruit firmness clearly increased in the O treatment, and decreased in the F treatment. The fresh individual fruit weights, fruit numbers, and total yields were greatly improved in the F and E treatments, and the total yield of the E treatment was higher than that in the F treatment. In conclusion, the in situ earthworm breeding treatment performed better than conventional compost and chemical fertilizer treatments. Furthermore, in situ earthworm breeding may be a potential organic fertilizer application in orchards because it not only improves the fruit quality and yield but also reduces the amount of organic wastes from agriculture as a result of the activities of earthworms. PMID:27994969

  19. 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.

  20. GH improves growth and clinical status in children with cystic fibrosis -- a review of published studies.

    PubMed

    Hardin, Dana S

    2004-08-01

    Children with cystic fibrosis (CF) have problems with poor linear growth and inadequate weight gain. Nutritional augmentation has been the mainstay of therapy for improving both weight and height in CF; however, inadequate growth continues to be a problem. Furthermore, protein catabolism has been documented even in non-acutely ill adults and children with CF, and could adversely affect longitudinal growth. Human recombinant GH has positive effects on nitrogen balance, and multiple studies have demonstrated improved height and weight in children treated with GH. The purpose of this article is to summarize studies evaluating GH use in children with CF. All published studies of GH use in children with CF have demonstrated significant improvement in height velocity and height Z score. All studies but one, in which subjects were treated only three times per week with GH, have demonstrated improvement in weight as reported by weight velocity and/or weight Z score, and one trial has demonstrated a substantial improvement when GH was used to augment nutritional therapy. Several reports suggest that GH treatment results in improved forced vital capacity, and multiple studies have found improved clinical status as measured by decreased hospitalizations and courses of intravenous antibiotics. Furthermore studies to date also suggest that GH results in improvement in exercise tolerance and bone accumulation. To date significant side effects, including glucose intolerance, have not been reported. Thus mounting evidence suggests that human recombinant GH provides safe and effective therapy in children with CF.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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…

  4. 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.…

  5. Unsaturated fatty acids from food and in the growth medium improve growth of Bacillus cereus under cold and anaerobic conditions.

    PubMed

    de Sarrau, Benoît; Clavel, Thierry; Zwickel, Nicolas; Despres, Jordane; Dupont, Sébastien; Beney, Laurent; Tourdot-Maréchal, Raphaëlle; Nguyen-The, Christophe

    2013-12-01

    In a chemically defined medium and in Luria broth, cold strongly reduced maximal population density of Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 in anaerobiosis and caused formation of filaments. In cooked spinach, maximal population density of B. cereus in anaerobiosis was the same at cold and optimal temperatures, with normal cell divisions. The lipid containing fraction of spinach, but not the hydrophilic fraction, restored growth of B. cereus under cold and anaerobiosis when added to the chemically defined medium. This fraction was rich in unsaturated, low melting point fatty acids. Addition of phosphatidylcholine containing unsaturated, low melting point, fatty acids similarly improved B. cereus anaerobic growth at cold temperature. Addition of hydrogenated phosphatidylcholine containing saturated, high melting point, fatty acids did not modify growth. Fatty acids from phospholipids, from spinach and from hydrogenated phosphatidylcholine, although normally very rare in B. cereus, were inserted in the bacterium membrane. Addition of phospholipids rich in unsaturated fatty acids to cold and anaerobic cultures, increased fluidity of B. cereus membrane lipids, to the same level as those from B. cereus normally cold adapted, i.e. grown aerobically at 15 °C. B. cereus is therefore able to use external fatty acids from foods or from the growth medium to adapt its membrane to cold temperature under anaerobiosis, and to recover the maximal population density achieved at optimal temperature.

  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. Partial and total fish meal replacement by agricultural products in the diets improve sperm quality in African catfish (Clarias gariepinus).

    PubMed

    Nyina-Wamwiza, L; Milla, S; Pierrard, M-A; Rurangwa, E; Mandiki, S N M; Van Look, K J W; Kestemont, P

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the long-term effects of total and partial replacement of dietary fish meal (FM) by a mixture of agricultural products on sperm quality of African catfish Clarias gariepinus. Four isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets were formulated containing graded levels of either 50% FM and maize meal (diet 1); 25% FM mixed with crude sunflower oil cake (SFOC) and bean meal (BM) (diet 2); 12.5% FM mixed with sunflower oil cake, BM and ground nut oil cake (GOC) (diet 3) and 0% FM mixed with de-hulled sunflower oil cake (SFOCD), BM and ground nut oil cake (diet 4). Gonadosomatic index (GSI), sperm quality, plasma sex steroids (11-keto testosterone [11-KT]; testosterone [T]; estradiol-17beta [E2]) were evaluated on 10 to 24 fish fed on each diet. Sperm quality was assessed using computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA). Total replacement of fish meal by plant products markedly increased sperm volume, spermatocrit, spermatozoa integrity, and sperm motility. Fish fed diet 3 (12.5% fish meal) provided intermediate results on sperm quality whereas the lowest values were obtained in fish fed diets 1 and 2. In fish fed 0% fish meal (diet 4), androgen levels were higher and estrogen levels were lower than in fish fed fish meal diets. Based on dietary lipid and fatty acid analyses, these results suggest a positive impact of short chain n-6 fatty acids on androgen synthesis and sperm quality. In conclusion, a combination of ground nut oil cake, bean meal and sunflower oil cake (preferably when the sunflower is dehulled) in African catfish diet improves the sperm quality.

  8. Phylogenetically diverse AM fungi from Ecuador strongly improve seedling growth of native potential crop trees.

    PubMed

    Schüßler, Arthur; Krüger, Claudia; Urgiles, Narcisa

    2016-04-01

    In many deforested regions of the tropics, afforestation with native tree species could valorize a growing reservoir of degraded, previously overused and abandoned land. The inoculation of tropical tree seedlings with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM fungi) can improve tree growth and viability, but efficiency may depend on plant and AM fungal genotype. To study such effects, seven phylogenetically diverse AM fungi, native to Ecuador, from seven genera and a non-native AM fungus (Rhizophagus irregularis DAOM197198) were used to inoculate the tropical potential crop tree (PCT) species Handroanthus chrysanthus (synonym Tabebuia chrysantha), Cedrela montana, and Heliocarpus americanus. Twenty-four plant-fungus combinations were studied in five different fertilization and AMF inoculation treatments. Numerous plant growth parameters and mycorrhizal root colonization were assessed. The inoculation with any of the tested AM fungi improved seedling growth significantly and in most cases reduced plant mortality. Plants produced up to threefold higher biomass, when compared to the standard nursery practice. AM fungal inoculation alone or in combination with low fertilization both outperformed full fertilization in terms of plant growth promotion. Interestingly, root colonization levels for individual fungi strongly depended on the host tree species, but surprisingly the colonization strength did not correlate with plant growth promotion. The combination of AM fungal inoculation with a low dosage of slow release fertilizer improved PCT seedling performance strongest, but also AM fungal treatments without any fertilization were highly efficient. The AM fungi tested are promising candidates to improve management practices in tropical tree seedling production.

  9. 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

    2015-04-21

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Oilfield water treatment by electrocoagulation-reverse osmosis for agricultural use: effects on germination and early growth characteristics of sunflower.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Paulo S A; Cerqueira, Alexandre A; Rigo, Michelle M; de Paiva, Julieta L; Couto, Rafael S P; Merçon, Fábio; Perez, Daniel V; Marques, Monica R C

    2016-08-22

    This study aims to evaluate the effects of oilfield water (OW), treated by a hybrid process of electrocoagulation and reverse osmosis (EC-RO), on seed germination and early growth characteristics of sunflower (Heliantus annus L.). In the EC step, tests were conducted with 28.6 A m(-2) current density and 4 min. reaction time. In the RO step, the system was operated with 1 L min(-1) constant flow and 2 MPa, 2.5 MPa and 3 MPa feed pressures. In all feed pressures, RO polymeric membranes achieved very high removals of chemical oxygen demand (up to 89%) and oils and greases (100%) from EC-treated effluent. In best feed pressure (2.5 MPa), turbidity, total dissolved salts, electrical conductivity, salinity, toxic ions and sodium adsorption ratio values attained internationally recognized standards for irrigation water. Using EC-RO (feed pressure:2.5 MPa) treated OW, germinated sunflower seeds percentage (86 ± 6%), speed of germination (30 ± 2) and biomass production (49 ± 5 mg) were statistically similar to control (distilled water) results. Vigor index average values obtained using OW treated by EC-RO (3871)were higher than that obtained by OW water treated by EC (3300). The results of this study indicate that EC-RO seems to be a promising alternative for treatment of OW aiming sunflower crops irrigation, since the use of this treated effluent did not affect adversely seed germination and seedling development, and improved seedling vigor. Furthermore, OW treatment by EC-RO reduces sodium levels into acceptable standards values avoiding soil degradation.

  13. 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.

  14. Improvements in MOCVD growth of Hg1-xCdxTe heterostructures for uncooled infrared photodetectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piotrowski, A.; Gawron, W.; Klos, K.; Pawluczyk, J.; Piotrowski, J.; Madejczyk, P.; Rogalski, A.

    2005-09-01

    We report here the recent progress at VIGO/MUT (Military University of Technology) MOCVD Laboratory in the growth of Hg1-xCdxTe multilayer heterostructures for various types of uncooled infrared devices. The detectors are optimized for any wavelength within 1-12 μm spectral range. Hg1-xCdxTe growth with interdiffused multilayer process (IMP) technique has been improved. The total flow of the carrier gas was optimized to improve lateral uniformity of the composition and doping. The parasitic transient stages between the CdTe and HgTe phases were reduced to reasonable minimum. As a result, we were able to grow layers with homogeneous composition and doping, characterized by steep interfaces. The additional benefits were improved morphology, reduced dislocation density, and minimized consumption of precursors. The other issues addressed in this work were growth of heavy As-doped low-x and heavy Idoped high-x materials. Special modification to IMP process has been applied for in-situ control of stoichiometry. To maintain low vacancy concentration, special growth finish procedure has been developed. No post-growth thermal anneal was necessary for device-quality material. The MOCVD grown heterostructures have been successfully used for advanced uncooled infrared photodetectors such as multiple heterojunction photodiodes, multicolor and specially shaped spectral response multiabsorber devices.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. Enhancing Student Motivation as Evidenced by Improved Academic Growth and Increased Work Completion.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belcher, Gay; Macari, Nancy

    This project evaluated a program for enhancing student motivation as evidenced by improved academic growth and increased work completion. The targeted population consisted of fifth graders in a small school in a medium-sized rural community in the Midwest. The problem of lack of achievement motivation and lack of student concern about academic…

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

    2016-06-13

    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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. Evidence for the use of low-grade weirs in drainage ditches to improve nutrient reductions from agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The essential function of drainage ditches is to remove water from the agricultural landscape to avoid crop senescence through flooding and soil saturation. Commonly used slotted board risers provide drainage management strategies over the dormant season; however, by introducing innovative, low-gra...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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).

  15. Improving growth in preterm infants during initial hospital stay: principles into practice.

    PubMed

    Cooke, Richard J

    2016-07-01

    Despite recent innovations in nutritional care, postnatal growth failure between birth and hospital discharge remains a significant problem in preterm infants. Whether or not it is entirely preventable is unclear. What is clear is that feeding practices and growth outcomes vary widely between neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). This partly reflects lack of data in key areas but it also reflects inconsistent translation of principles into practice and limitations in the way infants are fed and growth monitored in the NICU. These issues will be reviewed, in the process underline the key roles that audit, standardised feeding protocol, individualised nutritional care and a nutritional support team play in improving outcome in these high-risk infants.

  16. 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

  17. Plant breeding for harmony between agriculture and the environment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop improvements made since the 1950’s coupled with inexpensive agronomic inputs (fertilizers, herbicides, etc.) have resulted in agricultural production that has kept pace with population growth. Breeding programs primarily focus on improving a crop’s environmental adaptability and biotic stress t...

  18. 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…

  19. Understanding Agriculture: New Directions for Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council, Washington, DC. Board on Agriculture.

    This report presents findings of a study to examine agricultural education at the secondary level and to make recommendations for program improvement. It focuses on the two major elements of agricultural education--agricultural literacy (education about agriculture) and vocational agriculture (education in agriculture). An executive summary sets…

  20. Fungal endophyte Penicillium janthinellum LK5 improves growth of ABA-deficient tomato under salinity.

    PubMed

    Khan, Abdul Latif; Waqas, Muhammad; Khan, Abdur Rahim; Hussain, Javid; Kang, Sang-Mo; Gilani, Syed Abdullah; Hamayun, Muhammad; Shin, Jae-Ho; Kamran, Muhammad; Al-Harrasi, Ahmed; Yun, Byung-Wook; Adnan, Muhammad; Lee, In-Jung

    2013-11-01

    An endophytic fungus was isolated from the roots of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Mill) and identified as Penicillium janthinellum LK5. The culture filtrate (CF) of P. janthinellum significantly increased the shoot length of gibberellins (GAs) deficient mutant waito-c and normal Dongjin-beyo rice seedlings as compared to control. The CF of P. janthinellum contained GAs (GA3, GA4, GA7 and GA12). To assess endophyte-growth promoting and stress-tolerance potential, the CF along with the propagules of endophyte was applied to tomato-host and abscisic acid (ABA)-deficient mutant Sitiens plants under sodium chloride (NaCl) induced salinity stress. Sitiens plants had retarded growth under normal and salinity stress however its growth was much improved during P. janthinellum-association. The endophyte inoculation reduced the membrane injury by decreasing lipid peroxidation as compared to non-inoculated control under salinity. Endophyte-associated Sitiens plants have significantly higher catalase, peroxidase and glutathione activities as compared to control. Endophyte-infected host and Sitiens plants had low level of sodium ion toxicity and high calcium contents in its root as compared to control. P. janthinellum LK5 helped the Sitiens plants to synthesis significantly higher ABA and reduced the level of jasmonic acid to modulate stress responses. The results suggest that endophytes-association can resist salinity stress by producing gibberellins and activating defensive mechanisms of host and Sitiens plants to achieve improved growth.

  1. Improved growth and stress tolerance in the Arabidopsis oxt1 mutant triggered by altered adenine metabolism.

    PubMed

    Sukrong, Suchada; Yun, Kil-Young; Stadler, Patrizia; Kumar, Charan; Facciuolo, Tony; Moffatt, Barbara A; Falcone, Deane L

    2012-11-01

    Plants perceive and respond to environmental stresses with complex mechanisms that are often associated with the activation of antioxidant defenses. A genetic screen aimed at isolating oxidative stress-tolerant lines of Arabidopsis thaliana has identified oxt1, a line that exhibits improved tolerance to oxidative stress and elevated temperature but displays no apparent deleterious growth effects under non-stress conditions. Oxt1 harbors a mutation that arises from the altered expression of a gene encoding adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APT1), an enzyme that converts adenine to adenosine monophosphate (AMP), indicating a link between purine metabolism, whole-plant growth responses, and stress acclimation. The oxt1 mutation results in decreased APT1 expression that leads to reduced enzymatic activity. Correspondingly, oxt1 plants possess elevated levels of adenine. Decreased APT enzyme activity directly correlates with stress resistance in transgenic lines that ectopically express APT1. The metabolic alteration in oxt1 plants also alters the expression of several antioxidant defense genes and the response of these genes to oxidative challenge. Finally, it is shown that manipulation of adenine levels can induce stress tolerance to wild-type plants. Collectively, these results show that alterations in cellular adenine levels can trigger stress tolerance and improve growth, leading to increases in plant biomass. The results also suggest that adenine might play a part in the signals that modulate responses to abiotic stress and plant growth.

  2. Aerobic expression of Vitreoscilla hemoglobin improves the growth performance of CHO-K1 cells.

    PubMed

    Juárez, Mariana; González-De la Rosa, Claudia H; Memún, Elisa; Sigala, Juan-Carlos; Lara, Alvaro R

    2017-03-01

    Inefficient carbon metabolism is a relevant issue during the culture of mammalian cells for the production of biopharmaceuticals. Therefore, cell engineering strategies to improve the metabolic and growth performance of cell lines are needed. The expression of Vitreoscilla stercoraria hemoglobin (VHb) has been shown to significantly reduce overflow metabolism and improve the aerobic growth of bacteria. However, the effects of VHb on mammalian cells have been rarely studied. Here, the impact of VHb on growth and lactate accumulation during CHO-K1 cell culture was investigated. For this purpose, CHO-K1 cells were transfected with plasmids carrying the vgb or gfp gene to express VHb or green fluorescence protein (GFP), respectively. VHb expression increased the specific growth rate and biomass yields on glucose and glutamine by 60 %, and reduced the amount of lactate produced per cell by 40 %, compared to the GFP-expression controls. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed that VHb is distributed in the cytoplasm and organelles, which support the hypothesis that VHb could serve as an oxygen carrier, enhancing aerobic respiration. These results are useful for the development of better producing cell lines for industrial applications.

  3. 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.

  4. Management of Half Moon Lake, Wisconsin, for Improved Native Submersed Macrophyte Growth

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-05-01

    macrophyte habitat. Half Moon Lake is a eutrophic, urban oxbow lake exhibiting high densities of the non-native Potamogeton crispus in early summer followed...mean depth = 1.6 m, maximum depth = 4 m) urban lake located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin (Figure 1). An oxbow of the Chippewa River, the bathymetry...ERDC/TN APCRP-EA-22 May 2010 Management of Half Moon Lake , Wisconsin, for Improved Native Submersed Macrophyte Growth by William F. James

  5. A comparison of growth and development of three major agricultural insect pests infected with Heliothis virescens ascovirus 3h (HvAV-3h).

    PubMed

    Li, Shun-Ji; Wang, Xing; Zhou, Zhong-Shi; Zhu, Jie; Hu, Jue; Zhao, Yi-Pei; Zhou, Gui-Wei; Huang, Guo-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Ascoviruses are double-stranded DNA viruses that are pathogenic to lepidopteran hosts, particularly noctuid larvae. Infection of a larva is characterized by retarded growth, reduced feeding and yellowish body color. In this paper, we reported the growth and development of three major agricultural noctuid insect pests, Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner), Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) and Spodoptera litura (Fabricius), infected with Heliothis virescens ascovirus 3h (HvAV-3h). Using 10-fold serial dilutions (0 to 7) of HvAV-3h-containing hemolymph to infect S. litura larvae, we found no significant difference in larval mortalities from 0 to 10(3)-fold dilutions; however, significant differences were observed at 10(4)-fold dilution and above. Using a 10-fold dilution of HvAV-3h-containing hemolymph to infect H. armigera, S. exigua and S. litura larvae, we found that the growth and development were significantly affected. All infected larvae could not pupate; the survival times of treated H. armigera, S. litura and S. exigua larvae were significantly longer than untreated control larvae. Body weight showed significant difference between treated and untreated control group from day 1 after inoculation in H. armigera and S. exigua, but day 2 in S. litura. Additionally, food intake also showed significant difference between treated and untreated control group from day 2 after inoculation in H. armigera and S. litura, but day 3 in S. exigua.

  6. 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.

  7. Improving "color rendering" of LED lighting for the growth of lettuce.

    PubMed

    Han, Tao; Vaganov, Vitaliy; Cao, Shixiu; Li, Qiang; Ling, Lili; Cheng, Xiaoyao; Peng, Lingling; Zhang, Congzhi; Yakovlev, Alexey N; Zhong, Yang; Tu, Mingjing

    2017-04-03

    Light plays a vital role on the growth and development of plant. On the base of white light with high color rendering to the benefit of human survival and life, we proposed to improve "color rendering" of LED lighting for accelerating the growth of lettuce. Seven spectral LED lights were adopted to irradiate the lettuces under 150 μmol·m(-2)·s(-1) for a 16 hd(-1) photoperiod. The leaf area and number profiles, plant biomass, and photosynthetic rate under the as-prepared LED light treatments were investigated. We let the absorption spectrum of fresh leaf be the emission spectrum of ideal light and then evaluate the "color rendering" of as-prepared LED lights by the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient and CIE chromaticity coordinates. Under the irradiation of red-yellow-blue light with high correlation coefficient of 0.587, the dry weights and leaf growth rate are 2-3 times as high as the sharp red-blue light. The optimized LED light for lettuce growth can be presumed to be limited to the angle (about 75°) between the vectors passed through the ideal light in the CIE chromaticity coordinates. These findings open up a new idea to assess and find the optimized LED light for plant growth.

  8. Improving “color rendering” of LED lighting for the growth of lettuce

    PubMed Central

    Han, Tao; Vaganov, Vitaliy; Cao, Shixiu; Li, Qiang; Ling, Lili; Cheng, Xiaoyao; Peng, Lingling; Zhang, Congzhi; Yakovlev, Alexey N.; Zhong, Yang; Tu, Mingjing

    2017-01-01

    Light plays a vital role on the growth and development of plant. On the base of white light with high color rendering to the benefit of human survival and life, we proposed to improve “color rendering” of LED lighting for accelerating the growth of lettuce. Seven spectral LED lights were adopted to irradiate the lettuces under 150 μmol·m−2·s−1 for a 16 hd−1 photoperiod. The leaf area and number profiles, plant biomass, and photosynthetic rate under the as-prepared LED light treatments were investigated. We let the absorption spectrum of fresh leaf be the emission spectrum of ideal light and then evaluate the “color rendering” of as-prepared LED lights by the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient and CIE chromaticity coordinates. Under the irradiation of red-yellow-blue light with high correlation coefficient of 0.587, the dry weights and leaf growth rate are 2–3 times as high as the sharp red-blue light. The optimized LED light for lettuce growth can be presumed to be limited to the angle (about 75°) between the vectors passed through the ideal light in the CIE chromaticity coordinates. These findings open up a new idea to assess and find the optimized LED light for plant growth. PMID:28368019

  9. Association of In Utero Organochlorine Pesticide Exposure and Fetal Growth and Length of Gestation in an Agricultural Population

    PubMed Central

    Fenster, Laura; Eskenazi, Brenda; Anderson, Meredith; Bradman, Asa; Harley, Kim; Hernandez, Hedy; Hubbard, Alan; Barr, Dana B.

    2006-01-01

    From 1940 through the 1970s, organochlorine compounds were widely used as insecticides in the United States. Thereafter, their use was severely restricted after recognition of their persistence in the environment, their toxicity in animals, and their potential for endocrine disruption. Although substantial evidence exists for the fetal toxicity of organochlorines in animals, information on human reproductive effects is conflicting. We investigated whether infants’ length of gestation, birth weight, and crown–heel length were associated with maternal serum levels of 11 different organochlorine pesticides: p,p′-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p′-DDT), p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE), o,p′-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (o,p′-DDT), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCCH), γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (γ-HCCH), dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor, and mirex. Our subjects were a birth cohort of 385 low-income Latinas living in the Salinas Valley, an agricultural community in California. We observed no adverse associations between maternal serum organochlorine levels and birth weight or crown–heel length. We found decreased length of gestation with increasing levels of lipid-adjusted HCB (adjusted β= −0.47 weeks; p = 0.05). We did not find reductions in gestational duration associated with any of the other organochlorine pesticides. Our finding of decreased length of gestation related to HCB does not seem to have had clinical implications for this population, given its relatively low rate of preterm delivery (6.5%). PMID:16581552

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Growth Hormone With Aromatase Inhibitor May Improve Height in CYP11B1 Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.

    PubMed

    Hawton, Katherine; Walton-Betancourth, Sandra; Rumsby, Gill; Raine, Joseph; Dattani, Mehul

    2017-02-01

    With an estimated prevalence of 1 in 100 000 births, 11β-hydroxylase deficiency is the second most common form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) and is caused by mutations in CYP11B1 Clinical features include virilization, early gonadotropin-independent precocious puberty, hypertension, and reduced stature. The current mainstay of management is with glucocorticoids to replace deficient steroids and to minimize adrenal sex hormone overproduction, thus preventing virilization and optimizing growth. We report a patient with CAH who had been suboptimally treated and presented to us at 6 years of age with precocious puberty, hypertension, tall stature, advanced bone age, and a predicted final height of 150 cm. Hormonal profiles and genetic analysis confirmed a diagnosis of 11β-hydroxylase deficiency. In addition to glucocorticoid replacement, the patient was commenced on growth hormone and a third-generation aromatase inhibitor, anastrozole, in an attempt to optimize his growth. After the initiation of this treatment, the patient's growth rate improved significantly and bone age advancement slowed. The patient reached a final height of 177.5 cm (0.81 SD score), 11.5 cm above his mid-parental height. This patient is only the second reported case of the use of an aromatase inhibitor in combination with growth hormone to optimize height in 11β-hydroxylase-deficient CAH. This novel treatment proved to be highly efficacious, with no adverse effects. It may therefore provide a promising option to promote growth in exceptional circumstances in individuals with 11β-hydroxylase deficiency presenting late with advanced skeletal maturation and consequent short stature.

  14. 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

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. A Follow-up Study of Agricultural Education Program Graduates on Teaching Competencies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dormody, Thomas J.; Torres, Robert M.

    2002-01-01

    New Mexico agriculture teacher education graduates currently teaching secondary agriculture (n=25) rated their at-graduation competencies as satisfactory. Their biggest improvement since graduation was in keeping students on task. Enthusiasm for all facets of the education program remained high. Work experience had the most influence on growth of…

  18. Statins improve survival by inhibiting spontaneous metastasis and tumor growth in a mouse melanoma model

    PubMed Central

    Tsubaki, Masanobu; Takeda, Tomoya; Kino, Toshiki; Obata, Naoya; Itoh, Tatsuki; Imano, Motohiro; Mashimo, Kenji; Fujiwara, Daichiro; Sakaguchi, Katsuhiko; Satou, Takao; Nishida, Shozo

    2015-01-01

    Metastatic melanoma is a life-threatening disease for which no effective treatment is currently available. In melanoma cells, Rho overexpression promotes invasion and metastasis. However, the effect of statins on spontaneous metastasis and tumor growth remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the mechanism of statin-mediated tumor growth and metastasis inhibition in an in vivo model. We found that statins significantly inhibited spontaneous metastasis and tumor growth. Statins inhibited the mRNA expression and enzymatic activities of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in vivo and also suppressed the mRNA and protein expression of very late antigens (VLAs). Moreover, statins inhibited the prenylation of Rho as well as the phosphorylation of LIM kinase, serum response factor (SRF), and c-Fos downstream of the Rho signaling pathway. In addition, statins enhanced p53, p21, and p27 expression and reduced phosphorylation of cyclin-dependent kinase and expression of cyclin D1 and E2. These results indicate that statins suppress Rho signaling pathways, thereby inhibiting tumor metastasis and growth. Furthermore, statins markedly improved the survival rate in a metastasis model, suggesting that statins have potential clinical applications for the treatment of metastatic cancers. PMID:26693069

  19. Silicon improves rice grain yield and photosynthesis specifically when supplied during the reproductive growth stage.

    PubMed

    Lavinsky, Alyne O; Detmann, Kelly C; Reis, Josimar V; Ávila, Rodrigo T; Sanglard, Matheus L; Pereira, Lucas F; Sanglard, Lílian M V P; Rodrigues, Fabrício A; Araújo, Wagner L; DaMatta, Fábio M

    2016-11-01

    Silicon (Si) has been recognized as a beneficial element to improve rice (Oryza sativa L.) grain yield. Despite some evidence suggesting that this positive effect is observed when Si is supplied along the reproductive growth stage (from panicle initiation to heading), it remains unclear whether its supplementation during distinct growth phases can differentially impact physiological aspects of rice and its yield and the underlying mechanisms. Here, we investigated the effects of additions/removals of Si at different growth stages and their impacts on rice yield components, photosynthetic performance, and expression of genes (Lsi1, Lsi2 and Lsi6) involved in Si distribution within rice shoots. Positive effects of Si on rice production and photosynthesis were manifested when it was specifically supplied during the reproductive growth stage, as demonstrated by: (1) a high crop yield associated with higher grain number and higher 1000-grain weight, whereas the leaf area and whole-plant biomass remained unchanged; (2) an increased sink strength which, in turn, exerted a feed-forward effect on photosynthesis that was coupled with increases in both stomatal conductance and biochemical capacity to fix CO2; (3) higher Si amounts in the developing panicles (and grain husks) in good agreement with a remarkable up-regulation of Lsi6 (and to a lesser extent Lsi1). We suggest that proper levels of Si in these reproductive structures seem to play an as yet unidentified role culminating with higher grain number and size.

  20. Improved growth response of antibody/receptor chimera attained by the engineering of transmembrane domain.

    PubMed

    Kawahara, Masahiro; Ogo, Yuko; Ueda, Hiroshi; Nagamune, Teruyuki

    2004-10-01

    Structure-based design of antibody/cytokine receptor chimeras has permitted a growth signal transduction in response to non-natural ligands such as fluorescein-conjugated BSA as mimicry of cytokine-cytokine receptor systems. However, while tight on/off regulation is observed in the natural cytokine receptor systems, many chimeras constructed to date showed residual growth-promoting activity in the absence of ligands. Here we tried to reduce the basal growth signal intensity from a chimera by engineering the transmembrane domain (TM) that is thought to be involved in the interchain interaction of natural cytokine receptors. When the retroviral vectors encoding the chimeras with either the wild-type erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) TM or the one bearing two mutations in the leucine zipper motif were transduced to non-strictly interleukin-6-dependent 7TD1 cells, a tight antigen-dependent on/off regulation was attained, also demonstrating the first antigen-mediated genetically modified cell amplification of non-strictly factor-dependent cells. The results clearly indicate that the TM mutation is an effective means to improve the growth response of the antibody/receptor chimera.

  1. Application of microbial inoculants promote plant growth, increased nutrient uptake and improve root morphology of corn plants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Reducing fertilizers impacts from agriculture is a world-wide concern, both from an environmental and human health perspective. One way to reduce impacts of fertilizers is by enhancing plant uptake which improves nutrient use efficiency and also potentially reduce the amounts of fertilizer needed. ...

  2. 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...

  3. Position-sensitive CdTe detector using improved crystal growth method

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The feasibility of developing a position-sensitive CdTe detector array for astronomical observations in the hard X-ray, soft gamma ray region is demonstrated. In principle, it was possible to improve the resolution capability for imaging measurements in this region by orders of magnitude over what is now possible through the use of CdTe detector arrays. The objective was to show that CdTe crystals of the quality, size and uniformity required for this application can be obtained with a new high pressure growth technique. The approach was to fabricate, characterize and analyze a 100 element square array and several single-element detectors using crystals from the new growth process. Results show that detectors fabricated from transversely sliced, 7 cm diameter wafers of CdTe exhibit efficient counting capability and a high degree of uniformity over their entire areas. A 100 element square array of 1 sq mm detectors was fabricated and operated.

  4. An opinion paper: emphasis on white muscle development and growth to improve farmed fish flesh quality.

    PubMed

    Videler, J J

    2011-06-01

    Due to rapid depletion of wild stocks, the necessity to cultivate fish is eminent. Current fish farming practices seek to improve flesh quality. The notion that white muscles are the main target of the fishing industry is emphasized. A novel approach is suggested based on the development of white muscles in wild fish from eggs to adults. A compilation of facts about white muscle structure, function and ontogeny is followed by an account of the changes in swimming behaviour and performance related to the use of white muscle during growth from larva to adult. Ecological data narrate early swimming performance with white muscle development and growth, unveiling some of the important natural selection factors eliminating weak swimmers and poor growers from the breeding stock. A comparison between fish culture practise and natural conditions reveals fundamental differences. New approaches following wild breeding processes promise several important advantages regarding the quality of white muscle.

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. [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.

  11. Improving seedling growth in longleaf pine plantations with nematicidal soil fumigants.

    PubMed

    Ruehle, J L

    1969-07-01

    In-row, preplanting fumigation with DD and DBCP in a longleaf pine plantation was evaluated for nematode control, improved seedling survival, and early and uniform release of seedlings from the grass stage. Only DD significantly lowered the nematode population during the first growing season. DBCP not only failed to control nematodes, but was phytotoxic. Fumigation had little effect on seedling survival. Seedlings in rows fumigated with DD started height growth earlier and produced taller trees after 5 years than those in nonfumigated rows.

  12. 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.

  13. Scientific/Technical Report: Improvement in compensation and crystal growth of cadmium zinc telluride radiation detectors

    SciTech Connect

    Kelvin G. Lynn; Kelly A. Jones

    2007-05-19

    Comparison of actual accomplishments with goals and objectives: (1) Growth of 12 ingots--Washington State University (WSU) more than met this goal for the project by growing 12 final ingots for the year. Nine of the twelve crystal growth ingots resolved gamma radiation at room temperature. The other three ingots where resistivity of {approx} 3 x 10{sup 8} Ohm*cm for CG32a, CG36, and CG42 lower than expected, however none of these were tried with blocking contacts. All ingots were evaluated from tip to heel. In these three cases, the group III, dopant Aluminum (Al) was not detected to a level to compensate the Cd vacancies in the cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) thus the ingots were lower resistivity. The nine ingots that were successful radiation detectors averaged a bulk resistivity of 1.25 x 10{sup 10} Ohm*cm and with a average {mu}{tau} product for electrons of {approx} 2 x 10{sup -4} cm{sup 2}/V with a 1/4 microsecond shaping time with samples {approx}2 mm in thickness. (2) Attempt new compensations techniques--WSU also met this goal. Several doping schemes were attempted and investigated with various amounts of excess Tellurium added to the growth. The combination of Al and Erbium (Er) were first attempted for these ingots and subsequently CG34 was grown with Al, Er and Holmium. These compensation techniques produced radiation detectors and are currently under investigation. These growths were made with significant different doping levels to determine the affect of the dopants. CG43 was doped with Indium and Er. Indium was introduced instead of Al to determine if Indium is more soluble than Al for CZT and was less oxidized. This may decrease the amount of low resistivity ingots grown by doping with Indium instead of Al. (3) Grow large single crystals--Several changes in approach occurred in the crystal growth furnace. Steps were taken to maximize the crystal growth interface during growth by modifying liners, quartz, heat sinks, crucibles and various growth steps

  14. 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

  15. Agriculture: Newsroom

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Agriculture Newsroom. News releases, reports, and other documents from around EPA that are of interest or direct importance to the environmental management or compliance efforts of the agricultural community.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Microbial cooperation in the rhizosphere improves liquorice growth under salt stress.

    PubMed

    Egamberdieva, Dilfuza; Wirth, Stephan; Li, Li; Abd Allah, Elsayed Fathi; Lindström, Kristina

    2016-10-26

    Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch.) is one of the most widely used plants in food production, and it can also be used as an herbal medicine or for reclamation of salt-affected soils. Under salt stress, inhibition of plant growth, nutrient acquisition and symbiotic interactions between the medicinal legume liquorice and rhizobia have been observed. We recently evaluated the interactions between rhizobia and root-colonizing Pseudomonas in liquorice grown in potting soil and observed increased plant biomass, nodule numbers and nitrogen content after combined inoculation compared to plants inoculated with Mesorhizobium alone. Several beneficial effects of microbes on plants have been reported; studies examining the interactions between symbiotic bacteria and root-colonizing Pseudomonas strains under natural saline soil conditions are important, especially in areas where a hindrance of nutrients and niches in the rhizosphere are high. Here, we summarize our recent observations regarding the combined application of rhizobia and Pseudomonas on the growth and nutrient uptake of liquorice as well as the salt stress tolerance mechanisms of liquorice by a mutualistic interaction with microbes. Our observations indicate that microbes living in the rhizosphere of liquorice can form a mutualistic association and coordinate their involvement in plant adaptations to stress tolerance. These results support the development of combined inoculants for improving plant growth and the symbiotic performance of legumes under hostile conditions.

  2. Overexpression of VP, a vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase gene in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), improves tobacco plant growth under Pi and N deprivation, high salinity, and drought.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaojuan; Guo, Chengjin; Gu, Juntao; Duan, Weiwei; Zhao, Miao; Ma, Chunying; Du, Xiaoming; Lu, Wenjing; Xiao, Kai

    2014-02-01

    Establishing crop cultivars with strong tolerance to P and N deprivation, high salinity, and drought is an effective way to improve crop yield and promote sustainable agriculture worldwide. A vacuolar H+-pyrophosphatase (V-H+-PPase) gene in wheat (TaVP) was functionally characterized in this study. TaVP cDNA is 2586-bp long and encodes a 775-amino-acid polypeptide that contains 10 conserved membrane-spanning domains. Transcription of TaVP was upregulated by inorganic phosphate (Pi) and N deprivation, high salinity, and drought. Transgene analysis revealed that TaVP overexpression improved plant growth under normal conditions and specifically under Pi and N deprivation stresses, high salinity, and drought. The improvement of growth of the transgenic plants was found to be closely related to elevated V-H+-PPase activities in their tonoplasts and enlarged root systems, which possibly resulted from elevated expression of auxin transport-associated genes. TaVP-overexpressing plants showed high dry mass, photosynthetic efficiencies, antioxidant enzyme activities, and P, N, and soluble carbohydrate concentrations under various growth conditions, particularly under the stress conditions. The transcription of phosphate and nitrate transporter genes was not altered in TaVP-overexpressing plants compared with the wild type, suggesting that high P and N concentrations regulated by TaVP were caused by increased root absorption area instead of alteration of Pi and NO3- acquisition kinetics. TaVP is important in the tolerance of multiple stresses and can serve as a useful genetic resource to improve plant P- and N-use efficiencies and to increase tolerance to high salinity and drought.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Kirtane, Ameya R; Wong, Henry L; Guru, Bharath Raja; Lis, Lev G; Georg, Gunda I; Gurvich, Vadim J; Panyam, Jayanth

    2015-08-03

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. Preservation of portal pressure improves growth and metabolic profile in the male portacaval-shunted rat.

    PubMed

    Dasarathy, Srinivasan; Mullen, Kevin D; Conjeevaram, Hari S; Kaminsky-Russ, Kristine; Wills, Laurie A; McCullough, Arthur J

    2002-09-01

    The portacaval anastomosis (PCA) rat model and human cirrhosis have many metabolic and nutritional abnormalities in common, such as growth retardation, hepatic and gonadal atrophy, and hyperammonemia. The severity of these abnormalities is variable and may be related to a number of factors, including portal pressure, portosystemic shunting, dietary intake, and how efficiently food is used. Therefore, this rat model was used to study these variables with the intent of gaining insights for improving the management of portal hypertension and malnutrition in human cirrhosis. A nonsuture end-to-side PCA (N = 100) or sham surgery (N = 71) was performed in 100 male rats. Four weeks after surgery, body and organ weights, food intake, serum ammonia, and serum amino acids were measured at death. In a subgroup of rats, (sham 7; PCA 34) portal venous pressure, degree of portosystemic shunting, and organ and body weights were obtained at death. Growth, liver weight, and testes weight were decreased, ammonia levels were higher, and the ratios of branched chain to aromatic amino acid (BCAA/AAA) were lower in the PCA group compared to the sham animals (P < 0.05). Since spleen weights correlated with portal pressure (P = 0.01), the PCA animals were then divided into those with preserved and those with low portal pressures based on spleen weight. The PCA group with preserved portal pressure had better growth, larger livers and testes, lower serum ammonia, and higher BCAA/AAA levels than the PCA group with low portal pressure; improvements associated with normal amounts of food intake and better food efficiency than the low pressure animals (P < 0.05 or better). Sham animals had no portosystemic shunting, while 100% shunting occurred in both PCA groups regardless of the portal pressure. In conclusion, preservation of portal pressure after portacaval anastomosis provides metabolic and nutritional benefits, which are independent of portosystemic shunting and associated with normal

  9. 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.

  10. Isopentenyl transferase gene (ipt) downstream transcriptionally fused with gene expression improves the growth of transgenic plants.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jian-Chun; Duan, Rui-Jun; Hu, Xin-Wen; Li, Kai-Mian; Fu, Shao-Ping

    2010-04-01

    This research reports a promising approach to increase a plant's physiological cytokinin content. This approach also enables the increase to play a role in plant growth and development by introducing the ipt gene to downstream transcriptionally fuse with other genes under the control of a CaMV35S promoter, in which the ipt gene is far from the 35S promoter. According to Kozak's ribosome screening model, expression of the ipt gene is reduced by the terminal codon of the first gene and the internal untranslated nucleotides between the fused genes. In the transgenic plants pVKH35S-GUS-ipt, pVKH35S-AOC-ipt, and pVKH35S-AtGolS2-ipt, cytokinins were increased only two to threefold, and the plants grew more vigorously than the pVKH35S-AOC or pVKH35S-AtGolS2 transgenic plants lacking the ipt gene. The vigorous growth was reflected in rapid plant growth, a longer flowering period, a greater number of flowers, more seed product, and increased chlorophyll synthesis. The AOC and AtGolS2 genes play a role in a plant's tolerance of salt or cold, respectively. When the ipt gene transcriptionally fuses with AOC or AtGolS2 in the frame of AOC-ipt and AtGolS2-ipt, slight cytokinin increases were obtained in their transgenic plants; furthermore, those increases played a positive role in improvements of plant growth. Notably, an increased cytokinin volume at the physiological level, in concert with AtGolS2 expression, enhances a plant's tolerance to cold.

  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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. Least-desired index for assessing the effectiveness of grass riparian filter strips in improving water quality in an agricultural region.

    PubMed

    Kosnicki, Ely; Sites, Robert W

    2007-08-01

    Unprotected streams within the agricultural Midwest region of the United States are subject to sedimentation, nutrification, and agricultural chemicals. Grass riparian filter strips (GRFSs) have been implemented as a best management practice to minimize sedimentation and associated materials that are harmful to aquatic ecosystems; however, few studies have examined the benthic community response to GRFS installation. This study introduces a least-desired index (LDI) multimetric approach of evaluating benthic communities in response to GRFS installation. LDI was determined in a reciprocal fashion to that of a benthic macroinvertebrate index of biotic integrity (B-IBI). When reference conditions are not available for the use of B-IBI, anti-reference sites, representing least-desired conditions, can be used in constructing an LDI. A B-IBI and LDI were constructed in the Claypan Till Plains Subsection of Missouri and comparatively used to evaluate two test sites where tall fescue GRFS were installed. Five metrics were used to develop the B-IBI and six for the LDI. The LDI tended to be more conservative at evaluation in comparison to the B-IBI. Paired t-tests showed that LDI and B-IBI were significantly different at scoring test sites. The LDI assessed both test sites as showing no response to GRFS installation, whereas the B-IBI suggested moderate improvement. The LDI was considered to be a better index for evaluation because the streams used to develop the B-IBI were not suitable reference sites. An argument for the use of chironomid based metrics in low gradient agricultural streams is presented.

  15. Application of fly ash on the growth performance and translocation of toxic heavy metals within Cajanus cajan L.: implication for safe utilization of fly ash for agricultural production.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Vimal Chandra; Abhilash, P C; Upadhyay, Raj Narayan; Tewari, D D

    2009-07-15

    The present study was undertaken to examine the influence of the application of fly ash (FA) into garden soil for Cajanus cajan L. cultivation and on accumulation and translocation of hazardous metals from FA to edible part. Numerous studies have been reported on the growth and yield of agricultural crops under FA stress; however, there is a dearth of studies recommending the safe utilization of fly ash for crop production. Pot experiments were conducted on C. cajan L., a widely cultivating legume in India for its highly nutritious seeds. C. cajan L. were grown in garden soil and amended with varying concentrations of FA in a weight/weight ratio (0%, 25%, 50% and 100%; w/w). Incorporation of fly ash from 25% to 100% in garden soil increases the levels of pH, particle density, porosity and water holding capacity from 3.47% to 26.39%, 3.98% to 26.14%, 37.50% to 147.92% and 163.16% to 318.42%, respectively, than the control while bulk density decrease respectively from 8.94% to 48.89%. Pot experiment found that accumulation and translocation of heavy metals in tested plant depends on the concentration of FA. Addition of FA at lower concentration (25%) had shown positive results in most of the studied parameters of growth and yield (14.23% than control). The experimental results confirmed that lower concentration of FA (25%) is safe for C. cajan cultivation, which not only enhanced the yield of C. cajan L. significantly but also ensured the translocation of heavy metals to edible parts within the critical limits.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Probability, plausibility, and adequacy evaluations of the Oriente Study demonstrate that supplementation improved child growth.

    PubMed

    Habicht, Jean-Pierre; Martorell, Reynaldo

    2010-02-01

    This article presents evidence that the high-nutrient supplement in the Oriente study (Atole) improved child growth. The evidence is presented at 4 levels. There was a causal effect of the intervention on child length, as assessed by probability analyses of the randomized, controlled trial (P < 0.05). The plausibility analyses, which included an examination of wasting, showed that the nutritional impact was due to the Atole, especially in those who were <3 y old and who suffered from diarrhea. The adequacy analyses revealed excellent biological efficacy of the Atole at the individual level. At the level of the whole population, the efficacy of impact was much less, because many children did not participate fully in the supplementation program. The external validity of the biological impact is likely to be good for populations with similar diets and medical care.

  5. Epitaxial Growth of Oriented Metalloporphyrin Network Thin Film for Improved Selectivity of Volatile Organic Compounds.

    PubMed

    Li, De-Jing; Gu, Zhi-Gang; Vohra, Ismail; Kang, Yao; Zhu, Yong-Sheng; Zhang, Jian

    2017-03-03

    This study reports an oriented and homogenous cobalt-metalloporphyrin network (PIZA-1) thin film prepared by liquid phase epitaxial (LPE) method. The thickness of the obtained thin films can be well controlled, and their photocurrent properties can also be tuned by LPE cycles or the introduction of conductive guest molecules (tetracyanoquinodimethane and C60 ) into the PIZA-1 pores. The study of quartz crystal microbalance adsorption confirms that the PIZA-1 thin film with [110]-orientation presents much higher selectivity of benzene over toluene and p-xylene than that of the PIZA-1 powder with mixed orientations. These results reveal that the selective adsorption of volatile organic compounds highly depends on the growth orientations of porphyrin-based metal-organic framework thin films. Furthermore, the work will provide a new perspective for developing important semiconductive sensing materials with improved selectivity of guest compounds.

  6. Improved long-term bone-implant integration. Experiments in transgenic mice overexpressing bovine growth hormone.

    PubMed

    Morberg, P H; Isaksson, O G; Johansson, C B; Sandstedt, J; Törnell, J

    1997-08-01

    Several recent studies have investigated the effects of growth hormone (GH) on the healing of fractures and bone ingrowth, but with conflicting results. The negative results may be due to antibody formation against injected GH or because some experimental models are able to prove only positive GH effects. In this study, we wanted to investigate the effect of GH on implant integration in bone. To avoid potential formation of antibodies against injected GH, we used a model with transgenic mice overexpressing bovine GH (bGH). Titanium implants were inserted in the forehead of the mice. 4 months after insertion, the implants were cut out en bloc with the surrounding bone. The calcified specimens were cut and ground to a thickness of approximately 10 microns. Histomorphometry demonstrated significantly more direct bone-to-metal contact in the transgenic mice than in the nontransgenic littermates. Our findings indicate that systemic administration of GH in humans may improve implant integration in bone.

  7. Postpartum mothers' napping and improved cognitive growth fostering of infants: results from a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Ronzio, Cynthia R; Huntley, Edward; Monaghan, Maureen

    2013-04-01

    Little is known about how maternal sleep disturbances in the postpartum period affect mother-infant interaction. The study was designed to assess if less maternal sleep disturbance and less fatigue were associated with more positive mother-child interaction, independent of maternal depression symptoms. Twenty-three mothers completed 1 week of actigraphy and self-report measures of fatigue and depression symptoms. To determine the quality of mother-infant interaction, mothers and infants were then observed in a structured, video-recorded teaching episode. Greater maternal napping frequency was associated with better cognitive growth fostering of the infant (r s = .44, p < .05), a subscale of the interaction assessment. Maternal napping, not the quality or quantity of nocturnal sleep, appears to be associated with improvements in mother-infant interactions.

  8. 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%.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Pantoea alhagi, a novel endophytic bacterium with ability to improve growth and drought tolerance in wheat

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chaoqiong; Xin, Kaiyun; Liu, Hao; Cheng, Juanli; Shen, Xihui; Wang, Yao; Zhang, Lei

    2017-01-01

    A novel strain LTYR-11ZT that exhibited multiple plant growth promoting (PGP) traits was isolated from the surface-sterilized leaves of Alhagi sparsifolia Shap. (Leguminosae), which reprsents one of the top drought tolerant plants in north-west China. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences and multilocus sequence analysis based on partial sequences of atpD, gyrB, infB and rpoB genes revealed that strain LTYR-11ZT was a member of the genus Pantoea, with Pantoea theicola NBRC 110557T and Pantoea intestinalis DSM 28113T as the closest phylogenetic relatives. The results of DNA–DNA hybridization, phenotypic tests and fatty acid analysis confirmed that strain LTYR-11ZT represents a novel species of the genus Pantoea, for which we propose the name Pantoea alhagi sp. nov. Confocal microscopy observation revealed that strain LTYR-11ZT effectively colonizes the rhizoplane of both Arabidopsis and wheat. Strain LTYR-11ZT was able to promote the growth of wheat enhancing its resistance to drought stress. Strain LTYR-11ZT led to increased accumulation of soluble sugars, decreased accumulation of proline and malondialdehyde (MDA), and decreased degradation of chlorophyll in leaves of drought-stressed wheat. Our findings will contribute to the development of a novel biotechnological agent to improve the adaptation of crop plants to drought in arid ecosystems. PMID:28128318

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. Improved Techniques for the Growth of High Quality Cadmium Telluride Crystals.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-06-01

    Bridgman method. Growth parameters were systematically varied in order to determine the influence of seed orientation, thermal environment, and growth rate...ILLUSTRATIONS 1. Influence of Melt Vibrations on CdTe Crystals 2. Vertical Bridgman Growth Furnace 3. Vacuum-formed Quartz Growth Ampoule 4. Crystal...A. "Interface Studies during Vertical Bridgman CdTe Crystal Growth" by R. K. Route, M. Wolf and R. S. Feigelson B. "Etch Pit Studies in CdTe Crystals

  16. 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.

  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. In-situ spectral reflectance for improving molecular beam epitaxy device growth

    SciTech Connect

    Breiland, W.G.; Hammons, B.E.; Hou, H.Q.; Killeen, K.P.; Klem, J.F.; Reno, J.L.; Sherwin, M.

    1997-05-01

    This report summarizes the development of in situ spectral reflectance as a tool for improving the quality, reproducibility, and yield of device structures grown from compound semiconductors. Although initially targeted at MBE (Molecular Beam Epitaxy) machines, equipment difficulties forced the authors to test most of their ideas on a MOCVD (Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition) reactor. A pre-growth control strategy using in situ reflectance has led to an unprecedented demonstration of process control on one of the most difficult device structures that can be grown with compound semiconductor materials. Hundreds of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSEL`s) were grown with only {+-} 0.3% deviations in the Fabry-Perot cavity wavelength--a nearly ten-fold improvement over current calibration methods. The success of the ADVISOR (Analysis of Deposition using Virtual Interfaces and Spectroscopic Optical Reflectance) method has led to a great deal of interest from the commercial sector, including use by Hewlett Packard and Honeywell. The algorithms, software and reflectance design are being evaluated for patents and/or license agreements. A small company, Filmetrics, Inc., is incorporating the ADVISOR analysis method in its reflectometer product.

  19. 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)

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. USSR Report Agriculture.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-03-06

    simultaneous freeing of production resources for the achievement of other social goals of public development involves improving the structure of the food...in agriculture it becomes possible to free about 2 million hectares of arable land for the purpose of cultivating other crops, about 200,000 persons...insufficient application of mineral fertilizers. The structural changes in agriculture proposed by us, based on the freeing of 2 million hectares of

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Fibroblast growth factor 10 markedly improves in vitro maturation of porcine cumulus-oocyte complexes.

    PubMed

    Son, Yeo-Jin; Lee, Seung-Eun; Hyun, Hyuk; Shin, Min-Young; Park, Yun-Gwi; Jeong, Sang-Gi; Kim, Eun-Young; Park, Se-Pill

    2017-01-01

    Growth factors synthesized by ovarian somatic cells affect cumulus cell expansion and oocyte maturation in vitro. Fibroblast growth factor 10 (FGF10), for example, is a known regulator of mammalian cumulus-oocyte complex maturation. In this study, we investigated the effects of 0, 5, 10, 50, and 100 ng/mL FGF10 (5F, 10F, 50F, and 100F, respectively) on in vitro cumulus cell expansion, oocyte maturation, and embryo development. The percentage of fully expanded cumulus cells at the oocyte's metaphase-II (MII) stage was significantly higher in the 10F-treated group than in the control. Transcript abundance of the cumulus cell expansion-related gene encoding hyaluronian synthase 2 (HAS2) in cumulus cells at oocyte germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) was significantly higher in the 10F- and 50F-treated groups compared to untreated controls, whereas the mRNA abundance of the protease cathepsin B (CTSB) at the oocyte MII stage was remarkably decreased in the 10F-treated group. The percentage of oocytes with normal spindles was greater in the 10F- and 50F-treated group at GVBD than in the other groups; the 5F-, 10F-, and 100F-treated groups were higher than the control; and the 50F-treated group was highest at MII. The abundance of GDF9 and BMP15 transcript at GVBD and BMP15 and CCNB1 transcripts at MII increased in the 10F-treated group. Cleavage rate, blastocyst formation rate, and total cell number were significantly higher in the 5F- to 50F-treated groups. These results demonstrate that FGF10 markedly improves cumulus cell expansion, oocyte maturation, and subsequent embryo development. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 84: 67-75, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Dietary glutamine supplementation improves growth performance, meat quality and colour stability of broilers under heat stress.

    PubMed

    Dai, S F; Wang, L K; Wen, A Y; Wang, L X; Jin, G M

    2009-05-01

    1. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary glutamine (Gln) supplementation on growth performance, carcase characteristics and meat quality in broilers exposed to high ambient temperature. 2. A total of 240 35-d-old male Arbor Acres broilers were randomly assigned to 4 treatment groups (three replicates of 20 birds per cage). The broilers were kept in a temperature-controlled room at either 23 degrees C (no-stress groups, NS) or 28 degrees C (heat stress groups, HS). The broilers were fed either on a basal diet (control, NS) or on the basal diet supplemented with 0, 0.5 or 1.0% Gln (HS). 3. Compared with the NS, the HS (0% Gln) group gained less weight and consumed less feed, had lower final body weight, gain-to-feed ratio, and abdominal fat yield. Breast meat in HS (0% Gln) had lower pH, water-holding capacity (WHC), a* value, ether extract (EE) content and crude protein (CP) content, and had higher shear force (SF) and L* value. 4. Linear increase were found in groups supplemented with Gln (0, 0.5% and 1.0%) for final body weight, weight gain, feed consumption, gain-to-feed ratio and abdominal fat yield. Supplementation with Gln improved breast meat pH, WHC, SF, L* value, a* value, EE content and CP content in broilers exposed to heat stress. No significant difference was observed in all the indices determined between the HS (1% Gln) and the NS. 5. Heat stress caused obvious breast meat discoloration in L*, a* and b* values. However, dietary supplementation with Gln gave a better colour stability. 6. The results indicated that dietary supplementation with Gln may alleviate heat stress-caused deterioration in growth performance, carcase characteristics, meat quality and meat colour stability of broilers.

  7. Cysteamine improves growth performance and gastric ghrelin expression in preweaning piglets.

    PubMed

    Du, G; Shi, Z; Xia, D; Wei, X; Zhang, L; Parvizi, N; Zhao, R

    2012-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of cysteamine on growth performance of preweaning piglets and gastric expression of ghrelin mRNA in vivo and in vitro. Twelve litters of newborn piglets were allocated randomly to control and treatment groups. From 15 d of age, piglets in the control group were fed basal creep diet, whereas the treatment group received basal diet supplemented with 120 mg cysteamine per kg of diet until weaning on 35 d of age. Body weight gain, creep feed consumption, and diarrhea rates were recorded, and gastric mucosal tissues were collected for quantifying mRNA expression. To evaluate the direct effect of cysteamine on gastric ghrelin expression, primary cultures of gastric mucosal cells isolated from 35-d-old piglets were exposed to cysteamine for 20 h at 0, 1, 10, and 100 μg/mL, respectively. Dietary cysteamine increased (P < 0.05) average daily creep feed consumption and BW gain in preweaning pigs, which was accompanied by reduction in diarrhea rates. At 35 d of age, piglets treated with cysteamine showed increased (P < 0.05) ghrelin and gastrin and decreased (P < 0.05) somatostatin mRNA expression in gastric mucosa. Moreover, dietary cysteamine treatment increased serum concentration of gastrin (P < 0.05). In vitro, cysteamine significantly increased ghrelin mRNA expression in gastric mucosal cells at the concentration of 10 μg/mL. In conclusion, dietary cysteamine is effective in improving the growth performance and health condition of preweaning piglets, which is associated with its stimulatory effects on gastric ghrelin mRNA expression both in vivo and in vitro.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Sensitivity Analysis in Agent-Based Models of Socio-Ecological Systems: An Example in Agricultural Land Conservation for Lake Water Quality Improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ligmann-Zielinska, A.; Kramer, D. B.; Spence Cheruvelil, K.; Soranno, P.

    2012-12-01

    Socio-ecological systems are dynamic and nonlinear. To account for this complexity, we employ agent-based models (ABMs) to study macro-scale phenomena resulting from micro-scale interactions among system components. Because ABMs typically have many parameters, it is challenging to identify which parameters contribute to the emerging macro-scale patterns. In this paper, we address the following question: What is the extent of participation in agricultural land conservation programs given heterogeneous landscape, economic, social, and individual decision making criteria in complex lakesheds? To answer this question, we: [1] built an ABM for our model system; [2] simulated land use change resulting from agent decision making, [3] estimated the uncertainty of the model output, decomposed it and apportioned it to each of the parameters in the model. Our model system is a freshwater socio-ecological system - that of farmland and lake water quality within a region containing a large number of lakes and high proportions of agricultural lands. Our study focuses on examining how agricultural land conversion from active to fallow reduces freshwater nutrient loading and improves water quality. Consequently, our ABM is composed of farmer agents who make decisions related to participation in a government-sponsored Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) managed by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). We also include an FSA agent, who selects enrollment offers made by farmers and announces the signup results leading to land use change. The model is executed in a Monte Carlo simulation framework to generate a distribution of maps of fallow lands that are used for calculating nutrient loading to lakes. What follows is a variance-based sensitivity analysis of the results. We compute sensitivity indices for individual parameters and their combinations, allowing for identification of the most influential as well as the insignificant inputs. In the case study, we observe that farmland

  11. Growth hormone ameliorates adipose dysfunction during oxidative stress and inflammation and improves glucose tolerance in obese mice.

    PubMed

    Fukushima, M; Okamoto, Y; Katsumata, H; Ishikawa, M; Ishii, S; Okamoto, M; Minami, S

    2014-08-01

    Patients with adult growth hormone deficiency exhibit visceral fat accumulation, which gives rise to a cluster of metabolic disorders such as impaired glucose tolerance and dyslipidemia. Plasma growth hormone levels are lower in obese patients with metabolic syndrome than in healthy subjects. Here we examined the hypothesis that exogenous growth hormone administration regulates function of adipose tissue to improve glucose tolerance in diet-induced obese mice. Twelve-week-old obese male C57BL/6 J mice received bovine growth hormone daily for 6 weeks. In epididymal fat, growth hormone treatment antagonized diet-induced changes in the gene expression of adiponectin, leptin, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and significantly increased the gene expression of interleukin-10 and CD206. Growth hormone also suppressed the accumulation of oxidative stress marker, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, in the epididymal fat and enhanced the gene expression of anti-oxidant enzymes. Moreover, growth hormone significantly restored glucose tolerance in obese mice. In cultured 3T3-L1 adipocytes, growth hormone prevented the decline in adiponectin gene expression in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. These results suggest that growth hormone administration ameliorates glucose intolerance in obese mice presumably by decreasing adipose mass, oxidative stress, and chronic inflammation in the visceral fat.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Agricultural Energy Practices. Agriculture Energy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with agricultural energy practices. Its objective is for the student to be able to discuss energy use and conservation of resources in the production of agricultural products. Some topics covered are basic uses of direct energy in…

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. Determining climate effects on US total agricultural productivity

    PubMed Central

    Wu, You; Chambers, Robert G.; Schmoldt, Daniel L.; Gao, Wei; Liu, Chaoshun; Liu, Yan-An; Sun, Chao; Kennedy, Jennifer A.

    2017-01-01

    The sensitivity of agricultural productivity to climate has not been sufficiently quantified. The total factor productivity (TFP) of the US agricultural economy has grown continuously for over half a century, with most of the growth typically attributed to technical change. Many studies have examined the effects of local climate on partial productivity measures such as crop yields and economic returns, but these measures cannot account for national-level impacts. Quantifying the relationships between TFP and climate is critical to understanding whether current US agricultural productivity growth will continue into the future. We analyze correlations between regional climate variations and national TFP changes, identify key climate indices, and build a multivariate regression model predicting the growth of agricultural TFP based on a physical understanding of its historical relationship with climate. We show that temperature and precipitation in distinct agricultural regions and seasons explain ∼70% of variations in TFP growth during 1981–2010. To date, the aggregate effects of these regional climate trends on TFP have been outweighed by improvements in technology. Should these relationships continue, however, the projected climate changes could cause TFP to drop by an average 2.84 to 4.34% per year under medium to high emissions scenarios. As a result, TFP could fall to pre-1980 levels by 2050 even when accounting for present rates of innovation. Our analysis provides an empirical foundation for integrated assessment by linking regional climate effects to national economic outcomes, offering a more objective resource for policy making. PMID:28265075

  18. Determining climate effects on US total agricultural productivity.

    PubMed

    Liang, Xin-Zhong; Wu, You; Chambers, Robert G; Schmoldt, Daniel L; Gao, Wei; Liu, Chaoshun; Liu, Yan-An; Sun, Chao; Kennedy, Jennifer A

    2017-03-21

    The sensitivity of agricultural productivity to climate has not been sufficiently quantified. The total factor productivity (TFP) of the US agricultural economy has grown continuously for over half a century, with most of the growth typically attributed to technical change. Many studies have examined the effects of local climate on partial productivity measures such as crop yields and economic returns, but these measures cannot account for national-level impacts. Quantifying the relationships between TFP and climate is critical to understanding whether current US agricultural productivity growth will continue into the future. We analyze correlations between regional climate variations and national TFP changes, identify key climate indices, and build a multivariate regression model predicting the growth of agricultural TFP based on a physical understanding of its historical relationship with climate. We show that temperature and precipitation in distinct agricultural regions and seasons explain ∼70% of variations in TFP growth during 1981-2010. To date, the aggregate effects of these regional climate trends on TFP have been outweighed by improvements in technology. Should these relationships continue, however, the projected climate changes could cause TFP to drop by an average 2.84 to 4.34% per year under medium to high emissions scenarios. As a result, TFP could fall to pre-1980 levels by 2050 even when accounting for present rates of innovation. Our analysis provides an empirical foundation for integrated assessment by linking regional climate effects to national economic outcomes, offering a more objective resource for policy making.

  19. Antenatal taurine supplementation for improving brain ultrastructure in fetal rats with intrauterine growth restriction.

    PubMed

    Liu, J; Liu, L; Chen, H

    2011-05-05

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Neuroblastoma-targeted nanocarriers improve drug delivery and penetration, delay tumor growth and abrogate metastatic diffusion.

    PubMed

    Cossu, Irene; Bottoni, Gianluca; Loi, Monica; Emionite, Laura; Bartolini, Alice; Di Paolo, Daniela; Brignole, Chiara; Piaggio, Francesca; Perri, Patrizia; Sacchi, Angelina; Curnis, Flavio; Gagliani, Maria Cristina; Bruno, Silvia; Marini, Cecilia; Gori, Alessandro; Longhi, Renato; Murgia, Daniele; Sementa, Angela Rita; Cilli, Michele; Tacchetti, Carlo; Corti, Angelo; Sambuceti, Gianmario; Marchiò, Serena; Ponzoni, Mirco; Pastorino, Fabio

    2015-11-01

    Selective tumor targeting is expected to enhance drug delivery and to decrease toxicity, resulting in an improved therapeutic index. We have recently identified the HSYWLRS peptide sequence as a specific ligand for aggressive neuroblastoma, a childhood tumor mostly refractory to current therapies. Here we validated the specific binding of HSYWLRS to neuroblastoma cell suspensions obtained either from cell lines, animal models, or Schwannian-stroma poor, stage IV neuroblastoma patients. Binding of the biotinylated peptide and of HSYWLRS-functionalized fluorescent quantum dots or liposomal nanoparticles was dose-dependent and inhibited by an excess of free peptide. In animal models obtained by the orthotopic implant of either MYCN-amplified or MYCN single copy human neuroblastoma cell lines, treatment with HSYWLRS-targeted, doxorubicin-loaded Stealth Liposomes increased tumor vascular permeability and perfusion, enhancing tumor penetration of the drug. This formulation proved to exert a potent antitumor efficacy, as evaluated by bioluminescence imaging and micro-PET, leading to (i) delay of tumor growth paralleled by decreased tumor glucose consumption, and (ii) abrogation of metastatic spreading, accompanied by absence of systemic toxicity and significant increase in the animal life span. Our findings are functional to the design of targeted nanocarriers with potentiated therapeutic efficacy towards the clinical translation.

  3. Optimized invertase expression and secretion cassette for improving Yarrowia lipolytica growth on sucrose for industrial applications.

    PubMed

    Lazar, Zbigniew; Rossignol, Tristan; Verbeke, Jonathan; Crutz-Le Coq, Anne-Marie; Nicaud, Jean-Marc; Robak, Małgorzata

    2013-11-01

    Yarrowia lipolytica requires the expression of a heterologous invertase to grow on a sucrose-based substrate. This work reports the construction of an optimized invertase expression cassette composed of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Suc2p secretion signal sequence followed by the SUC2 sequence and under the control of the strong Y. lipolytica pTEF promoter. This new construction allows a fast and optimal cleavage of sucrose into glucose and fructose and allows cells to reach the maximum growth rate. Contrary to pre-existing constructions, the expression of SUC2 is not sensitive to medium composition in this context. The strain JMY2593, expressing this new cassette with an optimized secretion signal sequence and a strong promoter, produces 4,519 U/l of extracellular invertase in bioreactor experiments compared to 597 U/l in a strain expressing the former invertase construction. The expression of this cassette strongly improved production of invertase and is suitable for simultaneously high production level of citric acid from sucrose-based media.

  4. The Tn5 bleomycin resistance gene confers improved survival and growth advantage on Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Blot, M; Hauer, B; Monnet, G

    1994-03-01

    The bleomycin resistance gene (ble) of transposon Tn5 is known to decrease the death rate of Escherichia coli during stationary phase. Bleomycin is a DNA-damaging agent and bleomycin resistance is produced by improved DNA repair which also requires the host genes aidC and polA coding, respectively, for an alkylation-inducible gene product and DNA polymerase I. In the absence of the drug, this DNA repair system is believed to cause the slower death rate of bleomycin-resistant bacteria. In this study, the effect of ble and aidC genes on the viability of bacteria and their growth rate in chemostat competitions was studied. The results indicate, that bleomycin-resistant bacteria display greater fitness under these conditions. Another beneficial effect of transposon Tn5 had been previously attributed to the insertion sequence IS 50 R. We were not able to reproduce this result with IS 50 R, however, the complete transposon was beneficial under similar conditions. Moreover, we showed the Tn5 fitness effect to be aidC-dependent. The ble gene was discovered after the fitness effect of IS 50 R had been established; it has not previously been considered to mediate the beneficial effect of Tn5. This possibility is discussed based on the molecular mechanism of bleomycin resistance.

  5. 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.

  6. A morel improved growth and suppressed Fusarium infection in sweet corn.

    PubMed

    Yu, Dan; Bu, Fangfang; Hou, Jiaojiao; Kang, Yongxiang; Yu, Zhongdong

    2016-12-01

    A post-fire morel collected from Populus simonii stands in Mt. Qingling was identified as Morchella crassipes Mes-20 by using nuclear ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer phylogeny. It was inoculated into sweet corn to observe colonized roots in purified culture and in greenhouse experiments. The elongation and maturation zones of sweet corn were remarkably colonized at the cortex intercellular and intracellular cells, vessel cells, and around the Casparian strip, forming ectendomycorrhiza-like structures. Colonization was also observed in the zone of cell division proximal to the root cap. Greenhouse assays with sweet corn showed that this morel stimulated the development of the root system and significantly increased the dry root biomass. M. crassipes also significantly reduced the incidence of Fusarium verticillioides in the kernels of mature ears when inoculated into young ears before Fusarium inoculation and prevented Fusarium infection in corn ears compared with that of the control in the greenhouse. When grown under axenic conditions, M. crassipes produced the phytohormones abscisic acid, indole-3-acetic acid, and salicylic acid. The benefits to plants elicited by M. crassipes may result from these phytohormones which may improve the drought resistance, biomass growth and resistance to Fusarium.

  7. 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...

  8. Agriculture Sectors

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Agriculture sectors comprise establishments primarily engaged in growing crops, raising animals, and harvesting fish and other animals. Find information on compliance, enforcement and guidance on EPA laws and regulations on the NAICS 111 & 112 sectors.

  9. 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)

  10. Improved growth media and culture techniques for genetic analysis and assessment of biomass utilization by Caldicellulosiruptor bescii.

    PubMed

    Farkas, Joel; Chung, Daehwan; Cha, Minseok; Copeland, Jennifer; Grayeski, Philip; Westpheling, Janet

    2013-01-01

    Methods for efficient growth and manipulation of relatively uncharacterized bacteria facilitate their study and are essential for genetic manipulation. We report new growth media and culture techniques for Caldicellulosiruptor bescii, the most thermophilic cellulolytic bacterium known. A low osmolarity defined growth medium (LOD) was developed that avoids problems associated with precipitates that form in previously reported media allowing the monitoring of culture density by optical density at 680 nm (OD(680)) and more efficient DNA transformation by electroporation. This is a defined minimal medium and does not support growth when a carbon source is omitted, making it suitable for selection of nutritional markers as well as the study of biomass utilization by C. bescii. A low osmolarity complex growth medium (LOC) was developed that dramatically improves growth and culture viability during storage, making it a better medium for routine growth and passaging of C. bescii. Both media contain significantly lower solute concentration than previously published media, allowing for flexibility in developing more specialized media types while avoiding the issues of growth inhibition and cell lysis due to osmotic stress. Plating on LOD medium solidified by agar results in ~1,000-fold greater plating efficiency than previously reported and allows the isolation of discrete colonies. These new media represent a significant advance for both genetic manipulation and the study of biomass utilization in C. bescii, and may be applied broadly across the Caldicellulosiruptor genus.

  11. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

    Shu, Huajie; Zhang, Panpan; Chang, Chein-Chi; Wang, Renqing; Zhang, Shuping

    2015-10-01

    The management and disposal of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention because of the increasing yields and negative effects on the environment. However, proper treatments such as converting abundant biomass wastes into biogas through anaerobic digestion technology, can not only avoid the negative impacts, but also convert waste into available resources. This review summarizes the studies of nearly two hundred scholars from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management of agricultural waste.

  12. 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.

  13. Biochar impact on improving root growth and water retention capacity in Norfolk hard setting subsoil layer

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Norfolk soil series is a well-drained soil used commonly for agricultural production in the Eastern Carolinas. Certain profile features such as a hard setting subsoil layer with high bulk density, low water holding capacity and meager soil fertility characteristics makes this soil less producti...

  14. Agriculture: About EPA's National Agriculture Center

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA's National Agriculture Center (Ag Center), with the support of the United States Department of Agriculture, serves growers, livestock producers, other agribusinesses, and agricultural information/education providers.

  15. 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.

  16. Ractopamine hydrochloride improves growth performance and carcass composition in immunocastrated boars, intact boars, and gilts.

    PubMed

    Rikard-Bell, C; Curtis, M A; van Barneveld, R J; Mullan, B P; Edwards, A C; Gannon, N J; Henman, D J; Hughes, P E; Dunshea, F R

    2009-11-01

    The beta-agonist ractopamine is a dietary ingredient that improves growth and increases the lean mass with little change in fat mass in gilts and barrows. Limited data in boars indicate that dietary ractopamine may increase lean tissue and decrease fat deposition, whereas there are no data for immunocastrated boars. The aims of this investigation were 1) to assess whether the growth performance of all sexes could be maintained over 31 d by using a step-up dietary ractopamine feeding program of 5 mg/kg of ractopamine for the first 14 d, then increasing the dose to 10 mg/kg for a further 17 d, and 2) to determine if dietary ractopamine would increase lean mass in all sexes and decrease fat mass in boars and immunocastrated boars. The study involved 286 pigs randomized and proportionally allocated by breed into 24 groups of 11 or 12 pigs at 17 wk of age, with equal groups of boars, immunocastrated boars, and gilts. Dietary ractopamine decreased (P = 0.005) ADFI during the first 2 wk, particularly in the intact and immunocastrated boars, with the reduction in ADFI being maintained in the immunocastrated boars after the increment in dietary ractopamine. Daily BW gain was not altered by dietary ractopamine during the first 2 wk, but was increased (P < 0.001) after the increment in dietary ractopamine. Dietary ractopamine decreased (P < or = 0.033) feed conversion ratio in all sexes with the response being greater after the increase in dietary ractopamine. Carcass weight was increased (P < 0.001) by dietary ractopamine in all sexes, whereas back fat tended (P = 0.076) to be reduced in the immunocastrated boars. Dietary ractopamine increased (P = 0.018) lean tissue mass by 4.0, 4.8, and 6.5 kg in the intact boars, gilts, and immunocastrated boars, respectively. In the entire and immunocastrated boars, the increase in lean tissue was accompanied with a decrease (P = 0.004) in fat mass. There was little effect of dietary ractopamine on fat mass in gilts. However, carcass

  17. Optimization of culture conditions to improve Helicobacter pylori growth in Ham's F-12 medium by response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Bessa, L J; Correia, D M; Cellini, L; Azevedo, N F; Rocha, I

    2012-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori is a gastroduodenal pathogen that colonizes the human stomach and is the causal agent of gastric diseases. From the clinical and epidemiological point of view, enhancing and improving the growth of this bacterium in liquid media is an important goal to achieve in order to allow the performance of accurate physiological studies. The aim of this work was to optimize three culture conditions that influence the growth of H. pylori in the defined medium Ham s F-12 supplemented with 5 percent fetal bovine serum by using response surface methodology as a statistical technique to obtain the optimal conditions. The factors studied in this experimental design (Box-Behnken design) were the pH of the medium, the shaking speed (rpm) and the percentage of atmospheric oxygen, in a total of 17 experiments. The biomass specific growth rate was the response measured. The model was validated for pH and shaking speed. The percentage of atmospheric oxygen did not influence the growth for the range of values studied. At the optimal values found for pH and shaking speed, 8 and 130 rpm, respectively, a specific growth rate value of 0.164 h-1, corresponding to a maximal concentration of approximately 1.5x108 CFU/ml, was reached after 8 h. The experimental design strategy allowed, for the first time, the optimization of H. pylori growth in a semi-synthetic medium, which may be important to improve physiological and metabolic studies of this fastidious bacterium.

  18. School-based deworming program yields small improvement in growth of Zanzibari school children after one year.

    PubMed

    Stoltzfus, R J; Albonico, M; Tielsch, J M; Chwaya, H M; Savioli, L

    1997-11-01

    Efficacy trials of antihelminthic therapies conducted in Africa have reported improvements in children's growth, but nutritional evaluations of large-scale deworming programs are lacking. We evaluated the first-year effect on growth of a school-based deworming program in Zanzibar, where growth retardation occurs in school children. Children in four primary schools were given thrice-yearly mebendazole (500 mg) and compared with children in four schools that received twice-yearly mebendazole and children in four non-program schools. Evaluation schools were randomly selected and allocated to control, twice-yearly or thrice-yearly deworming. Approximately 1000 children in each program group completed the 1-y follow-up. Children <10 y old gained 0.27 kg more weight (P < 0.05) and 0.13 cm more height (P = 0.20) in the twice-yearly group, and 0. 20 kg more weight (P = 0.07) and 0.30 cm more height (P < 0.01) in the thrice-yearly group, compared with the control group. Children <10 y old with higher heights-for-age at baseline had higher weight and height gains in response to deworming. In children >/=10 y old, overall program effects on height or weight gains were not significant. But in this age range, younger boys had significant improvements in height gain with thrice-yearly deworming, and children with higher heights-for-age had greater improvements in weight gain with deworming. We conclude that the deworming program improved the growth of school children, especially children who were younger and less stunted, but the improvements were small. More effective antihelminthic regimens or additional dietary or disease control interventions may be needed to substantially improve the growth of school children in areas such as Zanzibar.

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. Decreased levels of Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 are correlated with improved hypoglycemia in patients with insulinoma

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xu; Yu, Haoyong; Yin, Jun; Li, Lianxi; Zhou, Jian; Li, Ming; Li, Qing; Chen, Haibing; Liu, Fang; Bao, Yuqian; Han, Junfeng; Jia, Weiping

    2017-01-01

    Fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) improves insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism in obese or diabetic animal models and has been proposed as a potential therapeutic agent for treating T2DM, obesity, and their related complications. However, little is known about the changes of FGF21 levels in response to endogenous hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. To explore its relationship with parameters of glucose metabolism in patients with insulinoma, eleven subjects with pathological insulinoma and twenty-two healthy subjects were recruited for this study. Interestingly, we found that the serum FGF21 levels increased significantly in patients with insulinoma at baseline compared with the control group (381.36 ± 107.12 vs. 62.59 ± 10.48 pg/mL; P = 0.001). Furthermore, FGF21 was positively correlated with insulin (r = 0.80, P = 0.003) and proinsulin (r = 0.72, P = 0.012) in subjects with insulinoma. Multiple stepwise regression analysis showed that FGF21 was independently associated with insulin (β = 0.80, P = 0.003). In addition, FGF21 decreased significantly after surgery, and its change was still correlated positively with the changes in insulin (r = 0.61, P = 0.048) and proinsulin (r = 0.84, P = 0.001). These findings suggested that the serum FGF21 levels could be involved in a complex adaptive response to insulin secretion and glucose metabolism in humans. PMID:28225059

  2. Dietary supplementation with monosodium glutamate is safe and improves growth performance in postweaning pigs.

    PubMed

    Rezaei, Reza; Knabe, Darrell A; Tekwe, Carmen D; Dahanayaka, Sudath; Ficken, Martin D; Fielder, Susan E; Eide, Sarah J; Lovering, Sandra L; Wu, Guoyao

    2013-03-01

    Dietary intake of glutamate by postweaning pigs is markedly reduced due to low feed consumption. This study was conducted to determine the safety and efficacy of dietary supplementation with monosodium glutamate (MSG) in postweaning pigs. Piglets were weaned at 21 days of age to a corn and soybean meal-based diet supplemented with 0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 % MSG (n = 25/group). MSG was added to the basal diet at the expense of cornstarch. At 42 days of age (21 days after weaning), blood samples (10 mL) were obtained from the jugular vein of 25 pigs/group at 1 and 4 h after feeding for hematological and clinical chemistry tests; thereafter, pigs (n = 6/group) were euthanized to obtain tissues for histopathological examinations. Feed intake was not affected by dietary supplementation with 0-2 % MSG and was 15 % lower in pigs supplemented with 4 % MSG compared with the 0 % MSG group. Compared with the control, dietary supplementation with 1, 2 and 4 % MSG dose-dependently increased plasma concentrations of glutamate, glutamine, and other amino acids (including lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and leucine), daily weight gain, and feed efficiency in postweaning pigs. At day 7 postweaning, dietary supplementation with 1-4 % MSG also increased jejunal villus height, DNA content, and antioxidative capacity. The MSG supplementation dose-dependently reduced the incidence of diarrhea during the first week after weaning. All variables in standard hematology and clinical chemistry tests, as well as gross and microscopic structures, did not differ among the five groups of pigs. These results indicate that dietary supplementation with up to 4 % MSG is safe and improves growth performance in postweaning pigs.

  3. Disruption of Growth Hormone Receptor Prevents Calorie Restriction from Improving Insulin Action and Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Bonkowski, Michael S.; Dominici, Fernando P.; Arum, Oge; Rocha, Juliana S.; Al Regaiey, Khalid A.; Westbrook, Reyhan; Spong, Adam; Panici, Jacob; Masternak, Michal M.; Kopchick, John J.; Bartke, Andrzej

    2009-01-01

    Most mutations that delay aging and prolong lifespan in the mouse are related to somatotropic and/or insulin signaling. Calorie restriction (CR) is the only intervention that reliably increases mouse longevity. There is considerable phenotypic overlap between long-lived mutant mice and normal mice on chronic CR. Therefore, we investigated the interactive effects of CR and targeted disruption or knock out of the growth hormone receptor (GHRKO) in mice on longevity and the insulin signaling cascade. Every other day feeding corresponds to a mild (i.e. 15%) CR which increased median lifespan in normal mice but not in GHRKO mice corroborating our previous findings on the effects of moderate (30%) CR on the longevity of these animals. To determine why insulin sensitivity improves in normal but not GHRKO mice in response to 30% CR, we conducted insulin stimulation experiments after one year of CR. In normal mice, CR increased the insulin stimulated activation of the insulin signaling cascade (IR/IRS/PI3K/AKT) in liver and muscle. Livers of GHRKO mice responded to insulin by increased activation of the early steps of insulin signaling, which was dissipated by altered PI3K subunit abundance which putatively inhibited AKT activation. In the muscle of GHRKO mice, there was elevated downstream activation of the insulin signaling cascade (IRS/PI3K/AKT) in the absence of elevated IR activation. Further, we found a major reduction of inhibitory Ser phosphorylation of IRS-1 seen exclusively in GHRKO muscle which may underpin their elevated insulin sensitivity. Chronic CR failed to further modify the alterations in insulin signaling in GHRKO mice as compared to normal mice, likely explaining or contributing to the absence of CR effects on insulin sensitivity and longevity in these long-lived mice. PMID:19234595

  4. Use of plant growth promoting bacterial strains to improve Cytisus striatus and Lupinus luteus development for potential application in phytoremediation.

    PubMed

    Balseiro-Romero, María; Gkorezis, Panagiotis; Kidd, Petra S; Van Hamme, Jonathan; Weyens, Nele; Monterroso, Carmen; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2017-03-01

    Plant growth promoting (PGP) bacterial strains possess different mechanisms to improve plant development under common environmental stresses, and are therefore often used as inoculants in soil phytoremediation processes. The aims of the present work were to study the effects of a collection of plant growth promoting bacterial strains on plant development, antioxidant enzyme activities and nutritional status of Cytisus striatus and/or Lupinus luteus plants a) growing in perlite under non-stress conditions and b) growing in diesel-contaminated soil. For this, two greenhouse experiments were designed. Firstly, C. striatus and L. luteus plants were grown from seeds in perlite, and periodically inoculated with 6 PGP strains, either individually or in pairs. Secondly, L. luteus seedlings were grown in soil samples of the A and B horizons of a Cambisol contaminated with 1.25% (w/w) of diesel and inoculated with best PGP inoculant selected from the first experiment. The results indicated that the PGP strains tested in perlite significantly improved plant growth. Combination treatments provoked better growth of L. luteus than the respective individual strains, while individual inoculation treatments were more effective for C. striatus. L. luteus growth in diesel-contaminated soil was significantly improved in the presence of PGP strains, presenting a 2-fold or higher increase in plant biomass. Inoculants did not provoke significant changes in plant nutritional status, with the exception of a subset of siderophore-producing and P-solubilising bacterial strains that resulted in significantly modification of Fe or P concentrations in leaf tissues. Inoculants did not cause significant changes in enzyme activities in perlite experiments, however they significantly reduced oxidative stress in contaminated soils suggesting an improvement in plant tolerance to diesel. Some strains were applied to non-host plants, indicating a non-specific performance of their plant growth promotion

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Rhizosphere Organic Anions Play a Minor Role in Improving Crop Species' Ability to Take Up Residual Phosphorus (P) in Agricultural Soils Low in P Availability.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanliang; Krogstad, Tore; Clarke, Jihong L; Hallama, Moritz; Øgaard, Anne F; Eich-Greatorex, Susanne; Kandeler, Ellen; Clarke, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    Many arable lands have accumulated large reserves of residual phosphorus (P) and a relatively large proportion of soil P is less available for uptake by plants. Root released organic anions are widely documented as a key physiological strategy to enhance P availability, while limited information has been generated on the contribution of rhizosphere organic anions to P utilization by crops grown in agricultural soils that are low in available P and high in extractable Ca, Al, and Fe. We studied the role of rhizosphere organic anions in P uptake from residual P in four common crops Triticum aestivum, Avena sativa, Solanum tuberosum, and Brassica napus in low- and high-P availability agricultural soils from long-term fertilization field trials in a mini-rhizotron experiment with four replications. Malate was generally the dominant organic anion. More rhizosphere citrate was detected in low P soils than in high P soil. B. napus showed 74-103% increase of malate in low P loam, compared with clay loam. A. sativa had the greatest rhizosphere citrate concentration in all soils (5.3-15.2 μmol g(-1) root DW). A. sativa also showed the highest level of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF; 36 and 40%), the greatest root mass ratio (0.51 and 0.66) in the low-P clay loam and loam respectively, and the greatest total P uptake (5.92 mg P/mini-rhizotron) in the low-P loam. B. napus had 15-44% more rhizosphere acid phosphatase (APase) activity, ~0.1-0.4 units lower rhizosphere pH than other species, the greatest increase in rhizosphere water-soluble P in the low-P soils, and the greatest total P uptake in the low-P clay loam. Shoot P content was mainly explained by rhizosphere APase activity, water-soluble P and pH within low P soils across species. Within species, P uptake was mainly linked to rhizosphere water soluble P, APase, and pH in low P soils. The effects of rhizosphere organic anions varied among species and they appeared to play minor roles in

  9. Rhizosphere Organic Anions Play a Minor Role in Improving Crop Species' Ability to Take Up Residual Phosphorus (P) in Agricultural Soils Low in P Availability

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yanliang; Krogstad, Tore; Clarke, Jihong L.; Hallama, Moritz; Øgaard, Anne F.; Eich-Greatorex, Susanne; Kandeler, Ellen; Clarke, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    Many arable lands have accumulated large reserves of residual phosphorus (P) and a relatively large proportion of soil P is less available for uptake by plants. Root released organic anions are widely documented as a key physiological strategy to enhance P availability, while limited information has been generated on the contribution of rhizosphere organic anions to P utilization by crops grown in agricultural soils that are low in available P and high in extractable Ca, Al, and Fe. We studied the role of rhizosphere organic anions in P uptake from residual P in four common crops Triticum aestivum, Avena sativa, Solanum tuberosum, and Brassica napus in low- and high-P availability agricultural soils from long-term fertilization field trials in a mini-rhizotron experiment with four replications. Malate was generally the dominant organic anion. More rhizosphere citrate was detected in low P soils than in high P soil. B. napus showed 74–103% increase of malate in low P loam, compared with clay loam. A. sativa had the greatest rhizosphere citrate concentration in all soils (5.3–15.2 μmol g−1 root DW). A. sativa also showed the highest level of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF; 36 and 40%), the greatest root mass ratio (0.51 and 0.66) in the low-P clay loam and loam respectively, and the greatest total P uptake (5.92 mg P/mini-rhizotron) in the low-P loam. B. napus had 15–44% more rhizosphere acid phosphatase (APase) activity, ~0.1–0.4 units lower rhizosphere pH than other species, the greatest increase in rhizosphere water-soluble P in the low-P soils, and the greatest total P uptake in the low-P clay loam. Shoot P content was mainly explained by rhizosphere APase activity, water-soluble P and pH within low P soils across species. Within species, P uptake was mainly linked to rhizosphere water soluble P, APase, and pH in low P soils. The effects of rhizosphere organic anions varied among species and they appeared to play minor roles in

  10. Agriculture and water pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, G. William

    The attempt by certain jurisdictions to preserve a rural lifestyle by means of farmland preservation may produce some unwanted side effects, such as polluted water supplies. While there are many excellent and important reasons to preserve high-quality agricultural land for food production, efforts to retain or encourage agricultural activities in areas experiencing rapid population growth may produce some serious environmental problems.For the entire post-WW II period the United States has experienced almost continuous suburban sprawl. Many incorporated areas, experiencing rapid development, have attempted to preserve open-space and less-developed land uses by actively attempting to preserve agricultural activities. Often the most recent migrants to a growing municipality exemplify the ‘last in’ syndrome by being among the most vociferous in attempting to halt further development.

  11. Assessing Knowledge Growth in a Psychology Curriculum: Which Students Improve Most?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaap, Lydia; Schmidt, Henk G.; Verkoeijen, Peter P. J. L.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to gain insight into determinants of knowledge growth among first-year psychology students in a curriculum that uses the Progress Test (an assessment method for long-term retention of knowledge and knowledge growth) as its main assessment tool. To that end, the relation between the level of initial learning, prior…

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. Improved quality of graphene in the absence of hydrogen in a low-temperature growth process using an alcohol precursor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Kyeonggon; Lee, Kiyeol; Jeong, Jaehoon; Ye, Jongpil

    2017-03-01

    We present the results of low-temperature growth of graphene on polycrystalline copper foil surfaces at 800 °C by using low-pressure chemical-vapor deposition of alcohol precursors. The structural quality of the graphene sample was found to depend significantly on the ambient conditions during the annealing and the growth processes. The improved quality of graphene grown in an oxidizing environment was found to be associated with a lower nucleation density, suggesting that chemisorbed oxygen atoms play a critical role in determining the quality of graphene.

  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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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,…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Remote sensing and GIS techniques for assessment of the soil water content in order to improve agricultural practice and reduce the negative impact on groundwater: case study, agricultural area Ştefan cel Mare, Călăraşi County.

    PubMed

    Tevi, Giuliano; Tevi, Anca

    2012-01-01

    Traditional agricultural practices based on non-customized irrigation and soil fertilization are harmful for the environment, and may pose a risk for human health. By continuing the use of these practices, it is not possible to ensure effective land management, which might be acquired by using advanced satellite technology configured for modern agricultural development. The paper presents a methodology based on the correlation between remote sensing data and field observations, aiming to identify the key features and to establish an interpretation pattern for the inhomogeneity highlighted by the remote sensing data. Instead of using classical methods for the evaluation of land features (field analysis, measurements and mapping), the approach is to use high resolution multispectral and hyperspectral methods, in correlation with data processing and geographic information systems (GIS), in order to improve the agricultural practices and mitigate their environmental impact (soil and shallow aquifer).

  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. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. Medicinal - Agricultural science in Vedic literature.

    PubMed

    Jakhmola, R K

    2012-01-01

    It is crystal clear from critical analysis of Vedic period literature that the man at that time was highly civilized, well educated and had developed adaptation with the nature. Man had established social, economic and political systems and he was aware that all the Dravyas on the earth have medicinal values and they may give results for physical and mental well being if utilized after research as per classics. In Vedas 3 types of medicinal Dravyas are discussed viz Khanija, Vanaspatika, Pranija which are discussed in Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita in terms of Jangala, Oudbidha, Partheeva. Since ancient times with growth in population, agricultural profession also got encouragement resulting in highly developed resources, contamination free soil with its classification, soil types, rain, season and importance of time etc. had given due importance from agriculture point of view. Man had successfully understood the importance of agriculture for production of grain and medicinal herbs. Thus in this sector number of researches were carried out in Vedic period resulting in co-operation between natural resources, various resources related to agricultural profession, different types of methods for cultivation, preservation of grains and medicinal herbs, methods to improve production etc. were researched scientifically.

  12. Medicinal - Agricultural science in Vedic literature

    PubMed Central

    Jakhmola, R. K.

    2012-01-01

    It is crystal clear from critical analysis of Vedic period literature that the man at that time was highly civilized, well educated and had developed adaptation with the nature. Man had established social, economic and political systems and he was aware that all the Dravyas on the earth have medicinal values and they may give results for physical and mental well being if utilized after research as per classics. In Vedas 3 types of medicinal Dravyas are discussed viz Khanija, Vanaspatika, Pranija which are discussed in Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita in terms of Jangala, Oudbidha, Partheeva. Since ancient times with growth in population, agricultural profession also got encouragement resulting in highly developed resources, contamination free soil with its classification, soil types, rain, season and importance of time etc. had given due importance from agriculture point of view. Man had successfully understood the importance of agriculture for production of grain and medicinal herbs. Thus in this sector number of researches were carried out in Vedic period resulting in co-operation between natural resources, various resources related to agricultural profession, different types of methods for cultivation, preservation of grains and medicinal herbs, methods to improve production etc. were researched scientifically. PMID:23049203

  13. Inoculation of Brassica oxyrrhina with plant growth promoting bacteria for the improvement of heavy metal phytoremediation under drought conditions.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ying; Rajkumar, Mani; Zhang, Chang; Freitas, Helena

    2016-12-15

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of drought resistant serpentine rhizobacteria on plant growth and metal uptake by Brassica oxyrrhina under drought stress (DS) condition. Two drought resistant serpentine rhizobacterial strains namely Pseudomonas libanensis TR1 and Pseudomonas reactans Ph3R3 were selected based on their ability to stimulate seedling growth in roll towel assay. Further assessment on plant growth promoting (PGP) parameters revealed their ability to produce indole-3-acetic acid, siderophore and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase. Moreover, both strains exhibited high resistance to various heavy metals, antibiotics, salinity and extreme temperature. Inoculation of TR1 and Ph3R3 significantly increased plant growth, leaf relative water and pigment content of B. oxyrrhina, whereas decreased concentrations of proline and malondialdehyde in leaves under metal stress in the absence and presence of DS. Regardless of soil water conditions, TR1 and Ph3R3 greatly improved organ metal concentrations, translocation and bioconcentration factors of Cu and Zn. The successful colonization and metabolic activities of P. libanensis TR1 and P. reactans Ph3R3 represented positive effects on plant development and metal phytoremediation under DS. These results indicate that these strains could be used as bio-inoculants for the improvement of phytoremediation of metal polluted soils under semiarid conditions.

  14. Heavier chicks at hatch improves marketing body weight by enhancing skeletal muscle growth.

    PubMed

    Sklan, D; Heifetz, S; Halevy, O

    2003-11-01

    This study examined some of the factors connected with the greater marketing weight observed in chicks hatching with higher BW. Examination of chicks hatching from maternal flocks of different ages indicated that BW at hatch increased quadratically and yolk sac weight linearly with age, whereas components of the gastrointestinal tract showed no significant trend. Growth of pectoralis muscles and gastrointestinal tract were compared in chicks hatching at the same weight from maternal flocks of 28 and 64 wk of age and in chicks from the same maternal flock (44 wk old) hatching at different weights. The results indicated that no differences were found among chicks hatching with the same weight from maternal flocks of different ages. In contrast, in chicks from the same maternal flock hatching at different weights the gastrointestinal tract tended to compose a smaller proportion of BW in large chicks, and its growth was not correlated with performance. Liver proportions were greater in heavier chicks. Pectoralis growth and satellite cell numbers and activity were greater in heavier chicks through 5 d posthatch, and pectoralis muscles were heavier at marketing. Examination of some of the growth factors involved suggested that in heavier chicks satellite cells underwent higher proliferation and earlier differentiation during their critical period of activity in the immediate posthatch days. To determine when these differences in activity were established, examination of 15-d embryonic myoblast activity indicated that at this stage activity was already greater in the heavier eggs. This finding suggests that programming of muscle growth may be completed in late embryonic stages. This study suggests that enhanced satellite cell activity is involved in increased growth of chicks hatching with higher BW.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    2016-06-21

    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.

  18. 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

  19. An integrated analysis of agricultural water-use efficiency: A case study in the Heihe River Basin in Northwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Guofeng; Chen, Jiancheng; Wu, Feng; Li, Zhihui

    The water-use efficiency has direct impacts on the water consumption of agriculture production and is vital to water conservation at both local and regional extent. The agricultural water-use efficiency is a critical indicator that reflects the effective water allocation and water productivity improvement among different agricultural sectors. Taking the Heihe River Basin as the case study area, this study explores the changing trajectories of agricultural water use based on the input-output data of 2003-2012, and estimates the water-use efficiency with Data Envelopment Analysis, Malmquist Total Productivity Index and the decomposition of total factor productivity. Further, the influence of driving factors on the water-use efficiency is analyzed with the Tobit model. The research results indicate that the average agricultural water-use efficiency in different counties is all lower than 1 during 2003-2012, indicating that there is still improvement space in the agricultural water-use efficiency. In addition, there is obvious heterogeneity in the agricultural water-use efficiency among different counties, especially prior to 2009. The research results from the Tobit model indicate that agricultural investment and production, economic growth, industrial restructuring and agricultural plants structural adjustment have significant influence on the agricultural water-use efficiency. The research results can provide significant references for agricultural water-use management in the middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin and other similar regions in Northwest China.

  20. Expression of recombinant human lysozyme in transgenic chicken promotes the growth of Bifidobacterium in the intestine and improves postnatal growth of chicken.

    PubMed

    Wang, Hai; Wu, Hongping; Wang, Kejun; Cao, Zhichen; Yu, Kun; Lian, Ling; Lian, Zhengxing

    2016-12-01

    Lysozyme is one kind of antimicrobial proteins and often used as feed additive which can defend against pathogenic bacteria and enhance immune function of animals. In this study, we have injected the lentiviral vector expressing recombinant human lysozyme (rhLZ) gene into the blastoderm of chicken embryo to investigate the effect of recombinant human lysozyme on postnatal intestinal microbiota distribution and growth performance of chicken. Successfully, we generated 194 transgenic chickens identified by Southern blot with a positive transgenic rate of 24%. The average concentration of rhLZ was 29.90 ± 6.50 μg/mL in the egg white. Lysozyme in egg white of transgenic chickens had a significantly higher antibacterial activity than those of non-transgenic chickens by lysoplate assay (P < 0.05). The feces of transgenic and non-transgenic chickens were collected and five types of bacteria (Lactobacillus, Salmonella, Bifidobacterium, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli) were isolated and cultured to detect the impact of rhLZ on gut microbiota. Among the five bacteria, the number of Bifidobacterium in the intestine of those transgenic was significantly increased (P < 0.05). Moreover, the growth traits of the transgenic and non-transgenic chickens were analyzed. It was found that the 6-week shank length, 6-week weight and 18-week weight of transgenic chickens were significantly increased than that of non-transgenic chickens. The results demonstrated that rhLZ-transgenic chicken could promote the growth of Bifidobacterium in the intestine and improve the postnatal growth of chicken.

  1. [Improvement of Y-values of Hansenula polymorpha growth on methanol by simultaneous utilization of glucose].

    PubMed

    Müller, R; Markuske, K D; Babel, W

    1983-01-01

    The simultaneous utilization of methanol and glucose by Hansenula polymorpha MH20 was investigated in chemostat (C-limited) cultivation. The mixed-substrate utilization results in biomass yields which are greater up to 20 to 25% as expected assuming an additive growth on both substrates. This is referred to as an auxiliary-substrate effect. Additionally, methanol can be utilized at higher growth rates in the presence of glucose compared to those obtained on this substrate alone. The extend of the auxiliary-substrate effect and the optimum ratio of substrates to reach this effect depend on dilution rate. The greatest stimulation in yield is obtained at D approximately 0.1 h-1, after raising the dilution rate this effect diminishes. At a rate of 0.1 h-1 the optimum mixed-substrate ratio of methanol: glucose is 7:1 (g). By increasing the growth rate the ratio changes toward glucose and reached a value of 1:1 (g) at D = 0.3 h-1. This change in the optimum ratio correlates with diminution in yield coefficient of methanol accompanying an increase in growth rate greater than 0.15 h-1. Energy balances of the utilization of the single substrates are used for interpretation of these results. From this it is evident that methanol does not play the role of an energy-rich substrate in the metabolism of yeast. Rather glucose is the energy-providing substrate in this combination.

  2. Regulating NH4+, N0-, and K+ concentration and proportions improves in vitro tissue growth.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A mixture-amount experiment that simultaneously varied both the ratios and total ionic concentration (from 20-100 mM) of NH4+, NO3+, and K+ was used to maximize sweet orange callus growth cv. ‘Hamlin.’ These experiments were free of ion confounding effects, i.e. ions added via pH adjustments and sa...

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Effectiveness of a community-based nutrition programme to improve child growth in rural Ethiopia: a cluster randomized trial.

    PubMed

    Kang, Yunhee; Kim, Sungtae; Sinamo, Sisay; Christian, Parul

    2017-01-01

    Few trials have shown that promoting complementary feeding among young children is effective in improving child linear growth in resource-challenged settings. We designed a community-based participatory nutrition promotion (CPNP) programme adapting a Positive Deviance/Hearth approach that engaged mothers in 2-week nutrition sessions using the principles of 'learning by doing' around child feeding. We aimed to test the effectiveness of the CPNP for improving child growth in rural Ethiopia. A cluster randomized trial was implemented by adding the CPNP to the existing government nutrition programmes (six clusters) vs. government programmes only (six clusters). A total of 1790 children aged 6 to 12 months (876 in the intervention and 914 in the control areas) were enrolled and assessed on anthropometry every 3 months for a year. Multi-level mixed-effect regression analysis of longitudinal outcome data (n = 1475) examined the programme impact on growth, adjusting for clustering and enrollment characteristics. Compared with children 6 to 24 months of age in the control area, those in the intervention area had a greater increase in z scores for length-for-age [difference (diff): 0.021 z score/month, 95% CI: 0.008, 0.034] and weight-for-length (diff: 0.042 z score/month, 95% CI: 0.024, 0.059). At the end of the 12-month follow-up, children in the intervention area showed an 8.1% (P = 0.02) and 6.3% (P = 0.046) lower prevalence of stunting and underweight, respectively, after controlling for differences in the prevalence at enrollment, compared with the control group. A novel CPNP programme was effective in improving child growth and reducing undernutrition in this setting. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Improved opportunities for the investigation of crystal growth phenomena on Space Station Freedom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wargo, M. J.

    1993-09-01

    Investigation of gravity as an experimental variable during crystal growth of electronic and photonic materials is expected to be significantly enhanced by the extended availability of the microgravity environment aboard Space Station Freedom. Experiments studying liquid/solid and vapor/solid phase transformations using the Crystal Growth Furnace were conducted during the first of the U.S. Microgravity Laboratory series of Space Shuttle flights. The increased time available for experiments on Space Station coupled with the quiescent environment expected during the ground-tended phase will permit scientists to conduct experiments which are not possible at present. These include studies which are both comprehensive and require processing times which are in excess of that available on today's carriers.

  14. Improvement of Crystalline Quality in GaN Films by Air-Bridged Lateral Epitaxial Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kidoguchi, Isao; Ishibashi, Akihiko; Sugahara, Gaku; Tsujimura, Ayumu; Ban, Yuzaburoh

    2000-05-01

    Air-bridged lateral epitaxial growth (ABLEG), a new technique of lateral growth of GaN films, has been developed using low-pressure metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy. A previously grown 1-μm-thick GaN film is grooved along the < 1{\\bar 1}00 >\\textrm{GaN} direction, and the bottoms of the trenches and the sidewalls are covered with a silicon nitride mask. A free-standing GaN material is regrown from the exposed (0001) surface of the ridged GaN seed structure. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy analysis reveals that the dislocations originating from the underlying seed GaN extend straight in the < 0001 > direction and dislocations do not propagate into the wing region. The wing region also exhibits a smooth surface and the root mean square roughness is found to be 0.088 nm by atomic force microscopy measurement of the (0001) face of the wing region.

  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. Phytoglobins Improve Hypoxic Root Growth by Alleviating Apical Meristem Cell Death1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Stasolla, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxic root growth in maize (Zea mays) is influenced by the expression of phytoglobins (ZmPgbs). Relative to the wild type, suppression of ZmPgb1.1 or ZmPgb1.2 inhibits the growth of roots exposed to 4% oxygen, causing structural abnormalities in the root apical meristems. These effects were accompanied by increasing levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), possibly through the transcriptional induction of four Respiratory Burst Oxidase Homologs. TUNEL-positive nuclei in meristematic cells indicated the involvement of programmed cell death (PCD) in the process. These cells also accumulated nitric oxide and stained heavily for ethylene biosynthetic transcripts. A sharp increase in the expression level of several 1-aminocyclopropane synthase (ZmAcs2, ZmAcs6, and ZmAcs7), 1-aminocyclopropane oxidase (Aco15, Aco20, Aco31, and Aco35), and ethylene-responsive (ZmErf2 and ZmEbf1) genes was observed in hypoxic ZmPgb-suppressing roots, which overproduced ethylene. Inhibiting ROS synthesis with diphenyleneiodonium or ethylene perception with 1-methylcyclopropene suppressed PCD, increased BAX inhibitor-1, an effective attenuator of the death programs in eukaryotes, and restored root growth. Hypoxic roots overexpressing ZmPgbs had the lowest level of ethylene and showed a reduction in ROS staining and TUNEL-positive nuclei in the meristematic cells. These roots retained functional meristems and exhibited the highest growth performance when subjected to hypoxic conditions. Collectively, these results suggest a novel function of Pgbs in protecting root apical meristems from hypoxia-induced PCD through mechanisms initiated by nitric oxide and mediated by ethylene via ROS. PMID:27702845

  17. 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.

  18. An improved directional growth apparatus for liquid crystals: applications to thermotropic and lyotropic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oswald, P.; Moulin, M.; Metz, P.; Géminard, J. C.; Sotta, P.; Sallen, L.

    1993-09-01

    We have built a directional growth apparatus adapted for the study of thermotropic or lyotropic liquid crystals. This cell allows us to work under inert gas, to orient the sample from outside with respect to the temperature gradient, and to measure the front temperature within 0.1°C. Three applications are described. The first deals with the growth of a monocrystal of pivalic acid when the easy growth axis makes an angle with the heat flow direction. The second experiment is concerned with the fast growth of a discotic liquid crystal and the measurement of the molecular attachment kinetic coefficient at the interface between the columnar hexagonal mesophase and the isotropic liquid. A dynamical anchoring transition between domains of planar and homeotropic orientation will be also described. The last example focuses on the growth of a hexagonal phase of a water-surfactant binary mixture and the first observation of the Mullins-Sekerka instability in a lyotropic system. Nous avons construit une cellule de croissance directionnelle adaptée à l'étude des cristaux liquides thermotropes ou lyotropes. Cette cellule permet de travailler en atmosphère inerte, d'orienter l'échantillon de l'extérieur par rapport au gradient de température, et de mesurer la température du front à 0.1°C près. Trois exemples d'application sont décrits. Le premier porte sur la croissance d'un monocristal d'acide pivalique quand l'axe de croissance facile des cellules fait un angle avec la direction du flux de chaleur. La seconde expérience porte sur la croissance rapide d'un cristal liquide discotique et la mesure du coefficient cinétique d'attachement moléculaire à l'interface entre la mésophase colonnaire hexagonale et le liquide isotrope. Une transition d'ancrage dynamique entre des domaines d'orientations planaire et homéotrope sera également décrite. Le dernier exemple porte sur la croissance d'une phase hexagonale d'un mélange binaire eau-surfactant et la premi

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Effects of ultrasonication on increased germination and improved seedling growth of aged grass seeds of tall fescue and Russian wildrye.

    PubMed

    Liu, Juan; Wang, Quanzhen; Karagić, Đura; Liu, Xv; Cui, Jian; Gui, Jing; Gu, Muyu; Gao, Wei

    2016-03-01

    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.

  4. Improved somatic embryogenesis in wheat by partial simulation of the in-ovulo oxygen, growth-regulator and desiccation environments.

    PubMed

    Carman, J G

    1988-09-01

    The effects of O2, growth-regulators and desiccation on callus growth and somatic embryo (embryoid) development were investigated in cultures of immature embryos of two lines of Triticum aestivum L. Callus and embryoid formation were induced on media that contained N(6)-furfurylamin-opurine (kinetin) and either 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid or 3,6-dichloro-o-anisic acid, either with or without abscisic acid (ABA). Cultures containing differentiated embryoids were then exposed to high concentrations of both ABA and indole-3-acetic acid, after which samples were desiccated to approx. 10% tissue moisture. Incubating cultures in 3.2 mmol·l(-1) O2 (approx. 9%, low-O2) increased embryoid formation sixfold in one wheat line and nearly threefold in another. In the former line low-O2 caused the formation of mostly embryogenic callus. Low-O2 also decreased precocious germination of immature embryos, decreased callus growth, and improved development and viability of the resultant embryoids. Including 1.9 μmol·l(-1) ABA in the callus-induction medium reduced germination of immature embryos and reduced the incidence of embryoids with visible abnormalities. Despite the improved morphology, significantly fewer of the embryoids produced on ABA-containing medium germinated. Desiccation significantly enhanced germination of these embryoids as well as those produced on ABA-free medium.

  5. Effects of ultrasonication on increased germination and improved seedling growth of aged grass seeds of tall fescue and Russian wildrye

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Juan; Wang, Quanzhen; Karagić, Đura; Liu, Xv; Cui, Jian; Gui, Jing; Gu, Muyu; Gao, Wei

    2016-03-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Root-synthesized cytokinins improve shoot growth and fruit yield in salinized tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants.

    PubMed

    Ghanem, Michel Edmond; Albacete, Alfonso; Smigocki, Ann C; Frébort, Ivo; Pospísilová, Hana; Martínez-Andújar, Cristina; Acosta, Manuel; Sánchez-Bravo, José; Lutts, Stanley; Dodd, Ian C; Pérez-Alfocea, Francisco

    2011-01-01

    Salinity limits crop productivity, in part by decreasing shoot concentrations of the growth-promoting and senescence-delaying hormones cytokinins. Since constitutive cytokinin overproduction may have pleiotropic effects on plant development, two approaches assessed whether specific root-localized transgenic IPT (a key enzyme for cytokinin biosynthesis) gene expression could substantially improve tomato plant growth and yield under salinity: transient root IPT induction (HSP70::IPT) and grafting wild-type (WT) shoots onto a constitutive IPT-expressing rootstock (WT/35S::IPT). Transient root IPT induction increased root, xylem sap, and leaf bioactive cytokinin concentrations 2- to 3-fold without shoot IPT gene expression. Although IPT induction reduced root biomass (by 15%) in control (non-salinized) plants, in salinized plants (100 mM NaCl for 22 d), increased cytokinin concentrations delayed stomatal closure and leaf senescence and almost doubled shoot growth (compared with WT plants), with concomitant increases in the essential nutrient K(+) (20%) and decreases in the toxic ion Na(+) (by 30%) and abscisic acid (by 20-40%) concentrations in transpiring mature leaves. Similarly, WT/35S::IPT plants (scion/rootstock) grown with 75 mM NaCl for 90 d had higher fruit trans-zeatin concentrations (1.5- to 2-fold) and yielded 30% more than WT/non-transformed plants. Enhancing root cytokinin synthesis modified both shoot hormonal and ionic status, thus ameliorating salinity-induced decreases in growth and yield.

  8. 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

  9. The sources of deforestation - implications for sustainable agriculture in Brazil

    SciTech Connect

    Torres-Zorrilla, J.; Arnode, C.

    1992-12-01

    Agricultural equilibrium conditions are used to identify the sources of deforestation in Brazil. The rate which forestland can be converted into agricultural land and meet agricultural and environmental goals is calculated. This serves the task of determining how long agricultural land growth can be maintained until environmental targets are violated.

  10. The improvement of spinach growth by nano-anatase TiO2 treatment is related to nitrogen photoreduction.

    PubMed

    Yang, Fan; Liu, Chao; Gao, Fengqing; Su, Mingyu; Wu, Xiao; Zheng, Lei; Hong, Fashui; Yang, Ping

    2007-10-01

    The improvement of spinach growth is proved to relate to N2 fixation by nano-anatase TiO2 in this study. The results show that all spinach leaves kept green by nano-anatase TiO2 treatment and all old leaves of control turned yellow white under culture with N-deficient solution. And the fresh weight, dry weight, and contents of total nitrogen, NH4(+), chlorophyll, and protein of spinach by nano-anatase TiO2 treatment presented obvious enhancement compared with control. Whereas the improvements of yield of spinach were not as good as nano-anatase TiO2 treatment under N-deficient condition, confirming that nano-anatase TiO2 on exposure to sunlight could chemisorb N2 directly or reduce N2 to NH3 in the spinach leaves, transforming into organic nitrogen and improving the growth of spinach. Bulk TiO2 effect, however, was not as significant as nano-anatase TiO2. A possible metabolism of the function of nano-anatase TiO2 reducing N2 to NH3 was discussed.

  11. Improved efficiency of the chemical bath deposition method during growth of ZnO thin films

    SciTech Connect

    Ortega-Lopez, Mauricio; Avila-Garcia, Alejandro; Albor-Aguilera, M.L.; Resendiz, V.M. Sanchez

    2003-06-19

    Chemical bath deposition (CBD) is an inexpensive and low temperature method (25-90 deg. C) that allows to deposit large area semiconductor thin films. However, the extent of the desired heterogeneous reaction upon the substrate surface is limited first by the competing homogeneous reaction, which is responsible for colloidal particles formation in the bulk solution, and second, by the material deposition on the CBD reactor walls. Therefore, the CBD method exhibits low efficiency in terms of profiting the whole amount of starting materials. The present work describes a procedure to deposit ZnO thin films by CBD in an efficient way, since it offers the possibility to minimize both the undesirable homogeneous reaction in the bulk solution and the material deposition on the CBD reactor walls. In a first stage, zinc peroxide (ZnO{sub 2}) crystallizing with cubic structure is obtained. This compound shows a good average transparency (90%) and an optical bandgap of 4.2 eV. After an annealing process, the ZnO{sub 2} suffers a transformation toward polycrystalline ZnO with hexagonal structure and 3.25 eV of optical bandgap. The surface morphology of the films, analyzed by atomic force microscope (AFM), reveals three-dimensional growth features as well as no colloidal particles upon the surface, therefore indicating the predominance of the heterogeneous reaction during the growth.

  12. Keratinocyte growth factor improves alterations of lung permeability and bronchial epithelium in allergic rats.

    PubMed

    Tillie-Leblond, I; Gosset, P; Le Berre, R; Janin, A; Prangère, T; Tonnel, A B; Guery, B P H

    2007-07-01

    Chronic allergic asthma is associated with marked inflammatory reaction, microvascular leakage and epithelium injury. As previously shown in a rat model of chronic asthma, these alterations increase lung permeability and distal airway fluid clearance. Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) has been shown to induce epithelial cell proliferation and to protect from acute lung injuries. Therefore, the current authors evaluated the potential role of KGF treatment on lung permeability and airway inflammation in rats with chronic asthma. KGF (1 mg x kg(-1)) was administered intravenously before the last ovalbumin (OVA) challenge in sensitised rats. Permeability was assessed by the leak of radiolabelled albumin from the alveolar and systemic compartments. Histopathological analysis was also performed. Treatment with KGF decreased the leak of both markers and decreased the level of extravascular lung water in sensitised rats challenged with OVA. KGF treatment also reduced the inflammatory cell number in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid but not in bronchial mucosa. KGF markedly limited the allergen-induced alterations in epithelium integrity and the expression of the intercellular junction proteins beta-catenin and zonula occludens protein-1. In conclusion, keratinocyte growth factor administration markedly limits lung permeability and airway inflammation, an effect associated with a decrease in epithelium alterations during chronic allergic asthma. These data open new prospects in the therapeutic strategy of asthma.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Renewable energy: energy from agricultural products

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-06-01

    This study discusses major issues concerning fuels derived from agricultural products. Agricultural products, particularly sugarcane and corn, are currently meeting major energy needs in Florida. Recent figures indicate that about 10% of the gasoline sold in Florida is ethanol enriched. This gasohol contains a 10% mix of ethanol, which is generally produced from corn or sugarcane molasses. Sugarcane residues (bagasse) also supply most of the fuel to power Florida's large sugar processing industry. These products have the potential to play an expanded role in Florida's energy future. Principle areas of interest are: Growing crops such as napier grass or harvesting water hyacinths to produce methane that can be substituted for natural gas; expanded use of sugar, starch, and industrial and agricultural wastes as raw materials for ethanol production; improved efficiency in conversion processes such as anaerobic digestion and fermentation. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida plays a leading national role in energy crops research, while Walt Disney World is using a demonstration project to convert water hyacinths into methane. Increased use of fuels produced from agricultural products depends largely on their costs compared to other fuels. Ethanol is currently attractive because of federal and state tax incentives. The growth potential of ethanol and methane is enhanced by the ease with which they can be blended with fossil fuels and thereby utilize the current energy distribution system. Neither ethanol nor methane appear able to compete in the free market for mass distribution at present, although studies indicate that genetic engineering and more efficient conversion processes may lower prices to cost effective levels. These fuels will be most cost effective in cases where waste products are utilized and the fuel is used close to the site of production.

  17. Renewable energy: energy from agricultural products

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-06-01

    This report discusses the major issues concerning fuels derived from agricultural products. Agricultural products, particularly sugarcane and corn, are currently meeting major energy needs in Florida. Recent figures indicate that about 10 percent of the gasoline sold in Florida is ethanol enriched. This gasohol contains a 10 percent mix of ethanol, which is generally produced from corn or sugarcane molasses. Sugarcane residues (bagasse) also supply most of the fuel to power Florida's large sugar processing industry. These products have the potential to play an expanded role in Florida's energy future. Principle areas of interest are: growing crops such as napier grass or harvesting water hyacinths to produce methane that can be substituted for natural gas; expanded use of sugar, starch, and industrial and agricultural wastes as raw materials for ethanol production; and improved efficiency in conversion processes such as anaerobic digestion and fermentation. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida plays a leading national role in energy crops research, while Walt Disney World is using a demonstration project to convert water hyacinths into methane. Increased use of fuels produced from agricultural products depends largely on their costs compared to other fuels. Ethanol is currently attractive because of federal and state tax incentives. The growth potential of ethanol and methane is enhanced by the ease with which they can be blended with fossil fuels and thereby utilize the current energy distribution system. Neither ethanol nor methane appear able to compete in the free market for mass distribution at present, although studies indicate that genetic engineering and more efficient conversion processes may lower prices to cost effective levels. These fuels will be most cost effective in cases where waste products are utilized and the fuel is used close to the site of production.

  18. 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

  19. Estimates of genetic parameters and selection strategies to improve the economic efficiency of postweaning growth in lambs.

    PubMed

    Snowder, G D; Van Vleck, L D

    2003-11-01

    The objectives of this study were to estimate (co)variance components for growth and feed efficiency measures, and to compare selection strategies to improve economic efficiency of gain. Variance components for pre- and postweaning growth, body weight, and measures of feed efficiency were estimated from data collected on 1,047 Targhee lambs over 7 yr. Approximately 21 d after weaning, lambs were group-fed for 4 wk, with ad libitum access to a diet of 37% whole barley grain and 63% pelleted alfalfa hay. Lambs were then individually fed for 6 wk. Lambs were then returned to group feeding for another 4-wk period. The mean feed conversion ratio (gain/intake) for the individual feeding period was 0.11. Mean postweaning ADG for the total 14-wk feeding period was 0.26 kg. (Co)variance components were estimated from single- and two-trait animal models using REML. The selection strategies compared included direct selection, index selection, and restricted index selection. Estimates of (co)variances derived from single- and two-trait models were similar, except for mid-test body weight. Preweaning growth had a low heritability estimate (0.03 +/- 0.04) compared with postweaning growth measures (0.25 to 0.39), but all measures of growth were highly correlated (r2 > 0.98). Heritability estimates of measures of gain efficiency were variable (total feed intake = 0.39; feed conversion ratio = 0.26; residual feed intake = 0.26). Total feed intake was strongly correlated genetically with feed conversion ratio (0.79) and residual feed intake (0.77). The estimate of genetic correlation between feed conversion ratio and residual feed intake was low (0.23). Comparison of selection strategies showed the superiority of index selection (ADG, total feed, body weight) for economic improvement compared with other strategies. Economic response to direct selection for ADG was at least twice that for direct selection for feed conversion ratio or against total feed intake, and that for restricted

  20. Optimal experimental design for improving the estimation of growth parameters of Lactobacillus viridescens from data under non-isothermal conditions.

    PubMed

    Longhi, Daniel Angelo; Martins, Wiaslan Figueiredo; da Silva, Nathália Buss; Carciofi, Bruno Augusto Mattar; de Aragão, Gláucia Maria Falcão; Laurindo, João Borges

    2017-01-02

    In predictive microbiology, the model parameters have been estimated using the sequential two-step modeling (TSM) approach, in which primary models are fitted to the microbial growth data, and then secondary models are fitted to the primary model parameters to represent their dependence with the environmental variables (e.g., temperature). The Optimal Experimental Design (OED) approach allows reducing the experimental workload and costs, and the improvement of model identifiability because primary and secondary models are fitted simultaneously from non-isothermal data. Lactobacillus viridescens was selected to this study because it is a lactic acid bacterium of great interest to meat products preservation. The objectives of this study were to estimate the growth parameters of L. viridescens in culture medium from TSM and OED approaches and to evaluate both the number of experimental data and the time needed in each approach and the confidence intervals of the model parameters. Experimental data for estimating the model parameters with TSM approach were obtained at six temperatures (total experimental time of 3540h and 196 experimental data of microbial growth). Data for OED approach were obtained from four optimal non-isothermal profiles (total experimental time of 588h and 60 experimental data of microbial growth), two profiles with increasing temperatures (IT) and two with decreasing temperatures (DT). The Baranyi and Roberts primary model and the square root secondary model were used to describe the microbial growth, in which the parameters b and Tmin (±95% confidence interval) were estimated from the experimental data. The parameters obtained from TSM approach were b=0.0290 (±0.0020) [1/(h(0.5)°C)] and Tmin=-1.33 (±1.26) [°C], with R(2)=0.986 and RMSE=0.581, and the parameters obtained with the OED approach were b=0.0316 (±0.0013) [1/(h(0.5)°C)] and Tmin=-0.24 (±0.55) [°C], with R(2)=0.990 and RMSE=0.436. The parameters obtained from OED approach

  1. Labor Factor Efficiency in the Agricultural Industry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    R?y, Inna U.; Shakulikova, Gulzada T.; Kozhakhmetova, Gulnar A.; Lashkareva, Olga V.; Bondarenko, Elena G.; Bermukhambetova, Botagoz B.; Baimagambetova, Zamzagul A.; Zhetessova, Mariyam T.; Beketova, Kamar N.; Anafiyaeva, Zhibek

    2016-01-01

    Agricultural problems associated with prospects of the rural population and agriculture in general have recently become an important factor in the modern economic policy development. The urgency of finding ways to improve the labor resource efficiency in agriculture pursuant to the state tasks is determined by the need to restore the agricultural…

  2. 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...

  3. Implementation of School Instructional Improvement and Student Growth in Math: Testing a Multilevel Longitudinal Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Takanishi, Stacey M.

    2012-01-01

    NCLB policies in the United States focus schools' efforts on implementing effective instructional processes to improve student outcomes. This study looks more specifically at how schools are perceived to be implementing state required curricula and benchmarks and developing teaching and learning processes that support the teaching of state…

  4. Testosterone and growth hormone improve body composition and muscle performance in older men

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    CONTEXT: Impairments in the pituitary-gonadal axis with aging are associated with loss of muscle mass and function and accumulation of upper body fat. OBJECTIVES: We tested the hypothesis that physiological supplementation with testosterone and GH together improves body composition and muscle perfor...

  5. Thinning increases understory diversity and biomass, and improves soil properties without decreasing growth of Chinese fir in southern China.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Lili; Cai, Liping; He, Zongming; Wang, Rongwei; Wu, Pengfei; Ma, Xiangqing

    2016-12-01

    Sustainable forestry requires adopting more ecosystem-informed perspectives. Tree thinning improves forest productivity by encouraging the development of the understory, which in turn improves species diversity and nutrient cycling, thereby altering the ecophysiological environment of the stand. This study aimed to quantify tree growth, understory vegetation, and soil quality of 9- and 16-year-old Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) plantations in South China, 1-7 years after pre-commercial thinning. The quadratic mean diameter (QMD) and individual tree volume were greatly increased and compensated for the reduced stand yield in thinned stands. In 2011, the stand volume in unthinned and thinned stands were 276.33 and 226.46 and 251.30 and 243.64 m(3) ha(-1), respectively, for young and middle stage. Therefore, we predicted that over time, the stand volume in thinned stands should exceed that in unthinned stands. The composition, diversity, and biomass of understory vegetation of the plantation monocultures significantly increased after thinning. The effects of thinning management on understory development were dynamic and apparent within 1-2 years post-thinning. Some light-demanding plant species such as Styrax faberi, Callicarpa formosana, Lophatherum gracile, and Gahnia tristis emerged in the shrub and herb layer and became dominant with the larger gaps in the canopy in thinned stands. The trigger effects of thinning management on understory and tree growth were more pronounced in the young stage. The beneficial effects on soil physical and chemical properties were measurable at later stages (7 years after thinning). The strong positive relationship between understory biomass and volume increment (at the tree and stand levels) indicated that understory improvement after thinning did not restrict productivity within Chinese fir stands but rather, benefited soil water content and nutrient status and promoted tree growth.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis: A case with improvement in liver tests and growth following partial external biliary diversion.

    PubMed

    Koshy, Abraham; Ramesh, Hariharan; Mahadevan, Pushpa; Mukkada, Roy Joykutty; Francis, Vadukkoot Jose; Chettupuzha, Antony Paul; Mathew, Pradeep George; Cyriac, Johny; Augustine, Philip

    2009-01-01

    A 2(1/2)-year-old boy presented with pruritus and jaundice of 2 weeks duration. On investigation, serum total bilirubin was 23.4 mg/dL and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase was normal. Liver biopsy was consistent with progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC). A partial external biliary diversion (PEBD) was done. Pruritus disappeared, growth improved and serum total bilirubin became normal, 2 months after surgery. This is the first report from India, of PFIC treated with PEBD and suggests that PEBD should be considered in patients with PFIC even if bridging fibrosis is present.

  9. Assessment of the use potential of edible sea urchins (Paracentrotus lividus) processing waste within the agricultural system: influence on soil chemical and biological properties and bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and wheat (Triticum vulgare) growth in an amended acidic soil.

    PubMed

    Garau, Giovanni; Castaldi, Paola; Deiana, Salvatore; Campus, Paolo; Mazza, Antonio; Deiana, Pietrino; Pais, Antonio

    2012-10-30

    In this study we evaluated the influence of ground purple sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) endoskeletons, a processing waste common to all edible sea urchin plants, on the chemical, biochemical and microbiological features of an acidic (pH 5.65) sandy-loam soil. The purple sea urchin endoskeletons were characterized by a high content of total carbonates (∼94%), a moderately alkaline pH in water (pH 7.88) and electrical conductivity values (3.55 mS/cm) very similar to those of commercial lime. To evaluate the influence of the P. lividus endoskeletons on soil properties four different amendment rates were tested, notably 0.5, 1.0, 3.0 and 5.0% based on soil dry weight, and the effects compared with those recorded on unamended control soil. The addition of the purple sea urchin processing waste caused an immediate and significant pH increase which was positively related to the rate of the amendment addition. After a six months equilibration period, the differences in soil pH were still evident and significant increases of electrical conductivity and available phosphorus were also detected in soils with the higher amendment rates. The number of heterotrophic and cellulolytic bacteria and actinomycetes significantly increased after amendment addition while the number of culturable fungi steadily declined. The analysis of the Biolog Community Level Physiological Profile indicated a clear influence of the purple sea urchin processing waste on the structure of the native microbial community while a significant increase of microbial functionality (i.e. dehydrogenase activity) was recorded in soil treated with the higher amendment rates (i.e. 3.0 and 5.0%). The improvement of microbial abundance and functionality as well as the change of the microbial community structure were ascribed to the pH shift induced by the P. lividus processing waste. To investigate possible effects on soil fertility, dwarf bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and wheat (Triticum vulgare) growth were also

  10. How placental growth factor detection might improve diagnosis and management of pre-eclampsia.

    PubMed

    Duhig, Kate E; Chappell, Lucy C; Shennan, Andrew H

    2014-05-01

    Pre-eclampsia complicates around 5% of pregnancies and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are responsible for over 60,000 maternal deaths worldwide annually. Identifying women with pre-eclampsia is a major goal of antenatal care in order to target increased surveillance, allow stabilizing therapies to be implemented and to enable timely delivery. Current risk assessment is based on clinical history, imperfect assessment of clinical signs (e.g., hypertension and proteinuria) and nonspecific biochemical markers, all of which are subject to considerable error. This is further confounded by underlying maternal disease such as chronic hypertension or renal pathology. Angiogenic factors reflect the underlying pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia and there is emerging evidence that they can now be used for more accurate risk assessment. The most promising of these factors include placental growth factor and soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1. Used at point of care, these can accurately discriminate true disease in suspected cases and subsequent need for delivery.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Agricultural lung diseases.

    PubMed Central

    Kirkhorn, S R; Garry, V F

    2000-01-01

    Agriculture is considered one of the most hazardous occupations. Organic dusts and toxic gases constitute some of the most common and potentially disabling occupational and environmental hazards. The changing patterns of agriculture have paradoxically contributed to both improved working conditions and increased exposure to respiratory hazards. Animal confinement operations with increasing animal density, particularly swine confinement, have contributed significantly to increased intensity and duration of exposure to indoor air toxins. Ongoing research has implicated bacterial endotoxins, fungal spores, and the inherent toxicity of grain dusts as causes of upper and lower airway inflammation and as immunologic agents in both grain and animal production. Animal confinement gases, particularly ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, have been implicated as additional sources of respiratory irritants. It has become evident that a significant percentage of agricultural workers have clinical symptoms associated with long-term exposure to organic dusts and animal confinement gases. Respiratory diseases and syndromes, including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, organic dust toxic syndrome, chronic bronchitis, mucous membrane inflammation syndrome, and asthmalike syndrome, result from ongoing acute and chronic exposures. In this review we focus upon the emerging respiratory health issues in a changing agricultural economic and technologic environment. Environmental and occupational hazards and exposures will be emphasized rather than clinical diagnosis and treatment. Methods of prevention, from both engineering controls and personal respiratory perspectives, are also addressed. PMID:10931789

  15. Agricultural lung diseases.

    PubMed

    Kirkhorn, S R; Garry, V F

    2000-08-01

    Agriculture is considered one of the most hazardous occupations. Organic dusts and toxic gases constitute some of the most common and potentially disabling occupational and environmental hazards. The changing patterns of agriculture have paradoxically contributed to both improved working conditions and increased exposure to respiratory hazards. Animal confinement operations with increasing animal density, particularly swine confinement, have contributed significantly to increased intensity and duration of exposure to indoor air toxins. Ongoing research has implicated bacterial endotoxins, fungal spores, and the inherent toxicity of grain dusts as causes of upper and lower airway inflammation and as immunologic agents in both grain and animal production. Animal confinement gases, particularly ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, have been implicated as additional sources of respiratory irritants. It has become evident that a significant percentage of agricultural workers have clinical symptoms associated with long-term exposure to organic dusts and animal confinement gases. Respiratory diseases and syndromes, including hypersensitivity pneumonitis, organic dust toxic syndrome, chronic bronchitis, mucous membrane inflammation syndrome, and asthmalike syndrome, result from ongoing acute and chronic exposures. In this review we focus upon the emerging respiratory health issues in a changing agricultural economic and technologic environment. Environmental and occupational hazards and exposures will be emphasized rather than clinical diagnosis and treatment. Methods of prevention, from both engineering controls and personal respiratory perspectives, are also addressed.

  16. The uses of ERTS-1 imagery in the analysis of landscape change. [agriculture, strip mining forests, urban-suburban growth, and flooding in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rehder, J. B. (Principal Investigator)

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The analysis of strip mining from ERTS-1 data has resulted in the mapping of landscape changes for the Cumberland Plateau Test Site. Several mapping experiments utilizing ERTS-1 data have been established for the mapping of state-wide land use regions. The first incorporates 12 frames of ERTS-1 imagery for the generalized thematic mapping of forest cover for the state of Tennessee. In another mapping effort, 14 ERTS-1 images have been analyzed for plowed ground signatures to produce a map of agricultural regions for Tennessee, Kentucky, and the northern portions of Mississippi and Alabama. Generalized urban land use categories and transportation networks have been determined from ERTS-1 imagery for the Knoxville Test Site. Finally, through the analysis of ERTS-1 imagery, short-lived phenomena such as the 1973 spring floods on the Mississippi River in western Tennessee, have been detected, monitored, and mapped.

  17. Linking agriculture and health in low- and middle-income countries: an interdisciplinary research agenda.

    PubMed

    Dangour, Alan D; Green, Rosemary; Häsler, Barbara; Rushton, Jonathan; Shankar, Bhavani; Waage, Jeff

    2012-05-01

    Recent global fluctuations in food prices and continuing environmental degradation highlight the future challenge of feeding a growing world population. However, current dialogues rarely address the relationship between agricultural changes and health. This relationship is traditionally associated with the role of food in nutrition and with food safety, and while these are key interactions, we show in this paper that the relationship is far more complex and interesting. Besides the direct effects of agriculture on population nutrition, agriculture also influences health through its impact on household incomes, economies and the environment. These effects are felt particularly in low- and middle-income countries, where dramatic changes are affecting the agriculture-health relationship, in particular the growth of nutrition-related chronic disease and the associated double burden of under- and over-nutrition. Greater understanding of the negative effects of agriculture on health is also needed. While lengthening food value chains make the chain of influence between agricultural policy, food consumption, nutrition and health more complex, there remain opportunities to improve health by changing agricultural systems. The first challenge in doing this, we suggest, is to improve our capacity to measure the impact of agricultural interventions on health outcomes, and vice versa.

  18. Low dose daily iron supplementation improves iron status and appetite but not anemia, whereas quarterly anthelminthic treatment improves growth, appetite and anemia in Zanzibari preschool children.

    PubMed

    Stoltzfus, Rebecca J; Chway, Hababu M; Montresor, Antonio; Tielsch, James M; Jape, Jape Khatib; Albonico, Marco; Savioli, Lorenzo

    2004-02-01

    Iron deficiency and helminth infections are two common conditions of children in developing countries. The consequences of helminth infection in young children are not well described, and the efficacy of low dose iron supplementation is not well documented in malaria-endemic settings. A 12-mo randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind trial of 10 mg daily iron and/or mebendazole (500 mg) every 3 mo was conducted in a community-based sample of 459 Zanzibari children age 6-71 mo with hemoglobin > 70 g/L at baseline. The trial was designed to examine treatment effects on growth, anemia and appetite in two age subgroups. Iron did not affect growth retardation, hemoglobin concentration or mild or moderate anemia (hemoglobin < 110 g/L or < 90 g/L, respectively), but iron significantly improved serum ferritin and erythrocyte protoporphyrin. Mebendazole significantly reduced wasting malnutrition. but only in children <30 mo old. The adjusted odds ratios (AORs) for mebendazole in this age group were 0.38 (95% CI: 0.16, 0.90) for weight-for-height less than -1 Z-score and 0.29 (0.09, 0.91) for small arm circumference. In children <24 mo old, mebendazole also reduced moderate anemia (AOR: 0.41, 0.18, 0.94). Both iron and mebendazole improved children's appetite, according to mothers' report. In this study, iron's effect on anemia was limited, likely constrained by infection, inflammation and perhaps other nutrient deficiencies. Mebendazole treatment caused unexpected and significant reductions in wasting malnutrition and anemia in very young children with light infections. We hypothesize that incident helminth infections may stimulate inflammatory immune responses in young children, with deleterious effects on protein metabolism and erythropoiesis.

  19. 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.

  20. Improved adipose tissue metabolism after 5-year growth hormone replacement therapy in growth hormone deficient adults: The role of zinc-α2-glycoprotein

    PubMed Central

    Balaž, Miroslav; Ukropcova, Barbara; Kurdiova, Timea; Vlcek, Miroslav; Surova, Martina; Krumpolec, Patrik; Vanuga, Peter; Gašperíková, Daniela; Klimeš, Iwar; Payer, Juraj; Wolfrum, Christian; Ukropec, Jozef

    2014-01-01

    Growth hormone (GH) supplementation therapy to adults with GH deficiency has beneficial effects on adipose tissue lipid metabolism, improving thus adipocyte functional morphology and insulin sensitivity. However, molecular nature of these effects remains unclear. We therefore tested the hypothesis that lipid-mobilizing adipokine zinc-α2-glycoprotein is causally linked to GH effects on adipose tissue lipid metabolism. Seventeen patients with severe GH deficiency examined before and after the 5-year GH replacement therapy were compared with age-, gender- and BMI-matched healthy controls. Euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp was used to assess whole-body and adipose tissue-specific insulin sensitivity. Glucose tolerance was determined by oGTT, visceral and subcutaneous abdominal adiposity by MRI, adipocyte size morphometrically after collagenase digestion, lipid accumulation and release was studied in differentiated human primary adipocytes in association with GH treatment and zinc-α2-glycoprotein gene silencing. Five-year GH replacement therapy improved glucose tolerance, adipose tissue insulin sensitivity and reduced adipocyte size without affecting adiposity and whole-body insulin sensitivity. Adipose tissue zinc-α2-glycoprotein expression was positively associated with whole-body and adipose tissue insulin sensitivity and negatively with adipocyte size. GH treatment to adipocytes in vitro increased zinc-α2-glycoprotein expression (>50%) and was paralleled by enhanced lipolysis and decreased triglyceride accumulation (>35%). Moreover, GH treatment improved antilipolytic action of insulin in cultured adipocytes. Most importantly, silencing zinc-α2-glycoprotein eliminated all of the GH effects on adipocyte lipid metabolism. Effects of 5-year GH supplementation therapy on adipose tissue lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity are associated with zinc-α2-glycoprotein. Presence of this adipokine is required for the GH action on adipocyte lipid metabolism in vitro

  1. Chronically Increased Amino Acids Improve Insulin Secretion, Pancreatic Vascularity, and Islet Size in Growth-Restricted Fetal Sheep.

    PubMed

    Brown, Laura D; Davis, Melissa; Wai, Sandra; Wesolowski, Stephanie R; Hay, William W; Limesand, Sean W; Rozance, Paul J

    2016-10-01

    Placental insufficiency is associated with reduced supply of amino acids to the fetus and leads to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). IUGR fetuses are characterized by lower glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, smaller pancreatic islets with less β-cells, and impaired pancreatic vascularity. To test whether supplemental amino acids infused into the IUGR fetus could improve these complications of IUGR we used acute (hours) and chronic (11 d) direct fetal amino acid infusions into a sheep model of placental insufficiency and IUGR near the end of gestation. IUGR fetuses had attenuated acute amino acid-stimulated insulin secretion compared with control fetuses. These results were confirmed in isolated IUGR pancreatic islets. After the chronic fetal amino acid infusion, fetal glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and islet size were restored to control values. These changes were associated with normalization of fetal pancreatic vascularity and higher fetal pancreatic vascular endothelial growth factor A protein concentrations. These results demonstrate that decreased fetal amino acid supply contributes to the pathogenesis of pancreatic islet defects in IUGR. Moreover, the results show that pancreatic islets in IUGR fetuses retain their ability to respond to increased amino acids near the end of gestation after chronic fetal growth restriction.

  2. 2-buten-4-olide, an endogenous feeding suppressant, improves spatial performance through brain acidic fibroblast growth factor in mice.

    PubMed

    Li, X L; Aou, S; Li, A J; Hori, T; Tooyama, I; Oomura, Y

    2001-12-01

    Endogenous sugar acid 2-buten-4-olide, a satiety substance, has been shown to increase the blood glucose, norepinephrine, and glucocorticoid concentrations that are known to modulate learning and memory processes. The glucose-induced release of acidic fibroblast growth factor facilitated the hippocampus-dependent memory function. In the present study, we investigated the effect of 2-buten-4-olide on the spatial performance of male DDY mice undergoing the water maze task. The intraperitoneal injection of 2-buten-4-olide (5 mg/kg) facilitated the spatial performance, which was indicated by a reduction in the escape latency in which the mouse finds and climbs the goal platform in comparison to the vehicle-injected control mice. In the probe test after removing the platform, the 2-buten-4-olide-treated mice stayed a longer time in the quadrant where the platform was originally located and crossed more frequently at the platform location than did the control mice. The pretreatment of acidic fibroblast growth factor antibody injected into the lateral ventricle eliminated the effect of 2-buten-4-olide both during the training sessions and during the probe test. Therefore, 2-buten-4-olide was found to improve the spatial performance, and this effect is mediated, at least in part, by acidic fibroblast growth factor.

  3. 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.

  4. Biocontrol of Fusarium wilt disease in cucumber with improvement of