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Sample records for agricultural growth improve

  1. Improvements in agricultural sciences

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  2. Agricultural Productivity Forecasts for Improved Drought Monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Whittington, L A; Stapleton, D C

    1995-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mellor, J W

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xibai; Yang, Zhengli

    2006-01-01

    This paper analyzed the present status of China agricultural water and soil environment. It was indicated that the agricultural water environment in this country was more serious, with the affected area being approximately 20% of the total farmland, and 5% of it being severely affected. More attention should be paid to the pollution of agricultural chemicals in soil environment. The impacts of industrial wastes, urban sewage and garbage, agricultural chemicals, and soil erosion on agro-environment were discussed, with the impact degree of these factors analyzed. The major problems in China agricultural environment melioration were presented, related researches and major countermeasures in this country and developed countries were reviewed, and relevant measures and suggestions on improving the agricultural environment quality of China were put forward. PMID:16689249

  10. The Agricultural Teacher: The Key in Program Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clouse, James P.

    1985-01-01

    Presents characteristics of a responsible agricultural teacher: mastery of technical subject matter, continual intellectual growth, awareness of professional responsibility, awareness of advances in teaching methodology, planning for effective teaching, skill in the instructional functions, concern for students, dependability as a team member,…

  11. How can we harness quantitative genetic variation in crop root systems for agricultural improvement?

    PubMed

    Topp, Christopher N; Bray, Adam L; Ellis, Nathanael A; Liu, Zhengbin

    2016-03-01

    Root systems are a black box obscuring a comprehensive understanding of plant function, from the ecosystem scale down to the individual. In particular, a lack of knowledge about the genetic mechanisms and environmental effects that condition root system growth hinders our ability to develop the next generation of crop plants for improved agricultural productivity and sustainability. We discuss how the methods and metrics we use to quantify root systems can affect our ability to understand them, how we can bridge knowledge gaps and accelerate the derivation of structure-function relationships for roots, and why a detailed mechanistic understanding of root growth and function will be important for future agricultural gains. PMID:26911925

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. PMID:26537605

  16. 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

  17. Autotrophic growth of nitrifying community in an agricultural soil

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Weiwei; Zhang, Caixia; Zeng, Xiaowei; Feng, Youzhi; Weng, Jiahua; Lin, Xiangui; Zhu, Jianguo; Xiong, Zhengqin; Xu, Jian; Cai, Zucong; Jia, Zhongjun

    2011-01-01

    The two-step nitrification process is an integral part of the global nitrogen cycle, and it is accomplished by distinctly different nitrifiers. By combining DNA-based stable isotope probing (SIP) and high-throughput pyrosequencing, we present the molecular evidence for autotrophic growth of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria (NOB) in agricultural soil upon ammonium fertilization. Time-course incubation of SIP microcosms indicated that the amoA genes of AOB was increasingly labeled by 13CO2 after incubation for 3, 7 and 28 days during active nitrification, whereas labeling of the AOA amoA gene was detected to a much lesser extent only after a 28-day incubation. Phylogenetic analysis of the 13C-labeled amoA and 16S rRNA genes revealed that the Nitrosospira cluster 3-like sequences dominate the active AOB community and that active AOA is affiliated with the moderately thermophilic Nitrososphaera gargensis from a hot spring. The higher relative frequency of Nitrospira-like NOB in the 13C-labeled DNA suggests that it may be more actively involved in nitrite oxidation than Nitrobacter-like NOB. Furthermore, the acetylene inhibition technique showed that 13CO2 assimilation by AOB, AOA and NOB occurs only when ammonia oxidation is not blocked, which provides strong hints for the chemolithoautotrophy of nitrifying community in complex soil environments. These results show that the microbial community of AOB and NOB dominates the nitrification process in the agricultural soil tested. PMID:21326337

  18. 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. .

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Pansharpening Landsat 8 Data For Improved Agricultural Field Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, H.; Roy, D. P.

    2014-12-01

    Satellite data provide a synoptic view and have been used for agricultural applications including cropland distribution mapping, crop condition monitoring, crop production assessment, and yield prediction. The ability of satellite data to monitor agriculture reliably is dependent on many factors but is fundamentally constrained by the satellite spatial resolution relative to the field spatial dimensions. The recently launched Landsat 8 satellite has improved calibration, radiometric resolution, geometry and global data acquisition frequency over previous Landsat sensors. Pansharpening is an established technique to integrate higher spatial resolution panchromatic information with lower spatial resolution multi-spectral information. A new pansharpening algorithm is presented that is specific to Landsat 8 and that models the sensor spectral response functions to provide a universal algorithm that is computationally efficient and applicable to large volume data. Experiments conducted using Landsat 8 data acquired over agricultural regions with markedly different field dimensions in South Dakota, China, and India, are presented to demonstrate and quantify the utility of the 15m pansharpened Landsat 8 data over conventional 30m data.

  1. 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,…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Hedley, Carolyn

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-26

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

  12. Role of ecological farms in improving agricultural environmental problems

    SciTech Connect

    Huang Zhenguan; Shu, T.

    1983-01-01

    This article examines the concept of regarding the agricultural ecosystem as an entirety, integrating the energy conversion and material cycle between various biocoenosiums of plants, animals and microorganisms and that between organisms and nonorganisms which run through the entire ecosystem, and composing scientifically the environment-ecosystem for the purpose of gaining the maximum biotic yield and the best efficiency in protection of the agricultural environment. It is indicated that ''methane-fermentation'' of agricultural organisms is an important link in fully utilizing matter and energy and reducing environmental pollution, and this will partly solve the problem of fuel shortage in rural areas as well. There is a need to find models of ecological farms which suit the realities of China. Even though ecological farms are a new concept in the agricultural sciences, some forms of ecological farms have long existed in traditional agricultural production of China. For example, the peasants in some flatland areas of southern China scrape sod from the borderdikes to bed down domestic animals, the mud-bearing sod is mixed with the excrement of livestock, and after pilling and rotting, the decomposed manure is applied as organic fertilizer in farmlands. A diagram of the production structure of a fishpond is presented.

  13. Agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture within the United States is varied and produces a large value ($200 billion in 2002) of production across a wide range of plant and animal production systems. Because of this diversity, changes in climate will likely impact agriculture throughout the United States. Climate affects crop, ...

  14. Representative Agricultural Pathways: A Trans-Disciplinary Approach to Agricultural Model Inter-comparison, Improvement, Climate Impact Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antle, J. M.; Valdivia, R. O.; Claessens, L.; Nelson, G. C.; Rosenzweig, C.; Ruane, A. C.; Vervoort, J.

    2013-12-01

    The global change research community has recognized that new pathway and scenario concepts are needed to implement impact and vulnerability assessment that is logically consistent across local, regional and global scales. For impact and vulnerability assessment, new socio-economic pathway and scenario concepts are being developed. Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) are designed to extend global pathways to provide the detail needed for global and regional assessment of agricultural systems. In addition, research by the Agricultural Model Inter-comparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) shows that RAPs provide a powerful way to engage stakeholders in climate-related research throughout the research process and in communication of research results. RAPs are based on the integrated assessment framework developed by AgMIP. This framework shows that both bio-physical and socio-economic drivers are essential components of agricultural pathways and logically precede the definition of adaptation and mitigation scenarios that embody associated capabilities and challenges. This approach is based on a trans-disciplinary process for designing pathways and then translating them into parameter sets for bio-physical and economic models that are components of agricultural integrated assessments of climate impact, adaptation and mitigation. RAPs must be designed to be part of a logically consistent set of drivers and outcomes from global to regional and local. Global RAPs are designed to be consistent with higher-level global socio-economic pathways, but add key agricultural drivers such as agricultural growth trends that are not specified in more general pathways, as illustrated in a recent inter-comparison of global agricultural models. To create pathways at regional or local scales, further detail is needed. At this level, teams of scientists and other experts with knowledge of the agricultural systems and regions work together through a step-wise process. Experiences

  15. Growth and development symposium: Fetal programming in animal agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fetal programming is the ability to improve animal production and well-being by altering the maternal environment and holds enormous challenges and great opportunities for researchers and the animal industry. A symposium was held to provide an overview of current knowledge of fetal programming in re...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  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. PMID:19568745

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Mahmood, M

    1992-01-01

    The author critiques an article on Pakistan's agricultural improvement and population change. The focus of concern was the theory proposed by the Chicago/Columbia school on the relationship between income and demand for children. There is disagreement that technical change which increases labor use will lead to increases in the demand for children and increases in the total fertility rate (TFR). The author proposes that when technical change reduces labor needs, employment decreases lead to decreasing or low household income, resulting in an increased demand for children and increased TFRs. The contention is that low income, not high probabilities of employment, will raise the demand for child labor. There is also concern that demand for children is not stable across all income classes; rich parents are unlikely to rely on children's future income. The micro thinking would place the household in the position, with low adult employment and low wages, of desiring to increase income with a child's wages, which are offered in the market at lower than adult wages. This would allow employers to take advantage of the low wages of children. There is evidence that a strong, significant, and positive relationship exists between mechanization in 1961 and growth of mechanization and the decline in TFRs. There is also evidence that real wages are significantly and strongly positively related to a decrease in TFR. The implications for Pakistani policy are that increasing landlessness and agricultural unemployment have a deleterious effect on future growth and may account for high levels of TFR in Pakistan. TFRs are expected to decline when agrarian income and assets even out. PMID:12286754

  1. Improving Growth in Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Given that the role of the somatotropic axis (e.g. growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor I) in yellow perch growth is uniquely unresolved, and the interplay of sex steroids with the somatotropic axis unknown, research efforts are focused in this area. To accomplish this, we will isolate and...

  2. 76 FR 18581 - Correction; Central Valley Project Improvement Act, Standard Criteria for Agricultural and Urban...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-04

    ... at 76 FR 16818 on the Central Valley Project Improvement Act Standard Criteria for Agricultural and.../2011_standard_criteria.pdf . FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Melissa Crandell, Bureau...

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

    PubMed

    Pray, Carl; Ledermann, Samuel

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Deforestation driven by urban population growth and agricultural trade in the twenty-first century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Defries, Ruth S.; Rudel, Thomas; Uriarte, Maria; Hansen, Matthew

    2010-03-01

    Reducing atmospheric carbon emissions from tropical deforestation is at present considered a cost-effective option for mitigating climate change. However, the forces associated with tropical forest loss are uncertain. Here we use satellite-based estimates of forest loss for 2000 to 2005 (ref. 2) to assess economic, agricultural and demographic correlates across 41 countries in the humid tropics. Two methods of analysis-linear regression and regression tree-show that forest loss is positively correlated with urban population growth and exports of agricultural products for this time period. Rural population growth is not associated with forest loss, indicating the importance of urban-based and international demands for agricultural products as drivers of deforestation. The strong trend in movement of people to cities in the tropics is, counter-intuitively, likely to be associated with greater pressures for clearing tropical forests. We therefore suggest that policies to reduce deforestation among local, rural populations will not address the main cause of deforestation in the future. Rather, efforts need to focus on reducing deforestation for industrial-scale, export-oriented agricultural production, concomitant with efforts to increase yields in non-forested lands to satisfy demands for agricultural products.

  5. 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

  6. 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

    2014-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  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. PMID:23271460

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  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. PMID:25919305

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Vosti, S A; Lipton, M

    1992-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Improved Growth Of Diamond Films From Oxyacetylene Torch

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Floyd E., III

    1995-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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. PMID:25049487

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taghvaeian, S.

    2014-12-01

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

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Stark, John D; Walthall, William K

    2003-12-01

    Acute and chronic toxicity of eight agricultural adjuvants (Bond, Kinetic, Plyac, R-11, Silwet L-77, Sylgard 309, X-77, and WaterMaxx) to Daphnia pulex were evaluated with 48-h acute lethal concentration estimates (LC50) and a 10-d population growth-rate measurement, the instantaneous rate of increase (r1). Based on LC50, the order of toxicity was R-11 > X-77 = Sylgard 309 = Silwet L-77 > Kinetic > Bond > Plyac > WaterMaxx; all LC50 estimates were higher than the expected environmental concentration (EEC) of 0.79 mg/L, indicating that none of these adjuvants should cause high levels of mortality in wild D. pulex populations. Extinction, defined as negative population growth rate, occurred after exposure to 0.9 mg/L R-11, 13 mg/L X-77, 25 mg/L Kinetic, 28 mg/L Silwet, 18 mg/L Sylgard, 450 mg/L Bond, 610 mg/L Plyac, and 1,600 mg/L WaterMaxx. Concentrations that caused extinction were substantially below the acute LC50 for R-11, Kinetic, Plyac, X-77, and Bond. The no-observable-effects concentration (NOEC) and lowest-observable-effects concentration (LOEC) for the number of offspring per surviving female after exposure to R-11 were 0.5 and 0.75 mg/L, respectively. The NOEC and LOEC for population size after exposure to R-11 were (1.25 and 0.5 mg/L, respectively. Both of these values were lower than the EEC, indicating that R-11 does have the potential to cause damage to D. pulex populations after application at recommended field rates. The wide range of concentrations causing extinction makes it difficult to generalize about the potential impacts that agricultural adjuvants might have on aquatic ecosystems. Therefore, additional studies that examine effects on other nontarget organisms and determine residues in aquatic ecosystems may be warranted. PMID:14713050

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Effects of cyanobacteria producing microcystins on seed germination and seedling growth of several agricultural plants.

    PubMed

    Saqrane, Sana; El Ghazali, Issam; Oudra, Brahim; Bouarab, L; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2008-06-01

    The effects of cyanobacteria aqueous extracts containing Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) on the seed germination and growth of Pisum sativum, Lens esculenta, Zea mays and Triticum durum were investigated. Experiments were carried out on a range of doses of the extract (equivalent to 0, 1.6, 2.9, 5.8, 8.7 and 11.6 mu g MC-LR/mL). The results confirm that these plants were sensitive to cell-free extracts of a toxic Microcystis and that germination inhibition was dose dependent. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that P. sativum is the most sensitive tested species with a 97% germination rate reduction and L. esculenta was the most resistant. At the 8th day, the exposure to the microcystins (MC) resulted in a significant decrease of plant epicotyls length, roots length and a net inhibition of lateral root formation. It is concluded that MC could affect also terrestrial plants seedling germination and growth. Therefore, the use of water for irrigation contaminated by MC could exert negative biochemical effects on seed and plant metabolism which might influence the agricultural crops. PMID:18576226

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  17. 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.

  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. PMID:12421866

  19. Adaptive Evolution of Synthetic Cooperating Communities Improves Growth Performance

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaolin; Reed, Jennifer L.

    2014-01-01

    Symbiotic interactions between organisms are important for human health and biotechnological applications. Microbial mutualism is a widespread phenomenon and is important in maintaining natural microbial communities. Although cooperative interactions are prevalent in nature, little is known about the processes that allow their initial establishment, govern population dynamics and affect evolutionary processes. To investigate cooperative interactions between bacteria, we constructed, characterized, and adaptively evolved a synthetic community comprised of leucine and lysine Escherichia coli auxotrophs. The co-culture can grow in glucose minimal medium only if the two auxotrophs exchange essential metabolites — lysine and leucine (or its precursors). Our experiments showed that a viable co-culture using these two auxotrophs could be established and adaptively evolved to increase growth rates (by ∼3 fold) and optical densities. While independently evolved co-cultures achieved similar improvements in growth, they took different evolutionary trajectories leading to different community compositions. Experiments with individual isolates from these evolved co-cultures showed that changes in both the leucine and lysine auxotrophs improved growth of the co-culture. Interestingly, while evolved isolates increased growth of co-cultures, they exhibited decreased growth in mono-culture (in the presence of leucine or lysine). A genome-scale metabolic model of the co-culture was also constructed and used to investigate the effects of amino acid (leucine or lysine) release and uptake rates on growth and composition of the co-culture. When the metabolic model was constrained by the estimated leucine and lysine release rates, the model predictions agreed well with experimental growth rates and composition measurements. While this study and others have focused on cooperative interactions amongst community members, the adaptive evolution of communities with other types of

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bieroza, Magdalena; Heathwaite, Ann Louise

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria and Mycorrhizal Fungi in Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) encourage plant growth by producing growth regulators, facilitating nutrient uptake, accelerating mineralization, reducing plant stress, stimulating nodulation, providing nitrogen fixation, promoting mycorrhizal fungi, suppressing plant diseases, and funct...

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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. Assimilation of remote sensing data into crop growth model to improve the estimation of regional winter wheat yield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chaoshun; Gao, Wei; Liu, Pudong; Sun, Zhibin

    2014-10-01

    Accurate regional crop growth monitoring and yield prediction is very critical for the national food security assessment and sustainable development of agriculture, especially for China, which has the largest population in the world. Remote sensing data and crop growth model have been successfully used in the crop production prediction. However, both of them have inherent limitation and uncertainty. The data assimilation method which combines crop growth model and remotely sensed data has been proven to be the most effective method in regional yield estimation. The aim of this paper is to improve the estimation of regional winter wheat yield of crop growth model by using data assimilation schemes with Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) algorithm. WOrld FOod STudies (WOFOST) crop growth model was chosen as the crop growth model which was calibrated and validated by the field measured data. MODIS Leaf Area Index (LAI) values were used as remote sensing observations to adjust the LAI simulated by the WOFOST model based on EnKF. The results illustrate that the EnKF algorithm has significantly improved the regional winter wheat yield estimates over the WOFOST simulation without assimilation in both potential and water-limited modes. Although this study clearly implies that the assimilation of the remotely sensed data into crop growth model with EnKF algorithm has the potential to improve the prediction of regional crop yield and has great potential in agricultural applications, high resolution meteorological data and detailed crop field management are necessary to reach a high accuracy of regional crop yield estimation.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wortman, Sam E; Lovell, Sarah Taylor

    2013-09-01

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

  5. 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. PMID:24911687

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. Improving our ability to assess risk of phosphorus from agricultural fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eutrophication from excess phosphorus (P) loading is widespread among U.S. water bodies with a substantial portion of the P originating from agricultural fields. To reduce the impact agriculture has on water quality, USDA-NRCS includes P-based planning strategies in their 590 Standard to restrict P ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  9. 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…

  10. 1961 ACTIVITIES IN CALIFORNIA DIRECTED TOWARD THE IMPROVEMENT OF HEALTH AMONG DOMESTIC SEASONAL AGRICULTURAL WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    1961

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. BUTANOL PRODUCTION FROM AGRICULTURAL RESIDUES: IMPACT OF DEGRADATION PRODUCTS ON CLOSTRIDIUM BEIJERINCKII GROWTH AND BUTANOL FERMENTATION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During pretreatment and hydrolysis of fiber-rich agricultural biomass, compounds such as salts, furfural, hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF), acetic, ferulic, glucuronic, p-coumaric acids, and phenolic compounds are produced. Clostridium beijerinckii BA101 can utilize the individual sugars present in lig...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yi-Chun

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Site specific irrigation management-Precision agriculture for improved water use efficiency

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Precision agriculture involves aspects of sensing, crop protection, field sampling, precision tillage and planting, fertilizer application, pest control, irrigation, on-the-go yield monitoring and other emerging applications. Site specific irrigation management (SSIM) focuses on the delivery of app...

  17. 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...

  18. Indigenous and introduced arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi contribute to plant growth in two agricultural soils from south-western Australia.

    PubMed

    Gazey, C; Abbott, L K; Robson, A D

    2004-12-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi occur in all agricultural soils but it is not easy to assess the contribution they make to plant growth under field conditions. Several approaches have been used to investigate this, including the comparison of plant growth in the presence or absence of naturally occurring AM fungi following soil fumigation or application of fungicides. However, treatments such as these may change soil characteristics other than factors directly involving AM fungi and lead to difficulties in identifying the reason for changes in plant growth. In a glasshouse experiment, we assessed the contribution of indigenous AM fungi to growth of subterranean clover in undisturbed cores of soil from two agricultural field sites (a cropped agricultural field at South Carrabin and a low input pasture at Westdale). We used the approach of estimating the benefit of AM fungi by comparing the curvature coefficients (C) of the Mitscherlich equation for subterranean clover grown in untreated field soil, in field soil into which inoculum of Glomus invermaium was added and in soil fumigated with methyl bromide. It was only possible to estimate the benefit of mycorrhizas using this approach for one soil (Westdale) because it was the only soil for which a Mitscherlich response to the application of a range of P levels was obtained. The mycorrhizal benefit (C of mycorrhizal vs. non-mycorrhizal plants or C of inoculated vs. uninoculated plants) of the indigenous fungi corresponded with a requirement for phosphate by plants that were colonised by AM fungi already present in the soil equivalent to half that required by non-mycorrhizal plants. This benefit was independent of the plant-available P in the soil. There was no additional benefit of inoculation on plant growth other than that due to increased P uptake. Indigenous AM fungi were present in both soils and colonised a high proportion of roots in both soils. There was a higher diversity of morphotypes of mycorrhizal fungi

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

    SciTech Connect

    Gharagozloo, Patricia E.; Drewry, Jessica L.

    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.

  20. 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).

  1. Index selection in terminal sires improves early lamb growth.

    PubMed

    Márquez, G C; Haresign, W; Davies, M H; Emmans, G C; Roehe, R; Bünger, L; Simm, G; Lewis, R M

    2012-01-01

    /d; P < 0.01). Lambs from Scottish Mule dams were heavier, with greater ADG, than lambs born to Welsh Mules (P < 0.01). Lambs reared in Scotland were heavier at all ages (P < 0.01). The results suggest that using index selection in TS can improve the growth of their commercial offspring reared on grass. PMID:22021813

  2. The effectiveness of agricultural stewardship for improving water quality at the catchment scale: Experiences from an NVZ and ECSFDI watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kay, Paul; Grayson, Richard; Phillips, Martin; Stanley, Karen; Dodsworth, Alan; Hanson, Ann; Walker, Andrew; Foulger, Miles; McDonnell, Iain; Taylor, Simon

    2012-02-01

    SummaryAgriculture is estimated to be responsible for 70% of nitrate and 30-50% of phosphorus pollution, contributing to ecological and water treatment problems. Despite the fact that significant gaps remain in our understanding, it is known that agricultural stewardship can be highly effective in controlling water pollution at the plot and field scales. Knowledge at the catchment scale is, to a large extent, entirely lacking though and this is of paramount concern given that the catchment is the management unit used by regulatory authorities. The few studies that have examined the impact of agricultural stewardship at the catchment scale have found that Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) in the UK have resulted in little improvement in water quality which concurs with the current catchment study. In addition to NVZs, there was little evidence to suggest that the England Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative had impacted water quality and suggestions have been made for improvements, such as ensuring that stewardship measures are used in key pollution source areas and their implementation and impacts are monitored more closely. This will be essential if agricultural catchment management schemes are going to provide the benefits expected of them. Nevertheless, more intensive monitoring than that carried out by regulators showed a significant trend in decreasing winter nitrate peaks in some streams which is hypothesised to be due to recent reduced inorganic fertiliser application as a result of increasing prices. It was concluded that, collectively, these findings indicate that agricultural stewardship measures have the potential to improve water quality at the catchment scale but that voluntary schemes with insufficient financial reward or regulatory pressure are unlikely to be successful.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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. PMID:21882653

  10. 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...

  11. Towards An Improved Curriculum for Agricultural Education at the Secondary School Level in Sierra Leone

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conteh, Kaimasa M.

    1974-01-01

    Agricultural education is a recent addition to secondary curriculum in Sierra Leone. The author lists (1) justification for teaching it, (2) the Government's educational goals, (3) program planning steps needed, (4) tentative curriculum objectives, (5) central concepts to be transmitted to students, (6) guidelines on content organization, (7)…

  12. 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. PMID:12348316

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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. PMID:23563321

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. Improving Growth of Calibrachoa x Hybrida (Cerv.) in Hanging Pouches

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unique growing containers and non-traditional types of plant presentation applications can cause new production problems for growers. This study was conducted to evaluate the growth of a popular new container plant, Calibrachoa, produced in hanging flower pouches using different growing media compo...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Larry G.

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

  5. Using satellite remote sensing and hydrologic modeling to improve understanding of crop management and agricultural water use at regional to global scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salmon, Jessica Meghan

    Croplands are essential to human welfare. In the coming decades, croplands will experience substantial stress from climate change, population growth, changing diets, urban expansion, and increased demand for biofuels. Food security in many parts of the world therefore requires informed crop management and adaptation strategies. In this dissertation, I explore two key dimensions of crop management with significant potential to improve adaptation pathways: irrigation and crop calendars. Irrigation, which is widely used to boost crop yields, is a key strategy for adapting to changes in drought frequency and duration. However, irrigation competes with household, industrial, and environmental needs for freshwater resources. Accurate information regarding irrigation patterns is therefore required to develop strategies that reduce unsustainable water use. To address this need, I fused information from remote sensing, climate datasets, and crop inventories to develop a new global database of rain-fed, irrigated, and paddy croplands. This database describes global agricultural water management with good realism and at higher spatial resolution than existing maps. Crop calendar management helps farmers to limit crop damage from heat and moisture stress. However, global crop calendar information currently lacks spatial and temporal detail. In the second part of my dissertation I used remote sensing to characterize global cropping patterns annually, from 2001-2010, at 0.08 degree spatial resolution. Comparison of this new dataset with existing sources of crop calendar data indicates that remote sensing is able to correct substantial deficiencies in available data sources. More importantly, the database provides previously unavailable information related to year-to-year variability in cropping patterns. Asia, home to roughly one half of the Earth's population, is expected to experience significant food insecurity in coming decades. In the final part of my dissertation, I used a

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Improved Transparent Furnace For Crystal-Growth Experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenthal, Bruce N.; White, Steve; Kalinowski, Joseph M.

    1989-01-01

    Novel design and fabrication process for transparent crystal-growing furnace developed. Design consists of one or more heater zones in which heating wire coiled around insides of quartz tubes. Ampoule of material supported inside furnace by guide wire. Crystal then grown by directional freezing of material in ampoule. Distinct feature of use of quartz is capability of direct visual observation of crystal-growth process during experiment. Study of transparent electronic materials conducted in new furnaces.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Improved temporal resolution in process-based modelling of agricultural soil ammonia emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beuning, J. D.; Pattey, E.; Edwards, G.; Van Heyst, B. J.

    An emerging environmental issue in Canada is how to quantify the contribution of agricultural soil emissions of ammonia (NH 3) to environmental pollution. Emission inventories are essential to predict these emissions and their subsequent atmospheric transportation, transformation, and deposition. Due to the high spatial and temporal variability associated with NH 3 emissions, emission inventories based on measurements become expensive and emission factors lose accuracy. Process-based models are capable of accounting for the complex soil interactions, but current models lack temporal refinement and few models consider NH 3 emissions. This paper presents the development of a one-dimensional (vertical), time-dependent model capable of predicting NH 3 emissions from a slurry applied to a bare soil. The model is based on chemical, physical and biological relationships that govern soil heat, moisture, and nitrogen movement. Processes considered include convection, diffusion, decomposition, nitrification, denitrification, and surface to atmosphere transport. The model is tested with experimental data from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada which conducted NH 3 measurements following application of dairy cattle slurry to a bare field. An investigation into the sensitivity of emissions to pH and slurry infiltration rate is conducted and model predictions are best fit to measurements based on this investigation. Testing demonstrated the model's ability to predict the large NH 3 emissions immediately following application and subsequent emission trends associated with diurnal patterns that emission factors cannot capture. Results showed that model performance could benefit from a more in depth measurement program and empirical or process models of surface pH. Potential exists for the model to become a useful tool in predicting emissions on local, regional, or national scales.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-16

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

  18. Improved clonal and nonclonal growth of human, rat and bovine adrenocortical cells in culture.

    PubMed

    McAllister, J M; Hornsby, P J

    1987-10-01

    This report describes the development of a culture system for long-term growth and cloning of human fetal adrenocortical cells. Optimal conditions for stimulating clonal growth were determined by testing the efficacy of horse serum (HS), fetal bovine serum (FBS), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), fibronectin, and a combination of growth factors, UltroSer G, in stimulating growth from low density. Optimal conditions for clonal growth were achieved using fibronectin-coated dishes and DME/F12 medium with 10% FBS, 10% HS, 2% UltroSer G, and 100 ng/ml FGF or 100 pM EGF. Conditions for growth at clonal density were found to be optimal for growth of early passage, nonclonal cultures at higher densities. The improved growth conditions used for cloning were shown to allow continued long-term growth of nonclonal human adrenocortical cells without fibroblast overgrowth. All cells in cultures grown in HS, FBS, and UltroSer G had morphologic characteristics of adrenocortical cells, whereas cells grown in FBS only rapidly became overgrown with fibroblasts. Clonal and nonclonal early passage human adrenocortical cells had similar mitogenic responses to FGF and EGF. Whereas FGF, EGF, and UltroSer G showed similar stimulation of DNA synthesis and clonal growth in human adrenocortical cells and human adrenal gland fibroblasts, the tumor promoter 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate stimulated growth only in adrenocortical cells and was strongly inhibitory to growth in fibroblasts. In both cell types, forskolin inhibited DNA synthesis. Human adrenocortical cell cultures were functional and synthesized cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. The improved growth conditions for clonal growth of human adrenocortical cells also provided optimal conditions for long-term growth of cultured rat adrenocortical cells and increased the cloning efficiency of cultured bovine adrenocortical cells. PMID:3667487

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Improved Growth Of Cadmium Telluride Crystals Fro m Vapors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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)

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Short Laminin Peptide for Improved Neural Stem Cell Growth

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Poulsen, Tjalfe G; Adelard, Laetitia

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Laible, Götz; Wei, Jingwei; Wagner, Stefan

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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. PMID:23280539

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:25793220

  17. 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. PMID:24047555

  18. Improved growth rates and purity of basic ammonothermal GaN

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pimputkar, S.; Kawabata, S.; Speck, J. S.; Nakamura, S.

    2014-10-01

    Improvements to the experimental setup for the basic ammonothermal growth of GaN and the introduction of a silver capsule into the autoclave have yielded an ultrahigh purity (UHP) growth environment with reproducible external wall temperature profiles to within the error of the thermocouples (type K with special limits of error (SLE), ±2.5 °C). 40 basic ammonothermal growth runs were performed on hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) GaN seed crystals with different crystal orientations to optimize the growth system. Due to the UHP growth environment, transition metal impurities in the GaN crystals were reduced to less than 1×1017 cm-3 and oxygen impurity concentrations were comparable to those of the polycrystalline HVPE GaN source material (1×1019 cm-3). Total growth rates improved to 344±30 μm/day for c-plane growth and 46±2 μm/day for m-plane growth. The crystal quality, as measured by the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the ω-rocking curve using X-ray diffraction (ω-XRC), was comparable to that of the seed crystal, except for Ga-face growth on c-plane oriented seeds due to poor nucleation and cracking in thick growth layers due to strain originating from the HVPE seed crystals. The difference in total system pressure profiles during growth runs using autoclaves with and without a silver capsule was analyzed and the pressure drop due to outward diffusion of hydrogen during growth was modeled.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Extracellular Matrix and Growth Factors Improve the Efficacy of Intramuscular Islet Transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Tsuchiya, Haruyuki; Sakata, Naoaki; Yoshimatsu, Gumpei; Fukase, Masahiko; Aoki, Takeshi; Ishida, Masaharu; Katayose, Yu; Egawa, Shinichi; Unno, Michiaki

    2015-01-01

    Background The efficacy of intramuscular islet transplantation is poor despite being technically simple, safe, and associated with reduced rates of severe complications. We evaluated the efficacy of combined treatment with extracellular matrix (ECM) and growth factors in intramuscular islet transplantation. Methods Male BALB/C mice were used for the in vitro and transplantation studies. The following three groups were evaluated: islets without treatment (islets-only group), islets embedded in ECM with growth factors (Matrigel group), and islets embedded in ECM without growth factors [growth factor-reduced (GFR) Matrigel group]. The viability and insulin-releasing function of islets cultured for 96 h were significantly improved in Matrigel and GFR Matrigel groups compared with the islets-only group. Results Blood glucose and serum insulin levels immediately following transplantation were significantly improved in the Matrigel and GFR Matrigel groups and remained significantly improved in the Matrigel group at postoperative day (POD) 28. On histological examination, significantly decreased numbers of TdT-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate-biotin nick end labeling-positive islet cells and significantly increased numbers of Ki67-positive cells were observed in the Matrigel and GFR Matrigel groups at POD 3. Peri-islet revascularization was most prominent in the Matrigel group at POD 14. Conclusions The efficacy of intramuscular islet transplantation was improved by combination treatment with ECM and growth factors through the inhibition of apoptosis, increased proliferation of islet cells, and promotion of revascularization. PMID:26473955

  3. 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. PMID:26260945

  4. 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

  5. Transforming Growth Factor-β3 Therapy Delays Postoperative Reossification and Improves Craniofacial Growth in Craniosynostotic Rabbits.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, J; Karski, M; Smith, T D; Burrows, A M; Norbutt, C; Siegel, M I; Costello, B J; Cray, J J; Losee, J E; Moursi, A M; Cooper, G M; Mooney, M P

    2016-03-01

    Postoperative reossification is a common clinical correlate following surgery. It has been suggested that an underexpression of transforming growth factor-β3 (TGF-β3) may be related to craniosynostosis and postoperative reossification. Adding TGF-β3 may delay reossification and improve postoperative growth. The present study was designed to test this hypothesis. Thirty 10-day-old New Zealand white rabbits with hereditary coronal suture synostosis were divided into three groups: (1) suturectomy controls (n = 14), (2) suturectomy treated with bovine serum albumin (n = 8), and (3) suturectomy treated with TGF-β3 protein (n = 8). At 10 days of age, a 3-mm × 15-mm coronal suturectomy was performed, and serial three-dimensional (3D) computed tomography (CT) scans and cephalographs were taken at 10, 25, 42, and 84 days of age. Calvaria were harvested at 84 days of age for histomorphometric analysis. Mean differences were analyzed using a group by age analysis of variance. Analysis of the 3D CT scan data revealed that sites treated with TGF-β3 had significantly (P < .05) greater defect areas and significantly (P < .05) greater intracranial volumes through 84 days of age compared with controls. Histomorphometry showed that sites treated with TGF-β3 had patent suturectomy sites and significantly (P < .001) less new bone in the suturectomy site compared with controls. Serial radiograph data revealed significant (P < .05) differences in craniofacial growth from 25 to 84 days in TGF-β3-treated rabbits compared with controls. Data show that TGF-β3 administration delayed reossification and improved craniofacial growth in this rabbit model. These findings also suggest that this molecular-based therapy may have potential clinical use. PMID:26090789

  6. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, M J

    2010-03-08

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

  8. 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…

  9. Improving the growth of CZT crystals for radiation detectors: a modeling perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Derby, Jeffrey J.; Zhang, Nan; Yeckel, Andrew

    2012-10-01

    The availability of large, single crystals of cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) with uniform properties is key to improving the performance of gamma radiation detectors fabricated from them. Towards this goal, we discuss results obtained by computational models that provide a deeper understanding of crystal growth processes and how the growth of CZT can be improved. In particular, we discuss methods that may be implemented to lessen the deleterious interactions between the ampoule wall and the growing crystal via engineering a convex solidification interface. For vertical Bridgman growth, a novel, bell-curve furnace temperature profile is predicted to achieve macroscopically convex solid-liquid interface shapes during melt growth of CZT in a multiple-zone furnace. This approach represents a significant advance over traditional gradient-freeze profiles, which always yield concave interface shapes, and static heat transfer designs, such as pedestal design, that achieve convex interfaces over only a small portion of the growth run. Importantly, this strategy may be applied to any Bridgman configuration that utilizes multiple, controllable heating zones. Realizing a convex solidification interface via this adaptive bell-curve furnace profile is postulated to result in better crystallinity and higher yields than conventional CZT growth techniques.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. TECHNIQUES TO IMPROVE GROWTH, MORPHOGENESIS, AND SECONDARY METABOLISM RESPONSES FROM LAMIACEAE SPECIES IN VITRO

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cultural procedures to improve growth (fresh weight) and morphogenesis (leaves, shoots, and roots) responses from mint family (Lamiaceae) species (e.g., basil, catnip, oregano, and spearmint) in vitro are presented. Novel plant tissue culture systems were employed to increase biomass and shooting. ...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  18. 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...

  19. 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…

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Agriculture Education. Agriculture Structures.

    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 agriculture structures. The guide presents units of study in the following areas: (1) shop safety, (2) identification and general use of hand tools, (3) power tools, (4) carpentry, (5) blueprint…

  3. 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. PMID:26686113

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Methylotrophic bacteria in sustainable agriculture.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. An improved medium for the anaerobic growth of Paracoccus denitrificans Pd1222

    PubMed Central

    Hahnke, Stefanie M.; Moosmann, Philipp; Erb, Tobias J.; Strous, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Paracoccus denitrificans is a well studied model organism with respect to its aerobic and anaerobic respiratory enzymes. However, until now, the growth medium for this organism has not been optimized for anaerobic growth. In particular, the requirements of P. denitrificans for trace elements (TEs) are not well known. In the present study we aimed to improve growth rates of P. denitrificans Pd1222 on a defined medium under anoxic conditions. We designed media containing different combinations of TEs at various concentrations, and tested their performance against previously reported media. Our results suggest that growth rate and yield depend on the availability and concentration of TEs in the medium. A chelated TE solution was more suitable than an acidified TE solution. Highest growth rates were achieved with medium comprising the TEs iron, manganese, molybdenum, copper and zinc ranging from 0.1 to 9 μM. On this medium, P. denitrificans Pd1222 grew with a generation time of 4.4 h under anoxic conditions and 2.8 h under oxic conditions. Diauxic growth was clearly shown with respect to nitrate and nitrite reduction under anoxic conditions. PMID:24550891

  12. 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.…

  13. Improvement of cell growth and L-lysine production by genetically modified Corynebacterium glutamicum during growth on molasses.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jianzhong; Zhang, Junlan; Guo, Yanfeng; Zai, Yugui; Zhang, Weiguo

    2013-12-01

    Fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) and fructokinase (ScrK) have important roles in regenerating glucose-6-phosphate in the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), and thus increasing L-lysine production. This article focuses on the development of L-lysine high-producing strains by heterologous expression of FBPase gene fbp and ScrK gene scrK in C. glutamicum lysC (fbr) with molasses as the sole carbon source. Heterologous expression of fbp and scrK lead to a decrease of residual sugar in fermentation broth, and heterologous expression of scrK prevents the fructose efflux. Heterologous expression of fbp and scrK not only increases significantly the activity of corresponding enzymes but also improves cell growth during growth on molasses. FBPase activities are increased tenfold by heterologous expression of fbp, whereas the FBPase activity is only increase fourfold during co-expression of scrK and fbp. Compared with glucose, the DCW of heterologous expression strains are higher on molasses except co-expression of fbp and scrK strain. In addition, heterologous expression of fbp and scrK can strongly increase the L-lysine production with molasses as the sole carbon source. The highest increase (88.4 %) was observed for C. glutamicum lysC (fbr) pDXW-8-fbp-scrK, but the increase was also significant for C. glutamicum lysC (fbr) pDXW-8-fbp (47.2 %) and C. glutamicum lysC (fbr) pDXW-8-scrK (36.8 %). By-products, such as glycerol and dihydroxyacetone, are decreased by heterologous expression of fbp and scrK, whereas trehalose is only slightly increased. The strategy for enhancing L-lysine production by regeneration of glucose-6-phosphate in PPP may provide a reference to enhance the production of other amino acids during growth on molasses or starch. PMID:24029876

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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. PMID:26867763

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1980-09-01

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

  20. Improvement of the thermal design in the SiC PVT growth process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yan, J.-Y.; Chen, Q.-S.; Jiang, Y.-N.; Zhang, H.

    2014-01-01

    The physical vapor transport (PVT) method is used to grow silicon carbide (SiC) crystals, which are difficult to be grown by other methods. In this paper, a field-coordination theory is involved to optimize the SiC PVT growth process. By using a finite volume-based computational method, we calculate the flow field as well as species concentration field before and after improvement of the thermal design, respectively. The shape of the SiC crystal grown using the improved thermal design is also shown.

  1. Improve growth rate of Smith-Purcell free-electron laser by Bragg reflector

    SciTech Connect

    Li, D.; Imasaki, K.; Yang, Z.; Tsunawaki, Y.; Asakawa, M. R.; Hangyo, M.; Miyamoto, S.

    2011-05-23

    Grating with Bragg reflectors for the Smith-Purcell free-electron laser is proposed to improve the reflection coefficient, resulting in enhancing the interaction of the surface wave with the electron beam and, consequently, relax the requirements to the electron beam. With the help of particle-in-cell simulations, it has been shown that the usage of Bragg reflectors may improve the growth rate, shorten the time for the device to reach saturation, and lower the start current for the operation of a Smith-Purcell free-electron laser.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Improved Growth Factor Directed Vascularization into Fibrin Constructs Through Inclusion of Additional Extracellular Molecules

    PubMed Central

    Smith, JD; Melhem, ME; Magge, KT; Waggoner, AS; Campbell, PG

    2009-01-01

    Using the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay (CAM) and a novel histological technique we investigated the ability of blood vessels to directly invade fibrin-based scaffolds. In our initial experiments utilizing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) we found no direct invasion. Instead, the fibrin was completely degraded and replaced with highly vascularized new tissue. Addition of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2), or platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) to the fibrin construct also did not result in construct vascularization. Because natural and regenerating tissues exhibit complex extracellular matrices (ECMs), we hypothesized that a more complex scaffold may improve blood vessel invasion. Addition of fibronectin, hyaluronic acid, and collagen type I within 20 mg/mL fibrin constructs resulted in no significant improvement. However, the same additive concentrations within 10 mg/mL fibrin constructs resulted in dramatic improvements, specifically with hyaluronic acid. Overall, we believe these results indicate the importance of structural and functional cues of not only in the initial scaffold but also as the construct is degraded and remodeled. Furthermore, the CAM assay may represent a useful model for understanding ECM interactions as well as for screening and designing tissue engineered scaffolds. PMID:17223139

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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...

  8. Improving Crop Classification Techniques Using Optical Remote Sensing Imagery, High-Resolution Agriculture Resource Inventory Shapefiles and Decision Trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melnychuk, A. L.; Berg, A. A.; Sweeney, S.

    2010-12-01

    Recognition of anthropogenic effects of land use management practices on bodies of water is important for remediating and preventing eutrophication. In the case of Lake Simcoe, Ontario the main surrounding landuse is agriculture. To better manage the nutrient flow into the lake, knowledge of the management of the agricultural land is important. For this basin, a comprehensive agricultural resource inventory is required for assessment of policy and for input into water quality management and assessment tools. Supervised decision tree classification schemes, used in many previous applications, have yielded reliable classifications in agricultural land-use systems. However, when using these classification techniques the user is confronted with numerous data sources. In this study we use a large inventory of optical satellite image products (Landsat, AWiFS, SPOT and MODIS) and ancillary data sources (temporal MODIS-NDVI product signatures, digital elevation models and soil maps) at various spatial and temporal resolutions in a decision tree classification scheme. The sensitivity of the classification accuracy to various products is assessed to identify optimal data sources for classifying crop systems.

  9. Culturally appropriate nutrition education improves infant feeding and growth in rural Sichuan, China.

    PubMed

    Guldan, G S; Fan, H C; Ma, X; Ni, Z Z; Xiang, X; Tang, M Z

    2000-05-01

    Chinese studies indicate that the growth of rural infants and children lags behind that of their urban counterparts after 4 mo of age and that the gap is widening. However, the rural areas are home to >85% of China's 300 million children. Clearly, culturally appropriate rural complementary feeding interventions are needed to close the growth and health gaps. After a 1990 survey of infants in rural Sichuan confirmed that poor infant feeding practices rather than inadequate household food resources were responsible for the growth faltering, a year-long community-based pilot nutrition education intervention (n congruent with 250 infants each in Education and Control groups) was undertaken in four townships. The goal was to improve infant growth by improving infant feeding practices. Features of the intervention included the training and mobilizing of village nutrition educators who made monthly growth monitoring and complementary feeding counseling visits to all pregnant women and families with infants born during the intervention in the study villages. After 1 y, the Education group mothers showed significantly higher nutrition knowledge and better reported infant feeding practices than their Control group counterparts. Also, the Education group infants were significantly heavier and longer, but only at 12 mo (weight-for-age -1.17 vs. -1.93; P = 0.004; height-for-age -1.32 vs. -1.96; P = 0.022), had higher breast-feeding rates overall (83% vs. 75%; P = 0.034) and lower anemia rates (22% vs. 32%; P = 0.008) than the Control group infants. We conclude that these methods have potential for adaptation and development to other rural areas in the county, province and nation. PMID:10801920

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  11. An Urban Agricultural Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, Parker V.

    1974-01-01

    A program of Agricultural Education (primarily horticulture) was started in the San Diego, California school district in 1967. The philosophy behind the program, the growth in terms of students involved, and the structural framework of the program are outlined. (KP)

  12. 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...

  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. PMID:17522821

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-11-15

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

  15. 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...

  16. Microbial Inoculation Improves Growth of Oil Palm Plants (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.)

    PubMed Central

    Om, Azlin Che; Ghazali, Amir Hamzah Ahmad; Keng, Chan Lai; Ishak, Zamzuri

    2009-01-01

    Introduction of diazotrophic rhizobacteria to oil palm tissues during the in vitro micropropagation process establishes an early associative interaction between the plant cells and bacteria. In the association, the diazotrophs provide the host plants with phytohormones and fixed nitrogen. This study was conducted to observe growth of bacterised tissue cultured oil palm plants under ex vitro conditions after 280 days of growth. Root dry weight, shoot dry weight, root volume, bacterial colonisation, leaf protein and chlorophyll content of the host plants were observed. The results revealed that the inocula successfully colonised roots of the host plants. Plants inoculated with Acetobacter diazotrophicus (R12) had more root dry weight and volume than plants inoculated with Azospirillum brasilense (Sp7). Leaf protein and chlorophyll content were higher in the bacterised plants compared to Control 2 plants (inoculated with killed Sp7). These results suggest that the diazotrophs successfully improved the growth of the host plant (oil palm) and minimised the amount of N fertiliser necessary for growth. PMID:24575180

  17. 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. PMID:21562770

  18. Enhanced Trehalose Production Improves Growth of Escherichia coli under Osmotic Stress†

    PubMed Central

    Purvis, J. E.; Yomano, L. P.; Ingram, L. O.

    2005-01-01

    The biosynthesis of trehalose has been previously shown to serve as an important osmoprotectant and stress protectant in Escherichia coli. Our results indicate that overproduction of trehalose (integrated lacI-Ptac-otsBA) above the level produced by the native regulatory system can be used to increase the growth of E. coli in M9-2% glucose medium at 37°C to 41°C and to increase growth at 37°C in the presence of a variety of osmotic-stress agents (hexose sugars, inorganic salts, and pyruvate). Smaller improvements were noted with xylose and some fermentation products (ethanol and pyruvate). Based on these results, overproduction of trehalose may be a useful trait to include in biocatalysts engineered for commodity chemicals. PMID:16000787

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1988-09-01

    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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Wilkes, Meredith A.; Deaker, Rosalind

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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. ...

  3. 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...

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Improvement of Nd:GGG crystal growth process under dynamic atmosphere composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asadian, M.; Mirzaei, N.; Saeedi, H.; Najafi, M.; Mashayekhi Asl, I.

    2012-02-01

    In this paper, the temperature dependency of the required oxygen on the quality of Nd:GGG crystal during the growth process has been investigated. Based on the thermodynamic analysis, the oxygen partial pressure in the surrounding vapor phase should be as low as possible through heating the raw material at lower temperatures to prevent the oxidation of iridium to IrO 2 ( s). In order to eliminate the volatilization of Ga 2O 3, the oxygen was charged into the gas atmosphere (N 2) near the Nd:GGG melting point. Powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) were employed to characterize the crystal quality under different growth atmosphere. The experimental results confirm the validity of thermodynamic calculations. It was predicted that charging the required oxygen at about 1950 K could reduce the iridium loss rate to about 36%. Consequently, it would be expected to acquire more favorable Nd:GGG crystals with quite improved properties by applying the accurate growth conditions.

  11. 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. PMID:25083105

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:27147530

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-15

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

  16. 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…

  17. Population growth and economic growth.

    PubMed

    Narayana, D L

    1984-01-01

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

  18. NOS Inhibition Modulates Immune Polarization and Improves Radiation-Induced Tumor Growth Delay.

    PubMed

    Ridnour, Lisa A; Cheng, Robert Y S; Weiss, Jonathan M; Kaur, Sukhbir; Soto-Pantoja, David R; Basudhar, Debashree; Heinecke, Julie L; Stewart, C Andrew; DeGraff, William; Sowers, Anastasia L; Thetford, Angela; Kesarwala, Aparna H; Roberts, David D; Young, Howard A; Mitchell, James B; Trinchieri, Giorgio; Wiltrout, Robert H; Wink, David A

    2015-07-15

    Nitric oxide synthases (NOS) are important mediators of progrowth signaling in tumor cells, as they regulate angiogenesis, immune response, and immune-mediated wound healing. Ionizing radiation (IR) is also an immune modulator and inducer of wound response. We hypothesized that radiation therapeutic efficacy could be improved by targeting NOS following tumor irradiation. Herein, we show enhanced radiation-induced (10 Gy) tumor growth delay in a syngeneic model (C3H) but not immunosuppressed (Nu/Nu) squamous cell carcinoma tumor-bearing mice treated post-IR with the constitutive NOS inhibitor N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). These results suggest a requirement of T cells for improved radiation tumor response. In support of this observation, tumor irradiation induced a rapid increase in the immunosuppressive Th2 cytokine IL10, which was abated by post-IR administration of L-NAME. In vivo suppression of IL10 using an antisense IL10 morpholino also extended the tumor growth delay induced by radiation in a manner similar to L-NAME. Further examination of this mechanism in cultured Jurkat T cells revealed L-NAME suppression of IR-induced IL10 expression, which reaccumulated in the presence of exogenous NO donor. In addition to L-NAME, the guanylyl cyclase inhibitors ODQ and thrombospondin-1 also abated IR-induced IL10 expression in Jurkat T cells and ANA-1 macrophages, which further suggests that the immunosuppressive effects involve eNOS. Moreover, cytotoxic Th1 cytokines, including IL2, IL12p40, and IFNγ, as well as activated CD8(+) T cells were elevated in tumors receiving post-IR L-NAME. Together, these results suggest that post-IR NOS inhibition improves radiation tumor response via Th1 immune polarization within the tumor microenvironment. PMID:25990221

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  2. Leucine Supplementation Improves Acquired Growth Hormone Resistance in Rats with Protein-Energy Malnutrition

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xinying; Zhao, Jie; Wan, Xiao; Zhang, Li; Wu, Chao; Li, Ning; Li, Jieshou

    2015-01-01

    the MC-L and MC-H groups than in the MC-CON group. Conclusion/Significance Our data are the first to demonstrate that long-term supplementation with leucine improved acquired growth hormone resistance in rats with protein-energy malnutrition. Leucine might promote skeletal muscle protein synthesis by regulating downstream anabolic signaling transduction. PMID:25909895

  3. 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

  4. Vocational Agriculture Education: Agricultural Livestock Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Greg

    Ten units of instruction are provided in this curriculum guide on agricultural livestock skills. Unit topics are as follow: (1) restraining, (2) vaccination, (3) livestock castration, (4) dehorning, (5) docking, (6) growth stimulants, (7) identification, (8) shearing, (9) hoof trimming, and (10) birth assistance. Each instructional unit generally…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. [Theme: Computers in Agricultural Education.].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leising, James G.; And Others

    1982-01-01

    This theme issue on computer applications in agriculture covers uses of computers in farm management and vocational agriculture instruction; strategies for evaluating and purchasing hardware and software; and ideas for improving the computer literacy of teachers and students. (SK)

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    Fowler Davis, Sally

    2015-01-01

    each professional group to champion research and undertake the organisational change that would be needed. The two cycles of improvement over 14 months were used to achieve "academic status" within the organisation, to include clinical staff in the delivery of the research strategy and to create a clinical academic infrastructure that incorporated a well organised public and patient involvement (PPI) panel. Additional measures included the level of participation of clinical academic staff in grant capture and the level of income from research to sustain the growth in activity. PMID:26734386

  12. Improved Temperature-Gradient Incubator and the Maximal Growth Temperature and Heat Resistance of Salmonella

    PubMed Central

    Elliott, R. Paul; Heiniger, Patricia K.

    1965-01-01

    An improved all-metal temperature-gradient incubator produces its gradient by means of a bar permanently installed in a near-vertical position with its lower end in a cool constant-temperature water bath and with thermostatically controlled heaters near its top. Bolts hold the incubator in contact with the temperature-gradient bar, and polyurethane foam insulates the entire assemblage during use. Maximal growth temperatures of 34 representative strains of Salmonella were found to be between 43.2 and 46.2 C. In an agar medium with an initial level of 106 cells per milliliter, no strain survived 50 C for 48 hr. S. senftenberg 775W showed no greater heat resistance at or near 48 C than did other species or other S. senftenberg strains. However, it was considerably more resistant than other strains at 55 C. Images Fig. 2 PMID:14264850

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Improved synthesis and growth of graphene oxide for field effect transistor biosensors.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jingfeng; Chen, Hu; Jing, Lin; Fam, Derrick; Tok, Alfred Iing Yoong

    2016-08-01

    Reduced graphene oxide (RGO) has many advantages over graphene such as low-cost, aqueous processable and industrial-scalable. However, two main limitations that prevent the use of RGO in electronics are the high electrical resistance and large electrical resistance deviation between fabricated devices. This limits RGO's use in biosensors, capacitors and other electronic devices. Herein, we present (1) a modified Hummer's method to obtain large RGO flakes via in-situ size fractionation and (2) the novel growth of RGO which can bridge the gaps in-between existing RGO flakes. Together, these two processes reduced the electrical resistance drastically from 1.99E + 06 to 4.68E + 03 Ω/square and the standard deviation decreased from 80.5 % to 16.5 %. The RGO was then fabricated into a field-effect transistor biosensor. A 1 pmol to 100 nmol change in Cytochrome C protein corresponded to a 3 % change in electrical resistance. The reported improved RGO synthesis method and subsequent growth enable large-scale application of RGO in practical electronic devices such as biosensors. PMID:27379845

  17. 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

  18. Improving accuracy and usability of growth charts: case study in Rwanda

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Suzana; McSharry, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Objectives We evaluate and compare manually collected paper records against electronic records for monitoring the weights of children under the age of 5. Setting Data were collected by 24 community health workers (CHWs) in 2 Rwandan communities, 1 urban and 1 rural. Participants The same CHWs collected paper and electronic records. Paper data contain weight and age for 320 boys and 380 girls. Electronic data contain weight and age for 922 girls and 886 boys. Electronic data were collected over 9 months; most of the data is cross-sectional, with about 330 children with time-series data. Both data sets are compared with the international standard provided by the WHO growth chart. Primary and secondary outcome measures The plan was to collect 2000 individual records for the electronic data set—we finally collected 1878 records. Paper data were collected by the same CHWs, but most data were fragmented and hard to read. We transcribed data only from children for whom we were able to obtain the date of birth, to determine the exact age at the time of measurement. Results Mean absolute error (MAE) and mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) provide a way to quantify the magnitude of the error in using a given model. Comparing a model, log(weight)=a+b log(age), shows that electronic records provide considerable improvements over paper records, with 40% reduction in both performance metrics. Electronic data improve performance over the WHO model by 10% in MAPE and 7% in MAE. Results are statistically significant using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test at p<0.01. Conclusions This study demonstrates that using modern electronic tools for health data collection is allowing better tracking of health indicators. We have demonstrated that electronic records facilitate development of a country-specific model that is more accurate than the international standard provided by the WHO growth chart. PMID:26817635

  19. Epidermal growth factor treatment decreases mortality and is associated with improved gut integrity in sepsis.

    PubMed

    Clark, Jessica A; Clark, Andrew T; Hotchkiss, Richard S; Buchman, Timothy G; Coopersmith, Craig M

    2008-07-01

    Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a cytoprotective peptide that has healing effects on the intestinal mucosa. We sought to determine whether systemic administration of EGF after the onset of sepsis improved intestinal integrity and decreased mortality. FVB/N mice were subjected to either sham laparotomy or 2 x 23 cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Septic mice were further randomized to receive injection of either 150 microg kg(-1) d(-1) (i.p.) EGF or 0.9% saline (i.p.). Circulating EGF levels were decreased after CLP compared with sham animals but were unaffected by giving exogenous EGF treatment. In contrast, intestinal EGF levels increased after CLP and were further augmented by exogenous EGF treatment. Intestinal EGF receptor was increased after CLP, whether assayed by immunohistochemistry, real-time polymerase chain reaction, or Western blot, and exogenous EGF treatment decreased intestinal EGF receptor. Villus length decreased 2-fold between sham and septic animals, and EGF treatment resulted in near total restitution of villus length. Sepsis decreased intestinal proliferation and increased intestinal apoptosis. This was accompanied by increased expression of the proapoptotic proteins Bid and Fas-associated death domain, as well as the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21 cip1/waf Epidermal growth factor treatment after the onset of sepsis restored both proliferation and apoptosis to levels seen in sham animals and normalized expression of Bid, Fas-associated death domain, and p21 cip1/waf . To determine whether improvements in gut homeostasis were associated with a decrease in sepsis-induced mortality, septic mice with or without EGF treatment after CLP were followed 7 days for survival. Mortality decreased from 60% to 30% in mice treated with EGF after the onset of sepsis (P < 0.05). Thus, EGF may be a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of sepsis in part due to its ability to protect intestinal integrity. PMID:18004230

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Field-Based Stable Isotope Probing Reveals the Identities of Benzoic Acid-Metabolizing Microorganisms and Their In Situ Growth in Agricultural Soil▿

    PubMed Central

    Pumphrey, Graham M.; Madsen, Eugene L.

    2008-01-01

    We used a combination of stable isotope probing (SIP), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-based respiration, isolation/cultivation, and quantitative PCR procedures to discover the identity and in situ growth of soil microorganisms that metabolize benzoic acid. We added [13C]benzoic acid or [12C]benzoic acid (100 μg) once, four times, or five times at 2-day intervals to agricultural field plots. After monitoring 13CO2 evolution from the benzoic acid-dosed soil, field soils were harvested and used for nucleic acid extraction and for cultivation of benzoate-degrading bacteria. Exposure of soil to benzoate increased the number of culturable benzoate degraders compared to unamended soil, and exposure to benzoate shifted the dominant culturable benzoate degraders from Pseudomonas species to Burkholderia species. Isopycnic separation of heavy [13C]DNA from the unlabeled fraction allowed terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses to confirm that distinct 16S rRNA genes were localized in the heavy fraction. Phylogenetic analysis of sequenced 16S rRNA genes revealed a predominance (15 of 58 clones) of Burkholderia species in the heavy fraction. Burkholderia sp. strain EBA09 shared 99.5% 16S rRNA sequence similarity with a group of clones representing the dominant RFLP pattern, and the T-RFLP fragment for strain EBA09 and a clone from that cluster matched the fragment enriched in the [13C]DNA fraction. Growth of the population represented by EBA09 during the field-dosing experiment was demonstrated by using most-probable-number-PCR and primers targeting EBA09 and the closely related species Burkholderia hospita. Thus, the target population identified by SIP not only actively metabolized benzoic acid but reproduced in the field upon the addition of the substrate. PMID:18469130

  3. 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. PMID:19111395

  4. 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...

  5. Improving Agricultural Extension Services through University Outreach Initiatives: A Case of Farmers in Model Villages in Ogun State, Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oloruntoba, Abayomi; Adegbite, Dorcas A.

    2006-01-01

    University outreach is an educational and research-based information source enabling farmers to make decisions that improve the quality of their lives. This paper explores how collaborative efforts between the university and farmers have directly impacted in albeit Striga ("noxious witch weed") ravaged maize farms in rainforest farming systems in…

  6. 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.

  7. Calcitonin and vitamin D3 have high therapeutic potential for improving diabetic mandibular growth

    PubMed Central

    Abbassy, Mona A; Watari, Ippei; Bakry, Ahmed S; Ono, Takashi; Hassan, Ali H

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the effect of the intermittent combination of an antiresorptive agent (calcitonin) and an anabolic agent (vitamin D3) on treating the detrimental effects of Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) on mandibular bone formation and growth. Forty 3-week-old male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: the control group (normal rats), the control C+D group (normal rats injected with calcitonin and vitamin D3), the diabetic C+D group (diabetic rats injected with calcitonin and vitamin D3) and the diabetic group (uncontrolled diabetic rats). An experimental DM condition was induced in the male Wistar rats in the diabetic and diabetic C+D groups using a single dose of 60 mg·kg−1 body weight of streptozotocin. Calcitonin and vitamin D3 were simultaneously injected in the rats of the control C+D and diabetic C+D groups. All rats were killed after 4 weeks, and the right mandibles were evaluated by micro-computed tomography and histomorphometric analysis. Diabetic rats showed a significant deterioration in bone quality and bone formation (diabetic group). By contrast, with the injection of calcitonin and vitamin D3, both bone parameters and bone formation significantly improved (diabetic C+D group) (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that these two hormones might potentially improve various bone properties. PMID:27025264

  8. BrUGE1 transgenic rice showed improved growth performance with enhanced drought tolerance.

    PubMed

    Abdula, Sailila E; Lee, Hye Jung; Kim, Joonki; Niño, Marjohn C; Jung, Yu-Jin; Cho, Young-Chan; Nou, Illsup; Kang, Kwon-Kyoo; Cho, Yong-Gu

    2016-03-01

    UDP-glucose 4-epimerase (UGE) catalyzes the reversible conversion of UDP-glucose to UDP-galactose. To understand the biological function of UGE from Brassica rapa, the gene BrUGE1 was cloned and introduced into the genome of wild type rice 'Gopum' using the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. Four lines which carried a single copy gene were selected and forwarded to T3 generation. Agronomic traits evaluation of the transgenic T3 lines (CB01, CB03, and CB06) under optimal field conditions revealed enriched biomass production particularly in panicle length, number of productive tillers, number of spikelets per panicle, and filled spikelets. These remarkably improved agronomic traits were ascribed to a higher photosynthetic rate complemented with higher CO2 assimilation. Transcripts of BrUGE1 in transgenic lines continuously accumulated at higher levels after the 20% PEG6000 treatment, implying its probable role in drought stress regulation. This was paralleled by rapid accumulation of soluble sugars which act as osmoprotectants, leading to delayed leaf rolling and drying. Our findings suggest the potential of BrUGE1 in improving rice growth performance under optimal and water deficit conditions. PMID:27162494

  9. Calcitonin and vitamin D3 have high therapeutic potential for improving diabetic mandibular growth.

    PubMed

    Abbassy, Mona A; Watari, Ippei; Bakry, Ahmed S; Ono, Takashi; Hassan, Ali H

    2016-03-01

    The goal of this study was to assess the effect of the intermittent combination of an antiresorptive agent (calcitonin) and an anabolic agent (vitamin D3) on treating the detrimental effects of Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) on mandibular bone formation and growth. Forty 3-week-old male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: the control group (normal rats), the control C+D group (normal rats injected with calcitonin and vitamin D3), the diabetic C+D group (diabetic rats injected with calcitonin and vitamin D3) and the diabetic group (uncontrolled diabetic rats). An experimental DM condition was induced in the male Wistar rats in the diabetic and diabetic C+D groups using a single dose of 60 mg·kg(-1) body weight of streptozotocin. Calcitonin and vitamin D3 were simultaneously injected in the rats of the control C+D and diabetic C+D groups. All rats were killed after 4 weeks, and the right mandibles were evaluated by micro-computed tomography and histomorphometric analysis. Diabetic rats showed a significant deterioration in bone quality and bone formation (diabetic group). By contrast, with the injection of calcitonin and vitamin D3, both bone parameters and bone formation significantly improved (diabetic C+D group) (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that these two hormones might potentially improve various bone properties. PMID:27025264

  10. BrUGE1 transgenic rice showed improved growth performance with enhanced drought tolerance

    PubMed Central

    Abdula, Sailila E.; Lee, Hye Jung; Kim, Joonki; Niño, Marjohn C.; Jung, Yu-Jin; Cho, Young-Chan; Nou, Illsup; Kang, Kwon-Kyoo; Cho, Yong-Gu

    2016-01-01

    UDP-glucose 4-epimerase (UGE) catalyzes the reversible conversion of UDP-glucose to UDP-galactose. To understand the biological function of UGE from Brassica rapa, the gene BrUGE1 was cloned and introduced into the genome of wild type rice ‘Gopum’ using the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. Four lines which carried a single copy gene were selected and forwarded to T3 generation. Agronomic traits evaluation of the transgenic T3 lines (CB01, CB03, and CB06) under optimal field conditions revealed enriched biomass production particularly in panicle length, number of productive tillers, number of spikelets per panicle, and filled spikelets. These remarkably improved agronomic traits were ascribed to a higher photosynthetic rate complemented with higher CO2 assimilation. Transcripts of BrUGE1 in transgenic lines continuously accumulated at higher levels after the 20% PEG6000 treatment, implying its probable role in drought stress regulation. This was paralleled by rapid accumulation of soluble sugars which act as osmoprotectants, leading to delayed leaf rolling and drying. Our findings suggest the potential of BrUGE1 in improving rice growth performance under optimal and water deficit conditions. PMID:27162494

  11. Vascular endothelial growth factor A improves quality of matured porcine oocytes and developing parthenotes.

    PubMed

    Kere, M; Siriboon, C; Liao, J W; Lo, N W; Chiang, H I; Fan, Y K; Kastelic, J P; Ju, J C

    2014-10-01

    Vascular endothelial growth factor is a multipotent angiogenic factor implicated in cell survival and proliferation. The objective was to determine effects of exogenous recombinant human VEGFA (or VEGFA165) in culture media on porcine oocyte maturation and parthenote development. Adding 5 ng/mL VEGFA to the culture medium improved the maturation rate of denuded oocytes (P < 0.05), although 5, 50, or 500 ng/mL did not significantly affect nuclear maturation of oocytes. Parthenotes from oocytes cultured either in in vitro maturation or in vitro culture medium supplemented with 5 or 50 ng/mL VEGFA had an improved blastocyst rate and increased total numbers of cells (P < 0.05). Moreover, those treated with 5 ng/mL of VEGFA had a higher hatched blastocyst rate (average of 121 cells per blastocyst). All VEGFA-treated oocytes had reduced apoptotic indices (P < 0.05), except for those with a higher dose (500 ng/mL) of VEGFA which had more apoptotic cells (P < 0.05). Adding 5 ng/mL VEGFA to oocytes during the last 22 h of in vitro maturation improved (P < 0.05) blastocyst rates and total numbers of cells, with reduced apoptosis indices similar to that of long-term (44 h) culture. Furthermore, Axitinib (VEGFR inhibitor) reversed the effects of VEGFA on parthenote development (P < 0.05). Follicular fluids from medium (2-6 mm) to large (>6 mm) follicles contained 5.3 and 7.0 ng/mL vascular endothelial growth factor protein, respectively, higher (P < 0.05) than concentrations in small (<2 mm) follicles (0.4 ng/mL). Also, VEGFA and its receptor (VEGFR-2) were detected (immunohistochemistry) in growing follicles and developing blastocysts. In addition, VEGFA inhibited caspase-3 activation in matured oocytes (P < 0.05). In conclusion, this is apparently the first report that VEGFA has proliferative and cytoprotective roles in maturing porcine oocytes and parthenotes. Furthermore, an optimal VEGFA concentration promoted porcine oocyte maturation and subsequent

  12. Impact of runoff water from an experimental agricultural field applied with Vertimec® 18EC (abamectin) on the survival, growth and gill morphology of zebrafish juveniles.

    PubMed

    Novelli, Andréa; Vieira, Bruna Horvath; Braun, Andréa Simone; Mendes, Lucas Bueno; Daam, Michiel Adriaan; Espíndola, Evaldo Luiz Gaeta

    2016-02-01

    Edge-of-field waterbodies in tropical agroecosystems have been reported to be especially prone to pesticide contamination through runoff resulting from intensive irrigation practices and tropical rainfall. In the present study, the effects of runoff from an experimental agricultural field applied with Vertimec(®) 18EC (active ingredient: abamectin) on zebrafish were evaluated. To this end, the experimental field was applied with the Vertimec(®) 18EC dose recommended for strawberry crop in Brazil, whereas another field was treated with water only to serve as control. No effects of runoff water from either plot were recorded on survival. Water from the treated field led to increased growth and gill alterations. In general, these alterations were of the first and second degree, including proliferation of cells between the secondary lamellae, dilation at the lamellar apex, detachment of the respiratory epithelium and aneurism. These results confirm the high toxic potential of Vertimec(®) 18EC and provide evidence that environmental risks are likely to occur in areas subject to runoff containing this pesticide. PMID:26492427

  13. 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

  14. Agricultural Production.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lehigh County Area Vocational-Technical School, Schnecksville, PA.

    This brochure describes the philosophy and scope of a secondary-level course in agricultural production. Addressed in the individual units of the course are the following topics: careers in agriculture and agribusiness, animal science and livestock production, agronomy, agricultural mechanics, supervised occupational experience programs, and the…

  15. 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.

  16. Lipopeptide antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone with improved antitumor activities.

    PubMed

    Zarandi, Marta; Varga, Jozsef L; Schally, Andrew V; Horvath, Judit E; Toller, Gabor L; Kovacs, Magdolna; Letsch, Markus; Groot, Kate; Armatis, Patricia; Halmos, Gabor

    2006-03-21

    Antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) synthesized previously inhibit proliferation of various human cancers, but derivatisation with fatty acids could enhance their clinical efficacy. We synthesized a series of antagonists of GHRH(1-29)NH(2) acylated at the N terminus with monocarboxylic or alpha,omega-dicarboxylic acids containing six to sixteen carbon atoms. These peptides are analogs of prior potent antagonists JV-1-36, JV-1-38, and JV-1-65 with phenylacetyl group at their N terminus. Several new analogs, including MZ-J-7-46 and MZ-J-7-30, more effectively inhibited GHRH-induced GH release in vitro in a superfused rat pituitary system than their parent compound JV-1-36 and had increased binding affinities to rat pituitary GHRH receptors, but they showed weaker inhibition of GH release in vivo than JV-1-36. All antagonists acylated with fatty acids containing 8-14 carbon atoms inhibited the proliferation of MiaPaCa-2 human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro better than JV-1-36 or JV-1-65. GHRH antagonist MZ-J-7-114 (5 mug/day) significantly suppressed the growth of PC-3 human androgen-independent prostate cancers xenografted into nude mice and reduced serum IGF-I levels, whereas antagonist JV-1-38 had no effect at the dose of 10 mug/day. GHRH antagonists including MZ-J-7-46 and MZ-J-7-114 acylated with octanoic acid and MZ-J-7-30 and MZ-J-7-110 acylated with 1,12-dodecanedicarboxylic acid represent relevant improvements over earlier antagonists. These and previous results suggest that this class of GHRH antagonists might be effective in the treatment of various cancers. PMID:16537407

  17. Lipopeptide antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone with improved antitumor activities

    PubMed Central

    Zarandi, Marta; Varga, Jozsef L.; Schally, Andrew V.; Horvath, Judit E.; Toller, Gabor L.; Kovacs, Magdolna; Letsch, Markus; Groot, Kate; Armatis, Patricia; Halmos, Gabor

    2006-01-01

    Antagonists of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) synthesized previously inhibit proliferation of various human cancers, but derivatisation with fatty acids could enhance their clinical efficacy. We synthesized a series of antagonists of GHRH(1-29)NH2 acylated at the N terminus with monocarboxylic or α,ω-dicarboxylic acids containing six to sixteen carbon atoms. These peptides are analogs of prior potent antagonists JV-1-36, JV-1-38, and JV-1-65 with phenylacetyl group at their N terminus. Several new analogs, including MZ-J-7-46 and MZ-J-7-30, more effectively inhibited GHRH-induced GH release in vitro in a superfused rat pituitary system than their parent compound JV-1-36 and had increased binding affinities to rat pituitary GHRH receptors, but they showed weaker inhibition of GH release in vivo than JV-1-36. All antagonists acylated with fatty acids containing 8–14 carbon atoms inhibited the proliferation of MiaPaCa-2 human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro better than JV-1-36 or JV-1-65. GHRH antagonist MZ-J-7-114 (5 μg/day) significantly suppressed the growth of PC-3 human androgen-independent prostate cancers xenografted into nude mice and reduced serum IGF-I levels, whereas antagonist JV-1-38 had no effect at the dose of 10 μg/day. GHRH antagonists including MZ-J-7-46 and MZ-J-7-114 acylated with octanoic acid and MZ-J-7-30 and MZ-J-7-110 acylated with 1,12-dodecanedicarboxylic acid represent relevant improvements over earlier antagonists. These and previous results suggest that this class of GHRH antagonists might be effective in the treatment of various cancers. PMID:16537407

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:19637033

  20. 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

  1. Triacontanol Reduces Transplanting Shock in Machine-Transplanted Rice by Improving the Growth and Antioxidant Systems.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaochun; Zhong, Qiuyi; Li, Yuxiang; Li, Ganghua; Ding, Yanfeng; Wang, Shaohua; Liu, Zhenghui; Tang, She; Ding, Chengqiang; Chen, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Machine transplantation results in serious transplant shock in seedlings and results in a longer recover stage, which negatively impacts the growth of low-position tillers and the yield of machine-transplanted rice. A barrel experiment was conducted to examine the effect of the foliar application of triacontanol (TRIA) on machine-transplanted rice during the recovery stage. TRIA (0, 1, 5, and 10 μM) was sprayed over leaves 2 days before transplanting. The chlorophyll content, sucrose content, oxidative damage, antioxidant enzyme levels, glutathione (GSH), and ascorbate (ASA) redox states, tiller dynamics and yield components of the plants were investigated. The results show that foliar-applied TRIA significantly alleviates the growth inhibition and oxidative damage caused by transplant shock. Furthermore, the application of TRIA increased the chlorophyll and sucrose contents of the plants. Importantly, TRIA not only significantly improved the activity of catalase (CAT) and guaiacol peroxidase (POD), demonstrating that POD can play an important role in scavenging H2O2 during the recovery stage, but it also enhanced the redox states of ASA and GSH by regulating the activities of enzymes involved in the ASA-GSH cycle, such as ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and glutathione reductase (GR). A dose of 10 μM TRIA was the most efficient in reducing the negative effects of transplant shock, increasing the panicles, grain filling, and grain yield per hill by 17.80, 5.86, and 16.49%, respectively. These results suggest that TRIA acts to reduce transplant shock in association with the regulation of the redox states of ASA and GSH and antioxidant enzymes and serves as an effective antioxidant to maintain photosynthetic capacity and promote the occurrence of low tillers. PMID:27379149

  2. Precision placement of separated dairy sludge improves early phosphorus nutrition and growth in corn ( L.).

    PubMed

    Bittman, S; Liu, A; Hunt, D E; Forge, T A; Kowalenko, C G; Chantigny, M H; Buckley, K

    2012-01-01

    Efficient use of manure nutrients by crops is necessary to minimize losses to the environment. This field study examined the possibility of replacing side-banded mineral P with precision-placed high-P sludge (6.2-11.0% dry matter) obtained after settling dairy manure slurry. The sludge was injected at about 30 kg P ha (36.0-51.2 m ha) into the soil at corn row spacing, and the corn was planted 5, 10, and 15 cm beside the injection furrow. Controls included no added P and side-banded commercial P fertilizer. The treatments were tested on corn with low and high root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM). The study showed that sludge did not impede AM root colonization, corn germination, or seedling growth. Corn plants with both high and low levels of AM colonization responded to the sludge from the three-leaf stage and showed the greatest benefit at the six-leaf stage. Corn responded more to sludge placed at 5 than at 15 cm from the corn rows, whereas the response at the 10-cm spacing was intermediate. There was little difference in seedling growth or final harvest parameters between the side-banded fertilizer P and the 5-cm sludge treatment. The results show a new way to use manure nutrients, namely precision-placement sludge for corn. This may obviate the need for chemical fertilizers for improving farm nutrient balances. Other anticipated benefits are less energy use for hauling and injection of the sludge fraction and reduced risk of nutrient loss by runoff and volatilization (ammonia) and nuisance odors due to injection. PMID:22370420

  3. Agricultural Waste.

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    In recent years, the quantity of agricultural waste has been rising rapidly all over the world. As a result, the environmental problems and negative impacts of agricultural waste are drawn more and more attention. Therefore, there is a need to adopt proper approaches to reduce and reuse agricultural waste. This review presented about 200 literatures published in 2015 relating to the topic of agricultural waste. The review examined research on agricultural waste in 2015 from the following four aspects: the characterization, reuse, treatment, and management. Researchers highlighted the importance to reuse agricultural waste and investigated the potential to utilize it as biofertilizers, cultivation material, soil amendments, adsorbent, material, energy recycling, enzyme and catalyst etc. The treatment of agricultural waste included carbonization, biodegradation, composting hydrolysis and pyrolysis. Moreover, this review analyzed the differences of the research progress in 2015 from 2014. It may help to reveal the new findings and new trends in this field in 2015 comparing to 2014. PMID:27620093

  4. 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

  5. Vocational Agriculture Education. Agricultural Mechanics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Eddie; And Others

    To assist teachers in agricultural mechanics in providing comprehensive instruction to their students, this curriculum guide treats both the mechanical skills and knowlege necessary for this specialized area. Six sections are included, as follow: orientation and safety; agricultural mechanics skills; agricultural power and machinery; agricultural…

  6. Physiologic growth hormone replacement improves fasting lipid kinetics in patients with HIV lipodystrophy syndrome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    HIV lipodystrophy syndrome (HLS) is characterized by accelerated lipolysis, inadequate fat oxidation, increased hepatic reesterification, and a high frequency of growth hormone deficiency (GHD). The effect of growth hormone (GH) replacement on these lipid kinetic abnormalities is unknown. We aimed ...

  7. AlN interlayer to improve the epitaxial growth of SmN on GaN (0001)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vézian, S.; Damilano, B.; Natali, F.; Khalfioui, M. Al; Massies, J.

    2016-09-01

    An in situ study of the epitaxial growth of SmN thin films on Ga-polar GaN (0001) templates by molecular beam epitaxy is reported. Using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy we found that Ga segregates at the surface during the first stages of growth. We showed that the problem related to Ga surface segregation can be simply suppressed by growing a few monolayers of AlN before starting the SmN growth. This results in a significant improvement of the crystallinity of SmN thin films assessed by X-ray diffraction.

  8. Improved Optical Performance of InAs Quantum Dot Structure via Suitable Manipulation of GaAs Cap Layer Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Zhiqiang; Li, Senlin; Sun, Shichuang; Zhang, Wei; Ye, Wei; Fang, Yanyan; Dai, Jiangnan; Chen, Changqing

    2016-01-01

    The influences of the different growth methods of GaAs cap layer on the self-assembled InAs quantum dots were investigated via photoluminescence and transmission electron microscopy. A two-step growth technique, consisting of a low temperature pulsed atomic layer epitaxy and a high temperature conventional continuous growth method, could improve the surface morphology and photoluminescence intensity due to the enhancement of Ga atomic mobility and the reduction in dislocation density. Furthermore, the photoluminescence peak shows a red shift instead of a blue shift due to the strain relaxation.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Enterocyte-specific epidermal growth factor prevents barrier dysfunction and improves mortality in murine peritonitis.

    PubMed

    Clark, Jessica A; Gan, Heng; Samocha, Alexandr J; Fox, Amy C; Buchman, Timothy G; Coopersmith, Craig M

    2009-09-01

    Systemic administration of epidermal growth factor (EGF) decreases mortality in a murine model of septic peritonitis. Although EGF can have direct healing effects on the intestinal mucosa, it is unknown whether the benefits of systemic EGF in peritonitis are mediated through the intestine. Here, we demonstrate that enterocyte-specific overexpression of EGF is sufficient to prevent intestinal barrier dysfunction and improve survival in peritonitis. Transgenic FVB/N mice that overexpress EGF exclusively in enterocytes (IFABP-EGF) and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to either sham laparotomy or cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Intestinal permeability, expression of the tight junction proteins claudins-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -7, and -8, occludin, and zonula occludens-1; villus length; intestinal epithelial proliferation; and epithelial apoptosis were evaluated. A separate cohort of mice was followed for survival. Peritonitis induced a threefold increase in intestinal permeability in WT mice. This was associated with increased claudin-2 expression and a change in subcellular localization. Permeability decreased to basal levels in IFABP-EGF septic mice, and claudin-2 expression and localization were similar to those of sham animals. Claudin-4 expression was decreased following CLP but was not different between WT septic mice and IFABP-EGF septic mice. Peritonitis-induced decreases in villus length and proliferation and increases in apoptosis seen in WT septic mice did not occur in IFABP-EGF septic mice. IFABP-EGF mice had improved 7-day mortality compared with WT septic mice (6% vs. 64%). Since enterocyte-specific overexpression of EGF is sufficient to prevent peritonitis-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction and confers a survival advantage, the protective effects of systemic EGF in septic peritonitis appear to be mediated in an intestine-specific fashion. PMID:19571236

  13. Epidermal growth factor treatment decreases mortality and is associated with improved gut integrity in sepsis

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Jessica A.; Clark, Andrew T.; Hotchkiss, Richard S.; Buchman, Timothy G.; Coopersmith, Craig M.

    2007-01-01

    Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a cytoprotective peptide that has healing effects on the intestinal mucosa. We sought to determine whether systemic administration of EGF following the onset of sepsis improved intestinal integrity and decreased mortality. FVB/N mice were subjected to either sham laparotomy or 2×23 cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Septic mice were further randomized to receive intraperitoneal injection of either 150 μg/kg/day EGF or 0.9% saline. Circulating EGF levels were decreased following CLP compared to sham animals but were unaffected by giving exogenous EGF treatment. In contrast, intestinal EGF levels increased following CLP, and were further augmented by exogenous EGF treatment. Intestinal EGF-receptor (EGF-R) was increased following CLP whether assayed by immunohistochemistry, real-time PCR or western blot, and exogenous EGF treatment decreased intestinal EGF-R. Villus length decreased 2-fold between sham and septic animals, and EGF treatment resulted in near total restitution of villus length. Sepsis decreased intestinal proliferation and increased intestinal apoptosis. This was accompanied by increased expression of the pro-apoptotic proteins Bid and FADD, as well as the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21cip1/waf. EGF treatment after the onset of sepsis restored both proliferation and apoptosis to levels seen in sham animals and normalized expression of Bid, FADD, and p21cip1/waf. To determine whether improvements in gut homeostasis were associated with a decrease in sepsis-induced mortality, septic mice with or without EGF treatment after CLP were followed seven days for survival. Mortality decreased from 60% to 30% in mice treated with EGF after the onset of sepsis (p<0.05). EGF may thus be a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of sepsis, in part due to its ability to protect intestinal integrity. PMID:18004230

  14. Enterocyte-specific epidermal growth factor prevents barrier dysfunction and improves mortality in murine peritonitis

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Jessica A.; Gan, Heng; Samocha, Alexandr J.; Fox, Amy C.; Buchman, Timothy G.; Coopersmith, Craig M.

    2009-01-01

    Systemic administration of epidermal growth factor (EGF) decreases mortality in a murine model of septic peritonitis. Although EGF can have direct healing effects on the intestinal mucosa, it is unknown whether the benefits of systemic EGF in peritonitis are mediated through the intestine. Here, we demonstrate that enterocyte-specific overexpression of EGF is sufficient to prevent intestinal barrier dysfunction and improve survival in peritonitis. Transgenic FVB/N mice that overexpress EGF exclusively in enterocytes (IFABP-EGF) and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to either sham laparotomy or cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Intestinal permeability, expression of the tight junction proteins claudins-1, -2, -3, -4, -5, -7, and -8, occludin, and zonula occludens-1; villus length; intestinal epithelial proliferation; and epithelial apoptosis were evaluated. A separate cohort of mice was followed for survival. Peritonitis induced a threefold increase in intestinal permeability in WT mice. This was associated with increased claudin-2 expression and a change in subcellular localization. Permeability decreased to basal levels in IFABP-EGF septic mice, and claudin-2 expression and localization were similar to those of sham animals. Claudin-4 expression was decreased following CLP but was not different between WT septic mice and IFABP-EGF septic mice. Peritonitis-induced decreases in villus length and proliferation and increases in apoptosis seen in WT septic mice did not occur in IFABP-EGF septic mice. IFABP-EGF mice had improved 7-day mortality compared with WT septic mice (6% vs. 64%). Since enterocyte-specific overexpression of EGF is sufficient to prevent peritonitis-induced intestinal barrier dysfunction and confers a survival advantage, the protective effects of systemic EGF in septic peritonitis appear to be mediated in an intestine-specific fashion. PMID:19571236

  15. Improving recombinant Rubisco biogenesis, plant photosynthesis and growth by coexpressing its ancillary RAF1 chaperone.

    PubMed

    Whitney, Spencer M; Birch, Rosemary; Kelso, Celine; Beck, Jennifer L; Kapralov, Maxim V

    2015-03-17

    Enabling improvements to crop yield and resource use by enhancing the catalysis of the photosynthetic CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco has been a longstanding challenge. Efforts toward realization of this goal have been greatly assisted by advances in understanding the complexities of Rubisco's biogenesis in plastids and the development of tailored chloroplast transformation tools. Here we generate transplastomic tobacco genotypes expressing Arabidopsis Rubisco large subunits (AtL), both on their own (producing tob(AtL) plants) and with a cognate Rubisco accumulation factor 1 (AtRAF1) chaperone (producing tob(AtL-R1) plants) that has undergone parallel functional coevolution with AtL. We show AtRAF1 assembles as a dimer and is produced in tob(AtL-R1) and Arabidopsis leaves at 10-15 nmol AtRAF1 monomers per square meter. Consistent with a postchaperonin large (L)-subunit assembly role, the AtRAF1 facilitated two to threefold improvements in the amount and biogenesis rate of hybrid L8(A)S8(t) Rubisco [comprising AtL and tobacco small (S) subunits] in tob(AtL-R1) leaves compared with tob(AtL), despite >threefold lower steady-state Rubisco mRNA levels in tob(AtL-R1). Accompanying twofold increases in photosynthetic CO2-assimilation rate and plant growth were measured for tob(AtL-R1) lines. These findings highlight the importance of ancillary protein complementarity during Rubisco biogenesis in plastids, the possible constraints this has imposed on Rubisco adaptive evolution, and the likely need for such interaction specificity to be considered when optimizing recombinant Rubisco bioengineering in plants. PMID:25733857

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. Paying for value: replacing Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula with incentives to improve care.

    PubMed

    Guterman, Stuart; Zezza, Mark A; Schoen, Cathy

    2013-03-01

    This brief sets forth a set of policy options to improve the way health care providers are paid by Medicare. The authors suggest repealing Medicare's sustain­able growth rate (SGR) formula for physician fees and replacing it with a pay-for-value approach that would: 1) increase payments over time only for physicians and other provid­ers who participate in innovative care arrangements; 2) strengthen primary care and care teams; and 3) implement bundled payments for hospital-related care. These reforms would be adopted by Medicare, Medicaid, and private plans in the new insurance marketplaces, with the goal of accelerating innovation in care delivery throughout the health system. Together, these policies could more than offset the cost of repealing the SGR formula, saving $788 billion for the federal government over 10 years and $1.3 trillion nationwide. Savings also would accrue to state and local governments ($163 billion), private employ­ers ($91 billion), and households ($291 billion). PMID:23547336

  19. Sequential delivery of angiogenic growth factors improves revascularization and heart function after myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Awada, Hassan K.; Johnson, Noah R.; Wang, Yadong

    2015-01-01

    Treatment of ischemia through therapeutic angiogenesis faces significant challenges. Growth factor (GF)-based therapies can be more effective when concerns such as GF spatiotemporal presentation, bioactivity, bioavailability, and localization are addressed. During angiogenesis, vascular endothelial GF (VEGF) is required early to initiate neovessel formation while platelet-derived GF (PDGF-BB) is needed later to stabilize the neovessels. The spatiotemporal delivery of multiple bioactive GFs involved in angiogenesis, in a close mimic to physiological cues, holds great potential to treat ischemic diseases. To achieve sequential release of VEGF and PDGF, we embed VEGF in fibrin gel and PDGF in a heparin-based coacervate that is distributed in the same fibrin gel. In vitro, we show the benefits of this controlled delivery approach on cell proliferation, chemotaxis, and capillary formation. A rat myocardial infarction (MI) model demonstrated the effectiveness of this delivery system in improving cardiac function, ventricular wall thickness, angiogenesis, cardiac muscle survival, and reducing fibrosis and inflammation in the infarct zone compared to saline, empty vehicle, and free GFs. Collectively, our results show that this delivery approach mitigated the injury caused by MI and may serve as a new therapy to treat ischemic hearts pending further examination. PMID:25836592

  20. 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. PMID:26276694

  1. Sodium exclusion QTL associated with improved seedling growth in bread wheat under salinity stress.

    PubMed

    Genc, Y; Oldach, K; Verbyla, A P; Lott, G; Hassan, M; Tester, M; Wallwork, H; McDonald, G K

    2010-09-01

    Worldwide, dryland salinity is a major limitation to crop production. Breeding for salinity tolerance could be an effective way of improving yield and yield stability on saline-sodic soils of dryland agriculture. However, this requires a good understanding of inheritance of this quantitative trait. In the present study, a doubled-haploid bread wheat population (Berkut/Krichauff) was grown in supported hydroponics to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with salinity tolerance traits commonly reported in the literature (leaf symptoms, tiller number, seedling biomass, chlorophyll content, and shoot Na(+) and K(+) concentrations), understand the relationships amongst these traits, and determine their genetic value for marker-assisted selection. There was considerable segregation within the population for all traits measured. With a genetic map of 527 SSR-, DArT- and gene-based markers, a total of 40 QTL were detected for all seven traits. For the first time in a cereal species, a QTL interval for Na(+) exclusion (wPt-3114-wmc170) was associated with an increase (10%) in seedling biomass. Of the five QTL identified for Na(+) exclusion, two were co-located with seedling biomass (2A and 6A). The 2A QTL appears to coincide with the previously reported Na(+) exclusion locus in durum wheat that hosts one active HKT1;4 (Nax1) and one inactive HKT1;4 gene. Using these sequences as template for primer design enabled mapping of at least three HKT1;4 genes onto chromosome 2AL in bread wheat, suggesting that bread wheat carries more HKT1;4 gene family members than durum wheat. However, the combined effects of all Na(+) exclusion loci only accounted for 18% of the variation in seedling biomass under salinity stress indicating that there were other mechanisms of salinity tolerance operative at the seedling stage in this population. Na(+) and K(+) accumulation appear under separate genetic control. The molecular markers wmc170 (2A) and cfd080 (6A) are expected to

  2. 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. PMID:23149625

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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 (OD680) 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. PMID:23149625

  4. 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…

  5. Blochmannia endosymbionts improve colony growth and immune defence in the ant Camponotus fellah

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Microorganisms are a large and diverse form of life. Many of them live in association with large multicellular organisms, developing symbiotic relations with the host and some have even evolved to form obligate endosymbiosis [1]. All Carpenter ants (genus Camponotus) studied hitherto harbour primary endosymbiotic bacteria of the Blochmannia genus. The role of these bacteria in ant nutrition has been demonstrated [2] but the omnivorous diet of these ants lead us to hypothesize that the bacteria might provide additional advantages to their host. In this study, we establish links between Blochmannia, growth of starting new colonies and the host immune response. Results We manipulated the number of bacterial endosymbionts in incipient laboratory-reared colonies of Camponotus fellah by administrating doses of an antibiotic (Rifampin) mixed in honey-solution. Efficiency of the treatment was estimated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), using Blochmannia specific primers (qPCR) and two fluorescent probes (one for all Eubacterial and other specific for Blochmannia). Very few or no bacteria could be detected in treated ants. Incipient Rifampin treated colonies had significantly lower numbers of brood and adult workers than control colonies. The immune response of ants from control and treated colonies was estimated by inserting nylon filaments in the gaster and removing it after 24 h. In the control colonies, the encapsulation response was positively correlated to the bacterial amount, while no correlation was observed in treated colonies. Indeed, antibiotic treatment increased the encapsulation response of the workers, probably due to stress conditions. Conclusion The increased growth rate observed in non-treated colonies confirms the importance of Blochmannia in this phase of colony development. This would provide an important selective advantage during colony founding, where the colonies are faced with severe

  6. Agriculture, summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, R.

    1975-01-01

    Applications of remotely sensed data in agriculture are enumerated. These include: predictions of forage for range animal consumption, forest management, soil mapping, and crop inventory and management.

  7. Improving Managed Aquifer Recharge Operation to Reduce Nutrient Load in an Agricultural Basin: Delineation of Processes, Controls, and In-situ Potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, C. M.; Fisher, A.; Wheat, G.; Sharkey, J.; Los Huertos, M.; Lear, J.

    2007-12-01

    Nitrate is the most common nonpoint source pollutant in surface and ground water in the United States, and is a problem particularly in basins developed for agriculture. There is growing municipal and environmental demand for fresh water in basins that have been influenced by decades of agricultural activity. The goal of this research is to assess the potential for a managed aquifer recharge (MAR) system to improve water quality, with an emphasis on reducing the nitrate load to underlying aquifers. The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PVWMA), in central coastal California, currently operates a MAR project that is permitted to divert and recharge up to 2.5 x 106 m3/yr (2000 ac-ft/year) from a slough (wetland) to augment available ground water supplies. As a result of agricultural runoff and infiltration, diverted slough water is often rich in nitrate, as is the water in the underlying aquifer. However, nitrate concentrations in water samples recovered from the aquifer soon after MAR percolation are often relatively low, suggesting that nitrate may be removed as water percolates from the pond into the aquifer. Autonomous Osmosampler systems were deployed in the recharge pond and four nearby monitoring wells, as part of a pilot study, to collect fluid samples during and after pond operation. Samples collected with these instruments recorded the chemical arrival of water in the aquifer soon after percolation began, in some cases showing a 50% reduction in the concentration of nitrate. The chemical response in the aquifer recorded by the Osmosamplers was consistent with pressure data collected simultaneously in the monitoring wells, demonstrating that Osmosamplers should be useful tools for investigating changes in water quality associated with MAR operation. As this research project becomes fully developed during the 2007-08 water year, we will install Osmosampler systems in ground water monitoring wells surrounding the pond, and will collect shallow fluid

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. MATERNAL GHRH PLASMID ADMINISTRATION CHANGES PITUITARY CELL LINEAGE AND IMPROVES PROGENY GROWTH OF PIGS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Previous studies from our laboratory have demonstrated that administration of a myogenic plasmid that encodes a protease-resistant growth hormone-releasing hormone (HV-GHRH) to pregnant rat dams augmented long-term growth in first-generation progeny. In the present study, gilts were injected intra-m...

  15. 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...

  16. How can growth monitoring and special care of underweight children be improved in Zambia?

    PubMed

    Msefula, D

    1993-07-01

    Despite widespread promotion and implementation, very few growth monitoring programmes have been evaluated. Where they have, the findings have often been disappointing and the value of routine growth monitoring has been questioned. There is a concern that the process has become more of a weighing ritual rather than growth promotion. This paper highlights the findings of the evaluation study carried out to assess the performance of the Lusaka urban growth monitoring programme in Zambia. The problems faced and reasons are identified and alternate ways of offering the service are presented. Since the shortfalls are not unique to the Lusaka programme, it is hoped that this paper will stimulate a re-think in the way growth monitoring would be best implemented. PMID:8356736

  17. Dual Delivery of Hepatocyte and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors via a Protease-Degradable Hydrogel Improves Cardiac Function in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Boopathy, Archana V.; Che, Pao-lin; Brown, Milton; García, Andrés J.; Davis, Michael E.

    2012-01-01

    Acute myocardial infarction (MI) caused by ischemia and reperfusion (IR) is the most common cause of cardiac dysfunction due to local cell death and a temporally regulated inflammatory response. Current therapeutics are limited by delivery vehicles that do not address spatial and temporal aspects of healing. The aim of this study was to engineer biotherapeutic delivery materials to harness endogenous cell repair to enhance myocardial repair and function. We have previously engineered poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-based hydrogels to present cell adhesive motifs and deliver VEGF to promote vascularization in vivo. In the current study, bioactive hydrogels with a protease-degradable crosslinker were loaded with hepatocyte and vascular endothelial growth factors (HGF and VEGF, respectively) and delivered to the infarcted myocardium of rats. Release of both growth factors was accelerated in the presence of collagenase due to hydrogel degradation. When delivered to the border zones following ischemia-reperfusion injury, there was no acute effect on cardiac function as measured by echocardiography. Over time there was a significant increase in angiogenesis, stem cell recruitment, and a decrease in fibrosis in the dual growth factor delivery group that was significant compared with single growth factor therapy. This led to an improvement in chronic function as measured by both invasive hemodynamics and echocardiography. These data demonstrate that dual growth factor release of HGF and VEGF from a bioactive hydrogel has the capacity to significantly improve cardiac remodeling and function following IR injury. PMID:23226440

  18. Exogenous γ-aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Application Improved Early Growth, Net Photosynthesis, and Associated Physio-Biochemical Events in Maize.

    PubMed

    Li, Wu; Liu, Jianhua; Ashraf, Umair; Li, Gaoke; Li, Yuliang; Lu, Wenjia; Gao, Lei; Han, Fuguang; Hu, Jianguang

    2016-01-01

    γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is an endogenous signaling molecule and involved in growth regulations and plant development, however, a little information is available on the consequences of exogenous GABA application on growth, development, and associated physio-biochemical processes in maize. The present study examined the GABA-induced regulations in early growth, net photosynthetic rate, gas exchange, osmoregulation, and enzymatic activities in three maize cultivars, i.e., Yuecainuo 6, Zhengtian 68, and Yuecainuo 2. Two levels of GABA, i.e., 0 mg L(-1) and 50 mg L(-1), in solution form, with total application volume of 100 ml per pot containing 15 maize seedlings were exogenously applied. Results revealed that exogenous GABA application improved seedling growth in terms of seedling length and biomass accumulation in all maize cultivars at both 3 and 7 days after treatment (DAT). It also promoted net photosynthesis and variably affected gas exchange attributes, i.e., stomatal conductance (Gs), intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), and transpiration rate (Tr), as well as leaves SPAD value. Furthermore, lipid peroxidation [in terms of malondialdehyde (MDA)] under GABA treated maize seedlings were also remained variable; however, osmolyte accumulation (protein and proline) and activities of anti-oxidants enzymes, i.e., super-oxide dismutase and peroxidase were also affected differently at both 3 and 7 DAT in all maize cultivars. Furthermore, enzymes involved in nitrogen metabolism, e.g., nitrate reductase and glutamine synthetase were improved. These results suggest the involvement of GABA in various physio-metablical mechanisms which might lead to improvement in morphological growth of maize. In future, research is still needed at molecular and genetic levels to unravel the involvement of GABA-mediated regulations in growth and its associated physio-biochemical mechanisms. PMID:27446149

  19. 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

  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. Improved tumor-to-organ ratios of a novel 67Ga-human epidermal growth factor radionuclide conjugate with preadministered antiepidermal growth factor receptor affibody molecules.

    PubMed

    Sandström, Karl; Haylock, Anna-Karin; Velikyan, Irina; Spiegelberg, Diana; Kareem, Heewa; Tolmachev, Vladimir; Lundqvist, Hans; Nestor, Marika

    2011-10-01

    The overexpression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is associated with poor prognosis. Targeted nuclear imaging of the EGFR expression could improve the diagnostics in patients with HNSCC. However, the high expression of EGFR in normal organs may conceal the tumor uptake and therefore limit the use. This study assesses the biodistribution of a novel human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) radionuclide conjugate after preinjection with anti-EGFR affibody molecules. hEGF was conjugated with p-SCN-Bn-NOTA and labeled with (67)Ga. The biodistribution of [(67)Ga]Ga-NOTA-Bn-NCS-hEGF in nude mice with EGFR-expressing xenografts was evaluated either alone or 45 minutes after preinjection with one of the anti-EGFR affibody molecules Z(EGFR:1907), (Z(EGFR:1907))(2), or (Z(EGFR:955))(2). The novel radioimmunoconjugate, [(67)Ga]Ga-NOTA-Bn-NCS-hEGF, demonstrated high stability in vitro and specific binding to hEGF in vitro and in vivo. Preinjection with anti-EGFR affibody molecules improved the tumor-to-organ ratio in the liver, salivary glands, and colon. Overall, the dimeric high-affinity affibody molecule (Z(EGFR:1907))(2) exhibited the best results. These findings show that preblocking with an anti-EGFR affibody molecule is a promising tool that could improve the outcome of radionuclide-based imaging of EGFR-expressing tumors. PMID:21834651

  2. Nutritional Requirements for the Improvement of Growth and Sporulation of Several Strains of Monascus purpureus on Solid State Cultivation

    PubMed Central

    Ajdari, Zahra; Ebrahimpour, Afshin; Abdul Manan, Musaalbakri; Hamid, Muhajir; Mohamad, Rosfarizan; Ariff, Arbakariya B.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes the nutritional requirements for the improvement of growth and sporulation of several strains of Monascus purpureus on solid state cultivation. The findings revealed that glucose enhanced growth of all M. purpureus strains tested but inhibited the sporulation rate. On the other hand, sucrose induced sporulation but inhibited production of cell mass. A combination of glucose and sucrose greatly enhanced sporulation and cell mass production of M. purpureus. Although growth and sporulation rate were related to the ratio of carbon to nitrogen (C/N ratio), the types and concentrations of carbon and nitrogen sources also greatly influenced the growth kinetics. Among the media tested, Hiroi-PDA medium was the most preferred medium for all M. purpureus strains tested for the enhancement of radial growth rate, sporulation, and cell production. Hence, Hiroi-PDA could be suggested as the generic basal medium for the cultivation of M. purpureus. However, individual medium optimization is required for significant enhancement in growth and sporulation of each strain of M. purpureus. PMID:22253529

  3. Relationship between in vitro characterization and comparative efficacy of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria for improving cucumber salt tolerance.

    PubMed

    Nadeem, Sajid Mahmood; Ahmad, Maqshoof; Naveed, Muhammad; Imran, Muhammad; Zahir, Zahir Ahmad; Crowley, David E

    2016-05-01

    Phosphate solubilization, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC)-deaminase activity and production of siderophores and indole acetic acid (IAA) are well-known traits of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Here we investigated the expression of these traits as affected by salinity for three PGPR strains (Pseudomonas fluorescens, Bacillus megaterium and Variovorax paradoxus) at two salinity levels [2 and 5 % NaCl (w/v)]. Among the three strains, growth of B. megaterium was the least affected by high salinity. However, P. fluorescens was the best strain for maintaining ACC-deaminase activity, siderophore and IAA production under stressed conditions. V. paradoxus was the least tolerant to salts and had minimal growth and low PGPR trait expression under salt stress. Results of experiment examining the impact of bacterial inoculation on cucumber growth at three salinity levels [1 (normal), 7 and 10 dS m(-1)] revealed that P. fluorescens also had good rhizosphere competence and was the most effective for alleviating the negative impacts of salinity on cucumber growth. The results suggest that in addition to screening the PGPR regarding their effect on growth under salinity, PGPR trait expression is also an important aspect that may be useful for selecting the most promising PGPR bacterial strains for improving plant tolerance to salinity stress. PMID:26860842

  4. 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

  5. Endophytic Fungi from Frankincense Tree Improves Host Growth and Produces Extracellular Enzymes and Indole Acetic Acid.

    PubMed

    Khan, Abdul Latif; Al-Harrasi, Ahmed; Al-Rawahi, Ahmed; Al-Farsi, Zainab; Al-Mamari, Aza; Waqas, Muhammad; Asaf, Sajjad; Elyassi, Ali; Mabood, Fazal; Shin, Jae-Ho; Lee, In-Jung

    2016-01-01

    Boswellia sacra, an economically important frankincense-producing tree found in the desert woodlands of Oman, is least known for its endophytic fungal diversity and the potential of these fungi to produce extracellular enzymes and auxins. We isolated various fungal endophytes belonging to Eurotiales (11.8%), Chaetomiaceae (17.6%), Incertae sadis (29.5%), Aureobasidiaceae (17.6%), Nectriaceae (5.9%) and Sporomiaceae (17.6%) from the phylloplane (leaf) and caulosphere (stem) of the tree. Endophytes were identified using genomic DNA extraction, PCR amplification and sequencing the internal transcribed spacer regions, whereas a detailed phylogenetic analysis of the same gene fragment was made with homologous sequences. The endophytic colonization rate was significantly higher in the leaf (5.33%) than the stem (0.262%). The Shannon-Weiner diversity index was H' 0.8729, while Simpson index was higher in the leaf (0.583) than in the stem (0.416). Regarding the endophytic fungi's potential for extracellular enzyme production, fluorogenic 4-methylumbelliferone standards and substrates were used to determine the presence of cellulases, phosphatases and glucosidases in the pure culture. Among fungal strains, Penicillum citrinum BSL17 showed significantly higher amounts of glucosidases (62.15±1.8 μM-1min-1mL) and cellulases (62.11±1.6 μM-1min-1mL), whereas Preussia sp. BSL10 showed significantly higher secretion of glucosidases (69.4±0.79 μM-1min-1mL) and phosphatases (3.46±0.31μM-1min-1mL) compared to other strains. Aureobasidium sp. BSS6 and Preussia sp. BSL10 showed significantly higher potential for indole acetic acid production (tryptophan-dependent and independent pathways). Preussia sp. BSL10 was applied to the host B. sacra tree saplings, which exhibited significant improvements in plant growth parameters and accumulation of photosynthetic pigments. The current study concluded that endophytic microbial resources producing extracellular enzymes and auxin could

  6. 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

  7. Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition Impact through the Feed the Future Initiative.

    PubMed

    Du, Lidan; Pinga, Victor; Klein, Alyssa; Danton, Heather

    2015-01-01

    Nutrition is a multisectoral problem; current state of empirical evidence for agricultural interventions' impacts on nutrition is weak. In the past 10 years, both agriculture and nutrition have risen on the global policy agenda. Several recent international movements have created great momentum for nutrition among global political leaders and policymakers. The 2008 world food price crisis prompted larger investment pledges to agricultural development. The U.S. Government launched the Feed the Future initiative in 2009 to address global hunger and food security, with a primary goal to reduce poverty and undernutrition by simultaneously promoting inclusive agriculture sector growth and improved nutritional status for women and children. With operations in 19 focus countries, Feed the Future provides an important laboratory of learning where efforts can be effective and, once proven, taken to scale to make agriculture work for nutrition. The Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project has been conducting a series of research on the Feed the Future initiative. This chapter will first provide a review of the nutrition narrative in relation to food and nutrition, introduce the current understanding of linkages between agriculture and nutrition and the Feed the Future initiative's efforts to strengthen the nutritional impact of agricultural and economic growth activities, and describe an extensive review of how the design and early implementation of Feed the Future activities linked agriculture and nutrition. Finally, the chapter presents an updated framework that incorporates ways to improve nutrition outcomes of agricultural programming in the broader context of food system. PMID:25624034

  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. 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. 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...

  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. PMID:26420088

  12. 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…

  13. Low-Temperature Growth of DKDP for Improving Laser-Induced Damage resistance at 350nm

    SciTech Connect

    Burnham, A K; Runkel, M; Hawley-Fedder, R A; Carman, M L; Torres, R A; Whitman, P K

    2000-12-06

    A set of twenty-three 20-L crystallizer runs exploring the importance of several engineering variables found that growth temperature is the most important variable controlling damage resistance of DKDP over the conditions investigated. Boules grown between 45 C and room temperature have a 50% probability of 3{omega} bulk damage that is 1.5 to 2 times higher than boules grown between 65 and 45 C. This raises their damage resistance above the NIF tripler specification for 8 J/cm{sup 2} operation by a comfortable margin. Solution impurity levels do not correlate with damage resistance for iron less than 200 ppb and aluminum less than 2000 ppb. The possibility that low growth temperatures could increase damage resistance in NIF-scale boules was tested by growing a large boule in a 1000-L crystallizer with a supplemental growth solution tank. Four samples representing early and late pyramid and prism growth are very close to the specification as best it is understood at the present. Implications of low temperature growth for meeting absorbance, homogeneity, and other material specifications are discussed.

  14. 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.

  15. Improvement of (004) texturing by slow growth of Nd doped TiO2 films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, A.; Yassitepe, E.; Ruzybayev, I.; Ismat Shah, S.; Bhatti, A. S.

    2012-12-01

    In this work, we present preferred (004) texturing of sputter deposited titanium dioxide (TiO2) films on glass substrates as a consequence of Nd doping at very slow growth rate. Nd concentration was varied from 0.0 to 2.0 atomic percent (at. %) in TiO2 thin films deposited under identical growth conditions, i.e., the growth rate of 0.6 Å/s and at 500 °C. At 2 at. % Nd, complete texturing along (004) plane was observed, as indicated by the X-ray diffraction analyses. Morphology of the deposited TiO2 films from pure to 2 at. % Nd doped TiO2 films showed faceted to planar growth. Visualization of electrical and structural analysis (VESTA) software revealed that the change in the morphology was due to preferential growth in (004) orientation. Raman spectroscopy highlighted the phonon confinement in the Eg mode, and a red shift was observed due to an increase in the anti-symmetry in bonding with increased Nd concentration. XPS results confirmed the variation in oxygen vacancy concentration along with the reduction of Ti and Nd valance states with the change in the dopant concentration. Our experiments confirmed that the substitution of Nd at Ti sites was responsible for texturing in (004) orientation and this was possible by growing films at a very slow rate.

  16. Genetic parameter estimates for feed intake, body composition, and fillet quality traits in a rainbow trout population selected for improved growth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A selection program is ongoing at the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture to improve growth performance in rainbow trout. Current selection criteria include 10-month body weight (10-mo BW) and thermal growth coefficient (TGC) measured during the growth period between 10 and 13 months...

  17. 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.

  18. Red Light Stimulates Feeding Motivation in Fish but Does Not Improve Growth

    PubMed Central

    Bovi, Thais S.; de Freitas, Renato H. A.; da Silva, Danielle F.; Delicio, Helton C.; Barreto, Rodrigo Egydio

    2013-01-01

    Nile tilapia fish were individually reared under similar light levels for 8 weeks under five colored light spectra (maximum wavelength absorbance): white (full light spectrum), blue (∼452 nm), green (∼516 nm), yellow (∼520 nm) or red (∼628 nm). The effects of light on feeding, latency to begin feeding, growth and feed conversion were measured during the last 4 weeks of the study (i.e., after acclimation). We found that red light stimulates feeding, as in humans, most likely by affecting central control centers, but the extra feeding is not converted into growth. PMID:23516606

  19. Rhizobacterial Strain Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 Induces Cellular Polyamine Changes that Improve Plant Growth and Drought Resistance.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Cheng; Ma, Zhongyou; Zhu, Lin; Xiao, Xin; Xie, Yue; Zhu, Jian; Wang, Jianfei

    2016-01-01

    Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria can improve plant growth, development, and stress adaptation. However, the underlying mechanisms are still largely unclear. We investigated the effects of Bacillus megaterium BOFC15 on Arabidopsis plants. BOFC15 produced and secreted spermidine (Spd), a type of polyamine (PA) that plays an important role in plant growth. Moreover, BOFC15 induced changes in the cellular PAs of plants that promoted an increase of free Spd and spermine levels. However, these effects were remarkably abolished by the addition of dicyclohexylamine (DCHA), a Spd biosynthetic inhibitor. Additionally, the inoculation with BOFC15 remarkably increased plant biomass, improved root system architecture, and augmented photosynthetic capacity. Inoculated plants also displayed stronger ability to tolerate drought stress than non-inoculated (control) plants. Abscisic acid (ABA) content was notably higher in the inoculated plants than in the control plants under drought stress and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-induced stress conditions. However, the BOFC15-induced ABA synthesis was markedly inhibited by DCHA. Thus, microbial Spd participated in the modulation of the ABA levels. The Spd-producing BOFC15 improved plant drought tolerance, which was associated with altered cellular ABA levels and activated adaptive responses. PMID:27338359

  20. 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

  1. Emerging Agricultural Biotechnologies for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jennifer A; Gipmans, Martijn; Hurst, Susan; Layton, Raymond; Nehra, Narender; Pickett, John; Shah, Dilip M; Souza, Thiago Lívio P O; Tripathi, Leena

    2016-01-20

    As global populations continue to increase, agricultural productivity will be challenged to keep pace without overtaxing important environmental resources. A dynamic and integrated approach will be required to solve global food insecurity and position agriculture on a trajectory toward sustainability. Genetically modified (GM) crops enhanced through modern biotechnology represent an important set of tools that can promote sustainable agriculture and improve food security. Several emerging biotechnology approaches were discussed in a recent symposium organized at the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA. This paper summarizes the innovative research and several of the new and emerging technologies within the field of agricultural biotechnology that were presented during the symposium. This discussion highlights how agricultural biotechnology fits within the context of sustainable agriculture and improved food security and can be used in support of further development and adoption of beneficial GM crops. PMID:26785813

  2. Hot water treatment reduces microbial growth and improves quality of packaged fresh-cut tables grapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Packaged fresh-cut table grape (Vitis vinifera L.) has emerged as a popular snack food because it offers freshness, nutrition, and convenience. However, tissue injury sustained during stem removal, and the openings created after stem removal make grapes susceptible to microbial growth, product deca...

  3. AUTOCLAVED RUMINAL FLUID IMMEDIATELY AFTER BIRTH IMPROVES THE GROWTH AND HEALTH OF NEONATE DAIRY CALVES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent work (Muscato, T.V., L.O. Tedeschi, and Russell, J.B. 2002. The effect of ruminal fluid preparations on the growth and health of new-born dairy calves. Journal Dairy Science. In press.) showed that ruminal fluid (RF) supplements (8 ml per d) decreased (P <0.05) the incidence of scours in dair...

  4. 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...

  5. mTOR inhibition improves fibroblast growth factor receptor targeting in hepatocellular carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Scheller, T; Hellerbrand, C; Moser, C; Schmidt, K; Kroemer, A; Brunner, S M; Schlitt, H J; Geissler, E K; Lang, S A

    2015-01-01

    Background: Systemic therapy has proven only marginal effects in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) so far. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of targeting fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) on tumour and stromal cells in HCC models. Methods: Human and murine HCC cells, endothelial cells (ECs), vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), human HCC samples, FGFR inhibitor BGJ398 and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor rapamycin were used. Effects on growth, motility, signalling and angiogenic markers were determined. In vivo subcutaneous and syngeneic orthotopic tumour models were used. Results: In tumour cells and ECs, targeting FGFR showed significant inhibitory effects on signalling and motility. Minor effects of FGFR inhibition were observed on VSMCs and HSCs, which were significantly enhanced by combining FGFR and mTOR blockade. In vivo daily (5 mg kg−1) treatment with BGJ398 led to a significant growth inhibition in subcutaneous tumour models, but only a combination of FGFR and mTOR blockade impaired tumour growth in the orthotopic model. This was paralleled by reduced tumour cell proliferation, vascularisation, pericytes and increased apoptosis. Conclusions: Targeting FGFR with BGJ398 affects tumour cells and ECs, whereas only a combination with mTOR inhibition impairs recruitment of VSMCs and HSCs. Therefore, this study provides evidence for combined FGFR/mTOR inhibition in HCC. PMID:25688743

  6. Modeling the effects of mineral nutrition for improving growth and development of micropropagated red raspberries

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In vitro propagation is important for rapid multiplication of a wide range of nursery crops, including red raspberries. The genetic variation of the many red raspberry cultivars makes it difficult to use one growth medium for all. Although some cultivars grow well on Murashige and Skoog (1962) mediu...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. FROM DUST TO PLANETESIMALS: AN IMPROVED MODEL FOR COLLISIONAL GROWTH IN PROTOPLANETARY DISKS

    SciTech Connect

    Garaud, Pascale; Meru, Farzana; Galvagni, Marina; Olczak, Christoph

    2013-02-20

    Planet formation occurs within the gas- and dust-rich environments of protoplanetary disks. Observations of these objects show that the growth of primordial submicron-sized particles into larger aggregates occurs at the earliest evolutionary stages of the disks. However, theoretical models of particle growth that use the Smoluchowski equation to describe collisional coagulation and fragmentation have so far failed to produce large particles while maintaining a significant population of small grains. This has generally been attributed to the existence of two barriers impeding growth due to bouncing and fragmentation of colliding particles. In this paper, we demonstrate that the importance of these barriers has been artificially inflated through the use of simplified models that do not take into account the stochastic nature of the particle motions within the gas disk. We present a new approach in which the relative velocities between two particles are described by a probability distribution function that models both deterministic motion (from the vertical settling, radial drift, and azimuthal drift) and stochastic motion (from Brownian motion and turbulence). Taking both into account can give quite different results to what has been considered recently in other studies. We demonstrate the vital effect of two 'ingredients' for particle growth: the proper implementation of a velocity distribution function that overcomes the bouncing barrier and, in combination with mass transfer in high-mass-ratio collisions, boosts the growth of larger particles beyond the fragmentation barrier. A robust result of our simulations is the emergence of two particle populations (small and large), potentially explaining simultaneously a number of longstanding problems in protoplanetary disks, including planetesimal formation close to the central star, the presence of millimeter- to centimeter-sized particles far out in the disk, and the persistence of {mu}m-sized grains for millions of

  10. Modification of nutrition strategy for improvement of postnatal growth in very low birth weight infants

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Ah Young; Lee, Yong Wook

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To identify the effects of modified parenteral nutrition (PN) and enteral nutrition (EN) regimens on the growth of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. Methods The study included VLBW infants weighing <1,500 g, admitted to Chungnam National University Hospital between October 2010 and April 2014, who were alive at the time of discharge. Subjects were divided according to 3 periods: period 1 (n=37); prior to the PN and EN regimen being modified, period 2 (n=50); following the PN-only regimen modification, period 3 (n=37); following both PN and EN regimen modification. The modified PN regimen provided 3 g/kg/day of protein and 1 g/kg/day of lipid on the first day of life. The modified EN regimen provided 3.5-4.5 g/kg/day of protein and 150 kcal/kg/day of energy. We investigated growth rate, anthropometric measurements at 40 weeks postconceptional age (PCA) and the incidence of extrauterine growth restriction (EUGR) at 40 weeks PCA. Results Across the 3 periods, clinical characteristics, including gestational age, anthropometric measurements at birth, multiple births, sex, Apgar score, surfactant use and PDA treatment, were similar. Growth rates for weight and height, from time of full enteral feeding to 40 weeks PCA, were higher in period 3. Anthropometric measurements at 40 weeks PCA were greatest in period 3. Incidence of weight, height and head circumference EUGR at 40 weeks PCA decreased in period 3. Conclusion Beginning PN earlier, with a greater supply of protein and energy during PN and EN, is advantageous for postnatal growth in VLBW infants. PMID:27186226

  11. Improving adaptation to weaning: effect of intermittent suckling regimens on piglet feed intake, growth, and gut characteristics.

    PubMed

    Berkeveld, M; Langendijk, P; Soede, N M; Kemp, B; Taverne, M A M; Verheijden, J H M; Kuijken, N; Koets, A P

    2009-10-01

    Daily separation of sows and piglets during lactation, intermittent suckling (IS), improves feed intake and postweaning adaptation in piglets. The aim of the current study was to determine how, in piglets that have been subjected to IS, age at weaning and the duration of the preceding IS period contribute to postweaning adaptation through effects on feed intake, growth, and gut characteristics. All piglets had ad libitum access to creep feed from d 7. Litters were subjected to conventional weaning (CW) or to 1 of 3 IS regimens. In CW, litters (n = 29) had continuous access to the sow until weaning (d 26, d 0 = farrowing). During IS, litters had access to the sow between 1600 and 0600 h. Litters in the IS treatments were subjected to IS 1) from d 19 onward and weaned at d 26 (IS19-7D, n = 33), 2) from d 19 onward and weaned at d 33 (IS19-14D, n = 28), or 3) from d 26 onward and weaned at d 33 (IS26-7D, n = 33). The IS19-7D regimen resulted in a relative growth check within the first 2 d after weaning similar to CW litters (72 +/- 13 and 90 +/- 7%, respectively), but in a greater piglet growth (P = 0.014) and feed intake (P = 0.001) between d 2 and 7 postweaning. Moreover, IS19-7D was not associated with a (further) reduction in villus height as observed at d 2 postweaning in CW litters. In IS piglets weaned after an extended lactation (d 33), a markedly smaller weaning-associated relative growth check was observed shortly postweaning (11 +/- 18 and 32 +/- 19% for IS19-14D and IS26-7D litters, respectively). In these litters, feed intake and growth within the first 2 d after weaning were slightly greater when piglets were subjected to IS for 2 wk (IS19-14D) rather than for 1 wk (IS26-7D; P = 0.032 and P = 0.037 for feed intake and growth, respectively). Irrespective of duration of IS, weaning at d 33 with IS was not associated with a reduction in villus height. Irrespective of treatment, plasma citrulline concentrations were reduced at d 2 and 8 postweaning compared

  12. Improvement in the Grain Growth of Plasma-Treated Nano-Sized ZnO Films and Their Characterization.

    PubMed

    Chen, Mi; Chou, Ching-Chuan; Lin, Ching-Cheng; Koo, Horng-Show

    2015-11-01

    The well-aligned ZnO nanorods were rapidly grown on an indium tin oxide (ITO)-coated glass substrate using Al-doped ZnO (AZO) thin film as seed layer by the microwave-assisted hydrothermal chemical route. The optimal growth conditions for the well-aligned ZnO nanorods were obtained by modulating H2 plasma pretreatment time for the seed layer and synthesis time for ZnO nanorods. The H2 plasma effect of the seed layer on the alignment, growth rate and crysallinity of ZnO nanods is also demonstrated. The synthesized ZnO nanorods were annealed in atmosphere of N2, O2 and H2 + N2 mixed gas to improve the related physical characteristics, the ZnO nanorods on grapheme/ITO substrate were also investigated. The results show that the alignment and growth rate of ZnO nanorods depends on the physical characteristics and roughness of the seed layer, which can be improved by H2 plasma pretreatment. The average growth rate of ZnO nanorods synthesized by microwave hydrothermal technique is about 2.2 μm/hr which significantly superior to other conventional techniques. After the appropriate N2 annealing treatment, good quality and well-aligned ZnO nanorods, which are single crystal with stacking defects and pyramid or candle shape, were obtained. A fundamental model of the effect of H2 plasma pretreatment on the surface of seed layer and the growth of ZnO nanorods using a microwave-assisted hydrothermal chemical route is also described. PMID:26726662

  13. Improved production of recombinant fibroblast growth factor 7 (FGF7/KGF) from bacteria in high magnesium chloride.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yongde; Cho, Hyun-Hee; Jones, Richard B; Jin, Chengliu; McKeehan, Wallace L

    2004-02-01

    Because of specificity for both heparin/heparan sulfate and the receptor complex on epithelial cells relative to other fibroblast growth factor (FGF) homologues, there is considerable interest in clinical and commercial applications of FGF7 (also called keratinocyte growth factor or KGF) that require large quantities at reasonable cost. Production of recombinant FGF7 from bacteria suffers from lower yields and recovery relative to FGF1 and FGF2. Fusion of FGF7 at the N-terminus with glutathione-S-transferase (GST) followed by removal of GST by proteolysis while bound to natural ligand heparin improved the intrinsically low yields from Escherichia coli hosts to 3.2 mg per liter per OD(600), which was still only 10% of that for FGF1. Yield of the GST-FGF7 fusion product was improved to about 17 mg per liter per OD(600) in strain BL21(DE3)pLysS by inclusion of 10-100mM magnesium chloride (MgCl(2)) in the culture medium. This improved by about five times the yields of fully active 54ser-FGF7 after proteolytic excision of the GST portion from GST-FGF7 immobilized on heparin-Sepharose. This simple enhancement improves the cost-effectiveness of production of recombinant FGF7 in bacteria for clinical and commercial applications. PMID:14711521

  14. 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.

  15. Novel cell culture device enabling three-dimensional cell growth and improved cell function.

    PubMed

    Bokhari, Maria; Carnachan, Ross J; Cameron, Neil R; Przyborski, Stefan A

    2007-03-23

    A better understanding of cell biology and cell-cell interactions requires three-dimensional (3-D) culture systems that more closely represent the natural structure and function of tissues in vivo. Here, we present a novel device that provides an environment for routine 3-D cell growth in vitro. We have developed a thin membrane of polystyrene scaffold with a well defined and uniform porous architecture and have adapted this material for cell culture applications. We have exemplified the application of this technology by growing HepG2 liver cells on 2- and 3-D substrates. The performance of HepG2 cells grown on scaffolds was significantly enhanced compared to functional activity of cells grown on 2-D plastic. The incorporation of thin membranes of porous polystyrene to create a novel device has been successfully demonstrated as a new 3-D cell growth technology for routine use in cell culture. PMID:17276400

  16. Dietary medicinal plant extracts improve growth, immune activity and survival of tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus.

    PubMed

    Immanuel, G; Uma, R P; Iyapparaj, P; Citarasu, T; Peter, S M Punitha; Babu, M Michael; Palavesam, A

    2009-05-01

    The effects of supplementing diets with acetone extract (1% w/w) from four medicinal plants (Bermuda grass Cynodon dactylon, H(1), beal Aegle marmelos, H(2), winter cherry Withania somnifera, H(3) and ginger Zingiber officinale, H(4)) on growth, the non-specific immune response and ability to resist pathogen infection in tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus were assessed. In addition, the antimicrobial properties of the extract were assessed against Vibrio alginolyticus, Vibrioparahaemolyticus, Vibrio mimicus, Vibrio campbelli, Vibrio vulnificus, Vibrio harveyi and Photobacterium damselae. Oreochromis mossambicus were fed 5% of their body mass per day for 45 days, and those fed the experimental diets showed a greater increase in mass (111-139%) over the 45 days compared to those that received the control diet (98%). The specific growth rate of O. mossambicus fed the four diets was also significantly greater (1.66-1.93%) than control (1.52%) diet-fed fish. The blood plasma chemistry analysis revealed that protein, albumin, globulin, cholesterol, glucose and triglyceride levels of experimental fish were significantly higher than that of control fish. Packed cell volume of the blood samples of experimental diet-fed fish was also significantly higher (34.16-37.95%) than control fish (33.0%). Leucocrit value, phagocytic index and lysozyme activity were enhanced in fish fed the plant extract-supplemented diets. The acetone extract of the plants inhibited growth of Vibrio spp. and P. damselae with extracts from W. somnifera showing maximum growth inhibition. A challenge test with V. vulnificus showed 100% mortality in O. mossambicus fed the control diet by day 15, whereas the fish fed the experimental diets registered only 63-80% mortality at the end of challenge experiment (30 days). The cumulative mortality index for the control group was 12,000, which was equated to 1.0% mortality, and accordingly, the lowest mortality of 0.35% was registered in H(4)-diet-fed group. PMID

  17. 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). PMID:22744689

  18. Delivered growth factor therapy to improve healing after rotator cuff repair

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Emilie V; Silverio, Luz; Yao, Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    Background Degenerative rotator cuff tears are a significant cause of shoulder pain in the aging population. Rotator cuff repair surgery may be more successful when growth factors are delivered to the repair site. This study was designed to determine the cellular processes involved in normal bone-to-tendon healing and the current approaches used for biologic augmentation of rotator cuff repair. Methods This review focuses on animal studies of rotator cuff repair and early human trials. Results Regular bone-to-tendon healing forms a fibrous junction between tendon and bone that is markedly different from the original bone-to-tendon junction. Tendon augmentation with cellular components serves as scaffolding for endogenous fibroblastic cells and a possible source of growth factors and fibroblastic cells. Extracellular matrices provide a scaffold for incoming fibroblastic cells. However, research in extracellular matrices is not conclusive due to intermanufacturer variation and the lack of human subject research. Growth factors and platelet-rich plasma are established in other fields of research and show promise, but have not yet been rigorously tested in rotator cuff repair augmentation. Conclusions Rotator cuff repair can benefit from biologic augmentation. However, research in this field is still young and has not yet demonstrated that the benefits in healing rates are significant enough to merit regular clinical use. Randomized controlled trials will elucidate the use of biologic augmentation in rotator cuff repairs. PMID:24198519

  19. Material growth and characterization directed toward improving III-V heterojunction solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stefanakos, E. K.; Alexander, W. E.; Collis, W.; Abul-Fadl, A.

    1979-01-01

    In addition to the existing materials growth laboratory, the photolithographic facility and the device testing facility were completed. The majority of equipment for data acquisition, solar cell testing, materials growth and device characterization were received and are being put into operation. In the research part of the program, GaAs and GaA1As layers were grown reproducibly on GaAs substrates. These grown layers were characterized as to surface morphology, thickness and thickness uniformity. The liquid phase epitaxial growth process was used to fabricate p-n junctions in Ga(1-x)A1(x)As. Sequential deposition of two alloy layers was accomplished and detailed analysis of the effect of substrate quality and dopant on the GaA1As layer quality is presented. Finally, solar cell structures were formed by growing a thin p-GaA1As layer upon an epitaxial n-GaA1As layer. The energy gap corresponding to the long wavelength cutoff of the spectral response characteristic was 1.51-1.63 eV. Theoretical calculations of the spectral response were matched to the measured response.

  20. Improved growth, productivity and quality of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants through application of shikimic acid

    PubMed Central

    Al-Amri, Salem M.

    2013-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of seed presoaking of shikimic acid (30, 60 and 120 ppm) on growth parameters, fruit productivity and quality, transpiration rate, photosynthetic pigments and some mineral nutrition contents of tomato plants. Shikimic acid at all concentrations significantly increased fresh and dry weights, fruit number, average fresh and dry fruit yield, vitamin C, lycopene, carotenoid contents, total acidity and fruit total soluble sugars of tomato plants when compared to control plants. Seed pretreatment with shikimic acid at various doses induces a significant increase in total leaf conductivity, transpiration rate and photosynthetic pigments (Chl. a, chl. b and carotenoids) of tomato plants. Furthermore, shikimic acid at various doses applied significantly increased the concentration of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in tomato leaves as compared to control non-treated tomato plants. Among all doses of shikimic acid treatment, it was found that 60 ppm treatment caused a marked increase in growth, fruit productivity and quality and most studied parameters of tomato plants when compared to other treatments. On the other hand, no significant differences were observed in total photosynthetic pigments, concentrations of nitrogen and potassium in leaves of tomato plants treated with 30 ppm of shikimic acid and control plants. According to these results, it could be suggested that shikimic acid used for seed soaking could be used for increasing growth, fruit productivity and quality of tomato plants growing under field conditions. PMID:24235870

  1. Combination of Xylanase and Debranching Enzymes Specific to Wheat Arabinoxylan Improve the Growth Performance and Gut Health of Broilers.

    PubMed

    Lei, Zhao; Shao, Yuxin; Yin, Xiaonan; Yin, Dafei; Guo, Yuming; Yuan, Jianmin

    2016-06-22

    Arabinoxylan (AX) is the major antinutritional factor of wheat. This study evaluated the synergistic effects of xylanase and debranching enzymes (arabinofuranosidase [ABF] and feruloyl esterase [FAE]) on AX. During in vitro tests, the addition of ABF or FAE accelerated the hydrolysis of water-soluble AX (WE-AX) and water-insoluble AX (WU-AX) and produced more xylan oligosaccharides (XOS) than xylanase alone. XOS obtained from WE-AX stimulated greater proliferation of Lactobacillus brevis and Bacillus subtilis than did fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and glucose. During in vivo trials, xylanase increased the average daily growth (ADG), decreased the feed-conversion ratio (FCR), and reduced the digesta viscosity of jejunum and intestinal lesions of broilers fed a wheat-based diet on day 36. ABF or FAE additions further improved these effects. Broilers fed a combination of xylanase, ABF, and FAE exhibited the best growth. In conclusion, the synergistic effects among xylanase, ABF, and FAE increased AX degradation, which improve the growth performance and gut health of broilers. PMID:27285356

  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

    2016-01-01

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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,…

  7. AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DEALTON, ERNEST L.

    TODAY'S SUCCESSFUL FARMER MUST POSSESS THE SKILLS OF A BUSINESSMAN, SCIENTIST, AND MECHANIC TO SURVIVE COMPETITION IN AGRICULTURE, THE LARGEST INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES. THIS COMPETITION HAS CAUSED AN INCREASE IN THE SIZE OF FARMS AND RANCHES IN AN ATTEMPT TO CURTAIL OPERATIONAL EXPENSES AND TO INCREASE PRODUCTION. WITH THE SCIENTIFIC…

  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. Root Associated Bacillus sp. Improves Growth, Yield and Zinc Translocation for Basmati Rice (Oryza sativa) Varieties.

    PubMed

    Shakeel, Muhammad; Rais, Afroz; Hassan, Muhammad Nadeem; Hafeez, Fauzia Yusuf

    2015-01-01

    Plant associated rhizobacteria prevailing in different agro-ecosystems exhibit multiple traits which could be utilized in various aspect of sustainable agriculture. Two hundred thirty four isolates were obtained from the roots of basmati-385 and basmati super rice varieties growing in clay loam and saline soil at different locations of Punjab (Pakistan). Out of 234 isolates, 27 were able to solubilize zinc (Zn) from different Zn ores like zinc phosphate [Zn3 (PO4)2], zinc carbonate (ZnCO3) and zinc oxide (ZnO). The strain SH-10 with maximum Zn solubilization zone of 24 mm on Zn3 (PO4)2ore and strain SH-17 with maximum Zn solubilization zone of 14-15 mm on ZnO and ZnCO3ores were selected for further studies. These two strains solubilized phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) in vitro with a solubilization zone of 38-46 mm and 47-55 mm respectively. The strains also suppressed economically important rice pathogens Pyricularia oryzae and Fusarium moniliforme by 22-29% and produced various biocontrol determinants in vitro. The strains enhanced Zn translocation toward grains and increased yield of basmati-385 and super basmati rice varieties by 22-49% and 18-47% respectively. The Zn solubilizing strains were identified as Bacillus sp. and Bacillus cereus by 16S rRNA gene analysis. PMID:26635754

  10. More wood of better quality: intensive silviculture with rapid-growth improved Eucalyptus spp. for pulpwood

    SciTech Connect

    Campinhos, E. Jr.

    1980-01-01

    The early forests planted using Brazilian Eucalyptus seeds produced great variability in the volume of wood. In the specific case of E. saligna, there was an inability of the species to adapt itself to the local ecological system. It was obvious that new silvicultural techniques should be developed and also new species and provenances, capable of adapting to the region, should be identified. The objective was to improve wood volume yields as well as to produce a better pulp quality. The research and development work has been more successful than anticipated mainly because of the new technique of rooting cuttings developed by Aracruz, which allows propagation of vigorous parent trees, including hybrids. The production of improved seeds has also been developed. A good genetic base has been established to guarantee continuous improvement for production of seedlings to be used in routine plantations. The first results have already enabled good gains in volume, wood density, cellulose content and resistance to disease.

  11. More wood of better quality through intensive silviculture with rapid-growth improved Brazilian eucalyptus

    SciTech Connect

    Campinhos, E. Jr.

    1980-11-01

    The early forests planted using Brazilian Eucalyptus seeds produced great variability in the volume of wood. In the specific case of E. saligna, the species was unable to adapt itself to the local ecological system. It was obvious that a new silviculture technique should be developed and also that new species and provenances, capable of adapting to the region, should be identified. The objective was to improve wood volume yields as well as to produce better pulp quality. The research and development work has been more successful than anticipated, mainly because a new technique of rooting cuttings which allows propagation of vigorous parent trees, including hybrids, was developed. The production of improved seeds has also been developed. A good genetic base has been established to guarantee continuous improvement for production of seedlings to be used in routine plantings. The first results have already shown good gains in volume, wood density, cellulose content, and resistance to disease.

  12. 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

  13. Embracing the Role of Science in Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sparace, Salvatore A.; Layfield, K. Dale

    2003-01-01

    The approach to agricultural production has come to rely on the application of modern science and technology for improvements and innovation. There has been a shift from traditional production careers to those involving science-driven agricultural development. (JOW)

  14. 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

  15. Radiation-guided drug delivery to tumor blood vessels results in improved tumor growth delay.

    PubMed

    Geng, Ling; Osusky, Katherine; Konjeti, Sekhar; Fu, Allie; Hallahan, Dennis

    2004-10-19

    Tumor blood vessels are biological targets for cancer therapy. In this study, a tumor vasculature targeting system that consisted of liposomes and lectin (WGA) was built. Liposomes were used to carry a number of liposome-friendly anti-tumoral agents along with WGA, a lectin which posseses a specific affinity for binding to inflamed endothelial cells. In order to target tumor vasculature, inflammation of endothelial cells was induced by radiation. Because ionizing radiation induces an inflammatory response in tumor vasculature, lectin-conjugates were utilized to determine whether radiation can be used to target drug delivery to tumor vessels. Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is one such lectin that binds to inflamed microvasculature. WGA was conjugated to liposomes containing cisplatin and administered to tumor bearing mice. Tumor growth delay was used to analyze the efficacy of cytotoxicity. FITC-conjugated WGA accumulated within irradiated tumor microvasculature. WGA was conjugated to liposomes and labeled with 111In. This demonstrated radiation-inducible tumor-selective binding. WGA-liposome-conjugates were loaded with Cisplatin and administered to mice bearing irradiated tumors. Tumors treated with a combination of liposome encapsulated cisplatin together with radiation showed a significant increase in tumor growth delay as compared to radiation alone. These findings demonstrate that ionizing radiation can be used to guide drug delivery to tumor microvasculature. PMID:15451595

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Ripping improves tree survival and growth on unused reclaimed mined lands.

    PubMed

    Fields-Johnson, Christopher W; Burger, James A; Evans, Daniel M; Zipper, Carl E

    2014-06-01

    There is renewed interest in re-establishing trees on 0.6 million ha of mining-disturbed lands in the Appalachian mountains of Eastern United States. Many coal-mined lands reclaimed to meet requirements of US federal law have thick herbaceous vegetation and compacted soils which impede tree establishment. Mitigation practices were applied on three mine sites and evaluated for success in enabling planted trees to become established. Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), hybrid poplar (Populus deltoids × Populus trichocarpa), and mixed Appalachian hardwoods were established using weed control only and weed control with subsoil ripping. Trees were measured in October of 2008 after 5 years of growth. Subsoil ripping increased mixed hardwood survival from 43 to 71%, hybrid poplar biomass index from 1.51 to 8.97 Mg ha(-1), and Eastern white pine biomass index from 0.10 to 0.32 Mg ha(-1). When restoring trees to unused mined sites, subsoil ripping can aid survival and growth to an extent that will result in a valuable forest. PMID:24668411

  19. Targeting endothelial connexin40 inhibits tumor growth by reducing angiogenesis and improving vessel perfusion.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Florian; Domingos-Pereira, Sonia; Le Gal, Loïc; Derré, Laurent; Meda, Paolo; Jichlinski, Patrice; Nardelli-Haefliger, Denise; Haefliger, Jacques-Antoine

    2016-03-22

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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…

  3. 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...

  4. Tracking Perceived and Observed Growth of Inquiry Practice: A Formative Plan to Improve Professional Development Experiences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Jeff C.; Smart, Julie; Horton, Robert M.

    2011-01-01

    The authors worked with 22 middle school math and science teachers for one year with the goal of improving the quantity and quality of inquiry-based instruction implemented in the classroom. The professional development experience was framed by the 4E x 2 Instruction Model, which combines key components of inquiry instruction (Engage, Explore,…

  5. Improved Czochralski growth and activator efficiency of cerium doped yttrium aluminum garnet by defect engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haven, Drew Thomas

    The past several decades have seen a genuine surge in development of scintillator materials for use in a multitude of applications ranging from high energy physics to medical imaging. Despite the rapid materials discovery that has been undertaken in the search for better scintillators, a host of defects still limit scintillator performance in many promising materials. Thus the key to tapping into a scintillators full potential lies in understanding and modifying their defect structure through a process known as defect engineering. One such promising visible light scintillator is cerium doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Ce:YAG). Despite characteristics that make Ce:YAG an excellent yellow phosphor that see it commonly used in fluorescent lights and while light LEDs, performance hindering defects severely limited its potential as a bulk scintillator, a critical defect being that of UV defect luminescence. By successfully building a new Czochralski (CZ) furnace, samples could be grown with careful control over growth conditions to study and reduce these defects. All samples were grown in similar conditions by the CZ method with a (111) oriented undoped YAG seed. Several original approaches were developed in this study to reduce defects or mitigate their influence. The first method of solving the problem relied on recognizing that what many in the past identified as visible scintillation light was in fact UV defect luminescence. By using multiple photodetectors it was demonstrated that when higher cerium doping levels are involved in Ce:YAG, luminescence is not decreased due to self-absorption as previously thought, but rather UV defect emission is quenched in favor of visible emission. Once established, new avenues of research became available. Another study demonstrates Ce:YAG grown by the Czochralski method in alumina rich conditions is an effective method for reducing the number of UV producing yttrium antisite defects. This culminated in record energy resolution of

  6. 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. PMID:26679676

  7. 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

  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. 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. PMID:23735796

  10. Growth of GaSb single crystals by an improved dewetting process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffar, Th.; Dusserre, P.; Giacometti, N.

    2001-02-01

    Gallium antimonide single crystals have been grown in silica tubes by the modified vertical Bridgman process. This method uses the dewetting phenomenon (Duffar et al., J. Crystal Growth 211 (2000) 434) and avoids crystal-crucible contact by the application of a gas pressure opposing the hydrostatic pressure of the molten sample. It is shown that the process and crystal quality are very sensitive to traces of oxygen in the gas circuit. In order to avoid this problem, and to solve some potential drawbacks of the method, a simplified variant is proposed where the pressure is adjusted by heating an inert gas volume. It is shown experimentally that this new process is self-controlled in terms of pressure adjustment.

  11. 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.

  12. [Improvement of yield and purity of human fibroblast growth factor-21].

    PubMed

    Yu, Dan; Ye, Xianlong; Ren, Guiping; Xu, Pengfei; Li, Shujie; Niu, Zeshan; Li, Deshan

    2014-04-01

    Fibroblast growth factor -21 (FGF-21) is a recently discovered metabolic regulation factor, regulating glucose and lipid metabolism and increasing insulin sensitivity. FGF-21 is expected to be a potential anti-diabetic drug. Expression of FGF-21 as inclusion bodies has advantages for high yield and purity, but the bioactivity of the protein is almost totally lost after denature and renature. That is why FGF-21 is currently expressed in soluble form. As a result, the yield is considerably low. In this study, we used SUMO vector to express SUMO-human FGF-21 (SUMO-hFGF-21) in form of inclusion body. We optimized the culture conditions to increase the yield of the bioactive human fibroblast growth factor-21. We applied the hollow fiber membrane filtration column to enrich the bacteria, wash, denature and renature inclusion bodies. After affinity and gel filtration chromatography, we examined the hypoglycemic activity of FGF-21 by the glucose uptake assay in HepG2 cells. We also detected the blood glucose concentration of type 2 diabetic db/db model mice after short or long-term treatment. The results show that the yield of ihFGF-21 was 4 times higher than that of shFGF-21. The yield was 20 mg/L for ihFGF-21 vs. 6 mg/L for shFGF-21. The purity of ihFGF-21 was above 95%, while shFGF-21 was 90%. Compared with the traditional method of extracting inclusion bodies, the production cycle was about three times shortened by application of hollow fiber membrane filtration column technology, but the bioactivity did not significantly differ. This method provides an efficient and cost-effective strategy to the pilot and industrial production of hFGF-21. PMID:25195255

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Expression of Aspergillus hemoglobin domain activities in Aspergillus oryzae grown on solid substrates improves growth rate and enzyme production.

    PubMed

    te Biesebeke, Rob; Boussier, Amandine; van Biezen, Nick; Braaksma, Machtelt; van den Hondel, Cees A M J J; de Vos, Willem M; Punt, Peter J

    2006-01-01

    DNA fragments coding for hemoglobin domains (HBD) were isolated from Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus niger. The HBD activities were expressed in A. oryzae by introduction of HBD gene fragments under the control of the promoter of the constitutively expressed gpdA gene. In the transformants, oxygen uptake was significantly higher, and during growth on solid substrates the developed biomass was at least 1.3 times higher than that of the untransformed wild-type strain. Growth rate of the HBD-activity-producing strains was also significantly higher compared to the wild type. During growth on solid cereal substrates, the amylase and protease activities in the extracts of the HBD-activity-producing strains were 30-150% higher and glucoamylase activities were at least 9 times higher compared to the wild-type strain. These results suggest that the Aspergillus HBD-encoding gene can be used in a self-cloning strategy to improve biomass yield and protein production of Aspergillus species. PMID:16927259

  16. Endophytic Cultivable Bacteria of the Metal Bioaccumulator Spartina maritima Improve Plant Growth but Not Metal Uptake in Polluted Marshes Soils

    PubMed Central

    Mesa, Jennifer; Mateos-Naranjo, Enrique; Caviedes, Miguel A.; Redondo-Gómez, Susana; Pajuelo, Eloisa; Rodríguez-Llorente, Ignacio D.

    2015-01-01

    Endophytic bacterial population was isolated from Spartina maritima tissues, a heavy metal bioaccumulator cordgrass growing in the estuaries of Tinto, Odiel, and Piedras River (south west Spain), one of the most polluted areas in the world. Strains were identified and ability to tolerate salt and heavy metals along with plant growth promoting and enzymatic properties were analyzed. A high proportion of these bacteria were resistant toward one or several heavy metals and metalloids including As, Cu, and Zn, the most abundant in plant tissues and soil. These strains also exhibited multiple enzymatic properties as amylase, cellulase, chitinase, protease and lipase, as well as plant growth promoting properties, including nitrogen fixation, phosphates solubilization, and production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), siderophores and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase. The best performing strains (Micrococcus yunnanensis SMJ12, Vibrio sagamiensis SMJ18, and Salinicola peritrichatus SMJ30) were selected and tested as a consortium by inoculating S. maritima wild plantlets in greenhouse conditions along with wild polluted soil. After 30 days, bacterial inoculation improved plant photosynthetic traits and favored intrinsic water use efficiency. However, far from stimulating plant metal uptake, endophytic inoculation lessened metal accumulation in above and belowground tissues. These results suggest that inoculation of S. maritima with indigenous metal-resistant endophytes could mean a useful approach in order to accelerate both adaption and growth of this indigenous cordgrass in polluted estuaries in restorative operations, but may not be suitable for rhizoaccumulation purposes. PMID:26733985

  17. Endophytic Cultivable Bacteria of the Metal Bioaccumulator Spartina maritima Improve Plant Growth but Not Metal Uptake in Polluted Marshes Soils.

    PubMed

    Mesa, Jennifer; Mateos-Naranjo, Enrique; Caviedes, Miguel A; Redondo-Gómez, Susana; Pajuelo, Eloisa; Rodríguez-Llorente, Ignacio D

    2015-01-01

    Endophytic bacterial population was isolated from Spartina maritima tissues, a heavy metal bioaccumulator cordgrass growing in the estuaries of Tinto, Odiel, and Piedras River (south west Spain), one of the most polluted areas in the world. Strains were identified and ability to tolerate salt and heavy metals along with plant growth promoting and enzymatic properties were analyzed. A high proportion of these bacteria were resistant toward one or several heavy metals and metalloids including As, Cu, and Zn, the most abundant in plant tissues and soil. These strains also exhibited multiple enzymatic properties as amylase, cellulase, chitinase, protease and lipase, as well as plant growth promoting properties, including nitrogen fixation, phosphates solubilization, and production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), siderophores and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase. The best performing strains (Micrococcus yunnanensis SMJ12, Vibrio sagamiensis SMJ18, and Salinicola peritrichatus SMJ30) were selected and tested as a consortium by inoculating S. maritima wild plantlets in greenhouse conditions along with wild polluted soil. After 30 days, bacterial inoculation improved plant photosynthetic traits and favored intrinsic water use efficiency. However, far from stimulating plant metal uptake, endophytic inoculation lessened metal accumulation in above and belowground tissues. These results suggest that inoculation of S. maritima with indigenous metal-resistant endophytes could mean a useful approach in order to accelerate both adaption and growth of this indigenous cordgrass in polluted estuaries in restorative operations, but may not be suitable for rhizoaccumulation purposes. PMID:26733985

  18. Feeding of Nigella sativa during neonatal and juvenile growth improves learning and memory of rats

    PubMed Central

    Beheshti, Farimah; Hosseini, Mahmoud; Vafaee, Farzaneh; Shafei, Mohammad Naser; Soukhtanloo, Mohammad

    2015-01-01

    The positive roles of antioxidants on brain development and learning and memory have been suggested. Nigella sativa (NS) has been suggested to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. This study was done to investigate the effects of feeding by the hydro-alcoholic extract of NS during neonatal and juvenile growth on learning and memory of rats. The pregnant rats were kept in separate cages. After delivery, they were randomly divided into four Groups including: (1) control; (2) NS 100 mg/kg (NS 100); (3) NS 200 mg/kg (NS 200); and (4) NS 400 mg/kg (NS 400). Rats in the control group (Group 1) received normal drinking water, whereas Groups 2, 3, and 4 received the same drinking water supplemented with the hydro-alcoholic extract of NS (100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg, and 400 mg/kg, respectively) from the 1st day after birth through the first 8 weeks of life. After 8 weeks, 10 male offspring from each group were randomly selected and tested in the Morris water maze (MWM) and passive avoidance (PA) test. Finally, the brains were removed and total thiol groups and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations were determined. In the MWM, treatment by 400 mg/kg extract reduced both the time latency and the distance traveled to reach the platform compared to the control group (p < 0.05–p < 0.01). Both 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg of the extract increased the time spent in the target quadrant (p < 0.05–p < 0.01). In the PA test, the treatment of the animals by 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg of NS extract significantly increased the time latency for entering the dark compartment (p < 0.05–p < 0.001). Pretreatment of the animals with 400 mg/kg of NS extract decreased the MDA concentration in hippocampal tissues whereas it increased the thiol content compared to the control group (p < 0.001). These results allow us to propose that feeding of the rats by the hydro-alcoholic extract of NS during neonatal and juvenile growth has positive effects on learning and memory. The

  19. Feeding of Nigella sativa during neonatal and juvenile growth improves learning and memory of rats.

    PubMed

    Beheshti, Farimah; Hosseini, Mahmoud; Vafaee, Farzaneh; Shafei, Mohammad Naser; Soukhtanloo, Mohammad

    2016-04-01

    The positive roles of antioxidants on brain development and learning and memory have been suggested. Nigella sativa (NS) has been suggested to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. This study was done to investigate the effects of feeding by the hydro-alcoholic extract of NS during neonatal and juvenile growth on learning and memory of rats. The pregnant rats were kept in separate cages. After delivery, they were randomly divided into four Groups including: (1) control; (2) NS 100 mg/kg (NS 100); (3) NS 200 mg/kg (NS 200); and (4) NS 400 mg/kg (NS 400). Rats in the control group (Group 1) received normal drinking water, whereas Groups 2, 3, and 4 received the same drinking water supplemented with the hydro-alcoholic extract of NS (100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg, and 400 mg/kg, respectively) from the 1st day after birth through the first 8 weeks of life. After 8 weeks, 10 male offspring from each group were randomly selected and tested in the Morris water maze (MWM) and passive avoidance (PA) test. Finally, the brains were removed and total thiol groups and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations were determined. In the MWM, treatment by 400 mg/kg extract reduced both the time latency and the distance traveled to reach the platform compared to the control group (p < 0.05-p < 0.01). Both 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg of the extract increased the time spent in the target quadrant (p < 0.05-p < 0.01). In the PA test, the treatment of the animals by 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg of NS extract significantly increased the time latency for entering the dark compartment (p < 0.05-p < 0.001). Pretreatment of the animals with 400 mg/kg of NS extract decreased the MDA concentration in hippocampal tissues whereas it increased the thiol content compared to the control group (p < 0.001). These results allow us to propose that feeding of the rats by the hydro-alcoholic extract of NS during neonatal and juvenile growth has positive effects on learning and memory. The

  20. Modifications of human growth differentiation factor 9 to improve the generation of embryos from low competence oocytes.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing-Jie; Sugimura, Satoshi; Mueller, Thomas D; White, Melissa A; Martin, Georgia A; Ritter, Lesley J; Liang, Xiao-Yan; Gilchrist, Robert B; Mottershead, David G

    2015-01-01

    Growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) is an oocyte-derived growth factor that plays a critical role in ovarian folliculogenesis and oocyte developmental competence and belongs to the TGF-β family of proteins. Recombinant human GDF9 (hGDF9) is secreted in a latent form, which in the case of the fully processed protein, has the proregion noncovalently associated with the mature region. In this study, we investigated a number of amino acid residues in the mature region of hGDF9 that are different from the corresponding residues in the mouse protein, which is not latent. We designed, expressed, and purified 4 forms of chimeric hGDF9 (M1-M4) that we found to be active in a granulosa cell bioassay. Using a porcine in vitro maturation model with inherent low developmental competence (yielding 10%-20% blastocysts), we tested the ability of the chimeric hGDF9 proteins to improve oocyte maturation and developmental competence. Interestingly, one of the chimeric proteins, M3, was able to significantly increase the level of embryo production using such low competence oocytes. Our molecular modeling studies suggest that in the case of hGDF9 the Gly(391)Arg mutation probably increases receptor binding affinity, thereby creating an active protein for granulosa cells in vitro. However, for an improvement in oocyte developmental competence, a second mutation (Ser(412)Pro), which potentially decreases the affinity of the mature region for the proregion, is also required. PMID:25394262

  1. RADAR MONITORING OF WETLAND HYDROLOGY IN AN AGRICULTURAL WATERSHED: NEW INFORMATION FOR IMPROVED WATER QUALITY MANGEMENT IN THE CHOPTANK RIVER WATERSHED, MARYLAND

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water quality is influenced by the interaction of processes that occur in multiple landscape elements (e.g., agricultural fields, forests, urban areas, and wetlands). Wetlands are hydrologically dynamic ecosystems that have the potential to store, transform, and release chemicals and sediments, whic...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. Collaboration as a Tool to Improve Career and Technical Education: A Qualitative Study of Successful Collaboration among Extension Agents and Agricultural Science Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphrey, Theresa Pesl; Miller, Kimberley A.; Harlin, Julie; Rayfield, John

    2011-01-01

    Collaboration among Extension agents and agricultural science teachers has the potential to increase the reach of both organizations to serve clientele in obtaining critical skills and knowledge important to Career and Technical Education. However, successful collaboration requires that barriers be minimized and aspects of facilitation be…

  5. Xylose Isomerase Improves Growth and Ethanol Production Rates from Biomass Sugars for Both Saccharomyces Pastorianus and Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Kristen P.; Gowtham, Yogender Kumar; Henson, J. Michael; Harcum, Sarah W.

    2013-01-01

    The demand for biofuel ethanol made from clean, renewable nonfood sources is growing. Cellulosic biomass, such as switch grass (Panicum virgatum L.), is an alternative feedstock for ethanol production; however, cellulosic feedstock hydrolysates contain high levels of xylose, which needs to be converted to ethanol to meet economic feasibility. In this study, the effects of xylose isomerase on cell growth and ethanol production from biomass sugars representative of switch grass were investigated using low cell density cultures. The lager yeast species Saccharomyces pastorianus was grown with immobilized xylose isomerase in the fermentation step to determine the impact of the glucose and xylose concentrations on the ethanol production rates. Ethanol production rates were improved due to xylose isomerase; however, the positive effect was not due solely to the conversion of xylose to xylulose. Xylose isomerase also has glucose isomerase activity, so to better understand the impact of the xylose isomerase on S. pastorianus, growth and ethanol production were examined in cultures provided fructose as the sole carbon. It was observed that growth and ethanol production rates were higher for the fructose cultures with xylose isomerase even in the absence of xylose. To determine whether the positive effects of xylose isomerase extended to other yeast species, a side-by-side comparison of S. pastorianus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae was conducted. These comparisons demonstrated that the xylose isomerase increased ethanol productivity for both the yeast species by increasing the glucose consumption rate. These results suggest that xylose isomerase can contribute to improved ethanol productivity, even without significant xylose conversion. PMID:22866331

  6. Watching sexy displays improves hatching success and offspring growth through maternal allocation.

    PubMed

    Loyau, Adeline; Lacroix, Frédéric

    2010-11-22

    Male attractiveness can have tremendous effects on the fitness of his offspring via good genes, but also via enhanced maternal allocation of resources. Yet the proximate mechanisms influencing differential maternal allocation in relation to male sexiness are poorly known. Here, we studied the importance of visual stimulation for maternal allocation in the Houbara bustard, a vulnerable bird species bred in captivity to support wild populations. Artificial insemination allowed controlling for potential confounding factors, such as a male's territory quality, social interactions or sperm quality/quantity, probably linked to mate attractiveness. We show that artificially inseminated females stimulated by highly displaying males increased their hatching success, owing to increased fertilization success. The females also increased the allocation of maternal androgens in their eggs, leading to an increase of circulating testosterone and growth rate in chicks. Hence, visual stimulation of the females can promote differential maternal allocation and favour offspring fitness. Our results further suggest that using artificial insemination for species conservation without appropriate stimulation of the breeding females probably has negative impacts on their breeding performance and therefore on population viability. PMID:20538650

  7. Inhibition of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Improves Myelination and Attenuates Tissue Damage of Spinal Cord Injury.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Si; Ju, Peijun; Tjandra, Editha; Yeap, Yeeshan; Owlanj, Hamed; Feng, Zhiwei

    2016-10-01

    Preventing demyelination and promoting remyelination of denuded axons are promising therapeutic strategies for spinal cord injury (SCI). Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition was reported to benefit the neural functional recovery and the axon regeneration after SCI. However, its role in de- and remyelination of axons in injured spinal cord is unclear. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of EGFR inhibitor, PD168393 (PD), on the myelination in mouse contusive SCI model. We found that expression of myelin basic protein (MBP) in the injured spinal cords of PD treated mice was remarkably elevated. The density of glial precursor cells and oligodendrocytes (OLs) was increased and the cell apoptosis in lesions was attenuated after PD168393 treatment. Moreover, PD168393 treatment reduced both the numbers of OX42 + microglial cells and glial fibrillary acidic protein + astrocytes in damaged area of spinal cords. We thus conclude that the therapeutic effects of EGFR inhibition after SCI involves facilitating remyelination of the injured spinal cord, increasing of oligodendrocyte precursor cells and OLs, as well as suppressing the activation of astrocytes and microglia/macrophages. PMID:26883518

  8. Use of prolines for improving growth and other properties of plants and algae

    DOEpatents

    Unkefer, Pat J.; Knight, Thomas J.; Martinez, Rodolfo A.

    2004-12-14

    Increasing the concentration of prolines, such as 2-hydroxy-5-oxoproline, in the foliar portions of plants has been shown to cause an increase in carbon dioxide fixation, growth rate, dry weight, nutritional value (amino acids), nodulation and nitrogen fixation, photosynthetically derived chemical energy, and resistance to insect pests over the same properties for wild type plants. This can be accomplished in four ways: (1) the application of a solution of the proline directly to the foliar portions of the plant by spraying these portions; (2) applying a solution of the proline to the plant roots; (3) genetically engineering the plant and screening to produce lines that over-express glutamine synthetase in the leaves which gives rise to increased concentration of the metabolite, 2-hydroxy-5-oxoproline (this proline is also known as 2-oxoglutaramate); and (4) impairing the glutamine synthetase activity in the plant roots which causes increased glutamine synthetase activity in the leaves which gives rise to increased concentration of 2-hydroxy-5-oxoproline. Prolines have also been found to induce similar effects in algae.

  9. Use of prolines for improving growth and other properties of plants and algae

    DOEpatents

    Unkefer, Pat J.; Knight, Thomas J.; Martinez, Rodolfo A.

    2003-04-29

    Increasing the concentration of prolines such as 2-hydroxy-5-oxoproline, in the foliar portions of plants has been shown to cause an increase in carbon dioxide fixation, growth rate, dry weight, nutritional value (amino acids), nodulation and nitrogen fixation, photosynthetically derived chemical energy, and resistance to insect pests over the same properties for wild type plants. This can be accomplished in four ways: (1) the application of a solution of the proline directly to the foliar portions of the plant by spraying these portions; (2) applying a solution of the proline to the plant roots; (3) genetically engineering the plant and screening to produce lines that overexpress glutamine synthetase in the leaves which gives rise to increased concentration of the metabolite, 2-hydroxy-5-oxoproline (this proline is also known as 2-oxoglutaramnate); and (4) impairing the glutamine synthetase activity in the plant roots which causes increased glutamine synthetase activity in the leaves which gives rise to increased concentration of 2-hydroxy-5-oxoproline. Prolines have also been found to induce similar effects in algae.

  10. Use of prolines for improving growth and other properties of plants and algae

    DOEpatents

    Unkefer, Pat J.; Knight, Thomas J.; Martinez, Rodolfo A.

    2003-07-15

    Increasing the concentration of prolines, such as 2-hydroxy-5-oxoproline, in the foliar portions of plants has been shown to cause an increase in carbon dioxide fixation, growth rate, dry weight, nutritional value (amino acids), nodulation and nitrogen fixation, photosynthetically derived chemical energy, and resistance to insect pests over the same properties for wild type plants. This can be accomplished in four ways: (1) the application of a solution of the proline directly to the foliar portions of the plant by spraying these portions; (2) applying a solution of the proline to the plant roots; (3) genetically engineering the plant and screening to produce lines that over-express glutamine synthetase in the leaves which gives rise to increased concentration of the metabolite, 2-hydroxy-5-oxoproline (this proline is also known as 2-oxoglutaramate); and (4) impairing the glutamine synthetase activity in the plant roots which causes increased glutamine synthetase activity in the leaves which gives rise to increased concentration of 2-hydroxy-5-oxoproline. Prolines have also been found to induce similar effects in algae.

  11. One-pot enzymatic conversion of carbon dioxide and utilization for improved microbial growth.

    PubMed

    Hong, Sung-Gil; Jeon, Hancheol; Kim, Han Sol; Jun, Seung-Hyun; Jin, EonSeon; Kim, Jungbae

    2015-04-01

    We developed a process for one-pot CO2 conversion and utilization based on simple conversion of CO2 to bicarbonate at ambient temperature with no energy input, by using the cross-linking-based composites of carboxylated polyaniline nanofibers (cPANFs) and carbonic anhydrase. Carbonic anhydrase was immobilized on cPANFs via the approach of magnetically separable enzyme precipitate coatings (Mag-EPC), which consists of covalent enzyme attachment, enzyme precipitation, and cross-linking with amine-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles. Mag-EPC showed a half-life of 236 days under shaking, even resistance to 70% ethanol sterilization, and recyclability via facile magnetic separation. For one-pot CO2 conversion and utilization, Mag-EPC was used to accelerate the growth of microalga by supplying bicarbonate from CO2, representing 1.8-fold increase of cell concentration when compared to the control sample. After two repeated uses via simple magnetic separation, the cell concentration with Mag-EPC was maintained as high as the first cycle. This one-pot CO2 conversion and utilization is an alternative as well as complementary process to adsorption-based CO2 capture and storage as an environmentally friendly approach, demanding no energy input based on the effective action of the stabilized enzyme system. PMID:25815899

  12. Acute Stimulation of Transplanted Neurons Improves Motoneuron Survival, Axon Growth, and Muscle Reinnervation

    PubMed Central

    Grumbles, Robert M.; Liu, Yang; Thomas, Christie M.; Wood, Patrick M.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Few options exist for treatment of pervasive motoneuron death after spinal cord injury or in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Local transplantation of embryonic motoneurons into an axotomized peripheral nerve is a promising approach to arrest the atrophy of denervated muscles; however, muscle reinnervation is limited by poor motoneuron survival. The aim of the present study was to test whether acute electrical stimulation of transplanted embryonic neurons promotes motoneuron survival, axon growth, and muscle reinnervation. The sciatic nerve of adult Fischer rats was transected to mimic the widespread denervation seen after disease or injury. Acutely dissociated rat embryonic ventral spinal cord cells were transplanted into the distal tibial nerve stump as a neuron source for muscle reinnervation. Immediately post-transplantation, the cells were stimulated at 20 Hz for 1 h. Other groups were used to control for the cell transplantation and stimulation. When neurons were stimulated acutely, there were significantly more neurons, including cholinergic neurons, 10 weeks after transplantation. This led to enhanced numbers of myelinated axons, reinnervation of more muscle fibers, and more medial and lateral gastrocnemius muscles were functionally connected to the transplant. Reinnervation reduced muscle atrophy significantly. These data support the concept that electrical stimulation rescues transplanted motoneurons and facilitates muscle reinnervation. PMID:23544978

  13. Iontophoresis Improved Growth Reduction of Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Topical Photodynamic Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lemos, Camila Nunes; de Souza, Joel Gonçalves; Simão, Patrícia Sper; Lopez, Renata Fonseca Vianna

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the potential of iontophoresis in topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) of human invasive squamous cells carcinomas (SCC). SCC was induced in nude BALB/c mice by subcutaneous injection of A431 cells. Tumor penetration and distribution of the photosensitizer tetrasulfonated zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPcS4) was investigated after 10 and 30 min of in vivo iontophoresis of a gel containing ZnPcS4. PDT was performed immediately after iontophoresis using laser at 660 nm with a dose of irradiation of 100 J/cm2 and irradiance of 48 mW/cm2 while tumor growth was measured for 30 days. Iontophoresis increased ZnPcS4 penetration into tumors by 6-fold after 30 min when compared with passive delivery. Confocal microscopy analysis showed that ZnPcS4 was homogeneous distributed within deep regions of the tumor after iontophoresis. Irradiation of the tumors immediately after iontophoresis showed reduction in tumor size by more than 2-fold when compared to non-treated tumors. Iontophoretic-PDT treated tumors presented large areas of necrosis. The study concluded that iontophoretic delivery of photosensitizers could be a valuable strategy for topical PDT of invasive SCC. PMID:26752697

  14. Iontophoresis Improved Growth Reduction of Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Topical Photodynamic Therapy.

    PubMed

    Lemos, Camila Nunes; de Souza, Joel Gonçalves; Simão, Patrícia Sper; Lopez, Renata Fonseca Vianna

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the potential of iontophoresis in topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) of human invasive squamous cells carcinomas (SCC). SCC was induced in nude BALB/c mice by subcutaneous injection of A431 cells. Tumor penetration and distribution of the photosensitizer tetrasulfonated zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPcS4) was investigated after 10 and 30 min of in vivo iontophoresis of a gel containing ZnPcS4. PDT was performed immediately after iontophoresis using laser at 660 nm with a dose of irradiation of 100 J/cm(2) and irradiance of 48 mW/cm(2) while tumor growth was measured for 30 days. Iontophoresis increased ZnPcS4 penetration into tumors by 6-fold after 30 min when compared with passive delivery. Confocal microscopy analysis showed that ZnPcS4 was homogeneous distributed within deep regions of the tumor after iontophoresis. Irradiation of the tumors immediately after iontophoresis showed reduction in tumor size by more than 2-fold when compared to non-treated tumors. Iontophoretic-PDT treated tumors presented large areas of necrosis. The study concluded that iontophoretic delivery of photosensitizers could be a valuable strategy for topical PDT of invasive SCC. PMID:26752697

  15. Improved Vascular Survival and Growth in the Mouse Model of Hindlimb Ischemia by a Remote Signaling Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Takeda, Kotaro; Duan, Li-Juan; Takeda, Hiromi; Fong, Guo-Hua

    2015-01-01

    Deficiencies in prolyl hydroxylase domain proteins (PHDs) may lead to the accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-α proteins, the latter of which activate local angiogenic responses by paracrine mechanisms. Here, we investigate whether a keratinocyte-specific PHD deficiency may promote vascular survival and growth in a distantly located ischemic tissue by a remote signaling mechanism. We generated mice that carry a keratinocyte-specific Phd2 knockout (kPhd2KO) and performed femoral artery ligation. Relative to wild-type controls, kPhd2KO mice displayed improved vascular survival and arteriogenesis in ischemic hind limbs, leading to the accelerated recovery of hindlimb perfusion and superior muscle regeneration. Similar protective effects were also seen in type 1 and type 2 diabetic mice. Molecularly, both abundance of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α protein and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-A were increased in epidermal tissues of kPhd2KO mice, accompanied by increased plasma concentration of vascular endothelial growth factor-A. Contrary to kPhd2KO mice, which are PHD2 deficient in all skin tissues, localized kPhd2KO in hindlimb skin tissues did not have similar effects, excluding paracrine signaling as a major mechanism. Confirming the existence of remote effects, hepatocyte-specific Phd2 knockout also protected hind limbs from ischemia injury. These data indicate that vascular survival and growth in ischemia-injured tissue may be stimulated by suppressing PHD2 in a remotely located tissue and may provide highly effective angiogenesis therapies without the need for directly accessing target tissues. PMID:24440788

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

    PubMed Central

    Ghanem, Michel Edmond; Smigocki, Ann C.; Frébort, Ivo; Pospíšilová, 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. PMID:20959628

  17. Cell growth arrest by nucleotides, nucleosides and bases as a tool for improved production of recombinant proteins.

    PubMed

    Carvalhal, Ana V; Santos, Sónia Sá; Calado, José; Haury, Matthias; Carrondo, Manuel J T

    2003-01-01

    Arresting cell growth and thus decreasing cell division potentially lessens the chance for genetic drift in the cell population; this would be of utmost importance for the consistent production of biopharmaceuticals during long periods. The drawback of the addition of well-known synchronizing agents, such as chemotherapeutics, is that they cause a disproportionate accumulation of cellular constituents, leading to cell death. The use of compounds that are naturally synthesized by the cell, as is the case of nucleotides, nucleosides, and bases (Nt/Ns/B), is shown in this work to be a promising tool. The addition of purines and pyrimidines was tested using a CHO cell line producing the secreted form of the human placental alkaline phosphatase enzyme (SEAP). From the chemical alternatives tested, AMP was the most promising compound for protein production improvement; it reduced cell growth and maintained the culture with high cell viability for long periods, while increasing SEAP specific productivity 3-fold. The use of CHO and BHK mammalian cells producing Factor VII and the use of a insect cell line (Sf9) showed that the effect of AMP addition seems to be independent of the r-protein and cell line. With the addition of AMP, accumulation of cells at the S phase was accompanied by an increase of the protein specific productivity. Addition of known synchronizing drugs (aphidicolin and doxorubicin) and application of environmental cell growth arrest strategies (depletion of nutrients and byproduct accumulation) showed also to effectively arrest CHO cell growth. A careful look onto cell cycle distribution in the different scenarios created, shows whether it is important to consider r-protein expression dependency upon cell cycle in process optimization and operation strategies. PMID:12573009

  18. SOD Mimetic Improves the Function, Growth and Survival of Small Size Liver Grafts after Transplantation in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Yi-Yao; Qian, Jian-Ming; Yao, Ai-Hua; Ma, Zhen-Yu; Qian, Xiao-Feng; Zha, Xiao-Min; Zhao, Yi; Ding, Qiang; Zhao, Jia; Wang, Shui; Wu, Jian

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND Small-for-size syndrome (SFSS) may occur when graft volume is less than 45% of the standard liver volume, and it manifests as retarded growth and failure of the grafts and an increased mortality. However, its pathogenesis is poorly understood, and few effective interventions have been attempted. AIMS The present study aims to delineate the critical role of oxidant stress in SFSS and protective effects of a superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetic, MnTBAP, on graft function, growth and survival in the recipient rats. METHODS Small size graft liver transplantation (SSGLT) was performed to determine the survival, graft injury and growth. MnTBAP was administered in SSGLT recipients (SSGLT+MnTBAP). RESULTS Serum ALT levels were sustained higher in SSGLT recipients, which were correlated with an increased apoptotic cell count and hepatocellular necrosis in liver sections. Malondialdehyde content, gene expression of TNF-α and IL-1β and DNA binding activity of NF-κB in the grafts were increased significantly in SSGLT recipients compared to sham-operated controls. Both phosphorylated p38 MAPK and nuclear c-jun were increased in SSGLT. All these changes were strikingly reversed by the administration of MnTBAP, with an increase in serum SOD activity. Moreover, in situ bromo-deoxyuridine incorporation demonstrated that graft regeneration in SSGLT+MnTBAP group was much profound than in the SSGLT group. Finally, the survival of recipients with MnTBAP treatments was significantly improved. CONCLUSIONS Enhanced oxidant stress with activation of the p38-c-Jun-NF-κB signaling pathway contributes to SFS-associated graft failure, retarded graft growth and poor survival. MnTBAP effectively reversed the pathologic changes in SFS-associated graft failure. PMID:22955229

  19. 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

  20. Root aeration improves growth and nitrogen accumulation in rice seedlings under low nitrogen

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jingwen; Liang, Jing; Xu, Zhihui; Fan, Xiaorong; Zhou, Quansuo; Shen, Qirong; Xu, Guohua

    2015-01-01

    In wetland soils, changes in oxygen (O2) level in the rhizosphere are believed to influence the behaviour of nutrients and their usage by plants. However, the effect of aeration on nitrogen (N) acquisition under different N supply conditions remains largely unknown. In this study, the rice cultivars Yangdao 6 (YD6, with higher root aerenchyma abundance) and Nongken 57 (NK57, with lower root aerenchyma abundance) were used to evaluate the effects of aeration on rice growth and N accumulation. Our results showed that the number of adventitious roots and the root surface area increased significantly, and ethylene production and aerenchyma formation decreased in both cultivars after external aeration (EA). Five N treatments, including no N (−N), 0.125 mM NH4NO3 (LN), 1.25 mM Ca(NO3)2 (NO3-N), 1.25 mM (NH4)2SO4 (NH4-N) and 1.25 mM NH4NO3 (N/N), were applied to YD6 and NK57 for 2 days under internal aeration or EA conditions. External aeration increased the root biomass in both cultivars and the shoot biomass in NK57 by 18–50 %. The total N concentrations in roots of YD6 grown under −N and LN and of NK57 grown under NO3-N were increased by EA. Expression of OsPAD4, one of four putative genes regulating aerenchyma formation, showed a similar pattern alongside changes in the ethylene level in the EA-treated rice irrespective of the N treatments. Furthermore, expression of the high-affinity nitrate transporter gene OsNRT2.1 was increased by EA under −N, LN and NO3-N conditions. Our data provide evidence of an interaction between O2 and the supply of N in ethylene production, aerenchyma formation and N nutrition through modification of the expression of OsPAD4 and OsNRT2.1. PMID:26578743

  1. Root aeration improves growth and nitrogen accumulation in rice seedlings under low nitrogen.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jingwen; Liang, Jing; Xu, Zhihui; Fan, Xiaorong; Zhou, Quansuo; Shen, Qirong; Xu, Guohua

    2015-01-01

    In wetland soils, changes in oxygen (O2) level in the rhizosphere are believed to influence the behaviour of nutrients and their usage by plants. However, the effect of aeration on nitrogen (N) acquisition under different N supply conditions remains largely unknown. In this study, the rice cultivars Yangdao 6 (YD6, with higher root aerenchyma abundance) and Nongken 57 (NK57, with lower root aerenchyma abundance) were used to evaluate the effects of aeration on rice growth and N accumulation. Our results showed that the number of adventitious roots and the root surface area increased significantly, and ethylene production and aerenchyma formation decreased in both cultivars after external aeration (EA). Five N treatments, including no N (-N), 0.125 mM NH4NO3 (LN), 1.25 mM Ca(NO3)2 (NO3-N), 1.25 mM (NH4)2SO4 (NH4-N) and 1.25 mM NH4NO3 (N/N), were applied to YD6 and NK57 for 2 days under internal aeration or EA conditions. External aeration increased the root biomass in both cultivars and the shoot biomass in NK57 by 18-50 %. The total N concentrations in roots of YD6 grown under -N and LN and of NK57 grown under NO3-N were increased by EA. Expression of OsPAD4, one of four putative genes regulating aerenchyma formation, showed a similar pattern alongside changes in the ethylene level in the EA-treated rice irrespective of the N treatments. Furthermore, expression of the high-affinity nitrate transporter gene OsNRT2.1 was increased by EA under -N, LN and NO3-N conditions. Our data provide evidence of an interaction between O2 and the supply of N in ethylene production, aerenchyma formation and N nutrition through modification of the expression of OsPAD4 and OsNRT2.1. PMID:26578743

  2. 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.

  3. Application of plant growth regulators, a simple technique for improving the establishment success of plant cuttings in coastal dune restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balestri, Elena; Vallerini, Flavia; Castelli, Alberto; Lardicci, Claudio

    2012-03-01

    Exogenous application of plant growth regulators (PGRs) may be an effective technique for increasing the rooting ability and the growth of vegetative fragments (cuttings) of plants used in dune restoration programs. Various concentrations (0, 50 and 100 mg l-1) of two auxins, alpha-naphtaleneacetic acid (NAA) and indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), and two cytokinins, 6-furfurylaminopurine (Kinetin) and 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP), were applied separately to cuttings of two widely used species for restoration, Ammophila arenaria and Sporobuls virginicus. Root development and production of new buds in cuttings were examined under laboratory conditions one month after application. Cuttings were also examined one year after transplanting into a sandy substratum under natural conditions, to test for possible long term effects of PGRs on plant establishment success and growth. The response of the two study species to PGRs differed substantially. In A. arenaria the auxin NAA at 100 mg l-1 reduced the time for root initiation and increased the rooting capacity of cuttings, while the cytokinin Kinetin at 50 mg l-1 facilitated root growth. No auxin had effect on rooting or growth of S. virginicus cuttings, but treatment with 100 mg l-1 Kinetin resulted in higher rooting success than the control. One year after planting, the cuttings of A. arenaria treated with 100 mg l-1 NAA showed a higher establishment success (90% vs. 55%) and produced more culms and longer roots than the control; those treated with cytokinins did not differ in the establishment success from the control, but had longer roots, more culms and rhizomes. On the other hand, the cuttings of S. virginicus treated with 100 mg l-1 Kinetin showed a higher establishment success (75% vs. 35%) and had more culms than the control. Therefore, in restoration activities that involved A. arenaria, a pre-treatment of cuttings with NAA would be beneficial, as it allows the production of a higher number of well-developed plants with

  4. 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.

  5. Site-specific in situ growth of a cyclized protein-polymer conjugate with improved stability and tumor retention.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jin; Zhao, Wenguo; Gao, Yan; Sun, Mengmeng; Wei, Yen; Deng, Haiteng; Gao, Weiping

    2015-04-01

    A major disadvantage of therapeutic proteins is their instability to external stressors during storage, transport and use. Here, we report site-specific in situ growth of a cyclized protein-polymer conjugate with improved in vitro and in vivo stability. Green fluorescence protein (GFP) was genetically fused at its N- and C-termini with two sortase recognition sequences pentaglycine and LPETG, respectively to yield a linear GFP (l-GFP). A cyclized GFP (c-GFP) was generated from the l-GFP by sortase-catalyzed cyclization. A maleimide-functionalized atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) initiator was selectively attached to a free cysteine residue genetically engineered at the C-terminus of GFP to form a macroinitiator (c-GFP-Br). Subsequent in situ ATRP of oligo(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (OEGMA) from the c-GFP-Br generated a site-specific (C-terminal) and stoichiometric (1:1) c-GFP-POEGMA conjugate with almost quantitative conversion and highly retained activity. Notably, the c-GFP-POEGMA conjugate showed 9- and 310-fold increases in thermal stability as compared to the l-GFP and its counterpart l-GFP-POEGMA, respectively. Additionally, the conjugate displayed significantly improved tumor retention relative to the l-GFP and l-GFP-POEGMA. The method developed may be applicable to a variety of therapeutic proteins to improve their in vitro and in vivo stability. PMID:25682156

  6. 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.

  7. The Agricultural Health Study.

    PubMed Central

    Alavanja, M C; Sandler, D P; McMaster, S B; Zahm, S H; McDonnell, C J; Lynch, C F; Pennybacker, M; Rothman, N; Dosemeci, M; Bond, A E; Blair, A

    1996-01-01

    The Agricultural Health Study, a large prospective cohort study has been initiated in North Carolina and Iowa. The objectives of this study are to: 1) identify and quantify cancer risks among men, women, whites, and minorities associated with direct exposure to pesticides and other agricultural agents; 2) evaluate noncancer health risks including neurotoxicity reproductive effects, immunologic effects, nonmalignant respiratory disease, kidney disease, and growth and development among children; 3) evaluate disease risks among spouses and children of farmers that may arise from direct contact with pesticides and agricultural chemicals used in the home lawns and gardens, and from indirect contact, such as spray drift, laundering work clothes, or contaminated food or water; 4) assess current and past occupational and nonoccupational agricultural exposures using periodic interviews and environmental and biologic monitoring; 5) study the relationship between agricultural exposures, biomarkers of exposure, biologic effect, and genetic susceptibility factors relevant to carcinogenesis; and 6) identify and quantify cancer and other disease risks associated with lifestyle factors such as diet, cooking practices, physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption, and hair dye use. In the first year of a 3-year enrollment period, 26,235 people have been enrolled in the study, including 19,776 registered pesticide applicators and 6,459 spouses of registered farmer applicators. It is estimated that when the total cohort is assembled in 1997 it will include approximately 75,000 adult study subjects. Farmers, the largest group of registered pesticide applicators comprise 77% of the target population enrolled in the study. This experience compares favorably with enrollment rates of previous prospective studies. Images Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. PMID:8732939

  8. Development of a real-time hydrological cycle - rice growth coupled simulation system as a tool for farmers' decision making in an ungauged basin in Cambodia for the better agricultural water resources management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsujimoto, K.; Ohta, T.; Yasukawa, M.; Koike, T.; Kitsuregawa, M.; Homma, K.

    2013-12-01

    The entire country of Cambodia depends on agriculture for its economy. Rice is the staple food, making it the major agricultural product (roughly 80% of total national production). The target area of this study is western Cambodia, where rice production is the greatest in the country and most land is rainfed. Since most farmers rely only on their (non-science-based) experience, they would not adjust to changing rainfall and degraded water resources under climate change, so food security in the region would be seriously threatened (Monichoth et al., 2013). Under this condition, irrigation master plans are being considered by several ODA projects. This study aims to contribute to the design of such irrigation plans through the development of a real-time hydrological cycle - rice growth coupled simulation system. The purpose of the development of this system is to support decision making 1) for determining the necessary agricultural water resources and 2) for allocating limited water resources to various sectors. Rice growing condition as affected by water stress due to the water shortage is supposed to be shown for both of the cases with and without irrigation for several rainfall patterns. A dynamically coupled model of a distributed hydrological model (WEB-DHM., Wang et al., 2009) and a rice growth model (SIMRIW-rainfed, Homma et al., 2009) has been developed with a simple irrigation model. The target basin, a small basin in western Cambodia, is basically an ungauged basin and the model was validated by soil moisture, LAI, dry matter production of the rice crop, and rice yield, using both intensive field observation and satellite observations. Calibrating hourly satellite precipitation dataset (GSMaP/NRT) using ground rain gauges, hydrological cycle (soil moisture at three layers, river discharge, irrigatable water amount, water level of each paddy field, water demand of each paddy field, etc.) and rice growth (LAI, developmental index of the rice crop, dry matter

  9. Dietary Enterococcus faecalis LAB31 Improves Growth Performance, Reduces Diarrhea, and Increases Fecal Lactobacillus Number of Weaned Piglets

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yuanliang; Dun, Yaohao; Li, Shenao; Zhang, Dongxiao; Peng, Nan; Zhao, Shumiao; Liang, Yunxiang

    2015-01-01

    Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been shown to enhance performance of weaned piglets. However, few studies have reported the addition of LAB Enterococcus faecalis as alternatives to growth promoting antibiotics for weaned piglets. This study evaluated the effects of dietary E. faecalis LAB31 on the growth performance, diarrhea incidence, blood parameters, fecal bacterial and Lactobacillus communities in weaned piglets. A total of 360 piglets weaned at 26 ± 2 days of age were randomly allotted to 5 groups (20 pens, with 4 pens for each group) for a trial of 28 days: group N (negative control, without antibiotics or probiotics); group P (Neomycin sulfate, 100 mg/kg feed); groups L, M and H (supplemented with E. faecalis LAB31 0.5×109, 1.0×109, and 2.5×109 CFU/kg feed, respectively). Average daily gain and feed conversion efficiency were found to be higher in group H than in group N, and showed significant differences between group H and group P (P0 < 0.05). Furthermore, groups H and P had a lower diarrhea index than the other three groups (P0 < 0.05). Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) showed that the application of probiotics to the diet changed the bacterial community, with a higher bacterial diversity in group M than in the other four groups. Real-time PCR revealed that the relative number of Lactobacillus increased by addition of probiotics, and was higher in group H than in group N (P0 < 0.05). However, group-specific PCR-DGGE showed no obvious difference among the five groups in Lactobacillus composition and diversity. Therefore, the dietary addition of E. faecalis LAB31 can improve growth performance, reduce diarrhea, and increase the relative number of Lactobacillus in feces of weaned piglets. PMID:25617897

  10. Improving survival and growth of planted Austrocedrus chilensis seedlings in disturbed patagonian forests of Argentina by managing understory vegetation.

    PubMed

    Pafundi, Leticia; Urretavizcaya, M Florencia; Defossé, Guillermo E

    2014-12-01

    This study was aimed at determining, under field conditions, early interactions between planted cypress seedlings and their associated shrubs in a mesic area of Andean Patagonia and, in a nursery, the effects of increasing light availability on cypress performance when soil water was not a limiting factor. The field experiment was performed in a former cypress-coihue mixed forest (42°02'S, 71°33'W), which was replaced in the 1970s by a plantation of radiata pine. In 2005, 800 cypress seedlings were planted under maqui shrubs in a clear-cut area of the pine stand. In 2007, two treatments were set: no-competition treatment ([NCT] i.e., the surrounding aboveground biomass was removed) and competition treatment ([CT] i.e., without disturbance). The nursery experiment (42°55'S, 71°21'W) consisted of two groups: "shade" (grown under shade cloth) and "sun" (grown at full sun) cypress seedlings. After one growing season, seedling survival and stem growth (in height and diameter) were determined at both sites. Furthermore, the growth rate of leaves, stems, and roots was determined in the nursery. In the field experiment, height growth and survival in NCT were significantly greater than in CT, and a competition process occurred between cypress and surrounding shrubs. In the nursery, sun plants grew more in diameter and increased root weight more than shade plants. Results also showed that in mesic areas of Patagonia, decreasing competition and increasing light levels produced stouter seedlings better adapted to support harsh environmental conditions. Therefore, the removal of protecting shrubs could be a good management practice to improve seedling establishment. PMID:25216990

  11. Improving Survival and Growth of Planted Austrocedrus chilensis Seedlings in Disturbed Patagonian Forests of Argentina by Managing Understory Vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pafundi, Leticia; Urretavizcaya, M. Florencia; Defossé, Guillermo E.

    2014-12-01

    This study was aimed at determining, under field conditions, early interactions between planted cypress seedlings and their associated shrubs in a mesic area of Andean Patagonia and, in a nursery, the effects of increasing light availability on cypress performance when soil water was not a limiting factor. The field experiment was performed in a former cypress-coihue mixed forest (42°02'S, 71°33'W), which was replaced in the 1970s by a plantation of radiata pine. In 2005, 800 cypress seedlings were planted under maqui shrubs in a clear-cut area of the pine stand. In 2007, two treatments were set: no-competition treatment ([NCT] i.e., the surrounding aboveground biomass was removed) and competition treatment ([CT] i.e., without disturbance). The nursery experiment (42°55'S, 71°21'W) consisted of two groups: "shade" (grown under shade cloth) and "sun" (grown at full sun) cypress seedlings. After one growing season, seedling survival and stem growth (in height and diameter) were determined at both sites. Furthermore, the growth rate of leaves, stems, and roots was determined in the nursery. In the field experiment, height growth and survival in NCT were significantly greater than in CT, and a competition process occurred between cypress and surrounding shrubs. In the nursery, sun plants grew more in diameter and increased root weight more than shade plants. Results also showed that in mesic areas of Patagonia, decreasing competition and increasing light levels produced stouter seedlings better adapted to support harsh environmental conditions. Therefore, the removal of protecting shrubs could be a good management practice to improve seedling establishment.

  12. Improving microalgal growth with reduced diameters of aeration bubbles and enhanced mass transfer of solution in an oscillating flow field.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zongbo; Cheng, Jun; Lin, Richen; Zhou, Junhu; Cen, Kefa

    2016-07-01

    A novel oscillating gas aerator combined with an oscillating baffle was proposed to generate smaller aeration bubbles and enhance solution mass transfer, which can improve microalgal growth in a raceway pond. A high-speed photography system (HSP) was used to measure bubble diameter and generation time, and online precise dissolved oxygen probes and pH probes were used to measure mass-transfer coefficient and mixing time. Bubble diameter and generation time decreased with decreased aeration gas rate, decreased orifice diameter, and increased water velocity in the oscillating gas aerator. The optimized oscillating gas aerator decreased bubble diameter and generation time by 25% and 58%, respectively, compared with a horizontal tubular gas aerator. Using an oscillating gas aerator and an oscillating baffle in a raceway pond increased the solution mass-transfer coefficient by 15% and decreased mixing time by 32%; consequently, microalgal biomass yield increased by 19%. PMID:27035474

  13. Optimizing gas transfer to improve growth rate of Haematococcus pluvialis in a raceway pond with chute and oscillating baffles.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zongbo; Cheng, Jun; Li, Ke; Zhou, Junhu; Cen, Kefa

    2016-08-01

    Up-down chute and oscillating (UCO) baffles were used to generate vortex and oscillating flow field to improve growth rate of Haematococcus pluvialis in a raceway pond. Effects of gas flow rate, solution velocity, and solution depth on solution mass transfer coefficient and mixing time were evaluated using online pH and dissolved oxygen probes. Mass transfer coefficient increased by 1.3 times and mixing time decreased by 33% when UCO baffles were used in the H. pluvialis solution, resulting in an 18% increase in biomass yield with 2% CO2. The H. pluvialis biomass yield further increased to 1.5g/L, and astaxanthin composition accumulated to 29.7mg/L under relatively higher light intensity and salinity. PMID:27140817

  14. Fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) deficiency improves insulin resistance and glucose metabolism under diet-induced obesity conditions.

    PubMed

    Ge, Hongfei; Zhang, Jun; Gong, Yan; Gupte, Jamila; Ye, Jay; Weiszmann, Jennifer; Samayoa, Kim; Coberly, Suzanne; Gardner, Jonitha; Wang, Huilan; Corbin, Tim; Chui, Danny; Baribault, Helene; Li, Yang

    2014-10-31

    The role of fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) in regulating bile acid synthesis has been well defined; however, its reported role on glucose and energy metabolism remains unresolved. Here, we show that FGFR4 deficiency in mice leads to improvement in glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and reduction in body weight under high fat conditions. Mechanism of action studies in FGFR4-deficient mice suggest that the effects are mediated in part by increased plasma levels of adiponectin and the endocrine FGF factors FGF21 and FGF15, the latter of which increase in response to an elevated bile acid pool. Direct actions of increased bile acids on bile acid receptors, and other potential indirect mechanisms, may also contribute to the observed metabolic changes. The results described herein suggest that FGFR4 antagonists alone, or in combination with other agents, could serve as a novel treatment for diabetes. PMID:25204652

  15. Endogenous overexpression of Populus MYB186 increases trichome density, improves insect pest resistance, and impacts plant growth.

    PubMed

    Plett, Jonathan M; Wilkins, Olivia; Campbell, Malcolm M; Ralph, Steven G; Regan, Sharon

    2010-11-01

    Trichomes are specialized epidermal cells that generally play a role in reducing transpiration and act as a deterrent to herbivory. In a screen of activation-tagged Populus tremula × Populus alba 717-1B4 trees, we identified a mutant line, fuzzy, with increased foliar trichome density. This mutant also had a 35% increase in growth rate and a 200% increase in the rate of photosynthesis as compared with wild-type poplar. The fuzzy mutant had significant resistance to feeding by larvae of the white-spotted tussock moth (Orgyia leucostigma), a generalist insect pest of poplar trees. The fuzzy trichome phenotype is attributable to activation tagging and increased expression of the gene encoding PtaMYB186, which is related to Arabidopsis thaliana MYB106, a known regulator of trichome initiation. The fuzzy phenotype can be recapitulated by overexpressing PtaMYB186 in poplar. PtaMYB186 overexpression results in reconfiguration of the poplar transcriptome, with changes in the transcript abundance of suites of genes that are related to trichome differentiation. It is notable that a plant with misexpression of a gene responsible for trichome development also had altered traits related to growth rate and pest resistance, suggesting that non-intuitive facets of plant development might be useful targets for plant improvement. PMID:20807210

  16. Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive (HER2+) metastatic breast cancer: how the latest results are improving therapeutic options

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Hanfang; Rugo, Hope S.

    2015-01-01

    Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive (HER2+) metastatic breast cancer (MBC) remains an incurable disease, and approximately 25% of patients with HER2+ early breast cancer still relapse after adjuvant trastuzumab-based treatment. HER2 is a validated therapeutic target that remains relevant throughout the disease process. Recently, a number of novel HER2 targeted agents have become available, including lapatinib (a small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor of both HER2 and the epidermal growth factor receptor), pertuzumab (a new anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody) and ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1, a novel antibody–drug conjugate), which provide additional treatment options for patients with HER2+ MBC. The latest clinical trials have demonstrated improved outcome with treatment including pertuzumab or T-DM1 compared with standard HER2 targeted therapy. Here we review the clinical development of approved and investigational targeted agents for the treatment of HER2+ MBC, summarize the latest results of important clinical trials supporting use of these agents in the treatment of HER2+ MBC, and discuss how these results impact therapeutic options in clinical practice. PMID:26557900

  17. Resilience of Penicillium resedanum LK6 and exogenous gibberellin in improving Capsicum annuum growth under abiotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Khan, Abdul Latif; Waqas, Muhammad; Lee, In-Jung

    2015-03-01

    Understanding how endophytic fungi mitigate abiotic stresses in plants will be important in a changing global climate. A few endophytes can produce phytohormones, but their ability to induce physiological changes in host plants during extreme environmental conditions are largely unexplored. In the present study, we investigated the ability of Penicillium resedanum LK6 to produce gibberellins and its role in improving the growth of Capsicum annuum L. under salinity, drought, and heat stresses. These effects were compared with exogenous application of gibberellic acid (GA3). Endophyte treatment significantly increased shoot length, biomass, chlorophyll content, and the photosynthesis rate compared with the uninfected control during abiotic stresses. The endophyte and combined endophyte + GA3 treatments significantly ameliorated the negative effects of stresses compared with the control. Stress-responsive endogenous abscisic acid and its encoding genes, such as zeaxanthin epoxidase, 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase 3, and ABA aldehyde oxidase 3, were significantly reduced in endophyte-treated plants under stress. Conversely, salicylic acid and biosynthesis-related gene (isochorismate synthase) had constitutive expressions while pathogenesis related (PR1 and PR5) genes showed attenuated responses during endophyte treatment under abiotic stresses. The present findings suggest that endophytes have effects comparable to those of exogenous GA3; both can significantly increase plant growth and yield under changing environmental conditions by reprogramming the host plant's physiological responses. PMID:25537300

  18. 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. PMID:22420829

  19. Assimilation of Synchronous and Asynchronous Active/Passive Microwave Observations at Different Spatial Scales for Improved Soil Moisture and Crop Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Judge, J.; Liu, P. W.; Monsivais-Huertero, A.; Steele-Dunne, S. C.; Bongiovanni, T. E.; Bindlish, R.; Jackson, T. J.

    2014-12-01

    Assimilation of active and passive (AP) microwave observations at L-band in the crop simulation models is able to improve estimates of soil moisture (SM) and crop growth in the models. These observations provide complementary information for dynamic heterogeneous landscapes. Active observations are more sensitive to soil surface roughness and vegetation structure, while passive observations are more sensitive to SM. These observations may be available at different spatial and temporal resolutions from different satellite platforms. For example, the present ESA Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission provides passive observations at 1.41 GHz at 25 km every 2-3 days, while the NASA/CONAE Aquarius mission provides L-band AP observations at spatial resolution of 150 km with a repeat coverage of 7 days for global SM products. The planned NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive mission (SMAP) will provide AP observations at 1.26 and 1.41 GHz at the spatial resolutions of 3 and 30 km, respectively, with a repeat coverage of 2-3 days, starting early 2015. The goal of this study is to develop an Ensemble Kalman Filter-based methodology that assimilates synchronously and asynchronously available backscattering coefficients (σ0) and brightness temperatures (TB) at different spatial scales from SMOS and Aquarius. The Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer (DSSAT) that contains a suite of crop simulation models will be linked to microwave emission and scattering models (DSSAT-A-P) for the assimilation. The methodology will be implemented in the rain fed agricultural region of the Brazilian La Plata Basin in South America, where soybean is the primary crop. The augmented state vector will include both model states and parameters related to soil and vegetation during the growing season. The methodology will be evaluated using a synthetic experiment and also using observations from SMOS and Aquarius. In preliminary results with synthetic experiment, using asynchronous

  20. Super High Dosing with a Novel Buttiauxella Phytase Continuously Improves Growth Performance, Nutrient Digestibility, and Mineral Status of Weaned Pigs.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Zhikai; Li, Qingyun; Tian, Qiyu; Zhao, Panfeng; Xu, Xiao; Yu, Shukun; Piao, Xiangshu

    2015-11-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of a novel Buttiauxella phytase to pigs fed P-deficient, corn-soybean meal diets. One hundred and twenty crossbred piglets (9.53 ± 0.84 kg) were allocated to one of five treatments which consisted of four low P diets (0.61 % Ca and 0.46 % total P) supplemented with 0, 500, 1,000, or 20,000 FTU/kg phytase as well as a positive control diet (0.77 % Ca and 0.62 % total P). Each treatment had six replicated pens with four pigs per pen. Pigs were fed the experimental diets for 28 days. Phytase supplementation linearly improved (P < 0.05) average daily gain (ADG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), and apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) of dry matter, gross energy, crude protein, Ca, and P in weaned pigs. Super high dosing with phytase (20,000 FTU/kg) further increased (P < 0.05) ADG compared with 500 FTU/kg phytase inclusion group, as well as ATTD of Ca and P. Metacarpal bone characteristics and several trace mineral concentration in bone, plasma, or organ tissues were linearly (P < 0.05) improved at increasing dose of phytase. Super high dosing with phytase (20,000 FTU/kg) supplementation improved (P < 0.05) Mn and Zn concentration in bone compared to normal dose of phytase supplementation (500 or 1,000 FTU/kg). In conclusion, supplementation of 500 FTU of Buttiauxella phytase/kg and above effectively hydrolyzed phytate in a low-P corn-soybean diet for pigs. In addition, a super high dosing with phytase (20,000 FTU/kg) improved macro- or micro mineral availability and growth performance. PMID:25860427

  1. Importance of rhizobia in Agriculture: potential of the commercial inoculants and native strains for improving legume yields in different land-use systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lesueur, D.; Atieno, M.; Mathu, S.; Herrmann, L.

    2012-04-01

    Legumes play an important role in the traditional diets of many regions throughout the world because they provide a multitude of benefits to both the soil and other crops grown in combination with them or following them in several cropping systems. The ability of legumes to fix atmospheric nitrogen in association with rhizobia gives them the capacity to grow in very degraded soils. But do we have to systematically inoculate legumes? For example our results suggested that the systematic inoculation of both cowpea and green gram in Kenya with commercial inoculants to improve yields is not really justified, native strains performing better than inoculated strains. But when native rhizobia nodulating legumes are not naturally present, application of rhizobial inoculants is very commonly used. Our results showed that the utilization of effective good-quality rhizobial inoculants by farmers have a real potential to improve legume yields in unfertile soils requesting high applications of mineral fertilizers. For example an effective soybean commercial inoculants was tested in different locations in Kenya (in about 150 farms in 3 mandate areas presenting different soil characteristics and environmental conditions). Application of the rhizobial inoculant significantly increased the soybean yields in all mandate areas (about 75% of the farms). Nodule occupancy analysis showed that a high number of nodules occupied by the inoculated strain did not obviously lead to an increase of soybean production. Soil factors (pH, P, C, N…) seemed to affect the inoculant efficiency whether the strain is occupying the nodules or not. Our statistic analysis showed that soil pH significantly affected nodulation and yield, though the effect was variable depending on the region. We concluded that the competitiveness of rhizobial strains might not be the main factor explaining the effect (or lack of) of legumes inoculation in the field. Another study was aiming to assess if several factors

  2. 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

  3. Improving Efficiency of III-N Quantum Well Based Optoelectronic Devices through Active Region Design and Growth Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Nathan Garrett

    The III-Nitride materials system provides a fascinating platform for developing optoelectronic devices, such as solar cells and LEDs, which have the power to dramatically improve the efficiency of our power consumption and reduce our environmental footprint. Finding ways to make these devices more efficient is key to driving their widespread adoption. This dissertation focuses on the intersection of challenges in physics and metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth at the nanoscale when designing for device efficiency. In order to create the best possible InGaN solar cell, a multiple quantum well (MQW) active region design had to be employed to prevent strain relaxation related degradation. There were two competing challenges for MQW active region design and growth. First, it was observed current collection efficiency improved with thinner quantum barriers, which promoted efficient tunneling transport instead of inefficiency thermally activated escape. Second, GaN barriers could planarize surface defects in the MQW region under the right conditions and when grown thick enough. A two-step growth method for thinner quantum barriers was developed that simultaneously allowed for tunneling transport and planarized V-defects. Barriers as thin as 4 nm were employed in MQW active regions with up to 30 periods without structural or electrical degradation, leading to record performance. Application of dielectric optical coatings greatly reduced surface reflections and allowed a second pass of light through the device. This both demonstrated the feasibility of multijunction solar integration and boosted conversion efficiency to record levels for an InGaN solar cell. III-N LEDs have achieved state-of-the-art performance for decades, but still suffer from the phenomena of efficiency droop, where device efficiency drops dramatically at high power operation. Droop is exacerbated by the polarization-induced electric fields in InGaN quantum wells, which originate from

  4. Potentials of RapidEye time series for improved classification of crop rotations in heterogeneous agricultural landscapes: experiences from irrigation systems in Central Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, Christopher; Machwitz, Miriam; Schorcht, Gunther; Löw, Fabian; Fritsch, Sebastian; Dech, Stefan

    2011-11-01

    In Central Asia, more than eight Million ha of agricultural land are under irrigation. But severe degradation problems and unreliable water distribution have caused declining yields during the past decades. Reliable and area-wide information about crops can be seen as important step to elaborate options for sustainable land and water management. Experiences from RapidEye classifications of crop in Central Asia are exemplarily shown during a classification of eight crop classes including three rotations with winter wheat, cotton, rice, and fallow land in the Khorezm region of Uzbekistan covering 230,000 ha of irrigated land. A random forest generated by using 1215 field samples was applied to multitemporal RapidEye data acquired during the vegetation period 2010. But RapidEye coverage varied and did not allow for generating temporally consistent mosaics covering the entire region. To classify all 55,188 agricultural parcels in the region three classification zones were classified separately. The zoning allowed for including at least three observation periods into classification. Overall accuracy exceeded 85 % for all classification zones. Highest accuracies of 87.4 % were achieved by including five spatiotemporal composites of RapidEye. Class-wise accuracy assessments showed the usefulness of selecting time steps which represent relevant phenological phases of the vegetation period. The presented approach can support regional crop inventory. Accurate classification results in early stages of the cropping season permit recalculation of crop water demands and reallocation of irrigation water. The high temporal and spatial resolution of RapidEye can be concluded highly beneficial for agricultural land use classifications in entire Central Asia.

  5. Shoot growth orientation in trees is influenced by gravitropic control via a signaling pathway that includes TAC1 and LAZY1

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding the molecular basis behind tree architecture could have significant impacts in tree crop agriculture and forestry. The ability to manipulate tree branch growth and patterning could lead to significant productivity improvements through reduced pesticide use, reduced labor for harvestin...

  6. Model-based design of an agricultural biogas plant: application of anaerobic digestion model no.1 for an improved four chamber scheme.

    PubMed

    Wett, B; Schoen, M; Phothilangka, P; Wackerle, F; Insam, H

    2007-01-01

    Different digestion technologies for various substrates are addressed by the generic process description of Anaerobic Digestion Model No. 1. In the case of manure or agricultural wastes a priori knowledge about the substrate in terms of ADM1 compounds is lacking and influent characterisation becomes a major issue. The actual project has been initiated for promotion of biogas technology in agriculture and for expansion of profitability also to rather small capacity systems. In order to avoid costly individual planning and installation of each facility a standardised design approach needs to be elaborated. This intention pleads for bio kinetic modelling as a systematic tool for process design and optimisation. Cofermentation under field conditions was observed, quality data and flow data were recorded and mass flow balances were calculated. In the laboratory different substrates have been digested separately in parallel under specified conditions. A configuration of four ADM1 model reactors was set up. Model calibration identified disintegration rate, decay rates for sugar degraders and half saturation constant for sugar as the three most sensitive parameters showing values (except the latter) about one order of magnitude higher than default parameters. Finally, the model is applied to the comparison of different reactor configurations and volume partitions. Another optimisation objective is robustness and load flexibility, i.e. the same configuration should be adaptive to different load situations only by a simple recycle control in order to establish a standardised design. PMID:17564366

  7. Xingu Project - Integrating Land Use Planning and Water Governance in Amazonia: Towards Improved Freshwater Security in the Agricultural Frontier of Mato Grosso.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krusche, A. V.; Ballester, M. V.; Neill, C.; Elsenbeer, H.; Johnson, M. S.; Coe, M. T.; Garavello, M.; Molina, S. G.; Empinotti, V.; Reichardt, F.; Deegan, L.; Harris, L.

    2014-12-01

    The main goal of this project is to identify how impacts from land conversion, cropland expansion and intensification of both crop and animal production interact to affect regional evapotranspiration, rainfall generation, river flooding, and water quality and stream habitats, allowing us to identify thresholds of change that will endanger agricultural production, livelihoods of non-agricultural settlers and the region's new urban population and infrastructure. We will survey the effects of this on (1) soybean farmers, (2) cattle ranchers, (3) small-scale farm families, (4) rural non-agriculturists, including fishers, and (5) urban residents and map their roles as stakeholders. We will also conduct current water use surveys among the different stakeholder groups, accompanied by questions on desired aspects for future freshwater security to identify targets for desirable outcomes of water governance strategies. These targets, together with the information on land use drivers, water quantity and quality and predicted scenarios for global changes will be incorporated into a fully integrated and interactive geospatially oriented socio-ecological model that can serve as framework for future water governance that enhances Freshwater Security in such systems. This is an international cooperation initiative lead by Brazil and with the participation of Canada, Germany and United States of America.

  8. Hepatocyte growth factor-modified adipose tissue-derived stem cells improve erectile function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tao; Peng, Yifeng; Jia, Chao; Fang, Xiang; Li, Jing; Zhong, Wan

    2015-01-01

    TGFβ1-Smad signaling pathway is closely related to various tissues fibrosis. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) has been shown to antagonize TGFβ1-Smad signaling and may improve kidney tissue fibrosis in diabetic models. Penile fibrosis is a pathological condition which occurs during diabetic erectile dysfunction (ED). The aim of this study was to examine the effect of the treatment of ED in diabetic rats with a combination of HGF and adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSC). In this diabetes model, rats were injected intraperitoneally with 60 mg streptozotocin (STZ) to induce diabetes. Three months later, the diabetic rats were divided into a negative control(NC) group, an ADSC-treated group and an ADSC + HGF-treated group while normal rats were assigned into a sham group. Rats in the sham and NC groups were injected in the corpus cavernosum with phosphate-buffered saline, while rats in the other groups were injected with either ADSC or ADSC + HGF. One month later, erectile function was examined in each group and penile tissues were collected for experiments. The expression of smooth muscle actin (SMA) and platelet-endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) was analyzed by Western blotting. The smooth muscle and collagen deposition in corpus cavernosum was evaluated by Masson staining, while endothelial changes were assessed immunohistochemically. Cell apoptosis was detected by the TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay. The results revealed that ADSC alone can significantly improve erectile function in diabetic rats, but in combination with HGF the improvement was more prominent, showing higher content of smooth muscle and endothelial cells and lower cell apoptotic index in corpus cavernosum. Treatment with HGF can significantly enhance the beneficial effect of ADSC on erectile function in diabetic rats, and this effect might be closely related to the down-regulation of TGFβ1-Smad signaling. PMID:26339935

  9. Evidence for Fibroblast Growth Factor-2 as a Mediator of Amphetamine-Enhanced Motor Improvement following Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, William A.; Martin, Jody L.; Kartje, Gwendolyn L.; Farrer, Robert G.

    2014-01-01

    Previously we have shown that addition of amphetamine to physical therapy results in enhanced motor improvement following stroke in rats, which was associated with the formation of new motor pathways from cortical projection neurons of the contralesional cortex. It is unclear what mechanisms are involved, but amphetamine is known to induce the neuronal release of catecholamines as well as upregulate fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) expression in the brain. Since FGF-2 has been widely documented to stimulate neurite outgrowth, the present studies were undertaken to provide evidence for FGF-2 as a neurobiological mechanism underlying amphetamine-induced neuroplasticity. In the present study rats that received amphetamine plus physical therapy following permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion exhibited significantly greater motor improvement over animals receiving physical therapy alone. Amphetamine plus physical therapy also significantly increased the number of FGF-2 expressing pyramidal neurons of the contralesional cortex at 2 weeks post-stroke and resulted in significant axonal outgrowth from these neurons at 8 weeks post-stroke. Since amphetamine is a known releaser of norepinephrine, in vitro analyses focused on whether noradrenergic stimulation could lead to neurite outgrowth in a manner requiring FGF-2 activity. Primary cortical neurons did not respond to direct stimulation by norepinephrine or amphetamine with increased neurite outgrowth. However, conditioned media from astrocytes exposed to norepinephrine or isoproterenol (a beta adrenergic agonist) significantly increased neurite outgrowth when applied to neuronal cultures. Adrenergic agonists also upregulated FGF-2 expression in astrocytes. Pharmacological analysis indicated that beta receptors and alpha1, but not alpha2, receptors were involved in both effects. Antibody neutralization studies demonstrated that FGF-2 was a critical contributor to neurite outgrowth induced by astrocyte

  10. Anabolic growth hormone action improves submaximal measures of physical performance in patients with HIV-associated wasting.

    PubMed

    Esposito, John G; Thomas, Scott G; Kingdon, Lori; Ezzat, Shereen

    2005-09-01

    Growth hormone (GH) treatment reverses the muscle loss allegedly responsible for diminished aerobic capacity and increased fatigue in patients with HIV-associated wasting. This study examined whether submaximal measures of physical performance can be used as objective measures of the functional impact of GH treatment-induced anabolism. We randomized 27 HIV-positive men [mean (SD) age, 43.9 (7.2) yr; body mass, 71.9 (10.4) kg; BMI, 23.1 (2.8) kg/m2] with unintentional weight loss despite antiretroviral therapy to receive GH (6 mg) or placebo in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial with a 3-mo washout. Lean body mass (LBM), maximum oxygen uptake (Vo2 peak), ventilatory threshold (VeT), 6-min walk test (6MWT) distance and work, profile of mood states (POMS) fatigue and vigor scores, and Nottingham health profile (NHP) energy and physical mobility scores were measured. LBM significantly increased after 3 mo of GH treatment vs. placebo (means +/- SE, 3.7 +/- 0.6 vs. 0.3 +/- 0.4 kg; P < 0.001). VeT significantly improved (17.6 +/- 3.7 vs. -5.9 +/- 2.5%; P < 0.001), but Vo2 peak did not change significantly. 6MWT distance improved (24.9 +/- 9.7 vs. 19.9 +/- 11.6 m; P > 0.05) and 6MWT work increased significantly more after 3 mo of GH treatment (33.3 +/- 8.8 vs. 16.5 +/- 7.5 kJ; P < 0.05). POMS scores of fatigue and vigor and the NHP score of energy improved, yet the changes were not statistically significant. GH treatment improved VeT linearly to the increase in LBM (r =0.43, P = 0.037) and 6MWT work (r = 0.51, P = 0.008), and the increase in 6MWT work correlated with increase in LBM (r = 0.45, P = 0.024). Improvement in 6MWT work above the median (27.3 kJ) showed a decrease in fatigue (r = -0.62, P = 0.024). We concluded that GH treatment-induced LBM gains in HIV-associated wasting were functionally relevant, as determined by effort-independent submaximal measures of cardiopulmonary exercise testing. PMID:15886228

  11. Agriculture and climate change

    SciTech Connect

    Abelson, P.H.

    1992-07-03

    How will increases in levels of CO{sub 2} and changes in temperature affect food production A recently issued report analyzes prospects for US agriculture 1990 to 2030. The report, prepared by a distinguished Task Force, first projects the evolution of agriculture assuming increased levels of CO{sub 2} but no climate change. Then it deals with effects of climate change, followed by a discussion of how greenhouse emissions might be diminished by agriculture. Economic and policy matters are also covered. How the climate would respond to more greenhouse gases is uncertain. If temperatures were higher, there would be more evaporation and more precipitation. Where would the rain fall That is a good question. Weather in a particular locality is not determined by global averages. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s could be repeated at its former site or located in another region such as the present Corn Belt. But depending on the realities at a given place, farmers have demonstrated great flexibility in choosing what they may grow. Their flexibility has been increased by the numerous varieties of seeds of major crops that are now available, each having different characteristics such as drought resistance and temperature tolerance. In past, agriculture has contributed about 5% of US greenhouse gases. Two large components have involved emissions of CO{sub 2} from farm machinery and from oxidation of organic matter in soil due to tillage. Use of diesel fuel and more efficient machinery has reduced emissions from that source by 40%. In some areas changed tillage practices are now responsible for returning carbon to the soil. The report identifies an important potential for diminishing net US emissions of CO{sub 2} by growth and utilization of biomass. Large areas are already available that could be devoted to energy crops.

  12. Deficit irrigation and sustainable water-resource strategies in agriculture for China's food security.

    PubMed

    Du, Taisheng; Kang, Shaozhong; Zhang, Jianhua; Davies, William J

    2015-04-01

    More than 70% of fresh water is used in agriculture in many parts of the world, but competition for domestic and industrial water use is intense. For future global food security, water use in agriculture must become sustainable. Agricultural water-use efficiency and water productivity can be improved at different points from the stomatal to the regional scale. A promising approach is the use of deficit irrigation, which can both save water and induce plant physiological regulations such as stomatal opening and reproductive and vegetative growth. At the scales of the irrigation district, the catchment, and the region, there can be many other components to a sustainable water-resources strategy. There is much interest in whether crop water use can be regulated as a function of understanding of physiological responses. If this is the case, then agricultural water resources can be reallocated to the benefit of the broader community. We summarize the extent of use and impact of deficit irrigation within China. A sustainable strategy for allocation of agricultural water resources for food security is proposed. Our intention is to build an integrative system to control crop water use during different cropping stages and actively regulate the plant's growth, productivity, and development based on physiological responses. This is done with a view to improving the allocation of limited agricultural water resources. PMID:25873664

  13. Deficit irrigation and sustainable water-resource strategies in agriculture for China’s food security

    PubMed Central

    Du, Taisheng; Kang, Shaozhong; Zhang, Jianhua; Davies, William J.

    2015-01-01

    More than 70% of fresh water is used in agriculture in many parts of the world, but competition for domestic and industrial water use is intense. For future global food security, water use in agriculture must become sustainable. Agricultural water-use efficiency and water productivity can be improved at different points from the stomatal to the regional scale. A promising approach is the use of deficit irrigation, which can both save water and induce plant physiological regulations such as stomatal opening and reproductive and vegetative growth. At the scales of the irrigation district, the catchment, and the region, there can be many other components to a sustainable water-resources strategy. There is much interest in whether crop water use can be regulated as a function of understanding of physiological responses. If this is the case, then agricultural water resources can be reallocated to the benefit of the broader community. We summarize the extent of use and impact of deficit irrigation within China. A sustainable strategy for allocation of agricultural water resources for food security is proposed. Our intention is to build an integrative system to control crop water use during different cropping stages and actively regulate the plant’s growth, productivity, and development based on physiological responses. This is done with a view to improving the allocation of limited agricultural water resources. PMID:25873664

  14. TAT-Mediated Acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor Delivery to the Dermis Improves Wound Healing of Deep Skin Tissue in Rat

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Lu; Zheng, Lulu; Jin, Zi; Yu, Bingjie; Wang, Zhitao; Lin, Peng; Yu, Weidan; Li, Haiyan; Li, Xiaokun; Wang, Xiaojie

    2015-01-01

    Background The definition of deep tissue injury was derived from multiple clinical cases as “A purple or maroon localized area of discolored intact skin or blood-filled blister due to damage of underlying soft tissue from pressure and/or shear”. Acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) significantly improves wound healing under diabetic conditions. However, to date, the therapeutic application of aFGF has been limited, due to its low delivery efficiency and short half-life. Methodology/Principal Findings Using an animal model of magnet-induced pressure ulcers, transactivator of transcription protein (TAT)-aFGF was evaluated for transdermal delivery and wound healing. Immunohistochemistry and Western blotting were also performed to determine the expression of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), CD68, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and TGF-β-receptor II (TGF- βRII) in cultured human dermal fibroblasts. We found that that mice treated with TAT-aFGF had higher accumulation of aFGF in both dermis and subcutaneous tissues compared with mice treated with aFGF alone. In the remodeling phase, TAT-aFGF treatment decreased the expression of α-SMA to normal levels, thereby facilitating normal wound healing processes and abrogating hypertrophic scarring. In human dermal fibroblasts, TAT-aFGF reversed the suppressive effect of TNF-α on α-SMA expression and restored TGF-βRII and TGF-β1 expression. Conclusions/Significance Our results demonstrate that TAT-aFGF has a favorable therapeutic effect on the healing of subcutaneous deep tissue injury. PMID:26271041

  15. Optimal dietary protein level improved growth, disease resistance, intestinal immune and physical barrier function of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella).

    PubMed

    Xu, Jing; Wu, Pei; Jiang, Wei-Dan; Liu, Yang; Jiang, Jun; Kuang, Sheng-Yao; Tang, Ling; Tang, Wu-Neng; Zhang, Yong-An; Zhou, Xiao-Qiu; Feng, Lin

    2016-08-01

    This study investigated the effects of dietary proteins on the growth, disease resistance, intestinal immune and physical barrier functions of young grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). A total of 540 young grass carp (264.11 ± 0.76 g) were fed six diets containing graded levels of protein (143.1, 176.7, 217.2, 257.5, 292.2 and 322.8 g digestible protein kg(-1) diet) for 8 weeks. After the growth trial, fish were challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila and mortalities were recorded for 14 days. The results indicated that optimal dietary protein levels: increased the production of antibacterial components, up-regulated anti-inflammatory cytokines, inhibitor of κBα, target of rapamycin and ribosomal protein S6 kinases 1 mRNA levels, whereas down-regulated pro-inflammatory cytokines, nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) P65, NF-κB P52, c-Rel, IκB kinase β, IκB kinase γ and eIF4E-binding proteins 2 mRNA levels in three intestinal segments of young grass carp (P < 0.05), suggesting that optimal dietary protein level could enhance fish intestinal immune barrier function; up-regulated the mRNA levels of tight junction complexes, B-cell lymphoma protein-2, inhibitor of apoptosis proteins, myeloid cell leukemia-1 and NF-E2-related factor 2, and increased the activities and mRNA levels of antioxidant enzymes, whereas down-regulated myosin light chain kinase, cysteinyl aspartic acid-protease 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, fatty acid synthetase ligand, apoptotic protease activating factor-1, Bcl-2 associated X protein, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase and Kelch-like-ECH-associated protein 1b mRNA levels, and decreased reactive oxygen species, malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl contents in three intestinal segments of young grass carp (P < 0.05), indicating that optimal dietary protein level could improve fish intestinal physical barrier function. Finally, the optimal dietary protein levels for the growth performance (PWG) and against enteritis

  16. Replacement of dietary fish oil with vegetable oils improves the growth and flesh quality of large yellow croaker ( Larmichthys crocea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Qingyuan; Mai, Kangsen; Shentu, Jikang; Ai, Qinghui; Zhong, Huiying; Jiang, Yujian; Zhang, Lu; Zhang, Chunxiao; Guo, Sitong

    2014-06-01

    We investigated the effect of the replacement of dietary fish oil with vegetable oils on the growth and flesh quality of large yellow croaker ( Larmichthys crocea). The basal diet (FO) was formulated to contain 66.5% fish meal and 6.4% menhaden fish oil; whereas the other 3 experimental diets were formulated by replacing the fish oil with 50% soybean oil (SO50), 100% soybean oil (SO100) and 100% palm oil (PO100), respectively. The 4 diets were randomly assigned to 4 floating sea cages (3.0 m × 3.0 m × 3.0 m), and each was stocked with 250 fish individuals with an initial average weight of 245.29 g ± 7.45 g. The fish were fed to apparent satiation twice a day at 5:00 and 17:00, respectively, for 12 weeks. Experimental analysis showed that the specific growth rate of fish fed SO50 or PO100 were significantly higher than that of fish fed FO or SO100 ( P<0.05), and crude lipid contents of ventral muscle and viscera were significantly lower in fish fed FO than in those fed the other 3 diets ( P<0.05). No significant differences in condition factor, viscerosomatic index, hepatosomatic index, gutted yield and colorimetric values of fish among the dietary treatments were observed ( P>0.05). Compared to FO diet, SO50, SO100 and PO100 diets led to substantial decreases in the liquid loss and water loss from fresh fillets (1 d, 4°C) ( P<0.05). Similarly, thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) values of fillets under different storage conditions (1 d, 4°C; 7 d, 4°C; 4 weeks, -20°C; 8 weeks, -20°C) decreased significantly after partial or complete replacement of fish oil with vegetable oils. These findings indicated that the growth performance and selected flesh quality properties (liquid holding capacity and TBARS value) of large yellow croaker were substantially improved by replacing dietary fish oil with vegetable oils.

  17. The CIOA (Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture) Project: Location, cropping system, and genetic background influence carrot performance including top height and flavor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    U.S. organic farmers surveyed listed improved seedling germination and Alternaria leaf blight resistance as top breeding priorities for field production of organic carrots. Nematode resistance is also very important for growers. Flavor was deemed the most important consumer trait to improve in carro...

  18. Location, cropping system, and genetic background influence carrot performance including top height and flavor in the CIOA (Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture) Project

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    U.S. organic farmers surveyed listed improved seedling germination and Alternaria leaf blight resistance as top breeding priorities for field production of organic carrots. Nematode resistance is also very important for growers. Flavor was deemed the most important consumer trait to improve in carro...

  19. Taking advantage of data on N leaching to improve estimates of N2O emission reductions from agriculture in response to management changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurwick, N. P.; Tonitto, C.

    2012-12-01

    Estimates of reductions in N2O emissions from agricultural soils associated with different crop management practices often focus on in-field emissions. This is particularly true in the context of policy development for carbon offsets which are highly relevant in California, given the state's global warming protection law (AB 32). However, data sets often do not cover an entire year, missing key times such as spring thaw, and only rarely do they span multiple years even though inter-annual variation can be large. In the most productive grain systems on tile-drained Mollisols in the U.S. there are no long-term data sets of N2O flux, although these agroecosystems have the highest application rates of N fertilizer in grain systems and are prime candidates for large reductions in N2O emissions. In contrast, estimates of the influence of management practices like cover crops are much stronger because more data are available, and downstream N2O emissions should shift proportionally. Nevertheless, these changes in downstream emissions are frequently not included in estimates of N2O flux change. As an example, cereal cover crops reduce N leakage by 70%, and leguminous cover crops reduce N leakage by 40%. These data should inform estimates of downstream N2O emissions from agricultural fields, particularly in the context of protocol development, where project developers or aggregators will have information about basic management of individual crop fields. Even the IPCC default guidelines for simple (Tier 1) emission factors could take this information into account. Despite the complexity of estimating downstream N2O emissions in the absence of site-specific hydrology data, the IPCC estimates that 30% of applied N is lost and that between 0.75% and 1.0 % of lost N is converted to N2O. That single estimate should be refined based on data showing that leaching varies with management practices.

  20. Enhanced mitochondrial complex gene function and reduced liver size may mediate improved feed efficiency of beef cattle during compensatory growth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Growing ruminants maintained under dietary restriction for extended periods will exhibit compensatory growth when reverted to ad libitum feeding. This period of compensatory growth is associated with increased feed efficiency, lower basal energy requirements, and changes in circulating concentration...

  1. Modeling potato root growth and water uptake under water stress conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) growth and yield are sensitive to drought starting at mild stress levels. Accurate simulation of root growth is critical for estimating water and nutrient uptake dynamics of major crops and improving agricultural decision support tools for natural resource management. ...

  2. Programs in Animal Agriculture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herring, Don R.; And Others

    1980-01-01

    Five topics relating to programs in animal agriculture are addressed: (1) the future of animal agriculture; (2) preparing teachers in animal agriculture; (3) how animal programs help young people; (4) a nontraditional animal agriculture program; and (5) developing competencies in animal agriculture. (LRA)

  3. Epidermal growth factor improves survival and prevents intestinal injury in a murine model of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia

    PubMed Central

    Dominguez, Jessica A.; Vithayathil, Paul J.; Khailova, Ludmila; Lawrance, Christopher P.; Samocha, Alexandr J.; Jung, Enjae; Leathersich, Ann M.; Dunne, W. Michael; Coopersmith, Craig M.

    2011-01-01

    Mortality from pneumonia is mediated, in part, through extrapulmonary causes. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has broad cytoprotective effects, including potent restorative properties in the injured intestine. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of EGF treatment following Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia. FVB/N mice underwent intratracheal injection of either Pseudomonas aeruginosa or saline and were then randomized to receive either systemic EGF or vehicle beginning immediately or 24 hours after the onset of pneumonia. Systemic EGF decreased seven-day mortality from 65% to 10% when initiated immediately after the onset of pneumonia and to 27% when initiated 24 hours after the onset of pneumonia. Even though injury in pneumonia is initiated in the lungs, the survival advantage conferred by EGF was not associated with improvements in pulmonary pathology. In contrast, EGF prevented intestinal injury by reversing pneumonia-induced increases in intestinal epithelial apoptosis and decreases in intestinal proliferation and villus length. Systemic cytokines, kidney and liver function were unaffected by EGF therapy although EGF decreased pneumonia-induced splenocyte apoptosis. To determine whether the intestine was sufficient to account for extrapulmonary effects induced by EGF, a separate set of experiments were done using transgenic mice with enterocyte-specific overexpression of EGF (IFABP-EGF mice) which were compared to WT mice subjected to pneumonia. IFABP-EGF mice had improved survival compared to WT mice following pneumonia (50% vs. 28% respectively, p<0.05) and were protected from pneumonia-induced intestinal injury. Thus, EGF may be a potential adjunctive therapy for pneumonia, mediated in part by its effects on the intestine. PMID:21701422

  4. Epidermal growth factor improves survival and prevents intestinal injury in a murine model of pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia.

    PubMed

    Dominguez, Jessica A; Vithayathil, Paul J; Khailova, Ludmila; Lawrance, Christopher P; Samocha, Alexandr J; Jung, Enjae; Leathersich, Ann M; Dunne, W Michael; Coopersmith, Craig M

    2011-10-01

    Mortality from pneumonia is mediated, in part, through extrapulmonary causes. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has broad cytoprotective effects, including potent restorative properties in the injured intestine. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of EGF treatment following Pseudomonas aeruginosa pneumonia. FVB/N mice underwent intratracheal injection of either P. aeruginosa or saline and were then randomized to receive either systemic EGF or vehicle beginning immediately or 24 h after the onset of pneumonia. Systemic EGF decreased 7-day mortality from 65% to 10% when initiated immediately after the onset of pneumonia and to 27% when initiated 24 h after the onset of pneumonia. Even though injury in pneumonia is initiated in the lungs, the survival advantage conferred by EGF was not associated with improvements in pulmonary pathology. In contrast, EGF prevented intestinal injury by reversing pneumonia-induced increases in intestinal epithelial apoptosis and decreases in intestinal proliferation and villus length. Systemic cytokines and kidney and liver function were unaffected by EGF therapy, although EGF decreased pneumonia-induced splenocyte apoptosis. To determine whether the intestine was sufficient to account for extrapulmonary effects induced by EGF, a separate set of experiments was done using transgenic mice with enterocyte-specific overexpression of EGF (IFABP-EGF [intestinal fatty acid-binding protein linked to mouse EGF] mice), which were compared with wild-type mice subjected to pneumonia. IFABP-EGF mice had improved survival compared with wild-type mice following pneumonia (50% vs. 28%, respectively, P < 0.05) and were protected from pneumonia-induced intestinal injury. Thus, EGF may be a potential adjunctive therapy for pneumonia, mediated in part by its effects on the intestine. PMID:21701422

  5. Viral Vector Based Improvement of Optic Nerve Regeneration: Characterization of Individual Axons’ Growth Patterns and Synaptogenesis in a Visual Target

    PubMed Central

    Yungher, Benjamin J.; Luo, Xueting; Salgueiro, Yadira; Blackmore, Murray G.; Park, Kevin K.

    2015-01-01

    Lack of axon growth ability in the central nervous system poses a major barrier to achieving functional connectivity after injury. Thus, a non-transgenic regenerative approach to reinnervating targets has important implications in clinical and research settings. Previous studies using knockout (KO) mice have demonstrated long distance axon regeneration. Using an optic nerve injury model, here we evaluate the efficacy of viral, RNAi and pharmacological approaches that target the PTEN and STAT3 pathways to improve long distance axon regeneration in wild type (WT) mice. Our data show that adeno-associated virus (AAV) expressing short hairpin RNA (shRNA) against PTEN (shPTEN) enhances retinal ganglion cell axon regeneration after crush injury. However, compared to the previous data in PTEN KO mice, AAV-shRNA results in a lesser degree of regeneration, likely due to incomplete gene silencing inherent to RNAi. In comparison, an extensive enhancement in regeneration is seen when AAV-shPTEN is coupled to AAV encoding ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and to a cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) analogue, allowing axons to travel long distances and reach their target. We apply whole tissue imaging that facilitates three-dimensional visualization of single regenerating axons and document heterogeneous terminal patterns in the targets. This shows that some axonal populations generate extensive arbors and make synapses with the target neurons. Collectively, we show a combinatorial viral RNAi and pharmacological strategy that improves long distance regeneration in WT animals and provide single fiber projection data that indicates a degree of preservation of target recognition. PMID:26005861

  6. A consortium of rhizobacterial strains and biochemical growth elicitors improve cold and drought stress tolerance in rice (Oryza sativa L.).

    PubMed

    Kakar, K U; Ren, X-L; Nawaz, Z; Cui, Z-Q; Li, B; Xie, G-L; Hassan, M A; Ali, E; Sun, G-C

    2016-05-01

    In the present study, a consortium of two rhizobacteria Bacillus amyloliquefaciens Bk7 and Brevibacillus laterosporus B4, termed 'BB', biochemical elicitors salicylic acid and β-aminobutyric acid (SB) and their mixture (BBSB) were investigated for cold and drought stress tolerance in rice plants. After withholding water for 16 days, rice plants treated with BBSB showed 100% survival, improved seedling height (35.4 cm), shoot number (6.12), and showed minimum symptoms of chlorosis (19%), wilting (4%), necrosis (6%) and rolling of leaves. Similarly, BB inoculation enhanced plant growth and reduced overall symptoms in rice seedlings subjected to 0 ± 5 °C for 24 h. Our results imply several mechanisms underlying BB- and BBSB-elicited stress tolerance. In contrast to the control, both treatments significantly decreased leaf monodehydroascorbate (MDA) content and electrolyte leakage, and increased leaf proline and cholorophyll content. Moreover, activities of antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) increased 3.0- and 3.6-fold, respectively. Moreover, expression of OsMYB3R-2, OsDIL, OsDREB1A and OsCDPK13 genes was significantly up-regulated, suggesting that these genes play important roles in abiotic stress tolerance of rice. In addition, bacterial strains Bk7 and B4 were able to produce high amounts of IAA and siderophores, and colonise the plant roots, while only strain Bk7 exhibited the capability to form biofilms and solubilise inorganic phosphate. This study indicates that the BB and BBSB bio-formulations can be used to confer induced systematic tolerance and improve the health of rice plants subject to chilling and drought stress. PMID:26681628

  7. Maternal melatonin administration mitigates coronary stiffness and endothelial dysfunction, and improves heart resilience to insult in growth restricted lambs

    PubMed Central

    Tare, Marianne; Parkington, Helena C; Wallace, Euan M; Sutherland, Amy E; Lim, Rebecca; Yawno, Tamara; Coleman, Harold A; Jenkin, Graham; Miller, Suzanne L

    2014-01-01

    Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is associated with impaired cardiac function in childhood and is linked to short- and long-term morbidities. Placental dysfunction underlies most IUGR, and causes fetal oxidative stress which may impact on cardiac development. Accordingly, we investigated whether antenatal melatonin treatment, which possesses antioxidant properties, may afford cardiovascular protection in these vulnerable fetuses. IUGR was induced in sheep fetuses using single umbilical artery ligation on day 105–110 of pregnancy (term 147). Study 1: melatonin (2 mg h−1) was administered i.v. to ewes on days 5 and 6 after surgery. On day 7 fetal heart function was assessed using a Langendorff apparatus. Study 2: a lower dose of melatonin (0.25 mg h−1) was administered continuously following IUGR induction and the ewes gave birth normally at term. Lambs were killed when 24 h old and coronary vessels studied. Melatonin significantly improved fetal oxygenation in vivo. Contractile function in the right ventricle and coronary flow were enhanced by melatonin. Ischaemia–reperfusion-induced infarct area was 3-fold greater in IUGR hearts than in controls and this increase was prevented by melatonin. In isolated neonatal coronary arteries, endothelium-dependent nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability was reduced in IUGR, and was rescued by modest melatonin treatment. Melatonin exposure also induced the emergence of an indomethacin-sensitive vasodilation. IUGR caused marked stiffening of the coronary artery and this was prevented by melatonin. Maternal melatonin treatment reduces fetal hypoxaemia, improves heart function and coronary blood flow and rescues cardio-coronary deficit induced by IUGR. PMID:24710061

  8. Population, agriculture, and the environment in Africa.

    PubMed

    Cleaver, K; Schreiber, G

    1992-06-01

    An overview is provided of the World Bank study about the interaction between rapid population growth, poor agricultural performance, and environmental degradation. The links between these 3 phenomena are identified as traditional methods of crop and livestock production, land tenure systems, women's responsibilities, and methods of forest use. When land was abundant and capital limited, pastoralism, shifting cultivation, and setting aside fallow land was possible. Mobility and allowances for natural regeneration of vegetation could not continue with rapid population growth. Permanent settlements developed but cultivation methods remained the same; the result was deterioration of soil fertility, low yields, and erosion of soil as occurred in Rwanda, Burkina Faso, and parts of Nigeria. Technological innovation has been slow and poor roads have interfered with a market oriented economy. Inappropriate pricing, exchange rates, and fiscal policies also prevent productivity gains. A heavy demand is placed on women's time. Demand for children is high and is stimulated by environmental degradation, food insecurity, land tenure systems, and cultural traditions. Child labor is needed. The demand for contraception is 30-50% in North Africa, 36-55% in Asia, and 40-60% in South America. Land ownership problems have arisen under community ownership and between herders and settlers. Solutions have ranged from land nationalization and arbitrary designation of individual ownership. Open access situations have developed and lent themselves to exploitation. Fuelwood needs have exacerbated the destruction of forests. Commercial logging accounted for 10-20% of the forest loss. New approaches are needed to link cross-sectionally population, the environment, an agriculture. Emphasis should be on resource conservation, family planning, and environmentally benign intensive farming. Agricultural production needs to grow at 4%/year, fertility lowered by 50% over 30 years, and deforestation

  9. SAR Agriculture Rice Production Estimation (SARPE)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raimadoya, M.

    2013-12-01

    The study of SAR Agriculture Rice Production Estimation (SARPE) was held in Indonesia on 2012, as part of Asia-Rice Crop Estimation & Monitoring (Asia-RiCE), which is a component for the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) initiative. The study was expected to give a breakthrough result, by using radar technology and paradigm shift of the standard production estimation system from list frame to area frame approach. This initial product estimation system is expected to be refined (fine tuning) in 2013, by participating as part of Technical Demonstration Site (Phase -1A) of Asia-RICE. The implementation period of this initial study was from the date of March 12 to December 10, 2012. The implementation of the study was done by following the approach of the BIMAS-21 framework, which has been developed since 2008. The results of this study can be briefly divided into two major components, namely: Rice-field Baseline Mapping (PESBAK - Peta Sawah Baku) and Crop Growth Monitoring. Rice-fields were derived from the mapping results of the Ministry of Agriculture (Kemtan), and validated through Student Extension Campaign of the Faculty of Agriculture, Bogor Agricultural University (IPB). While for the crop growth, it was derived from the results of image analysis process. The analysis was done, either on radar/Radarsat-2 (medium resolution) or optical/ MODIS (low resolution), based on the Planting Calendar (KATAM) of Kemtan. In this case, the planting season II/2012-2013 of rice production centers in West Java Province (Karawang, Subang and Indramayu counties). The selection of crop season and county were entirely dependent on the quality of the available PESBAK and procurement process of radar imagery. The PESBAK is still in the form of block instead of fields, so it can not be directly utilized in this study. Efforts to improve the PESBAK can not be optimal because the provided satellite image (ECW format) is not the original one. While the procurement process of

  10. An Improved Method of Mitigating Laser Induced Surface Damage Growth in Fused Silica Using a Rastered, Pulsed CO2 Laser

    SciTech Connect

    Bass, I L; Guss, G M; Nostrand, M J; Wegner, P L

    2010-10-21

    A new method of mitigating (arresting) the growth of large (>200 m diameter and depth) laser induced surface damage on fused silica has been developed that successfully addresses several issues encountered with our previously-reported large site mitigation technique. As in the previous work, a tightly-focused 10.6 {micro}m CO{sub 2} laser spot is scanned over the damage site by galvanometer steering mirrors. In contrast to the previous work, the laser is pulsed instead of CW, with the pulse length and repetition frequency chosen to allow substantial cooling between pulses. This cooling has the important effect of reducing the heat-affected zone capable of supporting thermo-capillary flow from scale lengths on the order of the overall scan pattern to scale lengths on the order of the focused laser spot, thus preventing the formation of a raised rim around the final mitigation site and its consequent down-stream intensification. Other advantages of the new method include lower residual stresses, and improved damage threshold associated with reduced amounts of redeposited material. The raster patterns can be designed to produce specific shapes of the mitigation pit including cones and pyramids. Details of the new technique and its comparison with the previous technique will be presented.

  11. Growth Hormone-Releasing Peptide 6 Enhances the Healing Process and Improves the Esthetic Outcome of the Wounds

    PubMed Central

    Mendoza Marí, Yssel; Fernández Mayola, Maday; Aguilera Barreto, Ana; García Ojalvo, Ariana; Bermúdez Alvarez, Yilian; Mir Benítez, Ana Janet; Berlanga Acosta, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    In addition to its cytoprotective effects, growth hormone-releasing peptide 6 (GHRP-6) proved to reduce liver fibrotic induration. CD36 as one of the GHRP-6 receptors appears abundantly represented in cutaneous wounds granulation tissue. The healing response in a scenario of CD36 agonistic stimulation had not been previously investigated. Excisional full-thickness wounds (6 mmØ) were created in the dorsum of Wistar rats and topically treated twice a day for 5 days. The universal model of rabbit's ears hypertrophic scars was implemented and the animals were treated daily for 30 days. Treatments for both species were based on a CMC jelly composition containing GHRP-6 400 μg/mL. Wounds response characterization included closure dynamic, RT-PCR transcriptional profile, histology, and histomorphometric procedures. The rats experiment indicated that GHRP-6 pharmacodynamics involves attenuation of immunoinflammatory mediators, their effector cells, and the reduction of the expression of fibrotic cytokines. Importantly, in the hypertrophic scars rabbit's model, GHRP-6 intervention dramatically reduced the onset of exuberant scars by activating PPARγ and reducing the expression of fibrogenic cytokines. GHRP-6 showed no effect on the reversion of consolidated lesions. This evidence supports the notion that CD36 is an active and pharmacologically approachable receptor to attenuate wound inflammation and accelerate its closure so as to improve wound esthetic. PMID:27200188

  12. Proliferative Activity of Liver Growth Factor is Associated with an Improvement of Cigarette Smoke-Induced Emphysema in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Terrón-Expósito, Raúl; Díaz-Gil, Juan José; González-Mangado, Nicolás; Peces-Barba, Germán

    2014-01-01

    Cigarette smoke (CS)-induced emphysema is a major component of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD treatment is based on the administration of bronchodilators and corticosteroids to control symptoms and exacerbations, however, to date, there are no effective therapies to reverse disease progression. Liver growth factor (LGF) is an albumin-bilirubin complex with mitogenic properties, whose therapeutic effects have previously been reported in a model of emphysema and several rodent models of human disease. To approach the therapeutic effect of LGF in a model of previously established emphysema, morphometric and lung function parameters, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity and the expression of several markers, such as VEGF, PCNA, 3NT and Nrf2, were assessed in air-exposed and CS-exposed C57BL/6J male mice with and without intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of LGF. CS-exposed mice presented a significant enlargement of alveolar spaces, higher alveolar internal area and loss of lung function that correlated with higher MMP activity, higher expression of 3NT and lower expression of VEGF. CS-exposed mice injected with LGF, showed an amelioration of emphysema and improved lung function, which correlated with lower MMP activity and 3NT expression and higher levels of VEGF, PCNA and Nrf2. Taken together, this study suggests that LGF administration ameliorates CS-induced emphysema, highlights the ability of LGF to promote alveolar cell proliferation and may be a promising strategy to revert COPD progression. PMID:25401951

  13. Protein localization of epidermal growth factor in sheep ovaries and improvement of follicle survival and antrum formation in vitro.

    PubMed

    Santos, L P; Barros, V R P; Cavalcante, A Y P; Menezes, V G; Macedo, T J S; Santos, J M S; Araújo, V R; Queiroz, M A A; Matos, M H T

    2014-10-01

    The aims of this study were to characterize EGF protein expression in ovine ovaries and to verify the effect of EGF on the in vitro development of isolated pre-antral follicles. After collection, ovarian tissue was fixed for immunohistochemical analysis. Additional pairs of ovaries were collected, and secondary follicles were cultured for 18 days in α-MEM(+) (control) alone or supplemented with EGF (1, 10 or 50 ng/ml). The immunostaining for EGF was observed in oocytes from pre-antral and antral follicles, in granulosa cells of primary and secondary follicles, as well as in cumulus and mural cells of antral follicles. After 18 days, the results showed that treatment with 50 ng/ml EGF significantly increased the percentage of morphologically normal follicles compared with the control group (α-MEM(+) ) and significantly reduced the precocious extrusion of oocytes and increased the percentage of antral follicles compared with the control and 1 ng/ml EGF. All the treatments induced a progressive and significant increase of the follicular diameter throughout the period of culture. However, there were no significant differences in follicular diameter or in the daily growth rate among treatments. In conclusion, this study demonstrated the presence of EGF in ovine ovaries. Moreover, 50 ng/ml EGF increased the percentage of normal follicles and improved antrum formation in isolated ovine follicles after 18 days of in vitro culture. PMID:25130906

  14. PROLink-Single Step Circularization and Purification Procedure for the Generation of an Improved Variant of Human Growth Hormone.

    PubMed

    Rasche, Nicolas; Tonillo, Jason; Rieker, Marcel; Becker, Stefan; Dorr, Brent; Ter-Ovanesyan, Dmitry; Betz, Ulrich A K; Hock, Björn; Kolmar, Harald

    2016-05-18

    Human growth hormone (hGH) plays an important role during human development and is also an approved therapeutic for the treatment of several diseases. However, one major drawback of hGH is its short circulating half-life requiring frequent administration, which is inconvenient and painful for the patients. Recent publications indicate that circularization greatly increases the stability of proteins due to their protection from exoproteolytic attack and a higher thermal stability of the circular form. Using sortase A, a transpeptidase isolated from Staphylococcus aureus, we developed a single step solid-phase circularization and purification procedure resulting in a circular version of hGH with improved properties. We could show that circular hGH binds to the recombinant hGH receptor with binding kinetics similar to those of linear hGH and that circularization does not alter the biological activity of hGH in vitro. Besides, circular hGH showed almost complete resistance toward exoproteolytic attack and slightly increased thermal stability which could possibly translate into an extended plasma half-life. T