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  Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology

Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology A (ISSN 2161-6256) and Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology B (ISSN 2161-6264) (Earlier title: Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology, ISSN 1939-1250) are published monthly in hard copy by David Publishing Company located at 1840 Industrial Drive, Suite 160, Libertyville, Illinois 60048, USA.

ISSN:A ISSN 2161-6256; B ISSN 2161-6264
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Volume 1, Number 1 A, 2011
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Abstract: The Red Palm Weevil (RPW), Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier), (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Rhynchophorinae), is an invasive species that is originated from Southeast Asia. It has invaded Middle East and several countries of the Mediterranean Basin during the last three decades where it attacks palm trees. During the last three decades, multiple introductions of RPW to the Middle East, Europe and Caribbean (Island of Curacao, Netherland Antilles), Lebanon and United States of America (Laguna Beach, Orange County, California) (USA) have occurred and the RPW is now a serious pest of many palm species. Duration of all life parameters varies significantly where the entire life cycle takes about 45 to 298 days. Different artificial diets were developed and were tested for mass rearing of RPW. Control of RPW is difficult due to the concealed nature of the life cycle of the pest. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy has been applied successfully to deal with RPW problem. The IPM strategy consists of various preventive and curative methods; those methods were categorized in nine categories in this review. The main objective of this work was to review the existing knowledge on RPW’s different aspects, with an ultimate aim of revealing the actual situation of the research on RPW.


Key words: Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, economic importance, biology, biogeography, Integrated Pest Management (IPM).


Teaching Locally, Engaging Globally to Enhance the Undergraduate Curriculum: A Social Science Research and Evaluation Perspective

K. E. Dooley, G. Roberts, M. Navarro, A. Harder, T. Murphrey, J. Ricketts and J. Lindner


Abstract: The purpose of this project is to reach more students in food, agricultural, and environmental sciences with a globalized undergraduate curriculum, by providing contextually-rich reusable learning objects (RLOs) and authentic case studies that address multidisciplinary issues. Reusable learning objects (RLOs) are self–contained, digital learning activities that range in length from 2 to 15 minutes. RLOs can contain a wide array of media, including text, web sites, charts, maps, models, PowerPoint presentations, photos, case studies, simulations, video clips, audio clips, and assessments. Food and agricultural sciences faculty at the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, and Texas A&M University have been selected to be part of a Faculty Learning Community that will work together in curriculum and RLO development, and will participate in an international study experience funded by this project. For each experience, a group of approximately ten faculty and three project team members will spend roughly two weeks in a Latin American/Caribbean basin country. Various social science data collection processes and evaluation strategies will be the focus of the presentation. The use of preflective and reflective instruments to measure initial attitudes or beliefs about the context-rich multidisciplinary experience and expected gains from participating in the curricula development will be demonstrated.


Key words: Reusable learning objects (RLO), social science research, internationalizing curriculum, global competency.

Chemical Fractionation and Sorption of Phosphorus in Greek Inceptisols

M. Bastounopoulou, D. Gasparatos, C. Haidouti and I. Massas



Abstract: Phosphorus fractionation and sorption, both separately and jointly, were studied in two cultivated Inceptisols in Northern Greece. Hedley’s extraction was used to separate soil phosphorus (P) into inorganic Pi (geochemical) and organic Po (biological) fractions. Direct extractable P by Olsen (Olsen-P), by Mehlich III (M3-P) and by ammonium oxalate (Pox) was also determined. Phosphorus sorption was carried out with 1:10 soil/solution ratio and sorption parameters were derived from the Langmuir model to the experimental data. Most of the total P occurred in inorganic P forms (74% of Pt), while organic P comprised only 26% of the Pt. Among the various inorganic P forms relatively large amount of residual P (111 mg kg-1) was observed, while occluded P in calcium phosphate minerals (d.HCl-Pi) and in Fe, Al-oxides (c.HCl-Pi) existed in equal amounts (83.1 and 83.7 mg kg-1 respectively). The phosphorus sorption parameters showed positive relationships with clay content, cation exchange capacity and the sum of exchangeable calcium plus magnesium. Overall, this study indicated that Ca and Mg compounds strongly influence the P chemistry in moderately weathered soils, with relatively high concentration of primary P minerals.


Key words: Phosphorus fractionation, sorption, langmuir equation, inceptisols.

Abstract: The experiment was conducted during the short dry and the short rainy seasons in 2008. A botanical inventory and relative frequencies of forage selected by Djallonké sheep grazing were developed by observation and hand-plucking. Chemical composition and in vitro organic matter digestibility (IVOMD) of hand-plucked material was determined. From July to October, woody plants are a major component of the sheep diet. Sheep selected 40 woody plants and 21 species of herbaceous. During the dry season, grazing occurred more frequently in the fallows. The most frequent woody species belonged to Elaeis guineensis and Fagara zanthoxyloides. At the rainy season, a high proportion of Panicum maximum and Eleucine indica were sampled. Crude protein was high in woody leavesat the dry season. Crude fibre were more variable in herbaceous than in woody and herbaceous were generally higher in the levels of fibre. Chromolaena odorata, Citrus sinensis, Vitex doniana were very high in IVOMD. Spondias mombin, Moringa oleifera, Persea americana, Psidium guajava, Dialium guineense presented lowest values in IVOMD. Among herbaceous, Andropogon gayanus and Panicum maximum still presented a high value of IVOMD at the dry season. High proteins suggest woody with potential as nitrogen supplements to ruminants fed low quality forage during the dry season.


Key words: Woody, herbaceous, botanical inventory, nutritive value, livestock, sheep.

Abstract: Two classification and identification methods based on pattern discrimination models and the majority-vote technique were investigated for implementing a World Wide Web-based system for the identification of rice diseases. The experiment was carried out using color and shape patterns in 425 images of three rice diseases, which were classified into four classes: two classes of leaf blast, and one class each of sheath blight and brown spot. A method consisting of two discrimination steps involving application of multiple discrimination models of a support vector machine gave the best result because of its capacity to evaluate the similarity of disease types. This accuracy of the method was 88% for leaf blast (A-type), 94% for sheath blight, and 80% for leaf blast (B-type) and brown spot; on average, the accuracy of this method was 5% greater than that of the other method when three classes were used in the model. Although the accuracy of both methods was inadequate, the results of this study show that it is possible to estimate the least number of possible or similar diseases from a large number of diseases. Therefore, we conclude that there is merit in grouping classes into subgroups rather than attempting to discriminate between all classes simultaneously and that these methods are effective in identifying diseases for web-based diagnosis.


Key words: Image features, web-based diagnosis, disease identification, pattern discrimination, support vector machine.

Abstract: Phytophthora root and crown rot was found on the fruit trees in Bulgaria for the first time in the period 1998-1999. Monitoring of the disease spread from 2000 to 2007 points out incidence between 2 and 14 per cent, in some orchards and nurseries in the Southern part of Bulgaria. The following Phytophthora species were identified based on morphological and cultural characteristics, and temperature requirements: Phytophthora cactorum, Phytophthora citrophthora, Phytophthora drechsleri, Phytophthora cryptogea, Phytophthora hybrid specie and Pythium. Prevailing specie was P. cactorum.  P. cryptogea and P. cactorum were confirmed by application of molecular methods. Nutritional requirements of P. cactorum and P. citrophthora were studied. Most Nitrogen sources stimulated the mycelial growth of P. cactorum to a higher extend, and reduced the colony size of P. citrophthora. Different Carbon sources were utilized well by P. cactorum, and only saccharose and maltose had a stimulating effect on the mycelial growth of P. citrophthora. MgSO4.7H2O was the preferred sulfur source for both fungi, as L-cysteine and L-methionine only for P. cactorum. Phytophthora infection leads to physiological changes in the host plant tissues. The tendency traced out is: about disorders in the amino acid metabolism, increase in the total sugars and slight reduction of the cellulose content. The total nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content are reduced and the calcium and magnesium are increased. Photosynthesis of inoculated plants was suppressed and transpiration was increased.


Key words: Phytophthora root and crown rot, carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen and sulfur sources, amino acids content, photosynthesis.

Abstract: The rationale behind the use of soil amendments by traditional marginal farmers against soil borne pathogen is an area of interest. The present work ascertain the effect of certain soil amendments against pre emergent and post emergent rot of French bean in the agro climatic condition of Manipur. Four soil amendments:cow dung (CoD), sawdust (SD) + paddy husk (PH), decomposed floating phytomat (DFP) was tried in field conditions in four different combinations. These have been often used by the traditional farmers. A locally available commonly cultivated pole type of French bean has been used for the study. Disease incidences in plots treated with these amendments were then compared with that of control plots where no amendments were made. The plots with a combined treatment of the soil amendments showed maximum seed germination and least post emergent rot against sclerotinia rot. But DFP showed effectiveness against rhizoctonia rot with maximum seed germination while saw dust showed maximum decrease in post emergent rot against rhizoctonia rot. The plots treated with organic soil amendments showed statistically significant positive effect against the pathogens as compared with untreated control plots.


Key words: Soil amendment, bean rot, soil borne pathogens.

Abstract: Identification of Ixodid tick species on livestock in two districts, viz., D.I. Khan and Lakki Marwat of Northern Pakistan were made during the period from March to November 2009 through animals’ survey and questionnaire. The main tick species were Amblyomma (14.3%), Boophilus microplus (18.5%) and Hyalomma anatolicum and H. dromedarii (67.2%). Out of 3009 collected ticks, the highest number of female (88.7%) and the lowest of males (11.3%) belong to Boophilus; the lowest number of female (22.4%) and the highest of males (77.5%) belong to Amblyomma. However, cows were more susceptible than buffaloes and camels ranked third to ticks infestation. Moreover, cows, buffalos, goats and sheep harbored mixed infestation (had more than one type of ticks), however, camels and donkey harbored single infestation (had only one type of tick). An emerging ethno-veterinary or traditional remedy is poultry keeping for ticks’ elimination in Lakki Marwat. The results of this research will be helped in taking appropriate measures to reduce tick infestation and to improve management practices. Hence, it will help to increase farm productivity and farmers income.


Key words: Amblyomma, Boophilus, ectoparasites, farms/houses, Hyalomma, Ixodid livestock, tick infestation.

Davana: A New Host Plant for Ralstonia solanacearum from India

M. K. Prasannakumar, K. N. Chandrashekara, M. Deepa and A. Vani


Abstract: Ralstonia solanacearum infecting Davana (Artemisia pallens Wall.) from commercial nurseries in India was isolated on modified semi selective media (SMSA). Here, we report a new host for Ralstonia solanacearum i.e. davana. It has huge demand in medicinal and aromatic industries. Isolate was confirmed as race-1, biovar-3 by morphological, physiological, biochemical and pathogenicity studies. Two sets of primers (OLI1 & Y2 and Y1 & Y2) were used in this study. Further, the identity of the isolate was confirmed by serological diagnostic kit obtained from International Potato Research Center, Lima, Peru and single chain variable fragment antibody specific to Ralstonia solanacearum used to confirm the casual organism.


Key words: Davana, new host, Ralstonia solanacearum, serological diagnostic kit, single chain variable fragment antibody.

Abstract: Sampling studies in North Dakota conducted from 1994 to 2003 showed that variable-rate N application could be practically directed with zone soil sampling. Results from variable-rate N studies using zone soil sampling were often less than rewarding due in part to the use of a whole-field predicted yield-based formula for developing the N recommendation in each zone. Nitrogen rate studies on spring wheat and durum were established in 2005 through 2009 with the objective to reexamine N recommendations and construct a new system if necessary. The results of the study and archived wheat N response data showed that the state should be divided into three separate N response regions. Within each region historic yields from low to high productivity were defined. The gross N rate was determined using the return-to-N concept developed in the US corn-belt states but with additional consideration for wheat protein value. The gross N rate is then modified by credits for previous crop, soil test N from zone soil sampling, tillage systems, excessive straw from the previous year, relative susceptibility to nitrate leaching or denitrification. Finally, the user is encouraged to use common sense and consider whether particular fields have characteristics that require more or less N fertilizer than suggested by the recommendation formulas.


Key words: Variable-rate fertilizer application, nitrogen fertilizer, fertilizer recommendations, spring wheat, durum wheat.

Abstract: The direct impact of seed-borne fungi on seed is considerable. Many fungi are serious parasites of seed primordial and maturing seeds and reduce yield of seed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Other fungi, including saprophytes and very weak parasites, may lower the quality of seeds by causing discoloration which may seriously depreciate the commercial value of seeds, particularly of grain when graded for consumption. Studies by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirmed the importance of the seed coat, and seed cells as infection sites as well as location of the mycelium of the investigated fungus. Macrophomina phaseolina. The present investigation is undertaken to study the colonization, infection and fungal establishment on different sesame seed parts by (SEM). A successful colonization of M. phaseolina to seed tissues was also detected. Different forms of pycnidial shapes were also observed.


Key words: Scanning electron microscope, Macrophomina phaseolina, sesame seed.

Abstract: Potato is the main material of nutrition comes after the wheat and, is subjected to attacks of different plant parasitic nematodes which cause serious damages in our country. Especially, root-knot nematodes cause serious crop losses on them. Due to usage of infested seeds, parasitic nematodes are increasing from year to year. In our country, so far, many infested hosts of Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid &White, 1919) Chitwood, 1949 were detected but there is no report on investigation on potato. During this study, adult females of root-knot nematodes were obtained via extracting gals of 133 tuber samples, collected potatoes fields in the Marmara region especially Balikesir, Bilecik, Bursa, Canakkale, Edirne, Istanbul, Kirklareli, Kocaeli, Sakarya and Tekirdag provinces during 2007-2008. During identification the species, second stage larvae were taken into consideration as well as genital preparations of adult females. For the identification classical methods were used together with molecular methods. As result, M. incognita was detected, only species detected among the Meloidogyne genus upon the 10 provinces investigated in Edirne province, Bosna village. This is the first report of the infestation of this species potato and also in Marmara Region.


Key words: Nematode, Meloidogyne spp., tylenchida, potato, the marmara region.

Abstract: The residual effect of organic and mineral fertilizers on selected chemical properties of an Alfisol in the long term soil fertility trial established in 1950 at Samaru, Nigerian savanna was assessed. The trial was left fallow for fourteen years due to lack of funds. Topsoil was collected from plots that received three levels of cow dung (D), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in all possible combinations. The soils were analyzed for selected chemical properties. Except for significant effect of applied P on available P, sole application of cow dung, N or P had no significant effect on all the measured soil properties. The interaction of D and P significantly affected the mean values of exchangeable Ca, Mg, K and ECEC in the range of 1.12-1.96, 0.62-1.11, 0.37-0.64 and 2.82-4.11 cmol/kg respectively. The most important results were the ability of the plot that received neither D nor P to significantly increase these parameters than the plots that received only one of the treatments. The results show that the fallow period has changed the effects of application of organic and mineral fertilizers on the soil chemical properties under continuous cultivation by modifying them towards those of a native savanna Alfisol.


Key words: Alfisol, chemical properties, fallow, long-term, mineral fertilizer, organic fertilizer.

Abstract: Wise decision-making on resource allocation and intervention targeting for soil management cannot rely solely on trial and error methods and field observations used by small-scale farmers: cost-effective soil fertility survey methods are needed. This study aimed to test the applicability of infrared spectroscopy (IR) as a diagnostic screening tool for making soil fertility recommendations in small-scale production systems. Soil fertility survey of 150 small-scale groundnut farms in western Kenya was conducted using a spatially stratified random sampling strategy. Soil properties examined were pH in water (pHw), total carbon (C), total nitrogen (N), extractable phosphorus (P), exchangeable potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and texture. These properties were calibrated to mid-infrared (MIR) diffuse reflectance using partial least square regression (PLSR). Cross-validated coefficient of determination (r2) values obtained from calibration models were > 0.80 for all properties, except P and K with 0.66 and 0.50 respectively. Soil nutritional deficiencies were evaluated using critical nutrient limits based on IR predictions and composite soil fertility indices (SFIs) developed from the soil properties using principal component analysis. The SFIs were calibrated to MIR soil spectral reflectance with cross-validated r2 values > 0.80. The survey showed that 56% of the groundnut farms had severe soil nutrient constraints for production, especially exchangeable Ca, available P and organic matter. IR can provide a robust tool for farm soil fertility assessment and recommendation systems when backed up by conventional reference analyses. However, further work is required to test direct calibration of crop responses to spectral indicators and to improve prediction of extractable P and K tests.


Key words: Infrared spectroscopy, nutrient constraints, small-scale farmers, soil fertility indices, groundnut.

Abstract: The study determined the research priorities in Swaziland agricultural sector. Data collection used existing documents on agricultural research prioritizing, Nominal Group Technique and modified Delphi technique, with analysis of data using content categorization and, group and individual ranking of submissions. Findings showed the agricultural priorities from national policies are tied-up with mitigating the effects of HIV and AIDS on food security, reduction of poverty and, sustainable development. The findings also revealed forty-three field crops areas needing research. Seven horticulture areas and eleven livestock sector areas were of high priority. A considerable number of research areas in field crops, horticulture and livestock indicated that the current research system has not adequately addressed research needs, despite efforts made by the private sector, University of Swaziland and Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, for Swaziland to achieve self-sufficiency in food production. Recommendation was that the identified research priorities should be used as basis for directing the limited resources in conducting agricultural research. The participation of all stakeholders would facilitate efficient use of resources and facilitate collaboration amongst research institutions. The University of Swaziland should develop research priorities aligned with national policies and objectives, to facilitate funding for research by both government and donor agencies.


Key words: Research priorities, agricultural research, agricultural sector, setting priorities, Swaziland.

Nematicidal Effects of Azadirachta indica Seed Extract on Meloidogyne spp.

F. T. Gravanis, I. K. Vagelas, S. V. Leontopoulos and D. Natsiopoulos


Abstract: Root-Knot Nematodes (RKN) Meloidogyne spp. significantly affects glasshouse tomatoes in Central Greece. Elimination or halting J2s could be an efficient strategy to control RKN. Recently, it was reported that a commercial product of Neem (Azadirachta indica) seed extract (Azadirachtin 1% Emulsion Concentrate-EC) significantly reduced the number of galls on tomato roots and egg masses, compared to the untreated control. In the present study neem proved to have a direct immobilising effect on RKN J2s. Different concentrations (0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50%) of the tested neem product were applied with water containing fresh J2s and in soil naturally infected with RKN. Records of immobilised J2s were taken after 10 min, 1 h, 6 h, 24 h and 72 h of Neem application in water and after six days of neem application into the soil. Neem solution concentrations 5% and 10%, resulted in 85% ± 3.2 and 100% of immobilised J2s. The same concentrations of neem when were added in the water for nematode extraction from the soil, resulted 14.25% ± 4.01 and 1.7%, of J2s extracted from the soil with a significant concentration effect (P = 0.008), compared to the untreated control. However, the neem product at high application dose significant damage the tomato plants caused phytoxicity.


Key words:Azadirachta indica, natural products, botanical pesticides,phytoparasitic nematodes, biocontrol.

Abstract: Laboratory and field studies were conducted on some aspects of biology and control methods of fruit stalk borer Oryctes elegans Prell., the study was conducted in date palm orchards in south Baghdad during the years 2009 and 2010. The laboratory rearing result of O. elegans indicated that the larval stage period was very long reached 6 months, the body weight of the mature larva was 7.61 gm, the length and body circumference were 7.58 and 5.23 cm respectively. The period of pupa stage was 19 day and 2.97 gm body weight, while the length and body circumference were 3.74 and 3.21 cm respectively .While the weight of adult stage was 1.67 gm and 3.14 cm, 2.71 cm for the length and circumference body respectively. Results of hand collection larvae in palm trees during the regular annual service, showed reduction in population density of adults to 1.4 adult/trap per week compared with 3.3 and 14.0 adult /trap per week in the orchards were larvae collected partially and without hand collection by using the light traps with solar energy (Magna Traps, Russell IPM) respectively. Also, the study proved the existence of an inverse relation between the moon light and adult activity, which affected on the adult number cough in light traps. These results indicated that the hand collection of larvae works during months January, February, March and April at synchronized with the larval stage on palm trees, and use Magna Traps as an effective method to control O. elegans through IPM programs in palm orchards .


Key words: Oryctes elegans, palm, control, light trap, integrated pest management.
Volume 1, Number 1 B, 2011
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Abstract: Tea plant is cross pollinated plant, it forms a variety of the tea Germplasm constantly in the long-term breeding process. Tea Germplasm resources are the material foundation for improving varieties and also the basic research which is good for developing and expanding tea well-bred varieties in tea field, especially in quality selection and biotechnology research. Furthermore, excellent tea germplasm is primary condition for tea breeding and quality. Therefore, identification and screening excellent tea germplasm become particularly important. We need accelerate develop high-quality tea varieties, and it need to base on exploring and studying tea germplasm. This paper reviews the research progress of tea germplasm on identification from morphological characteristic, biological characteristic, quality characteristic, resistance and heredity. However, there are still some problems on identification and screening of tea germplasm, no effective methods have been found so far which apply on early identification and genetic engineering, so we should make intensive and long lasting study tea germplasm and analyze systematically various identification, which are benefit for breeding high-quality seeds, shortening the breeding period and summing the new way of breeding. We expect them to play the key roles and provide the theory basis for genetic improvement, classification and breeding in tea plant.


Key words: Tea, germplasm resources, identification indicators, review.

Using GIS Technology to Evaluate Transportation of Ornamental Crops in Georgia

J. Mantilla1 P. Thomas, F. Stegelin, J. Houston and M. Chappel


Abstract: In the agricultural industry, the importance of transportation costs increases considerably as fuel and labor costs climb. Logistic cooperation is an important strategic alternative to reduce transportation costs and increase efficiencies. Georgia’s ornamental industry is characterized by producers that share clients, routes and origins; however, each producer has an independent transportation system. This paper analyses a case study to determine if a transportation alliance, through a horizontal cooperation and routing junction among ornamental producers in Georgia, would reduce shipping costs, increase distribution efficiencies and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Routing and cost analysis were conducted followed by a sensitivity analysis for each constraint. Results showed that with the use of the GIS ArcLogistics 9.3 software, transportation alliances in the ornamental industry are profitable in terms of transport efficiencies and internal and external costs. Total cost savings per shipping cycle ranged from 1.0% to 13.2%, miles driven savings ranged from 1.1% to 13.6%, total number of trucks required savings ranged from 2.5% to 10% and driving hours savings ranged from 1.0% to 18.4%. CO2 emission reductions were also achieved ranging from 1.2% to 8.4% per shipping cycle.


Key words: Transportation alliance, horizontal cooperation, routing junction, ornamental, shipping costs.

Abstract: We evaluated whether hydro-priming could improve vigour characteristics and seedling emergence of local maize (Zea mays L.) landraces compared to two commercial hybrids under water stress at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg. Seeds from local landraces were produced and characterized according to kernel colour, white (Land A) and purple (Land B), and compared to two hybrids, SC701 and SR52, which are popular amongst local farmers. Seeds from each variety were soaked in water for 0 hours (unprimed or control), 12 hours and 24 hours, and germinated in a germination chamber at 25 for 8 days. Parameters measured included final germination, mean germination time (MGT) and germination velocity index (GVI). Seedling emergence was performed in seedling trays, using pine bark wetted to 25% or 75% of field capacity (FC), for 21 days in a temperature-controlled glasshouse (25 day; 15 night; 60% RH). Parameters measured included final emergence, mean emergence time (MET), root and shoot lengths, and leaf area. Priming landraces for 12 and 24 hours reduced MGT by 9% and 7%, respectively, compared to 5% in hybrids for both 12 and 24 hours priming. GVI of landraces was improved by 40% following 12 hours of priming. GVI of hybrids was 11% and 7% slower than landraces after priming seeds for 12 and 24 hours, respectively. Priming seeds for 24 hours improved emergence at 25% FC. Priming seeds for 24 hours reduced MET for all varieties. Priming seeds for 12 and 24 hours increased leaf area by 33.8% and 29%, respectively. Hydro-priming seeds for 12 and 24 hours, respectively, improved GVI, reduced MGT and improved emergence and MET of maize landraces under water stress. Performance of hybrid seeds remains superior to that of landraces even after seed treatment to improve germination and vigour. The positive response of landraces to seed treatment, and improved performance under water stress conditions, suggest that there is a need to identify genes for vigour in landrace maize.


Key words: Emergence, germination, hybrids, hydropriming, landraces, water stress.

Abstract: This paper is conceived at a time when new paradigms are sought for the development of a framework to deal with the problem of forest resources degradation. Deforestation in Bangladesh, has reached an alarming rate in recent years. The forest coverage of Bangladesh is one of the lowest and the deforestation rate is the highest of any country in the world. Coupled with the process of deforestation, flawed afforestration programmes have seriously exposed Bangladesh to environmental vulnerability. Considering this situation various strategies should be taken at different levels. The main objective of this paper is to suggest the possible steps that Bangladesh could halt and reverse the trend of deforestation. An extensive literature review and structured interviews of key informants have been used to collect relevant information to understand the reasons and consequences of forest degradation in the country. Based on the information gathered, this paper suggests some positive steps where the Government could be the main mitigating actor by implementing integrated programmes, which will also ensure mass awareness and wider impact. 


Key words: Deforestation, environmental degradation, policy options.

Association of Organic and Mineral Fertilization on Crop Yield and Theoretical Cachaça in Sugarcane

J. C. Garcia, P. A. M. Figueiredo, L. A. B. Andrade, I. A. Anjos and M. S. Scarpari


Abstract: We evaluated several organic fertilizers associated or not to mineral fertilizers, in the cane yield and theoretical sugarcane brandy in plant cane. The experimental design was randomized blocks, with nine treatments and four replications, constituted of: T1: Liming (1) + reactive rock phosphate (2) + chemical fertilizer (3); T2: 2 + 3; T3: 1 + 3 (control); T4: 1 + 2 + 3 + cattle manure (4); T5: 1 + 2 + 4; T6: 1 + 2 + 3 + chicken manure (5); T7: 1 + 2 + 5; T8: 1 + 2 + 3 + cane bagasse (6); T9: 1 + 2 + 6. It was applied the fertilizers in the following doses: cattle manure, 30 t ha-1; chicken manure, 3.5 t ha-1; cane bagasse, 24 t ha-1; reactive rock phosphate, 400 kg ha-1 and 120 kg ha-1 of K2O and P2O5, in the planting furrow. The limestone was distributed in the dose of 2.5 t ha-1. The variety was used SP 79-1011. The cattle manure substituted the chemical fertilization of plant cane. The cane bagasse, when used as organic source should always be complemented with the chemical fertilization; there were no effect of treatments in the principal technological characteristics of the cane.


Key words: Sugarcane, organic manuring, liming, reactive phosphate, cachaça.

Some Agronomic and Chemical Traits of Blue Aleurone and Purple Pericarp Wheat (Triticum L.)

F. Eticha, H. Grausgruber, S. Siebenhandl-Ehn and E. Berghofer


Abstract: Thirteen diverse anthocyanin pigmented wheat genotypes originating from different countries were investigated for agronomic and chemical traits. The results showed significant variation among wheat genotypes in yield and grain physical characteristics. Released cultivars were superior in grain yield, but other genetic resources exceeded the cultivars in regard to test weight, grain mass, or seed plumpness. In case of phytochemical content both genotypic and environmental effects were important for the observed variations. The total phenolic content varied from 120 to 177 mg ferulic acid equivalent per 100 g dry weight; total anthocyanin content from 3.4 to 75.2 ppm cyanidin glucoside equivalent; yellow pigment content from 2.6 and 7.6 ppm beta-carotene equivalent; protein content from 11.3 to 19.1%. The study demonstrated that Ethiopian wheats are a source of high levels of anthocyanins and protein content.


Key words: Anthocyanins, carotenoids, ethiopia, phytochemicals, pigments, seed colour, Triticum.

Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Strategies for Scaling-Up Jatropha curcas (L.) Production in Ghana

E. Owusu Danquah, R. Akromah, S. K. Oppong3, W. Oduro3, S. J. Quashie-Sam1, N. V. Thevathasan and A. M. Gordon


Abstract: Jatropha curcas (L) has gained popularity as a biodiesel plant to serve as an alternative fuel source and generate income to small landholders. From the Bioenergy policy of Ghana, the government is collaborating with the private sector to develop about one million hectares of Jatropha plantation throughout the country. The objective of this study was to assess the importance which farmers give to J. curcas compared with other indigenous tree species and identify the indigenous uses and niches of J. curcas in Ghana. Three farming communities were selected from each of the ten regions. A total of six hundred farmers, consisting of twenty farmers from each community were selected at random and interviewed with a semi-structured questionnaire. Results revealed that J. curcas was identified as one of the most important tree species in nine out of the ten regions.  Majority (56%) of the respondents indicated that it is mainly used for medicinal purpose and mostly found around homesteads. However, the study observed that, research attention is needed on integration into agricultural lands, germplasm collection and genetic improvement. These findings will help boost production of J. curcas in Ghana for the nation to realize her dream of alternative fuel from the plant.


Key words: Jatropha curcas, indigenous knowledge, bio-fuel, Ghana, biodiesel plant.

Abstract: Sesamum, an important oil yielding crop suffers a huge loss in its yield due to attack of large number of fungal pathogens. In semi-arid regions Sesamum is mainly affected by two major plant-pathogenic fungus viz. Macrophomina phaseolina and Fusarium oxysporum. The aim of the study was to analyze the metabolic alterations in Sesamum after infection with both pathogens. This accomplished by individually by (the word estimating is not quantitative) the levels of total phenolic compounds and the activities of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) of one week old plants. The PAL showed high activity in infected plants, revealing the active phase in the synthesis of secondary metabolites in the Sesamum plant after infection. As a consequence, in infected plants the contents of polyphenols along with salicylic acid (SA) considerably exceeded when compared to control plants. This in vivo study of M. phaseolina and F. oxysporum infection reveals the differences of resistance levels in sesame against these two pathogens. These results provide important information regarding the plant-pathogen interactions and also forfor Sesamum improvement programs seeking the adaptation to diverse range of fungal attack along with adverse environmental factors.


Key words: Fusarium oxysporum, Macrophomina phaseolina, phenylalanine ammonia lyase, polyphenols, salicylic acid, Seasamum.

Abstract: The goal of this study was to apply artificial neural networks to predict rain-fed wheat yield using meteorological data a few days to few months before harvesting. The climatic observation data used; were mean of daily minimum and maximum temperature, extreme of daily minimum and maximum temperature, sum of daily rainfall, number of rainy days, sum of daily sun hours, mean of daily wind speed, extreme of daily wind speed, mean of daily relative humidity, and sum of daily water requirements that were collected during 1990-1999 in Sararood Station for wheat phenological stages consisting; sowing, germination, emergence, 3rd leaves, tillering, stem formation, heading, flowering, milk maturity, wax maturity, full maturity, separately for each growing season. Then, they arranged in a matrix whose rows form each of the statistical years and the columns are meteorological factors at each phenological stage. Finally, the obtained model had the following capabilities: Prediction of wheat yield with maximum errors of 45-60 kg/ha at least two months before full maturity stage, determination of the sensitivity of each phenological stage with respect to meteorological factors, and determination of the priority order and importance of each meteorological factor effective in plant growth and crop yield.


Key words: Artificial neural network, wheat yield, climatic data, phenological stage, crop model.

Abstract: Heat treatments such as hot-water dipping (HWD), hot water rinsing and brushing (HWRB), and hot air treatment (HAT) have been applied on a wide range of horticultural crops to control postharvest decay and to maintain quality characteristics. In this study we compared the influence of hot-water dipping (HWD) for 2 min at 50 and hot air treatment (HAT) at 37 for 30 hours, on postharvest performance of kumquat (Fortunella japonica Lour. Swingle, cv. Ovale) fruit. Decay development, transpiration rate (fruit weight loss), external appearance, and nutritive (sugars and organic acids) and functional properties (ascorbic acid, total phenolic compounds, and total antioxidant activity) were evaluated over 21 days’ simulated shelf-life at 17 . Untreated fruits were used as control. There was no visible damage to the fruit following HWD or HAT and after storage. However, while HWD and control fruit maintained their fresh appearance during the first 14 days of storage and were rated as fairly fresh after the 21 days, HAT fruits had lost their gloss and no longer appeared fresh. HWD did not affect fruit weight loss while HAT induced significant weight loss with respect to control. HAT did not significantly affect decay incidence after 14 days’ storage but effectively reduced decay after 21 days’. HWD notably reduced decay development after 14 and 21 days of storage and proved significantly more effective than HAT. Neither HWD nor HAT significantly affected the nutritive and functional properties of fruit. Thus, present results indicate that while HWD can be applied on kumquats to control postharvest decay without impairing the quality traits, HAT conditions (treatment time and temperature) should be optimized, due to adverse effects to fruit quality.


Key words: Citrus, decay, heat treatment, storage.

Analysis of Genetic Diversity of Four Subpopulations of Chimonobambusa rivularis Yi in Sichuan

C. Y. Yang, S. P. Gao, B. Wang, Q. B. Chen, L. J. Yang and W. D. Liu


Abstract: A study of the genetic diversity within four subpopulations of Chimonobambusa rivularis Yi and adaptations to altitude, habitat and related factors in Qionglai City of Sichuan province in China, analyzed by random amplified polymorphic DNA technique. 22 random primers were selected in the amplification and 375 repetitive loci with 350 polymorphic loci were produced. The total average percentage of amplification loci was 93.3%. The genetic diversity of every subpopulation was medium on (the percentage of amplification loci was 49.33%-66.67%). The genetic diversity of high altitude samples of Zhengtiantai was lower than that of low altitude Wutonggang’s. There was no obvious differentiation between two subpopulations of Zhengtiantais. The correlation is very low between altitude and the amplification loci and the genetic distance, Pearson correlation coefficient was 0.431 and 0.488 (P 0.01). Through investigation, the primary cause of heredity multiplicity drops was that the habitat had been destroyed by tourism development and other human disturbance.


Key words: Chimonobambusa rivularis Yi, DNA-RAPD, subpopulation, genetic diversity, altitude.

Abstract: The identification of sugarcane varieties through remote sensing is studied to reduce the time taken to identify in the field, also is useful to identify non-certified varieties and to monitor the adoption of new varieties. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the Landsat 7 ETM+ images to discriminate varieties CC85-92 and CC84-75 in the Cauca river valley in Colombia. The method used to measure the spectral separability between varieties was Jeffries-Matusita. The results indicated that the only period where a clear discrimination of the varieties is between 4th and 5th months, with a global precision of 80.8% and kappa index 0.62. The proposed methodology and preliminary results show that remote sensing is a useful tool for monitoring and identification of varieties and could be used for identification of varieties already registered and planted in other countries without the consent of their true creators.


Key words: Sugarcane, remote sensing, varieties, Landsat 7 ETM+.

Drying of Fish Sardines in Oman Using Solar Tunnel Dryers

M. A. Basunia,H. H. Al-Handali, M. I. Al-Balushi, M. S. Rahman and O. Mahgoub


Abstract: This paper deals with the design, construction and performance evaluation procedure of a solar tunnel dryer in drying fish. A 12 meter long and 2 meter width half-circled tunnel was designed and constructed to dry about 50-100 kg of freshly harvested fishes per batch. The half of the tunnel base was used as the flat plate air heating solar collector and the remaining half as a dryer. The drying air was forced from the collector region (north side) to the drying region (south side) of the half circled tunnel where the product is to be dried. The drying temperature could be easily raised by some 5-30 above the ambient temperature inside the tunnel at an air velocity of approximately 0.2 m/sec. The test was conducted with 51.5 kg freshly harvested sardines (half-load) with initial moisture content of 66.5% (wet-basis) to analyze the performance of the dryer. The fishes were dried to a final average moisture content of 15.5% (wet-basis) within three days (30 hours). It was possible to reach the moisture content level for safe storage within less than three days (30 hrs) with solar tunnel dryer and 7 days in open air natural sun drying. The improvement in the quality of fishes in terms of color, brightness, flavor, and taste and food value was distinctly recognized.


Key words: drying, fish sardines, solar tunnel dryer, moisture content.

Abstract: An investigation was carried out in the semi- desert region of northern Sudan, during 2000, to study the influence of different micrometeorological parameters on growth and yield of sesame under alley cropping system. Sesame, cv. Kenana-2, was grown in 6-m wide alleys formed by 3 year old Acacia ampliceps and Acacia stenophylla. Air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, solar energy and shade behaviour were measured throughout the growing season. Irrigation was measured by water meter and soil moisture by gravimetric sampling at depths of 15, 30, 45 and 60 cm, in alley cropping and control plots. Sesame was evaluated for growth and yield performance in southern, central and northern parts of each alley. The results showed substantial reduction in wind runs, solar radiation and air temperature, while relative humidity was increased under alley conditions. Soil moisture content, especially in the upper 0–45 cm soil depth, was much higher in alley cropped plots than in the control plots. A. stenophylla resulted in the highest saving of irrigation water and considerably increased (40%) sesame seed yield. In contrast, sesame seed yield was reduced by 46% under A. ampliceps-alley cropping. Competition for light and water were highly responsible for variation in sesame seed yield in the different zones of the alley. A. stenophylla tree is, therefore, recommended in an alley cropping system in the semi-desert region of northern Sudan for its superiority in optimizing radiation and saving of irrigation water.


Key words: Irradiance, semi-arid, Acacia stenophylla, water use, sesame (Sesamum indicum L.), micrometeorological parameters.

Abstract: In order to study osmotic adjustment and accumulation of anions and cations in rice (0ryza sativa L.) seedlings under NaCl stress, a greenhouse experiment was conducted using two rice cultivars including IR651 (tolerant) and IR29 (sensitive). Seedlings were grown in Youshida nutrient solution. Salinity treatments were imposed 21 days after sowing with 0 and 100 mM NaCl and seedlings were harvested 0, 72, 120 and 240 hour after salinization. Water (Ψw) and osmotic (Ψs) potentials, total soluble sugars and inorganic ions (Na+, K+, Cl-, Ca2+ and Mg2+) concentrations and osmotic adjustment were determined in sixth (youngest) leaf. Salinity caused a substantial biomass reduction in rice seedlings. Ψs reduction in IR29 was occurred more than IR651. Water potential decreased in both the cultivars under stress conditions, but IR651 was able to maintain higher Ψw and kept better growth till the end of the experiment. Osmotic adjustment was observed in IR651 was about 10 times more than in IR29. K+ accumulation decreased in both cultivars under stress condition while Na+ accumulation increased in both the cultivars with higher increase in IR29 seedlings. Cl- concentration increased in youngest leaf of both IR29 and IR651. Our results showed that tolerant cultivar was able to make osmotic adjustment faster than the sensitive cultivar using high accumulation of solutes especially total soluble sugars.


Key words: Rice, NaCl stress, osmotic adjustment, solutes accumulation.

Abstract: The some physical and chemical properties values of pepino fruit were determined. The mineral elements (Al, B, Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, Se and Zn) of fruit were analysed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES). Organic acid contents were analysed via HPLC equipped. Ca (3,256.96 mg/kg), K (43,465.60 mg/kg), P (7,907.32 mg/kg), Na (1,496.13 mg/kg) and Mg (2,541.12 mg/kg) were established as major minerals in fruits. These results show that pepino fruit may be useful for the evaluation of dietary information in important food crops.


Key words: Pepino, S. muricatum, proximate composition, organic acid, HPLC, minerals.

Abstract: Information on heterosis and inbreeding depression for yield and agronomic characters is essential for sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) breeding programs. This research was conducted to evaluate heterosis and inbreeding depression for yield and agronomic characters of hybrids involving eight sunflower inbred lines. These inbred lines were crossed in 8×8 half diallel to obtain 28 F1 hybrids. The 28 hybrids were self-pollinated to produce the F2 generation. The 8 parents, 28 F1 hybrids and 28 F2 populations were evaluated using a randomized complete block design with three replications at two locations in Nakhon Ratchasima (SUT Farm and National Corn and Sorghum Research Center) in 2009. Mid-parent heterosis and inbreeding depression were estimated for yield, head diameter, oil content, 1,000-seed weight and plant height. Significant differences were found among the parents, F1 hybrids and F2 populations for all traits. F1 hybrid means were significantly higher than the parental means for all traits. In addition, F1 hybrids showed considerable heterosis and heterobeltiosis when compared with the mid-parent and better parents, respectively. Yield, oil content and plant height showed highly positive heterosis in F1 hybrids, ranging from 14.48 to 49.45%, 8.88 to 33.22% and 9.51 to 29.25%, respectively. Similarly, heterobeltiosis were positive significant for yield (19.22 to 49.04%), oil content (8.65 to 28.30%) and plant height (2.83 to 27.61%). However, 1,000-seed weight showed a low level of heterosis in F1 hybrids (-9.36 to 8.07%). Means for yield, oil content, 1,000-seed weight and plant height in F2 populations were lower than their respective F1 hybrids. Inbreeding depression in the F2 populations was comparatively high for yield, oil content and plant height. The cross of lines 5A × 2A gave the highest heterosis for yield (49.45%) and 1,000 seed-weight (8.07%) but low inbreeding depression for yield (10.06%). Based on the mean performance and heterotic effects for seed yield, 1,000-seed weight and oil content, the inbred lines 2A and 5A are suggested for the development of hybrids.


Key words: Sunflower, diallel cross, heterosis, heterobeltiosis, inbreeding depression.

Abstract: The effects of sterilization pretreatment, sampling time and growth regulators on callus formation, explant contamination and adventitious bud induction from stems of balsam pear (Momordica charantia L.) were investigated. Sterilized for 6 min with 0.1% (w/v) mercuric chloride solution is an essential sterilization method for stems. June and July proved to be better for material taking, followed by May. The callus formation rate of balsam pears reached the highest when medium added with IBA 1.0mg/ L and BA 2.0 mg/L, while the optimum medium for adventitious bud induction was MS added with IBA 0.5mg/ L and BA 4.0 mg/L. And it will provide theoretical and technical basis for rapid propagation and breeding.


Key words: Balsam pear (Momordica charantia L.), tissue culture, adventitious buds.



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 Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology A and Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology B, the monthly professional academic journals, particularly emphasizes new research results in realm of agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and veterinary, fisheries, agricultural engineering, food science, agricultural economy and so on. Articles interpreting practical application of up-to-date technology are also welcome.


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