Aframomum melegueta (AM) is an herbaceous plant consumed as an edible spice and traditionally used to treat common ailments in West Africa, such as body pains, diarrhoea, sore throat, catarrh, congestion and rheumatism. Moreover, AM has been used to treat infectious diseases such as urinary tract infections caused by Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, Proteus mirabilis, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp, and Shigella spp. Based on current literature, different parts of the plant possess specific phytochemicals such as flavonoids, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, tannins, terpenoids, saponins, and cardiac glycosides that have healing potential and medicinal purposes. These phytochemicals exhibit anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-allergic, anti-clotting, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and hepatoprotective effects. They also act as antioxidants to counteract free radicals, and immune enhancers as well as hormone modulators. However, research on medicinal properties of AM is still very limited. Therefore, more comprehensive studies need to be performed to elucidate the medicinal purposes of AM. This review summarises findings from previous studies on the pharmacological activities of AM.
The issue related to suitable wheat age after harvesting for producing flour is raised regularly during a harvest season. Therefore, determining the suitable wheat storage for different wheat strength and with high extraction rate (80%) is necessary to produce a good quality flour. Four varieties of bread wheat (Adina, Aibaa99, Sham6, and Rasheed) were tested. Gluten amount, gluten index, amylase activity, dough rheological properties (farinograph parameters), and flour size were detected. Results showed that gluten index was stable for Adina variety (the strongest variety), but it was reduced significantly during week 11th and 15th for Sham6 and Aibaa99 (weak wheat varieties) respectively. The α-amylase activity of all varieties was reduced during storage periods. Dough stability increased during storage period for all four varieties. However, the increment was higher in Adina compared to others (lower strength wheat). Mixing tolerance index (MTI) of Adina was changed slightly during the storage period while for other varieties MTI increased sufficiently. In conclusion, wheat varieties behaved differently depending on wheat strength, and there was no specific time that all that dough properties improved during the study period.
The Elateriospermum tapos seed extract is one of the major contributors to the therapeutic effects as remedy drink for chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity by the locals in East Malaysia. It is believed that the component in the seed, such as protein, plays an essential role due to its nutraceutical properties. Hence, we report the extraction of protein from the seed of E. tapos that has the potential biological activities. The protein was initially extracted using salt solution, which was similar to the local practice and maximal values of extraction yield (44 mg/g) was performed based on the extraction parameters; pH 8, sample to buffer ratio, 1:50 (w/v), 2 h at 80°C. Sodium dedocyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) profile showed that 7S globulin was the dominant protein in the E. tapos seed protein isolate (ETSPI), whereas Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis showed that the extracted protein consisted of α-helical secondary structure. This protein could be digested up to 72.5% in vitro. In the biological activity evaluation, the results showed that ETSPI exhibited angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory (56.6%/100 µg), lipase inhibitory (26.7%/100 µg), α-amylase inhibitory (31.2%/100 µg), free radical scavenging (33.4%/mg) and metal reducing activities (0.97 mM FeSO4/mg), which suggests that this protein has the potential in the aforementioned therapeutic effects.
α-amylase inhibitor, ACE inhibitor, antioxidant, in vitro digestibility, lipase inhibitor, seed protein
This study investigated total phenolic contents, antioxidant activities, and antidiabetic activities in flesh, seed and leaf extracts, and the fermented juices of Garcinia schomburgkiana Pierre (Madan). Seed extract showed the highest total phenolic content, radical scavenging activity and amylase inhibitory activity, whereas the leaf extract had the strongest ferrous ion chelating activity and inhibitory activities on glucosidase and lipase. The very strong positive correlation between total phenolic content and radical scavenging activity, and between ferrous ion chelating and glucosidase inhibitory activities were significantly found (r = 1.000 and 0.998 at P<0.05, respectively). Moreover, the Madan juice revealed the highest total phenolic content at 72 hour fermentation. However, production of radical scavenging and ferrous ion chelating activities of fermented juices increased at the start of fermentation. Additionally, amylase inhibitory activity increased during 24 hour fermentation, whereas glucosidase and lipase inhibitory activity reached maximal levels during 17 day and 48 hour fermentation, respectively. The total phenolic contents of the fermented juices were very strongly negatively correlated with radical scavenging activity, and ferrous ion chelating activity, significantly (r = -0.869 and -0.937 at P<0.05, respectively). In addition, the very strong positive correlation between radical scavenging activity and ferrous ion chelating activity was significantly found (r = 0.804, P<0.05). Our results indicated that G. schomburgkiana Pierre is a potential nutraceutical source, and its fermented juice can be further improved as a healthy fruit drink.
Antidiabetic activity, antioxidant activity, Garcinia schomburgkiana Pierre
The aim of this work was to monitor organophosphorus and carbamate insecticides in paddy field soils, water and rice plants by measuring anti-acetylcholinesterase activity, and heavy metal contents by an atomic absorption spectrometry. The results showed that the percentages of anti-acetylcholinesterase activities were found in the order of shoot > soil > root > grain > water. Concentrations of heavy metals in all samples were found in the following order: Fe>Mn>Ni>Pb>Zn, particularly Fe, Ni and Pb were found in concentrations exceeding their maximum permissible levels in all samples of water and rice plants. Interestingly, principal component analysis confirmed positive correlations (significantly: P <0.05) between the percentages of anti-acetylcholinesterase activities and heavy metal contents, between Zn and Mn contents, between Zn and Pb contents, between Pb and Mn contents, and between Pb and Ni contents. Additionally, the translocation factors (TFsoil, TFroot, and TFshoot) and bioaccumulation factor (BAF) above 1 of the rice plant were observed in order of Zn>Fe>Mn>Ni or Pb, Zn or Ni> Pb or Mn >Fe, Pb>Zn or Mn or Fe>Ni, and Zn>Pb>Mn>Ni>Fe, respectively. These data support developing a useful biomarker to monitor organophosphorus and carbamate insecticides and heavy metals, and management programs in health promotion and toxic surveillance for insecticides and heavy metals in food and environments.
Bioaccumulation, heavy metals, organophosphorus and carbamate insecticides, rice
Lantana camara L. and Parthenium hysterophorus L. are two invasive weed species in Malaysia, but sufficient information is not available on the uses of these invasive species for producing value-added products. Therefore, the plant extracts of these species were tested against the pathogenic nematode, Meloidogyne incognita to explore the possibility of using these species in the industry for commercial production of bionematicide. Aqueous extracts of the weed species were made at the Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) laboratory by mixing 0 g, 10 g, 20 g, and 40 g dried plant powder with 100 ml distilled water. The plant extracts (6 ml) at four different concentrations, e. g. 0%, 10%, 20% and 40% were added to the nematode suspension containing 50.33±2.52 Juveniles in urine jars, and the contents were kept undisturbed for 24 hours. The number of dead nematodes was counted by placing the treated extracts on the microscopic slide and was observed under a compound microscope. The data revealed that both the species had the killing effect on the nematode. Between two plant species, L. camara was more effective causing 83% mortality at 40% concentration of extracts. P. hysterophorus caused 81.5% mortality of the nematode at the same concentration (40%). The plant species might be the raw materials for producing bionematicide in the industry, and the effective concentration might be reduced by purifying and partitioning the crude extracts with appropriate solvents and techniques.
Bioflocculant is the extracellular polymeric substances that are produced as by-products of microbial growth with flocculating capabilities. Accordingly, a potential bioflocculant-producing bacterium was isolated from lake water and had been identified as Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis). The removal of heavy metals from synthetic wastewater and lake water samples that had been treated with bioflocculant produced by the strain was investigated. Synthetic wastewater samples were prepared by spiking the solution with known concentration of Cd, Cr, Cu whereas the lake water samples had been collected from Cempaka Lake, Bangi, Malaysia. Concentration of the metals in the samples before and after treatment by the bioflocculant was measured using ICP-MS. The removal of heavy metals in synthetic wastewater was found to be ineffective without further pH and dosage manipulations. On the other hand, heavy metals found in the lake water samples (Al, Zn, Fe, Cu) were effectively removed at 92.9%, 94.3%, 86.2% and 68.1% respectively; the treatment was optimised at pH 2 (p<0.05), while effects of varying dosages were proven insignificant (p>0.05). Bioflocculant produced by B. subtilis had been proven to be a good alternative to chemically-based solution in remediating heavy metal polluted waters.
B. subtilis, bioremediation, bioflocculant, heavy metals
Hard clams are found to overwhelm the benthic territory from the remote oceans in the marsh region, especially the tropical region. It is a filtered feeder that feeds upon microorganisms, debris and dissolved primal matter as the metabolic vitality hotspot for development. The abundance of food source caused mariculture of hard clam a possible practice in the open sea. Although harvested hard clams through mariculture progressively increase each year, they are still found to be less than oyster and cockle production. Knowledge of gametogenesis is essential for shellfish culture with a specific end goal to resolve the appropriate conditions for breeding. The gametogenesis is ordered into six phases, i.e. resting, early advancement, late advancement, ripe, spawning and spent. Fertilisation between sperm and egg occurs after hard clam spawning by chemical and physical incitement in the environment. Inseminated eggs experience several phases, i.e.; trochopores, D shape hatchlings, umbonal hatchlings and juvenile phase before ending up as mature shellfish. This review is chiefly intended to cover the biology and culture capability of hard clams, especially in Malaysia.
Biology, gonad development, hard clams, mariculture, veliger
This study investigates the prevalence, risk factors, and transmission of nervous necrosis virus (NNV) in a hatchery producing hybrid grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus Ã— Epinephelus fuscoguttatus) fry. The eggs and sperm of giant grouper (GG) and tiger groupers (TG) that were collected for breeding purposes within the 12-month study period were sampled to detect NNV. At the same time, three breeding attempts of different NNV status of broodstocks, which were NNV-positive GG Ã— NNV-positive TG, NNV-positive GG Ã— NNV-negative TG and NNV-negative GG Ã— NNV-negative TG were conducted. The produced hybrid grouper (HG) fry was then sampled at 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 60, 90, and 120 days post-hatched to detect the presence of NNV. The fresh fish, live feed, and commercial fish pellet that were used to feed the broodstocks or HG fry throughout the study period were also sampled for NNV detection. The water's physico-chemical parameters during each sampling were determined. The results revealed that the broodstocks had a low prevalence to NNV. However, when at least one of the broodstocks was NNV-positive, all batches of the fry were NNV-positive at high prevalence. There were consistent associations of ammonia and iron with the presence of NNV in both broodstocks and fry. Phylogenetic tree indicates the possible horizontal and vertical transmissions of NNV in the hatchery culture system. Understandings the epidemiology of NNV in a real hatchery condition can provide significant information for control and prevention of the disease.
Entada spiralis Ridl. (Leguminosae), locally known as Sintok or Beluru, is a tropical woody climber that grows widely in Malaysia. It is a valuable and well-known plant in herbal medicine due to its various traditional and medicinal applications. Crude extracts were obtained from the stem bark by using petroleum ether, chloroform, and methanol as extracting solvents and were then bioassayed for their biological potential. The antioxidant and α-glucosidase inhibitory activities of the extracts were assessed by using DPPH, ABTS, β-carotene, and α-glucosidase inhibitory methods. Qualitative analysis showed the presence of most of the phytochemicals in methanol extract; however, chloroform and petroleum ether extracts contained terpenoid and tannins as their major phytoconstituents, respectively. The methanol extract contained the highest amount of total phenolics (42.5 ± 15.85 µg GAE/mg) and flavonoids (28.94 ± 2.93 µg QE/mg), and showed the most potent α-glucosidase inhibitory activity with an IC50 value of 20.67 µg/mL. The same methanol extract exhibited the highest β-carotene bleaching inhibition (27% at 1 mg/mL), while methanol and chloroform extracts exhibited good radical scavenging activities (IC50 37.29 ± 0.05 and 90.84 ± 3.12 µg/mL, respectively) against ABTS and DPPH radicals. Bioassay-guided silica gel column chromatography purification of the most active methanol extract afforded 3, 4',5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone (6 mg). The compound displayed promising inhibitory activities against free radicals as well as α-glucosidase enzyme. These results suggest the potential use of E. spiralis Ridl. stem bark as a therapeutic agent against hyperglycaemia.
Protease inhibitors can prevent protein from degradation caused by protease activity. Blood plasma contains a variety of protease inhibitors. The objective of this study was to investigate the potential use of crude blood plasma from catfish (Pangasius hypopthalmus) and swamp eel (Monopterus albus) as protease inhibitors. The parameters observed were moisture content, protein content, ash content, inhibitory activity to trypsin and papain enzymes and protein profile of blood plasma. The inhibitory activity increased as the volume of blood plasma increased (25 µL, 50 µL, 75 µL, 100 µL). The inhibitory activity of blood plasma from catfish was 7.66-50.73% to trypsin enzyme and 20.34-83.05% to papain enzyme while the inhibitory activity of blood plasma from swamp eel was 9.49-46.35% to trypsin enzyme and 28.81-64.41% to papain enzyme. The highest inhibitory activity was demonstrated by swamp eel blood plasma with molecular weight between 19.84-174.14 kDa (13 proteins). Protein content of blood plasma from swamp eel (11.92%) was lower than catfish (16.63%) but resulted higher enzyme inhibitory activity. Further research can be conducted to carry out purification steps on blood plasma that are expected to show better inhibitory activity.
Blood plasma, catfish, protease inhibitor, swamp eel
This study aimed to investigate the seasonal variation of microbial quality in urban waterbodies along urbanization gradients. Bimonthly samples were collected from 14 recreational lakes and flood mitigation ponds in the Klang Valley, Malaysia, between May and October 2017. Samples were analysed for the presence and abundance of Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens, faecal coliforms (FC), faecal streptococci (FS), enterococci and total coliforms as indicator organisms, using standard methods. All studied lakes contained indicator bacteria that exceeded the National Lake Water Quality Standards (NLWQS) to varying degrees. The mean of the FC/FS ratios in all lakes exceeded four, indicating that the faecal contamination might have originated from human sources. Escherichia coli, C. perfringens and faecal coliform concentrations were negatively correlated with temperature (P < 0.01) and positively correlated with turbidity and suspended solids (P < 0.05). Non-parametric test results revealed that only the density of C. perfringens varied significantly according to season and urbanization impacts (P < 0.05). The Secchi depth transparency and dissolved oxygen (DO) levels explain the largest variation in bacterial communities. This study showed that contamination of faecal bacteria in the waterbodies varied spatially and temporally along urbanization gradients. Water quality monitoring and improvements are needed before the waterbodies can be used for direct body-contact recreation and as alternative water sources for drinking purposes.
This study determines the associations between the presence of bacteria and water physico-chemical parameters in peat swamp forest, paddy field and oil palm plantation in north Selangor, Malaysia. Sampling of bacteria and water physico-chemical parameters were conducted from four sites in the peat swamp forest, two sites each in paddy field and oil palm plantations. Oil palm plantation recorded the highest bacterial diversity (Shannon's H = 3.3713) and richness (IMargalef = 11.5955), while peat swamp forest showed highest bacterial evenness (Pielou's e = 0.9526). A total of 3,421 bacterial isolates from 39 bacterial species were obtained, which comprised of 11 Gram-positive and 28 Gram-negative bacteria. The highest number of bacteria was recorded in the oil palm plantation (1,552 isolates from 38 species), followed by the paddy field (1,191 isolates from 30 species) and the peat swamp forest (678 isolates from 22 species). In general, the most abundant bacteria was Escherichia coli (333 isolates; 9.73 %), followed by Salmonella spp. (288 isolates; 8.42 %), and Streptococcus agalactiae (252 isolates; 7.37 %). Moreover, E. coli recorded the highest isolated bacterium in the peat swamp forest (10.47%), paddy field (10.66%) and the oil palm plantation (8.7%). Inconsistent association was observed between the water physico-chemical parameters and the presence of bacteria in all studied habitats. However, multivariate analyses showed that water temperature, NH3-N, Cl2, DO, EC, SO4 and PO4 were able to influence the bacterial presence. This study showed that oil palm plantation and paddy field had the highest number of isolates, species, and bacterial concentrations due to the extensive anthropogenic activities in these areas.
Association, bacteria, north Selangor peat swamp forest, water physico-chemical parameters
Mud lobsters (Thalassina spp.) are nocturnal organisms, belong to Order Decapoda which are lesser known and least studied although their presence were widely distributed across the Indo-West Pacific Region. Mud lobster is considered as an important organism in the mangrove ecosystem for its burrowing activities and the role of its mounds or burrows as home to other animals. All mud lobster samples collected from four distinct regions in Sarawak (Kuala Tatau, Kuala Balingian, Sarikei and Lingga) were identified as Thalassina anomala based on the morphological characteristics. Morphometric variations between sexes of T. anomala were examined. Sexual dimorphism can be observed where males had significantly longer carapace length, left chelae propodus length and larger left chelae propodus width compared to females (p<0.05). Meanwhile, sexual dimorphism can also be seen in the abdominal width, in which it was significantly larger in females, for both absolute values (p<0.01) and also the relative values (p<0.001). The length-weight relationship of T. anomala were analysed between sexes by regression analysis. Results showed that males had isometric growth rate for carapace length-weight (CL/W), total length-weight (TL/W) and abdominal length-weight (ABL/W) relationships. However, females had negative allometric growth in CL/W and ABL/W relationship and isometric growth in TL/W relationship. Data from this study is able to provide baseline information which are useful for future reference on mud lobster resource management in Sarawak, Malaysia.
The issue of heavy metal contamination in urban stormwater has become a major concern for environmental pollution control agencies worldwide due to toxic effects on aquatic organisms and human health. The aim of this study is to determine the levels of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Cu, Cr and Zn) in surface stormwater and tilapia fish (Oreochromis niloticus) obtained from holding and storage ponds of the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) Project in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Results have indicated that the concentrations of all heavy metals in stormwater were lower than the recommended water quality criteria established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). On the other hand, the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn detected in fish were below threshold values suggested by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Malaysian Food Regulations (MFR) standards. Only Cr was much higher than FAO limits for fish consumption. Additionally, the content of Cr, Pb and Zn was higher in fish samples collected from holding pond compared to those in storage pond. As the study reflects that Cr in tilapia fish from SMART ponds is of a high concentration, certain harmful effects on human health may result. Accordingly, the research recommends avoiding fishing from ponds, as they accumulate a significant amount of waste consumed by the fish.
Heavy metals, Oreochromis niloticus, SMART ponds, stormwater ponds, tilapia fish
Podocarpus neriifolius D. Don. (Podocarpaceae), an endangered and the only indigenous gymnosperm tree species, grows naturally in Bangladesh. Seed-based propagation of this species is challenging owing to its inadequate number of mother trees and irregular seed-setting attribute from among a few trees scattered throughout the country. This study weighs the significance and multiplication potentials of this species through rejuvenated stem cuttings with or without the application of Indole Butyric Acid (IBA). The rooting ability of the cuttings was evaluated by treating the cutting bases with 0%, 0.2%, 0.4% and 0.8% (w/v) IBA solution prior to place them in a low cost, non-mist propagation system. Steckling performances of the rooted cuttings were evaluated in the nursery conditions. The study found that the species was amenable to rooting with IBA treatments. The highest rooting percentage (61.3 ± 3.3 %; n = 90) and number of roots per cutting (9.8 ± 1.32; n = 90 ) were obtained in the 0.8% IBA treatment; however, the longest root and shoot, as well as the highest initial growth performances were obtained in 0.4% IBA treatment. Therefore, rejuvenated stem cuttings treated with 0.4% or 0.8% IBA solution in a non-mist propagator could potentially be an effective method for the clonal propagation of these tree species.
Clonal propagation, endangered plant, IBA treatment, rooting ability, stem cutting
The Oriental pied-hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris) is highly adaptable to habitat changes compared with other hornbill species. Although the species is omnivorous, their diet varies between seasons and can be restricted by food availability and abundance in the forest. Recently, Oriental pied-hornbills were spotted breeding at a human settlement in the rural area of Sungai Panjang, Selangor in abandoned clay jars. As the female seals itself in the nest, the male plays an important role in provisioning its partner and the chicks. Therefore, this study aimed at understanding the male's food items and foraging sites selection in Sungai Panjang during the breeding season. Three hornbill pairs were monitored between 2009 and 2011 to examine their foraging activities. Video recorders were used and the males were followed every alternate day to their respective foraging sites. Results showed the number of visits made and foods brought back by the males to the nests were dependent on the location of their nests. The average visits recorded were between four and 12 times a day (mean visit per day: 9.07 ± 3.40). In addition, they utilised different foraging areas, such as oil palm plantations, orchards and forest patches. Interestingly, 50% of animals were brought back to the nests after visits to plantations compared with fruits that were gathered mainly from the orchard (48%), while the rest (2%) was unidentified. Forest patches were the least utilised site. In sum, the species has taken advantage of Sungai Panjang's agricultural background particularly during its breeding season. The findings confirm the species high adaptability to disturbed habitat.
Enhancers are indispensable elements in various developmental stages, orchestrating numerous biological processes via the elevation of gene expression with the aid of transcription factors. Enhancer variations have been linked to various onset of genetic diseases, highlighting their equal importance as the coding regions in the genome. Despite the first enhancer, SV40 been discovered four decades ago, the progress in enhancer identification and characterization is still in its infancy. As more genome sequences are made available, especially from that of the non-human primates, we can finally study the enhancer landscape of these primates that differs evolutionarily from that of human. One interesting genome to investigate is that of the proboscis monkey as it is deemed as one of the most ancient primates alive to date with unique morphological and dietary characteristics; it is also one of the IUCN endangered species with the strong demands for immediate conservation. In this review, we provide some justifications and considerations of selecting the proboscis monkey as a model for enhancer landscape discovery. It is hoped that more conservation research and protective measures can come in time to prevent this species from extinction.
DNA polymorphism at B-LβII region of chicken Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) was studied in Nigerian locally adapted chicken genotypes, namely: Normal-feathered, Frizzled-feathered and Naked neck with much less history of selection for economic traits, though, previously selected for response to sheep red blood cell (SRBC). Response to SRBC (1% suspension, i/v) was estimated by haemagglutination (HA) test 5 days post inoculation (dpi). Thereafter, high and low responding groups were generated. DNA was isolated from high and low responders at second generation of selection as well as randomly selected individuals from the locally adapted chicken population. The B-LβII was amplified with specific primers and an amplicon of 277 bp obtained in each sample was digested with three restriction enzymes (RE) viz., MspI, BseRI and TaqI individually. While the PCR-RFLP of B-LβII with MspI and BseRI had no cutting sites, TaqI RE exhibited monomorphic pattern with genotypes AA and at frequency 1.0 in the divergently selected groups. The Nigerian locally adapted chicken is known for high disease resistance. The monomorphic could be as a result of fixation of naturally selected genotype AA.
The occurrence of antibiotic resistance in pathogens is a growing concern globally. Development of multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria has overwhelmed new medical advancement and threatens patients with untreatable infections. The qualitative risk assessment study was carried out to investigate the relative effects of the main determinants of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria and to estimate the risk of the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance among humans in the swiftlet's faeces and its indoor air to human health. The methodology applied focused mainly on three main sections namely the hazard identification, exposure assessment, and hazard assessment. Sources of data for bio risk assessment include published literature, data from on-going research projects and data collected from the industry. The results showed that the prevalence of isolating Gram-positive bacteria were higher in swiftlet houses. Over half of the pathogenic bacterial isolates were multidrug-resistant to a wide range of commonly used antibiotics such as Bacillus, Enterococcus, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, Lysinibacillus, Paenibacillus and Sporosarcina. 80% of the bacteria isolates showed high MAR index of over 0.2. These emerging pathogenic antibiotic resistant bacteria are capable of causing life-threatening infections which pose a health hazard to our biodiversity.
The presence of heavy metals in aquaculture is a major concern due to possible toxicity effects to the organisms. Bioaccumulation with bacteria is an effective and economical way to remove heavy metals from the water. The objectives of this research were to measure the growth rate of probiotics (Bacillus sp. BpChIAY [BpChIAY] and Bacillus thruingiensis, [Bt]) under different concentrations of selected heavy metals, and to determine the ability of the probiotics to bioaccumulate selected metals. Bacterial strains were grown in nutrient broth with the addition of heavy metals (Cu, Cr, Cd, Zn, Ni) at 37°C to determine the growth under exposure to heavy metals. The bioaccumulation experiment was conducted by exposing the strains' pellets to heavy metals solutions. The concentrations of heavy metals were measured using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS). The bacterial growth percentages when grown under 2 ppm Zn, Ni and Cd for BpChIAY were 128%, 103% and 67%, and for BT, the growth rates were 97.7%, 98.8% and 36.2%, respectively. The findings showed the order of the toxicity in the order from the most toxic: Cu>Cr>Cd>Zn>Ni. Both strains were able to bioaccumulate the heavy metals, and BpChIAY was a better metal absorber than BT at the rate of 0.0539 mg/g for Zn, 0.0781 mg/g for Ni and 0.0256 mg/g for Cd.
Bacillus spp., Chlorella sp., heavy metals, probiotics, Tor tambroides
In spite of huge economic and medicinal importance of moringa, its cultivation in Nigeria is still very low. This is largely due to the fact that sound agronomic practices have not been established. To do this, pot experiments were carried out at the Teaching and Research Farm, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria in 2015 to determine the effect of growth media composition on early growth and development of moringa seedlings. The growth media tested were 100% top soil, 100% compost, 100% sawdust, 75% soil + 25% compost, 50% soil + 50 % compost , 25% soil + 75% compost, 75% compost + 25% sawdust, 5% soil + 50% sawdust, 25% soil + 75% sawdust, 75% compost + 25% sawdust, 50% compost + 50% sawdust, 25% compost + 75% sawdust and 33.3% soil + 33.3% sawdust + 33.3% compost. The experiment was laid out in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) replicated five times. Data collected, which included growth parameters such as seed germination (%), seedling vigour (scaled between 1 and 5), shoot weight, dry matter yield, stem height, stem girth and number of leaves and nutrient uptake, were subjected to analysis of variance and their means were compared using Duncan's Multiple Range Test (MRT) (p<0.05). Variation of growth media had significant effects on most of the parameter assessed. The result showed that 25% sawdust + 75% compost has the highest % seed germination 9 seedling/pot (92.6 %) and seedling vigour (4.5). Other growth media tested had less effect on the parameter studied. In addition, plants grown in 100% compost significantly outperformed others with regards to growth parameters' such as the stem height (91.66 cm), stem girth (1.95 cm), number of leaves/plant (14.53), fresh shoot (13.80 g), fresh root (28.36 g), dry shoot (5.90 g), dry root (7.50 g) and total dry matter yield (13.40 g). This superior performance is attributed to leaf nutrient uptake of 4.10, 0.56, 4.50, 1.40, 4.63, 87.47, 4.03 and 60.10 g/kg N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, and Zn, respectively. Result showed that the use of 100% compost gave the best seedlings with the highest nutrient uptake. It is therefore concluded that the use of 100% compost produced high quality moringa seedling with optimum leaf nutrient uptake, hence it can be considered as an effective medium.
Brassinolide (BL) is a plant hormone showing wide occurrence in the plant kingdom with unique biological effects on growth and physiological traits. The fig varieties, Improved Brown Turkey (IBT) and Masui Dauphine (MD), are commonly found in Indonesia and Malaysia. There is limited information on exogenous brassinolide application on these varieties. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the effect of different concentration of exogenous application of BL on growth and physiological changes of fig. Fig planting materials were propagated using stem cutting and then transferred into media containing 3:2:1 mixed soil (top soil: organic matters: sand). Two fig cultivars treated with BL (control, 50, 100 and 200 ml.L-1) were arranged as Split Plot Randomized Complete Block Design (SRCBD) with four replications. Plant growth (Plant Height [PH], Total Leaf Area [TLA], Total Dry Biomass [TDB], Specific Leaf Area [SLA], Shoot to Root Ratio [S/R] and Net Assimilation Rate [NAR]) and physiological changes (Photosynthesis Rate [A], Stomatal Conductance [gs], Transpiration Rate [E] and Chlorophyll Content [CC] were investigated every three weeks and at monthly intervals, respectively. Increasing BL concentration (50, 100, and 200 ml.L-1) caused some differences in growth and physiological changes of fig, but the differences were not consistent and most of the changes happened only in first or second month. Cultivar IBT showed higher growth and physiological changes than cultivar MD after receiving brassinolide treatment. There was significant effect of interaction between brassinolide and variety on growth and physiological changes of fig except in the parameters of plant height and total dry biomass.
Previous studies on the relationships between body weight and morphometric indices in chickens have been mainly on classical analysis with assumptions that, data have normal distribution and constant variances. A more reliable assessment of body weight and morphometric indices requires a Bayesian multiple linear regression with assumptions of unequal variances. Body weight and nine morpho-structural traits of 234 Nigerian indigenous normal-feather chickens were measured using weighing scale and measuring tape at sixteen weeks. Two different regression models (weighted and unweighted) were fitted in Winbugs software to obtain Bayesian inference for each sex. Predicted relationships between body weight and shank length, thigh length, keel length, body length, wing length and breast girth were positive and ranged from 0.272 ± 4.972 to 101.5 ± 24.56. Shank diameter, tail length and wing span had negative relationships with body weight and estimates ranged from â€“15.94 ± 12.31 to â€“4.608 ± 59.86. Goodness of fit of models was assessed using Bayesian pâ€“value, Deviance information criterion (DIC) and graph of residuals against predicted values under each model. The Bayesian pâ€“value (0.502) for unweighted model for male chicken was closed to 0.5 compared to its weighted counterpart (0.573). This implied that weighted model fitted relationship between body weight and morpho-structural traits in Nigerian normal-feather male chicken compared to unweighted model. The differences in DIC and Bayesian pâ€“values and residuals' plot against predicted values of weighted and unweighted regression models were sufficient for us to believe that weighted models fitted body weight and morpho-structural traits data better than unweighted models.
An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of animal manures and cutting height on the chemical composition of two Panicum maximum varieties harvested at different stages of growth. The experiment was laid out as a split-split-split plot design with four manure types (cattle, swine, poultry, and control) assigned to the main plot, three stages of growth (8, 10, and 12 weeks) assigned to the sub-plots, three cutting heights (10, 15, and 20 cm above ground) allotted to the sub-sub-plot, and P. maximum varieties (Local and Ntchisi) allotted to the sub-sub-sub-plot with three replicates. Results showed that swine and cattle manure fertilized grasses recorded (P<0.05) higher crude protein (CP) content than the unfertilized and poultry manure fertilized grasses. The grasses defoliated at 8 weeks recorded higher CP (10.37%), ether extract (8.77%) and ash (9.60%) compared to those harvested at 10 and 12 weeks respectively. Ntchisi variety recorded higher ether extract (8.94%) and ash (9.58%) contents than the local variety. However, the neutral detergent fibre (NDF) and acid detergent fibre (ADF) of the grasses increased with advancement in the growth stage. Grasses cut at 15 cm had higher Ca (4.66 g kg-1) while those cut at 20 cm recorded higher P (4.01 g kg-1) concentration. The quality of the grasses was influenced by the interactions (manure Ã— harvest time; manure Ã— variety Ã— cutting height; manure Ã— cutting height Ã— harvest time). Therefore, to harness the best nutritive P. maximum for the feeding of ruminants in Nigeria and other parts of the tropics, manure (cattle, swine, and poultry), harvest time, variety and cutting height, and their interactions are important factors to be considered.
Seedbed configuration inevitably affects the growth and development of fruit crops in a way that canopy overlaps which might lead to intraspecific competition. Hence, this study was conducted to evaluate the effects of varying seedbed configurations on growth and fruit physico-chemical characteristics of 'MD-2' pineapple. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four treatments and three replications. Seedbed configurations (25, 28, 30 and 32 seedbeds block-1, respectively) with a constant of 75,000 planting density hectare-1 served as treatments. All plants received similar intercultural management practices employed in commercial pineapple farm. Results revealed that growth and fruit physico-chemical characteristics of 'MD-2' pineapple were comparable in all seedbed configurations used. The results indicate that 'MD-2' pineapple production is still feasible using the 25 to 32 seedbeds block-1 configurations with a 75,000 planting density hectare-1.
To evaluate the decomposition rate and the C/N ratio of biomass residues from several crops that are the main food sources in Indonesia, a litterbag study was conducted from February to November 2016 on ultisols in Natar Village, South Lampung, Indonesia. There were four types of crops biomass residues used i.e., maize stovers, rice straws, shoots and leaves of cassava, and soybean stovers in the form of fresh or compost. A fifty gram dry weight of biomass was put into a litterbag, placed above the ground and at a depth of about 10-20 cm, and incubated for nine months. The remaining biomass (dry weight), the content of Organic-C, Total-N, and C/N levels of the remaining biomass in the litterbag were observed every month until nine months. The dry weight of biomass was obtained by an oven dried at 70Â°C for approximately 48 hours until reached the constant weight. The decomposition rates were measured as (k) = ln (X/Xo)/t. Results showed that the decomposition rate of the biomass residues of the four crops were different. The shoots and leaves of cassava biomass were most rapidly decomposed (k =-0.2830) and significantly different from others, followed by maize stover (k=-0.2066), rice straw (k = -0.1924), and soybean stover (k = -0.1675). Biomass of fresh or compost form and litterbag placement generally affected the decomposition rate of biomass residues.
Dung beetles are important bioindicator species in an ecosystem. The relationship between the CO2 concentration and percentage of soil organic matter (SOM) with the diversity and abundance of Onthophagus species was investigated as a model genus in a model sampling area in an oil palm plantation in the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia. In total, 554 samples belonging to 25 species of Onthophagus were collected. No significant differences in CO2 concentration during the day and night across the stations were found, except DCO2S1 vs DCO2S2 (p = 0.014, p < 0.05). Also, the diversity and abundance of species did not differ significantly (H'= 2.250 [diurnal] and H'= 1.854 [nocturnal]; p > 0.05). The dung beetle species recorded specifically during the day were O. aphodiodes, O. denticollis, O. cf. pacificus, O. dayacus, O. sp. 1, O. penicillatus, O. peninsulocupreus, and O."hairy group" (H'= 1.739), while O. babirussoides, O. phaenids, O. insicus, O. paraphamaeomorphos, O. peninsularis, and O. parachandrai (H'= 1.677) were observed at night. Furthermore, no relationship was discerned between % SOM vs diversity indices (r = 0.348), evenness (r = -0.289), and richness (r = 0.972) of dung beetles. This is the first study in Malaysia to illustrate a lack of relationship between CO2 concentration and SOM with Onthophagus spp. The preliminary data of this research can be used for future studies on diversity and ecology of dung beetles in relation to CO2 and SOM.
CO2, correlation, diurnal, Malaysia, nocturnal, Onthophagus, Scarabaeidae, SOM