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Open access

Ali Sharghi, Hassanali Naghdi Badi, Sahebali Bolandnazar, Ali Mehrafarin and Mohammad Reza Sarikhani

Abstract

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) is a valuable medicinal plant, which is widely distributed throughout the world. It has been known that plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) have positive effects on the quality and quantity of medicinal plants under different soil water levels. For this reason, a factorial experiment was conducted on the basis of a randomized complete block design (RCBD) to evaluate PGPR effects on the morphophysiological and phytochemical traits of fenugreek under different soil water levels. This study was conducted in two separate experiments: after the six-leaf stage and after the flowering stage. In the experiments, the treatments were plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) including the control, Sinorhizobium meliloti, Pseudomonas fluorescens, a combination of S. meliloti and P. fluorescens, and different soil water levels (i.e. 100, 80, 60 and 40% of field capacity (FC) in three replications. The results showed that the highest seed weight per plant was obtained by inoculation with the S. meliloti and P. fluorescens combination at 100% FC after the two developmental stages. The maximum concentrations of nicotinic acid and trigonelline were observed for the combination of S. meliloti and P. fluorescens at the soil water content of 40% FC after the six-leaf stage and for S. meliloti at the soil water content of 40% FC after the flowering stage. The correlation and stepwise regression analyses showed positive effects of PGPR application on the morphophysiological and phytochemical traits of fenugreek plants under different soil water levels.

Open access

Ewa Tomaszewska, Siemowit Muszyński, Piotr Dobrowolski, Anna Winiarska-Mieczan, Małgorzata Kwiecień, Agnieszka Tomczyk-Warunek, Marta Ejtel, Izabela Świetlicka and Bożena Gładyszewska

Abstract

Lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) are toxic metals occurring commonly in the human environment that show mutagenic, genotoxic and carcinogenic effects. Dietary components could prevent heavy metals intoxication by reducing their accumulation in the body. The purpose of the study was to check possible protective effect of regular consumption of white, black, red, or green tea on bone metabolism during long-term exposure to Pb and Cd in adult rats. The 12 weeks-long exposure to Pb and Cd (50 mg Pb and 7 mg Cd/kg of the diet) in a rat model was studied. 12-week old adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into a negative control group (Pb and Cd exposure without tea), a control (without Pb and Cd and teas), and groups co-exposed to Pb and Cd and supplemented with green, red, black, or white tea (n=12 each group). The experiment lasted for 12 weeks. The co-exposure to Pb and Cd led to the increase of bone resorption depending on the tea treatment, which was confirmed by the mechanical testing and histomorphometrical examination of cancellous bone. Pb and Cd influenced mechanical strength, reduced the densitometric and geometric parameters and the thickness of growth plate and articular cartilages. Concluding, white tea exerted the best protective effect on bone tissue and hyaline cartilage against heavy metal action.

Open access

Shafqat Nawaz Qaisrani, Ibrar Ahmed, Faheem Azam, Fehmida Bibi, Saima, Talat Naseer Pasha and Farooq Azam

Abstract

Threonine (Thr) is the third limiting essential amino acid after methionine and lysine in corn-soybean based diets of broilers. Dietary imbalance of Thr, therefore, results in a poor growth performance in broilers. This review summarizes literature data on the known effects of dietary levels of Thr on growth performance, gut morphology, immunity and carcass characteristics in broilers. Due to continuous improvement in genetic potential and management practices for poultry production, dietary Thr requirements are changing. A number of studies have shown that supplementation of Thr in broilers diet at a higher level, than the current NRC recommendation (0.74-0.81%), increases body weight gain, feed conversion ratio, and improve gut morphology, carcass quality and immune status, mainly by enhancing the functional capability of digestive system and immune organs (spleen, bursa, and thymus). According to the literature data discussed in this review, the minimal and maximal total dietary Thr levels for healthy birds reared in normal conditions were 0.67 and 0.90% for growth performance, 0.77 and 1.1% for a better gut health, 0.60 and 1.02% for immunity and 0.62 and 0.97% for better carcass characteristics, respectively. This background provides impetus to further investigate the exact level of Thr and its effects on growth performance, gut morphology, immunity and carcass characteristics of broilers.

Open access

Karolina Stasiak, Stanisław Kondracki and Maria Iwanina

Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the relationship of sperm morphology with age of males, ejaculate concentration and volume, as well as with acrosin activity determined in sperm acrosome extracts. The study used manually collected ejaculates from 9 male arctic foxes, including 6 young males aged one year and 3 older males (between 3 and 5 years of age). All of the 39 ejaculates used in the study were classified as normal based on motility exceeding 70%. The ejaculates collected from the foxes were evaluated for volume, sperm concentration and frequency of morphological changes including primary and secondary defects. The spermiograms of the male arctic foxes were classified according to a six-grade subjective scale. In addition, acrosin activity was determined in the sperm acrosome extracts. The data were analysed using the criteria of male age, sperm concentration, ejaculate volume, and acrosin activity. The morphology of arctic fox spermatozoa was dependent on the age of the male. A greater number of morphologically altered spermatozoa tended to occur in the ejaculates of young foxes, which were in their first breeding season. In addition, statistical analysis revealed positive relationships between the frequency of morphological changes in sperm and their ejaculate concentration. In contrast, there were no significant correlations between the percentages of morphologically changed spermatozoa and the ejaculate volume and the content of acrosin, which is an indicator of acrosomal integrity. Semen quality is dependent on the number of sperm in ejaculate with morphological defects which prevent oocyte fertilization. Therefore, morphological assessment of semen, which covers both the number and type of morphological changes, is highly useful when selecting appropriate males for reproduction.

Open access

Ewa Tomaszewska, Siemowit Muszyński, Piotr Dobrowolski, Małgorzata Kwiecień, Renata Klebaniuk, Sylwia Szymańczyk, Agnieszka Tomczyk, Sylwester Kowalik, Anna Milczarek and Izabela Świetlicka

Abstract

Faba bean (FB) seeds can be a good protein-energy component in animal feed. However, the presence of anti-nutritional substances is a negative feature of FB seeds. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of different levels of unprocessed FB seeds in feed on the gut-bone axis and metabolic profile in broilers. Ninety six, 1-day-old Ross 308 broiler chickens were randomly selected to one of the 3 dietary treatments (32 chickens in each, divided into 8 pens with 4 birds per each pen): the control group fed standard diet with soybean meal and without FB seeds, group I fed 8/15% (starter/grower) of high-tannin FB seeds, and group II fed 16/22% of high-tannin FB seeds. Bone mechanical examination, hematological and serum biochemical analysis as well histomorphometry of small intestine and liver tissue were performed. The intake of high-tannin FB seeds, irrespective of their amount, did not alter the bone geometric, mechanical and densitometric parameters nor influenced basal hematological parameters, however it resulted in: decreased serum concentration of total cholesterol and calcium; a reduced longitudinal myenteron of small intestine; increased mucosa and villus epithelium thickness, villus length, thickness and absorptive surface in duodenum; increased number of active crypts in jejunum; unchanged collagen area, intercellular space, and total cell number in the liver; decreased number of multinuclear hepatocyte cells. Moreover, the livers of birds fed the higher dose of high-tannin FB seeds had lymphocytic infiltrates in portal tracts and sinusoids. Feeding of unprocessed high-tannin FB seeds exerted an influence on the gastrointestinal tract by increased absorptive surface. In conclusion, the dietary inclusion of unprocessed high-tannin FB seeds had no negative effects on broiler growth, tibial bone mechanical properties and intestinal characteristics. Unprocessed high-tannin FB seeds may be used in broiler diets, but their dietary levels should not be higher than those discussed.

Open access

Yasin Baykalir and Ulku Gulcihan Simsek

Abstract

This study was conducted to investigate the performance of laying hens and to determine possible age-related changes on external and internal quality traits of their eggs and synthesis of Heat Shock Protein 70 kDa (HSP70) in the conventional cage and organic rearing systems. For this purpose, 4 different Bovans White hybrid flocks of the same age were monitored in each of these two systems for 52 weeks. While a total of 360 eggs were examined to determine the effects of rearing system and age (30th and 60th weeks) on egg quality traits, 48 liver tissue samples were examined for the analysis of HSP70. Egg production (hen-day) and dirty egg ratio were higher in the organic rearing system (P<0.05). The age at 50% yield, the age at peak of lay, and peak production rate were calculated as 156, 218.75 days and 95.98% in the conventional system, and 155.75, 201.50 days, and 96.56% in the organic system, respectively (P>0.05). While egg weight, albumen weight, yolk weight, shell weight, shape index, and yolk colour were higher in the organic system, the crude ash ratio of eggshell and shell ratio were higher in the conventional system (P<0.05). It was also found that the egg weight, albumen weight, yolk weight, shell weight, and the percentage of yolk were higher at 60 weeks of age (P<0.001). The percentage of shell and albumen, shape index, and yolk colour were higher at 30 weeks of age (P<0.001). The interactions between rearing system and age were statistically significant in terms of shell thickness, shape index, crude ash ratio, and yolk colour (P<0.001). Stress protein (HSP70) level was affected only by the rearing system and was higher in the organic system (P<0.001). As a result, the organic system can be considered as advantageous in terms of egg production and quality traits and the eggs of young hens exhibited better properties. The high level of HSP70 in the organic system could indicate that hens were affected by the environmental conditions at higher rates and/or the hens reared in the organic system had a stronger antioxidant defence system.

Open access

Xin Jian Lei, Hyeok Min Yun, Yi Yang and In Ho Kim

Abstract

This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary β-glucan supplementation on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood profiles, and fecal characteristics in weaner pigs. A total of 140 weaner pigs [(Yorkshire × Landrace) × Duroc] with an average body weight of 6.37 ± 1.14 kg were allotted to one of the following dietary treatments: 1) negative control (NC, basal diet); 2) positive control (PC, basal diet supplemented with 39 ppm Tiamulin); 3) basal diet supplemented with 0.1% β-glucan (G1); 4) basal diet supplemented with 0.2% β-glucan (G2). During days 22 to 42 and 1 to 42, pigs offered PC and G2 diets grew faster than those offered NC diet (P<0.05). Additionally, during the same periods, pigs fed G2 and PC diets exhibited improved gain:feed ratio compared to pigs received NC and G1 diets (P<0.05). Pigs fed G2 diet exhibited higher coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility of dry matter than those fed NC diet (P<0.05). There were no difference on blood profiles, fecal scores, fecal moisture, and fecal pH (P>0.05). Fecal lactic acid bacteria counts in G2 treatment were higher compared with PC and NC treatments (P<0.05). Coliform bacteria concentrations were decreased in pigs fed PC and G2 diets compared with those fed NC diet (P<0.05). In conclusion, the results of the current study indicate that dietary supplementation of 0.2% β-glucan can improve growth performance and dry matter digestibility, increase fecal lactic acid bacteria concentration but decrease fecal coliform bacteria concentration in weaner pigs.

Open access

Kholoud Khachlouf, Houda Hamed, Radhouane Gdoura and Ahmed Gargouri

Abstract

In recent years, the use of both natural and synthetic Zeolites in livestock feeds fed to lactating cows has increased, mainly to improve their performance, health, and to protect against mycotoxins intoxication. A compiled data of scientific literature was performed to analyze the effects of the incorporation of non-nutritional adsorbent Zeolite on production performance and ruminal environment parameters of lactating cows. At moderate levels (200-400 g/cow/day), milk yield was increased by Zeolite. Milk fat and protein contents and DMI were not altered and all ruminal parameters were improved: acetate was enhanced, propionate was reduced and consequently, acetate to propionate ratio was increased. The rumen pH was increased and rumen ammonia nitrogen was reduced. When the level of Zeolite exceeds 400 g/d/cow, all production and ruminal parameters were negatively altered. These data suggest that Zeolite level in the diet has a significant effect on the response of dairy production and ruminal environment characteristics.

Open access

Zenon Nogalski, Paulina Pogorzelska-Przybyłek, Monika Sobczuk-Szul, Cezary Purwin and Monika Modzelewska-Kapituła

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the effects of rearing system and feeding intensity on the fattening performance and slaughter value of 38 young crossbred bull calves. The calves were raised naturally with nurse cows (NC) or were fed milk replacer (MF) until 150 days of age. During the rearing period the NC calves were healthier and had higher average daily gain (by 0.15 kg) compared to the MF calves. After a 30-day transition period, the animals were fattened in intensive (I) and semi-intensive (SI) systems from 181 to 560 days of age. During the fattening period, the bulls were fed ad libitum a total mixed ration (TMR) composed of grass silage and concentrate. The concentrate to silage ratio, on a DM basis, was 25:75 (SI) and 40:60 (I). The MF calves had lower BW at the end of the fattening period compared to the NC calves but the rearing system had no effects on daily gain during the fattening period. Compensatory growth was not observed during fattening. During the fattening period, a higher proportion of concentrate in the ration contributed to higher feed intake, higher feed efficiency and more desirable carcass characteristics. Three-rib cuts from the carcasses of the I bulls had significantly (P<0.05) higher fat content and lower bone content compared to the carcasses of the SI bulls. The longissimus thoracis muscle of the I bulls had higher (P<0.01) intramuscular fat content compared to the SI bulls.

Open access

Piotr Herbut and Sabina Angrecka

Abstract

Dairy cows are exposed to heat stress, the risk of which is increasing due to climate change. This could result in significant changes in the cows’ lying time behaviour. The presented study shows the relationship between heat stress determined with the use of the Temperature Humidity Index (THI) and the daily lying time of a dairy’s 40 Holstein-Friesian cows. Based on the calculated value of THI, two periods were specified, a neutral period (with a maximum daily THI value below 68) and warm period (with minimal daily THI value above 73). The obtained results were processed using analysis of the Spearman’s correlation coefficient with significance at P < 0.05. The results showed a decrease in daily total lying time between the neutral and warm periods from 11.3 to 9.4 h/d. During the warm period, the correlation between cows’ lying time and increased THI shows that the relationship is significant inversely proportional, but in the neutral period that correlation was not significant. A decrease in the percentage of the lying cows and average lying time per hour was also noticeable between the daytime and night-time in warm periods, which was 2 times less than in the neutral period.