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  • Author: A. Muhammad x
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Natural Occurence of Deoxynivalenol and Ochratoxin a in Conventional Maize Hybrids and their Biosafety Compared with GM Equivalents

Abstract

Familiarity based approval of the newly developed GM cereal events is based upon the stable and safe consumption of conventional grains. The level of concentrations of mycotoxins and biomolecules establishes the criteria for premarket evaluation of genetically modified cereals e.g. MON 810 maize. The objective of the present study was to comparatively evaluate food biosafety of the conventional and GM maize. Grain samples from the harvest lot of 10 maize hybrids in the year 2011 were collected arbitrarily. Well ground and homogenized samples were analysed for the deoxynivalenol (DON) and ochratoxin A (OTA) mycotoxins. Contamination rates and levels of DON and OTA were low and did not exceed the maximum levels, indicating their possible safe use as food and feed under the EC regulation 1881/2006.The samples were further analysed for the possible effect of mycotoxin concentration upon that of starch and proteins. The study reveals the absence of any negative impact of the presence of mycotoxins upon these biomolecules as their concentrations lie within the normal range. A comparative review of data for the mycotoxins in conventional maize grains invalidate the argument from the producers of GM maize hybrids that conventional hybrids are inferior for food biosafety with respect to mycotoxins.

Open access
Allelopathic Effect of Ficus benjamina Leaf Extract, Litter, and Mulch on Germination and Growth of Sunflower

Abstract

Allelopathy is an important biological process, which has direct or indirect effects on the germination and growth potentials of plants. Awareness about the allelopathic properties of plants which prevail in agricultural systems can help growers to amend crop cultivation patterns accordingly. In this study, we evaluated the allelopathic effects of Ficus benjamina on germination and early seedling growth of four hybrids of sunflower (Oliver, Parsun-3, SFH-80 and NK-S-278). Ethanolic and hot-water aqueous extracts from leaves, while litter and mulches of the test allelopathic plant significantly reduced germination, radicle and hypocotyle growth of sunflower. Germination percentage was drastically reduced in all the four sunflower hybrids by ethanolic, hot-water and litter extracts; however, compared to control, mulching assay significantly increased germination in hybrids Oliver (76%), Parsun-3 (42%), SFH-80 (78%) and NK-S-278 (30%) at 2, 4, 8 and 12g extract concentration, respectively. Hypocotyle and radicle length of test hybrids were significantly reduced in each assay type. Among tested assays, ethanolic extracts revealed more drastic effects on the studied parameters than hot-water, litter, and mulching. Sunflower hybrid NK-S-278 was more severely affected, while Parsun-3 exhibited resistance to the allelopathic stress. Inhibitory effects were more prominent with increasing concentration of the extracts. The order of the phytotoxic effects of tested bioassays was ethanolic extract˃ hot-water˃ litter˃ mulching. The study suggested that Ficus leaves may possess potent allelochemicals with growth inhibitory effects on sunflower seedlings. It is suggested that further study might be required to check the allelopathic effect of Ficus benjamina on germination and growth of these sunflower hybrids in field conditions.

Open access
Shopping Behavior Among Urban Women

Abstract

This research was aimed to analyze the difference of men and women in Surakarta in perceiving the shopping value. The values were classified into the hedonic and utilitarian value. Hedonic value occurs when consumers rely on their emotional, social, and psychological aspect, while utilitarian value is more concerned with the functional aspect in carrying out the activity. Result showed that there was difference perception between men and women as retail consumers. In this study, women tended to have hedonic value as their shopping orientation, while men tended to have utilitarian orientation. It implied that gender was an important aspect in structuring business position and segmentation in retail industry.

Open access
Influence of Seed Invigoration Techniques on Germination and Seedling Vigor of Maize (Zea mays L.)

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the comparative efficiency of different priming techniques on germination and early seedling growth of maize cultivars. Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the efficacy of different seed invigoration treatments on seed germination and vigor traits of three maize hybrids, Pioneer 3025, Pioneer 70 and Baber at Agronomy research laboratory, University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Pakistan. The experiment was laid in completely randomized design (CRD) and was replicated thrice. The treatments included control treatment (T1) unsoaked/dry seed, (T2) hydropriming with distilled water for 24 hrs, (T3) halo priming treatments with NaCl (3% solution) for 24 hrs, (T4) osmopriming with PEG-6000 for 24 hrs and (T5), hormonal priming with GA3 for 24 hrs. The results showed that seed invigoration treatment with gibberellic acid (GA3) PEG-6000 and hydropriming with distilled water for 24 hrs gave higher germination, decreased days to 50% germination, increased shoot length, root length, seedling fresh and dry weight, as compared to halo priming with NaCl and control treatment. It is concluded that seed invigoration with GA3, osmopriming with PEG-6000 and hydropriming with distilled water for 24 hrs serve as an appropriate treatment for accelerating the emergence and growth parameters of maize hybrid. Pioneer 3025 showed its superiority over other cultivars in all the studied parameters.

Open access
The uses of microbial phytase as a feed additive in poultry nutrition – a review

Abstract

Most of the phosphorus (P) in feed ingredients is present as phytate, which is poorly available for absorption in the gastrointestinal tract of different poultry species due to the lack of endogenous phytase. The supplementation of phytase increases the utilization of P by hydrolyzing phytate, which consequently may reduce the excretion of P in the environment. In addition, it has been suggested that phytase may improve the feed utilization, weight gain, egg production and egg traits, nutrient digestibility, energy availability, retention of important minerals in blood and bones. Thus, the effectiveness of phytase on performance and Ca and P absorption in layer chickens fed corn-soybean based diets has been well recognized. The current review briefly discusses the supplementation of phytase in the diet of poultry on performance and egg production and characteristics as well as amino acids and minerals availability.

Open access
Germination, Growth and Yield Performance of Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) Under Gamma Irradiation Stress

Abstract

Gamma irradiation is a widely manipulated mutation breeding approach in agriculture for producing crops with desired agronomic traits. The technique is particularly advantageous to conventional breeding methods because of minimal labor and time requirement. Under laboratory and field experiments during 2013, seeds of Linum usitatissimum L. were irradiated with 2, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28 and 32 krad of gamma irradiation doses from Co-60 source for evaluating their effects on germination, seedling survival, radicle and plumule lengths, vegetative growth and productivity. It was noted that radiation doses caused significant changes in the studied traits of test plant. Germination, radicle and plumule lengths in lab study while shoot length, number of leaves and leaf area, number of fruits plant−1, number of seeds fruit−1, husk weight fruit−1, number of branches plant−1, fresh and dry biomass and moisture content of shoots under pot culture varied significantly under the applied radiation stress. In general, radiation doses up to 8 kr had stimulatory effects on the studied parameters while doses exceeding 8 kr negatively influenced germination, growth and productive attributes of flax. Results observed both stimulatory and inhibitory effects of the irradiation doses. The study suggests that radiation doses above 32 krad induced lethal effects on general growth of flax.

Open access
Institutional Design, Macroeconomic Policy Coordination and Implications for the Financial Sector in the UK

Abstract

This study has analysed the implications of institutional design of macroeconomic policy making institutions for the macroeconomic policy interaction and financial sector in the United Kingdom. Employing a Vector Error Correction (VEC) model and using monthly data from January 1985 to August 2008 we found that the changes in institutional arrangement and design of policy making authorities appeared to be a major contributing factor in dynamics of association between policy coordination/combination and financial sector. It was also found that the independence of the Bank of England (BoE) and withdrawal from the Exchange Rate Mechanism led to the increase in macroeconomic policy maker’s ability to coordinate and restore financial stability. The results imply that although institutional autonomy in the form of instrument independence (monetary policy decisions) could bring financial stability, there is a strong necessity for coordination, even in Post-MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) and the BoE independence.

Open access
Macroeconomic Policies Interaction & the Symmetry of Financial Markets’ Responses

Abstract

This concise study analyses the symmetry of financial markets’ responses to macroeconomic policy interaction in the United Kingdom. Employing the Vector Auto-regression (VAR) model on monthly data of the British financial sector and macroeconomic policies from January 1985 to August 2008, this study found that the equity and sovereign debt markets showed identical symmetry in response to macroeconomic policy interaction.

Open access
Novel Mechanically Stable, Heat Resistant and Nonflammable Functionalized Polystyrene/Expanded Graphite Nanocomposites

Abstract

This study examined effect of inclusion of expanded graphite (Exp-G) on morphology, thermal, mechanical and flame retardant properties of PS, nitro-substituted polystyrene (N-PS) and amino-functional polystyrene (A-PS). FESEM showed exfoliated sheet morphology due to intercalation of N-PS and A-PS in expanded galleries. Tensile strength of A-PS materials (31.5-56.9 MPa) was higher than PS and N-PS. 10 % weight loss of A-PS nanocomposites (482-518 °C) was higher relative to pristine polymer and other nanocomposites. Cone calorimetry results revealed that there was lowering in PHHR of A-PS nanocomposites with 0.5 wt.% filler (428 kW/m2), while PS nanocomposites showed PHHR of 443 kW/m2.

Open access
Niteni, Niroake, Nambahi (3N) Concept in the Learning of Dance in Elementary School

Abstract

Art education at elementary school can serve as the basis of education in shaping the spirit and personality of noble character. At the elementary school level, brain development of children experiences a very fast and real growth. Elementary school is seen as the right agent in the formation of character values because the development of children's brain webs is faster than adult’s. The implication of modern education can reduce the values of character, as modern education is preferred to cognitive achievement. Approaches that use local wisdom will be more easily understood by educators. One of the concepts initiated by Indonesian educational leaders, Ki Hajar Dewantara, that is Niteni, Nirokake, Nambahi (3N) is more easily understood by educators because the concept includes local wisdom values. The purpose of this research is to describe 3N in the learning of dance in elementary school. The study implemented qualitative descriptive method with the aim to reveal facts, circumstances, variables, and phenomena. This study presents the data based on the results of observation, interviews, and documentation. The techniques included data collection, data display, data reduction, and conclusion/verification. The results showed that the learning of dance in elementary school conveys 3N. In addition, teacher's experience can influence students’ learning outcomes and creativity. 3N encompasses N1, N2, and N3. If the 3N stage is not done in accordance with the flow, it will have an effect on the achievement of the learning objectives. This research is still limited to the scope of 3N concept study in the learning of dance in elementary school. Therefore, it is expected that the scope of further research can be developed in other science.

Open access