Journal of Food Agriculture and Environment

Online ISSN: 1459-0255
Publications
Article
Including environmental issues in trade agreements is controversial, although these issues are an integral part of the NAFTA and WTO agreements as well as being the subject of numerous multilateral environmental treaties and agreements. Despite its inclusion, many members are opposed to allowing the environment an extensive role in the WTO. Nonetheless, the Doha Ministerial Declaration recognizes the environment in negotiating the next trade liberalization agreement. Agriculture and agricultural trade, which were integrated with international trade disciplines in the Uruguay Round, have environmental implications, and the inclusion of agriculture in the WTO introduces complex issues that also have environmental consequences.
 
Effect of temperature on phytase activity: (A) wheat phytase; (B) Aspergillus ficuum phytase.  
Article
Commercially available phytases from wheat and fungus Aspergillus ficuum have been used in environmental and agricultural phosphorus study. In order to better understand the biochemical properties of these two phytases, in vitro experiments were conducted to study their catalytic potentials to hydrolyze a number of representative organic phosphates [phytate; p-nitrophenyl phosphate (PNP); p-nitrophenyl phosphate di-2-amino-2-ethyl-1-3-propanediol (PNP2A2E); p-nitrophenyl phosphate bis-cyclohexylammonium (PNPBC); bis-p-nitrophenyl phosphate (Bis-PNP); D-glucose 6-phosphate sodium salt (DG6PNa); and D-glucose 6-phosphate disodium salt (DG6P2Na)]. The results showed that the activity of wheat phytase in hydrolyzing these substrates was in the order: phytate > PNPBC > PNP2A2E > PNP > DG6P2Na > DG6PNa > Bis-PNP. Substrate preference for the fungal phytase followed the pattern: phytate > PNP > PNP2A2E > PNPBC. The kinetic constants of the two enzymes on these substrates demonstrated that the binding affinity for the fungal phytase with phytate was the highest. We further observed that As, Ba, Br and I ions enhanced the fungal phytase activity, whereas wheat phytase activity was suppressed by most ions we tested. Information obtained in this research is helpful in assessing the application of the two phytases in phosphate pollution research under various environmentally relevant conditions.
 
Output of home grown crops by all female respondents in the Nyeri sample.
Article
This article examines the relationship between agricultural commercialization, marital status and other factors that affect per capita food availability by means of a case study in the Nyeri district in Kenya. It was found that cash cropping has a negative influence on per capita food availability in the male-headed households. This negative influence is not apparent in the female-headed households and in fact, per capita food availability rises with increased agricultural commercialization. Households of married women seem to suffer more in terms of reduced food availability than households headed by females. Husbands have control over cash income and, therefore, influence food purchases. They are less likely than females to use the cash for food purchases and tend to spend the cash on themselves, thus reducing food availability to family members. This suggests that in some patriarchal societies, caution should be displayed in encouraging cash cropping, especially in male-headed households. Cash cropping under such circumstances is unwise from both a food availability and food security point of view because it can result in reduced crop diversification hence increasing the risks of income food deficits for families. Other factors found to have an influence on per capita food availability are employment of women outside households, educational level of the women and the quality of land.
 
Polyacrylamide gel showing the fragments of apricot cultivars amplified by UDP98409 SSR marker. From left to right: 1 Helena, 2 Pelese di Giovanniello, 3 Bebeco, 4 Búlida, 5 Canino Tardío, 6 Reale di Imola, 7 Pisana, 8 Farmingdale, 9 Veecot, 10 Grandir, 11 Palsteyn, 12 FR 32-4, 13 Robada, 14 Orange Red, 15 Perla, 16 San Castrese, 17 Perfection, 18 Laycot, 19 Red Beaut, 20 Royal-Blemheim, 21 Goldcot, 22 Patterson, 23 Harcot, 24 Flavor Rich, 25 Ninfa, 26 Luizet, 27 Haggith, 28 Pinkcot, 29 Tilton, 30 Castlebrite, 31 Lorna, 32 Goldrich and 33 Tirynthos.  
SSR markers assayed and sizes of PCR products obtained in the evaluation of genetic diversity in the apricot germplasm collection studied. 
Dendrogram of 33 genotypes of an apricot germplasm collection based on the results of a UPGMA cluster analysis using the data obtained from 7 SSR markers. Red Beaut Japanese plum and the hybrid Flavor Rich were assayed as outgroup.  
Article
In this paper we evaluated the genetic diversity among apricot cultivars of different origins using SSR markers. Thirty-one apricot cultivars were evaluated, including one Japanese plum and one apricot x plum hybrid as outgroup. Eleven primer pairs developed in peach were assayed. Seven primer pairs (64% of the assayed markers) were amplified successfully and resulted in 44 polymorphic bands, ranging from 2 (UDP96008) to 8 (UDP98406 and UDP98411) alleles. The observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.09 (UDP96008) to 0.88 (UDP96003). There is a high degree of homology for the SSR loci between peach and apricot and transportability of these markers among Prunus. According to genetic distances obtained within the apricot group, four clusters were identified: Western European;, North American; one cluster including 'Bebeco', 'Tirynthos' and 'Ninfa' and finally another cluster including other North American cultivars. Results show that the cultivars of the American genotypes share a common genetic background. Most of the evaluated cultivars that belong to the European eco-geographical group present a common genetic base, which suggests that apricot breeding has been mainly based on the hybridization and selection of European genotypes. The information generated through the application of SSR on this apricot germplasm bank would be useful for breeders who want to enrich their genetic base and introduce new genes on their background. This research has been supported by the project “CHILECOT: Apricot Quality” D03–I-1070.
 
Turnover in dominant leafhopper and plant bug species of upland plant communities( indicates presence). 
Web numbers in microhabitats under different grazing regimes applied to a Nardus stricta grassland. Legend defined in Fig. 2 caption (afterDennis et al. 30 ).
Leafhopper and plant bug species responses to sheep grazing intensity on different plant communities.Key: triangles, Festuca-Agrostis, U4a; squares, Agrostis-Festuca, U4e and diamonds, Nardus stricta, U5a communities.
Size and location of clusters of high and low numbers of ground and rove beetles on Nardus stricta grassland under varied grazing management (after Dennis et al., 32 ). Grazing treatments indicated on b, where S: sheep; C: cattle; UNG: ungrazed for 2-3 years; and, 4.5 and 6.5 represents average between-tussock sward height (cm). Upward pointed triangles represent aggregations of high value and upturned triangles aggregations of low numbers (where P G(z) ∝ size; Getis and Ord ,63 ).
Article
Livestock production extends to most non-forested, marginal, upland habitats of Britain. Of these, indigenous grasslands are stocked predominantly by sheep, stocking densities having increased in Scotland by 25% between 1975 and 1990. Conversely, the national herd of cattle in Scotland declined by 22% over the same period. The effects of grazing management on arthropod distribution and abundance is reviewed, with particular emphasis on the results of grazing experiments that have investigated the effects on arthropods of varied livestock species and stocking rates. Arthropods contribute the most species of any taxa in the uplands and are critical in upland food chains. The direction and magnitude of the response of different arthropod taxa to grazing management reflects their trophic level, life history, size and mobility, e.g., 30 % of ground and rove beetle species are more sensitive to landform than grazing management. For the arthropod taxa that are sensitive to grazing management, the effects are generally indirect, via changes in the heterogeneity of botanical composition and vegetation structure. A mosaic of contrasting botanical composition and structural heterogeneity is essential to conserve and enhance arthropod and broader wildlife diversity in the uplands. However, the landscape-scale study of mammalian herbivore-vegetation-arthropod interactions is required both to quantify the relative importance of land use (grazing management) and landform (landscape physiognomy) across the uplands and to determine the optimal grain-size of the habitat mosaic to sustain biodiversity.
 
Article
Analysts concerned with policy matters related to the food industry of Asia would have opinions about the growth of the livestock industries in the developing countries of Asia. These opinions are likely to differ, particularly in relation to such issues as: the role that should be played by livestock; the extent to which Western technologies should be used in these livestock industries; and whether the existing level of available knowledge concerning the livestock industries of developing Asia is adequate for policy development. This paper addresses these and related issues.
 
Article
As part of a major effort to address soil fertility decline in West Africa, a project on balanced nutrient management systems (BNMS) has been implemented in the northern Guinea savanna (NGS) of Nigeria. The project has tested and promoted two major technology packages: a combined application of inorganic fertilizer and manure (BNMS-manure) and a soybean/maize rotation practice (BNMS-rotation). This study used two-stage least squares regression models to examine the socioeconomic impacts of the BNMS technologies on household incomes and food security of the adopting farmers. Results showed that average crop yields for maize, sorghum, and soybean increased by more than 200% in the villages covered by the project. Among the adopters, the gross margin per ha from maize production was highest for the adopters of BNMS– rotation and lowest for adopters using inorganic fertilizer only. The two-stage least squares regression estimates indicated that increases in farm income due to adoption of BNMS technologies led to an increase of both calorie and protein intake of adopters. An additional one ha of land under BNMS–manure stimulates an increase in food expenditure by about 52%, while a similar change in land area under BNMS–rotation increases food expenditure by 128%. Presented at GLOBELICS 2009, 7th International Conference, 6-8 October, Dakar, Senegal. Parallel session 3: Sustainability and technology adoption in agriculture
 
Acceptability assessment of fresh peach selections developed by a peach breeding program and applied to 40 untrained testers executed at the University of Chile campus in Santiago.
Article
Promising new tools for peach fruit quality breeding have been revised in this work. These tools included fruit quality evaluation through physical, chemical and sensorial parameters and post-harvest storage evaluation. The development of a feasible method for an early testing of peach selections generated in breeding programs is also well described together with the discussion of the inheritance of the main fruit quality traits in peach. In addition, non-destructive evaluation methods such as near-infrared, electronic nose and non-destructive impact response were revised. Finally several strategies for the development of molecular marker associated to fruit traits were also revised. Methodologies for the analysis of marker-assisted selection include the use of mapping populations segregating for desired characters. To date, twenty five monogenic genes and QTLs have been mapped in different peach genetic linkage maps. Other markers being used included expressed sequences tags (ESTS) cloned gene analogs (CGAs) and single point mutations (single nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs). More recent efforts are being oriented to the elaboration of physical maps and the complete sequencing of the peach genome.
 
Map of study area, Gökova Bay (Turkey).
Article
The present study attempts to find out the paradox in management of grouper fishing in southern Aegean Sea, Turkey. The study also proposes some suggestions for a more rational and more effective management of this species. Material of the study is composed of records of fishing cooperatives in the area, interview with the cooperative managers, annual grouper length values and catch-effort data. Throughout the season, 2411 fishing operations have been carried, 383 of which have been focused on especially groupers. The total catch has been recorded as 1448 kg, with a CPUE value of 3.78 kg per vessel. The study also reveals that the ratio of groupers caught below legally allowed length is 13.3%, however, considering outputs of the studies made on the biology of the species, it has also been observed that 85% of the sampled groupers in Gökova bay are prematurely caught before they reach the sexual maturity required for guaranteed sustainability, and thus the species is endangered. Hence, it is very essential to determine the reproductive cycle of groupers, which are the most important species in the fishery of Gökova Bay. However, species selectivity is impossible with the currently used gears. Therefore it would be more rational and effective to determine the reproduction areas of the related species and declare these areas "No Take Zones" which is going to affect postively not only the species but also whole ecoystem they live in.
 
Actual and potential " green land " use in Rwanda 4 . 
Numbers (x 10 3 ) of various animals and equivalent Tropical Livestock Units (TLU). 
Labour (Hd) estimation for agricultural operations of major crops on 1-ha land a . 
Estimation of annual income from livestock per household.
Article
Rwanda is a poor country and land is scarce, with only 0.65 ha of suitable farmland per household. Literature search for identifying constraints and solutions to productive and sustainable agriculture and livestock production was carried out. The country is facing with increasing soil fertility depletion and erosion due to steep landscape, continuous cultivation and high but not well distributed rainfall. Crops adequately allocated to the 0.65 ha farmland may produce enough food for energy and protein, but not cooking oil; animal production for meeting fat requirements is already at the limit. Forest resources are insufficient to produce necessary poles, timber, fuel and other forest-related products; alternatives must be found. Strategies to raise agricultural production include soil and water conservation, fertility improvement, irrigation and drainage, high-yielding plant varieties, improved animal management, pest control and reduction of postharvest losses. Labour shortage at critical periods of agricultural operations can be reduced through appropriate mechanisation. Such improvements that are high demanding in investments may substantially raise crop and livestock production, allowing Rwanda to develop agro-industries and the commercial sector. Alternatively but carefully, preference may be given to investments in high-value exports that can pay for imports of food, fuel and other necessities.
 
Article
Polyphenols in olive leaves, especially oleuropein, are of great interest to researchers, household consumers and commercial entities due to many health benefits of these compounds. Various processing and extraction methods were investigated to evaluate stability and recovery of oleuropein and other polyphenols from olive leaves. Brief thawing of frozen leaf samples (5 minutes) caused a sharp reduction in extractable oleuropein levels (57.7%), and 53.5% loss in oleuropein occurred when frozen leaf powder was thawed for only 2 minutes. Simple drying of fresh leaves at room temperature (25°C) fully preserved oleuropein and verbascoside levels while drying at an elevated temperature of 60°C resulted in losses at various levels of all polyphenols studied. While extraction in 80% methanol is the most effective method for olive leaf polyphenols for laboratory use, boiling of dried leaves was also a very efficient method for extracting oleuropein and verbascoside that gave 96 and 94% recoveries of these compounds, respectively, when compared with the methanol extract. Oleuropein was quite stable in aqueous extracts for 7 days when stored at room temperatures but degraded after 17 days. Other polyphenols were less stable in aqueous extracts and started to show some degree of degradation after 7 days (little change occurred during the first 24 h storage at room temperature) and were completely degraded after 17 days. On the other hand, oleuropein and other polyphenols in methanol extract were quite stable for 30 days when stored at room temperature. The studies provide important information for efficient and effective processing and extraction of olive leaf polyphenols for research, home and commercial use.
 
Article
The Hourani durum wheat landrace was cultivated for millennia in the Houran plateau of Northern Jordan and Southern Syria. Recently, however, it's meta-population became highly fragmented due to the introduction of high yielding varieties, new crop rotations and new cropping systems. Its genetic divergence was assessed in 289 populations collected from five villages in each of two eco-geographical regions in each country. Total variation in 15 plant, spike and seed attributes was apportioned among populations (13.5%), among farms (18.3%), among villages (16.5%), among eco-geographical regions (46%) and among countries (5.7%). Percent correct classification of germplasm by village based on discriminant analyses was 71 and 65% in semiarid and arid villages, respectively. This confirms the existence of a highly divergent germplasm in this landrace, with geographical distances among villages being correlated with squared Mahalanobis distances based on all 15 plant, spike and seed attributes (r=0.59; p=0.05).
 
Phytic acid and cupric chloride at pH 6 ESI-MS peak assignments. pH 6 Peak assignment = inlz in Charge 
Phytic acid and ferric chloride at pH 2.8 ESI-MS peak assignments. 
Article
Phosphorus (P) fate and transport is an emergent problem impacting environmental resources. Long time land application of P enriched manure has been implicated in the saturation of available P binding sites in many terrestrial, wetland and sediment systems. Transport of soluble or particle associated P by overland flow and possibly by subsurface leaching has increased eutrophication in waterways. Myo-inositol hexkis phosphate or more commonly phytic acid (PA) is an organic phosphate molecule with twelve acidic protons. The acid dissociation constants (pKa) are 1.9(3), 2.4(2), 3.2(1), 5.2(1), 6.3(1), 8.0(1), 9.2(1) and 9.5(2). The charged species fractions were calculated as a function of pH using the acid dissociation constants. Results predict three different charged species of phytic acid will simultaneously be present at most any environmentally relevant pH. Analysis of the electro-spray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) solution spectra of iron and copper complexes of PA at pH 2.8, 6 and 13 confirmed multiple charged species of PA occur simultaneously even in the presence of metal cations. Results showed minimal fragmentation of the parent phytate anions. Changes in the z of PA anions, not changes in the stability or fragmentation of the parent compound with pH, explain the observed fragmentation pattern. Assigning the correct z is a pre-requisite to identifying the (m/z) composition of PA fragments.
 
Article
A total of 26 enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli 0157:H7 isolates from diarrhoeal patients in Jos area were tested for susceptibility to 11 antimicrobial agents by the standard disc diffusion and tube dilution methods. All the isolates were susceptible to gentamycin, ciprofloxacin and chloramphenicol but resistant to cloxacillin. There was a high prevalence susceptibility of the isolates to tetracycline (92.3%) and cephalexin (80.8%) by disc diffusion method. The isolates were moderately susceptible to doxycycline (46.2%) and ampicillin (42.3%) by tube dilution method. A low prevalence of resistance by tube dilution method to ampicillin (42.3%), doxycycline (42.3%), erythromycin (42.3%), amoxycillin (42.3%) and cefuroxime (26.9%) was observed. The difference in susceptibility results between the two methods of susceptibility assessment was minor. The tube dilution method was found to better distinguish between sensitive and resistant strains of E. coli 0157:H7 to the chosen antibiotics.
 
Prevalence of E. coli 0157:H7 from diarrhoeal patients in Jos. 
Article
Growing concern on the emergence of enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli 0157:H7 (EHEC) in the developed countries associated with cattle, poultry, vegetable and pond water have focused our attention on the prevalence of this disease from diarrhoeal patients in Jos, Nigeria. From February 2002 to February 2004, 1050 faecal specimens from adults and children of both sexes with diarrhoeal (850) and non-diarrhoeal (200) illnesses were investigated for the presence of E. coli 0157:H7. From diarrhoeal patients, 26 (3.1%) were infected with E. coli 0157:H7. Other enteropathogens isolated include enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., Yersinia enterocolitica, Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. No E. coli 0157:H7 was isolated from non-diarrhoeal patients. In children between the ages of 6 to 10 yrs, E. coli 0157:H7 was isolated from 4/104 (3.8%) and 2/55 (3.6%) adults between the ages of 51 and 60 yrs. From bloody diarrhoea, 19 (6.9%) out of 274 were infected with E. coli 0157:H7, while 7 (1.2%) out of 576 infected were from non-bloody diarrhoea. All 26 E. coli 0157:H7 isolated from diarrhoeal patients produced verocytotoxin (VT). VT-1 was detected from 3 (11.5%), VT-2 from 17 (65.4%) and VT-1 and -2 from 6 (23.1%). E. coli 0157:H7 came fourth (3.1%) as the most prevalent bacterial enteropathogen isolated from diarrhoeal patients attending hospitals in Jos, Nigeria. This study shows high prevalence of E. coli 0157:H7 infection in the area studied, which was statistically significant (P<0.05) by Chi-square test. We recommend physicians in developing countries to query E. coli 0157:H7 infection when clinical presentation (bloody diarrhoea) in patients is indicated. Education on properly cooked meal especially of bovine source is emphasized.
 
Article
This study was conducted during years 2004 and 2005 to examine the effect of PGPR (Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria) inoculation and synthetic fertilizer (NPK) alone or in combination on some fruit quality characteristics such as fruit color, fruit weight, fruit dimensions, seed weight, flesh/seed ratio, stalk length and diameter, soluble solids content (SSC) and titratable acidity of sweet cherry cv. 0900 Ziraat. The bacteria Bacillus OSU-142 was sprayed on 10 years old trees at full bloom, 15 and 30 days after full bloom stages. The bacteria and fertilizer alone or in combination significantly increased in particular fruit weight, length, diameter, seed weight and SSC. The highest fruit weight was observed in 0.5 kg NPK per tree alone treatment as 7.24 g and followed by Bacillus OSU-142+0.5 kg NPK per tree treatment (6.42 g). The present results of this study suggest that Bacillus OSU-142 application is a potential agent to increase fruit quality of sweet cherry cv. 0900 Ziraat.
 
Article
Commonly cultivated mushrooms of the genus Pleurotus are interesting because of their 1,3-β-glucans demonstrate great immunomodulation and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. The productivity of these mushrooms depends upon the growing conditions, nutritional substrates and biotic and abiotic stress factors that result in an enzymes over-expression. The present study showed the participation of different techniques and doses of gamma irradiation on carbon metabolism, 1,3-β-glucan synthase enzyme activity and subsequent 1,3-β-glucan over- production (both in absence or presence of radioprotective cysteine biocompound). Gradual gamma irradiation (0.5 and 1.0 kGy) significantly enhanced high growth, biomass yield, 1,3-β-glucan production and carbon metabolites contents (carbeome ex. total 1,3-β-glucans, polysaccharides, and carbohydrate metabolism), glucose absorption, 1,3-β-glucan synthase activity and protein content. On the other hand, these low irradiation doses inhibited the accumulation of cellular and extracellular keto acids, free ammonia, extracellular 1,3-β-glucan permeation and vice versa. SDS-PAGE electrophoresis showed that, in absence of radioprotective compound (cysteine), higher gamma irradiation doses (2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 kGy) downregulated original intense protein bands (29.0, 35.0, 47.0 and 53.0 but not 68.0 kDa) and original light protein bands (80, 88, 92 but not 15.0, 19.0, 40, 55 and 70 kDa). Conversely, addition of 0.1 g l -1 radioprotective compound nullified this effect (except for 29.0 and 47.0 kDa under the effect of 2.5 and 3.0 kGy dose only). Furthermore, different gradual gamma irradiation doses resulted in an intensification of 40 and 15.0 kDa (in both presence and absence of radioprotective compound). Production of 1,3-β-glucan was increased till 1.5 kGy exposure dose in absence of radioprotective compound but in presence of the radioprotective compound the increase in 1,3-β-glucan was demonstrated under irradiation dose up to 2.0 kGy.
 
Article
In this paper, the optimization of medium components was reported for the production of β-fructofuranosidase (FFase) from Arthrobacter sp.10138. Experiments were conducted using the uniform design (UD), and the data were used to build an artificial neural network model. The concentrations of six medium components (sucrose, beef extract, yeast extract, (NH 4) 2HPO 4,KH 2PO 4 and MgSO 4) served as inputs to the neural network model, and the FFase activity served as outputs of the model. Using the genetic algorithms (GA), the input space of the neural network model was optimized to find out the optimum values for maximum FFase activity. Maximum FFase activity of 318.5U/mL was obtained at the GA- optimized concentrations of medium components (sucrose 33.0 g/L; beef extract 3.0 g/L; yeast extract 2.0 g/L; (NH 4) 2HPO 4 4.0 g/L; KH 2PO 4 0.5 g/L and MgSO 4·7H 2O 0.2 g/L). The FFase activity obtained by the ANN-GA was 15.6% higher than the maximum activity of FFase obtained by UD experiments.
 
Article
Due to the interaction between fertilizers and various soil elements in fish ponds, many conflicting and inconsistent results were indicated in previous studies. The effect of different levels of an inorganic fertilizer (14N-38P-10K) on inducing natural food for tilapia production in fiberglass tanks without soil, using a static well water system under arid land conditions was evaluated. Six fiberglass tanks (3 m diameter and 1.2 m height) were randomly stocked with tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fingerlings at a rate of 10 fish/m3. The tanks were treated with three levels (0, 5.3, 7.7 g/m3/day) of the tested fertilizer in duplicate. Each tank was randomly assigned a level of fertilizer. The fertilizer was added once a week in a cloth bag suspended at a 60 cm depth from the water surface. Natural food was the only source of food for tilapia fingerlings for the 12 week experimental duration. The experiment was canied out at 30±4°C, average light intensity 50,524±483 lux, light duration 14 hrs and water salinity 3.4‰. Water quality parameters such as turbidity, chlorophyll a, pH and dissolved oxygen (DO) were monitored. The results indicated that fish grown in tanks treated with 5.1 and 7.7 g/m3/day levels of fertilizer were both similar and superior to those in tanks treated with 0 level of fertilizer (control group). Other growth parameters, namely weight gain, specific growth rate, protein deposition value and energy deposition value followed the same pattern. Water quality parameters were significantly affected by the fertilizer level. Chlorophyll (mg/L), dissolved oxygen and pH increased with increasing the fertilizer level. Secchi disk visibility (cm) readings were inversely affected by the fertilizer level. It was concluded that adding 5.3 g/m3/day of the tested fertilizer is the optimum level for the best tilapia fingerlings growth under the experimental condition.
 
Article
G protein coupled receptor 120 (GPR120) is a receptor of unsaturated long-chain fatty acids, especially ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and plays important roles in dietary fat sensing, inflammation and adipogenesis controlling, therefore emerged as a new potential target for treatment of type 2 diabetes and metabolic diseases. Though GPR120 was focused in recent years, there were rarely studies on pig. Here, the gene of porcine GPR120 (pGPR120) was first cloned and characterized, the expression profiles were also examined in five Chinese indigenous pig breeds and Landrace pig on 14 days of age. Bioinformatic analysis was done on pGPR120 through bioinformatics software on line. Real-time PCR analysis was used to investigate the tissues distribution of pGPR120. It has a seven trans-membrane structure and shared 96%, 96% and 95% of sequence identity with GPR120 of mouse, rat and human, respectively. No splice variants of GPR120 gene were found, but pGPR120 had a ubiquitously expression in tissues of different pig breeds, especially in heart, fat tissues and distal segments of gut. Chinese indigenous pig breeds had different pGPR120 expression patterns compared with the Landrace. Chinese indigenous pig breeds may be candidate model for researches on GPR120 to boost the discovery of regulation techniques for lipid metabolism.
 
Article
Salt stress in one of the most serious factors limiting the productivity of Zea mays. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of the cyanobacterium Nostoc muscorum extracellular products on the growth of salt sensitive Zea mays (Sc. 124) seedlings inhibited by sodium chloride. Growth parameters (length and weight of the seedlings) and pigments content were evaluated. Salt exposure negatively affected all growth parameters and pigment contents. Extracellular products nullified the salt effect on shoot dry weight (from 37% to 5% decrease); partially counteracted the effect on shoot length (from 55% to 39% decrease), root dry weight (from 56.7% to 40% decrease) and had no effect on root length. Salinity decreased chlorophyll contents of the seedlings, reduction was 60%, but application of cyanobacterial extracellular products had a distinct effect on salinity alleviation as evident from recovery in the pigment contents. This improvement in chlorophyll contents was 40%.
 
Article
Nowadays, the future of sericulture is prosperous, since the European Union adopted sound economic reforms to support the mulberry cultivators. This study aims at investigating the individual and societal characteristics of mulberry cultivation investors and farmers, in compliance to the 1257/ 99, article 31 of EU legislation regarding the afforestation of agricultural lands and its specific application at the prefecture of Evros (North Greece). The adopted methodology of the study was implemented via the structure and distribution of a questionnaire. The data was gathered and manipulated with the use of the SPSS software. According to the study outcomes, the mulberry cultivation meets the social approval and landowners’ acceptability, since it is considered a prosperous and economically safe investment. © 2014 World Food Ltd. and WFL Publishers. All rights reserved.
 
Article
Salified higher aliphatic amides (C 12H 25/C 18H 37) have been reported in the literature together with classical surface-active components, as products that potentiate their sanitation colloidal competences. This work brings attention to two variants for the obtention of some salified (HCOOH; CH 3COOH) β-alkyl (C 12H 25/C 18C 37) polyethyleneoxy (n = 3-20) propionamides, the first through the nucleophilic addition under basic catalysis of the hydroxyl functional group in higher polyethoxylated alcohols to the acrylamide monomer, followed by stoichiometric salification with HCOOH and/or CH 3COOH, the second through the partial acid hydrolysis of β-alkyl (C 12H 25/C 18C 37) polyethyleneoxy (n = 3-20) propionitriles to the corresponding propionamides, followed by stoichiometric salification with HCOOH and/or CH 3COOH. In this work the dependence of the processing yields on the operating parameters (temperature, duration, catalysts etc.) is investigated.
 
Article
Phytate is an important phosphorus and mineral storage compound in plant seeds. Both the benign and adverse effects of phytate in nutrition and environment are mainly due to its unique conformational structures, where a strong chelating ability makes phytate interact with many cations (such as Zn2+, Ca2+, Mg2+, and Al3+). However, information is scant on the conformational forms of different solid metal phytate compounds although phytate in solution exists in two conformations: one axial and five equatorial phosphates (1a/5e) structure and an inverted 5a/1e structure. Consequently, we investigated the spectral features of nine representative metal phytate compounds by solid state 1D 13C cross polarization magic angle spinning (CPMAS) and 2D 13C-1H heteronuclear correlation (HETCOR) NMR. A broad peak appeared in all solid 1D NMR spectra of hydrogen monovalent, divalent, and trivalent metal phytate compounds. The spectra of hydrogen monovalent and divalent compounds could be deconvoluted to two separate resonance peaks. 2D HETCOR clearly showed distinct 13C-1H correlations for inositol C-H moieties in hydrogen metal phytates from non-hydrogen metal phytates. Through spectral comparison, this work demonstrated that different valent cations in solid phytate compounds could induce conformational changes of the inositol ring as pH does on the phytate in solution. Therefore, the current knowledge on the effect of pH on phytate conformation can be helpful in understanding the conformational changes of phytate when it interacts with different valent metals to form less soluble even insoluble compounds in the environment.
 
Article
The Yangtze River estuary and the southern Yellow Sea are the natural habitats for numerous marine organisms. These systems are influenced both by oceanic water and the runoff. The main objectives of this study were to compare the feeding habits of organisms from these two areas using stable isotopes to calculate the percent reliance on benthic prey and to compare the results of stomach content analysis from the previous researches the carbon stable isotope technique. The ratios of carbon stable isotopes (δ 13C) of 19 fish species and 12 invertebrates in the Yangtze River estuary, and 14 fish species and 10 invertebrates in the southern Yellow Sea in spring, 2005, were examined. The results showed that there were 10 fishery species that had the same feeding habits in the Yangtze River estuary and the southern Yellow Sea. The percent reliance on benthic prey of organisms in the southern Yellow Sea was mostly higher than those of organisms in the Yangtze River estuary. If the feeding habits types of the two methods were identified using only pelagic feeding, benthic feeding and mixed feeding habit three categories, there were 20 out of 23 organism species that had the same feeding habits. The study showed that the feeding habits of fishery organisms had spatial variations, and the carbon stable isotope technology can be used to calculate the feeding habits of organism practically.
 
Article
The effects of rootstock on translocation of photosynthates was determined at matured leaf stage in 2-year-old 'Fuyu'(Diospyros kaki) persimmon trees grafted onto D. kaki and D. lotus rootstocks by using 13C tracer method. The number of leaves and branches, growth of shoot, trunk and tree, photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance and transpiration rate were significantly higher in D. kaki than in D. lotus. Similarly, the total amount of 13C was higher in D. kaki than in D. lotus. The partitioning of 13C-photosynthates in leaves and branches decreased with time but it increased in trunk shoot, graft union, tap root, roots of more than 2 mm in thickness (roots ≥2 mm) and roots of less than 2 mm in thickness (roots <2 mm) in both the combinations. The roots <2 mm and the entire parts below the graft union of 'Fuyu'/D. lotus combination accumulated significantly lower amounts of 13C as compared to 'Fuyu'/D. kaki combination. It is possible that the graft union between 'Fuyu' and D. lotus could be a physical barrier that impairs the translocation of photosynthates. When treated by girdling at the upper trunk with nearby leaves fed on the 13CO 2, 13C allocation in the middle part of leaves and branches just above fed leaves was significantly higher in D. kaki than in D. lotus. These results imply that upward partitioning of photosynthates was affected by rootstock and that 'Fuyu'/D. kaki is more compatible as compared to the 'Fuyu'/D. lotus combination.
 
Article
We investigated whether organic compost and urea produce specific δ 15N signals in soil and tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. Pinguan) under intensive management in greenhouse conditions. Urea (U) and compost (C) were applied to the soil separately (U or C) or together (CU) during crop growth to give a total application rate of N 800 kg ha -1 in all three treatments. Plant parts (roots, leaves, stems and fruits) and soil samples were taken at the seedling, fruit expansion and mature stages. The results indicate that all three fertilization practices produced significant δ 15N differences in soil and plant tissues. The concentration of δ 15N in plant tissues was in the order C > CU > U, and δ 15N in soil followed the trend C > CU ≅ U. At maturity the δ 15N values in plants averaged 17.8±0.4‰, 10.0±0.6‰, and 5.9±0.4‰ (n = 3) under C, CU, and U treatments, indicating that δ 15N of plant and its tissues can reflect compost or chemical N source in long-term fertilizer history. Although we found that plant assimilation N, reallocation N, plant age and N loss in the soil exerted effects on the 15N discrimination of the different plant parts during growth, the two amendments (urea and compost) influenced the final tissue δ 15N of the plants. Moreover, it was possible to distinguish between crops to which urea or compost was applied on the basis of the δ 15N of the plant parts and it was a good method to distinguish organic and commercial food.
 
Article
To reveal the amount and distribution of fertilizer N, a self-made observation device was developed, and the 15N tracing technique was adopted. Leaching of N accounted a fairly small part for the fertilizer N gross during the growth period of tobacco, while a considerable large proportion of fertilizer N remained in soil, forming a potential threat to the surrounding environment. It was also found that 26.43% of the leaching of N was brought by runoffs, 38.12% infiltrated with the seepage water and 35.46% was in the sediment brought by seepages. The amount of N leaching had significant difference (p≤0.05) among treatments, proving that there was marked interrelationship between N leaching and N application. The analysis of fertilizer N accumulation in tobacco plants confirmed the average proportion of fertilizer N in leaf, lateral bud+ blossom, stem and root: 45.37%, 22.26%, 22.19% and 10.18%, respectively. The absorption of fertilizer N among treatments was significantly different (p≤0.05). Moreover, to select a preferable fertilizer regime and ensure the practicality of the experimental results, the tobacco was treated by five different fertilizer regimes, and the projection pursuit model was built for the selection. Based on the model calculations, 90 kg hm-2 of fertilizer was appropriate, it would brought both economic and environmental benefits for the tobacco cultivation in Hunan province.
 
Article
The objective of this research was to analyze four essential elements, copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe), one potentially essential element, nickel (Ni), and one non-essential element, lead (Pb), in heart tissues between wild/fattened and female/male bluefin tuna in the eastern Mediterranean near Turkey. Hundred individual samples of wild and fattened tuna, including 50 female and 50 male fish, were investigated. Wild fish were obtained from Antalya Bay and the fattened samples were taken from a tuna fish farm in Ildir Bay (Izmir) during the spring. The mean trace elements of wilds were determined to be: Pb, 0.051 ; Cu, 0.725; Mn, 0.123; Ni, 0.130; Zn, 3.398; and Fe, 6.459 (μg/g wt wt). Values for fattened fish were as follows: Pb, 0.044; Cu, 0.558; Mn, 0.125; Ni, 0.107; Zn, 3.328; Fe, 6.749 (μg/g wt wt). In comparing wild and fattened fish, all differences were significant except those of Mn and Zn (p<0.05). On the other hand, in terms of gender, mean trace element contents in the heart tissue of wild and fattened female BFTs, respectively, were Pb, 0.052, 0.043; Cu, 0.762, 0.571; Mn, 0.125, 0.130; Ni, 0.146, 0.105; Zn, 3.401, 3.506; and Fe, 6.511,6.583. In addition, these parameters for wild and fattened male BFTs, respectively, were as follows: Pb, 0.050,0.045; Cu, 0.688,0.545; Mn, 0.121,0.120; Ni, 0.114,0.109; Zn, 3.395,3.150; and Fe, 6.407,6.914. In terms of gender, the Pb, Cu, and Ni differences between wild female and fattened female samples were significant (p<0.05). Furthermore, all differences between wild males and captive males were significant except that of Mn (p<0.05). Thus, the mean trace element content in the heart tissue of all BFTs were: Pb, 0.048; Cu, 0.642; Mn, 0.124; Ni, 0.119; Zn, 3.363; and Fe, 6.604.
 
Effect of egg aging on fertilization success in D. setosum. 
Article
An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of sperm dilution, egg concentration, sperm-egg exposure time, and gamete aging on fertilization success in the tropical species of long-spined black sea urchins, Diadema setosum. The results obtained from the present study revealed that sperm dilution, sperm age, and sperm-egg exposure time were consecutively the most important factors influencing fertilization success, while egg concentration was not significant over the wide range tested. Sperms retained their potency for more than two hours only in relatively dense sperm suspensions (≥10-4 dilution of 'dry' sperm) whereas they showed lower viability and strength with increasing age and dilutions. In egg-sperm exposure time trials, more than 80% fertilization was accomplished at lower sperm dilutions (10-3-10-2) within 10 s of contact, while at higher sperm dilutions, longer times were required to achieve the higher fertilization rates. On the other hand, eggs lingered in good quality for up to 3 h and no adverse effects or abnormality in fertilization were detected in a series of sperm dilution tested. These results suggest that sperm dilution and its limited longevity can play a vital role in limiting the fertilization of sea urchin eggs in the field during natural breeding. It follows, therefore, that the tropical sea urchin (D. setosum) is under considerable selective pressures to spawn synchronously in order to generate high sperm concentrations and higher sperm-egg encounters in the water column to maximize the likelihood of successful fertilization.
 
Article
This paper is concerned with the changes of follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, progesterone, and estradiol-17β in laying hens under different photoperiods. Two hundred and fifty six commercial egg-type pullets were initially exposed to a photoperiod of 23 h of light (L):1 h of darkness (D), which was reduced to 22L:2D at 1 wk, to 18L:6D at 2 wk and to 16L:8D at 3 wk. From 4 to 20 wk, the photoperiod was 8L:16D. From 20 wk, each week increased one hour to achieve 11L:13D, 13L:11D, 15L:9D and 17L:7D photoperiods, respectively. At 29 weeks, two chickens were randomly selected from each replication, in order to detect the concentrations and patterns of FSH, LH, P4 and E2. Similar patterns of preovulatory LH and P4 surges and E2 levels were observed in 11L:13D, 13L:11D, 15L:9D and 17L:7D photoperiods. Preovulatory surges of FSH, LH and P4 were associated with spontaneous ovulations, but surges of E2 were not detected. In addition, the hormone concentrations were not increasing with the longer photoperiod, concentration of FSH, LH, P4 and E2 in 11L:13D photoperiod was highest (P<0.01). According to the time of P4 peak amplitude, we could predict the laying time, oviposition often occurred 2~4 h after appearing the peak amplitude.
 
Number of records and weights average in different ages.
Article
Weights of Iranian Baluchi sheep, from birth to 180 d of age, recorded every month, were analyzed using Random Regression Models. Independent variables were Legendre polynomials of age at recording. Up to four sets of random regression coefficients were fitted for animals' direct and maternal additive genetic and permanent environmental effects. Changes in measurements of error variances by age were modeled through a variance function. Orders of polynomial fit from three to five were considered and resulted in up to 36 parameters to be estimated. Direct heritability estimates increased after birth and tended to be the highest at ages at which maternal effect estimations tended to be the lowest. Maternal heritability estimations decreased fast after birth to about 30 of age and decreased slowly after that. Estimations of direct and maternal additive genetic correlation between weights of birth with other ages were moderate and between other ages were high.
 
Article
Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile is a flowering plant not algae. It lives according to water clarity in sandy bottom, at depths from 1 to 40 m of the Mediterranean. The lessepsian fish, Siganus luridus (Rüppell, 1828) are common herbivores in the eastern Mediterranean, where they adapted themselves to the new environment. This member of Siganidae have considerably modified their diet to adapt themselves to new plant and algal resources. It appears that in the Eastern Mediterranean of Turkey (Gazipaşa) S. luridus seems to select P. oceanica as an major food and they gradually destroy P. oceanica meadows.
 
Article
The present study focuses on the seasonal variation of the global chemical composition of false scad Caranx rhonchus (G, 1817), fish of the coastal catch from the Gabes Gulf (Tunisia). The variations of moisture, protein, fat and ash contents of the fresh muscle fish were examined as a function of sex. These variations are considerable for moisture and fat and less important for protein and ash. Maximal moisture content is reached during August for males (768.0 ± 11.5 g kg-1) and minimal moisture content is reached during November for females (612.0 ± 6.0 g kg-1). Inversely, maximal and minimal fat contents were recorded during November for females and April for males (132.2 ± 5.3 g kg-1 versus 14.5 ± 0.3 g kg-1). Higher protein values were observed over the year. Significant differences were observed for fatty acids in the examined fish species. Palmitic acid was the most abundant fatty acid ranging from 26 to 35%. Oleic acid was the main insaturated fatty acid ranging from 20 to 33%. Interestingly, muscle of C. rhonchus contained appreciable levels of Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids suggesting the use of this fish as a source of healthy diet for humans. The muscle contains high content of ω3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), ranging from 9.35 to 19% and including C20:5 ω3 (eicosapentaenoic acid, EPA) and C22:6 ω3 (docosahexaenoic acid, DHA) acids as major components. These two acids together accounted from 9.00 to 18.66% of total acids in the muscle of C. rhonchus. These findings may benefit the fishing industry, nutritionists and researchers who are striving to improve the nutritive value of this fish species.
 
Article
During April to October 2007, a large number of Chirocentrus nudus species were caught in main fishing area of Khuzestan province, namely, Busafe - Liphe and Bahrakan, North of Persian Gulf. The stomach contents of 542 individuals were analysed, in which 324 individuals contained (trace - full) stomachs and 218 individuals empty stomachs. The results of CV index (both sexes) showed monthly random fluctuations in the values. The results of Fp index (both sexes) showed (from 324 prey stomach content) 98% for fish (Sardinella spp. 58%, Ilisba melastoma 16%. Thryssa hamiltonii 14%, Liza klunzingeri 5%, Leioganthus lineolatus 4%) followed by squide (Loliga duvauceli) 2% and crab 1%. The results showed that fish is the main food source for C. nudus followed by sardines. Secondary food source were also fishes (Ilisha melastoma and Thryssa hamiltonii), Liza klunzingeri, Leioganthus. lineolatus; Loligo duvauceli and crab is accidental food source. Similar pattern of feeding for C. nudus was observed using CN index. It showed 95% for fish followed by squids (3%) and crabs (2%). Condition factor in both sexes had same pattern from April to July and also in September and October but in August and November were conversed together. Throphic level for C. nudus was obtained 4.7 of 12-100 cm.
 
Article
The history of scientific forest management in the United States is relatively brief, about 125 years or so. But it has been rife with debate and controversy, and there is no reason to supposed that this will change with the introduction of biotechnology to this well-wooded land. This article tracks the varied challenges offered by and different tactics protesters have selected over time to fight against innovations in land management. By tracing the fights that broke out over the creation of the first National Forests in the early twentieth century, clear-cutting practices in the post-World War Two era, and the more violent reactions to government conservation agencies at the turn of the twenty first century, we will better understand some of the hostility that has emerged in response to genetic engineered trees and food.
 
Article
This paper provides the first record of a new blueberry pest in Croatia, the blueberry gall midge (Dasineura oxycoccana Johnson, 1899). The first appearance of this pest was recorded on a blueberry plantation in Donja Bistra, in the Zagreb area. It is assumed that the midge species has been present in this area for some time, but because blueberries are a relatively new crop in Croatia, it was difficult to identify the specific pest species. D. oxycoccana is one of the most important blueberry pests worldwide, and it is widespread in the United States. Its complete distribution in Europe is unknown because of the low production of blueberries in this region. The morphological and biological characteristics of the blueberry gall midge, along with the damage and control methods associated with this species, are presented in this paper.
 
Article
For the most part, the typhus epidemic in Serbia, which took tens of thousands of lives, has not attracted the attention of historians with regard to issues related to nutrition and the conditions endured during the battle by the wounded as well as civilians. Nutrition represents one of the major factors when it comes to treating typhus. The inadequately prepared Serbian doctors and poorly organized medical services at the onset of World War I were not sufficiently focused on this matter. Allied missions in Serbia highly contributed to solving this problem in a more efficient and expedient manner by employing more up-to-date methods of hospital care. Furthermore, methods used to treat civilians and the wounded were also reviewed based on the records kept by members of foreign missions, the evidence of which can also be found in the original, limited data of the official ministries.
 
Article
The current article adopts the Mann-Kendall time series analysis method to study the characteristics of the runoff variation in the Wuyuer- Shuangyang River watersheds in the past 50 years, and investigates its influences on the hydrological regime of the Zhalong Wetlands based on relevant data on the runoff variation characteristics in the Wuyuer-Shuangyang River watershed (1956-2000). The runoff in the Wuyuer-Shuangyang River watersheds in the past 50 years showed a downward trend as a whole. The drop rates of the annual runoffs of the Wuyuer River at the Bei'an, Yi-An, and Long'anqiao Stations were 69.6×10 6 m 3/10a, 128.2×10 6 m 3/10a, and 41.3×10 6 m 3/10a, respectively. The runoff variation of the Shuangyang River has no significant law, and the runoff in the Wuyuer-Shuangyang River watersheds in 1970s showed an extremely low value. The annual runoff distribution nonuniformity in the Wuyuer River watershed showed an upward trend, whereas that in the Shuangyang River watershed showed a downward trend. The Wuyuer-Shuangyang River watershed is mainly characterized by the dry years, and the number of the dry years accounted for about 44.4% to 57.8% of the total number of years. The observed frequency of occurrence of the dry season in the Wuyuer-Shuangyang River watersheds was higher than that of the continuous wet season. The longest continuous wet season was five years, whereas the longest continuous dry season was seven years. The M-K analysis showed that the observed runoff of the Wuyuer River at the three hydrologic stations showed a downward-upward-downward trend, and had abrupt change points and significant changes. However, the runoff of the Shuangyang River had not mutated significantly. The runoff in the Wuyuer-Shuangyang River watersheds showed a downward trend after year 2000.
 
Article
The water footprint theory provides a new method to assess agricultural water utilization, as it permits the comparison of crops from the perspective of water consumption amount and types, it can also reflect the water productivity of crops. Irrigation plays an important role to the food security of China. The assessment of water resource utilization during agricultural production processes will contribute to improving agricultural water management practices for the irrigation districts. The present paper provides a new calculation method to quantify the water footprint of crop. On this basis, this paper calculates the water footprint of grain in the Hetao irrigation district. Then, it assesses temporal-spatial variability of water footprint for grain during 1960-2008. Results indicate that: 1) the multi-year average water footprint of grain in Hetao irrigation district was 2.20 m3 kg-1, which was 89.41% blue and 11.59% green. The grain production in the Hetao irrigation district mainly relies on blue water (irrigation water); 2) the regional differences of water footprint for the 5 counties in Hetao irrigation district was significant. The analysis indicated that spatial differences of climatic condition, agricultural production level and planting structure lead to the diversity of water footprint for grain among the 5 counties; 3) the water footprint of grain decreased during the study period, exhibiting a trend of 0.09 (m3 /kg) a-1. The analysis showed that the decrease of water footprint was mainly driven by the improvement of agricultural production level, the increase of agricultural water use efficiency and the change of grain crop planting structure.
 
Article
Together with the transfer of commodities, regions trade water that is needed for the production of commodities in virtual form. This is called virtual water flow or virtual water trade. Analysis of virtual water flows could supply a better understanding of water resources problems and provide some suggestions for the improvement of water resources management. The aim of the study was to determine the virtual water flows related to regional crop transfer and its effects on local water resources in Hetao irrigation district, China, from 1960 to 2008. Results indicate that: (1) virtual water export showed an increasing trend over the study period and the multi-year average value was 2.17×109 m3; (2) blue virtual water export accounted for 87.98% of virtual water export; (3) the export rate of water resources (the virtual water export related to crop transfer divided by the total water used in local area) increased from 38.51% in 1960s to 56.82% in 2000s. Results indicate that virtual water export put great pressure on local water resources and brought environmental issues to Hetao irrigation district. The government should take measures to improve both blue water (irrigation water) and green water (rain water) use efficiency to alleviate water crisis.
 
Article
The objective of the current study was to determine the influence of climate change on the beginning of apple tree flowering in Lithuania and explore the suitability of spring plants' phenophases for the prediction of apple tree flowering. Variable weather conditions in winter predetermine the phenophase development of Corylus avellana L. and Alnus incana Moench. that are plant indicators of early spring and begin flowering on March 23-27; the changeability of weather conditions in winter leads to large annual fluctuations. For true and late spring indicators Betula pendula Roth., Padus avium Mill. and Malus domestica Borkh. the fluctuations in the start dates of phenophases decreased twice. During the 30-year period, the start dates of all three spring periods advanced by -0.35 to -0.54 days per year. A very evident advance was noted for early spring start dates (-4.66 to -4.82 days per year). The air temperature regime of early spring predetermines the beginning of the apple tree flowering (r = 0.71). As a result, depending on the weather changes during this month, the start date of apple tree flowering could also change. We estimated a predictable start date of apple tree flowering based on the data of the start dates of phenophases of indicator plants of true spring. A short interphase duration (5-14 days) between Malus domestica Borkh. start of flowering and Betula pendula Roth., as well as Padus avium Mill. phenophases determines stronger correlations (r = 0.80-0.91), which confirm the suitability of these indicator plants for being used for apple tree flowering prediction.
 
Article
In China, urban expansion experiences different periods during the last two decades with a rapid development rate and with different patterns among the interior and exterior of a city. The object of this paper is to discuss the changes of impervious surface in Guangzhou from 1990 to 2003 by using the V-I-S model under the support of technique of sub-pixel. Two Landsat image data (TM, 1990 and ETM+, 2003) are used to demonstrate the usefulness of the V-I-S model. And the impervious surface (IS) data is extracting using the linear un-mixing analysis model. Base on these two IS data, the spatial expansion pattern of Guangzhou city is discussed. This paper gives a case study to understand urban expansion with the view of IS not a traditional view of land use. The results showed that the V-I-S model could express the information of urban expansion, and is useful to discuss the transformed information of impervious surface of interior urban. From 1990 to 2003, Guangzhou had experiencing a rapid urbanization and development, especially the developing direction has changed obviously in past 15 years. Based on the data of IS of Guangzhou in 1990 and 2003, the change results are shown as followed: (1) the mean value of IS increases one times from 0.21 to 0.67; (2) the direction of urban expansion is multidimensional, almost reflecting North and East direction;(3) the density of IS in inner city increases during this periods with the fast economic development.
 
Article
After the Reform and Opening-up policy, China saw a rapid growth of urbanization. With the rapid expansion of urban spatial scale, a domestic discussion has arisen on whether the speed of land urbanization is too fast compared to the speed of population urbanization. According to relative statistical data, this article carries out an analysis on the evolution of population urbanization and land urbanization from these two levels: quantity and quality, and examines their coordination using The Coupling Coordination Degree Model. The population urbanization in China shows a distinct character of double-track development. The urbanization rate of urban permanent population is far more higher than that of urban registered population, and the gap between the two is gradually expanding. In recent years, land urbanization has been expanding rapidly. From the comprehensive point of either quality or quantity, the speed of land urbanization has always been faster than that of population urbanization in recent years, but due to the higher level of the latter one, the coordination level of those two is gradually improving.
 
Article
To understand the molecular characteristics of H9N2 avian influenza viruses (AIV), we studied 21 amino acid sequences of haemagglutinin (HA) genes, which were gained from strains in different areas of China during 1996 to 2011. There were 99 variable amino acid residues, accounting for 17.7% of all amino acids. Nine polymorphic amino acid residues (score ≥4) were observed in the chicken HA, the HA1 domain showed higher level of mutation than the HA2 domain. Moreover, the result showed that the 3 sites (218-220, 298-300, 305-307) were variable in 7 potential glycosylation positions. There were 7 receptor-binding sites, especially the site 198 with high degree of mutation frequency located in the globular head of protein model. It revealed the site 198 might be more conducive to changing AIV virus to adapt to new hosts and to evade the body's immune system. Phylogenetic tree showed that no significant regional differentiation was found in HA amino acid sequences of strains. It indicated that geographical isolation of virus could be broken by extensive trades and migration of birds.
 
Article
Shaanxi province is one of the most important forest provinces in northern China. In 1999 the national government implemented the Grain for Green Program followed in 2000 by the Natural Forest Protection Program. Being able to confidently estimate carbon sequestration dynamics is a first step in determining how to increase sequestration levels. The study investigated the carbon storage dynamics of live forest biomass, depending on the relevant forest inventory data and empirical factors (wood density, root/shoot ratio, biomass expansion factor and carbon fraction). It showed that: (1) the carbon storage and carbon density of the forest vegetation of Shaanxi were 0.29 Pg and 46.3 Mg ha-1 in 2009, respectively, values which had increased by 52.6% and 32.4% in 2009 compared with 1999. From 1999 to 2009, the carbon accumulation rate was 0.83 Mg ha-1 year-1. In 2009, carbon densities of the different forest types varied from 18.8 Mg ha-1 to 188.1 Mg ha-1; (2) the carbon storage of the immature forests (including young, middle-aged and premature) was 192.3 Tg, which accounted for 67.5% of total carbon storage. In the decade after China carried out its natural restoration, afforestation and reforestation programs the benefits of forest carbon sequestration were obvious. With appropriate management the forests of Shaanxi have great carbon sequestration potential.
 
Article
Quantitative research of water circulation and utilization in the soil-plant system is the basis for rational use of agricultural water. In this study, a systematic investigation into the optimal irrigation rate and time by numerical simulations for various soils was carried out using HYDRUS-1D model. Three typical and contrasting European soils (coarse, medium and fine) were used in the simulations. Surface runoff during irrigation was simulated, and so was water content distribution in the soil profile immediately after irrigation as well as 24 hours after irrigation were simulated. Results reveal that the coarse soil could subject to a great irrigation rate. Even for the irrigation rate of 25 mm/h no significant surface runoff occurred after 5 h irrigation. However, for both the medium and fine soils, the maximum irrigation rates without significant runoff were greatly reduced. The maximum rate was about 5.0 and 3.0 mm/h for the medium soil and fine soil, respectively. The soil wetting depth 24 h after the maximum irrigation rate for 5 h reached to 60 cm in the coarse soil, compared with about 20 and 16 cm in the medium and fine soil, respectively. This indicates that irrigation could wet the root zone of deep-rooted crops in the coarse soil, while it could only wet the root zone for shallow-rooted crops in the medium and fine soils. Furthermore, it was simulated that the soil wetting depth 24 h after irrigation was considerably greater than that immediately after irrigation, suggesting that consideration should be taken in estimating soil wetting depth caused by soil water re-distribution. The results from this study are helpful for irrigation planning for crops grown in different soils with different rooting depths. © 2014, World Food Ltd. and WFL Publishers. All rights reserved.
 
Article
Accurate quantification of the nutritional and antioxidant properties of raw materials is important in the diet and nutritional management. In this study, the 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine colorimetric method widely used for determination of ascorbic acid level in biological fluids was adapted to estimate total vitamin C content in fruits. The procedure depends on the principle of oxidation of L-ascorbic acid to dehydroascorbic acid and 2,3-diketo-gulonic acid, followed by reaction with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine. After treatment with sulfuric acid, a colored product is formed which is absorbed at 520 nm. Using standard ascorbic acid at different concentrations, Beer's law was obeyed up to 2.0 mg dL-1 concentration range, which resulted in the following equation of the linear calibration curve: y = 4.0827x - 0.0423, R2 = 0.9923. The most critical and decisive step in the procedure for an accurate reading is the preparation of a final clear extract of the fruit or vegetable. Analysis of vitamin C contents in selected fruit using both titrimetric and spectrophotometric methods are presented.
 
Article
In this work, a method was developed for Cu (II), Zn (II) and Pb (II) preconcentration by using columns packed with Geobacillus stearothermophilus DSMZ 22 (thermophilic bacterial biomass) immobilized on silica gel. The thermophilic bacterium G. stearothermophilus DSMZ 22 immobilized on silica gel was used as a new biosorbent for the preconcentration and separation of copper, zinc and lead ions. G. stearothermophilus DSMZ 22 immobilized on silica gel selectively accumulated analytes from water samples. The retained copper, zinc and lead ions on the biosorbent were eluted by using 1 M HCl and analysed by ICP-OES. The influences of analytical parameters including pH, amount of bacterial biomass, sample volume, eluent volume, type of eluent etc. on the quantitative recoveries of analytes were investigated. The effects of some alkaline, alkaline earth and some metal ions on the recoveries of analytes were also examined. The maximum sorption capacity of the biosorbent under the optimized experimental conditions was 1630 μg g -1 for Zn (II). The detection limit for Cu (II), Pb (II) and Zn (II) ions were 1.51, 3.11 and 4.48 μg l -1, respectively. In order to validate the accuracy of the method for determination of copper, zinc and lead, certified reference material of sewage sludge (BCR 146-R) was used. Proposed separation/ preconcentration method was applied to spring, tap and river water samples.
 
Article
The aim of this study was to determine the nutritional knowledge of mothers with children aged between 0-24 months. The research was conducted on randomly selected 11 03 voluntary mothers with children aged between 0-24 months in four health care centers in Golbasi town center of Ankara city. Research data was obtained through the prepared questionnaire form and face-to-face interview technique. In order to examine the nutritional knowledge of the mothers included in the research, the study tested whether their scores from nutritional knowledge statements dispersed normally. For this purpose Kolmogorov Smirnov one sample test was used in the study. Accordingly, the test results indicated that the mean scores of nutritional knowledge did not disperse normally (p = 0.000). Therefore, nonparametric tests were used in the analysis of the data instead of parametric tests. In conclusion, mothers' nutritional knowledge was determined to increase in parallel with education level and age (excluding >36). In a general sense, it can be said that mothers included in the study had a good level of nutritional knowledge.
 
Top-cited authors
Kazem Ghassemi-Golezani
  • University of Tabriz
Mohammad Moghaddam
  • University of Tabriz
Mahmoud Toorchi
  • University of Tabriz
Yasunori Hamauzu
  • Shinshu University
Hui-lian Xu
  • University of Jinan (Jinan, China)