Tag Archives: 7-2

Economic impact of maize stem borer (Chilo partellus) attack on livelihood of maize farmers in Pakistan

Akhter Ali1*, AbduRahman Beshir2

1International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), CSI Complex, NARC, Park road, Islamabad, Pakistan

2International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), NARC, Kathmandu, Nepal


Maize is third important cereal in Pakistan after wheat and rice. The demand of maize is increasing due to poultry and other industries. However the maize crop is faced with number of challenges especially the attack of number of insect, pest and diseases. The maize stem borer is an important pest in Pakistan causing a damage ranging up to 30%. The current paper is based on comprehensive cross sectional data set collected through detailed field survey from 812 maize farmers across Pakistan.  The losses are ordered into different categories depending upon the intensity and damaged caused. The analysis was carried out by employing a number of econometric models and approaches e.g. multivariate Probit model, Poisson regression model, as well as propensity score matching approach were employed. The empirical results indicated that as the intensity of losses increases the maize yield decreases. The reduction in maize yields leads to less income levels and higher poverty levels, hence inversely affecting household welfare. The current paper has key policy implications specifically institutional support needs to be provided to maize growers regarding effective control of the stem borer, which can help to enhance  the maize yield and in turn the household welfare in Pakistan.

Keywords: Stem borer, Maize crop, Yield losses, Household welfare, Pakistan

Case report: Babesiosis in captive Chinkara deer (Gazella bennettii) at Bahawalpur, Pakistan

Muhammad Tahir Riaz1, Waqas Ahmad1, Khalid Mehmood2, Tauseefur Rehman2, Ali Abbas2, Muhammad Mutee us Salam1, Jamila Shafi1, Zahid Hussain1*

1Livestock and Dairy Development Department Punjab, Pakistan

2University College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan


Gazella bennettii also known as Chinkara is an endangered species.  Two Chinkara were brought to the University Teaching Hospital of the University College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Bahawalpur. Clinical examination revealed lethargy, progressive weight loss, subnormal body temperature, sunken eyes, congested conjunctiva, rapid abdominal respiration, and anemia. The babesiosis was detected on the basis of intra erythrocytic protozoa in Giemsa stained blood smears. Furthermore, molecular identification was conducted by targeting V4 region of 18S rRNA gene. Grossly, lungs were the most severely affected organs observed in the study. The condition was successfully treated with imidocarb dipropionate (Imipro®, 12%, Selmore Pharmaceutical, Pakistan) at dose rate of 3 mg/kg intramuscularly once a daily dose on days 1, 3, 6, 9, 15 and 21 along with supportive treatment. This study is the first one to report babesiosis in captive Chinkara deer.

Keywords: Babesiosis, Chinkara gazelle, Case report, Molecular detection

Antimicrobial activity of Indonesian plant extracts against food borne microorganisms

Khoirun Nisa*, Wuri Apriyana, Vita Taufika Rosyida

Research Unit for Natural Products Technology, Indonesian Institute of Science, Jl. Jogja-Wonosari Km. 31.5, Playen, Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta 55861, Indonesia


Many pathogens such as fungi, yeast or bacteria commonly infect food supplies throughout post-harvest process including transportation and storage. Consequently, in order to prevent food borne diseases, some preservation way is required to stop or significantly slow down spoilage. This study evaluated the antifungal and antibacterial activities of some Indonesian plants against the food spoilage fungi and pathogen bacteria. The plants were extracted by distilled water and ethanol to investigate the antifungal and antibacterial activities by the broth micro-dilution methods. At 0.5 mg/ml concentration, A. altilis aqueous extract had the most significant antifungal activity against Penicillium sp with the antifungal activity (AFA) value of 140.36 ± 3.76%. In contrast, C. burmanii inhibited the growth of Aspergillus nidulans with the AFA value of 90.52 ± 15.97% in the same concentration. In the inhibition of Escherichia coli and Salmonella thypii growth, A. altilis ethanol extract gave the remarkable antibacterial activity with the MIC value of 0.025 mg/ml of each.

Keywords: Plant extracts, Antifungal activity, Antibacterial activity, Food preservatives

Cultivation and utilization of “Greek mountain tea” (Sideritis spp.): current knowledge and future challenges

Alexandra D. Solomou1*, Elpiniki Skoufogianni2, Christos Mylonas2, Rafailia Germani2, Nicholaos G. Danalatos2

1Institute of Mediterranean and Forest Ecosystems, Hellenic Agricultural Organization “Demeter”, N. Chlorou 1, 11528, Ilisia, Athens, Greece

2Laboratory of Agronomy and Applied Crop Physiology, Department of Agriculture, Crop Production and Rural Environment, University of Thessaly, Fytokou Str., 38446, N. Ionia, Magnesia, Volos, Greece


The Greek ecosystems consist of a variety of plant species, of which a large percentage have aromatic and medicinal properties. Aromatic and medicinal plants play an important role in the health of people worldwide, especially in developing countries. The present review focuses on Sideritis spp. that is an important plant with an increased attention in the last years for its wide range of uses and especially due to its medicinal properties. The location and conditions of the areas that can be used for its cultivation should be similar to those of its natural habitat in order to keep the product quality. It is important to mention that both the yield and the lifetime of the crop depend to a large extent on cultivation care. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that Sideritis spp. fetch an auspicious potential for improvement of memory in healthy adults as well as in dementia patients. Currently, the demand for these plants and their derivatives has increased because they are natural, eco-friendly and generally recognized as safe products with high economic value. Therefore, it comprises an important commodity for extensive cultivation in Greece in the near future. Hence, this emphasizes the need of extensive study for reporting the additional information on the aromatic and medicinal importance of Sideritis spp.

Keywords: Cultivated practices, Ecology, Diversity, Compounds, Essential oil, Sideritis

Croton species in Madagascar: their ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry and biological activities

Alfred Maroyi

Medicinal Plants and Economic Development (MPED) Research Centre, Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa


Croton species collected from the wild have always been used as herbal medicines for various diseases in Madagascar. The objective of this investigation was to review the ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry and biological activities of Croton species that are endemic to Madagascar. Relevant literature search was carried out using internet sources such as ACS, Web of Science, Wiley, SpringerLink, Scopus, Mendeley, Google Scholar, Pubmed, SciFinder, BioMed Central, Science Direct and Elsevier. Other literature sources were conference papers, book chapters, books, theses and websites. Literature sources revealed that leaves, bark, roots and twigs of Croton species are commonly used as traditional remedies for 38 human diseases and ailments in Madagascar. Cough, malaria, stomach problems, hypertension, asthma, colic and fever are the most commonly treated human diseases, including use of leafy branches of Croton species as insect and lice repellents. Phytochemical compounds isolated from Croton species include alkaloids, diterpenoids, essential oils, flavonoids, furanoditerpenoids and triterpenoids. Preliminary pharmacological studies indicate that crude extracts and compounds isolated from these species have antimicrobial and cytotoxic activities. In as much as the medicinal potential of Croton species should be evaluated, more intensive phytochemical and pharmacological assessments should be conducted to enhance the pharmaceutical potential of the species.

Keywords: Croton, Endemic species, Madagascar, Phytochemistry, Pharmacological properties

Elemental analysis of commercially available rice samples in Malaysia by using ICP-MS and SEM-EDX

Ong Mei Gee1,4, Rohana Abdul Jalil1,4, Wan Rosli Wan Ishak2,4 *, Noor Aman  Hamid 1,4, Che Badariah Abdul Aziz1, Wan Suriati Wan Nik2,4, Noor Fadzlina Hamid2,4, Vasanti Malik3,4, Walter  Willet3,4, Frank Hu3,4

1School of Medical Sciences, 16150 Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia

2School of Health Sciences, 16150 Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia

3Department of Nutrition, Harvard Chan School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 USA

4Global Nutrition and Epidemiological Transition Initiative (GNET),  Harvard Chan School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 USA


Rice is the staple food in Malaysia. There are limited literature about study on the elemental levels and observation on ultrastructure of commercially available white rice and brown rice in Malaysia. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the concentration of elements in three uncooked long rice grain, i.e. two brown rice and one white rice varieties that are commercially available in Malaysia using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and compare the structure and elements of uncooked and cooked rice grain using Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). The ICP-MS results of the three uncooked rice grains showed high concentration of copper, manganese and zinc, followed with potassium, magnesium and calcium. Besides, the element contaminant such as plumbum, antimony and cadmium in the rice grains were under Malaysian permissible limit (Malaysian Food Act, 1983) and international standard  (FAO/WHO, 2002). Arsenic was below Malaysian permissible limit but higher than safe limit by international standard. Silicon was observed in brown rice after viewed by using SEM-EDX. Besides, brown rice showed higher concentration of elements than white rice

Keywords: Brown rice, Elements, ICP-MS, SEM-EDX, White rice

Antagonism and compatibility of biofertilizer bacteria toward Fusarium oxysporum F. sp. Cubense

Arief Widyantoro, Hadiwiyono, Subagiya

Graduate School of Agronomy, Universitas Sebelas Maret in Surakarta, Jl. Ir. Sutami 36A, Solo, Indonesia


Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum F. sp. cubense (FOC) is an important disease on banana. Fusarium wilt was hard to control because the pathogen can survive in many kind of soils type although there is no host. Therefore, overcoming the disease is urgently needed to develop such as biological control. Biofertilizer bacteria, such as Azotobacter, Azospirillum, Streptomyces and Bacillus were begun to use as antagonist agent to the pathogen. This research aimed to study the mechanism of antagonism of the biofertilizer bacteria toward FOC. There were 4 isolates examined in vitro to test the production of chitinase, pectinase, and antagonism. The research showed that all isolates of biofertilizer bacteria were able to produce chitinase and pectinase except Azospirillum. Streptomyces and Bacillus were able to inhibit the growth of FOC colony at 80.45 and 87.71% respectively. Combination of Azotobacter to Streptomyces is compatible as well as Azospirillum to Bacillus. Azotobacter to Azospirillum is incompatible as well as Streptomyces to Bacillus.

Keywords: Banana, Azotobacter, Azospirillum, Streptomyces, Bacillus

Genetic diversity analysis in Pakistani commercial and landrace genotypes of bread wheat

Raza Ali Rind1, Abdul Wahid Baloch1, Wajid Ali Jatoi1, Muhammad Azeem Asad2, Aamir Ali khokhar3, Feroz Gul Nizamani1, Muhammad Rafique Rind4, Abdul Latif Nizamani5, Mir Muhammad Nizamani3*

1Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics Faculty of Crop Production, Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, Pakistan

2Nuclear Institute for Agriculture and Biology (NIAB), Faisalabad, Pakistan

3Key Laboratory of Tropical Biological Resources of Ministry of Education, School of Life and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China

4Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Crop Production, Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, Pakistan

5Agricultural Education Extension, Agricultural Social Sciences, Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, Pakistan


In this analysis, the genetic diversity in 50 (25 commercial and 25 landraces) bread wheat genotypes were examined for phenotype, with a goal of revealing correlations between yield and 12 other common agro-morphological characters. An experiment was conducted in a randomized complete block design with three replicates. The mean squares values from analysis of variance revealed highly significant differences for all 13 character among the tested genotypes, indicating that these materials can be evaluated in further experiments. Based on mean performance, the commercial wheat variety NIA-Sundar and landrace T-23 produced the maximum grain yield per plot when compared to the other genotypes, demonstrating the importance of these two genotypes in wheat breeding programs. High heritability estimates (h2) were detected for all character, signifying that the variation observed was mainly under genetic control and was less influenced by the environment.  Hence, the improvement of this character can be made through direct phenotypic selection. The results also showed that spike length, grains spike-1, grain weight spike-1, tillers/m2, seed index, and biological yield plot-1 had positive and significant associations with grain yield plot-1, demonstrating that genotypes having more of this character may be preferred in selection for generating high yielding bread wheat genotypes. Comparing the genetic variability between commercial and landraces of bread wheat through PCA, traditional wheat genotypes tended to possess more genetic variance in the first three components of PCA than its counterpart. That indicates that old wheat genotypes possess precious genetic resources; thus, these genetic resources should be cultivated in future breeding programs. Via cluster analysis, diverse parents have also been identified, signifying their importance for upcoming hybridization programs.

Keywords: Bread wheat, Genetic diversity, Commercial and Landraces Genotypes

Tuber formation and endophyte dynamic in potato black nightshade grafting with application of goat manure liquid fertilizer

Yacobus Sunaryo1,2*, Djoko Purnomo1, Maria Theresia Darini2, Vita Ratri Cahyani1

1Department of Agricultural Science, Graduate School of Sebelas Maret University, Surakarta 57126, Indonesia

2Faculty of Agriculture, University of Sarjanawiyata Tamansiswa, Yogyakarta 55164, Indonesia


A research on the grafting of potato and black nightshade plants can be a new interesting report. This research was carried out in the greenhouse of Horticultural Seed Center Station in Pakem, Yogyakarta, Indonesia at an altitude of 780 m above sea level. In this research, a potato plant was used as the rootstock while a black nightshade plant was used as the scion. This research was conducted to examine the effect of grafting on tuber formation and endophyte dynamic of potato-black nightshade grafted with an application of liquid fertilizer made from goat manure. The plants consisted of three levels: potato plants, grafted plants, and black nightshade plants. Liquid fertilizer application consisted of two levels: without liquid fertilizer application, and with liquid fertilizer application. The liquid fertilizer was applied once a week in the range concentration of 1900-2000 µSCm-1 with total volume 0.5 liter per plants. Tuber formation was affected not only by the grafting of the plants but also by liquid fertilizer application. Potato with liquid fertilizer application produced the highest weight of tubers. There were about 66 % of grafted plants that produced tubers with sprouts, around 21.5% that produced irregular tubers and 12.5 % that produced regular tubers. Application of liquid fertilizer resulted a larger total bacteria in potato plants, in black nightshade plants, as well as in grafted plants. A population of bacteria in grafted plants was accumulated more in the connected stem, whereas the total of bacteria in the lower connected stem (rootstock) was larger than that in the upper connected stem (scion).

Keywords: Black nightshade scion, Grafted plants, Potato rootstock, Goat manure, Liquid fertilizer

Effects of cross linking on breadfruit starch and its batter properties

Yusnita Hamzah*, Revathi Subramaniam, Nor Hayati Ibrahim, Suhana Muhamad Hanidun

School of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia


The characteristics of breadfruit starch after cross-linked using 2%, 5%, and 10% of a mixture of sodium trimetaphosphate (STMP)/ sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) (99/1% w/w) and their feasibility in batter formulation were investigated. The concentrations of 2%, 5%, and 10% of STMP/STPP led to high (85.99%) medium (64.43%) and low (49.59%) cross-linking degree of breadfruit starches, respectively. Swelling power of native and high cross-linked breadfruit starches (CLBS) were significantly higher than that of medium and low CLBS. In addition, enthalpy of gelatinization (ΔH) of high cross-linked CLBS was the lowest (1.81 J/g) among the others. Different degrees of cross-linking did not significantly affect the appearances (size and shape) and crystallinity of breadfruit starches. Batters were prepared by combining wheat flour and native or CLBS (1:1).  All batters behaved as shear-thinning fluids and batter with the highest cross-linking degree (CLBS with 2% STMP/ STPP) had the highest consistency (K, 0.46 Pasn) compared to other CLBS formulations. Water retention capacity of batters containing native and high CLBS were significantly higher than batters containing medium and low CLBS. The pick-up of batter incorporated with low degree of CLBS (10% STMP/ STPP) was significantly lower than other batters. However, the cooking yield of batters containing native and different degrees of CLBS as well as their moisture and fat content were insignificantly affected. In summary, addition of 2% STMP/STPP as cross-linking agents obviously exhibited high  degree of cross-linking in breadfruit starch without change most of the starch and batter properties. It uses in other food application are worth studied.

Keywords: Starch, Cross-link, Breadfruit, Batter, Frying