Tag Archives: 8-2

Plant Cis-regulatory elements: methods of identification and applications

Usman Ijaz1, Tehreem Pervaiz1, Temoor Ahmed1, Riffat Seemab1, Muhammad Shahid1, Muhammad Noman1, Majid Nadeem2, Farrukh Azeem1*

1Department of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan

2Wheat Research Institute, Ayub Agriculture Research Institute, Faisalabad, Pakistan


Biotic and abiotic factors badly affect the productivity and growth of plants and found the major yield-limiting factor in agriculture. In recent years, various cis-regulatory elements have been identified that can function as molecular switches to regulate the expression of stress-related genes. They comprise of insulators, silencers, promoters and enhancers. These elements mediate not only functional diversity, but also modulate plant physiology at all developmental stages. Thus, identifying and characterizing cis elements that are intricated in plant stress response is essential for the development of plants tolerance to stress. This review article presents characteristic properties of cis-acting regulatory elements. Two aspects of cis-elements are targeted; one is properties and examples of condition-specific cis-elements while the other is techniques used for their identification. This review will be helpful in elucidating recent advancements in ciselements studies.

Keywords: Regulatory elements, Tissue specific, Promoter, Plants, Gene regulation

Biodegradation of plastic wastes by confused flour beetle Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val larvae

Hind Suhail Abdulhay*

Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq


As a consequence of increasing the production of plastics which accumulate substantial quantities of plastic wastes in the natural environment and in landfills that could persist for centuries. The ability of confused flour beetle Tribolium confusum larvae to consume and biodegrade different types of plastics were investigated. The experiment was performed by starving the larvae then exposed to three different types of plastic (polystyrene (PS), polyethylene foam (PE), and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) as diet in comparison to larvae reared on the conventional diet of wheat flour. The larvae were monitored under controlled conditions then the survival rate, the mass losses for both larvae and plastics resulting from the diet on plastic as a function of time (1, 14, 21 and 30 days) were measured. The results showed that with the increase of time; the averages of larvae survival on all types of plastic were decreased compared with control. The highest larval survival rate was found in the PS diet (70%), while the least was with larvae fed on EVA (30%) after 30 days. Decreasing in the mass weight of the larvae was confirmed during the study, which indicates that plastic materials are not an efficient source of energy for larvae except their survival. The mass loss was 26.2, 31.4 and 45.8 % recorded for larvae fed on PS, PE, and EVA respectively. The study recorded that T. confusum has the ability to degradation plastic, which can reduce the pollution caused by different types of plastic wastes.

Keywords: Tribolium confusum, Biodegradation, Plastic waste, FTIR

Role of endomycorrhizae, rhizobacteria and compost to improve phosphorus availability in onion

Faiza Shahzad1*, Hafiz Naeem Asghar1, Zain Mushtaq1, Amina Hadayat1, Naqshe Zuhra1, Rizwan Ahmad2, Muhammad Arif Ali3

1Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

2Land Resources Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan

3Department of Soil Sciences, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan


Phosphorus (P) is 2nd most important macronutrient for the growth of plants. The soils of Pakistan are alkaline and calcareous in nature which causes precipitation of P and making it less available to the plants. To overcome this issue, excessive P fertilization is used, some part of fertilizer is used by plants while remaining is either fixed as unavailable form or lost due to runoff. So deficiency of P affects the plant growth while runoff of excess fertilizer may result in eutrophication of our aquatic systems. Use of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) may be an appropriate method to enhance the P uptake efficiency of plants and reduce the use of P fertilizers. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are also well known for solubilization of P. Therefore, a pot experiment was conducted in 2019 at Research Farm of Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan to check the efficiency of compost, PGPR and AMF to enhance availability of P in onion. The impact of PGPR and AMF were evaluated separately and in combination. At harvest, data regarding plant fresh and dry weight, onion bulb circumference, bulb fresh and dry weight, chlorophyll a and b, carotenoids, and P concentration in plants were analyzed. Results showed that combined inoculation of endomycorrhizae and rhizobacteria improved plant fresh and dry weight, onion bulb circumference, bulb fresh and dry weight, chlorophyll a and b, carotenoids. Overall, integrated application of endomycorrhizae and rhizobacteria enhanced P uptake by 77% as compared to control treatment.

Keywords: PGPR, Endomycorrhizae, Compost, Phosphorus uptake, Onion

Rill treatments to enhance nutrient rich soil, a case study

Subash Thanappan*, Shashidhara Ranganath Hosamani, Mahesh Naganahalli Chandrappa

Department of Civil Engineering, Ambo University, Ambo, Ethiopia


This article mainly focuses on the soil conservation practices to counteract the soil degradation and to maintain the soil nutrients and organic matter. As the study area is highly prone to the soil erosion, the comparison study was initiated for the rill treatment with the help of sweet gum balls, riprap (different sizes of stones), mulch with coconut shells, bermuda grass with polyacrylamic (PAM) and a control. Five different rills of same size including an untreated control with four different materials used for making the protective covers were experimented initially using the triangular notches of 600 by maintaining the actual discharge of 0.001379 m3 sec-1. The rills were continuously kept under the visual observations for about two years which includes two monsoon seasons for each year. The changes in the size of the rills after every 4 rainy seasons are documented. The results of the experiments showed that the erosion control capacity of various protective covers are 68.4, 57, 51.2 and 44.8 respectively with the ingredients riprap, sweet gum ball, bermuda grass with PAM  and the mulch with the coconut shells.

Keywords: Analytical hierarchy process, Mulch, Polyacrylamic, Rip rap, Soil erosion, Visual observations

Subash Thanappan*, Shashidhara Ranganath Hosamani, Mahesh Naganahalli Chandrappa

Department of Civil Engineering, Ambo University, Ambo, Ethiopia

A comparative study to develop calcium, zinc, and antioxidant rich drinking yoghurt products using plant and pharmaceutical ingredients

Jayani Samarathunga1*, Madhura Jayasinghe1, Maharsha Edirisinghe2, Isuru Wijesekara1, Piumi Abeysundara1, Afshan Shafi3, Umar Farooq3, Subhashinie Senadheera4

1Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka

2MILCO (Pvt) Ltd., No.45, Nawala Road, Narahenpita, Colombo, Sri Lanka

3Department of Food Science and Technology, MNS-University of Agriculture, Multan, Pakistan

4Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Saliyapura, Sri Lanka


Today, people in the world hungers natural foods. This study is an attempt taken to investigate the compatibility of utilizing plant sources in fortification rather than pharmaceutical sources. Two sets of drinking yoghurt products were prepared using cow’s milk and fortified using selected plant and pharmaceutical sources of Ca and Zn separately; as they fulfil 1/3, 1/2 and 2/3 of Reference Dietary Intakes (RDI) of Ca and Zn. Drinking yoghurt fortified at 50% RDI of Ca with plant extracts elicited best sensory properties among all products. Incorporation of Moringa oleifera dried leaf powder extract and Phyllanthus emblica fruit extract had significantly increased the mineral composition compared to plain drinking yoghurt (p <0.05). All drinking yoghurts incorporated with plant ingredients had significantly higher (p<0.05) antioxidant activity (Range: 52.08+0.02- 91.69+0.00%) and total phenolic contents (2.29-3.60 mg GAE/g) than the control. All products fortified with Ca and Zn using pharmaceutical sources showed significantly lower (p<0.05) antioxidant activity. Microbiological evaluation did not elicit any significant difference (p>0.05) after subjected to mineral fortification from either plant or pharmaceutical sources. During the shelf life evaluation, quick increment in pH was observed in products with pharmaceutical ingredients than the control. Syneresis was higher in samples with plant ingredients than the control and pharmaceutical ingredient added products but was not greatly affecting the product stability during two weeks of shelf life period. Overall, the incorporation of M. oleifera and P. emblica can be concluded as reliable option for dairy products such as drinking yoghurts; to fortify them with high Ca and Zn, to enhance antioxidant properties as well as to maintain product stability and organoleptic properties.

Keywords: Phyllanthus emblica, Moringa oleifera, Ca fortification, Zn fortification, Antioxidant activity

In vitro evaluation of plant essential oils against Alternaria alternata causing fruit rot of grapes

Awais Sajid1, Gulshan Irshad1, Farah Naz1, Salman Ghuffar1*, Imran Hassan2, Nasir Mahmood1, Komal Rani1, Muhammad Faizan Manzoor1, Ali Meesam1, Abdul Mannan Hamzah3, Muhammad Zunair Karamt1

1Department of Plant Pathology, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

2Department of Horticulture, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

3Department of Entomology, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan


Alternaria fruit rot (AFR) caused by Alternaria alternata is a serious threat to grape market values in Pakistan during post-harvest stages, at the time of handling, storage transportation and distribution respectively. The objective of this study is to determine the anti-fungal activities of plant essential oils against Alternaria alternata causing fruit rot of grapes. For this purpose, three selected plant essential oils (EOs) viz. Kikar (Acacia karoo), Moringa (Moringa oleifera) and Sukh chain (Pongamia pinnata) essential oils at 200, 400 and 600 ppm concentrations were investigated by using different methods under in vitro condition against previously isolated culture of A. alternata designated as (Isolate ID. AA4PL1) on grape bunches. Results showed that Plant EO of Sukh chain at all concentrations showed significant result to inhibit the mycelial growth (89.4, 92 and 96.2 percent) in contact assay method as well as 96.2, 97 and 98.2 % growth inhibition regarding fungal culture transfer (FCT) experiment while, in case of well diffusion method 32%, 41% and 48% growth inhibition was recorded at 7th day of incubation followed by Moringa EO and Kikar EO as compared to control that showed 0 % growth inhibition was measured. Moreover, results related to spore germination assay revealed that Sukh chain essential oil at 200, 400 and 600 ppm showed significant inhibition of germ tube length of A. alternata (140.8 µm, 77.5 µm and 34.1 µm) as compared to control in which germ tube length was recorded 250 µm respectively. It was concluded that Sukh chain EO has a great potential to inhibit the growth of A. alternata and can be further used as a strong antifungal agent against this pathogen under in vivo condition.

Keywords: Grapes, Alternaria alternata, Fruit rot, Management, Plant essential oils

Biomass and nutrient composition of Spirulina platensis grown in goat manure media

Tatang Sopandi*, Siti Rohmah, Siti Aminullo Tri Agustina

Study Program of Biology, Faculty of Mathematical and Natural Science, University of PGRI Adi Buana, Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia


The major costs of cultivating S. platensis are for media and labor. The aim of this study was to explore the use of goat manure as culture medium for S.platensis. A complete randomized block design was used in this study with 5 treatments of goat manure concentration, each of which was repeated 5 times. The results of the study showed that the growth of S.platensis at 25 g/L concentration of goat manure was significantly (P<0.05) lower than 50, 75, 100 g/L and Zarrouk media. S.plantesis productivity at a concentration of 25 g/L goat manure (0.128±0.011 g/L/day) was significant (P<0.05) lower than 50 (0.153±0.012 g/L/day), 75 (0.158±0.014 g/L/day), 100 g/L (0.153±0.009 g/L/day) and Zarrouk media (0.164±0.016 g/L/day). Protein content in S. platensis at 50 (59.03±4.31%), 75 (62.56±6.04%) and 100 g/L (61.22±4.54%) goat manure and Zarrouk (63.21±5.97%) media were significantly (P<0.05) higher than 25 g/L (47.35±5.16%). Lipid content in S. platensis at Zarrouk media (5.28±0.38%), 50 g/L (5.31±1.27%), 75 g/L (5.37±1.25%) and 100 g/L (5.42±1.35%) goat manure were significantly (P<0.05) lower than 25 g/L (7.86±1.16%). Carbohydrate content in S. platensis at Zarrouk (22.58±2.38%), 50 g/L (21.67±2.25%), 75 g/L (22.43±2.14%) and 100 g/L (22.67±2.38%) goat manure were significantly (P<0.05) lower than 25 g/L (27.69±1.78%). Chlorophyll content in S. platensis at Zarrouk and goat manure with 50, 75 and 100 g/L concentration were significantly (P<0.05) higher than 25 g/L (1.36±0.15%). We conclude that the concentration of goat manure 75 g/L in S.platensis cultivation media was the optimum concentration and has the potential to replace in-organic media.

Keywords: Biomass, Culture medium, Goat manure, Nutrient composition, Spirulina platensis

A comparative study of pollination methods effect on the changes in fruit yield and quality of date palm cultivar Khalas

Muhammad Munir1,2*, Mohammed Refdan Al-Hajhoj1, Hesham Sayed Ghazzawy1,3, Abdel-Kader Mohammed Sallam1,4, Abdul Majeed Al-Bahigan1, Mubarak Ali Al-Muiweed1

1Date Palm Research Center of Excellence, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia

2Frontier Agriculture, SOYL Precision Crop Production Division, Newbury, United Kingdom

3Central Laboratory for Date Palm Research and Development, Agriculture Research Center, Giza, Egypt

4College of Technology and Development, Zagazig University, Egypt


To improve fruit set, yield and fruit physicochemical characteristics of date palm cv. Khalas, the effects of different pollination methods (pollen dusting, strands placement, pollen suspension, and natural pollination) were investigated. Twelve date palm trees were selected for the experiment, for which five spathes (spadix) from each palm were carefully chosen. The experiment was laid out on Randomized Complete Block Design with three replicates for each treatment. The results indicated significant differences among different pollination methods. The date palm cv. Khalas pollinated with dusting method exhibited significantly promising results regarding fruit set, parthenocarpic fruit, biser fruit, tamar fruit, and fruit drop percentage, bunch weight, pulp weight, pulp, seed and pulp : seed ratio, fruit fresh and dry weight, fruit length, width, and volume, seed weight and length, fruit moisture content, total soluble solids, total and reducing sugars. Data regarding total number of fruit nodes per bunch, seed width, and non-reducing sugar were not significantly affected by any pollination methods. Pollination carried out by pollen suspension technique was closely followed to pollen dusting method and a number of attributes were non-significant between the two methods such as fruit set, parthenocarpic fruit, tamar fruit, and fruit drop percentage, bunch and pulp weight, pulp, seed and pulp : seed ratio and fruit moisture content. Strands placement technique was much better than the control one that showed poor results regarding all attributes studied. The correlation between the parameters indicated that fruit set percentage had a significant positive relationship with tamar fruit percentage, bunch weight, total soluble solids, and total sugars. It is consequently concluded that pollen dusting and pollen suspension techniques are the best ones to pollinate date palm cv. Khalas. Moreover, date palm can not be left on natural pollination, which adversely affects fruit yield and quality attributes.

Keywords: Phoenix dactylifera, Khalas, Pollination strategies, Fruit production, Physicochemical traits

Physicochemical properties and microstructure of the pregelatinized tannia flour prepared by a simple parboiling method

I Nengah Kencana Putra*, I Putu Suparthana, Ni Putu Timur Ina

Department of Food Science and Technology, Udayana University, Bali, Indonesia


The flour of tannia tuber has the potential to be used as raw material for various flour-based food products. However, some of its functional properties are still limited, so it needs to be improved. This study aimed to determine the effect of parboiling treatment on the physicochemical properties of pregelatinized tannia flour (PTF). PTF preparation was carried out by boiling the tannia tuber slices at varying temperatures and times, before drying in an oven dryer at 70°C, milling, and sieving through a 60 mesh sieve. The native tannia flour (without parboiling) was also prepared as a control sample. The results showed that the parboiling treatment significantly improved the flour water absorption capacity (WAC) and swelling power (SP), and also it remarkably decreased the flour pasting temperature and pasting time, so it enhanced pasting characteristics of the flour. Parboiling treatment at 95oC for 10 minutes generated the fine PTF with WAC (2.76 g/g), water soluble index (6.7%), SP (9.08 g/g), water content (7.00%), amylose level (24.68%), amylopectin level (29.53%), pasting time (11 minutes), pasting temperature (68.27°C), final paste viscosity (1,773.33 cP), and type C pasting profile. Based on its characteristics, PTF is possible to be used as a partial substitute for wheat flour in the production of flour-based foods such as simulated chips, noodles, biscuits, and cakes.

Keywords: Tannia pregelatinized flour, Parboiling, Physicochemical properties, Microstructure

Weed control in wheat through different sorghum formulations as an organic herbicide

Muhammad Waqas Aslam Cheema1,2, Tassadduq Rasool1,3*, Hassan Munir1, Muhammad Mazhar Iqbal4, Tayyaba Naz5, Muhammad Ikram-ul-Haq1, Ahmad Mustafa1, Mubashar Nadeem1, Sami Ullah6

1Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

2Pakistan Oilseed Board Development, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Islamabad, Pakistan

3Directorate General Soil Survey, Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

4Soil and Water Testing Laboratory, Chiniot, Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad, Pakistan

5Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan

6PARC Arid Zone Research Institute, D.I. Khan, Pakistan


The impact of phytotoxic potential of sorghum formations and herbicide application along with their comparative economic advantages over each other in the wheat crop, was evaluated in present filed study. The sorghum formulations with their application volumes were as i) the water soaked extract (330 L ha-1), ii) water boiled extract (15, 20, 25 or 30 L ha-1), iii) fine powdered (270, 360, 450 or 540 g ha-1). Most of the sorghum formulations controlled weed density in array 24-61%. The weeds dry weight was declined by 20-59% and crop yield raised upto 25%. The water soaked extract at a volume of 330 L ha-1 and water boiled extract at 20 L ha-1 volume were not only useful in weed control but also enhanced yield and demonstrated economic profitability. These treatments provided higher rates of marginal returns % 154.54 $ and 47.70 $, respectively. Although, sorghum powder were effective in weed control but were uneconomical because of their high production cost.

Keywords: Allelopathy, Toxins, Weeds, Wheat, Herbicides