LIST OF ARTICLES
Use of leaf spectral reflectance of corn for water stress analysis. A remote sensing approach called spectral reflectance determination allows measurement of crop spectral properties to be taken fast and readily to estimate desired vegetation attributes using derived spectral indices. Ugot et al. (2022) studied the vegetation indices derived from leaf spectral reflectance and its use as an indicator of water stress in corn under different irrigation treatments.
Identification of Tropical Freshwater Eels, Anguilla spp., in Cagayan River, Philippines
Joyce A. Hilario, Casiano H. Choresca Jr., Ma. Jodecel C. Dantinga, Faith Loraine T. Magbanua, and Ma. Theresa T. Oclos
Received: January 04, 2021/ Revised: June 03, 2022/ Accepted: June 12, 2022
Anguillid eels are high-value food fish with 16 known species worldwide. Due to its taxonomic ambiguity and insufficient data on species composition, this family of freshwater eels were inadvertently regarded as a single species. This study collected 63 freshwater eels at 3 life stages (glass eel, elver, yellow eel) from Cagayan River, Philippines, to evaluate the accuracy of morphological identification in comparison with molecular analysis. Morphological results displayed clear distinctiveness between Anguilla bicolor and Anguilla marmorata despite some overlapping physical characteristics between Anguilla marmorata and Anguilla luzonensis. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 15 out of 23 glass eel specimens were molecularly identified as A. marmorata, while 8 were identified as A. bicolor pacifica. For elver specimens, there were A. bicolor pacifica (n = 10), A. marmorata (n = 8), and A. luzonensis (n = 2). For yellow eels, there were A. bicolor pacifica (n = 10) and A. marmorata (n = 10). The results showed the inaccuracy of morphological identification in determining the richness and composition of Anguillids, which otherwise proved that molecular analysis is a more reliable approach in identifying freshwater eel species.
Multidrug-Resistant Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Isolated from Philippine Native Swine (Sus scrofa L.)
Michael Joseph M. Nagpala, Vachel Gay V. Paller, and Rina B. Opulencia
Received: March 24, 2021/ Revised: March 29, 2022/ Accepted: June 1, 2022
The interest in the use of Philippine native swine (PNS) as a product alternative to the white hybrid has been growing in the Philippines. However, PNS raised in low-cost production systems are prone to infection by zoonotic pathogens, such as the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) that causes diarrhea and life-threatening complications. The multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains of STEC further aggravate the problem as they serve as reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes. This study aimed to detect the occurrence of MDR STEC in 57 fecal samples of weaning- and market-age PNS. In addition, the class 1 integrons of the MDR STEC were characterized due to their ability to capture antibiotic resistance genes and hitchhike in mobile genetic elements, thereby spreading resistance. Fifty-three out of fifty-seven PNS or 93% were found to be positive for the presence of STEC by amplifying the stx1 gene. Disk diffusion assay against 12 antibiotic agents showed that the STEC isolates are most resistant to tetracycline (73.58%), ampicillin (37.74%), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (32.08%), and streptomycin (32.08%). Seventeen STEC isolates exhibited the MDR phenotype and contained class 1 integron (intI1). Four aadA (adenylyltransferase, streptomycin resistance) and dfrA (dihydrofolate reductase, trimethoprim resistance) gene variants were identified in the variable region of the class 1 integrons. The results of this study will be useful in devising effective management practices that would control the presence and spread of this pathogen in the farm.
Relationships between Opercular Girth, Maximum Girth and Total Length of Six Sparid Fishes from Saros Bay (Northern Aegean Sea, Turkey): An Assessment for Ecosystem-based Fisheries Management
Received: May 30, 2021/ Revised: February 22, 2022/ Accepted: April 17, 2022
This study was conducted so as to unearth the relationships between opercular girth (Gope), maximum girth (Gmax), and total length (TL) for six sparid fishes (Boops boops, Diplodus annularis, Diplodus puntazzo, Diplodus vulgaris, Lithognathus mormyrus, Oblada melanura) belonging to family Sparidae sampled between April 2015 and July 2016 in Saros Bay (Northern Aegean Sea, Turkey). Gope and Gmax were found to increase linearly with total length for all the species. All r2 values were statistically significant (> 0.82, P < 0.001). This study reports the first information about length-girth relationships (LGRs) of Diplodus puntazzo for the Aegean sea. However, no LGRs estimates existed for Oblada melanura worldwide. These values are important for the selectivity of fishing gear so as to prevent the capture of younger, undersized, and immature individuals, it will assist the development of the ecosystem-based fisheries management.
Effect of PCBs Extracted from Offshore Sediment of South China Sea (Zhanjiang) on Histological Structure and Inflammation of Zebrafish Intestine
Meng-Meng Chen, Fang-Hong Nie, Jun-ling Yang, Yun-Peng Yu, Min Zhang, Qing-Lang Song, Yao Hu, Zhi-Bao Chen, Dan- Ju Kang, Hong-Ying Lin, and Jin-Jun Chen
Received: January 07, 2020/ Revised: June 10, 2022/ Accepted: June 12, 2022
As ubiquitous environmental pollutants, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can cause significant health risks to various organisms, including humans. Meanwhile, PCBs exhibit various properties such as biological toxicity, high fat solubility, and accumulation in sediments and bioaccumulation in the food chain. In this study, the concentration of PCBs in Zhanjiang offshore sediment and the histopathological changes and the mRNA expression of cytokines in intestines of zebrafish (Danio rerio) exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of PCBs were investigated. Among the six sites selected, PCB28 was found in the sediments of Lakeside Park (BHP) and Seashore Park (HBP), with concentrations of 35.0 and 27.0 μg/kg, respectively. On the other hand, PCB81 was discovered in the sediments of Jinsha Bay (JSW) with a total amount of 29.0 μg/kg. Adult zebrafish were exposed to different PCB concentrations through water, with control (no PCB exposure), positive control (PCB 81 at 10 μg/L), low (5 μg/L), medium (10 μg/L), and high (15 μg/L) PCB doses. The fish were euthanized on days 1, 3, 5, and 7. The intestinal epithelial cells of the zebrafish exposed to PCB extracts proved the dose-responsive lesions. With the increase of concentration and time (P < 0.05), the relative expression of IL-1β, IL-8, and TNF-α mRNA increased significantly. The results showed that intestinal lesions and inflammation were dependent on exposure dose.
Application of Spectral Reflectance for Water Stress Detection of Corn (Zea mays L.) at Different Irrigation Treatments
Mary Hazel Joy C. Ugot, Roger A. Luyun, Jr., Ronaldo B. Saludes, Victor B. Ella, Marck Ferdie V. Eusebio, and Yaminah Mochica M. Pinca
Received: September 16, 2021/ Revised: May 24, 2022/ Accepted: June 01, 2022
Spectral reflectance indices have shown potential in crop water stress detection. Spectral reflectance was measured to determine vegetation indices, and its use as an indicator of water stress in corn under different irrigation treatments was explored. A completely randomized experimental design was conducted to detect water stress in potted IPB Var13 corn (Zea mays L.) under screenhouse conditions. Corn plants were subjected to three water stress treatments with three replications during the late vegetative (42 – 60 days after planting (DAP)) and reproductive (55 – 77 DAP) stages based on the total available water (TAW) in the soil: well-watered (> 50% TAW), moderately water-stressed (35% -50% TAW), and severely water-stressed (20%-35% TAW). Hyperspectral vegetation indices computed from the leaf spectral reflectance measurements which include the Water Index and the Normalized Water Indices (NWI-1, NWI-2, NWI-3, and NWI-4) were calculated and correlated with leaf relative water content, Crop Water Stress Index, and grain yield. Results revealed that the vegetation indices considered for this study showed no significant response to the implemented water stress treatments for both sampling growth stages. However, it was found that NWI-3 (r = -0.88878073) and NWI-2 (r = -0.92222618) produced the most significant correlation with corn grain yield for the vegetative and reproductive stages, respectively. Hence, these spectral indices could be significantly used for early corn grain yield assessment during its late vegetative and reproductive stages.
ICTs and Agricultural Risk Management in Southern Region of Punjab Pakistan: Implications for Agricultural Sustainability
Muhammad Umer Mehmood, Muhammad Kashif Afzal, Muhammad Luqman, Muhammad Yaseen, Ijaz Ashraf, Saleem Ashraf, and Azra
Received: June 06, 2021/ Revised: June 08, 2022/ Accepted: June 10, 2022
The role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the agriculture sector is critical in establishing the fact that the informed farmer is much more than a physical asset for agricultural sustainability. This research is an effort to further understand the role of ICTs in managing the agricultural risks (low production, less yield, low income, etc.) and estimation of information frequency against a specific category of risk. For this purpose, three districts from the cotton-producing districts of Punjab were selected. Data for the study was collected by conducting face-to-face interviews with 400 cotton farmers. Descriptive statistics and multinomial regression analysis were carried out to analyze the recorded data. Televisions and mobile phones were regarded as the most typical information sources with the highest mean values of 3.90 and 3.66, respectively. From production to legal or institutional risks, all of the risk categories were taken into consideration with the support of mobile phones and an internet-supported device. It was found that, except for age, factors such as education, access to ICTs, the extent of use of ICTs, and access to extension services significantly contributed to the adoption level of risk management strategies. As ICTs may augment actions towards meeting sustainable agricultural needs, a multidisciplinary effort by information technology experts and agriculture risk specialists is recommended so that efficient strategies against risks to cotton production may be developed.
Determinants of Food Insecurity and the Likelihood for Crop Diversification in Rural Pakistan
Mahwish Munawar, Xu Shiwei, Yu Wen, and Muhammad Luqman
Received: July 19, 2021/ Revised: February 14, 2022/ Accepted: July 18, 2022
Small farmers comprise the majority of Pakistan’s agricultural landscape. However, these farmers cannot achieve self-sufficiency with this livelihood, and are facing food security concerns. This study aims to determine the effect of crop diversification on rural food insecurity mitigation. The study area of Punjab has five distinct agroecologizal zones, and 200 households were surveyed in these geographic locations. Data was collected by conducting observations, interviews, and focus group discussions and was analyzed using logistic regression. The FCS and HFIAS were calculated in order to forecast the possibility of crop diversification. The results indicated that over half of the respondents were in their forties, and that the vast majority of the respondents described themselves as small farmers. Moreover, almost half of the farmers did not attend school. FCS was associated with age, land size, financial resources, and crop diversification, but not with HFIAS. The FCS also indicated that the majority of farmers are malnourished. As crop diversity can help farmers increase their food security and profitability, the results of this study may be utilized by public sector agricultural extension professionals and specialists to create policy recommendations which can contribute to the development of food security strategies in the area.
Impact of Agrochemicals Used in Maize Crop on Selected Soil Biota
Hussain Ali Shah, Shahid Sattar, Amir Zaman Shah, Sheraz Ahmad, Adil Altaf, Asad Ali Shah, and Ahmad Zada
Received: December 16, 2020/ Revised: July 28, 2022/ Accepted: August 08, 2022
Field and laboratory experiments were conducted to examine the impact of agrochemicals on soil biota and on earthworms. Results from the field experiment showed that lambda-cyhalothrin (@ 500 ml/ha) increased the bacterial population to 151 x 106CFU compared to the control plot with a population of 148.4 x 106CFU. In contrast, the lowest population (78.5 x 106CFU) was recorded in the mancozeb-treated plot (@ 500 g/ha), showing a higher negative impact on the bacterial population than other treatments. In fungi, the lowest population (44.8 x 103CFU) was recorded in the mancozeb-treated plot, showing a high negative impact on the fungal population, followed by the nicosulfuron-treated plot (@ 50 g/ha) with a population of 76.5 x 103CFU. The highest population was demonstrated by the control plot (121.9 x 103CFU) followed by the lambda-cyhalothrin-treated plot (82.2 x 103CFU), showing a less negative impact than the other treatments. Results from the laboratory experiment demonstrated significantly different effects of agrochemicals on earthworms in terms of mortality. Lambda-cyhalothrin proved more toxic compared to other chemicals with a maximum mean mortality of 56, followed by mancozeb with 45 and nicosulfuron with 33.3. Overall, lambda-cyhalothrin was found to have no impact on bacteria, moderate impact on fungi, and high impact on earthworms, while mancozeb had a high negative impact against bacteria and fungi but had less impact on earthworms compared to lambda-cyhalothrin. Nicosulfuron had moderate impact against all the soil biota.
COI-gene Based Molecular Identification of Chilo partellus Swinhoe (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) Infesting Maize in Lahore, Pakistan
Shahbaz Ahmad, Atif Idrees, Muhammad Usman Haider, Bilal Rasool, Rashid Mehmood, Ayesha Afzal, Arshad Javaid, Nadeem Shad, Sumra Ashraf, and Jun Li
Received: July 27, 2021/ Revised: April 29, 2022/ Accepted: June 13, 2022
The significance of maize (Zea mays L.) is well-known across the globe. Chilo partellus Swinhoe (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is one of the severe biotic constraints of maize production in Afro-Asian countries like Pakistan. Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) is considered as a universally accurate and authentic barcoding region to identify any insect species on the molecular level. In this study, the COI gene was selected for molecular identification of C. partellus. The insect larvae were collected from maize fields in Lahore, Pakistan. The sequence results revealed an amplicon size of 717 bp, which showed 100% homology to C. partellus species present in Karnataka, India upon BLAST. Maximum likelihood-based phylogenetic analysis with Chilo suppressalis and C. infuscatelus was studied and performed using MEGA 6. Multiple sequence alignment analysis showed the similarities and differences among intra- and inter-species levels. This is one of the primary or initial reports of molecular identification of lepidopterans in Pakistan. The study recommends utilization of molecular advancement for accurate species identification.
Assessment on Pollen Carrying Capacity and Pollen Viability of Elaeidobius kamerunicus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Dzulhelmi MN, Ahmad Norhisham Razi, Nur-Shafiqah Farhana Kalog, Ahmad Afandi Murdi, Suriyanti Su, and Izfa Riza Hazmi
Received: January 04, 2022/ Revised: April 29, 2022/ Accepted: June 02, 2022
Oil palm, also known as Elaeis guineensis Jacq (Arecales: Arecaceae), depends greatly on the pollinating weevil Elaeidobius kamerunicus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) for fruit production. Despite this, information on the pollen-carrying capacity of E. kamerunicus is still lacking. This study assessed the pollen-carrying capacity (PCC) and pollen viability (PV) of E. kamerunicus in two oil palm plantations with different soil types in Sabah, Malaysia. The pollination contribution of adult weevils to sex and body surface area (BSA) was also investigated. Adult weevils were collected from both male and female inflorescences and kept in microcentrifuge tubes containing pollen grain germination medium solutions to assess their pollination contribution. Results indicated a significant difference for BSA between sexes. Mann-Whitney test showed greater PCC for male weevils than female weevils for FELDA Sahabat and Long Danau from male inflorescence. PCC for female inflorescence showed no significant differences between male and female weevils for both oil palm plantations. PV showed no significant difference between sexes but differed significantly between oil palm plantations due to better soil quality in clay textured soil. Based on the results, pollination contribution by male adult weevils was greater than female adult weevils for both plantations.