Day 2 :
Postgraduate College in Agriculture Science, Mexico
Abdul Khalil Gardezi is a Distinguished Scientist and Academic Member of the Hydro Science Center, Postgraduate College in Agriculture Science in Mexico, since 1981. He has received distinctions for teaching, research and service from 1988 until 2017. He has been selected for the originality of his research, presented as the best paper and oral presentation from 2003 to 2017 in international congresses in Australia, Canada. China, Great Britain, Italy, Mexico and USA. He has published more than 190 papers national and internationally. He has been honored among 2000 outstanding intellectuals of the 21st century by the International Biographical Center Cambridge, England.
Statement of the Problem: Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a tropical crop, member of the Malvaceae family. Its fruits are grown and widely used in many countries of Asia and Africa. India is the main producer. It is cultivated in Mexico in small plots with scarce know-how. A sustainable and low-cost technology is needed to increase the profits of the farmers. Pseudomonas fluorescens have been used to increase germination and for biological control of pathogenic fungus.
Materials & Methods: The study was done under greenhouse conditions. Two soils were used. One came from a parcel irrigated with sewage water and the other one was irrigated with clean water from a well. Half of the treatments were inoculated with Pseudomonas fluorescens. Four doses of vermicompost were applied as a source of organic matter.
Findings: There were significant differences (p≤0.05) in most variables recorded due to the treatments. The soil irrigated with contaminated water only affected root length and fruit number. The plants inoculated with Pseudomonas fluorescens had better shoot and root growth, and fruit number, but it had no effect on fruit weight (p≤0.05). Vermicompost, as source of organic matter, also had a positive effect on Okra growth. Fruit number, and their dry weight augmented with the application of the lowest quantity of organic matter used (25 t ha-1).
Conclusion & Significance: Irrigation with sewage water, inoculation with Pseudomonas fluorescens, and lower quantities of vermicompost can be used to increase the yields of okra. The use of Pseudomonas fluorescens can help to overcome the negative effects of contaminated waters, and other environmental and biological stresses. Recommendations are made to validate this results under field conditions.
Gansu Agricultural University, China
Huajun Wang has her specific expertise and interests in the area of crop improvement and germplasm enhancement, particularly focusing on plant adaptive responses to environment, such as salinity, drought, nutritional disorders, biotic stresses. He is also interested in to apply high throughput methods to screen crop germplasm for stress tolerance and identify QTLs conferring abiotic and biotic stress tolerance to salinity, drought, nutrient deficiency, and fungal disease. The ultimate goal of his research is to improve crop yield and quality to achieve agricultural sustainability under abiotic and biotic stress conditions.
Soil salinization has become a major challenge for sustainable development of global agriculture. Given the limited range of genetic diversity in salt tolerance within traditional crops, stress tolerance mechanisms and genes must be identified in extreme halophytes and then introduced into traditional crops. Halogeton glomeratus (H. glomeratus) is a succulent annual halophyte and is one of the most widely distributed halophytes in Central Asia and arid regions in northwestern China. However, little is known about the physiological and molecular adaptive mechanism of tolerance to salt in this species. For this study, we analyzed the salt tolerance mechanisms of H. glomeratus under different NaCl stress conditions using morphology, cytology, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology approaches. Our results showed that H. glomeratus has a robust ability to tolerate salt and belongs to tolerance to osmotic stress category halophytes. The restrictive absorption of Na+ into roots and compartmentalization of Na+ into vacuoles of mesophyllous cell were considered to be the most critical aspect of salt tolerance in H. glomeratus. Then, three genes (HgS2, HgS3, and HgS4) were identified as candidate genes for drought resistance and salt tolerance in plants. These findings provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms that underlie salt tolerance of H. glomeratus and abundant gene resources to improve salt tolerance in plants. But so far we were unable to clearly address the question of how sodium is compartmentalized in the vacuoles and absorbed restrictively in roots of H. glomeratus. We speculated that different sodium transporters may be present in H. glomeratus and may efficiently compartmentalize sodium in the vacuoles and restrictive absorb in roots. Certainly, it is necessary to the further study to characterize sodium transporters in H. glomeratus.
Malaysian Cocoa Board, Malaysia
Rozita Osman pursued her PhD in Agronomy with specialization on stress plant physiology; Master of Science in Soil Chemistry with specialization on heavy metal contamination in cocoa soil and leaves. She has her expertise in plant agronomy, soil science and plant physiology. Her passion on cocoa research has been presented in various seminar and conferences either at national level or international level. She has also contributed at national level in preparing Second and Third National Communication report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on the climate change, Evaluator of R & D & C Fund Application for Ministry of Science and Technology (MOSTI) Malaysia; Member of agriculture expert group to address climate change under MOSTI; Member of working group to review the Malaysian Standard for Cocoa Bean Specification and Cocoa Planting Materials. She is also in the panel for evaluation of academic program in the university.
Statement of the Problem: Many researchers have reported the importance of good agriculture practices in many plants or crops plantation. Four major activities in field maintenance of cocoa plantation included pruning, fertilization, sanitation and harvesting. Cocoa yield is much depended on these factors. However, many farmers only adopted some practices and left others, especially on sanitation practices. In addition, some other farmers do all the practices such as pruning, fertilizer application and sanitation, but not in a proper way. Therefore, they did not achieve the desired yield. This study is trying to indicate the main factors that influenced the cocoa yield in field and the effect when some of those practices were not carried out properly.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Four different practices were adopted in 12 years old cocoa research blocks. One of the block was maintained with complete field activities which included proper pruning, proper fertilizer application and proper recommended sanitation practices. Other blocks were varied where some of block only adopted one or two good practices. Parameters for this study included harvested cocoa pod, potential yield of cocoa dry bean, infection by pest and disease and damaged by mammalian pests. All data were recorded at monthly interval for two years.
Findings: The most significance practices that contributed to the yield in cocoa plantation are sanitation and pruning. Cocoa yield was not severely affected when there was no fertilizer applied might be caused by the residual left from the previous fertilizer program. Without good agriculture practices, the incidence of major cocoa pest and disease has increased.
Conclusion & Significance: High yielding cocoa can be achieved through fully good agriculture practices for cocoa management. Proper sanitation, pruning and harvesting all ripe pods are very important to increase productivity.
University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
Mahya Tavan pursued her BSc (Hons) in Horticultural Sciences at the University of Tehran, Iran. She has started her research on nutritional quality of microgreens and soilless systems in 2017. Her main area of research interests is evaluation of the effects of environmental factors on quality of leafy vegetables by implementing non-destructive methods.
Proper selection of environmental conditions such as light quality, intensity and day length is necessary for efficiently producing high quality nutritional food in indoor farms. Different day lengths impact plant growth and development. In addition, light management is an important economical factor affecting the final cost of the produce. In this experiment, hydroponically-grown kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala) microgreens were studied under different day length regimens of 12 (moderate), 14 (long) and 18 (extremely long) hours, simulated by light emitting diodes (LEDs) in an environmentally controlled growth room. Mineral composition, canopy cover, SPAD chlorophyll meter readings (SCMR) and yield of microgreens were measured and plants were monitored using infrared thermal and visible imagery techniques during the growth period. Results showed that, while daylength differences did not influence significant differences in yield and canopy cover, microgreens grown under long light regimen accumulated significantly higher concentrations of manganese (Mn), iron (Fe) and calcium (Ca) (0.59, 0.89 and 66.4 mg per 100 g fresh weight (FW) respectively) compared to moderate day length (0.45, 0.78 and 57.9 mg/100 g FW respectively). Extremely long light regimen also resulted in higher Mn, Fe and Ca (0.59, 0.89 and 66.4 mg/100 g FW respectively) but these were not significantly high enough to justify the additional energy costs. Similarly, the leaves showed significantly higher SCMR values in long (54.3) and extremely long (60) than the moderate (46) day length treatments. No statistically significant differences in SCMR, mineral content, canopy cover and yield were observed among microgreens grown in 14 and 18 hours light conditions. These results suggest that a 14 hours of day length regimen is optimal for improving the nutritional quality of kale microgreens without additional micronutrient fertilization.
ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, India
Saurabh Singh, currently Ph.D. scholar at IARI, New Delhi, India, is working on Genetic studies on snowball cauliflower (B. oleracea var. botrytis) using CMS and DH lines. He has also standardized the doses of NaCl sprays for the maintenance of S-allele lines of B. oleracea during M.Sc. programme. Current research focus is on study the heterosis using CMS and DH lines in cauliflower and agronomic and molecular characterization of CMS lines and confirming the origin of cytoplasm types in the CMS lines of cauliflower using mitochondrial markers. He has also published 6 research papers/review papers and one book chapter with CRC press USA.
Snowball or European summer cauliflower (B. oleracea L. var. botrytis) is the main vegetable crop in Indian sub-continent cultivated during winter season. However, this crop is now cultivated year round after development of high temperature tolerant cultivars and hybrids. Cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) system is the most attractive and widely used mechanisms in hybrid seed production of B. oleracea vegetables. CMS, which is determined by plant mitochondrial genomes, is associated with the failure to produce functional pollen, and many mitochondrial genes that govern CMS can be suppressed by the products of one or more nuclear genes known as fertility restorer genes (Rf). At least 14 mitochondrial genes that determine CMS have been characterized as open reading frames (ORFs) comprising segments derived from mitochondrial gene-coding and gene-flanking sequences and from sequences of unknown origin. Many cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) systems have been elaborated in the cultivated Brassica species viz. pol, ogu, tour, nap, hau, Shan 2A, Moricandia arvensis etc. However, so far, the most widespread system used in Brassica oleracea hybrid breeding is the improved Ogura CMS. Currently the work on transfer of other CMS systems to B. oleracea is in progress and characterizing cytoplasmic sources employing mitochondrial markers is relevant to future studies on possible origins and molecular mechanisms of CMS in B. oleracea. Hence, in the present study cytoplasm sources of about 70 different CMS lines including CMS hybrids of cauliflower were analyzed using mitochondrial DNA-specific markers. All the CMS accessions contained the ogura specific ‘orf138’ related DNA fragment. However, polymorphic amplicons were also obtained in CMS accessions by two of the polymorphic mitochondrial primers. The mitochondrial markers identified here could be useful in detecting origin of CMS types during cauliflower breeding and further investigating mitochondrial-nuclear interactions leading to CMS in Brassica oleracea.
Mzuyanda Vela holds Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture (Animal Production Science) from the University of Fort Hare, Republic of South Africa. In 2014, he was awarded an Honours Scholarship for being the best final year’s research project presenter. He then enrolled for BSc Agriculture Honours and completed it in one year. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Animal Science, focusing on Ruminants Nutrition. He is a Research Information Management System Administrator. He is a Candidate Natural Scientist registered with South African Council for Natural Science Professions. He is also a Member of Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association. He is also an Alumnus in the Fort Hare Autumn School on Social Democracy and Political Economy.
Statement of the Problem: Pastures often lack adequate nutrients to sustain livestock productivity. The lack of sufficient nutrients in rangelands could be due to the highly fibrous nature of pastures in semi-arid areas and anti-nutritional components found in these trees that might influence the diet and health of animals. Of concern is the high concentration of phenolic compounds, such as tannins in some browse products.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of landscape variations in chemical composition and in vitro ruminal degradability of Acacia nilotica and Maytenus heterophylla leaves harvested during dry season.
Methodology: Fresh leaves from twenty randomly selected individual trees, each from Acacia nilotica, and Maytenus heterophylla tree species, were harvested from the two sites by hand. Individual trees were selected from within a marked 100 × 100 m area each site. Factorial experiment in a completely randomised block design was used with landscape and tree species being the main factors, and with the 100 X 100 m plots within landscapes serving as blocks (replicates).
Findings: Leaves from Acacia nilotica had higher DM (dry matter), N (nitrogen) and CP (crude protein) in high landscape compared to those of Maytenus heterophylla. There was no significant difference on NDF (neutral detergent fiber) of leaves from A. nilotica on both high and low landscape while the leaves of M. heterophylla had high NDF in low landscape than high landscape. The two species revealed major variations in the macro element content in relation to landscape positions in both high landscape and low landscape areas. In the high landscape areas most of these elements had highest values for both species than those collected from the low landscape areas.
Conclusion & Significance: Plants from low landscape were deficient of macro-minerals Therefore; it is recommended that mineral supplements should be offered to animals to improve animal productivity throughout the year.
Ebenezer Ababio Tetteh is a PhD candidate in the School of Management; Jiangsu University; China, pursuing Management Science and Engineering program. He holds a master of engineering (Information Communication Engineering) Jiangsu University of Science and Technology; China, a bachelor of science (Computer Engineering) from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; Ghana. He is a Banking Expert in Exposure Risks Analysis, early preventive measures, organization monitoring and policy control. He has over five-year experience in network infrastructure management and design. His interest in research lies in the areas of environmental compliance and regulations, environmental management, energy economics, emerging economies, lower-income countries, e-commerce, technology management and big-data analysis focusing on the sectors of innovation, agriculture, mining, creativity, patent, travel and tourism, transportation, and retailing.
Sustainable drive toward achievement of food security and clean sanitation is an essential component of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda 2030. Continuous hazards posed by climate change stemming from carbon-dioxide (CO2) emission reverberated global endorsement to antagonize its negative implication with the best attainable firmness. Globally, Food Security face major challenges underneath climate change as a result of the potential negative consequences of agricultural production and unfair thoughtful implementation of sectoral actions in limiting greenhouse emission effects. The onus of this report stands to underpin existing literature by examining the causative nexus amidst agriculture production, economic growth and carbon dioxide emissions in selected sub-Sahara Africa emerging economies spanning 1991 to 2015. We meticulously, for the purpose of precision in our report disaggregated agriculture production into crops and livestock production to elucidate their uniqueness and also to pinpoint the precise involvement of the variable to carbon dioxide emissions. Empirical evidence by FMOLS and DOLS affirm that, 1% upsurge in crops production, deforestation and population, will aggravate a proportional growth in CO2 emission by 1.04%, 0.45%, and 0.39% harmoniously, alternatively, 1% boom in energy consumption, economy growth and livestock production will significantly ameliorate the environment of sub-Sahara emerging countries. The Pooled Mean Group (PMG) estimator was used to examine the direction of the variables in affirmation of their short-run and long-run dynamism. Our findings establish that, for the sub-Sahara emerging countries to obtain SDGs, it's a necessity to combat climate change, deforestation, hunger and poverty for their inhabitants. Regulation of farming production strategy and strict adaptation to agricultural era technique is a certainty toward SDGs 13, 15, 2 and 1 attainment.
The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Ian Levett is currently a PhD student looking into the development of novel controlled release agrichemical formulations using biodegradable polymers, predominantly using polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). He obtained his integrated Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering at The University of Queensland, Australia (2014).
Nitrogen (N) loss from agricultural land represents inefficiencies for the farmer and significant environmental impacts through N pollution of fresh and coastal waters, potent greenhouse gas emissions, and volatilization of other reactive N compounds. In Queensland, protecting our Great Barrier Reef (GBR) from nutrient dumping has environmental, social and economic benefits. More than 80,000 tonnes of N enters the GBR lagoon annually. Only 30-50% of N applied to sugarcane land in QLD is accounted for in crop biomass, with the balance lost to the environment. N stabilizing agents are commonly used in conjunction with N fertilizers to slow the biological oxidation of ammonium to nitrate in the soil. However, efficacy has only been proven for temperate climates. The persistence of nitrification inhibitors in agricultural soils diminishes rapidly with increasing temperature. Consequently, their use in tropical agriculture is limited. Dicyandiamide (DCD) has been studied as a fertiliser stabilizer for over 50 years for temperate and sub-tropical regions, however, efficacy is limited at elevated temperatures. The encapsulation and controlled release of DCD may prevent exposure of the molecule to degradation mechanisms until it is in the soil profile. Here, poly(3 hydroxybutyrate co 3 hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) has been investigated as a biodegradable matrix for the encapsulation of DCD. Industrially relevant extrusion processing was used to fabricate DCD-PHBV pellets at a loading of 25 wt% DCD. Release profiles were monitored in water, sand and soil at 30°C. Release curves show significant surface wash (30-45%) within the first week, with a sustained release rate of 2.10 μg DCD pellet-1 day-1 from 3 weeks out to 20 weeks. After 20 weeks ~40-57% of the DCD was mobilized. We have demonstrated the ability to initially load the soil with a significant proportion of the encapsulated DCD, followed by a very gradual mobilization of the DCD into the soil.
University of Horticultural Sciences Bagalkot, India
Arti Karosiya, is a young researchers has done her graduation in Agriculture. Masters in Agriculture Biotechnology and extensively worked on Faba bean (Vicia Faba L) for her Master’s thesis in collaboration with Institute of Hill Bio resources and Technology (IHBT), Counsil of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), she has worked on molecular diversity of Faba bean. She is a awardee of Jawahar lal Nehru University (JNU) Department of Biotechnology Govt.of India fellowship. She is also worked with Apotex Pvt.Ltd on dissolution making and HPLC work for pharmaceutical products. She has worked in two Department of Biotechnology and Department of Science and Technology (DBT &DST) project one is RNAi technology in Pepper and second one is on Epigenetics and cell signalling on late blight resistance (Phytophthora) of Poatato (Solanum tuberosum) under University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India as a Senior Research Fellow. She was also part of a Plant Health Clinic of Government of Karnataka with this Biotechnological and Biochemical experiences she has joined for Ph.D in Biotechnology and crop improvement at University of Horticultural Sciences Bagalkot, Bangalore, India. Currently she is pursuing Ph.D with Research on reviving Native Rasthali Banana, NRB (Nanjangud Rasbale) which is extincting due to Panama wilt. She lives in Bangalore, India with husband and eight year old daughter.
Banana (Musa spp.) is a major fruit of India, which accounts for about 32% of the total fruit production. The ‘Nanjangud rasabale’ (NRB) is an elite native variety of banana originated from a place called ‘Nanjangud’ in Karnataka State. NRB with our survey it has been found that the area of cultivation of this Geographical Indicator banana variety has been shrinked from 10 to 4-5 Acre. It is popular and highly priced fruit in Karnataka and in other states because of its special qualities such as taste, aroma, color, fibrous texture and nutritional content. It has a triploid (AAB) genome and the hybrid origin belongs to Musa paradisiaca. The wilt of banana, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense, is an important disease on Rasthali group (AAB) of banana. The assessment of genetic diversity of NRB and tracing back its origin of this elite genotypes is required for the rescue of this elite variety. Different types of molecular and biochemical markers will be used for evolutionary and population studies of banana. The DNA will be extracted at different stages of crop rise and these molecular markers are assayed. Same way different biochemical marker also be assayed at different stages of crop rise till physiological maturity of crop. Which provide number and physico-chemical properties of gene and its products. Simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers will be used and for biochemical marker isozymes of catalases, persoxidatse, super oxide dismutase, and NADP peroxidase are used. To revive this Geographical Indicator I have undertaken research for identifying the original variety of NRB and trace back its origin through above said marker. The protein polymorphism of banana reflects the genetic background and its interaction with environment therefore the crop will be sown at different location in Mysore and Hassan region. The expression of alleles coding for different isozymes are more or less independent from the environment; thus, this approach offers a relatively neutral means of determining genetic variation. The main reason of the limited use of isozymes could be the low level of polymorphism found in various plant kingdom. Plant descriptor for this plant type will be made with different morphological and biochemical content characters like carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins and some secondary metabolites will be assayed at different stages of crop rise.
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Johannes Loubser is currently pursuing his PhD at Stellenbosch University, Republic of South Africa. and aims to further his research as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the same institution. He currently holds a Scarce Skills Doctoral Scholarship from the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Republic of South Africa. His research interests include growth promotion via the application of plant growth promoting substances (PGPS).
BC204, an agricultural product of a local company in Republic of South Africa, is a biostimulant consisting of a citrus extract and certain organic acids. The plant growth-promoting effect of BC204 has been demonstrated previously and is currently used in agriculture to promote plant growth in a variety of crops, increase yield and stimulate plants to improve resistance against abiotic and biotic stress. Although the physiological effects have been seen in practice, very little molecular or biochemical data has been collected. The aim of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of the biochemical and genetic changes occurring in Arabidopsis thaliana and Solanum lycopersicon following the application of BC204. Wild-type Arabidopsis (Col-0) plants were treated weekly with three different concentrations of BC204 or a water control for three weeks, after which the fresh weight, dry weight, leaf number, and leaf surface area were measured. The growth experiments were repeated using only the optimal BC204 concentration (0.01% v/v) and the same physiological measurements were recorded, with the addition of photosynthesis rates. Control and BC204-treated A. thaliana plants were harvested, RNA extracted and analysed for transcriptomic changes via an RNA-sequencing approach. Additionally, a hydroponic system was established for S. lycopersicon to analyze changes in root exudates via LC-MS following treatment with BC204. Furthermore, plants of both species were subjected to NaCl as a biotic stress and treated with BC204. Basic physiological measurements were recorded, as well as established osmotic stress markers. The expression of certain genes responsive to salt-stress were evaluated via RT-qPCR.