Molecular characterisations of genotypes give precise information about the extent of genetic diversity, which assists in the development of an appropriate rice breeding programme. The latest approach in plant biotechnology and molecular breeding, which is the development of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for amplifying DNA, DNA sequencing and data analysis, is an effective technique that can be used for the screening, characterisation and evaluation of genetic diversity. Traits that serve as genetic markers are by definition polymorphic; the more polymorphic the trait, the greater its potential value to germplasm management. The issue of homology may seem insignificant for morphological markers, but the increasing use of molecular markers has heightened its importance. Application of molecular markers is still prohibitively expensive for most large-scale applications in rice breeding programmes, where performance parameters such as yield, quality, disease resistance and other desirable growth characteristics are upgraded. Therefore, marker assisted selection (MAS) methods are currently used for more targeted applications in order to keep up with the rising demand for rice consumption. Since conventional breeding methods will not be able to meet the satisfactory harvest, the application of biotechnological tools is one plausible option to tap into the significant yield potential of rice.
Low number of fruit production becomes the main constraint to develop Jatropha curcas as one of the alternative biodiesel sources in Malaysia. Therefore, one study was carried out to evaluate the effects of ethephon by combining it with urea for induction of flowering in Jatropha, with the main objective of increasing the productivity of fruit. The experiment was carried out at Rubber Research Institute Experimental Station (RRIES) Sungai Buloh, Selangor, where the soil was identified as the Renggam series. The planting material used was Jatropha curcus from Thailand accession. There were a total of nine treatments which were arranged according to Randomized Complete Design (RCD). Results indicated that Treatment 2 (200ppm ethephon 2.5% + 2% urea) showed the best combination promote in balancing male-female ratio, and resulted in an improved yield of the plants expressed as an increase in fruit produce and ripe fruit. The efficacy of ethephon at a lower concentration for increased fruit yield, with the addition of urea, is of great deal as this will lead to decreased costs and increased survival of Jatropha plantation.
The main purpose of this study was to carry out a comparative analysis of effective elements of repercussion farmers of Garmsar province for sustainable soil management. The methodological approach in the research was a descriptive-correlation, where the survey type was applied. Using a proportional stratified sampling technique with Cockran formula, 184 farmers in Garmsar were selected. A total of 192 questionnaires were collected and analysed. The content and the face validity of the instrument was specified after several times of review and correction by the faculty members of Agricultural Extension and Education of Azad university of Garmsar, specialists in the Ministry of Jehad, graduate students of Agricultural extension and education, experts and local farmers in Garmsar. The reliability of the analysis was conducted through 30 questionnaires and Cronbach's Alpha values for the Varamin's farmers of the instrument were estimated as 91% using statistical SPSS software. Results show that participations in educational durations, educational level of beneficiaries, the quantity of media usage, type of their jobs, their knowledge of sustainable development, type of their drove, the amount of present extensional services to farmers were significant at 95% level, with the amount of technical knowledge of farmers about sustainable soil management. Meanwhile, the farmers' income, their family members, effectiveness of basic product, the amount of their experience in agriculture, their penchant to agricultural activities, social altitude, cultural trait, their attitude to soil sustainable development, the amount of convenience, farm areas were also found to be significant at 99% level, with the amount of technical knowledge of farmers about sustainable soil management. Multiple regressions indicated that 68% of the variance in the dependent variable could be explained by the effectiveness of basic product, economical situation, and social situation, personal elements, educational-extensional elements.
An ethnomedicinal survey of the rural community, mainly Chakma from Hathazari, Bangladesh, was conducted from May 2010 to January 2013. The methods used for ethnomedicinal data collection were field interviews, plant interview and group interview techniques. Local (Bangla) names, habit, parts used, mode of preparation and medicinal uses of plants were recorded by interviewing the locals of different age groups (mostly between 25 to 75 years) and also herbal practitioners (Kabiraj). A total of 75 plant species consisting of 67 genera categorised under 44 families were documented for the treatment of 35 ailments. Among the total documented species were herbs (41%), shrubs (19%), trees (28%) and climbers (12%). The most encountered medicinal plant families are Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Rutaceae, Solanaceae, Liliaceae, Malvaceae, Combretaceae and Amaranthaceae. Analysis of the parts used showed that leaves are mostly used in majority of medicinal plants, followed by roots, fruit, stems, bark, rhizome, flowers, bulbs, seeds, thorns and latex. The most common preparations include juice, paste and extract. The present investigation was the first attempt undertaken in Hathazari to document the traditional uses of plants for the treatment of different ailments. This study also recorded new ethnomedicinal information. It can be concluded that data collected in the present study will be useful for any future ethno-pharmacological research for the discovery of new drugs.
Length-weight relationship (LWR) parameters and relative condition factor (K n) of marine shrimp, Parapenaeopsis sculptilis (Heller, 1862) were estimated using length-weight data collected between February 2012 and January 2013 from the coastal waters of Terong, Perak, Peninsular Malaysia. The estimated length-weight relationship of P. sculptilis for both sexes was W = 0.00027TL2.80. Meanwhile, the estimated relative growth coefficient (b) was 2.80 for both sexes, indicating a negative allometric growth pattern of P. sculptilis in the investigated area. Relative condition factor (Kn) values ranged from 0.99 to 1.064 (1.013±0.005, mean ±SD). Kn value changes in various months: the highest peak was in March-April, indicating the spawning period and the trough and small peaks indicating the cycle gonadal development.
Natural Resource Management (NRM) technologies, some of which include Site-Specific Nutrient Management (SSNM), Ecologically-Based Rodent Management (EBRM) and Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) for increased farm productivity and income in the irrigated rice ecosystem, have recently been generated through research. Guaranteeing that these technologies are properly disseminated and utilized by farmers is one of the challenges not only for researchers but for policymakers and various stakeholders as well. These need to be tested and evaluated on-farm to determine their appropriateness for wide-scale adoption of farmers, and the factors that may hinder their diffusion. In 2006, the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) forged partnership with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to implement a project enhancing the delivery of NRM technologies for irrigated rice ecosystem from adaptive research to nationwide implementation. Activities of the collaborative project included training of partners, stakeholders' workshop, establishment of demo farm cum learning field, information campaign and on-farm evaluation. Results revealed yield increases of 28.3% and 12.6% in the SSNM demo plots for DS and WS 2007, respectively; 3.17% yield increase in the EBRM field; and 18.8% reduction in production cost by utilizing the AWD technologies. These results encouraged farmers to continue using the NRM technologies and sharing them to others. Eventually, the NRM technologies were integrated into the National Rice Program through the PalayCheck system. Overall, the PhilRice-IRRI joint partnership has been proven to be a powerful instrument in facilitating delivery and adoption of NRM technologies, thus, improving the quality of life of Filipino farmers.
The formation of callus and somatic embryos remains one of the major bottlenecks in oil palm tissue culture. Unlike other crops, oil palm tissue culture is a very slow process. In the present study, EgGST (GenBank accession no. AIC33066.1), an oil palm gene coding for a putative glutathione S-transferase protein, has been characterized molecularly. The full length cDNA sequence of EgGST isolated from oil palm cultured leaf explants at the 6th week is 1002 bp in length, with an Open Reading Frame (ORF) of 651 bp. The deduced EgGST encodes a 216-amino-acid protein with a predicted molecular mass of 23.68 kD and a pI value of 6.16. Its protein sequence shares 63% identity with the glutathione s-transferase gstf2 from Oryza sativa Indica Group (GenBank accession no. ABR25713.1) and contains thioredoxin fold and chloride channel domain. Real-time RT-PCR results showed that the EgGST transcript was differentially expressed across a time series of fortnightly-cultured leaf explants and had a higher transcript levels in nodular callus (NC) compared to friable callus (FC) for oil palm ortet of clone 4178. EgGST was also found to be preferentially expressed in all tissue culture derived materials except for oil palm cell suspension culture (CSC), whereas there were almost negligible expressions in all the non-tissue culture derived materials, except for root. Hence, it can be suggested that EgGST transcript may possibly be regulated differently at different stages of tissue culture and various tissues. Interestingly, EgGST also displayed a tissue-specific expression pattern via RNA in situ hybridization. To our knowledge, this is the first reported study on the analysis of the localization of target mRNA transcript of EgGST in different oil palm tissues. We postulated that EgGST might play significant roles at different stages of oil palm callogenesis, and could potentially be a candidate marker for oil palm callogenesis.
Oil palm, callogenesis, glutathione S-transferases, full length cDNA, real-time RT-PCR, RNA in situ hybridization
Orthosiphon stamineus is one of the popular medicinal plants in Southeast Asia. O. stamineus leaves are used in numerous applications related to medicinal purposes and are believed to cure certain health conditions such as hypertension, gout and fever. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of three parameters involved in extraction process including extraction temperature, extraction duration and solvent to solid ratio on extraction yield, antioxidant activity and referral markers of O. stamineus leaves. The optimisation of extraction processes was evaluated with the aid of Design-Expert software using response surface methodology (RSM). The optimum extraction parameter for O. stamineus leaves were recorded at the extraction temperature of 60°C, 30:1 (ml:g) solvent to solid ratio and 6 hours extraction duration with 30Wt% extract, 67 and 1 mg/L concentration of Rosmarinic acid and Sinensetin, respectively. Antioxidant activity for optimized extract is 96.56% and 91.51% of SOD and DPPH method, respectively.
Emerging multidrug resistant bacterial infections are burning public health concerns worldwide. There is an urgent need to explore alternative antimicrobial agents for effective management of bacterial infections. Garlic (Allium sativum) has been traditionally used for the treatment of different diseases since ancient times. The present study aims to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of aqueous extract of Allium sativum against multidrug resistant clinical isolates of pathogenic bacteria found in human urine in cases of urinary tract infection (UTI). A total of 166 uropathogens were evaluated for antibiotic susceptibility, 56% clinical isolates were found to have high degree of resistance with multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) index >0.5. About 82% bacterial isolates with MAR index >0.5 were found to be susceptible to crude aqueous garlic extract. Thus, aqueous garlic extract (AGE) was found to possess effective anti-bacterial activity against multidrug resistant clinical pathogens and may be tested further as a natural dietary component to manage drug resistance bacteraemia. Therefore, alternate medicine practices with natural plant extract including garlic may be of great importance in combating public health challenges like UTI.
Eucheuma cottonii is a red seaweed of the family Rhodophyceae, which is mainly harvested in South East Asia. E. cottonii has long been explored as a major source of kappa carrageenan, which is of great economic and industrial importance. The proteomics of marine macroalgae is always a tough task due to low protein concentration and a greater possibility for the co-extraction of contaminants such as anionic polysaccharides, polyphenols and salts, which may massively deteriorate the resolving power of SDS-PAGE and current proteomic tools. The main objective of this study is to compare three different phenol based protein extraction protocols: (i) Phenol/lysis buffer extraction, (ii) TRI reagent/ chloroform extraction, and (iii) Phenol/SDS buffer extraction in terms of total protein yields and resolving patterns of single dimension SDS-PAGE. Among the three phenol based extraction protocols, the phenol/lysis buffer produced slightly higher protein yields (0.027±0.000 mg/g), followed by the phenol/SDS buffer (0.024±0.002 mg/g) and the TRI reagent/chloroform (0.018±0.001 mg/g). In SDS-PAGE, all the three extraction protocols showed clear protein profiles, with several intense protein bands observed from 27 kDa to 158 kDa. The phenol/SDS buffer extraction protocol was recommended for proteome study of E. cottonii as it is the cheapest and relatively easy in preparation as compared to the other two protocols in this study. This study represents an initial attempt to study the proteome of E. cottonii. Further proteomic works, such as two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry and protein crystallography, can be carried out in the near future. A successful establishment of E. cottonii proteome is important to facilitate the exploration of E. cottonii and other carrageenan rich seaweed species due to its agricultural significance.
Eucheuma cottonii, 1DE, Macroalgae proteomics, Phenol based protein extraction
Acanthocephala parasite infestation was found to be high in wild Snakehead fish (Channa striata) from a Kepala Batas paddy field in Penang, Peninsular Malaysia. The fish parasites collected from 98 out of 100 fish samples were examined. The study showed infestation prevalence rate of 98%. Further analysis was carried out to correlate the parasitic intensity, fish size, and temperature, while statistical model summary was produced using SPSS version 15 statistical software. Statistical model summary concluded that for every increment of 1 cm in length of fish, an extra of 0.5 ≈ 1 number of parasites was found in the fish. This is only true if the effect of mean temperature remained constant. Meanwhile, an increase of 1°C is associated with a decrease of 1.487 ≈ 2 numbers of parasites in fish. This is only true when the effect of fish length remained constant. Therefore, overall model summary is described as: Number of Acanthocephala parasites = 34.74 + (0.462*Length of Fish) + (-1.487*Mean Temperature) .