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Santos T.D.N.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Dutra E.D.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Dutra E.D.,Research Center for Strategic Technologies of the Northeast Brazil | Gomes do Prado A.,Federal University of Pernambuco | And 9 more authors.
Biomass and Bioenergy | Year: 2016

Prickly pear is a term used to refer to several species of cactus belonging primarily to the genus Opuntia. In general, these species present an exceptional ability to produce biomass in soil and climate conditions unfavorable for most plant species, in part due to their high water use efficiency. Given the current increase demand for renewable energy and the future prospect of more limited water resources, the potential use of prickly pear cladodes for biofuel production deserves to be investigated. The objectives of this study were to gather information on the chemical composition of prickly pear biomass from the most cultivated varieties in NE Brazil, discuss the potential of processing biomass for ethanol and biogas production and to point out gaps in know-how and priorities for research on this topic. We quantified in the tree varieties studied significant amounts of uronic acids (10.7%) and oxalic acid (10.3%), confirming the reports of high amounts of pectin and calcium oxalate in cladodes of prickly pear. The estimated potential of ethanol production for prickly pear (1490-1875 L ha-1 yr-1) was low when compared to traditional biomass sources (sugarcane and sugar beet, for example). However, it appears that prickly pear stands out as a biomass with potential for high production rates of methane (3717 m3 ha-1 yr-1), being comparable to traditional energy crops. Further studies are needed to assess more consistently both the sustainability of biomass production as the potential for ethanol, and biogas production, specially for newly released varieties of prickly pear. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Mergulhao A.C.E.S.,Agronomic Institute of Pernambuco IPA | Burity H.A.,Agronomic Institute of Pernambuco IPA | da Silva F.S.B.,University of Pernambuco | Pereira S.V.,Technological Institute of Pernambuco ITEP | Maia L.C.,Federal University of Pernambuco
American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Science | Year: 2010

Problem statement: Mining activities involve the removal of the vegetal cover and the soil organic layer, causing a severe environmental impact. In Northeast Brazil, 40% of the world's crudegypsum is found in a semiarid area, making this region responsible for 95% of the gypsum demand inthe national market. Although economically important, this activity is harmful to the environment. Studies of soil microbiological and biochemical attributes can help in the identification of the limitations of impacted ecosystems, providing data to define strategies for sustainability of such environments. Approach: To evaluate and compare the biological state of preserved and mining degraded semiarid soils, a native preserved area and areas impacted by gypsum mining were selected at the Araripina Experimental Station, located in the semiarid region of Pernambuco State, Northeast Brazil. The four sampling areas included: (1) A native, preserved "caatinga" area with spine bearing trees and shrubs and some characteristic xerophytic plants (AN); (2) An area surrounding the mine, presenting the same type of vegetation although already degraded (AM); (3) A waste deposit area (AR); (4) Interface area between the waste deposit and a mining degraded area (AI). Samples were taken in each area (1000 m 2) during two periods: wet (December/2003, Rainfall = 28.7 mm) and dry (September/2004, Rainfall = 1.3 mm). Results: Fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis values, microbial biomass C and basal respiration were higher in the preserved "caatinga" than in the impacted areas. The gypsum mining activity reduced the concentration of easily extractable glomalin in relation to the native "caatinga" area in both sampling periods. Higher deposits of total glomalin also occurred in the native area, however, mainly during the wet period. Conclusion: The mining activity produced a negative impact on the soil microbiota, reducing the total enzymatic activity. The microbial biomass was significantly lower in the waste deposit area than in the native and interface areas. The results indicated that the mining activity is harmful to the soil microbiota in this area and that glomalin can be a useful indicator of soil disturbance. © 2010 Science Publications.

Bressiani D.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Bressiani D.A.,Texas A&M University | Gassman P.W.,Iowa State University | Fernandes J.G.,Texas A&M University | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering | Year: 2015

The geographical extent of Brazil exceeds 8.5 million km2 and encompasses a complex mix of biomes and other environmental conditions. Multipe decision support tools are needed to help support management of these diverse Brazilian natural resources including ecohydrological models. The use of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) ecohydrological watershed-scale model in Brazil has increased greatly during the past decade. Well over 100 SWAT studies were identified in this review which have been published during 1999 to 2015 in Brazilian and international journals, conference proceedings, and as theses or dissertations, many of which are written in Portuguese. The majority of these studies (102 total) are reviewed here as part of an extensive survey covering the 1999 to 2013 time period. Temporal and spatial distributions, a summary of hydrologic calibration and validation results and a synopsis of the types of applications that were performed are reported for the surveyed studies. A smaller subset of recent Brazilian studies published in English between 2012 and 2015 in scientific journals are also reviewed, with emphasis on hydrologic and sediment transport testing results as well as scenario applications that were performed. The majority of the surveyed SWAT studies were performed for watersheds located in the South and Southeast regions of Brazil (67%) and were conducted in the context of academic research. Nearly 50% of the surveyed studies reported only hydrologic results. Similar trends were found for the subset of more recent English publications. Limited studies have been reported that describe applications of SWAT in Brazil by private firms or government agencies; this review indicates that the potential exists for increased numbers of such studies in the future. However, there is evidence that a lack of accessibility to adequate quality input data is a possible hindrance to the more general use of SWAT for watershed applications in Brazil.

Borba M.A.C.S.M.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Melo-Neto R.P.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Leitao G.M.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Castelletti C.H.M.,Federal University of Pernambuco | And 3 more authors.
Pharmacogenomics | Year: 2016

CYP2D6 is a high polymorphic enzyme from P450, responsible for metabolizing almost 25% of drugs. The distribution of different mutations among CYP2D6 alleles has been associated with poor, intermediate, extensive and ultra-metabolizers. Aim: To evaluate how missenses mutations in CYP2D6∗7 and CYP2D6∗14A poor metabolizer alleles affect CYP2D6 stability and function. Materials & methods: CYPalleles database was used to collect polymorphisms data present in 105 alleles. We selected only poor metabolizers alleles that presented exclusively missenses mutations. They were analyzed through seven algorithms to predict the impact on CYP2D6 structure and function. Results: H324P, the unique mutation in CYP2D6∗7, has high impact in enzyme function due to its occurrence between two alpha-helixes involved in active site dynamics. G169R, a mutation that occurs only in CYP2D6∗14A, leads to the gain of solvent accessibility and severe protein destabilization. Conclusion: Our in silico analysis showed that missenses mutations in CYP2D6∗7 and CYP2D6∗14A cause CYP2D6 dysfunction. © Future Medicine Ltd 2016.

Dubeux J.C.B.,University of North Florida | Dos Santosa M.V.F.,Federal Rural University of Pernambuco | De Melloa A.C.L.,Federal Rural University of Pernambuco | Vieira Da Cunha M.,Federal Rural University of Pernambuco | And 4 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Drylands cover 40% of global land area and host more than two billion people. Pressure on natural resources on these areas is enormous, mainly on the most densely populated regions. Global commodities prices are peaking high leading to higher feeding costs. Increasing crop production on drylands is necessary to feed the herd at lower cost and increase food security by producing locally. Adapted perennial crops with forage potential are necessary to fill this gap. Forage production from cacti (Opuntia and Nopalea) fits well in this scenario. Potential dry matter production of 20 Mg ha-1 yr-1 has been often achieved in well managed rainfed systems in the Brazilian semiarid. Maize grain average production in this same region is 500-600 kg ha-1 yr-1. Agronomic practices such as manure application, weed control, and dense populations are necessary to increase cactus yield. Cactus breeding also plays important role producing pest tolerant cultivars with increased yield. Different strategies are available for forage production systems including scattered planted cactus in marginal lands (< 200 mm yr-1) to recover vegetation and protect soil from erosion, alley cropping systems with forage legumes or cash food, intensive cactus production in rainfed system, and more recently, irrigated cactus with a minimal amount of water (2.5 mm week-1) using drip irrigation. Cactus usually presents high energy value (650-700 g kg-1 TDN), low crude protein (40-70 g kg-1), low NDF (250-300 g kg-1), and high mineral concentration. When fed in a total mixed ratio, cactus may provide nutrients for 25-30 kg cow-1 day-1 of milk. Small farms predominate in the most densely populated drylands. Increasing cactus productivity is a way to reduce pressure on natural resources and increase sustainability and livelihood in these rural areas. © 2015, International Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.

Silva T.A.L.,National Program of Postdoctoral CAPES CAPES UNICAP | Silva M.L.R.B.,Agronomic Institute of Pernambuco IPA | Garrard I.,Brunel University | Tambourgi E.B.,University of Campinas | Campos-Takaki G.M.,Catholic University of Pernambuco
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2016

The growth kinetics of a bacterium of the strain Pseudomonas fluorescens UCP 1514, which is indigenous in soil, has been investigated in batch cultures containing dibenzothiophene. In this paper the potential of the bacterium, when grown in medium with high concentration of dibenzothiophene and its potential for biodegradation were analyzed. The microorganism was grown in medium Luria Bertani-agar medium with 10mM of dibenzothiophene during 24 hours, to select acclimated colonies. After selection of the colonies, the microorganism was maintained in liquid medium with 2 mM of DBT dissolved in dimethylformamide. The kinetics of growth was evaluated through viability and pH. The results showed that the microorganism was able to metabolize DBT. The colonies physiologically adapted that grew on DBT, by DNA amplification using the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technique and the specific primer BOX have also been identified. © 2016, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.

Ferreira G.D.G.,Federal Rural University of Pernambuco | Santos M.V.F.,Federal Rural University of Pernambuco | Lira M.A.,Agronomic Institute of Pernambuco IPA | Melo A.C.L.,Federal Rural University of Pernambuco | And 4 more authors.
Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Pecuarias | Year: 2013

Background: the efficient use of good quality forage represents one of many ways to improve animal productivity and, consequently, reduce the feed costs of dairy farming. Between the wide variety of studies aiming to improve the nutritional value of forage, histological studies, allow for both the comparison of species or cultivars and the monitoring of tissue aging within the plant. Objective: the present work aimed to characterize the stem morphology of Pennisetum clones (Itambé IV-46, Itambé I-1.20, Itambé I-1.4, Milheto × Buaçu/112-23.4, Cuba-116-29.3, CAC-262-12.102, Roxo of Botucatu ×CAC-282-18.29, Taiwan-146-2.6, Itambé I-1.5, Pusa Napier or 419-76 × Buaçu/122-11.2, Taiwan-146-2.03, Taiwan-146-2.85, Itambé II-2.46, Pusa Napier or 419-76 × Cuba-116-12.3 and Pusa Napier or 412-76 × Buaçu/122-8.22) into three strata (basal, medium and apical) and three tillers of the plant using histological sections. Methods: the material was collected in a previously established area at the Experimental Station of São Bento do Una at the Agronomic Institute of Pernambuco. The materials were distributed in a completely randomized 15 × 3 × 3 factorial design (14 clones and one hybrid, three layers of stem and three tillers). The samples were collected during the dry season beginning in August 2008. Results: there were significant differences (p<0.05) among the clones evaluated, and the average values for the lignified cells in the cortex region ranged from 2.21 to 4.21 for the Taiwan-146-2.6 and Roxo of Botucatu × CAC-282-18.29 clones; however, this was not different from the other clones in the medullary region. The Itambé II-2.46 clone showed the highest absolute value in the percentage of phloem in the cortex region (2.32%) and a high value, with significant differences, in the medullary region (1.59%) compared to the other clones. Conclusion: the highest values of cellulose in the medium and apical regions of the studied stems represent a benefit to grazing animals.

dos Santos R.L.,Federal Rural University of Pernambuco | Freire F.J.,Federal Rural University of Pernambuco | da Rocha A.T.,Federal Rural University of Pernambuco | da Silva J.A.A.,Federal Rural University of Pernambuco | And 3 more authors.
Australian Journal of Crop Science | Year: 2015

As alternative to supply the energy demand in semiarid Brazil, the biomass production of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum) is a promising alternative. However, the cultivation of grass depends on several factors, including the chemical conditions of some soils which may limit productivity. Thus, the proper use of mineral gypsum as soil corrector can increase the production of biomass. Furthermore, the genetic characteristics of the varieties of elephant grass may influence their ability to produce energy, due to their different levels of fiber and lignin. This study aimed at assessing the energy performance of three varieties of elephant grass grown in the absence and presence of mineral gypsum. Three elephant grass varieties Cameroon, Gramafante and Roxo were cultivated in the field condition in the presence and absence of mineral gypsum in a factorial arrangement (3 × 2), with treatments randomly assigned to four blocks. The research was conducted at the Experimental Station of the Agronomic Institute of Pernambuco in Araripina Pernambuco State, Brazil. The biomass above the elephant grass was cut from the soil surface, 213 days after planting. The evaluations were carried out on traits such as levels of fiber in neutral detergent, acid detergent fiber, lignin, moisture, dry matter content and higher heating value. The elephant grass varieties Cameroon and Gramafante presented higher heating value and high dry matter production reinforced by application of mineral gypsum. The variety Cameroon showed the highest energy production per unit area. Thus, the use of elephant grass mainly of Cameroon and Gramafante varieties has great potential to solve or minimize the energy deficit of Gypsum Pole of Araripe in Pernambuco.

SANTOS R.D.D.,Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation Embrapa | SANTOS R.D.D.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | NEVES A.L.A.,Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation Embrapa | PEREIRA L.G.R.,Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation Embrapa | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Agricultural Science | Year: 2015

Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.) could play an important role as a feed source for ruminants in arid and semi-arid zones of the world owing to its high yield and drought tolerance. The current paper assessed the agronomic characteristics, ensilability, intake and digestibility of five Brazilian pearl millet cultivars (IPA Bulk1BF, BRS 1501, CMS-03, CMS-01 and BN-2) in a typical Brazilian northeastern semi-arid climate. Forage was harvested at the dough stage of grain maturity (growth stage 86 according to the BBCH scale) and ensiled under laboratory and farm conditions. Apparent digestibility of the silages was determined using 25 Santa Inês male lambs. The cultivars CMS-01, CMS-03 and BN-2 out-performed the others in terms of dry matter (DM) and digestible DM yield/ha. At DM partitioning among plant tissues, the cultivar IPA Bulk1BF had a greater DM associated with panicles and one of the greatest concentrations of organic matter, lactic acid and in vitro dry matter digestibility among the five cultivars. The cultivar BRS 1501 had greater butyric acid concentration as well as one of the highest pH values. Silage produced from BN-2 not only contained greater acetic acid concentration, but also showed one of the greatest total volatile fatty acid concentrations. There were no differences in feed intake and digestibility of nutrients and fibre fractions across all cultivars. Silage made from BN-2 resulted in greater urinary excretion of nitrogen than those produced from BRS 1501. Under the conditions of the present study, the results obtained for production of DM and digestible dry matter, and the ratio of plant fractions, indicates the possible use of these cultivars for silage production in the Brazilian semi-arid region. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015

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