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Gispert M.,University of Girona | Pardini G.,University of Girona | Colldecarrera M.,University of Girona | Emran M.,Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute | Doni S.,CNR Institute of Ecosystem Study
Catena | Year: 2017

Current cultivated soils (C) and soils under different age of agricultural abandonment and plant cover like forest (F), meadows (M) and scrubs (S) were surveyed at any high (H) or low (L) rainfall event generating runoff to record erosion and both dissolved and eroded carbon and nitrogen. This survey was conducted from January 2009 to April 2010 and was also addressed to determine soil properties such as surface temperature (ST), moisture (SM), bulk density (BD), shear strength (SS), pH, organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (NT), total phosphorus (PT), CO2 emission, glomalin (GRSP), and β-Glucosidase, Phosphatase and Protease activities. The overall data set allowed accomplishing with the objective of the research, seeking differences in soil properties according to the previous land use, land abandonment and repeated fire occurrence. ANOVA of repeated measures showed runoff variance statistically significant within soil uses at L rainfall (p < 0.05). Eroded soil and eroded carbon varied significantly among soil environments (p < 0.05) at both H and L rainfall. However, erosion rates were low when compared to other Spanish sites. Soils under meadows (M) showed higher SOC and GRSP, and higher enzyme activities, and were identified as important natural firebreaks, besides their susceptibility to sediment and nutrient depletion. Similarly, soils F and S, though repeatedly affected by fire, showed satisfactory soil properties. The poorest soil properties were found in cultivated soils (C) that increased their erosion rates by 838%, 733% and 188% with respect to F, S and M soils along the observed period. In general, soils with higher organic carbon content (M > S > F) showed proportionally lesser CO2 emission, indicating their tendency to act as carbon sink. The shallowness of the soil profiles, overgrazing and frequent fire occurrence were found to be soil ecosystems threatening elements in areas deserving special attention for the risk of irreversible degradation processes. Unpredictable and erratic fire occurrence all over the area also suggests environmental protection through prevention plans. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

AbuHafsa S.H.,Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute | Hassan A.A.,Egyptian Animal Production Research Institute | Salem A.Z.M.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Salem A.Z.M.,Alexandria University
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2014

Forty-eight growing New Zealand White male rabbits aged 6 weeks (874 ± 1.3 g initial body weight (BW)) were used to study effects of partial replacement of berseem hay (BH) with Salix tetrasperma hay (ST) on growth and physiological responses. Rabbits were allotted to one of four diets of 12 rabbits each for 75 days in a completely randomized design. The treatments were as follows: control (30 % BH), ST25 (7.5 % ST + 22.5 % BH), ST50 (15 % ST + 15 % BH), ST75 (22.5 % ST + 7.5 % BH). Nutrient digestibility coefficients, nutritive value and N utilization of rabbits fed with the ST50 rations were higher (P < 0.05) than the other groups. Final live BW, average daily gain, feed intake and feed efficiency of rabbits fed ST25 and ST50 were higher (P < 0.05) than those fed ST75 and the control. Serum biochemical metabolites of urea, creatinine, aspartate amino transferase and alanine amino transferase concentrations varied among diets, with the rank order (P < 0.05) ST75 > ST25 and ST50 > control. Glucose level was higher (P < 0.05) for the control than the other diets. Rabbits fed with the mixed diets of ST had lower (P < 0.05) total lipids, cholesterol and triglycerides levels than those fed with control. Haematological indices of packed cell volume, haemoglobin, red blood cells, white blood cells and lymphocyte counts were lower (P < 0.05), but monocyte was higher, in rabbits fed with the ST75 than the other groups. However, other haematological parameters were similar among diets. Since all the performance and blood parameters were within normal ranges for healthy rabbits, and there were no signs of toxicity, we conclude that partial replacement of BH by ST improves rabbit growth performance, and did not impact rabbit health. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

PubMed | Alexandria University, Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute and University of Sao Paulo
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Tropical animal health and production | Year: 2016

Twenty Santa Ins ewes used to evaluate effects of oral administration of Brazilian red propolis extract on blood metabolites, milk production, and lamb performance were randomly grouped (n=10 ewes/group) to control without propolis administration and propolis treated (3g red propolis extract/ewe/day) 21days before expected lambing date. Blood samples were collected weekly, and daily milk yield was recorded twice weekly until 7weeks postpartum. Propolis administration increased (P<0.05) total leukocyte counts, protein, and globulin and glucose concentrations, decreased (P<0.05) somatic cell counts, and enhanced (P<0.05) yields of milk, fat, protein, and lactose. Propolis supplementation increased (P<0.05) average daily gain and milk conversion ratio but had no effect on lamb birth and weaning weights. The prepartum administration of propolis extract supported positively the transition of ewes from pregnancy to lactation with health benefits achieved for both of ewes and lambs performances.

PubMed | Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute, Egyptian Animal Production Research Institute and North Carolina A&T State University
Type: | Journal: Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition | Year: 2017

The objective of this study was to evaluate carob pods and their effect on growth performance, antioxidant activities, carcass and caecal characteristics and equilibrium modification of the caecal microbiota population of growing NZW rabbits. Eighty weaned rabbits (initial body weight: 625.0026.46g) were randomly allocated into four dietary groups of 20 rabbits each until 90days of age. Dietary groups were as follows: C (basal diet with no supplementation), CP1 (basal diet+2.5% carob pods), CP2 (basal diet+5% carob pods) and CP3 (basal diet+10% carob pods). Rabbits given the CP2 diet had significantly higher daily and final body weights compared with the other experimental groups. The increase in inclusion rate of carob pods significantly decreased feed intake, whereas carob pods at 5% in the CP2 group recorded the best value of feed conversion ratio. Rabbits in the CP3 group showed the worst slaughter weight and carcass dressing percentage weight. No significant effect was found on meat protein and ash contents. Cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein and triglycerides decreased significantly (p<0.05) in rabbits treated with carob pods compared with the control. Because of high content of the antioxidant compounds in CP2 and CP3 groups, the activities of glutathione peroxidase, glutathione S-transferase, catalase and superoxide dismutase increased, whereas the concentration of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance decreased significantly. Rabbits given the CP2 diet had a significantly higher volatile fatty acid concentration and a lower pH in content of the caecum compared to the other groups. The data of microbial analysis for C group showed a significant increase in Escherichia coli and Clostridium counts. Lactobacillus and Bacillus counts increased significantly more in the CP2 and CP3 groups than in the other groups. In conclusion, 5% of carob pods in the diet stimulated the performance of growing rabbits, and thus, it has potential as an unconventional feed resource for rabbits without any adverse effects.

Hafez E.E.,Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute | Abdelkhalek A.A.,Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute | Abd El-Wahab A.S.E.-D.,Cairo University | Galal F.H.,Cairo University
Biotechnology and Biotechnological Equipment | Year: 2013

Leek (Allium porrum) has become one of the major leafy vegetable crops in Egypt and all over the world. Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV) was observed on leek plants in eight different governorates in Egypt, in fields near to onion fields. The symptoms in infected leek plants included yellowish or tan diamond-shaped or irregularly shaped lesions on leaves and flower stalks. Necrotic areas developed on leaves, and some plants had elongated brown lesions or brown flecks resembling thrips injury. Moreover, thrips larvae and adults feed with a punch-and-suck behavior that removes leaf chlorophyll, causing white to silver patches and streaks, which were observed on all infected plants. The plant samples were collected and subjected to ELISA test using IYSV polyantiserum. The results revealed that about 90 % of the collected samples with symptoms were positive. For further confirmation, the ELISA positive samples were subjected to PCR amplification using nuclear coat protein specific primers. The PCR results were in agreement with the results obtained by ELISA. Thrip tabaci adults were reared on the infected plant and biological transfer was performed onto new healthy plants. After 15 days to 4 weeks post inoculation, symptoms were observed on the plant. Biologically infected plant samples were collected at different times after thrips-inoculation and the extracted RNA was subjected to Real Time PCR using the coat protein gene primers. The results showed that the expression of the coat protein fluctuated but reached its peak on day five (264 %). Differential display technique was performed on the newly infected plant tissues to identify changes in gene expression in leek elicited by IYSV that causes a symptomatic phenotype. Both up- and downregulated genes were observed in infected plants conjugated with the healthy ones. Sequence analysis of the up-regulated genes was performed and the encoding sequence analysis showed that the obtained genes include: MFS family protein, Pathogenesisrelated protein, Mitogen-activated protein kinase, N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase-like protein, Serine/threonine-protein kinase, and Putative Retrosat2 Ty3-Gypsy_retroelement. On the other hand, only one down-regulated gene was identified, alphatubulin suppressor-like protein. Most of the identified genes are suppress defensin genes (innate/adaptive). It can be concluded that viral infection is capable of inducing a huge number of genes which are important in the plant immune system. © Biotechnol. & Biotechnol. Eq.

Abu Hafsa S.H.,Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute | Basyony M.M.,Egyptian Animal Production Research Institute | Hassan A.A.,Egyptian Animal Production Research Institute
Asian Journal of Poultry Science | Year: 2015

A study was conducted to investigate the effects of Guar Korma Meal (GKM) as a partial replacement for soybean meal (SBM) in broilers diets on growth performance, carcass traits, blood metabolites and economic efficiency. Three hundred; one-day-old Cobb-400 broilers, each with five replicates (n = 15 chicks per replicate), were submitted to one of the four diets contain 0, 25, 50, 75% SBM were replaced with GKM in starter and grower diets, respectively for 42 days in a completely randomized design. Body Weight (BW), Body Weight Gain (BWG) and Feed Intake (FI) were lower (p<0.05) in broilers fed (GKM-50) and (GKM-75) than those fed (GKM-25) and (GKM0), whereas Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) was better (p<0.05) when broilers fed on (GKM-25). Performance Index (PI) and Performance Index Score (PIS) were superior in the (GKM-25) followed by SBM fed groups when compared to the other groups. Digestibility coefficients of OM, CP, CF and NFE were higher (p<0.05) for broilers fed on (GKM-25) than those fed other diets, however, EE was highest for broilers fed on (GKM-50) and (GKM-75). Carcass traits, cut up parts and yields significantly increased (p<0.05) for chicks fed (GKM0) and (GKM-25), while group fed on (GKM0) recorded the lowest abdominal fat (%) followed by (GKM-25) group. Ascending levels of GKM treatments influenced the carcass meat, which was observed as decrease in CP contents (p<0.05) but increase in moisture, EE and ash contents (p<0.05) in breast and thigh meat compared to (GKM0) group. Broilers fed on (GKM-75) had the highest urea, triglycerides, cholesterol, HDL, LDL and vLDL concentrations than the other treatments. The best value of Economic Efficiency (EE) was recorded by group fed on (GKM-25). High levels of GKM in broilers diets deleteriously affect growth performance, FI, FCR and blood lipids. It was concluded that optimal level of GKM is low level 25% without adverse effects on growth performance, carcass traits, blood lipids or economic efficiency of broilers. © 2015 Academic Journals Inc.

Pardini G.,University of Girona | Gispert M.,University of Girona | Emran M.,Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute | Doni S.,CNR Institute of Ecosystem Study
Journal of Soils and Sediments | Year: 2016

Purpose: Shallow soils previously cultivated under terraced systems may change their properties after agricultural release and spontaneous plant colonization. Investigations were conducted in terraced fields (NE Spain) to prove that vegetation installed after the abandonment may generally improve soil properties by the formation of stable organic horizons. However, restriction in plant species along the natural vegetation succession and intensification of erosion processes may occur after abandonment depending on fire frequency and soil use history. Materials and methods: Ten environments with different plant covers under a Lithic Xerorthent were selected and erosion plots (Gerlach type) installed providing their best adaptability at the terrace scale. Selected soil environments represented the sequence of abandonment: from current poorly cultivated soils, soils under pasture, soils under shrubs, and soils under stands of pine and cork trees. Relevant rainfall events producing runoff and erosion were recorded from November 2011 to May 2012. Erosion rates and erosion components were analysed in sediments and water in order to monitor carbon, nitrogen and other nutrient removal by overland flow. Similarly, the physical and chemical properties of the soil environments under study were determined at the same time interval of runoff erosion. Results and discussion: Soils under pasture, vines and recently burnt pine forest produced the highest runoff followed by soils under shrubs and forest. However, eroded soil yields and nutrient removal were much higher in cultivated soils and soils in recently burnt sites, which had shown poorer soil properties with respect to soils abandoned for longer and preserved by fire. Fire-affected soil environments also showed a thinner organic horizon and reduced water retention. Although erosion rates and nutrient depletion were low in all environments with respect to other areas of Spain, higher splash than water erosion was an early warning indicator of the high susceptibility to degradation of these shallow soils. Conclusions: Results outlined that the renaturalization dynamics after agricultural abandonment are complex biophysical processes involving the parent material, depth to bedrock and other soil properties as well as the succession of vegetative cover and plant associations responsible for building a new soil mantle contrasting with erosion processes. Planning for management of land abandonment is strongly recommended. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

El Sohaimy A.A.S.,Egyptian Food Technology Research Institute | El-Sheikh H.M.,Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute | Refaay M.T.,Egyptian Food Technology Research Institute | Zaytoun A.M.M.,Alexandria University
American Journal of Food Technology | Year: 2016

The aim of the present study is to investigate the chemical and physical characteristics of the olive oil in different ripening stages of Manzanilla and Kalamata varieties to determine the optimum harvesting time of the olive fruits. The oil content was gradually increased due to the accumulation of synthesized oil during maturation process. The oil showed an unstable trend in the relation between the acid value and ripening stages. The peroxide values in all ripening stages were below the standard limit. The K values significantly decreased from S1 to S5 but still within standard limit. The moisture content very slightly decreased in maturity and declared that the maturity stages didn’t significantly affect the moisture content. The iodine value was significantly decreased with ripening development. The saponification value was significantly decreased with developing of ripening stages. Refractive index values of Manzanilla and Kalamata oils were below the standard limit. Reddish stage (S4) of ripening showed the best physicochemical characteristics. All stages of ripening showed a high content of unsaturated fatty acid especially oleic acid. The total polyphenols and flavonoids level in early maturation stages higher than late maturation stages. The early ripening stages showed the highest antioxidant capacity while significantly decreased with the developing of ripening stages. Organoleptic scores descended along with advanced ripening stages of olive fruit. Finally, we can conclude that the reddish ripening stage (S4) is the best stage for harvesting of the olive fruits to get the high quality of oil. © 2016 A.A. Sobhy El Sohaimy et al.

Elkomy A.E.,Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute | Zahran S.A.,Alexandria University | El-Azab A.I.,Benha University | El-Azab M.A.,Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute
Pakistan Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2016

This study aimed to investigate the effect of incorporation of dried tomato pomace (DTP) into rabbit bucks rations on semen quality characteristics, libido and some seminal plasma and blood biochemical constituent. A total of twenty New Zealand White male rabbits, 8 months old, were randomly divided into four equal groups (5 bucks for each). Group one served as a control group, which received a basal diet, while, groups 2, 3 and 4 received a diet containing 10, 15 and 20% of DTP for 12 weeks as an experimental period, respectively. There was no effect due to feed rabbit bucks on DTP inclusion diets on live body weight, while, feed consumption was decreased by 9.3, 11.2 and 14.8% for 10, 15 and 20% TP levels, but this decrease was non-significant. Results indicated that 10 or 15% DTP groups showed significant improvement in semen ejaculate volume, sperm cell concentration, sperm motility, total sperm out-put, total motile sperm and total motile normal sperm and the rate of sperm abnormalities was decreased. On the other hand, 20% DTP has positive effect on semen measurements compared to the control however, this improvement was non-significant. Seminal plasma total proteins and albumin appeared remarkably higher for bucks' fed DTP at any studied level especially for 20% DTP than the control group, whereas, calcium concentration was markedly decreased in all DTP groups. Blood hematological parameters (Hb, PCV, RBC and WBC) were increased significantly in DTP feeding groups compared to the control and these finding were more prominent for the bucks put on 10% DTP level. Liver enzymes activities (AST and ALT) were significantly decreased due to added DTP in male rabbits' diets with any level compared to the control group. Testicular parenchyma of 10 and 15% DTP groups showed a better histological characterization with healthy somniferous tubules (ST) compared to the control or the 20% DTP level and 20% group still showed histological characterization better than the control group. It could be concluded that addition of DTP in the mature male rabbit’s diets by 10, 15 and 20% levels has positive effect on the semen quantity and quality, as well as, some blood biochemical properties of the white New Zealand breed. © Asian Network for Scientific Information, 2016.

Rashad M.,Arid Lands Cultivation Research Institute | Elnaggar E.,National Research Center of Egypt | Assaad F.F.,National Research Center of Egypt
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2014

Readily dispersible clay is the part of the clay fraction in soils that potentially disperses in water when a small amount of mechanical energy is applied to soil. Column and batch experiments were conducted to identify the effect of readily dispersible clay on the mobility of some metal ions in a disturbed soil sample. The clay fraction (<0.002 mm) was separated from an alkaline Vertisol from the Nile River Delta. X-ray diffraction technique was used to identify minerals present in the clay fraction. Clay suspensions and deionized H2O solutions of Cd2+, Cu2+, and Zn2+ were prepared and used as influents in soil columns. Adsorption capability of the studied soil among the three metal ions was investigated. The results showed high adsorption capacity of Cd2+, Cu2+, but not Zn2+ for the studied soil. Cu2+ was the highest adsorbed metal by soil and its sorption increased at small equilibrium concentrations compared with Cd2+ and Zn2+. For the three studied metal ions, Langmuir model represented the best fit to the adsorption data. The concentration of Zn2+ and Cd2+ in leachates increased as the leaching solution volume increased, while Cu2+ showed a homogeneous distribution throughout the soil column. According to DTPA extractable metals, Zn2+ was appeared at greater depths than Cd2+, while Cu2+ had homogeneous distribution through the soil column. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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