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Jan I.,Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agricultural University
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews

Large dependence of the world population on biomass fuels for domestic energy consumption is one of the major anthropogenic causes of deforestation worldwide. The use of biomass in inefficient ways in rural areas increases fuelwood demand of a household. Development of the improved biomass stove programs in the 1970s has been one of the efforts to reduce burden on biomass resource base through reliable and efficient methods of energy consumption. However, despite having multiple economic, social, environmental, and health benefits; the improved stove dissemination programs failed to capture worldwide recognition. A wide array of socio-cultural, economic, political, and institutional barriers contributes to the low adoption rate of such programs. Drawing on field work surveys in rural northwest Pakistan, this paper provides empirical evidence of individual, household, and community level variables that play a vital role in the adoption of improved cookstoves. The study is based on primary data collected from 100 randomly selected households in two villages of rural northwest Pakistan. Using regression analysis, the study depicts that education and household income are the most significant factors that determine a household willingness to adopt improved biomass stoves. The study concludes that the rate of adoption could substantially be improved if the government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play a greater role in overcoming the social, economic, cultural, political, and institutional barriers to adopting improved cooking technologies. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Khan M.S.,University of Tsukuba | Khan M.S.,Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agricultural University
Biotechnology and Biotechnological Equipment

DREBs belong to the ethylene response factor (ERF) family of transcription factors that bind to the DRE/CRT element in the promoter regions of a large number of genes involved in biotic and abiotic stress signaling in plants. In the recent past, there has been substantial progress towards understanding the regulatory role of DREBs in abiotic stress responses of crop plants. Following isolation from various plant species, DREB genes have been introduced into a number of transgenic plants, which showed tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses. Despite the initial success of achieving abiotic stress tolerance with DREBs, there are several issues that need further research to ensure increased plant growth and yield under abiotic stress conditions. This review focuses on the current status of research on DREB transcription factors, their role in abiotic stress tolerance in transgenic plants, and challenges confronting deployment of these plants. Source

Stewart B.A.,West Texas A&M University | Ullah H.,Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agricultural University
Journal of Plant Nutrition

Shoot:root (S:R) response in four winter C3-grasses (cereals) viz. wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), rye (Secale cereale L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and oats (Avena sativa L.) was investigated under eight different NPK sources (S1= 20-20-20, S2= 20-27-5, S3= 7-22-8, S4= 10-10-10-20S, S5= 11-15-11, S6= 31-11-11, S7= 24-8-16, and S8= 19-6-12) in pot experiment at Dryland Agriculture Institute, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas, USA during winter 2009–2010. The experiment was performed in completely randomized design (CRD) with three repeats. The objective of this experiment was to investigate whether the S:R of winter cereals differ or not when applied with different NPK sources. Considerable variations in the shoot: root was noticed in the four grasses at different growth stages, i.e., 30, 60 and 90 days after emergence (DAE) when applied with different NPK fertilizers sources. Wheat had the highest S:R of 3.4 at 30 days after emergence (DAE), barley at 60 DAE (6.5), while oats at 90 DAE (3.9). Among the NPK sources, crops had the highest S:R of 3.6, 6.2 and 3.7 when applied with S3, S2, and S6at 30, 60 and 90 DAE, respectively. Shoot to root ratio showed positive relationship with increase in shoot weight and negative relationship with increase in root weight. The NPK fertilizer S6(31: 11: 11), an acid loving fertilizer had negative effects on the shoot and root development of cool season cereals, but among these cereals under study, barley and oats roots were affected more than wheat and rye. It was concluded from this present study, that the four cool season cereals responded differently in terms of shoot: root to different NPK fertilizers at different growth stages. © 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

Khan N.U.,Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agricultural University
Sabrao Journal of Breeding and Genetics

Heterosis in upland cotton has been exploited for many decades, but efforts have not bestowed the predictable results due to its predominant nature of self-pollination and floral structure. Currently, hand pollinated hybrid seed is being used for hybrid cotton production in some countries. Thirty F 1 and F 2 diallel cross combinations with six parental upland cotton genotypes were used to evaluate genetic potential, heterobeltiosis in F 1 and F 2 populations, economic heterosis in F 1s and inbreeding depression in F 2s during 2007 to 2009. Analysis of variance revealed highly significant variation among F 1s, F 2s and their parents. Cultivar CIM-1100 exhibited exceptional performance as paternal/maternal parent in crossing with other cultivars. Positive heterobeltiotic values were also exhibited by F 1 and F 2 hybrids. Positive economic heterotic values were recorded as 80% in F 1 hybrids for plant height, 97% for sympodia, 60% for boll weight, 83% for bolls per plant, and 60% for seed cotton yield. However, some F 2s showed inbreeding depression for the above traits. Results revealed that the F 1 and F 2 cross combinations obtained from good with medium/poor performing parents had relatively high dominant effects and exceeded check cultivars and their better parents. Source

Amanullah,Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Agricultural University | Stewart B.A.,West Texas A&M University
Pakistan Journal of Botany

Shoot: root (S:R) response of three warm season C4-cereals (grasses) viz., corn (Zea mays L., cv. Hybrid-5393 VT3), grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench, cv. Hybrid-84G62 PAT), and foxtail millets (Setaria italica, cv. German Strain R) grown in pure and mixed stands was investigated at one month interval in pot experiment at West Texas A&M University, Texas, USA during spring 2010. The results indicated that the three warm season grasses responded differently in terms of S:R when grown in pure and mixed stands under low and high water levels at different growth stages. In the mixed stands, the roots and shoot biomass accumulation in millets decreased while its S:R increased and was considered the least competitor in the mixed stands than sorghum and corn. Corn plants on the other hand with higher root and shoot biomass accumulation but lower S:R was ranked first (strong) in terms of competitiveness in the mixed stands. In contrast, grain sorghum in the mixed stands produced more root and shoot biomass while grown mixed with millets, but produced less root and shoot biomass in the corn mixed stands was therefore ranked second in terms of competitiveness (corn > grain sorghum > millets). Better understanding of root architecture of different crop species in pure and mixed stands could maximize water and nutrients uptake. Early emergence of the three crop plants had positive effects on shoot and root biomass accumulation and was considered the best criteria in crops competitiveness. We also found that decreasing water level increased root biomass which declined the S:R in all three crop plants. With advancement in crop age, increase in shoot biomass was more than root biomass, and therefore, reduction in S:R was observed. We suggests that more studies are required to assess more accurately the root biomass contribution of different crops species in pure and mixed stands to improve carbon sequestration into the soils under different environmental conditions. Source

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