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Atoui A.,Laboratory of Microorganisms and Food Irradiation | El Khoury A.,Saint - Joseph University | Kallassy M.,Saint - Joseph University | Lebrihi A.,National Graduate School of Agronomy, Toulouse
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2012

Zearalenone (ZEA) is a mycotoxin produced by some species of Fusarium, especially by Fusarium graminearum and F. culmorum. ZEA induces hyperoestrogenic responses in mammals and can result in reproductive disorders in farm animals. In the present study, a real-time PCR (qPCR) assay has been successfully developed for the detection and quantification of Fusarium graminearum based on primers targeting the gene PKS13 involved in ZEA biosynthesis. A standard curve was developed by plotting the logarithm of known concentrations of F. graminearum DNA against the cycle threshold (Ct) value. The developed real time PCR system was also used to analyze the occurrence of zearalenone producing F. graminearum strains on maize. In this context, DNA extractions were performed from thirty-two maize samples, and subjected to real time PCR. Maize samples also were analyzed for zearalenone content by HPLC. F. graminearum DNA content (pg DNA/ mg of maize) was then plotted against ZEA content (ppb) in maize samples. The regression curve showed a positive and good correlation (R 2=0.760) allowing for the estimation of the potential risk from ZEA contamination. Consequently, this work offers a quick alternative to conventional methods of ZEA quantification and mycological detection and quantification of F. graminearum in maize. © 2011. Source


Barraud-Didier V.,National Graduate School of Agronomy, Toulouse | Henninger M.-C.,University of Management and Economics | Akremi A.E.,Toulouse 1 University Capitole
International Food and Agribusiness Management Review | Year: 2012

This paper aims to explain the participative behavior of farmers-members of agricultural cooper-atives in the governance of the latter. The study introduces two concepts from the organizational behavior literature: trust and organizational commitment. It tests a mediator effect of commit-ment in the relationship between the trust a farmer has in the cooperative and his/her participa-tive behavior in its governance. Based on a sample of 259 members of French agricultural coop-eratives, results showed that affective commitment had a mediating role in the relationship be-tween trust and participation in the governance of cooperatives, notwithstanding the cognitive or affective nature of trust. © 2012 International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA). Source


Brambilla A.,University of Pavia | von Hardenberg A.,Alpine Wildlife Research Center | Kristo O.,National Graduate School of Agronomy, Toulouse | Bassano B.,Alpine Wildlife Research Center | Bogliani G.,University of Pavia
Animal Behaviour | Year: 2013

Faeces are a major vehicle for transmission of parasites among ungulate hosts. Avoiding feeding in proximity to faeces has been shown to be an antiparasitic strategy in experimental settings with domestic and semidomestic ungulates. However, few studies have tested the faecal avoidance hypothesis in wild herbivores. We tested the faecal avoidance hypothesis in a wild population of Alpine ibex by comparing the quantity of faeces in grazed and avoided areas. We counted faecal pellets within a plot around a grazing individual and a plot around a spot actively avoided by the same individual. As predicted, grazed plots had lower densities of faecal pellets than avoided plots. Fresh faeces were avoided more often than medium-aged and old faeces. We found consistent differences in the level of faecal avoidance among individuals, but this was not related to the level of gastrointestinal parasite infection or to the age of the host. Our results suggest that wild Alpine ibex actively avoid foraging near faeces but the antiparasitic value of this behaviour is not evident. © 2013 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Source


Norton E.,University of Plymouth | Benaben S.,National Graduate School of Agronomy, Toulouse | Mbotha D.,Lane College | Schley D.,Institute for Animal Health
Livestock Science | Year: 2012

Contact networks can provide useful insights into animal behaviour and have the potential to quantify the spread of disease. Successful control of livestock diseases requires an understanding of how they spread amongst animals and between premises. Whilst movement records can provide valuable data on potential between-farm spread, the within-group dynamics of livestock are not well quantified; without this knowledge it is difficult to fully exploit knowledge about one-to-one transmission (such as insights gained from small scale experiments). Here the physical contact structure of domestic sheep (Ovis Aries) flocks is determined for different stages in the breeding cycle. Three observational studies were carried out on conventionally managed flocks, consisting of approximately thirty Dorset/cross sheep grazing a large paddock: a flock with young (newborn) lambs and their mothers; the flock when the lambs were older (nearly weaned); and a flock of ewes outside of the lambing season. Networks were constructed and key centrality measures calculated for all direct physical and proximal contacts. Proximity networks with conventional sheep flocks appear to be dense, but physical contacts have a more complex structure with strong variations determined by stages in the breeding cycle. There was a significant difference in the level of physical contact within those flocks with lambs and those without, and also as a result of the age of lambs. A clear reduction in between-ewe contact was observed amongst individuals with young, but there was an overall increase in connectivity in such flocks as a result of contacts involving lambs. Results are considered applicable to different sized flocks, given the known social behaviour of sheep and the experimental protocol used. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source


Villanueva M.C.,French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea | Ibarra A.A.,National Graduate School of Agronomy, Toulouse
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2016

In order to assess the level of ecological stress caused by the pollution from local disturbances in a stretch of the Garonne River, France, we applied the Abundance-Biomass Comparison (ABC) index, using fish assemblages. Data were collected in a 10-year span (1992-2002) in a reference site and in two pollution-exposed sites. The ABC index mean value in the reference site (S1) was 0.03 ± 0.002 (95% Confidence Interval - CI); for the polluted sites (S2 and S3), the values were -0.09 ± 0.002 (95% CI) and -0.12 ± 0.002 (95% CI), respectively. The ABC index showed that, besides flow variations, both downstream sites are statistically different (p < 0.05) from the reference site, but all three seem to be under moderate stress. Furthermore, we related our ABC scores to water quality and flow regime variables in the reference site and one of the polluted sites by means of a cluster analysis. The results showed that, in the reference site, the ABC scores are closely related to the flow regime, while in the polluted site, downstream a urban area, ABC is related to water quality variables such as phosphates and total phosphorous. We argue that ecological indicators can help decisions on environmental damage liability. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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