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Farid A.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA
Pakistan Journal of Zoology | Year: 2011

Traditionally, pest management experiments in specific and agricultural experiments in general involve testing of various treatments or interventions to make recommendations that are based on the treatments/technologies that lead to a maximum increase in crop yield. Such recommendations, however, may not always be economically viable for farmers. Economic analysis of the research data can provide an estimate of risks and profitability of the proposed technologies before making recommendations for the farmers. Marginal analysis is one of such techniques which can assist research workers in decision making. A software has been developed to facilitate calculations involved and getting automated results for marginal rate of return (MRR). Along with the values of MRR, the software provides the values of residuals to assist in selecting the appropriate technology.

Muhammad W.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA | Vaughan S.M.,University of Queensland | Dalal R.C.,University of Queensland | Menzies N.W.,University of Queensland
Biology and Fertility of Soils | Year: 2011

Crop residues with high C/N ratio immobilize N released during decomposition in soil, thus reducing N losses through leaching, denitrification, and nitrous oxide (N2O) emission. A laboratory incubation experiment was conducted for 84 days under controlled conditions (24°C and moisture content 55% of water-holding capacity) to study the influence of sugarcane, maize, sorghum, cotton and lucerne residues, and mineral N addition, on N mineralization-immobilization and N2O emission. Residues were added at the rate of 3 t C ha-1 to soil with, and without, 150 kg urea N ha-1. The addition of sugarcane, maize, and sorghum residues without N fertilizer resulted in a significant immobilization of soil N. Amended soil had significantly (Ṕ 0.05) lower NO3 --N, which reached minimum values of 2.8 mg N kg-1 for sugarcane (at day 28), 10.3 mg N kg-1 for maize (day 7), and 5.9 mg N kg-1 for sorghum (day 7), compared to 22.7 mg N kg-1 for the unamended soil (day 7). During 84 days of incubation, the total mineral N in the residues + N treatments were decreased by 45 mg N kg-1 in sugarcane, 34 mg kg-1 in maize, 29 mg kg-1 in sorghum, and 16 mg kg-1 in cotton amended soil compared to soil + N fertilizer, although soil NO3 --N increased by 7 mg kg-1 in lucerne amended soil. The addition of residues also significantly increased amended soil microbial biomass C and N. Maximum emissions of N2O from crop residue amended soils occurred in the first 4-5 days of incubation. Overall, after 84 days of incubation, the cumulative N2O emission was 25% lower with cotton + N fertilizer, compared to soil + N fertilizer. The cumulative N2O emission was significantly and positively correlated with NO3 --N (r = 0.92, Ṕ 0.01) and total mineral N (r = 0.93, Ṕ 0.01) after 84 days of incubation, and had a weak but significant positive correlation with cumulative CO2 in the first 3 and 5 days of incubation (r = 0.59, Ṕ 0.05). © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Eqani S.A.-M.-A.-S.,COMSATS Institute of Information Technology | Eqani S.A.-M.-A.-S.,Quaid-i-Azam University | Malik R.N.,Quaid-i-Azam University | Cincinelli A.,University of Florence | And 7 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2013

Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were investigated in eleven edible fish species (5 herbivorous and 6 carnivorous) collected from the River Chenab, Pakistan, during 2007-2009. Total OCP and PCB concentrations (ngg-1 wet weight, ww) ranged between 13-107 (mean: 38) and 3.1-93.7 (mean: 20) for five herbivorous fish species and 21.6-365 (mean: 148) and 2.5-108 (mean: 30) for six carnivorous species, respectively. The trends of detected organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in fish samples were: DDTs>PCBs>chlordanes>HCHs. The mean concentration(s) (ngg-1 ww) of OCPs were relatively higher in all fish species collected near industrial areas followed by urban and agricultural areas. Risk assessment of OCPs and PCBs indicated that fish intake may pose health risk to humans with a consumption rate of >8g/person/day. The hazardous ratios for the 50th and 95th percentile data of OCPs and PCBs in fish exceeded the value of 1, suggesting that the daily exposure to OCPs and PCBs yield a lifetime cancer risk greater than 1 in 10,000. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Fatima Khattak K.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA | Fatima Khattak K.,University of Bristol | James Simpson T.,University of Bristol
Radiation Physics and Chemistry | Year: 2010

The efficacy of gamma irradiation as a method of decontamination for food and herbal materials is well established. In the present study, Glycyrrhiza glabra roots were irradiated at doses 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 kGy in a cobalt-60 irradiator. The irradiated and un-irradiated control samples were evaluated for phenolic contents, antimicrobial activities and DPPH scavenging properties. The result of the present study showed that radiation treatment up to 20 kGy does not affect the antifungal and antibacterial activity of the plant. While sample irradiated at 25 kGy does showed changes in the antibacterial activity against some selected pathogens. No significant differences in the phenolic contents were observed for control and samples irradiated at 5, 10 and 15 kGy radiation doses. However, phenolic contents increased in samples treated with 20 and 25 kGy doses. The DPPH scavenging activity significantly (p<0.05) increased in all irradiated samples of the plant. © 2009.

Jan F.A.,University of Peshawar | Ishaq M.,University of Peshawar | Khan S.,University of Peshawar | Ihsanullah I.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Hazardous Materials | Year: 2010

Food crops irrigated with wastewater are mostly contaminated with heavy metals and considered as a main pathway for human exposure. In this study, soil and food crops samples were collected from wastewater irrigated soils, background and relatively less polluted areas. Results of the sequential extraction and total metals concentrations in soils indicated that wastewater irrigation has significantly increased (p≥0.001) the bioavailable and total metal contents in wastewater irrigated soil as compared to background and control soils. Heavy metal concentrations in the food crops grown on wastewater irrigated soil were higher than those grown on background and control soils but were found within WHO/FAO permissible limits except for Zn. Health risk index values were less than 1 for both control and wastewater irrigated soils (except Mn). However, the food crops such as Brassica rapa, Spinacia oleracae L., Lycopersicum esculantum, Mentha viridis, Coriandum sativum and Lactuca sativa grown on wastewater irrigated soil can pose health risks because of the high concentration of Mn. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Jan F.A.,University of Peshawar | Ishaq M.,University of Peshawar | Ihsanullah I.,Nuclear Institute For Food and Agriculture NIFA | Asim S.M.,University of Peshawar
Journal of Hazardous Materials | Year: 2010

Multivariate and univariate statistical techniques i.e., cluster analysis PCA, regression and correlation analysis, one way ANOVA, were applied to the metal data of effluents soil and ground water to point out the contribution of different industries towards the metals pollution, their source identification and distribution. The samples were collected from different industries and different downstream points of the main effluents stream and from the relatively less polluted area considered as control area. The samples were analyzed for metal concentration levels by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The metal concentration data in the three media of the polluted area were compared with background data and control data as well as with the WHO safe limits. The results showed that soil has high metals concentration compared to effluents and water. The data also showed elevated levels of Mn and Pb in water that are 8.268 and 2.971 mg/L, respectively. Principal component analysis along with regression analysis showed that the elevated levels of metals in the effluents contaminate adjacent soil and ultimately the ground water. The other elements Co, Cd, Ni and Cu were also found to have correlation in the three media. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Aman N.,University of Malakand | Hadi F.,University of Malakand | Khalil S.A.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA | Zamir R.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA | Ahmad N.,Quaid-i-Azam University
Comptes Rendus - Biologies | Year: 2013

An efficient method of regeneration for antidiabetic plant (Stevia rebaudiana) has been established for healthy biomass and main steviol glycosides (SGs) production, using different PGRs and agar concentrations. Higher callus induction (93.3%) was recorded when leaf explants were placed on an MS medium supplemented with 3.5 gL-1 agar and 2.0 mgL-1 2,4-D. The addition of 7.0 gL-1 agar and BA (1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 mgL-1) significantly (P < 0.01) influences shooting response (100%). A maximum mean shoot length (13.03 cm) and 28 shoots per explant were observed on a medium containing 1.0 mgL-1 BA. However, the maximum number of leaves (132.67) was encouraged by the addition of BA (1.0 mgL-1) and Kin (1.0 mgL-1). Lower agar (3.5 gL-1), IAA (2.0 mgL -1), and NAA (2.0 mgL-1) concentrations significantly influence the rooting percent (100%), the mean root length (2.9 cm), and the number of roots per plantlet (26.3). These plantlets were successfully acclimatized in the soil. The BA (3.0 mgL-1) in combination with Kin (3.0 mgL-1) and 3.5 gL-1 agar increases dulcoside-A content (Dul-A; 71.8 μg/g-DW) in shoots compared to control (50.81 μg/g-DW). Similar PGRs with 7.0 gL-1 significantly increases the production of steviosides (Stev. 82.48 μg/g-DW). A higher rebaudioside-A content (Reb-A; 12.35 μg/g-DW) was observed in shoots that underwent the addition of BA (1.0 mgL-1) and 7.0 gL-1 agar than in control (07.39 μg/g-DW). Hereby, we developed an efficient and cost-effective method for regeneration and major SGs production, which could be helpful for future studies on this species. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Masson SAS on behalf of Academie des sciences.

Khan I.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA | Farid A.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA | Zeb A.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2013

Background: Success of sterile insect technique (SIT) is dependent upon the mass rearing and release of quality insects, the production of which is directly related to the suitability of the diet ingredients used. Commercial diets used for small-scale culture of mosquitoes are expensive and thus not feasible for mass production. Methods. A series of low cost globally available diet ingredients including, wheat, rice, corn, chickpeas, and beans along with liver, were provided to 4 h larvae (L1) of Anopheles stephensi (Liston) to see their effect on fitness parameters including larval duration, percent emergence, survival, adult wing size and female fecundity. Different quantities of the candidate diet ingredients were then mixed together to work out a combination diet with a balanced nutritive value that can be used for efficient rearing of the mosquito larvae at relatively lower costs. Results: Fastest larval and pupal development and highest survival rates were recorded using a combination diet of bean, corn, wheat, chickpea, rice, and bovine liver at 5 mg/day. The diet is easy to prepare, and much cheaper than the diets reported earlier. The estimated cost of the reported diet is 14.7 US$/ 1.3 kg for rearing one million larvae. Conclusions: A combination diet with ingredients from cereals and legumes mixed with liver is a low cost balanced larval diet with the potential for use in both small scale laboratory rearing and mass production of Anopheles in SIT control programs. © 2013 Khan et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Khan A.J.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA | Azam F.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA | Ali A.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA
Pakistan Journal of Botany | Year: 2010

Interrelationship among yield and different yield related traits in 16 wheat recombinant inbred lines (RILS) / varieties were determined by correlation and path coefficient analysis under moisture stress conditions using randomized complete block design with three replications. Grain yield was positively correlated with days to maturity, tillers m-2 and number of grains spike-1. Negative correlation of grain yield was observed with plant height, spike length, peduncle length, peduncle extrusion, sheath length and 1000-grain weight. So far the relationship between different parameters is concerned, 55.55% genotypic and 57.77% phenotypic correlations were positive while the remaining were negative. Path analysis indicated that peduncle length had the highest direct effect on grain yield followed by tillers m-2, grains spike-1, spike length and days to maturity whereas peduncle extrusion, sheath length, 1000 grain weight and plant height had negative direct effect on the same parameter. The characters such as days to maturity, tillers m-2 and grains spike-1 having positive direct effect along with positive genotypic correlation on grain yield are considered to be suitable selection criteria for the development of high yielding genotypes.

Khattak K.F.,Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture NIFA
Radiation Physics and Chemistry | Year: 2012

Whole plant of . Fagonia arabica with 3 different particle sizes (30, 50 and 70 mesh) were exposed to gamma radiation doses of 1-10. kGy from a Cobalt 60 source. A series of tests was performed in order to check the feasibility of irradiation processing of the plant. The applied radiation doses did not affect (. P<0.05) pH and antimicrobial activities of the plant. The total weight of the dry extracts in methanol as well as water was found increased with irradiation. The irradiated samples showed significant increase in phenolic content and free radical scavenging activity using DPPH. Shortly after irradiation (on the day of radiation treatment) high amounts of free radicals were detected in the irradiated plant samples and the chemiluminescence measurements were generally found to be dose dependent. Maximum luminescence intensity was observed in case of samples with mesh size of 30 for all the radiation doses applied. After a period of one month the chemiluminescence signals of the irradiated samples approximated those of the controls. The study suggests that gamma irradiation treatment is effective for quality improvement and enhances certain beneficial biological properties of the treated materials. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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