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Mengual X.,Smithsonian Institution | Ghorpade K.,University of Agricultural science
ZooKeys | Year: 2010

The flower fly genus Eosphaerophoria is revised. Eight new species are described (adornata sp. n. Mengual, bifida sp. n. Mengual, brunettii sp. n. Ghorpadé, hermosa sp. n. Mengual, luteofasciata sp. n. Mengual, nigrovittata sp. n. Mengual, symmetrica sp. n. Mengual, and vietnamensis sp. n. Mengual), and an identification key is provided. Redescriptions, illustrations, synonymies, diagnoses and distributional data are given for all 11 known species of Eosphaerophoria. The new described species increase the genus' distribution, now recorded from Nepal and Sri Lanka east to New Guinea. All information data, images and drawings, as well as additional images and relevant information, are available online via the internet as an example of the utility of international standards for biodiversity informatics. copy; X. Mengual, K. Ghorpadé.

Shah A.,Iowa State University | Darr M.J.,Iowa State University | Medic D.,Iowa State University | Anex R.P.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | And 2 more authors.
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining | Year: 2012

Torrefaction of biomass early in the supply chain is one method of enhancing or preservin biomass quality during storage; reducing storage and transportation costs; attaining uniformity among different feedstock types; and meeting biorefineries' quality and quantity demands for feedstock in a cost effective and sustainable manner. The main objectives of this study were to analyze the mass and energy balance, to assess the techno-economic feasibility of a production-scale torrefaction system, and to quantify the sensitivity of energy and cost results to changes in initial feedstock moisture content, torrefaction process temperature, plant operating window, and initial capital investment. The output from this analysis provides clear guidance on the opportunities and costs associated with production-scale torrefaction of biomass as a feedstock intermediate. Analysis of energy results indicated that the net external energy required for the torrefaction process increased and energy efficiency of the torrefaction system decreased with increasing moisture contents. However, both of these energy metrics exhibited a decreasing trend with increasing process temperatures. In addition to the energy results, unit torrefaction process cost exhibited a decreasing trend with decreasing initial moisture contents of feedstock and decreasing torrefaction process temperatures. For the typical moisture content of 30% wb, process temperature of 240°C, plant operating window of 6 mo.yr -1 and initial capital investment of $7.5 million for the system with rated capacity of 25 Tton.hr -1, unit torrefaction process cost was estimated to be 17.5 $-Tton -1. Additional system improvements through capital cost reduction and wider operating windows can yield a torrefaction product cost of ~12 $-Tton -1. © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Senthil-Kumar M.,University of Agricultural science
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2010

In response to water-deficit stress, plants alter expression of thousands of genes and as a result, cellular, physiological, and biochemical processes are modified. Understanding the functional role of water-deficit stress-responsive genes is important in order to develop stress-tolerant plants. RNA interference (RNAi) technology is one of the potential reverse genetics tool for assessing the functional significance of these genes. We describe here the protocols for developing stable gene knockdown lines for stress-induced genes using RNAi. In addition, stress imposition method that allows plants to experience gradual acclimation stress is enumerated. Further, precautions that should be taken while developing RNAi lines and during stress imposition are discussed.

Rist L.,ETH Zurich | Shaanker R.U.,University of Agricultural science | Shaanker R.U.,Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment | Milner-Gulland E.J.,Imperial College London | Ghazoul J.,ETH Zurich
Ecology and Society | Year: 2010

Many forest communities possess considerable knowledge of the natural resources they use. Such knowledge can potentially inform scientific approaches to management, either as a source of baseline data to fill information gaps that cannot otherwise be addressed or to provide alternative management approaches from which scientists and managers might learn. In general, however, little attention has been given to the relevance of quantitative forms of such knowledge for resource management. Much discussion has focused on the integration of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) into management, but less attention has been paid to identifying specific areas where it is most useful and where it may be most problematic. We contrasted scientific data with information from TEK in the context of a threat to the sustainable harvesting of a nontimber forest product (NTFP) of livelihood importance in southern India, specifically, a fruit tree infected by mistletoe. The efficiency of deriving information from NTFP harvesters compared to scientific field studies was assessed. We further evaluated the potential of TEK to provide novel solutions to the management problem in question, the degree to which TEK could provide quantitative information, and the biases that might be associated with information derived from TEK. TEK complemented previously gathered ecological data by providing concordant and additional information, but also contradicted some results obtained using a scientific approach. TEK also gave a longer-term perspective with regard to NTFP harvesting patterns. Combining information on historical and current harvesting trends for the NTFP with official data suggests that current assessments of sustainability may be inaccurate and that the use of diverse information sources may provide an effective approach to assessing the status of harvested resources. Copyright © 2010 by the author(s).

Sheikh M.K.,University of Agricultural science
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Pomegranate plants bear flowers in abundance. However, not all flowers are productive flowers; the flowers may be staminate, intermediate or hermaphrodite. Excess fruit set affects fruit size and yield. It is necessary to thin flowers/fruits to improve the fruit size. Since hand thinning is laborious and cumbersome, chemical thinning of flower/fruits was attempted in this study. NAA and ethrel spray of different concentrations caused thinning in a ratio of 1:2 to 1:3 and 1:3 to 1:5.

Sheikh M.K.,University of Agricultural science
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Pomegranate cultivar 'Kesar' was the subject of experimentation in a farmer's field in Jumnal village, Dist. Bijapur, Karnataka state. In pomegranate, defoliation by Ethephon 39% SL aids in the translocation of nutrients back to the branches by means of senescence. Other chemicals, like Thiourea, insecticides like Metacid and Profenofos are also used by the pomegranate growers to aid in the formation of an abscission layer. The Ethephon 39% SL was used at a concentration of 1000 ppm, whereas Thiourea alone 3 g/L, Ethephon 39% SL 1 ml + Thiourea 3 g + 2 g DAP/L, Metacid 2 ml/L, Profenofos 2 ml/L for defoliation purposes in pomegranate. The defoliation of pomegranate was effective with Ethephon 1000 ppm as compared to Metacid 2 ml/L and Profenofos 2 ml/L of water, and urea phosphate at 5 g/L.

Sheikh M.K.,University of Agricultural science
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Pomegranate fruit does not develop attractive rind and aril colour under Bijapur conditions. Although arils should develop normally in the fruit, the undesired rind colours affect the marketability of the fruit. In the present study it was noticed that spraying potassium dihydrogen orthophosphate (0.5%) or potassium nitrate (1%) effectively improved rind colour to red or red yellow, the aril colour was either reddish or pink by this treatment.

Onkara Naik S.,University of Agricultural science
Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Environmental Sciences | Year: 2015

Identification of resistant source of groundnut against sucking insect pests, viz., leafhoppers and thrips was undertaken for two seasons, kharif and rabi-summer, at Regional Research Station and Agricultural College, Raichur, Karnataka. The results on the promising sources of resistant varieties, influence of morphological characters and biochemical constituents of the host plant on insect damage, oviposition rate and survivability of pests on different genotypes/ varieties under caged condition were recorded on a total of 136 groundnut entries comprising 60 genotypes and 76 released varieties. Field screening of 60 genotypes and 76 released varieties over two season's revealed 16 genotypes and 7 varieties were resistant against the target pests. Among 76 released varieties screened for leafhopper reactions, 23 each under resistant and moderately resistant group, 17 varieties were moderately susceptible and nine varieties were susceptible. The highly susceptible group included four varieties. Out of 76 varieties screened for their reaction against thrips, 13 were found resistant, 35 were moderately resistant 12 each in moderately susceptible and susceptible category and five were highly susceptible. None the varieties were found to be seen immune to thrips damage. © Global Science Publications.

Ismail S.A.,ETH Zurich | Ghazoul J.,ETH Zurich | Ravikanth G.,Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment | Uma Shaanker R.,University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2012

Tropical trees often display long-distance pollen dispersal, even in highly fragmented landscapes. Understanding how patterns of spatial isolation influence pollen dispersal and interact with background patterns of fine-scale spatial genetic structure (FSGS) is critical for evaluating the genetic consequences of habitat fragmentation. In the endangered tropical timber tree Dysoxylum malabaricum (Meliaceae), we apply eleven microsatellite markers with paternity and parentage analysis to directly estimate historic gene flow and contemporary pollen dispersal across a large area (216 km2) in a highly fragmented agro-forest landscape. A comparison of genetic diversity and genetic structure in adult and juvenile life stages indicates an increase in differentiation and FSGS over time. Paternity analysis and parentage analysis demonstrate high genetic connectivity across the landscape by pollen dispersal. A comparison between mother trees in forest patches with low and high densities of adult trees shows that the frequency of short-distance mating increases, as does average kinship among mates in low-density stands. This indicates that there are potentially negative genetic consequences of low population density associated with forest fragmentation. Single isolated trees, in contrast, frequently receive heterogeneous pollen from distances exceeding 5 km. We discuss the processes leading to the observed patterns of pollen dispersal and the implications of this for conservation management of D. malabaricum and tropical trees more generally. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Anantachar M.,University of Agricultural science | Kumar P.G.V.,North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology | Guruswamy T.,University of Agricultural science
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture | Year: 2010

Seed planting equipment with inclined plate seed metering devices is the most commonly used equipment for planting of peanut crop in India. For obtaining the high yield, it is very essential to drop the peanut seeds in rows maintaining accurate seed rate and seed spacing with minimum damage to seeds during metering. This mainly depends on forward speed of the planting equipment, rotary speed of the metering plate and area of cells on the plate. The relationship between these factors and the performance parameters viz., seed rate, seed spacing and percent seed damage can be established using regression analysis. But they may not be very accurate and may pose difficulty in the determination of inputs for a set of desired outputs (reverse mapping). Hence, an attempt has been made in this paper to develop the feed forward artificial neural network (ANN) models for the prediction of the performance parameters of an inclined plate seed metering device. The data were generated in the laboratory by conducting experiments on a sticky belt test stand provided with a seed metering device and an opto-electronic seed counter. The generated data was used to develop both statistical and neural network models. The performance of the developed models was compared among themselves for 4 randomly generated test cases. The results show that the ANN model predicted the performance parameters of the seed metering device better than the statistical models. In order to determine the optimum forward speed of the planting equipment, peripheral speed of the metering plate and the area of cells on the plate to obtain the recommended seed rate of 33.33seeds/m2, seed spacing of 100mm and percent seed damage of 0.2% with 100% fill of the cells, a novel technique of reverse mapping using ANN model was followed. It was observed that the optimum forward speed of the planting equipment and optimum area of cells on the metering plate had good correlation with size of seed. Linear regression equations were developed to predict the optimum forward speed of the planting equipment and optimum area of cells on the metering plate using the size of seeds as independent parameter. The peripheral speed of the metering plate of 0.237m/s was found to be optimum for the size of seeds in the range of 95.42-123.01mm2. However, the results need to be verified by conducting planting operation under actual field conditions. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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