Saturday, February 25, 2017

Study of Physicochemical Parameters in Selected Ponds of Athiyannoor Block Panchayat, Kerala

The present study was carried out in 37 ponds of 5 panchayaths within Athiyannoor Block in Thiruvananthapuram dist., Kerala, India. Water samples were collected from the ponds for the analysis of physico-chemical parameters. The physico-chemical factors have great importance in defining the trophic status of aquatic habitats. The gathering of different types of pollutants and nutrients through the municipal effluents, and agricultural activities in to the ponds makes alterations in the physico-chemical features of fresh water. Present work was conducted to examine water quality of Athiyannoor pond due of its prominence in ground water recharging, irrigation and drinking purposes. The temperature varied between 26.5 and 29.6?C, EC between 49.19 and 517.70\�S, the value of pH ranges between 4.51 and 7.7. The values observed were not within the acceptable range (6.5-8.5) of WHO for natural waters, DO was found to be between 10.96mg/L and 0.62mg/L. Outcomes of physico-chemical factors of numerous ponds studied in the present investigation clearly showed that the water is not good for human consumption. So there is an immediate need of restoration, improvement and proper management of these underground water bodies for the human and environment.


Experimental Investigation of Biogas Production from Water Lettuce, Pistia stratiotes L.

Biogas production through anaerobic digestion (AD) has emerged as one of the renewable energy production technology of choice because through AD biogas as a renewable fuel. The current study focused on the feasibility of biogas production from water lettuce, Pistia stratiotes L. water lettuce contains 49.4% carbohydrates, 16.5% protein, lipid 3.6%, fiber 17.8% and ash 23.8%, and furthermore these compositions are an ideal feedstock for biogas production. The fresh water lettuce was harvested after that dried then powdered before fermentation in mesophilic batch reactors. Experiments were carried out as batch runs in laboratory-scale digesters with the addition of inoculums. Total gas yield was 9667.33 mL, during 45 days digestion time. The maximum methane content was reached 66.35%. Based on these results, water lettuce is very suitable as a substrate for biogas production.


Effect of Water Quality on Phytoplankton Abundance in Selected Ponds of Nedumangad Block Panchayat, Kerala

The present study was carried out to analyze the plankton diversity of 36 selected ponds in Nedumangad Block Panchayat. It is crucial to observe the physico-chemical features of a water body for different term investigations as the survival and activity of organisms depends on the environmental characteristics of that water body. Plankton analysis showed the presence of phytoplankton belonging to the class Cyanophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Bacillariophyceae and zooplanktons found are Zoea larvae and Mysis larvae of prawn. Moreover, phytoplankton reflects the water environmental condition at the time of growing and sampling.Phytoplanktons are greatly affected by ecological conditions like salt stress, temperature, pH, biological oxygen demand and other environmental factors. The plankton abundance was calculated for 10 selected ponds. Carl Pearson's correlation coefficients were calculated for abundance with pH, EC, DO and temperature. Abundance depends on the temperature variations and levels of DO as they are positively correlated while abundance does not have any interdependence on both the EC and pH as they are negatively correlated. Results of plankton abundance of various ponds at Nedumangad as studied in the present investigation clearly shows that the water is not good for human consumption and also struggling for their existence. Algal analysis thus showed that water quality of the pond has reached at threshold level and therefore, it needs some corrective measures to maintain the water chemistry of the pond and this will help the society to get an awareness of the quality of the water they are using for daily consumption and thereby rectify the present condition.


Cypselas Diversity as Novel Taxonomic Marker in the Tribe Astereae (Family Asteraceae)

Despite the second largest tribe of the family Asteraceae and immense importance of morphology of cypsela for taxonomic delimitation at tribe level, no work has been done in this direction in the tribe Astereae. In order to evaluate taxonomic implication of cypselas features, diversity of morpho-anatomical features has been carried out in the tribe Astereae. Detail macro as well as micro-morphology and anatomy of cypselas of nine taxa including two species of Aster, two species of Conyza and one species each of Erigeron, Grindelia, Kalimeris, Solidago and Vittadinia of the tribe Astereae (Family Asteraceae) have been examined using Light Microscope. Experiments showed that surface characteristics like distribution arrangement, hair type, ribs and their number, pappus diversity and presence and absence of wing were taxonomically more important features in comparison to colour, size and shape of cypsela. Among anatomical features, mesocarpic characters like type of tissue (whether parenchymatous or sclerenchymatous), their distribution pattern, and nature of testal layer were found to be significant for the tribe Astereae. Finally, involving all these cypselas features an artificial key to the studied species is constructed. The key based on morpho-anatomical fearures could be used as reference key to identify taxa of the tribe Astereae solely based on its cypsela in absence of their flowering stage.


Fatty Acid Profile Investigation of Blue Whiting Fish (Micromesistius poutassou) Flesh from Agbalata Market Badagry, Lagos West, Nigeria

Fish meat possesses high nutritional value and is therefore a particularly recommended dietary component. Fish tissue is known as the main source for long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) supply, which positively influence human health. These PUFAs favorably improve lipid profiles and reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases (CHD). Thus, this study was carried out to determine the fatty acid composition in the flesh of Blue whiting fish (Micromesistius poutassou) brought from Badagry market, Lagos west, Nigeria using gas chromatographic method. A total of twelve different fatty acids were obtained in the muscle of Blue whiting fish. The composition of saturated fatty acids (SFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) was found to be 18.8%, 38.2% and 21.5%, respectively. Palmitic acid (C16:0) and erucic acid (C22:1w9) were identified as the major SFA and MUFA respectively. Docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6w3) and eicopentaenoic acid (C20:5w3) had the highest levels amongst the PUFAs. Results show that blue whiting fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.


Evaluation of Fruit Peels for Some Selected Nutritional and Anti-Nutritional Factors

Fruit peels are an important source of bioactive compounds including anti-oxidants and proteins. The objective of the investigations performed was to evaluate the peels of selected fruits for some nutritional and anti-nutritional components including Carbohydrates, Protein, Antioxidants, Protease, Tannin and Phytic acid. Sundried and finely ground fruit peels are subjected to various reactions in order to estimate the quantities of each of the desired components. In the results accomplished, highest carbohydrate content was found in Guava (75 mg/ml) followed by Pomegranate (55.2 mg/ml), Apple (37.15) and Banana (32.64 mg/ml). Highest protein concentrations were observed in Musk melon (1.6 mg/ml) followed by Passion fruit (1.33 mg/ml), Sapota (1.06 mg/ml) and Mango (1.06 mg/ml). Highest antioxidant activity was noted in Pomegranate (0.57%) and Mango (0.57%) followed by Grapes (0.53%), Apple (0.5%) and Guava (0.47%). Phytic acid content was highest in peels of Mango (0.22 \�g/ml) followed by Sapota (0.17 \�g/ml). High Protease concentrations were noted in Pomegranate (1.06 mg/ml) followed by Mango (0.3 mg/ml). Highest Tannin content was observed in Apple and Pomegranate (42.46 \�g/ml) followed by Grapes (35.72 \�g/ml).
Society on the whole depends mainly on junk foods which ultimately lead to distressed lifestyle and poor health. So, many of these compounds under study are of special interest due to their ability to reduce the hazard caused by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. There are several constituents in fruit peels that can be utilized in more efficient ways and hence suggested not to be discarded. These findings will pave way for the readers of this journal to orient their food habits towards more healthy and nutritional foods as per their daily body requirements according to the profession they are engaged in.


Nutritional Evaluation of Edible Freshwater Green Macroalga Spirogyra varians

Freshwater macroalgae are important sources of bioactive natural substances. Macroalgae accumulate specific secondary metabolites which are high value products that have applications in the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries. Macroalgae Spirogyra is being used as nutrient dense foods and sources of fine chemicals. The freshwater alga Spirogyra varians, a filamentous charophyte, collected from the slow running stream, was identified on the basis of morpho-anatomical characters. In this study, a novel strategy that employs a single macroalgae S. varians grown in a natural habitat as a platform to produce pigments, protein, rich carbohydrate and lipid biomass, as desired, was introduced. The pigments, phenolic content and mineral composition showed the possibility of using them as food supplement for human. The total content of protein (% dry weight) ranged from 12.0 % to 24.4%; carbohydrate from 42.8% to 62.0% and lipid from 14.8% to 21.0%. Therefore, the study results suggested that S. varians, could be used for nutritional, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.


Antibiotic Susceptibility Patterns and Sero-grouping of Salmonella Isolated from Clinical Specimens in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and the antibiotic susceptibility patterns of Salmonella serogroups isolated from patients attending Saad Specialist Hospital in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. A total of 222 Salmonella strains were isolated from different clinical specimens (Blood, Stool, Urine and Abscess) collected from children and adults, males and females. All specimens were collected from both in-patients and out-patients hospitalized in different wards at Saad Specialist Hospital in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. Microbiological analysis of all clinical specimens was carried out by using standard methods. Slide agglutination tests were performed by using Salmonella anti sera (ProLab Diagnostic, UK) to determine serogroups of all the isolated and identified colonies of Salmonella. Antibiotic susceptibility patterns of all isolated Salmonella were determined by Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method against 5 antibiotics. Results revealed that 123 (55%) Salmonella species were isolated from males and 99 (45%) from female patients of different ages, with no significant differences (P-Value = 0.188) and Stool specimens were the major source of Salmonella species 214 isolates (96.4%). A high percentage of Salmonella species, 136 (61.3%) was isolated from children aged between 1 to 15 years. The number and percentages were decreased gradually according to age with significant differences for isolates between different age groups. The highest number 104 (46.9%) was isolated from children of the age group 1-3 years old. All isolated Salmonella species belong to 8 serogroups (A 1.35%, B 18.9%, C 24.35, D 43.7%, E 9.5%, F 0.45, G 1.35% and R 0.45%). Serogroups B, C and D were isolated in higher percentages. All Salmonella isolates were tested for sensitivity against 5 antibiotics. Results revealed that all Salmonella species isolates were highly sensitive (>90%) to Ceftriaxone, Ciprofloxacin and Levofloxacin. Sensitivity to Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole and Ampicillin was 88.3% and 81.5%, respectively.


Microbiological Examination of Infant Food and Feed Formula

Eighty four samples of infant food commercially available in Libya were studied for their microbiological status. The microbiological quality of these infant foods varied over the range 1.0 to 6.0 log10 CFU/g with the mean total viable count of ≥ 3.0 log10 CFU/g. Twenty four (19 samples) were unsatisfactory for infant consumption because they contained more than recommended limit. Bacterial isolates were identified by API system. The study was concluded with identification of Cronobacter sakazakii isolates by PCR techniques. The safety of these infant foods can be assured by a preventative approach based on the application of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) in the food and food related industry.

Culture of Macroalgae Spirogyra ellipsospora for Long-Term Experiments, Stock Maintenance and Biogas Production

The freshwater alga Spirogyra ellipsospora, a filamentous charophyte, collected from the stream, was identified on the basis of morpho-anatomical characters. In this study, we tried to utilize the natural water resource to develop the algae growth system by ecological engineering concept to develop a low cost medium for macroalgae growth. The outdoor photo-reactor was used to grow macroalgae through using natural water as medium. The results showed that the reactor had good performance on algae growth. Culture media for growth of this study species have not yet been tested for long-term experiments, stock maintenance and biogas production. Here we tested the S. ellipsospora growth with natural water medium in a 6-weeks laboratory experiment. Consequently, the study consists of laboratory tests showing S. ellipsospora growth, harvesting, chlorophyll extraction, biomass analysis and anaerobic fermentation for biogas production.

Ricinoleic acid esters from castor oil modifying male reproductive system of Amblyomma cajennense (Fabricius 1787)

Ticks of the genus Amblyomma have medical and veterinary importance because they can transmit pathogens to humans, as well as domestic, wild and livestock animals. The management and control of this tick has led livestock farmers to an inadequate use of synthetic chemical acaricides, consequently creating environmental problems and selecting resistant populations. Thus, the search for new substances that can be efficient in tick control and have low toxicity to the environment and non-target organisms is latent. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the effect of ricinoleic acid esters from castor oil as modifying agents of A. cajennense male reproductive system, seeking an alternative method to control these parasites. Hence, esters from castor oil were incorporated to the diet of rabbits, which were then infested with A. cajennense. Male ticks were collected from the hosts and their reproductive systems were removed and prepared for histological and histochemical techniques. The results showed that the effects of esters became more evident at the highest concentration available, leading to morphophysiological changes in the secretory cells of the accessory gland complex, altering the secretion content and causing morphological changes in spermatids. The esters changed development dynamics and gamete production, probably affecting the production of spermatophores and seminal fluid. Our results confirmed that these substances have the potential to interfere with reproduction, one of the most important biological processes for a species.


Effect of Corm Size and Nitrogen on the Growth and Flowering of Gladiolus (Gladiolus grandiflorous L.)

An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of corm size and nitrogen on the growth and flowering of gladiolus. The experiment considered with three corm sizes viz. small (11-20g), medium (21-30g) and large (31-40g) and four levels of nitrogen viz. 0, 80, 100 and 120 kg ha-1. Both corm size and nitrogen exhibited significant effect in almost all parameters studied. Considering the corm size, a gradual increasing trend in plant height, number of leaves plant-1 and length of leaves found with small to large sized corm. The highest length of flower stalk, length of rachis, number of floret spike-1, percentage of flowering plant and number of spike ha-1 were recorded in large sized corm. Considering the nitrogen fertilizer, the number of leaves plant-1 and width of leaves increased gradually with increasing nitrogen fertilizer. The highest length of flower stalk, rachis, number of floret spike-1, weight of single spike at harvest, percentage of flowering plant and number of spike ha-1 were recorded in the plot treated with 120 kg nitrogen ha-1. Considering the combined effect of corm size and nitrogen fertilizer, the highest length of flower stalk (76.53 cm), length of rachis (40.05 cm) at harvest, percentage of flowering plant (98.52%) and number of spike ha-1 (193920) was recorded from the plot of large sized corm with 120 kg nitrogen ha-1, whereas the lowest length of flower stalk (42.23 cm), rachis (19.67cm) percentage of flowering plant (56.64%) and number of spike ha-1 (145150) were recorded in the plot of small sized corm with no nitrogen. The highest net return (686845.2) and benefit cost ratio (2.464) were also obtained from the treatment combination of large sized corm and 120kg nitrogen ha-1

Antioxidant Profile Determination of off-Seasonal Guava, Allahabad Safeda (Psidium guajava L.) Fruits

Antioxidants received from plant sources are found to be one of the best remedies for a number of human diseases. Guava with high amount of dietary fiber is recommended as natural and secured source of antioxidants. In this study, antioxidant capacity in guava fruits is determined by the assessment of total phenol content and DPPH scavenging activity. Results obtained emphasize on the usage guava fruits to eradicate destructive free radicals from the human body. Daily intake of guava fruits can help fighting noxious diseases like cancer and arthritis.

Determination of Aerobic Bacterial Composition of Dental Plaque Biofilms and Their Role in Oral health

Dental plaque is the biofilm found naturally on teeth and it is the etiologic agent in dental caries and periodontal diseases. A better understanding of bacterial communities found in biofilms provides opportunities for new methods to control biofilm formation. Therefore, control of the dental plaque biofilm is a major objective of dental professionals and critical to the maintenance of optimal oral health. The aim of this study was to isolate and identify aerobic bacteria from dental plaque biofilm on the external surface of the teeth and gums and to determine their role in the etiology of gingivitis and dental caries. Fifty nine samples of dental plaque from gingiva and teeth were collected randomly from patients attending Sebha dental clinic, Libya, males and females of different age groups. All samples were cultured on different media, conventional methods used for isolation and identification. Results revealed that 52 samples (88%) were positive for culture, and they were polymicrobial. Bacteria isolated were 110 species, 93 (84.5%) were gram positive composed of Streptococcus species 43 (39%), Lactobacillus 27 (24.5%), Staphylococcus 23 (21%) and 17 were gram negative (15.5%), they were E.coli 7 (6.4%), Enterobacter 6 (5.5%), Proteus 4 (3.6%). Isolates from males were 66 (60%) and females were 44 (40%), 61 (55.5%) of the isolates were from children (5-15) years old (44% were Streptococcus species and 25% were lactobacilli, Staphylococcus 18%) and 49 (44.5%) were from the age group (16-68) years old (28% were Streptococci and 21% were Lactobacilli). Most of the isolated bacteria (58%) was from patients who do not clean their teeth by daily brushing with toothpaste