Open Access Original Research Article

Tropical Cambisol as Affected by Sugarcane (Sacharum officinarum L.) Foam and Inorganic Fertilizer

Bouadouoi Bouadou Félix, Brahima Koné, Yao Kouakou, Yao-Kouamé Albert, Sylvester O. Oikeh

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 732-745
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/7082

Aim: For promoting an alternative source of nutrients to restore the fertility (pH, carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg)) of agricultural soils affected by long-term cultivation with inorganic fertilizer, the use of sugarcane foam and inorganic fertilizer on a Cambisol was assessed.

Design: The study was laid out in a randomized complete blocks design with three replications.

Place and Duration: A study was conducted at Zuenoula in the forest/savanna transition agro-ecosystem of Côte d’Ivoire, during 2011 and 2012 cropping seasons.

Methodology: The soil was tilled and the different rates of Foam (0,6,12,18 and 24t/ha) and that (0,150,300,450 and 600kg/ha) NPK+Mg+S (18%-9%-14%-2%-2.5%) were incorporated onto the soil. 

Results: Application of sugarcane foam significantly (p< 0.05) enhanced soil contents of C,N,P and slightly of Ca++ but not of K+ and Mg++ with the most increase for 6t/ha                 (C and P) and 18t/ha (N and Ca++) than that induced by 300kg/ha and 600kg/ha NPK according to nutrients.

Conclusion: The use of 18t/ha of sugarcane foam applied once for two cropping seasons was the most suitable for improving the quality of soils deficient in  N and P but not for K+ and Mg++ deficient soils, thus this rate was recommended for restoring the fertility of degraded tropical Cambisol

Open Access Original Research Article

Plant Parameters for Plant Functional Groups of Western Rangelands to Enable Process-based Simulation Modeling

J. R. Kiniry, J. Briggs, J. Englert, M. Weltz, K. Jensen, D. Tilley, M. Stannard, A. Young-Mathews, T. Blanke, M. Smither-Kopperl, S. Winslow, D. Goodson

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 746-766
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/7969

Aims: To quantify western rangeland plant parameters for a wide range of representative species in the region.

Study Design: Use field measurements to quantify leaf area index (LAI), light extinction coefficient (k), radiation use efficiency (RUE), and nutrient concentrations of representative plant species. Measure fraction of intercepted photosynthetically active radiation, leaf area index, and dry matter during the growing season. Use these plant parameters to simulate five representative ecological sites in the region.

Place and Duration of Study: Beaver, UT, Fillmore, UT, Stone, ID, Logan, UT, Bridger, MT, Aberdeen, ID, Lockeford, CA, and Meeker, CO in 2011 and 2012.

Methodology: Fraction of light intercepted was measured repeatedly above and below the plant canopy. Plant samples were harvested, dried until constant weight, then weighed. Nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were determined using standard protocols.

LAI and RUE were calculated from the destructive samples, the leaf area estimates, the light interception, and the dry weights.

Results: LAImax of grass generally ranged from 1.0 to 2.1. Values for k generally ranged from -0.50 to -0.85. RUE generally ranged from 0.70 to 1.3g MJ-1. For forbs, values for LAImax of the two leguminous forbs were 0.6 and nearly 3.0. Values for LAImax for the non-leguminous forbs ranged from 0.5 to about 1.1. Correspondingly, among the five genera, k varied from -0.3 to -0.6 and RUE varied from near 1.1 to 4.4g MJ-1

For shrubs, Prunus and Cleome values of LAImax were 0.2 and 1.5; values for k were -0.5 and -1.65, respectively.

Conclusion: Results demonstrated that assessments with process-based models such as ALMANAC are feasible with realistic estimates of plant parameters for plant functional groups in a region.  Our measurements of individual species within these groups provide estimates for the needed parameters for the group for these assessments

Open Access Original Research Article

Bioconversion and Enzymes Fortification of Palm Kernel Meal as Protein Supplement in Broiler Rations

A. O. Fasuyi, S. O. Abiodun, O. T. Akomolafe

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 767-784
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6893

The study was designed to exploit the advantages in solid state fermentation (SSF) and the use of fibrolytic enzymes for proper degradation of the high crude fibre content of palm kernel meal (PKM). Complete randomized design was used in these studies. The research studies were carried out at the Teaching & Research Farm of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria. Two sets of 336 broiler chicks were used in 2 independent phases (broiler starter and finisher phases) of the studies. Ensiled PKM (ePKM) and ensiled plus Roxazyme G2 (cellulase, glucanase and xylanase) fortified PKM (ePKMf) were used to replace significant quantities of energy and protein ingredients at 10%, 20% and 30% inclusion levels in broiler starter diets and 30%, 40% and 50% inclusion levels in broiler finisher diets. Growth performance parameters were generally similar (P>.05) and sometimes better for broiler starter and finisher chicks on ePKMf diets than for chicks on diets where PKM was neither ensiled nor fortified with enzymes. The feed conversion ratio (FCR) values of 2.29±0.21, 2.30±0.14 and 2.40±0.07 obtained from starter birds on 10%, 20% and 30% ePKMf diets, respectively were similar (P>.05) to the FCR value (2.30±0.12) obtained from the birds on the control diet and FCR values for finisher birds were either similar or better than the control values. Most carcass characteristics and organs weights had similar values (P>.05) and were consistently better for birds on ePKMf diets. Most haematological parameters and serum metabolites examined had similar (P>.05) values comparable with normal existing values in literature. The use of ensiled PKM and fibrolytic enzymes (Roxazyme G2) can be safely practiced to further improve the utilization of PKM in poultry diets. The optimum inclusion levels of 30% ePKMf and 50% ePKMf were tolerable and found to support investigated growth performance indices and nitrogen digestibility parameters in broiler starter (0-28days) and broiler finisher (29-57days), respectively

Open Access Original Research Article

Tomato Inducer of CBF Expression 1 (SlICE1) is Involved in Cold and Salt Stress Signaling

Takashi Yuasa, Junya Nakamura, Yushi Ishibashi, Mari Iwaya-Inoue

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 785-796
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/7285

Aims: Inducer of CBF Expression 1 (ICE1), which is one of basic Helix-Loop-Helix type transcription factors, has important roles in regulation of cold stress-indiced genes of plants. Sample: To investigate functions of tomato ICE1 in cold and salt tolerance, c index (SI), immunochemical assay of endogenous ICE1 protein and RT-PCR of cold-inducible genes were conducted with tomato plants.

Methodology: Tomato plants grown for 4 weeks were subjected to cold (4ºC) and salt (0.2 M NaCl) in the presence or the absence of cell signaling inhibitors. An antibody was raised against ICE1 specific epitoipe. Immunoblot with the anti-ICE1 antibody was carried out with extractions of tomato plants treated by cold and salt stresses. The expression profiles of tomato ICE1 (SlICE1) and other cold-inducible genes including LeCBF1/2/3 and SlTPS1 were analyzed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR.

Results: An ICE1-related protein with molecular masses of approximately 55 is induced in tomato plant under chilling and salt stresses. The expression of a tomato ICE1 gene (SlICE1) under chilling stress was maintained at a constant level in contrast to the protein level. Chilling stress sequentially upregulated tomato CBF homolog, SlCBF1 and trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (SlTPS1). Based on the whole genome database of tomato, cis-elements potentially binding to ICE1 and CBF were located in upstream sequences in promoter regions of SlCBF1 and SlTPS1, respectively.

Conclusion: Tomato ICE1 homolog mediates the expression of SlCBF1in a cold-stress-induced transcription factor cascade via binding to ICE1-specific cis-elements, leading to induction of cold tolerance by trehalose synthesis

Open Access Original Research Article

Reproducible Agrobacterium-mediated Transformation of Nigerian Cultivars of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.)

S. O. A Ajenifujah-Solebo, I. Ingelbrecht, N. R. Isu, O. Olorode

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 797-808
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/5927

This study was carried out to develop transformation protocol for the possible improvement of local cultivars of tomatoes in Nigeria using complete randomized design (CRD). The research was conducted at the Plant Biotechnology Centre, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria between May 2009 and December 2009. Seeds of three promising farmer preferred varieties of cultivars of tomatoes namely Ibadan local, Ife and JM94/46 were selected and cultivated in-vitro. Sterile cotyledon and leaf explants were transformed using Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain LBA4404 with plasmid (pOYE153). Transformed plants were analyzed using GUS assay and PCR methods. Results showed that leaf explants had higher transformation efficiency than cotyledon explants in the three cultivars. Ife cultivar had the best transformation efficiency in both explant types - leaf 42.5% and cotyledon 8.89%. Histochemical GUS assay of transgenic plants showed blue coloration in leaves, stems and roots. PCR analysis showed amplification of 600 bp fragments of GUS and nptII genes in the transgenic plants on 1.0% agarose gel. The GUS and nptII genes were successfully integrated into the three cultivars of tomatoes thereby providing a reliable transformation protocol for the genetic improvement of local cultivars of tomatoes for desirable traits such as longer shelf-life, pest and disease resistance, enhanced nutrients, higher soluble solids, etc

Open Access Original Research Article

Lead Selection Traits Relationship in Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.): Is Grain Yield Still Key?

Mary Abua, Godfrey Akpaniwo, Ekemini Obok

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 809-816
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/9000

A field study was set to highlight the relationships and contributions of yield and yield-related traits to the choice of a superior cowpea variety. Five cowpea varieties, Sampea-7 (IAR 48), Sampea-8 (IAR 452-1), Sampea-10 (IAR 499-35), Sampea-11 (IAR 288) and Sampea-12 (IAR 391) were evaluated under normal growing conditions during the 2011/2012 growing season at the University of Calabar Teaching and Research Farm. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) for a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications did show significant (P = .05) varietal differences for days to 50% flowering (50% FLW), days to 75% maturity (75% MTY), number of pods per plant (NPP), seed size (SDS), total plant biomass (TOB) and grain yield (GRY). The number of branches (NBR), pod length (PDL) and harvest index (HI) were not significantly different. The GRY had a positive correlation with all other yield-related traits except for the flowering traits and breeding for the former traits will be an indirect way to select for high grain yields. However, based on the weighted combined contributions of all the traits, the superiority of the varieties, Sampea-7 and Sampea-8, which were significantly different, followed an order different from their average grain yield order. Apparently, this re-ordered result highlights that the choice of a high performing cowpea variety could not be viewed as a function of high grain yield but a collective contribution of all other yield-related traits. These findings suggest that placing huge emphasis only on the economic yield (in this case, grain yield) as the main selection index could possibly fault the breeding and evaluation of superior cowpea varieties


Open Access Original Research Article

Production Function Analysis of Fish Production in Amansie-West District of Ghana, West Africa

Christian Crentsil, Inibehe George Ukpong

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 817-835
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/8625

The study aimed to obtain the estimates of a production function for fish production in the Amansie-West District of Ghana, West Africa, using primary data collected from 45 registered farmers. Factor elasticities and returns to scale were estimated, as well as the coefficients for various factors of production. The results indicate that the total area of ponds, weight and size of fingerlings and feed had a significant and positive relationship with fish output (P<.01), in the production of fish in the study area. The production technology used in the district also exhibited increasing returns to scale. There is therefore the need to carry out a wider estimation of the cost functions and economic efficiency of fish production, to enable farmers minimize the cost of production toward efficient and profitable optimum. We recommend changes in public policy to promote improved yields for existing fish ponds in the area with reference to the total pond area, feed and the number or weight of fingerlings, which have strong correlation with fish output (yields). Such policies will go a long way to boost fish production in the Amansie-West District, with a broader focus on fish farmers in other areas within the country

Open Access Original Research Article

Effects of Water Extracts of Neem (Azadirachta indica L.) Leaf, Wood Ash and Their Mixture on Soil Chemical Composition and Growth and Yield of Plantain (Musa sapientum L.)

Emmanuel Ibukunoluwa Moyin-Jesu

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 836-848
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/4412

Aims: To evaluate the efficiency of water extracts of neem [Azadirachta indica L] leaf, wood ash and their 1;1 mixtures on soil chemical composition, growth and yield parameters of plantain (Musa sapientum L.).

Place and Duration: the experiment took place at Akure in the rainforet zone of Nigeria between 2006 and 2009 cropping seasons.

Study Design: The field was laid out in a randomized complete block design and replicated three times.

Methodology: There were treatments with water extracts of neem leaf, wood ash and their mixtures applied at 833.3 Lha-., NPK15-15-15 fertilizer and a control [without any fertilizer or extract].Hybrid plantain suckers were planted at a spacing  2m x 2m and five plants of sprouted plantain suckers  were randomly selected from each treatment plot for data collection on growth, yield and soil chemical composition. The data were subjected to analysis of variance F- test and the means separated by Duncan Multiple Range Test at 5%

Result: The results showed that there were significant (P=0.05) increases in plantain growth, yield parameters and soil chemical composition under different treatments. The mixtures of neem and wood ash extracts increased significantly [P= 0.05], the leaf area and stem girth of plantain by 49.24% and12% respectively compared to neem leaf extract. Also, the mixtures of the two extracts increased plantain bunch weight, finger weight, diameter, length and finger population by 39%, 41%, 3%, 36% and 41.6% compared to neem leaf extract. When compared with NPK15-15-15, the treatment increased plantain bunch weight, fingers weight, diameter, length and finger population by 29.7%, 31%, 6%, 8%, and 25% .Besides, the mixture of the water extracts of neem leaf  and  wood ash increased soil pH, organic matter , K, Ca, and Mg by 14%, 78%, 31%, 95.5% and 94% compared to NPK 15-15-15 fertilizer except N and P. The soil K/Ca, K/Mg and P/Mg ratios were higher under NPK 15-15-15 fertilizer than the liquid extracts signifying nutrient imbalance.

Conclusion: Mixture of water extracts of neem leaf and wood ash gave the best growth and yield parameters of plantain and this was due to its nutrients superiority compared to the other treatments.

Open Access Original Research Article

Root Architecture Variation in Wheat and Barley Cultivars

Tejendra Chapagain, Laura Super, Andrew Riseman

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 849-856
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/9462

Aims: We analyzed root architecture variation among heirloom and commercial cultivars of wheat and barley to improve our understanding of the quantitative variation present within small grain root architectures. We also compared lab-based root architecture measures with cultivar shoot:root ratios and field data.

Study Design: This study had a completely randomized design (CRD) with five replications of 5 heirloom and 4 commercial genotypes.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in Plant Science Laboratory, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, The University of British Columbia, Canada, during May-June, 2012.

Methodology: Wheat and barley seeds were grown on specific germination paper in a controlled environment, and were assessed for root architecture parameters: total root length, surface area, average diameter, root volume, number of tips, and branching angle (WinRHIZO Pro 2009c, Regent Instruments Inc.). Fisher’s least significant differences were calculated in MSTAT-C to assess genotypic variation of these parameters. We also calculated shoot:root ratios. These root architecture results were compared to parameters measured in the field for these cultivars.

Results: Differences between wheat genotypes were identified among the cultivars with heirloom cultivars developing relatively larger and deeper root systems compared to the commercial cultivars (i.e., longer and thinner roots, more surface area, higher number of tips, and greater branching angle). Commercial wheat cultivars showed coarser roots (i.e., greater root diameters), more root volume, higher dry weight, and shoot to root ratios compared to the heirloom cultivars with cv. ‘Scarlet’ showing the highest values. Among barley cultivars, heirloom ‘Jet’ had the highest values for parameters (i.e., length, area, volume, and branching angle) and the lowest shoot:root ratio compared to the commercial cvs. ‘Oxbridge’ and ‘Camus’. The commercial wheat cv. ‘Scarlet’ showed a positive association between grain yield, under low input organic conditions, and root diameter whereas the heirloom barley cv. ‘Jet’ had positive associations between grain yield, root length and surface area.

Conclusion: The root architectures of the heirloom wheat and barley cultivars indicate they may be better suited for low phosphorus and/or drought conditions, typical of low input or organic production. The root architectures of the commercial cultivars, on the other hand, were deemed more suitable for high input conditions. There exists a positive association between root length, surface and yield potential when heirloom wheat cultivars were grown under low input conditions. Longer and finer roots, and the lower shoot:root ratio in some heirloom cultivars further suggest breeding potential for improved nutrient uptake efficiency and drought tolerance in wheat and barley

Open Access Original Research Article

Comparative Study of Artemia (Brine Shrimp) and Ceriodaphnia (Zooplankton) as Foods for Catfish Larvae

R. G. Ajepe, A. M. Hammed, A. O. Amosu, H. A. Fashina-Bombata

Journal of Experimental Agriculture International, Page 857-865
DOI: 10.9734/AJEA/2014/6129

Artemia and Ceriodaphnia were used as “first food” for the larvae of Clarias gariepinus, Heterobranchus bidorsalis and their hybrid Heteroclarias in order to determine if Ceriodaphnia could effectively replace Artemia in Nigeria in the production of Catfish fingerlings. The 5-day old fry of C. gariepinus, H. bidorsalis and Heteroclarias weighing 18.5mg, 14.0mg and 13.5mg respectively were stocked in plastic tanks and fed with Artemia nauplii and Ceriodaphnia for 21 days. Growth indices such as Percentage Survival (PS), Specific Growth Rate (SGR), Daily Growth Rate (DGR) and Percentage Weight Gain (PWG) were determined. At the end of the experiment, PS, SGR, DGR and PWG were determined weekly. At the end of the experiment, PS, SGR, DGR and PWG were slightly better in Ceriodaphnia-fed fry of the three species, though the composition of crude protein in Artemia nauplii (63.0%) was higher than that of Ceriodaphnia (58%). However, analysis of variance (ANOVA) did not reveal any significant difference (P>0.05) in the performance of the two experimental foods. The study reveals the potential of Ceriodaphnia as natural food for catfish larvae to produce fast growing species of C. gariepinus (Burchell, 1822), H. bidorsalis (Geoffroy, 1809) and Heteroclarias (reciprocal hybrid)