Malakand region is an endemic area for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). However, there are limited number of studies of this disease in Pakistan. Therefore, a study was conducted to understand the level of awareness attitude and practice among the residents of Makaland towards CL and the disease vectors. This study adopted a cross-sectional approach with a total of 400 respondents (n=93 rural and n= 307 urban). Overall, the population in Malakand region (61.2%) were well-informed in the role of sand fly in transmitting diseases, but most lack knowledge on the vector's behavior and almost a quarter (24.5%) were unable to provide knowledge on proper control measures. Alarmingly, the practice and attitudes of the general population was not satisfactory as close to half (49.8%) of the population did adopt any control method. This study calls for increase in awareness through health education campaign to reduce the risk of cutaneous leishmaniasis outbreaks in the future.
Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), a pathogen responsible for rice bacterial leaf blight, produces biofilm to protect viable Xoo cells from antimicrobial agents. A study was conducted to determine the potency of Acacia mangium methanol (AMMH) leaf extract as a Xoo biofilm inhibitor. Four concentrations (3.13, 6.25, 9.38, and 12.5 mg/mL) of AMMH leaf extract were tested for their ability to inhibit Xoo biofilm formation on a 96-well microtiter plate. The results showed that the negative controls had the highest O.D. values from other treatments, indicating the intense formation of biofilm. This was followed by the positive control (Streptomycin sulfate, 0.2 mg/mL) and AMMH leaf extract at concentration 3.13 mg/mL, which showed no significant differences in their O.D. values (1.96 and 1.57, respectively). All other treatments at concentrations of 6.25, 9.38, and 12.5 mg/mL showed no significant differences in their O.D. values (0.91, 0.79, and 0.53, respectively). For inhibition percentages, treatment with concentration 12.5 mg/mL gave the highest result (81.25%) followed by treatment at concentrations 6.25 and 9.38 mg/mL that showed no significant differences in their inhibition percentage (67.75% and 72.23%, respectively). Concentration 3.13 mg/mL resulted in 44.49% of biofilm inhibition and the positive control resulted in 30.75% of biofilm inhibition. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) analysis of Xoo biofilm inhibition and breakdown showed the presence of non-viable Xoo cells and changes in aggregation size due to increase in AMMH leaf extract concentration. Control slides showed the absence of Xoo dead cells.
Drawbacks associated with the use of chemical fungicides to control plant pathogenic fungi such as Botrytis cinerea stimulate the need for alternatives. Therefore, the present study was carried out to determine the antifungal potentials of Moringa oleifera extracts against B. cinerea. Phytochemical analysis using qualitative chemical tests revealed the presence of huge amount of crucial phytochemicals compounds like phenolic compounds, alkaloids and saponins in the M. oleifera leaf extract. Antifungal bioassay of the crude extracts indicated better mycelial growth inhibition by methanol leaf extract (99%). The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was 5 mg/ml with 100% spore germination inhibition and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) was 10 mg/ml with 98.10% mycelial growth inhibition using broth micro dilution and poisoned food techniques. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis led to the identification of 67 volatile chemical compounds in the leaf extract with 6-decenoic acid (Z)- (19.87%) was the predominant compound. Further chemical elucidation of the crude extracts performed by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) showed the presence of non-volatile chemical compounds, mostly flavones, flavonoids and phenolic acids (i.e. quercetin and kaempferol). Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy analysis showed positive effect of M. oleifera leaf extract on the treated conidia and mycelium of B. cinerea. Findings revealed that irreversible surface and ultra-structural changes with severe detrimental effects on conidia and mycelium morphology compared to control treatment. Overall findings suggested that M. oleifera leaf extract is a promising candidate for biological control of fungal pathogens, thus limiting overdependence on chemical fungicides.
The presence of weeds in areas of agricultural activities is a hinderance to the development of these activities. It is important to take advantage of the vast open spaces suitable for agriculture and provide food security for humans, and also it is an important indicator for determining the feasibility of growing crops, benefiting from yield and determining the percentage of loss, clearing fields through agricultural practices, that protect crops from weed attack and agricultural practice method must be followed that will reduce weed presence. This study was conducted during the years 2018 to 2020 to evaluate Portulacaceae of Flora in the Taif area in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at different altitudes (Area 1 =1700 m, Area 2 =1500 m, Area 3 =1500 m, Area 4 =500 m ِ Area 5 = 2200 m, and Area 6 = 2200 m). The results show that there were 2,816 individuals of Portulaca oleracea weed, with the highest density found in A 1, followed by A 2, while in A 5 and A 6, no weeds were recorded. The highest density of weeds were in the Pomegranate fields, followed by Grape fields. The lowest density was found in A man field. The results of this study will help to take the necessary measures to combat weeds and its management in areas of agricultural activity, while more studies are needed to survey the ecology of weeds of Taif in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Bacterial leaf blight (BLB) is one of the major rice diseases in Malaysia. This disease causes substantial yield loss as high as 70%. Development of rice varieties which inherited BLB resistant traits is a crucial approach to promote and sustain rice industry in Malaysia. Hence, this study aims were to enhance BLB disease resistant characters of high yielding commercial variety MR219 through backcross breeding approach with supporting tool of marker-assisted selection (MAS). Broad spectrum BLB resistance gene, Xa7 from donor parent IRBB7 were introgressed into the susceptible MR219 (recurrent parent) using two flanking markers ID7 and ID15. At BC3F4, we managed to generate 19 introgressed lines with homozygous Xa7 gene and showed resistant characteristics as donor parent when it was challenged with Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae through artificial inoculation. Recurrent parent MR219 and control variety, MR263 were found to be severely infected by the disease. The improved lines exhibited similar morphological and yield performance characters as to the elite variety, MR219. Two lines, PB-2-107 and PB-2-34 were chosen to be potential lines because of their outstanding performances compared to parent, MR219. This study demonstrates a success story of MAS application in development of improved disease resistance lines of rice against BLB disease.
Riverine forests are unique and highly significant ecosystems that are globally important for diverse and threatened avian species. Apart from being a cradle of life, it also serves as a gene pool that harbors a variety of flora and fauna species (repeated below). Despite the fact, this fragile ecosystem harbored avian assemblages; it is now disappearing daily as a result of human activity. Determining habitat productivity using bird species is critical for conservation and better management in the future. Multiple surveys were conducted over a 15-month period, from January to March 2019, using the distance sampling point count method. A total of 250 point count stations were fixed systematically at 300 m intervals. In total, 9929 bird individuals were recorded, representing 57 species and 34 families. Out of 57 bird species, two were vulnerable, one was data deficient, one was nearly threatened, and the remaining 53 species were of least concern. The Eurasian Collard Dove - Streptopelia decaocto (14.641 ± 2.532/ha), White-eared Bulbul - Pycnonotus leucotis (13.398 ± 4.342/ha) and Common Babbler - Turdoides caudata (10.244 ± 2.345/ha) were the three first plenteous species having higher densities. However, the densities of three species, i.e., Lesser Whitethroat - Sylvia curruca, Gray Heron - Ardea cinerea and Pallas Fish Eagle - Haliaeetus leucoryphus, were not analyzed due to the small sample size. The findings of diversity indices revealed that riverine forest has harbored the diverse avian species that are uniformly dispersed across the forest. Moreover, recording the ten foraging guilds indicated that riverine forest is rich in food resources. In addition, the floristic structure importance value index results indicated that riverine forest is diverse and rich in flora, i.e. trees, shrubs, weeds and grass, making it an attractive and productive habitat for bird species.
Combining ability analysis provides useful information for the selection of parents, also information regarding the nature and magnitude of involved gene actions. Crops improvement involves strategies for enhancing yield potentiality and quality components. Targeting the improvement of respective characters in bitter gourd, combining ability and genetic parameters for 19 characters were estimated from a 6×6 full diallel analysis technique. The results revealed that the variances due to general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) were highly significant for most of the important characters. It indicated the importance of both additive and non-additive gene actions. GCA variances were higher in magnitude than SCA variances for all the characters studied indicating the predominance of the additive gene effects in their inheritance. The parent P2 (BG 009) appeared as the best general combiner for earliness; P1 (BG 006) for number of fruits, average single fruit weight and fruit yield; P4 (BG 027) for node number of first female flower and days to seed fruit maturity; P3 (BG 011) for fruit length and thickness of the fruit flesh; P5 (BG 033) for 100-seed weight; and P6 for number of nodes per main vine. The SCA effect as well as reciprocal effect was also significant for most of the important characters in different crosses.
In soybean breeding program, continuous selection pressure on traits response to yield created a genetic bottleneck for improvements of soybean through hybridization breeding technique. Therefore an initiative was taken to developed high yielding soybean variety applying mutation breeding techniques at Plant Breeding Division, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA), Bangladesh. Locally available popular cultivar BARI Soybean-5 was used as a parent material and subjected to five different doses of Gamma ray using Co60. In respect to seed yield and yield attributing characters, twelve true breed mutants were selected from M4 generation. High values of heritability and genetic advance with high genotypic coefficient of variance (GCV) for plant height, branch number and pod number were considered as favorable attributes for soybean improvement that ensure expected yield. The mutant SBM-18 obtained from 250Gy provided stable yield performance at diversified environments. It provided maximum seed yield of 3056 kg ha-1 with highest number of pods plant-1 (56). The National Seed Board of Bangladesh (NSB) eventually approved SBM-18 and registered it as a new soybean variety named 'Binasoybean-5' for large-scale planting because of its superior stability in various agro-ecological zones and consistent yield performance.
Bacteria blight is one of the most serious bacterial diseases of rice worldwide. The identification of genetic potential against bacterial blight in the existing rice resources is a prerequisite to develop multigenic resistance to combat the threat of climate change. This investigation was conducted to evaluate alleles variation in 38 Malaysian cultivars using thirteen Simple Sequences Repeats markers and one Sequence Tagged Sites (STS) marker which were reported to be linked with the resistance to bacterial blight. Based on molecular data, a dendrogram was constructed which classified the rice cultivars into seven major clusters at 0.0, 0.28 and 0.3 of similarity coefficient. Cluster 5 was the largest group comprised of ten rice cultivars where multiple genes were identified. However, xa13 could not be detected in the current rice germplasm, whereas xa2 was detected in 25 cultivars. Molecular analysis revealed that Malaysian rice cultivars possess multigenic resistance.