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Maize, a moderately salt sensitive crop, first experiences osmotic stress that cause reduction in plant growth under salt stress. Fluctuation in cell wall elongation is one of the reasons of this reduction. Along with others, two important proteins expansins and xyloglucan endotransglucosylase are involved in regulation of cell wall elasticity, but the role of epigenetic mechanisms in regulating the cell wall related genes is still elusive. The present study was conducted with the aim of understanding the role of DNA methylation in regulating ZmEXPB2 and ZmXET1 genes. One salt sensitive and one salt tolerant maize cultivar was grown under hydroponic conditions at different levels of salt stress: T1 = 1 mM (control), T2 = 100 mM and T3 = 200 mM in three replicates. DNA and RNA were extracted from roots. After bisulfite treatment, Methyl Sensitive PCR was used for the DNA methylation analysis. It was revealed that fragment in promoter of ZmEXPB2 gene showed high level of DNA methylation under T1 in both varieties. Comparison of different stress treatments revealed decrease in DNA methylation with the increase in salt stress, significantly lower methylation appearing in T3. Similarly, the fragment in promoter of ZmXET1 gene also showed high levels of DNA methylation in T1. When different treatments were analysed, this gene significantly hypomethylated at T2 which continued to decrease in T3 in sensitive variety but remain stable in tolerant variety. Although, further in-depth analysis is required, our results demonstrate region-specific and genotype-specific methylation shift in the promoter of the ZmEXPB2 and ZmXET1 genes when subjected to the salt stress confirming the epigenetic regulation of these genes under stress conditions.
Silicon (Si) is essential for normal growth and development in plants and is also beneficial for their responses to wounding. However, the mechanisms by which Si acts to mitigate the effects of wounding is not fully understood. This effect possibly occurs through a reduction in the oxidative stresses associated with wounding. Here, we tested this possibility by investigating the effects of applying different concentrations of Si (0,5 and 1,0 mM) to rice plants under wounding stress for a period of 6 and 12 h. We found that a higher uptake of Si was signifiacntly associated with an increase in leaf chlorophyll contet. In response to wounding induced oxidative stress, the extent of lipid bilayer peroxidation was reduced in a dose-dependent manner by Si application for 6 or 12 h. Activity of the catalase enzyme was initially lowered by Si treatment; however, at 1.0 mM Si, catalase activity increased significantly after 12h of wounding stress. A similar response was also observed for a peroxidase enzyme. Polyphenol oxidase showed a significant reduction in activity. We conclude that Si application does not only improve leaf chlorophyll content but can also overcome the oxidative stress due wounds or physical injuries.
Mechanisms involved in salt tolerance urge exploration and investigation of genotypic variation to assist future breeding programs. Comparative examination of ten wheat cultivars for salt tolerance and their response towards proline-seed-priming was performed. Exposure of wheat seedlings to salinity resulted in prominent reduction in root and shoot growth attributes of all cultivars. Furthermore, decrease in the chlorophyll contents was evident although this varied among cultivars. Wheat seedlings grown from proline pre-treated seeds exhibited improved photosynthetic pigments, besides this response was also cultivar and concentration dependent. Generally, salt stressed plants exhibited higher antioxidant enzyme activities. Proline priming significantly influenced antioxidant activities, however, its magnitude varied. The peroxidase activity varied among wheat cultivars that were evident from the analysis of POD activity on Native-PAGE gel. Salinity caused the accumulation of Na+ in the roots and the magnitude of Na+ translocation to the shoot was cultivar dependent. Similarly, K+ uptake and its distribution among root and shoot varied. Priming treatments affected ion distribution of Na+ and K+ but inter-cultivar variations were evident. Conclusively, all the cultivars investigated exhibited differential response to salinity and proline seed pre-treatments. However, the proline-priming mediated improvements in growth and antioxidant enzyme activities contributed to stress tolerance which partly relied on the ability of the plant to uptake sodium and its partitioning in the roots. Of the cultivars tested, Faisalabad-08 and Bhakhar-2002 were ranked as relatively salt tolerant and the cvs. AARI-10, MH-97 and Auqab-2000 as relatively salt sensitive.
A study was conducted on the sheep farm of the Livestock Experimental Station, located in the southwestern Punjab, Pakistan, to determine the copper nutrition status of different classes of grazing sheep during two different seasons. A complete free-choice supplement (feed) was available to all animals throughout the year. The purpose of this research was to investigate, as a function of the seasons, the transfer of Cu from soil, and dietary factors to sheep grazing in this semiarid region, in order to evaluate if the Cu requirement of grazing livestock was met or if a deficiency occurred. The final goal was to maximize the production of the animals by adopting, if necessary, adequate, balanced Cu supplementation. Soil, forage, feed and water samples, and animal samples (plasma, milk, faeces and urine from lactating ewes, plasma, faeces and urine from non-lactating ewes and plasma and faeces from male animals) were taken eight times during the year (four times in each season). Soil copper was affected by the seasonal changes and sampling intervals and was significantly higher than plant needs during both seasons, while the forage copper level did not show significant seasonal fluctuations, but was only affected by the sampling intervals. The soil and forage Cu was sufficient for the requirements of the plants and the animals grazing there on during both seasons. The copper contents of the feed and water showed no seasonal or sampling interval fluctuations. The plasma Cu was affected by seasonal variations in non-lactating ewes and in rams and by sampling intervals in the lactating ewes. Faecal and urine Cu was not affected by seasonal or sampling intervals except in non-lactating ewes, where the sampling interval had a pronounced effect on faecal Cu, while milk Cu in lactating ewes was affected by seasonal changes only. In all classes of sheep plasma Cu was higher during the winter than during the summer and remained in the normal range for ruminants during both seasons. It is concluded that a mixture with high bioavailability, containing Cu, should be continuously provided to grazing sheep in this semi-arid region in order to maintain the normal level of Cu and maximize the production potential of ruminants.
The study was designed to explore the antioxidative effect of pomegranate seed oil (PSO) at different concentrations (5 and 7%) against oxidation of plant-based oils (canola oil and sunflower oil) during storage (60 days) as compared to artificial antioxidant butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA, 200 ppm). Rancimat and Schaal oven analysis were employed for the assessment of potential consequences of PSO against oxidation in plant based oils. The variation in total phenolic contents (TPC), antioxidant activity, peroxide value (POV), and tocopherol contents during storage were evaluated by Schaal oven test at 62 °C. The substantially (P≤0.05) higher induction period (IP) values were observed for PSO blended oil samples as compared to blank oil samples. The addition of PSO in plant-based oils improved the oxidative stability by enhancing the antioxidant potential and TPC, decreasing POV, and slowing down the degradation of tocopherol contents during storage. The findings of the present study suggest that PSO might be used as an alternative potential antioxidant to synthetic antioxidants.
A pot experiment was carried out in completely randomized design (CRD) having three replications to screen out six maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids viz; FH-810, 32-F-10, FH-782, 32-B-33, YH-1898, Monsanto-6525, R-2315 and R-3304 for drought tolerance. The study was carried out with objective to screen hybrids, when exposed to drought on the early phase of their vegetative growth. The moisture treatments comprised of 100% field capacity (FC), 75% FC and 50% FC. The results exhibited that all these hybrids varied substantially in their stability against drought tolerance. However, the results pertaining to interaction of maize hybrids with three moisture levels of 100% FC, 75% FC and 50% FC revealed that 32-F-10 performed comparatively better in contrast to other maize hybrids in plant height (79.74 cm, 47.02 cm and 41.65 cm), leaf area per plant (865.10 cm2, 405.7 cm2 and 178.60 cm2), relative water contents (81.23%, 69.79% and 65.98%), at 100%, 75% and 50% FC, respectively, while YH-1898 hybrid produced lowest values of these attributes in almost all water levels. However, a better stomatal conductance (gs), photosynthetic rate (A) and transpiration rate (E) were exhibited by 32-F-10 while YH-1898 revealed least gas-exchange values among all hybrids. The experimental results revealed that under drought conditions 32-F-10 performed best than all other maize hybrids and could be used for further investigation to screen out other drought tolerant-maize hybrids for maximum production.
Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t) is well known for its biocontrol potential against a variety of insects. Nematicidal potential of ten B.t isolates was tested against root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne javanica (Treub) Chitwood) in vitro, under greenhouse as well as in field conditions. Eggs and second stage juveniles (J2) were exposed to 5 and 25% concentrations of bacterial cell-free aqueous extracts up to 96 h. B.t isolates showed lesser degrees of nematicidal activity at 5% concentration. However, some B.t isolates (B.t-14, B.t-16 and B.t-64) greatly reduced egg hatching and increased J2. All B.t isolates revealed suppressed egg hatching and increased mortality of J2 at 25% concentration. Soil applications with most of the B.t isolates under greenhouse and field conditions significantly improved height and fresh weights of root-knot nematode parasitized okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench). Some isolates, including B.t-64 reduced the number of galls and egg masses. B.t-64 reduced gall formation up to 70% under greenhouse conditions. However, 29% of decrease was observed in field conditions. Similarly, B.t-64 treated plants showed a 56% decreased in eggs/egg mass in a field experiment. Population of root-knot nematodes in the rhizosphere was decreased up to 61% in the field experiment as compared to control.
Vitamin-A deficiency is a major health concern. Traditional yellow maize possesses low provitamin-A (proA). Mutant crtRB1 gene significantly enhances proA. 24 experimental hybrids possessing crtRB1 allele were evaluated for β-carotene (BC), β-cryptoxanthin (BCX), lutein (LUT), zeaxanthin (ZEA), total carotenoids (TC) and grain yield at multi-locations. BC (0.64–17.24 µg/g), BCX (0.45–6.84 µg/g), proA (0.86–20.46 µg/g), LUT (9.60–31.03 µg/g), ZEA (1.24–12.73 µg/g) and TC (20.60–64.02 µg/g) showed wide variation. No significant genotype × location interaction was observed for carotenoids. The mean BC (8.61 µg/g), BCX (4.04 µg/g) and proA (10.63 µg/g) in crtRB1-based hybrids was significantly higher than normal hybrids lacking crtRB1-favourable allele (BC: 1.73 µg/g, BCX: 1.29 µg/g and proA: 2.37 µg/g). Selected crtRB1-based hybrids possessed 33% BC and 40% BCX compared to 6% BC and 5% BCX in normal hybrids. BC showed positive correlation with BCX (r = 0.90), proA (r = 0.99) and TC (r = 0.64) among crtRB1-based hybrids. Carotenoids didn't show association with grain yield. Average yield potential of proA rich hybrids (6794 kg/ha) was at par with normal hybrids (6961 kg/ha). PROAH-13, PROAH-21, PROAH-17, PROAH-11, PROAH-23, PROAH-24 and PROAH-3 were the most promising with >12 µg/g proA and >6000 kg/ha grain yield. The newly identified crtRB1-based hybrids assume significance in alleviating malnutrition.
Malaria is a serious global health challenge, which is responsible for more than one million deaths a year. Malarial infection is more prevalent in developing countries including Pakistan. Significant efforts have been made to control malaria; however, due to socio-environmental factors, it remains a frequent problem in Quetta. The present study was undertaken to determine the malarial incidence, species prevalence, and its demographic evaluation in human population of Quetta, Pakistan. A total of 1831 subjects, comprising 1072 male and 759 female presenting symptoms of malaria, were included in this study. Blood samples from clinically suspected individuals were subjected to the standard immunochromatographic and malaria parasite smear analysis for malaria diagnosis. Out of 1831 subjects, 338 (18.45%) patients were positive for malarial parasite while the species prevalence was found as 276 (81.66%) and 62 (18.34%) for Plasmodium vivax, and Plasmodium falciparum, respectively. Furthermore, seasonal variations gradual increase in the prevalence rate. The age group of 21–30 years (30.47%) was found more prone to malaria. The suspected malaria cases were found more frequent in rural (72.1%) as compared to urban (27.9%). In addition, the malaria burden was high in urban area (22.89%) population as compared to the rural area (16.74%) population. It was observed that the highest disease occurrence was caused by P. vivax, which reflects a serious threat for public health. The current findings will be helpful to plan effective strategies to prevent and control malaria in this area.
Genotype × environment (G × E) interaction effects are of special interest for identifying the most suitable genotypes with respect to target environments, representative locations and other specific stresses. Twenty-two advanced breeding lines contributed by the national partners of the Salinity Tolerance Breeding Network (STBN) along with four checks were evaluated across 12 different salt affected sites comprising five coastal saline and seven alkaline environments in India. The study was conducted to assess the G × E interaction and stability of advanced breeding lines for yield and yield components using additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI) model. In the AMMI1 biplot, there were two mega-environments (ME) includes ME-A as CARI, KARAIKAL, TRICHY and NDUAT with winning genotype CSR 2K 262; and ME-B as KARSO, LUCKN, KARSA, GOA, CRRI, DRR, BIHAR and PANVE with winning genotypes CSR 36. Genotypes CSR 2K 262, CSR 27, NDRK 11-4, NDRK 11-3, NDRK 11-2, CSR 2K 255 and PNL 1-1-1-6-7-1 were identified as specifically adapted to favorable locations. The stability and adaptability of AMMI indicated that the best yielding genotypes were CSR 2K 262 for both coastal saline and alkaline environments and CSR 36 for alkaline environment. CARI and PANVEL were found as the most discernible environments for genotypic performance because of the greatest GE interaction. The genotype CSR 36 is specifically adapted to coastal saline environments GOA, KARSO, DRR, CRRI and BIHAR and while genotype CSR 2K 262 adapted to alkaline environments LUCKN, NDUAT, TRICH and KARAI. Use of most adapted lines could be used directly as varieties. Using them as donors for wide or specific adaptability with selection in the target environment offers the best opportunity for widening the genetic base of coastal salinity and alkalinity stress tolerance and development of adapted genotypes. Highly stable genotypes can improve the rice productivity in salt-affected areas and ensure livelihood of the resource poor farming communities.