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  • Author or Editor: R. Pal x
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A small population of hedgehog grass (Echinaria capitata), a new species for the Hungarian flora has been recently discovered in a disturbed grassland of the Villány Mts. Morphological description and the location of discovery are presented in this paper.

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A field study conducted for two years at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi showed that intercropping potato with fenugreek is highly profitable and provides some in-season income to the potato growers. It also serves as an insurance against complete loss of income when the potato prices crash in the market.

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This paper deals with a new Gypsophila paniculata dominated half-ruderal Pannonian weed association. In order to identify this vegetation type, samples were compared with some dry and semidry Central European weed associations of Agropyretalia repentis. The community studied seems to belong to the Artemisio-Agropyrion repentis alliance. Based on results, the Gypsophila paniculata dominated dry half-ruderal sand grass stands are classified in the frame of a new association under the name of Gypsophilo paniculatae-Agropyretum repentis . It can be divided into two subassociations, notably a more natural typical one rich in species, replacing disturbed sand grasses → typicum with Artemisia campestris , and another type containing less species and exposed to much stronger disturbance → aperetosum spicae-venti subass. nova.

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Arsenic, the toxic metalloid, widely available in the natural ecosystem, poses serious problem through contaminated groundwater and drinking water. The emerging areas of arsenic hazards in agricultural systems through use of contaminated irrigation water and entry of toxin in crops has been largely overlooked. Arsenic accumulation by plants and its translocation to edible parts were observed to vary within crops and also across the cultivars. Wheat is an alternative choice of summer rice, due to low water requirement. With this background, the current experiment was conducted with four popular wheat cultivars to study the arsenic accumulation and varietal tolerance under different soils and groundwater. The arsenic content was determined by using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). Result revealed that, wheat cultivars differed in their grain arsenic concentration (0.23–1.22 mg kg−1), which differed across the sites and year of experiment. The arsenic translocation in wheat grains usually least, and accumulation by different tissues followed the order root > stem > leaf > grain across the cultivars. The cultivar UP-262 was found to accumulate least arsenic in grains and cultivar Kalyansona the highest under same growing condition, due to phyto-extraction or phyto-morphological potential of the varieties.

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Use of high analysis fertilizers such as diammonium phosphate in place of ordinary superphosphate and urea in place of ammonium sulphate over years, sulphur application to crop fields has considerably decreased, which has led to widespread sulphur deficiency in Indian soils. Hence, considering this into account a field study for two years was conducted at the research farm of ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi to evaluate sulphur-coated urea (SCU) as a source of sulphur (S) and an enhanced efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer. Prilled urea (PU) coated with 4 to 5% S significantly increased wheat grain yield to the tune of 9.58 to 11.21% and nitrogen 19.06 to 23.94% and sulphur uptake 21.76 to 29.29% over prilled urea alone by wheat. However, net return and benefit: cost ratio was the highest and significant at 5% S coating onto PU. Five % SCU supplied 50% of the sulphur needs of the wheat crop and enhanced nitrogen recovery efficiency by 60% and is therefore recommended as sulphur as well as enhanced efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer for wheat in Indo-Gangetic plains of India. This is an important finding considering the environmental safety by increased nitrogen recovery and also productivity in present scenario.

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Herbal oil vapours from Hippophae rhamnoides L. (Elaeagnaceae), and Calendula officinalis L. (Asteraceae) were tested for their toxicity against the adults of Sitophilus granarius L.. According to our hypothesis the mentioned oils can become potential bioagents against stored product pests. The results revealed that both studied essential oils exerted strongly toxic effect on S. granarius, but C. officinalis triggered higher mortality. The efficacy (94.62±2.63%) was reached after a 48-h exposure to H. rhamnoides oil at 2 ml kg–1 while the application of 2 ml kg–1 of C. officinalis oil for 24 h produced 98.94±1.00% mortality rate. Insect mortality was hyperbolically-featured, and increased with the duration of the exposure to the examined oils. Mortality was 100% at 5 ml kg–1 of H. rhamnoides after 24-h duration of its application, while with C. officinalis the same value could be reached after a 12-h exposure to the oil. The progeny pronouncedly recovered from the treatment of both essential oils applied.

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An experiment was performed to study the effect of different vegetable oils containing high proportions of PUFA (5% soybean oil, SBO; and sunflower oil, SFO; respectively, in the DM of concentrate) or grass silage (150 g DM/d/animal, GSL) on the level of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers and other C18 fatty acids in muscle and adipose tissues of growing lambs. Control animals were fed on the same diet as SBO or SFO groups; however, instead of vegetable oils hydrogenated palm oil containing low level of PUFA was applied. In both muscle and adipose samples tested c-9, t-11 C18:2 showed the highest levels among the CLA isomers, however, t-10, c-12 CLA could also be measured in lower proportions. Considering vegetable oil supplementations, only SBO resulted in a significantly higher level of c-9, t-11 CLA in the triceps brachii muscle as compared to the control. Such a difference could not be detected in either the gracilis muscle or in the adipose tissue samples. However, lambs fed on the GSL diet had significantly higher c-9, t-11 CLA levels in both the triceps and gracilis muscles and lower proportion of t-10, c-12 CLA in the adipose than those fed on the control, SBO and SFO diets, respectively. Concerning C18 fatty acids other than CLA, SFO lambs showed significantly higher proportions of C18:1n-9 than those of control animals in both muscles and perirenal fat tested. However, level of C18:0 in the adipose tissue of GSL lambs was significantly lower than that of the animals fed both control or vegetable oil supplemented diets. Results of this experiments show that different dietary fatty acid sources have various potential to increase CLA contents in the meat of lambs. In addition to vegetable oils rich in PUFA, grass silage may be good dietary source for nutritional manipulation of the fatty acid composition of lamb meat.

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