Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Hot Water Treatments on Postharvest Life of Seeni Kesel Banana (Musa Seeni Kesel-Pisang Awak, ABB)

Prasajith Kapila Dissanayake, M. L. M. Chandrika Dissanayake, W. M. A. U. M. Wijesekara

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 209-218
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/14011

Aims: To evaluate the effect of hot water treatments on shelf life and de-greening of stored Seeni Kesel banana (Musa spp. cv. Seeni Kesel-Pisang Awak, ABB), which is commonly grown in Sri Lanka.
Study Design: A randomized complete block design with six replicates was used.
Place and Duration of Study: The experiment was conducted in Faculty of Agriculture, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka during April to July experimental period in 2012.
Methodology: Banana fingers were dipped in hot water regimes of 30°C, 40ºC, 50°C and 60°C for 5 and 10 min in experiment 1 and 35ºC, 40ºC, 45ºC, 50ºC and 55ºC for 5 min in experiment 2 using a hot water bath. Fruit surface colour was evaluated by a scoring method, total soluble solid content of fruits, taste level, andin vitro microbial growth were recorded. Five fingers were included in a replicate.
Results: Banana fingers treated with 40ºC remained green with 6.25 scores whereas control reduced it significantly to 4.75 on day 3 of storage. However, both 30ºC and 50ºC treated fruits were in same value and no significant difference in colour scores than 40ºC. There were no significant differences of scores for taste and Brix value among different hot water treatments compared to the control. Over 40ºC hot water treatment suppressed in vitro microbial growth significantly from 0.1cm to 0 compared to control (0.8 cm).
Conclusion: These analyses showed that 40ºC was comparatively best hot water treatment to reduce the de-greening of ‘Seeni Kesel’ banana and hence increase the postharvest life without affecting consumer preference. Hot water treatments over 40ºC significantly suppressed the in vitro growth of microbes on fruit surface. 


Open Access Original Research Article

Effect of Staking and Non-staking Systems on Disease Severity, Yield and Quality Attributes of Yams (Dioscorea alata)

P. E. Norman, J. B. A. Whyte, A. E. Samura, A. Massaquoi, L. Sesay, A. G. O. Dixon, N. Fomba, M. T. Benya, M. M. Sowa

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 219-229
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/14713

Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of staking and non-staking systems on disease severity, yield and quality attributes of yams.
Methodology: High costs and lack of planting materials, labour, staking and inappropriate knowledge on production techniques are major constraints of yam production in Sierra Leone. A total of seven promising hybrid genotypes of yams from International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and one local cultivar, Pulli, were evaluated for yield, reaction to local pest and disease and desirable market traits during 2011 and 2012 in three agro-ecological zones of Sierra Leone. The experiment was laid out in randomized complete block replicated thrice at the experimental sites of the Njala Agricultural Research Centre.
Results: Results revealed higher disease pressure in non-staked plots compared to staked plots. Fresh tuber yields were significantly higher in staked plots than the non-staked plots. Five genotypes with yields ranging between 11.8 and 14.7 t.ha-1 significantly out-yielded Pulli (9.1 t.ha-1) in the staked plots, while only genotype TDa 02/00012 (11.9 t.ha-1) significantly out-yielded Pulli (7.1 t.ha-1) in the non-staked plots. Farmers’ preferences for all genotypes were similar to that of the local cultivar. Staking contributed 30.5% mean yield increase compared to non-staking. Makeni had the highest percent mean yield increase due to staking (38.5%) compared to Njala (29.7%) and Kenema (26.4%).
Conclusion: Staking is beneficial in yam production contributing an average of 28.2% more fresh tuber yields than non-staking. Genotypes in staking system were more tolerant to in-field local diseases, thereby significantly out-yielding those in non-staking system. Genotypes TDa 98/01174, TDa 98/01176, TDa 02/00012, TDa 98/01168 and TDa 00/00194 had stable resistance to in-field diseases in the staking system and desired food quality traits compared to the check variety, Pulli. Findings have good implications for multiple disease resistance breeding for various production systems as the different genes controlling these traits could be pyramided into an ideotype. Similar technique could be used to breed for yield and other desired food quality traits. 


Open Access Original Research Article

Potentials of Selected Microalgae Oil as a Possible Replacement for Fish Oils and Edible Oils

Adeyinka P. Ojo-Awo

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 230-236
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/14393

The need to reduce the use of fish-derived oil in aquaculture to enhance the production of low-cost feeds cannot be over emphasized considering the pressure these puts on fish species and numbers. This paper reports findings of an investigation into the nutritional significance of algae oils and their potential in substituting fish oils or edible oils. A kilogram of microalgae sample was harvested from fish concrete tanks, dried and their oils were extracted using the Soxhlet extraction method. The extracted oil was subjected to gas chromatography analysis for characterization purposes. The microalgae sample yielded 7.2ml of oil per 100g sample. The chromatographic analysis of the oil showed it was composed of the fatty acids: Palmitic acid (28.2%), α-Linolenic acid (23%), Linoleic acid (22.8%), γ-Linolenic acid (16.6%), Oleic acid (2.5%) and others. The oil however lacked Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids, the two major polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish oils; hence this particular algae oil may not necessarily replace fish oils. The oil though exhibits promising characteristics to substitute edible oils (such as palm oil and peanut oil) for consumption and other oils for industrial uses. 


Open Access Original Research Article

Matching the Optimum Plant Density and Adequate N-rate with High-density Tolerant Genotype for Maxmizing Maize (Zea mays L.) Crop Yield

A. M. M. Al-Naggar, R. Shabana, M. M. M. Atta, T. H. Al-Khalil

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 237-253
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/14260

Increasing plant density and improving N-fertilizer rate along with the use of high-density tolerant genotypes would lead to maximize maize grain productivity from unit land area. The objective of this investigation was to match the functions of optimum plant density and adequate nitrogen fertilizer application to produce the highest possible yields from unit area with the greatest maize genotype efficiency. A split-split plot design in randomized complete blocks arrangement with three replications was used for yield evaluation across two seasons (2012 and 2013). Main plots were assigned to three N-rates viz., 0 (LN), 120 (MN) and 240 (HN) kg/feddan; fed) (one fed = 4200 m2). Sub-plots were assigned to three plant densities viz., 20,000 (LD), 30,000 (MD) and 40,000 (HD) plant/fed and sub-sub plots to 23 maize genotypes (6 inbreds, 15 diallel F1 crosses made among these inbreds and 2 check hybrids). Nine environments (E) had therefore been created (3 plant densities × 3 N levels). In general, the highest grain yield/plant (GYPP) was obtained from HN with LD (E1), while the highest grain yield/fed (GYPF) was obtained from HN with HD (E3). The environment LN and HD (E9) showed maximum reductions (70.9% and 67.6% in GYPP and 55.5% and 49.6% in GYPF for inbreds and hybrids, respectively) as compared to E1 as a result of both stresses (LN and HD). These reductions in grain yield were associated with reductions in all yield components like number of grains/plant (GPP), ears/plant (EPP), 100-grains weight (100-GW), harvest index, total dry matter, chlorophyll concentration index (CCI) and penetrated light; with maximum reduction in (GPP) and CCI. On the contrary, both stresses together caused increases in barren stalks (BS), anthesis-silking interval (ASI) and economic nitrogen use efficiency (NUEe); with maximum increase in E9. The relationships between the nine environments and GYPF showed near linear regression function for inbreds L54, L29 and L55 and hybrids L18×L53 and L18×L55 with an optimum density of 20,000 plants/fed and N-rate of 240 kg N/fed and a curvilinear regression function for inbreds L17, L18 and L53 and the rest of hybrids with an optimum density of 40,000 plants/fed combined with N-rate of 240 kg N/fed. We could maximize GYPF in the present study to 60.4 ard/fed (one ard = 140 kg) for L17×L54 and 58.7 ard/fed for L17×L18 by using the high density and high N-rate; with a significant superiority in GYPF over the best check cultivar (SC-10) under E9 environment of 26.9% and 23.3%, respectively. The highest yielding genotypes under high-density in this study are characterized with one or more of adaptive traits to high-density and/or low-N.


Open Access Original Research Article

Evaluation of Water Qualities of Ebonyi River for Drinking Purposes in Abakaliki Southeastern Nigeria

C. Njoku, P. N. Ngene

Journal of Agriculture and Ecology Research International, Page 254-258
DOI: 10.9734/JAERI/2015/15047

This study evaluated the qualities of Ebonyi River for drinking purposes in Abakaliki southeastern Nigeria. Five replicate water samples were collected from areas of the Ebonyi River dominated by agricultural, domestic, commercial and industrial activities in February 2014. These water samples were used for the determination of conductivity, colour transmittance, dissolved solid, suspended solid, total solid, Ca hardness, Mg hardness, total hardness, zinc and copper concentrations. Temperature measurements were also, recorded in-situ in these areas of different activities. The data collected were analyzed using analysis of variance and standard deviation whereas treatment differences among means were dictated using fisher’s least significant difference. Similarly, the data obtained were compared with World Health Organization Standards for drinking water qualities. Apart, from copper which recorded zero concentration in all the areas of different activities studied in Ebonyi River, the results showed a significant (p<0.05) difference among the areas of difference activities with respect to all the other parameters studied. The observed total solid, dissolved solid, total hardness, Ca hardness, Mg hardness and zinc concentrations in all the areas of different activities were all within the World Health Organization recommended standards for drinking water. Whereas the recorded colour transmittance in all the areas of difference activities; the observed conductivities and temperatures in the areas of commercial and industrial activities and the recorded suspended solid in the area of agricultural activities were higher than recommended standards by World Health Organization. Therefore, Ebonyi River is unfit for drinking and must be treated before using for drinking purposes to ensure healthy living.