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Organic agriculture, food

Aditi Sharma, Seung-Hwan Lee, Dajeong Lim, Han-Ha Chai, Bong-Hwan Choi, Yongmin Cho
BACKGROUND: The native cattle breeds are an important genetic resource for meat and milk production throughout Asia. In Asia cattle were domesticated around 10,000 years ago and in Korea cattle are being raised since 2000 B.C. There are three native breeds of cattle in Korea viz. Brown Hanwoo, Brindle Hanwoo and Jeju Black. While one of these breeds, Brown Hanwoo, is a part of a Food and Agricultural Organization and national genetic evaluation plans, others get little attention. This study is an effort to understand and provide a detailed insight into the population structure and genetic variability of the Korean cattle breeds along with other Asian breeds using various methods...
October 20, 2016: BMC Genetics
Zafar Iqbal Khan, Kafeel Ahmad, Sidrah Rehman, Samra Siddique, Humayun Bashir, Asma Zafar, Muhammad Sohail, Salem Alhajj Ali, Eugenio Cazzato, Giuseppe De Mastro
In the recent years, the use of sewage water for irrigation has attracted the attention of arid and semi-arid countries where the availability of fresh water is poor. Despite the potential use of sewage water in crop irrigation as effective and sustainable strategy, the environmental and human risks behind this use need to be deeply investigated. In this regard, an experiment was carried out under field conditions in Nursery, University College of Agriculture Sargodha, to evaluate the possible health risks of undesirable metals in wheat grains...
October 20, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Stephen A Wood, Noah Sokol, Colin W Bell, Mark A Bradford, Shahid Naeem, Matthew D Wallenstein, Cheryl A Palm
Soil organic matter is critical to sustainable agriculture because it provides nutrients to crops as it decomposes and increases nutrient- and water-holding capacity when built up. Fast- and slow-cycling fractions of soil organic matter can have different impacts on crop production because fast-cycling fractions rapidly release nutrients for short-term plant growth and slow-cycling fractions bind nutrients that mineralize slowly and build up water-holding capacity. We explored the controls on these fractions in a tropical agroecosystem and their relationship to crop yields...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Xue Zhou, Min Qiao, Feng-Hua Wang, Yong-Guan Zhu
The application of manure-based commercial organic fertilizers (COFs) is becoming increasingly extensive because of the expanding market for organic food. The present study examined the effects of repeated applications of chicken or swine manure-based COFs on the fate of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in soil by conducting a soil microcosm experiment. Application of COFs significantly increased antibiotics residues, as well as the relative abundance of ARGs and the integrase gene of class 1 integrons (intΙ1) in soil...
October 17, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
A Coetzer, A H Kidane, M Bekele, A D Hundera, E G Pieracci, M L Shiferaw, R Wallace, L H Nel
The Stepwise Approach towards Rabies Elimination (SARE) tool was developed through a joint effort of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), to provide a standard mechanism for countries to assess their rabies situation and measure progress in eliminating the disease. Because the African continent has the highest per capita death rate from rabies, and Ethiopia is estimated to have the second largest number of rabies deaths of all African countries, Ethiopia undertook a self-assessment by means of the Stepwise Approach towards Rabies Elimination (SARE) tool...
October 14, 2016: Antiviral Research
Mary E Torrence
This introductory article provides an overview of preharvest food safety activities and initiatives for the past 15 years. The section on traditional areas of preharvest food safety focuses on significant scientific advancements that are a culmination of collaborative efforts (both public health and agriculture) and significant research results. The highlighted advancements provide the foundation for exploring future preharvest areas and for improving and focusing on more specific intervention/control/prevention strategies...
October 2016: Microbiology Spectrum
Randy Chi Fai Cheung, Tzi Bun Ng, Jack Ho Wong
Antifreeze proteins are ice-binding or ice-structuring proteins that prevent water from freezing by adsorbing to the ice surface and stopping the growth of minute ice crystals to large crystals in a non-colligative manner. The antifreeze proteins are found in species like fish, arthropods, plants, algae, fungi, yeasts and bacteria. The diversity, distribution and classification of antifreeze proteins were highlighted in this review. Antifreeze proteins help the organisms adapt to and survive in subzero temperature environments...
October 12, 2016: Current Protein & Peptide Science
Khalid Rehman Hakeem, Muhammad Sabir, Munir Ozturk, Mohd Sayeed Akhtar, Faridah Hanum Ibrahim, Muhammad Ashraf, Muhammad Sajid Aqeel Ahmad
Increased use of nitrogenous (N) fertilizers in agriculture has significantly altered the global N-cycle because they release nitrogenous gases of environmental concerns. The emission of nitrous oxide (N2O) contributes to the global greenhouse gas accumulation and the stratospheric ozone depletion. In addition, it causes nitrate leaching problem deteriorating ground water quality. The nitrate toxicity has been reported in a number of studies showing the health hazards like methemoglobinemia in infants and is a potent cause of cancer...
October 13, 2016: Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Jian-Kang Zhu
As sessile organisms, plants must cope with abiotic stress such as soil salinity, drought, and extreme temperatures. Core stress-signaling pathways involve protein kinases related to the yeast SNF1 and mammalian AMPK, suggesting that stress signaling in plants evolved from energy sensing. Stress signaling regulates proteins critical for ion and water transport and for metabolic and gene-expression reprogramming to bring about ionic and water homeostasis and cellular stability under stress conditions. Understanding stress signaling and responses will increase our ability to improve stress resistance in crops to achieve agricultural sustainability and food security for a growing world population...
October 6, 2016: Cell
Sharon Matheny, Robert Tebbs, Erin Crowley, David Goins, Angelia Burrell, Patrick Bird, Michelle Swimley, M Joseph Benzinger, Jonathan Flannery, Jonathan Cloke, James Agin, Benjamin Bastin
The Applied Biosystems™ RapidFinder™ STEC Detection Workflow (Thermo Fisher Scientific) is a complete protocol for the rapid qualitative detection of Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 and the "Big 6" non-O157 Shiga-like toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) serotypes (defined as serogroups: O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145). The RapidFinder STEC Detection Workflow makes use of either the automated preparation of PCR-ready DNA using the Applied Biosystems PrepSEQ™ Nucleic Acid Extraction Kit in conjunction with the Applied Biosystems MagMAX™ Express 96-well magnetic particle processor or the Applied Biosystems PrepSEQ Rapid Spin kit for manual preparation of PCR-ready DNA...
October 1, 2016: Journal of AOAC International
Božidar Bratina, Andrej Šorgo, Janez Kramberger, Urban Ajdnik, Lidija Fras Zemljič, Janez Ekart, Riko Šafarič
After a ban on the depositing of untreated sludge in landfills, the sludge from municipal and industrial water-treatment plants can be regarded as a problem. Waste products of the water treatment process can be a problem or an opportunity - a source for obtaining raw materials. In the European Union, raw sludge and fats, oil and grease (FOG) from municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) cannot be deposited in any natural or controlled environment. For this reason, it must be processed (stabilized, dried) to be used later as a fertilizer, building material, or alternative fuel source suitable for co-incineration in high temperature furnaces (power plants or concrete plants)...
December 1, 2016: Journal of Environmental Management
Axel Funke, Daniel Richter, Andreas Niebel, Nicolaus Dahmen, Jörg Sauer
Fast pyrolysis is being increasingly applied in commercial plants worldwide. They run exclusively on woody biomass, which has favorable properties for conversion with fast pyrolysis. In order to increase the synergies of food production and the energetic and/or material use of biomass, it is desirable to utilize residues from agricultural production, e.g., straw. The presented method is suitable for converting such a material on an industrial scale. The main features are presented and an example of mass balances from the conversion of several biomass residues is given...
2016: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Davide Francioli, Elke Schulz, Guillaume Lentendu, Tesfaye Wubet, François Buscot, Thomas Reitz
Soil management is fundamental to all agricultural systems and fertilization practices have contributed substantially to the impressive increases in food production. Despite the pivotal role of soil microorganisms in agro-ecosystems, we still have a limited understanding of the complex response of the soil microbiota to organic and mineral fertilization in the very long-term. Here, we report the effects of different fertilization regimes (mineral, organic and combined mineral and organic fertilization), carried out for more than a century, on the structure and activity of the soil microbiome...
2016: Frontiers in Microbiology
Keith R Solomon
The recent classification of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was arrived at without a detailed assessment of exposure. Glyphosate is widely used as an herbicide, which might result in exposures of the general public and applicators. Exposures were estimated from information in the open literature and unpublished reports provided by Monsanto Company. Based on the maximum measured concentration in air, an exposure dose of 1.04 × 10 (-) (6 )mg/kg body mass (b...
September 2016: Critical Reviews in Toxicology
Muhammad Wasim Sajid, Muhammad Shamoon, Muhammad Atif Randhawa, Muhammad Asim, Abdul Shakoor Chaudhry
Two hundred milk samples from 20 randomly selected dairy farms were screened for the incidence of organochlorine pesticide residues to evaluate the safety of milk in Faisalabad region. The results revealed that overall buffalo milk samples in winter (85 %) and in summer (78 %) were more contaminated as compared to cow milk samples 83 and 75 % in respective seasons. The residues of cyhalothrin were found only in summer season in milk of both species. Permethrin residues were detected at higher levels than perfinofos while DDT and methamedophos were found undetectable...
October 2016: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Javier A Linares-Pastén, Anna Aronsson, Eva Nordberg Karlsson
Xylooligosaccharides (XOS) have gained increased interest as prebiotics during the last years. XOS and arabinoxylooligosaccharides (AXOS) can be produced from major fractions of biomass including agricultural by-products and other low cost raw materials. Endo-xylanases are key enzymes for the production of (A)XOS from xylan. As the xylan structure is broadly diverse due to different substitutions, diverse endo-xylanases have evolved for its degradation. In this review structural and functional aspects are discussed, focusing on the potential applications of endo-xylanases in the production of differently substituted (A)XOS as emerging prebiotics, as well as their implication in the processing of the raw materials...
September 23, 2016: Current Protein & Peptide Science
Ali Mohammed Ali Alsharif, Abubakar Lawal, Guan Huat Tan
Food quality and food safety are major challenges affecting agricultural and industrial aspects of production. Many contaminants from different sources contaminate foods and drinks, leading to disastrous health problems like gene mutations and cancer. Previously, many different methods have been used for the analysis of these contaminants. Liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) has been the most well-known conventional technique used, but its limitations are its tediousness, time required, and the use of large quantities of toxic organic solvents...
September 23, 2016: Journal of AOAC International
Julia Neitsch, Wolfgang Schwack, Philipp Weller
Even more than 50 years after the ban of DDT in Germany, farmers are still affected by its persistence in contaminated soils. Depending on the crop cultivated on such soils, this often leads to low-level residues of DDT and its metabolites DDE and DDD ("DDX"), which are perceived as a risk by the food value chain. Pesticide formulations used in modern agriculture commonly contain high levels of surfactants, but so far no open-field studies have evaluated the effects of these treatments on the mobility of lipophilic contaminants, such as DDX...
October 4, 2016: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Benjamin P Louis, Pierre-Alain Maron, Valérie Viaud, Philippe Leterme, Safya Menasseri-Aubry
Industrial agriculture is yearly responsible for the loss of 55-100 Pg of historical soil carbon and 9.9 Tg of reactive nitrogen worldwide. Therefore, management practices should be adapted to preserve ecological processes and reduce inputs and environmental impacts. In particular, the management of soil organic matter (SOM) is a key factor influencing C and N cycles. Soil microorganisms play a central role in SOM dynamics. For instance, microbial diversity may explain up to 77 % of carbon mineralisation activities...
2016: Environmental Chemistry Letters
Sompon Wanwimolruk, Kamonrat Phopin, Somchai Boonpangrak, Virapong Prachayasittikul
BACKGROUND: The wide use of pesticides raises concerns on the health risks associated with pesticide exposure. For developing countries, like Thailand, pesticide monitoring program (in vegetables and fruits) and also the maximum residue limits (MRL) regulation have not been entirely implemented. The MRL is a product limit, not a safety limit. The MRL is the maximum concentration of a pesticide residue (expressed as mg/kg) recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission to be legally permitted in or on food commodities and animal feeds (Codex Alimentarius Commission, 2015; European Commission, 2015)...
2016: PeerJ
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