Open Access Original Research Article

Detection of many Health Hazardous Chemicals Used in Tomato Marketing in Bangladesh

Shoaib Mahmud Shaon, Pomeuz Zaman, S. M. Neaz Mahmud, Parsha Shanzana, Rabiul Islam Rajib, Tawhidur Rahman, Md. Amirul Islam, Md. Rana Sardar, Md. Shariful Islam, Md. Humayun Kabir, Selina Akhter Lira, Shahin Mahmud

Biotechnology Journal International, Page 1-12
DOI: 10.9734/BBJ/2016/26489

For the developing countries like Bangladesh vegetable like tomato is very important for the supplement of nutrient. But in many markets of Bangladesh, moderate amount of tomatoes are contaminated with the health hazardous chemicals like CaC2, formalin, ethylene, dithane, shampoo and other chemicals. In this comparative study we collected tomato samples from four major divisions (Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and Rajshahi) of Bangladesh and tried to measure the amounts of tomatoes that were contaminated. This survey based study revealed that huge amounts (69%) of tomatoes were contaminated with calcium carbide (CaC2) and more than 10% of tomatoes were adulterated with Formalin in Dhaka divisions. Tomatoes of other division’s markets were more or less contaminated with different types of health hazardous chemicals. These chemicals are very toxic and injurious to health. So the use of these chemicals should be strictly prohibited to minimize the risk.

Open Access Original Research Article

Influence of Various Nitrogen Sources on Biomass and Lipid Production by Chlorella vulgaris

O. K. Agwa, G. O. Abu

Biotechnology Journal International, Page 1-13
DOI: 10.9734/BBJ/2016/21727

Chlorella vulgaris is a unicellular, photosynthetic fresh water green alga with high concentration of chlorophyll. This microalga synthesizes biomass by trapping energy from the sun. It has valuable components particularly pigments and protein thus, can be utilized in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical and agricultural industry. The organism was obtained by blooming in a 10:90 mixture of cow dung extract and pond water from fresh water pond at the African Regional Aquaculture Centre [ARAC] at Aluu, Rivers State, Nigeria. Blooming was enhanced by intermittent manual aeration under natural illumination with a bank of fluorescent tubes emiting ca15 µE/m²/s each. The isolate was cultured using a synthetic medium and identified as Chlorella vulgaris on the basis of its molecular characteristics by Polymerase Chain Reaction [PCR] technique. The potential of producing biomass and lipid from Chlorella vulgaris using three different nitrogen sources namely potassium nitrate, urea and sodium nitrate in a synthetic medium were investigated. The best growth of about 279 mgL-1 cell dry matter and 5.27% lipid content was obtained with urea as compared to the other nitrogen sources. Potassium nitrate gave 68 mgL-1 cell dry matter with about 1.53% lipid content, while sodium nitrate resulted in 236 mgL-1 cell dry matter and 0.73% lipid content. The maximum specific growth rate (µ=0.198) with a doubling time of 5.05 was recorded with urea at a concentration of 0.055 mgL-1, NaNO3 at the same concentration with urea had (µ=0.182) and a doubling time of 5.5, but KNO3 showed the least specific growth rate             (µ= 0.169) with doubling time of 6.33. Overall, urea gave higher yields of biomass and lipid, caused small fluctuations with the medium during the algal growth.

Open Access Original Research Article

Comparative Evaluation of the Proximate Composition and Antibacterial Activity of Ground Musa paradisiaca (Plantain) Peels and Leaves

Anthony Cemaluk C. Egbuonu, Oluchi M. Ogele, Kelechi L. Amaraihu

Biotechnology Journal International, Page 1-9
DOI: 10.9734/BBJ/2016/27151

The study was conducted between May and August, 2015. It determined and compared the proximate composition (measured in percentage, %) of the ground Musa paradisiaca peels and leaves, and the antibacterial activity (measured in millimeter, mm) of the aqueous and ethanol extracts (at concentration of 100 mg/ml) of the respective sample, using standard protocols. The peels percentage yield (91.59±1.26%) was higher (p<0.05) than that of the leaves (84.29±1.54%). Apart from the protein content (18.09±0.09%), the other proximate parameters viz: fat (9.60±0.16), crude fibre (39.17±0.83) and ash (22.24±0.23) in the ground leaves were higher (p<0.05) than the corresponding value in the peels. Higher carbohydrate (32.47±0.48) and moisture (12.78±0.58) were recorded in the peels than in the leaves. The anti-bacterial activity (mm) of the aqueous and ethanol extracts of the leaves against Staphylococcus aureus was 9.33±0.58 and 12.33±1.15, respectively while against Escherichia coli was 14.00±1.73 and 18.67±1.15, respectively. The ethanol extracts of the peels had higher (p<0.05) antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli (14.33±1.53, 15.00±2.00) respectively than the respective value obtained for aqueous extracts. However, unlike the activity against S. aureus, there was no difference in activity against E. coli based neither on the extracting solvents nor on the study samples. Thus, Musa paradisiaca peels and leaves could serve as nutrient and antibacterial sources. However, the peels compared to the leaves may serve as better source for carbohydrate but with poor storability while the leaves may serve as better source for the other determined nutrients and as antibacterial against the studied pathogens. The study further revealed that the activity of the samples against E. coli was unaffected by the solvent type and that ethanol could be preferred to water as the extracting solvent for activity against S. aureus. Further studies are required, hence recommended to harness the present findings and ultimately to reduce their solid waste contribution.

Open Access Original Research Article

Recovery of Biomass Energy on the Farm: Identification of Cellulolytic Bacteria in Agricultural Residues for On-Site Bioethanol Production

F. Laframboise, F. Meddeb-Mouelhi, S. Barnabé, M. Beauregard

Biotechnology Journal International, Page 1-8
DOI: 10.9734/BBJ/2016/27841

Farms are significant sources of unused biomass, conversion of which into energy would contribute to decreasing the environmental footprint associated with farming activities. A promising alternative for energy conversion involves bioethanol production. Bioethanol can be fermented from simple sugars that in turn must be extracted from biomass. To this end cocktails of enzymes may be used to deconstruct lignocellulosic biomass, but their cost and efficiency are often prohibitive. One could circumvent these drawbacks by finding locally-established, well adapted bacteria that produce enzymes with relevant specificities.  Here we identified such bacteria and compared their ability to hydrolyse cellulose from agricultural and industrial biomass residues. By collecting environmental samples at a local farm we identified 54 strains, of which 12 exhibited cellulolytic activity. Based on 16S rDNA sequence analyses, we found that these strains were relatives of Bacillus aryabhattai, B. cereus, B. licheniformis, B. pseudomycoides and B. thuringiensis species. This article reveals the first experimental evidence of cellulase activity from B. aryabhattai, confirming earlier predictions. The abilities of these strains to produce simple sugars from carboxymethyl cellulose, treated maize biomass, and papermaking primary sludge were investigated. B. licheniformis and B. thuringiensis related strains both showed high extracellular cellulase activity and sugar production when grown on treated maize.  This study suggests that local microbial biodiversity should be considered when developing enzymatic strategies for exploitation of farm residues.

Open Access Original Research Article

Haematological and Serum Biochemical Indices of Growing Rabbits Fed Diets Containing Varying Levels of Moringa oleifera Leaf Meal

P. C. Jiwuba, K. Ikwunze, E. Dauda, D. O. Ugwu

Biotechnology Journal International, Page 1-7
DOI: 10.9734/BBJ/2016/28095

Aims: To determine the influence of Moringa oleifera leaf meal (MOLM) on haematological and serum biochemical indices of growing rabbits fed diets containing varying levels of Moringa oleifera leaf meal.

Study Design: Completely randomized design.

Place and Duration of Study: At the Rabbit unit of the Teaching and Research farm of Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu, Ivo L.G.A., State, Nigeria, between May, 2015 and July 2015.

Methodology: 48 growing rabbits were used for this study. Four diets were formulated such that diets T1, T2, T3 and T4 contain MOLM at 0%, 10%, 20% and 30%, respectively. The diets were offered to the growing rabbits, which were randomly divided into 4 groups of 12 rabbits each, with 4 animals constituting a replicate in a completely randomized design pattern. Each animal received the experimental diet for 49 days. Blood samples were drawn from each animal on the last day of the trial and evaluated for haematological and serum biochemical indices, data obtained were analysed statistically.

Results: Results showed that packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin Mean cell haemoglobin concentration and white blood cell differed (P<0.05) significantly, while red blood cell, mean cell haemoglobin and mean cell volume were similar (P>0.05) among the groups PCV ranged between 35.01–36.59%. Haemoglobin was improved (p<0.05) by Moringa oleifera leaf meal at 30% inclusion level. White blood cell (WBC) count of weaner rabbits in treatment groups was significantly (p<0.05) higher and better than the control. All the serum biochemical indices were significantly (P<0.05) except creatinine. Cholesterol was lowest at 30% inclusion indicating the anti-diabetic properties of the test ingredient.

Conclusions: All the parameters studied fell within the normal range reported for clinically healthy rabbits; an indication that MOLM had a beneficial effect on health status of rabbits.