ABSTRACT Yield and profitability levels in sugarcane crops demonstrate the importance of the agricultural practices adopted, especially for soil preparation and planting systems. This study evaluated the costs involved in 40 alternative methods for the establishment of sugarcane crops resulting from the combination of eight soil preparation systems and five planting options, followed by an assessment of the economic viability of sugarcane production for suppliers and sugar mills. Data were collected from 31 sugar mills and 42 suppliers in São Paulo State, Brazil, from the 2016/17 season. The cost analysis and discounted cash flow analysis were used to calculate economic viability. Localized soil preparation with a fixed application rate of inputs (soil amendments) and mechanized planting with a variable application rate of fertilizers were the least costly systems to establish the sugarcane crop. Regarding the sugarcane establishment system, the medium–sized sugar mills were the most economically viable when compared to independent sugarcane producers. There was no significant difference in cost to establish sugarcane crops across the various sized groups of suppliers and we identified that costs rose as the size of the sugar mills increased.
ABSTRACT Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa L.f), a palm tree native to South America and widely distributed in Brazil, displays significant ecological, economic and biotechnological importance. However, the disorderly extractivism and environmental degradation of its endemic areas are leading to reductions in, and/or extinction of the buriti palm tree, causing ecological imbalance with significant economic losses for rural communities and genetic diversity. Consequently, populational genetic diversity studies have become relevant as a strategy for conserving the species. Therefore, this study evaluated the genetic structure of 10 populations from the Lençóis Maranhenses region, in the state of Maranhão, Brazil, using microsatellite markers. Results indicated that eight pairs displayed a high level of polymorphism in the populations evaluated (98.5 %). The genetic diversity estimations allowed for identifying 220 alleles (average of 9.5 alleles/loci), and the heterozygosity averages observed (Ho) were lower than the heterozygosity expected (He) in the population (0.16 and 0.64) and loci levels (0.15 and 0.65), respectively. The Shannon Index (I) mean value of 1.36 indicated high diversity and genotypic richness in the populations evaluated, while the population index (FST) indicated a low value (0.05) and the fixation index pertaining to individuals indicated a high value (FIS = 0.79) exhibiting a moderate population distribution structure, and pointing to greater diversity between individuals. Based on these results, populations denominated as PA and PB presented a high genetic similarity (0.219), while populations denominated as PF and PJ exhibited more distant genetic characteristics (0.519). These results can be correlated based on prioritization of conservation of this non–domesticated species, influenced by environmental characteristics, suggesting that the genetic diversity found should be conserved in a germplasm bank, and subsequently exploited in breeding programs.
ABSTRACT Myoglobin (Mb) is a sarcoplasmic heme protein present in muscle cells, which acts as a short–term oxygen (O2) reserve in the muscle tissue. After slaughtering and exsanguination, Mb is the major pigment that provides the red color in meat. The concentration of Mb together with its redox state are two pivotal factors that determine meat color. The elevated pH of dark–cutting beef can affect both physical and biochemical properties resulting in decreased oxygenation. The darkening observed in high ultimate pH (pHu) beef concerns meat processors as color is the initial attribute that impacts on the purchase. Thus, any atypical meat color (i.e., loss of brightness) reduces consumer interest in the product. Several studies have demonstrated that immunological castration is effective in preventing both aggressive behavior and undesirable dark–cutting of bull meat. However, little information is available on the effects of processing techniques that limit the oxidation of ferrous iron (Fe2+), Mb or promote metmyoglobin (MMb) reduction in dark–cutting beef. Because of the importance of color to fresh beef marketability, this review aimed at overviewing the significance of pHu in beef color and color stability and to discuss new alternatives for improving and assessing the beef color of dark–cutting beef, especially in Nellore bulls and their crossbreds, which are widely used in beef cattle production in Brazil.
ABSTRACT The large scale of mango production allows for the application of immediate technologies to minimize post-harvest losses and add even more value to the fruit chain. As a consequence of feasible applications, the production of alcoholic beverages through fermentation and distillation has been elaborated, resulting in a supply of products with different characteristics. This study aimed to monitor the development of a distilled mango beverage and its profile for consumption. The mangoes were selected, pulped and subjected to physicochemical characterization and, subsequently, to fermentation and distillation processes where the kinetics were monitored, and the beverage obtained was compared to similar products found in the literature. During column distillation, the relationship between the temperature profile and the alcohol content was observed, allowing for careful selection of each fraction of the distillate and the establishment of a standard for future distillations. As regards the fraction of interest, good results were obtained in terms of composition with compounds such as methanol and acetaldehyde in minimal quantities, indicating a product that can be consumed without health risks. The small amount of studies following the same line of research confirms the potential mango pulp named Tommy Atkins for the formulation of alcoholic products.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to explore spatial genetic structure patterns in cattle breeds adapted to local conditions in Brazil. We georeferenced 876 animals of ten breeds raised in Brazil kept in the Genebank of Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) by sample locations using the QGIS 2.4.0 software. The Mantel tests, spatial autocorrelation, and Monmonier tests were performed. The distances for spatial correlation tests ranged from 5 to 15 classes. The results indicated genetic discontinuities in cattle breeds from the Midwest, South, and Southeast of the country. Correlation between genetic and geographic distance was low, but significant. The Monmonier Maximum Distance Algorithm indicated an initial subdivision of Curraleiro and then Pantaneiro from the other breeds. In another subdivision, Criollo, Mocho Nacional, and Caracu were grouped. Genetic discontinuity was observed beyond 431 km, the minimum sampling distance between populations for conservation purposes.
ABSTRACT Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is the main leafy vegetable produced in Brazil. Since its production is widespread all over the country, lettuce traceability and quality assurance is hampered. In this study, we propose a new method to identify the geographical origin of Brazilian lettuce. The method uses a powerful data mining technique called support vector machines (SVM) applied to elemental composition and soil properties of samples analyzed. We investigated lettuce produced in São Paulo and Pernambuco, two states in the southeastern and northeastern regions in Brazil, respectively. We investigated efficiency of the SVM model by comparing its results with those achieved by traditional linear discriminant analysis (LDA). The SVM models outperformed the LDA models in the two scenarios investigated, achieving an average of 98 % prediction accuracy to discriminate lettuce from both states. A feature evaluation formula, called F–score, was used to measure the discriminative power of the variables analyzed. The soil exchangeable cation capacity, soil contents of low crystalized Al and Zn content in lettuce samples were the most relevant components for differentiation. Our results reinforce the potential of data mining and machine learning techniques to support traceability strategies and authentication of leafy vegetables.
ABSTRACT An intrinsic part of our lives as scientists, academic writing strongly affects our careers. Even great researchers are much more likely to be successful if they are also proficient writers. Unfortunately, many researchers prefer long hours spent in the field or laboratory to writing. Often, this is a result of their reluctance towards writing, something that characterizes not only scientists, but many people in general. But many researchers do not like writing because they do not know how to do it well—academic writing is not that simple. In this paper, I show how to improve your academic writing skills. I do not teach writing; instead, I share my experience about learning how to write.
ABSTRACT Optimization of the use of water and the possibility of using residues as substrate in the black pepper production chain can yield economic and environmental benefits. The objective of this study was to evaluate the biometric and physiological traits of black pepper plantlets (Piper nigrum L.), cv. Bragantina, at different irrigation levels and soilless substrates. Plantlets were grown for 120 days on three substrates [biosolid + crushed coconut fiber (3:1, by volume); biosolid + granitic rock powder (3:1, by volume); and biosolid + crushed coconut fiber + granitic rock powder (2:1:1, by volume)] and at five irrigation levels [36 % (very low); 55 % (low); 85 % (moderate); 100 % (well-irrigated); and 126 % of the reference irrigation level (over-irrigated)]. The biometric traits evaluated increased as the irrigation levels increased, with the exception of root dry mass, which was not influenced by this factor, nor water use efficiency, which decreased as the irrigation levels increased. In general, plants grown with a mixture of the three wastes (biosolid + crushed coconut fiber + granitic rock powder) exhibited higher values for biometric variables and chlorophyll content when they were moderately, well or over-irrigated, in comparison with the other two substrates. It was possible to achieve the plantlet commercial standard using this three waste mixture and the moderate irrigation level.
ABSTRACT Cereal cyst nematode is a major pest of small grain cereals, which causes huge yield losses to crops in China and other parts of the world. In this study, the effects of five inorganic ion concentrations on egg hatching of Heterodera avenae were studied. Results revealed that ZnCl2 and FeCl3 promoted hatching of induced and natural diapausing eggs. The cumulative hatching rates of eggs were 49 % and 13 % at 30 mM ZnCl2 and 10 mM FeCl3, respectively, which were higher than those of other treatments. The hatching ability promoted by ZnCl2 is greater than by FeCl3. Diapause induced eggs in ZnCl2 continued to hatch after 10 days; however, those in FeCl3 mainly hatched in the first two weeks. ZnCl2 had obvious stimulating effects on the hatching of natural diapause and non–diapause free eggs at 15 and 30 mM concentrations. FeCl3 promoted the hatching of natural diapause eggs; howevr, it inhibited hatching of non–diapause free eggs. Conversely, different concentrations of inorganic ions did not have any stimulatory effect on white female eggs. In the nematode life cycle, hatching is the critical stage because juveniles may be infected. The results of this study provide useful information the use of new fertilizers (including promoted hatching inorganic ions) applied before planting for controlling nematode diseases caused by H. avenae.
ABSTRACT The analysis of nematode communities allows inferring consequences of management practices on the soil food web. We studied the taxonomic structure of nematode communities in preserved areas of the Atlantic forest (native forest = NF) in Ponta Grossa, Paraná State, Brazil, and in three different agroecosystems in neighboring areas to assess the effect of agricultural land use on nematode assemblages. Agroecosystems were located in a red latosol cropped during 30 years under conventional tillage (CT), no-tillage (NT), and minimal tillage (MT). We collected ten composite soil samples in each area in the summer. Nematodes were extracted by Baermann funnel and fixed with formalin. Subsequently, individuals were classified into taxonomic groups and counted on a Peters slide to determine densities of each taxon. Plant-parasitic and free-living nematodes were classified at the genus level. Data were analyzed with the parameters abundance, Bray & Curtis, Shannon-Weaver, and Simpson indexes. We recorded 35 genera and abundance of nematodes in MT and NT areas was more similar. Higher richness was observed in NF in relation to cropped areas, especially under NT and CT. The PCA and clustering analyses from both nematode communities and soil chemical characteristics showed that MT and CT were more similar and NT was clustered near NF. The replacement of native vegetation by cropping systems caused a reduction of nematode diversity, demonstrating the influence of agricultural practices on nematode communities.
ABSTRACT The present study was carried out to evaluate the effect of net energy levels in diets for barrows, from 70 to 100 kg, on performance, plasma parameters and carcass characteristics. Two experiments were carried out: in the first (Experiment I), a metabolism assay was carried out to estimate the net energy (NE) of experimental diets. Twelve crossbred barrows, averaging 85.74 ± 6.80 kg initial body weight, were distributed in a randomized block design with two metabolizable energy (ME) levels (3100 and 3500 kcal kg–1) with six replicates and one animal per experimental unit. In the second (Experiment II), 45 castrated male pigs were used, averaging 70.10 ± 1.26 kg of initial body weight distributed in a randomized block design, with five NE levels (2345, 2425, 2505, 2585, 2665 kcal kg–1), nine replicates and one animal per experimental unit. The increase in diet NE levels provided a linear reduction (p ≤ 0.00039) in average daily feed intake (ADFI). There was a quadratic effect on NE efficiency (p ≤ 0.0027), average daily gain (ADG), (p ≤ 0.0352) and the feed:gain ratio (F:G), (p ≤ 0.0024), the optimal levels being estimated at 2485, 2493 and 2533 kcal kg–1, respectively. Drip loss (DL) decreased (p ≤ 0.0001) as NE levels increased. There was also a linear decrease (p ≤ 0.0462) in the Minolta color parameter (+a*), due to the NE levels. Plasma parameters were not affected (p > 0.05) by NE levels. The dietary net energy levels affected the performance and meat quality of finishing pigs and the level of 2493 kcal kg–1 provided the best ADG.
ABSTRACT The present study aimed to verify whether the inclusion of other ingredients in the diet of laying hens could interfere with the traceability of bovine meat and bone meal (BMBM) in eggs through stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis. Two hundred and fifty-six white laying hens were used and randomly distributed into eight treatments composed of: CONTROL: control diet; GLUTEN: control diet + corn gluten; YEAST: control diet + yeast; GLUTEN + YEAST: control diet + corn gluten + yeast; BMBM: control diet + 4.5 % BMBM; BMBM + GLUTEN: control diet + corn gluten + 4.5 % BMBM; BMBM + YEAST: control diet + yeast + 4.5 % BMBM; BMBM + GLUTEN + YEAST: control diet + corn gluten + yeast + 4.5 % BMBM. The isotopic results were subjected to multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and LDA multivariate linear discriminant analysis. At 28 days, the eggs of the birds given diets without the addition of BMBM differed from the CONTROL group. The yolks showed that all treatments were significantly different from the CONTROL, and at 56 days, all eggs and egg yolks were different from the CONTROL. At 28 days, albumen was significantly different for all CONTROL experimental treatments; however, at 56 days, the YEAST treatment showed no difference from the control. Thus, it was concluded that even with the addition of other ingredients, the isotope technique is still able to detect the BMBM in eggs.
ABSTRACT The considerable volume of data generated by sensors in the field presents systematic errors; thus, it is extremely important to exclude these errors to ensure mapping quality. The objective of this research was to develop and test a methodology to identify and exclude outliers in high-density spatial data sets, determine whether the developed filter process could help decrease the nugget effect and improve the spatial variability characterization of high sampling data. We created a filter composed of a global, anisotropic, and an anisotropic local analysis of data, which considered the respective neighborhood values. For that purpose, we used the median to classify a given spatial point into the data set as the main statistical parameter and took into account its neighbors within a radius. The filter was tested using raw data sets of corn yield, soil electrical conductivity (ECa), and the sensor vegetation index (SVI) in sugarcane. The results showed an improvement in accuracy of spatial variability within the data sets. The methodology reduced RMSE by 85 %, 97 %, and 79 % in corn yield, soil ECa, and SVI respectively, compared to interpolation errors of raw data sets. The filter excluded the local outliers, which considerably reduced the nugget effects, reducing estimation error of the interpolated data. The methodology proposed in this work had a better performance in removing outlier data when compared to two other methodologies from the literature.
ABSTRACT Objective: To analyze literature data about unnecessary exposure of pediatric emergency patients to ionizing agents from imaging examinations, nowadays and during times of COVID-19. Data sources: Between April and July 2020, articles were selected using the databases: Virtual Health Library, PubMed and Scientific Electronic Library Online. The following descriptors were used: [(pediatrics) AND (emergencies) AND (diagnostic imaging) AND (medical overuse)] and [(Coronavirus infections) OR (COVID-19) AND (pediatrics) AND (emergencies) AND (diagnostic imaging)]. Inclusion criteria were articles available in full, in Portuguese or English, published from 2016 to 2020 or from 2019 to 2020, and articles that covered the theme. Articles without adherence to the theme and duplicate texts in the databases were excluded. Data synthesis: 61 publications were identified, of which 17 were comprised in this review. Some imaging tests used in pediatric emergency departments increase the possibility of developing future malignancies in patients, since they emit ionizing radiation. There are clinical decision instruments that allow reducing unnecessary exam requests, avoiding over-medicalization, and hospital expenses. Moreover, with the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a growing concern about the overuse of imaging exams in the pediatric population, which highlights the problems pointed out by this review. Conclusions: It is necessary to improve hospital staff training, use clinical decision instruments and develop guidelines to reduce the number of exams required, allowing hospital cost savings; and reducing children’s exposure to ionizing agents.
RESUMO Objetivo: Analisar dados da literatura sobre exposição desnecessária de pacientes da emergência pediátrica a agentes ionizantes dos exames de imagem, na atualidade e em tempos de COVID-19. Fontes de dados: Entre abril e julho de 2020 ocorreu a seleção dos artigos, utilizando-se as bases de dados: Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde, PubMed e Scientific Electronic Library Online. Utilizaram-se os descritores: [(pediatrics) AND (emergencies) AND (diagnostic imaging) AND (medical overuse)] e [(Coronavirus infections) OR (COVID-19) AND (pediatrics) AND (emergencies) AND (diagnostic imaging)]. Incluíram-se artigos disponíveis na íntegra, em português ou inglês, publicados no período de 2016 a 2020 ou de 2019 a 2020, e artigos que contemplassem o tema. Excluiu-se artigos sem aderência com a temática e textos duplicados. Síntese dos dados: Identificaram-se 61 publicações, sendo 17 utilizadas para a elaboração desta revisão. Alguns exames de imagem utilizados nos Setores de Urgência e Emergência (SUEs) pediátricos, por emitirem radiação ionizante, aumentam a possibilidade de desenvolver malignidades futuras nas crianças. Destarte, há instrumentos de decisão clínica que possibilitam diminuir requisições de exames desnecessários, evitando a sobremedicalização e os gastos hospitalares. Ademais, com a pandemia da COVID-19, cresceu a preocupação com o uso excessivo de exames de imagem na população pediátrica, o que reafirma a problematização deste estudo. Conclusões: Veem-se como necessárias a capacitação da equipe hospitalar, a utilização de instrumentos de decisão clínica e a confecção de protocolos que possam avaliar a singularidade da criança. Isso permitirá reduzir o número de exames requeridos, possibilitando economia de custos hospitalares e redução da exposição de crianças a agentes ionizantes.
Resumo As infecções causadas por parasitas geo-helmínticos são chamados de geohelmintíases e são um dos problemas de saúde globais. Os vegetais comidos crus são a principal fonte de transmissão dos parasitas geo-helmínticos. O povo paquistanês acredita que comer vegetais crus é uma fonte significativa para obter vitaminas e minerais importantes. Com base na alta incidência de parasitas patogênicos e no cultivo de diferentes tipos de vegetais nas áreas de estudo, conduzimos este estudo para avaliar a contaminação por geo-helmintos de vegetais crus no noroeste de Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Paquistão. Trata-se de um estudo descritivo composto por 1942 amostras de 25 tipos diversos de vegetais. As amostras foram examinadas em solução salina fisiológica utilizando métodos de sedimentação e centrifugação. Os achados foram analisados pelo Graph-Pad versão 5. O valor de P menor que 0,05 (IC 95%) foi considerado significativo. Os resultados mostraram que 16,5% (n = 322) de todas as hortaliças estavam contaminadas com um ou mais tipos de parasitas geo-helmínticos. O alho foi a amostra mais contaminada (35%) e a couve-flor a menos (4%), respectivamente. Ascaris lumbricoides foi o geo-helmíntico mais comum encontrado, seguido por espécies de verme-anzol, enquanto Trichuris trichura foi o menos encontrado em todas as amostras de vegetais. Os vegetais folhosos foram altamente contaminados 25,3% do que os vegetais com partes de raiz 21,2% e frutados 9,09%. Mais da metade dos vegetais contaminados estavam contaminados com uma única espécie de geo-helmintos (P <0,05), enquanto menos da metade com vários tipos de contaminação com geo-helmintos. Noventa e duas amostras de vegetais estavam contaminadas com 2 espécies de parasitas (P <0,05) e 45 com 3 (P> 0,05) espécies de parasitas geo-helmínticos. O nível de escolaridade dos vendedores e os meios de exibição não foram significativamente associados, enquanto os tipos de vegetais usados foram significativamente associados à prevalência de parasitas. Os resultados deste estudo fornecem evidências de que o consumo de vegetais crus tem um alto risco de adquirir infecções por geo-helmintos. Os autores acreditam que impedir que o ser humano entre na terra de hortaliças para defecação, evitar a irrigação de campos agrícolas via solo noturno e educar as pessoas sobre a lavagem e cozimento adequados de vegetais pode ser útil na redução de infecções parasitárias.
Abstract Infection caused by geo-helminth parasites are called geohelminthiasis are one of the global health problems. Vegetables eaten raw is the principal source of transmission of geo-helminth parasites. Pakistani people believe that eating raw vegetables are a significant source to get important vitamins and minerals. Based on the high incidence of pathogenic parasites and cultivating different vegetable types in the study areas, we conducted this study to evaluate the geo-helminth contamination of raw vegetables in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. This is a descriptive study comprised, 1942 samples of 25 various types of vegetables. The samples were examined in physiological saline solution using sedimentation and centrifugation methods. The findings were analyzed by Graph-Pad version 5. P value less than 0.05 (95% CI) was considered significant. Results showed that 16.5% (n=322) of all vegetables were contaminated with one or more type of geo-helminth parasites. Garlic was the highest (35%) and cauliflower the lowest (4%) contaminated samples respectively. Ascaris lumbricoides was the most common geo-helminth found followed by hook worm species while Trichuris trichura was the least in all the vegetable samples. Leafy vegetables were highly contaminated 25.3% than vegetables with root parts 21.2% and fruity 9.09%. More than half of the contaminated vegetables were contaminated with single species of geo-helminth (P<0.05) while less than half with multiple types of geo-helminth contamination. Ninety two vegetables samples were contaminated with 2 species of parasites (P<0.05) and 45 with 3 (P>0.05) species of geo-helminth parasites. Education level of vendors and means of display were not significantly associated while types of vegetable used were significantly associated with the prevalence of parasites. The findings of this study provide evidence that consumption of raw vegetable has a high risk of acquiring geo-helminth infections. The authors believe that preventing the human to enter to the vegetable farmland for defecation, avoiding the irrigation of agricultural fields via night soil, and educating the people on proper washing and cooking of vegetables may be useful in reducing parasitic infections.