Publications by authors named "Shah Fahad"

174 Publications

Impact of renewable energy consumption, financial development and natural resources on environmental degradation in OECD countries with dynamic panel data.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Oct 23. Epub 2021 Oct 23.

School of Economics and Management, Leshan Normal University, Leshan, 61000, Sichuan, China.

This research used panel data from 1995 to 2019 to examine the impact of financial development, natural resource, industrial production, renewable energy consumption, and total reserve on environmental degradation in (38) OECD countries by using dynamic panel data models, i.e., one-step difference GMM, one-step system GMM, and two-step system GMM model, respectively. The examined findings of one-step difference GMM, one-step system GMM, and two-step system GMM demonstrate that renewable energy consumption and natural resource help to reduce the environmental degradation while financial development, industrial production, and total reserve cause environmental degradation in OECD countries. Based on the examined results, significant policy implications are suggested to improve the environmental quality in OECD countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16861-4DOI Listing
October 2021

Synthesis of silver nanoparticles using Plantago lanceolata extract and assessing their antibacterial and antioxidant activities.

Sci Rep 2021 Oct 21;11(1):20754. Epub 2021 Oct 21.

Hainan Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Bioresource, College of Tropical Crops, Hainan University, Haikou, 570228, China.

Silver nanoparticles (Ag. NPs) have shown a biological activity range, synthesized under different environment-friendly approaches. Ag. NPs were synthesized using aqueous crude extract (ACE) isolated from Plantago lanceolata. The ACE and Ag. NPs were characterized and assessed their biological and antioxidant activities. The existence of nanoparticles (NPs) was confirmed by color shift, atomic force microscopy (AFM), and UV-Vis's spectroscopy. The FT-IR analysis indicated the association of biomolecules (phenolic acid and flavonoids) to reduce silver (Ag) ions. The SEM study demonstrated a sphere-shaped and mean size in the range of 30 ± 4 nm. The EDX spectrum revealed that the Ag. NPs were composed of 54.87% Ag with 20 nm size as identified by SEM and TEM. AFM has ended up being exceptionally useful in deciding morphological elements and the distance across of Ag. NPs in the scope of 23-30 nm. The TEM image showed aggregations of NPs and physical interaction. Ag. NPs formation also confirmed by XPS, DRS and BET studies. Ag. NPs showed efficient activity as compared to ACE, and finally, the bacterial growth was impaired by biogenic NPs. The lethal dose (LD) of Ag. NPs against Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Proteus vulgaris, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli were 45.66%, 139.71%, 332.87%, and 45.54%, with IC50 (08.02 ± 0.68), (55.78 ± 1.01), (12.34 ± 1.35) and (11.68 ± 1.42) respectively, suppressing the growth as compared to ACE. The antioxidant capacity, i.e., 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) of Ag. NPs were assayed. ACE and Ag. NPs achieved a peak antioxidant capacity of 62.43 ± 2.4 and 16.85 ± 0.4 μg mL, compared to standard (69.60 ± 1.1 at 100 μg mL) with IC (369.5 ± 13.42 and 159.5 ± 10.52 respectively). Finally, the Ag. NPs synthesized by P. lanceolata extract have an excellent source of bioactive natural products (NP). Outstanding antioxidant, antibacterial activities have been shown by NPs and can be used in various biological techniques in future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-00296-5DOI Listing
October 2021

Hormetic effects of zinc on growth and antioxidant defense system of wheat plants.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Oct 15:150992. Epub 2021 Oct 15.

College of Resources and Environment, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, PR China. Electronic address:

Although hormesis induced by heavy metals is a well-known phenomenon, the involved biological mechanisms are not fully understood. Zinc (Zn) is an essential micronutrient for wheat, an important crop contributing to food security as a main staple food; however, excessive Zn is detrimental to the growth of wheat. The aim of this study was to evaluate morphological and physiological responses of two wheat varieties exposed to a broad range of Zn concentrations (0-1000 μM) for 14 days. Hormesis was induced by Zn in both wheat varieties. Treatment with 10-100 μM Zn promoted biomass accumulation by enhancing the photosynthetic ability, the chlorophyll content and the activities of antioxidant enzymes. Increased root/shoot ratio suggested that shoot growth was severely inhibited when Zn concentration exceeded 300 μM by reducing photosynthetic ability and the content of photosynthetic pigments. Excessive Zn accumulation (Zn treatment of 300-1000 μM) in leaf and root induced membrane injuries through lipid peroxidation as malondialdehyde (MDA) content increased with increasing Zn concentration. The results show that MDA content was higher than other treatments by 16.1-151.1% and 15.0-88.3% (XN979) and 36.8-235.7% and 20.6-83.8% (BN207) in the leaves and roots under 1000 μM Zn treatment. To defend against Zn toxicity, ascorbate (AsA), glutathione (GSH), non-protein thiols (NPT) and phytochelatin (PC) content of both wheat varieties (except leaf GSH content of BN207) was increased, while, the activities of superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, and the content of soluble protein decreased by 300-1000 μM Zn. The results showed that AsA-GSH cycle and NPT and PC content of wheat seedlings play important roles in defending against Zn toxicity. This study contributes new insights into the physiological mechanisms underlying the hormetic response of wheat to Zn, which could be beneficial for optimizing plant health in changing environments and improving risk assessments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150992DOI Listing
October 2021

Radiological outcome of acute subtrochanteric fractures fixed with Recon intramedullary nailing, a retrospective case series.

J Pak Med Assoc 2021 Aug;71(Suppl 5)(8):S90-S93

Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the radiological outcome of acute subtrochanteric fractures fixed with Recon intramedullary nail. Charts of 48 patients with subtrochanteric fractures treated with Recon IM Nailing from January 2014 to December 2015 were retrospectively reviewed. Thirty (62%) patients were male and 18 (38%) were female. The mean age was 52±7 years. The most common mechanism of injury was road traffic accident (RTA) which was in 27 (56%) patients followed by a history of fall in 18 (38%) patients. Mean Radiological Healing time was 14±2 weeks. The mean duration of surgery was 2.27±1 hours while Mean Hospital Stay was 5±2 days. Four patients had delayed fracture healing. This study suggests that intramedullary nailing in Recon Mode is a reliable and effective device especially for subtrochanteric fractures, leading to a high rate of bone union and minimal complications.
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August 2021

Biochar coupling with phosphorus fertilization modifies antioxidant activity, osmolyte accumulation and reactive oxygen species synthesis in the leaves and xylem sap of rice cultivars under high-temperature stress.

Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2021 Sep 17;27(9):2083-2100. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Department of Agronomy, the University of Haripur, Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 22620 Pakistan.

Increasing temperature poses a serious threat to rice productivity. This study investigated the impact of various biochar treatments and phosphorous (P) fertilization on osmolyte accumulation, ROS development, and antioxidant activity in two rice cultivars (IR-64 and Huanghuazhan) under high-temperature stress. All plants of both cultivars were grown in a controlled environment under ambient temperatures (AT), high day temperatures (HDT) or high night temperatures (HNT). The different fertilization treatments were biochar alone, P alone and biochar + P with control. In the leaves and xylem sap of both rice cultivars, particularly in the susceptible cv. IR-64, high-temperature stress increased the production of MDA and HO. HDT and HNT decreased total soluble sugars, protein, and proline levels in both rice cultivars. HNT was observed as more harmful compared to HDT during most of the studied characteristics. The response of antioxidant enzyme activities, viz, SOD, POD, CAT, APX, ASC, GSH, GR, and GSSC activities, to the temperature treatments varied between the two cultivars. Antioxidant activities decreased in the leaves and xylem sap of IR-64 but increased in those of Huanghuazhan upon exposure to high-temperature stress. Huanghuazhan exhibited better heat tolerance compared to IR-64, which was linked to its increased antioxidant enzyme activation and metabolite synthesis. As compared to the control, all soil fertilization treatments considerably reduced the adverse impacts of high temperature on the rice cultivars. The combination of biochar and P resulted in better performance compared to the other treatments in terms of all studied attributes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12298-021-01062-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8484400PMC
September 2021

Bio-diesel production of sunflower through sulphur management in a semi-arid subtropical environment.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Sep 28. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Hainan Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Bioresource, College of Tropical Crops, Hainan University, Haikou, 570228, China.

Energy security is a prime focus of policy makers to support agriculture, industrialisation, and transportation. Due to limited conventional energy sources, there is a need to harness non-conventional energy sources. In this regard, one of the proposed approaches is using biomass (e.g. energy crops) to produce biofuel-a renewable source of energy. Sunflower has several agronomic features to be exploited for a renewable, non-conventional, and environment-friendly source of bioenergy. Sulphur (S) fertilisation holds key for realising sunflower potential for seed and oil yield. In response to variable S supply rates, here we compared and quantified sunflower yield (seed, oil, and biodiesel) and biodiesel quality according to the ASTM international standards. We used a combined approach of field experimentation and rigorous lab analysis. Firstly, in a field experiment laid out in randomised complete block design with split-plot arrangement, response of two local sunflower hybrids (FH-331 and FH-689) to four S supply rates (0, 25, 50, 75 kg S ha) was evaluated in terms of agronomic traits. Experimental data showed that fertilisation of S significantly influenced growth and yield (seed, oil) traits; the response was different between two hybrids which also interacted with S supply rate. FH-331 recorded the highest achene yield at S fertilisation of 75 kg S ha, whereas FH-689 recorded the highest achene yield at 50 kg ha; achene yield of FH-331 was 13.6% higher than FH-689. Compared to control, S at 75 kg S ha increased oil yield of FH-331 by 22% whereas S at 50 kg ha increased oil yield by 23% of FH-689. Seed samples were analysed for different biodiesel quality parameters. The ranges of all quality parameters of sunflower biodiesel such as viscosity, calorific values, acid value, iodine value, saponification value, cetane number, and pour point were in ASTM standard range. We conclude that sunflower is a promising and sustainable option for producing biodiesel, the potential of which can be increased by optimal S management under field conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16688-zDOI Listing
September 2021

Hip replacement for femur neck fracture in the elderly, effects of delayed surgical intervention on morbidity and mortality, a retrospective comparative study.

J Pak Med Assoc 2021 Sep;71(9):2255-2257

Department of Surgery, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan.

Hip fracture is one of the most common injuries in the elderly population. Delay in operating on patients with hip fracture is associated with greater mortality and morbidity. A retrospective review of medical charts of patients who underwent primary total hip replacement (THR) for neck of femur fractures at our tertiary care level 1 trauma was carried out. Data was collected from the patients' charts and analysed for 30-day mortality and morbidity. A total of 96 patients were included in the study. Out of the 36 patients in the delayed THR group, mortality within 30 days was observed in 4 (11.1%) patients while none was noted in the early THR group. The difference was statistically significant with a P-value of 0.008. With regards to post-operative complications, significantly higher percentage of patients were noted to have developed electrolyte imbalances (P = 0.003), postoperative psychosis (P = 0.02), and acute kidney injury (AKI) (P = 0.02) in the delayed THR group compared to the early THR group. Delay in surgery for neck of femur fracture is associated with increased 30-day mortality and postoperative complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.47391/JPMA.05-631DOI Listing
September 2021

Interactive effects of gibberellic acid and NPK on morpho-physio-biochemical traits and organic acid exudation pattern in coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) grown in soil artificially spiked with boron.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Oct 14;167:884-900. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Government College University, Allama Iqbal Road, 38000, Faisalabad, Pakistan; Department of Biological Sciences and Technology, China Medical University, Taichung, 40402, Taiwan. Electronic address:

It was aimed to examine the role of gibberellic acid (GA) and NPK fertilizer in alleviating boron (B) toxicity in coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) plants. Two weeks old C. sativum seedlings were subjected to different NPK fertilizers [low NPK (30 kg ha) and normal NPK (60 kg ha)], which were also supplied by GA (50 mg L), under varying levels of B i.e., 0, 200 and 400 mg kg in the soil. Results revealed that B toxicity led to a substantial decreased in the plant growth and biomass, photosynthetic pigments, gas exchange characteristics, sugars and essential nutrients in the roots and shoots of C. sativum seedlings. However, B toxicity boosted the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by increasing the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA), which is the indication of oxidative stress in C. sativum seedlings and was also manifested by hydrogen peroxide (HO) contents and electrolyte leakage (EL) to the membrane bounded organelles. Although, activities of various antioxidative enzymes like superoxidase dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), non-enzymatic antioxidants like phenolic, flavonoid, ascorbic acid and anthocyanin contents and organic acids from the roots such as oxalic acid, malic acid, formic acid, citric acid, acetic acid and fumaric acid contents were increased with the increasing levels of B in the soil. The application if NPK and GA mitigated B toxicity by stimulated plant growth and biomass, photosynthetic efficiency, nutritional status and antioxidant machinery of the plant by decreasing MDA contents, HO initiation and EL (%) in the roots and leaves of C. sativum seedlings. In addition, the application of NPK and GA further decreased the organic acids exudation contents in the roots C. sativum seedlings. Research findings, therefore, suggested that NPK and GA application can ameliorate B toxicity in C. sativum seedlings and resulted in improved plant growth and composition under B stress as depicted by balanced contents of organic acids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.09.015DOI Listing
October 2021

Heavy metals immobilization and improvement in maize (Zea mays L.) growth amended with biochar and compost.

Sci Rep 2021 Sep 16;11(1):18416. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Process and Environmental Technology Lab, KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Leuven, Belgium.

Soil with heavy metals contamination, mainly lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and chromium (Cr) is a progressively worldwide alarming environmental problem. Recently, biochar has been used as a soil amendment to remediate contaminated soils, but little work has been done to compare with other organic amendments like compost. We investigated biochar and compost's comparative effect on Pb, Cd, and Cr immobilization in soil, photosynthesis, and growth of maize plants. Ten kg soil was placed in pots and were spiked with Pb, Cd, and Cr at concentrations 20, 10, 20 mg kg. The biochar and compost treatments included 0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4% were separately applied to the soil. The crop from pots was harvested after 60 days. The results show that the highest reduction of AB-DTPA extractable Pb, Cd, and Cr in soil was 79%, 61% and 78% with 4% biochar, followed by 61%, 43% and 60% with 4% compost compared to the control, respectively. Similarly, the highest reduction in shoot Pb, Cd, and Cr concentration was 71%, 63% and 78%with 4% biochar, followed by 50%, 50% and 71% with 4% compost than the control, respectively. The maximum increase in shoot and dry root weight, total chlorophyll contents, and gas exchange characteristics were recorded with 4% biochar, followed by 4% compost than the control. The maximum increase in soil organic matter and total nitrogen (N) was recorded at 4% biochar application while available phosphorus and potassium in the soil at 4% compost application. It is concluded that both biochar and compost decreased heavy metals availability in the soil, reducing toxicity in the plant. However, biochar was most effective in reducing heavy metals content in soil and plant compared to compost. In the future, more low-cost, eco-friendly soil remediation methods should be developed for better soil health and plant productivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-97525-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8446096PMC
September 2021

Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on the physiological functioning of maize under zinc-deficient soils.

Sci Rep 2021 Sep 16;11(1):18468. Epub 2021 Sep 16.

Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada.

Zinc (Zn) deficiency can severely inhibit plant growth, yield, and enzymatic activities. Zn plays a vital role in various enzymatic activities in plants. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) play a crucial role in improving the plant's Zn nutrition and mitigating Zn stress effects on plants. The current study was conducted to compare the response of inoculated and non-inoculated maize (YH 1898) in the presence of different levels of zinc under greenhouse conditions under a Zn deficient condition. There were two mycorrhizal levels (i.e., M + with mycorrhizae, M- without mycorrhizae) and five Zn levels (i.e., 0, 1.5, 3, 6, and 12 mg kg), with three replicates following completely randomized design. At the vegetative stage (before tillering), biochemical, physiological, and agronomic attributes were measured. The results showed that maize plants previously inoculated with AMF had higher gaseous exchange traits, i.e., a higher stomatal conductance rate, favoring an increased photosynthetic rate. Improvement in antioxidant enzyme activity was also observed in inoculated compared to non-inoculated maize plants. Moreover, AMF inoculation also played a beneficial role in nutrients availability and its uptake by plants. Higher Zn12 (12 mg Zn kg soil) treatment accumulated a higher Zn concentration in soil, root, and shoot in AMF-inoculated than in non-inoculated maize plants. These results are consistent with mycorrhizal symbiosis beneficial role for maize physiological functioning in Zn deficient soil conditions. Additionally, AMF inoculation mitigated the stress conditions and assisted nutrient uptake by maize.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-97742-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8445980PMC
September 2021

Evaluation of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) as an industrial crop: a review.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Oct 2;28(38):52832-52843. Epub 2021 Sep 2.

School of Agriculture, Yunnan University, Kunming, 650504, Yunnan, China.

Rising human population has increased the utilization of available resources for food, clothes, medicine, and living space, thus menacing natural environment and mounting the gap between available resources, and the skills to meet human desires is necessary. Humans are satisfying their desires by depleting available natural resources. Therefore, multifunctional plants can contribute towards the livelihoods of people, to execute their life requirements without degrading natural resources. Thus, research on multipurpose industrial crops should be of high interest among scientists. Hemp, or industrial hemp, is gaining research interest because of its fastest growth and utilization in commercial products including textile, paper, medicine, food, animal feed, paint, biofuel, biodegradable plastic, and construction material. High biomass production and ability to grow under versatile conditions make hemp, a good candidate species for remediation of polluted soils also. Present review highlights the morphology, adaptability, nutritional constituents, textile use, and medicinal significance of industrial hemp. Moreover, its usage in environmental conservation, building material, and biofuel production has also been discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16264-5DOI Listing
October 2021

Biochar and urease inhibitor mitigate NH and NO emissions and improve wheat yield in a urea fertilized alkaline soil.

Sci Rep 2021 08 31;11(1):17413. Epub 2021 Aug 31.

Department of Geology and Pedology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelska1, 61300, Brno, Czech Republic.

In this study, we explored the role of biochar (BC) and/or urease inhibitor (UI) in mitigating ammonia (NH) and nitrous oxide (NO) discharge from urea fertilized wheat cultivated fields in Pakistan (34.01°N, 71.71°E). The experiment included five treatments [control, urea (150 kg N ha), BC (10 Mg ha), urea + BC and urea + BC + UI (1 L ton)], which were all repeated four times and were carried out in a randomized complete block design. Urea supplementation along with BC and BC + UI reduced soil NH emissions by 27% and 69%, respectively, compared to sole urea application. Nitrous oxide emissions from urea fertilized plots were also reduced by 24% and 53% applying BC and BC + UI, respectively, compared to urea alone. Application of BC with urea improved the grain yield, shoot biomass, and total N uptake of wheat by 13%, 24%, and 12%, respectively, compared to urea alone. Moreover, UI further promoted biomass and grain yield, and N assimilation in wheat by 38%, 22% and 27%, respectively, over sole urea application. In conclusion, application of BC and/or UI can mitigate NH and NO emissions from urea fertilized soil, improve N use efficiency (NUE) and overall crop productivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-96771-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8408238PMC
August 2021

Gibberellic acid and urease inhibitor optimize nitrogen uptake and yield of maize at varying nitrogen levels under changing climate.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Aug 28. Epub 2021 Aug 28.

Department of Agronomy, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Worldwide, nitrogen (N) deficiency is the main yield limiting factor owing to its losses via leaching and volatilization. Urease inhibitors slow down urea hydrolysis in soil by inhibiting urease enzyme activities whereas gibberellic acid is growth regulator. That is why, we evaluated the role of urease inhibitor [N-(n-butyl)thiophosphorictriamide (NBPT)] and gibberellic acid (GA) in improving nitrogen uptake and yield of maize under different N levels (120 and 150 kg ha) along with control. Both N levels alone and in combination with GA and NBPT significantly increased yield and yield components of maize over control. In addition, 150 kg N ha + NBPT + GA produced highest biological, grain, and stover yields, 1000 grain weight, plant height, and N uptake exhibiting 33.15%, 56.46%, 27.56%, 19.56%, 23.24%, and 78% increase over 150 kg N ha, respectively. The sole use of gibberellic acid or NBPT with each level of N also improved the yield and yield components of maize compared to sole N application and control. Furthermore, application of 120 kg N ha along with NBPT and GA performed at par to 150 kg N ha + NBPT + GA but it was superior than sole applied 150 kg N ha for all the studied traits. These results imply that application of GA and/or NBPT can reduce dependence on urea and improve the yield and N uptake in maize by slowing urea hydrolysis in calcareous soils and shall be practiced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-16049-wDOI Listing
August 2021

Molybdenum and hydrogen sulfide synergistically mitigate arsenic toxicity by modulating defense system, nitrogen and cysteine assimilation in faba bean (Vicia faba L.) seedlings.

Environ Pollut 2021 Dec 12;290:117953. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

BME Department, Tufts University, Medford, Boston, USA.

Hydrogen sulfide (HS) has emerged as a potential gasotransmitter in plants with a beneficial role in stress amelioration. Despite the various known functions of HS in plants, not much information is available to explain the associative role of molybdenum (Mo) and hydrogen sulfide (HS) signaling in plants under arsenic toxicity. In view to address such lacunae in our understanding of the integrative roles of these biomolecules, the present work attempts to decipher the roles of Mo and HS in mitigation of arsenate (AsV) toxicity in faba bean (Vicia faba L.) seedlings. AsV-stressed seedlings supplemented with exogenous Mo and/or NaHS treatments (HS donor) showed resilience to AsV toxicity manifested by reduction of apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) content, down-regulation of NADPH oxidase and GOase activity followed by upregulation of antioxidative enzymes in leaves. Fluorescent localization of ROS in roots reveals changes in its intensity and spatial distribution in response to MO and NaHS supplementation during AsV stress. Under AsV toxicity conditions, seedlings subjected to Mo + NaHS showed an increased rate of nitrogen metabolism evident by elevation in nitrate reductase, nitrite reductase and glutamine synthetase activity. Furthermore, the application of Mo and NaHS in combination positively upregulates cysteine and hydrogen sulfide biosynthesis in the absence and presence of AsV stress. Mo plus NaHS-supplemented seedlings exposed to AsV toxicity showed a substantial reduction in oxidative stress manifested by reduced ELKG, lowered MDA content and higher accumulation of proline in leaves. Taken together, the present findings provide substantial evidence on the synergetic role of Mo and HS in mitigating AsV stress in faba bean seedlings. Thus, the application of Mo and NaHS reveals their agronomic importance to encounter heavy metal stress for management of various food crops.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117953DOI Listing
December 2021

Heterogeneous impacts of environmental regulation on foreign direct investment: do environmental regulation affect FDI decisions?

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Aug 20. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

College of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, China.

The industry selection effect occurring from the impact of environmental regulation on foreign direct investment (FDI) in China is heterogeneous. Based on the extended game theory model, and by using panel data of 35 Chinese industries from 2005 to 2014, this study constructs a system of simultaneous equations to explore the dynamic effect of environmental regulation on FDI in terms of industry selection decisions. Specifically, three-stage least square analysis method (3SLS) of simultaneous equations is utilized to check robustness of the results under different standards. Results reveal that environmental regulation promotes the technological innovation within the Chinese industry and attract larger foreign capital investment. While the influx of capital further boosts the technological progress, a benign interaction effect was observed between the technological innovation and foreign investment. Findings of our study show that the policy of market borrowing technology is more effective, and the implementation of the new environmental policy will intensify the strategies between managers and enterprises. Results of our study show a positive interaction between R&D funding and foreign capital flows. Enhanced coordination activity within industrial organizations will generate more effective organizational and technological innovation, and attract a large flow of FDI. In addition, industry sample results highlight that a compensation effect of technological innovation in the raw materials and manufacturing industry, though environmental regulation of high-tech industries will generate a balance effect with respect to technological innovation. The government should emphasize on the enhancement of execution and effectiveness of environmental regulation, enhancing FDI and enlightening the synergistic possessions of environmental regulation and FDI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-15277-4DOI Listing
August 2021

Influence of variable biochar concentration on yield-scaled nitrous oxide emissions, Wheat yield and nitrogen use efficiency.

Sci Rep 2021 08 18;11(1):16774. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

An important source of the destructive greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (NO) comes from the use of ammonium based nitrogen (N) fertilizers that release NO in the incomplete conversion (nitrification) of NH to NO-. Biochar has been shown to decrease nitrification rates and NO emission. However, there is little information from semi-arid environments such as in Pakistan where conditions favor NO emissions. Therefore, the object was to conduct field experiment to determine the impact of biochar rates in the presence or absence of urea amended soils on yield-scaled NO emissions, and wheat yield and N use efficiency (NUE). The experiment on wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), had a randomized complete block design with four replications and the treatments: control, sole urea (150 kg N ha), 5 Mg biochar ha (B5), 10 Mg biochar ha (B10), urea + B5 or urea + B10. In urea amended soils with B5 or B10 treatments, biochar reduced total NO emissions by 27 and 35%, respectively, over the sole urea treatment. Urea + B5 or + B10 treatments had 34 and 46% lower levels, respectively, of yield scaled NO over the sole urea treatment. The B5 and B10 treatments had 24-38%, 9-13%, 12-27% and 35-43%, respectively greater wheat above-ground biomass, grain yield, total N uptake, and NUE, over sole urea. The biochar treatments increased the retention of NH which likely was an important mechanism for reducing NO by limiting nitrification. These results indicate that amending soils with biochar has potential to mitigate NO emissions in a semi-arid and at the same time increase wheat productivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-96309-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8373951PMC
August 2021

Optimizing nutrient use efficiency, productivity, energetics, and economics of red cabbage following mineral fertilization and biopriming with compatible rhizosphere microbes.

Sci Rep 2021 08 3;11(1):15680. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Department of Geology and Pedology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelska1, 61300, Brno, Czech Republic.

Conventional agricultural practices and rising energy crisis create a question about the sustainability of the present-day food production system. Nutrient exhaustive crops can have a severe impact on native soil fertility by causing nutrient mining. In this backdrop, we conducted a comprehensive assessment of bio-priming intervention in red cabbage production considering nutrient uptake, the annual change in soil fertility, nutrient use efficiency, energy budgeting, and economic benefits for its sustainable intensification, among resource-poor farmers of Middle Gangetic Plains. The compatible microbial agents used in the study include Trichoderma harzianum, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Bacillus subtilis. Field assays (2016-2017 and 2017-2018) of the present study revealed supplementing 75% of recommended NPK fertilizer with dual inoculation of T. harzianum and P. fluorescens increased macronutrient uptake (N, P, and K), root length, heading percentage, head diameter, head weight, and the total weight of red cabbage along with a positive annual change in soil organic carbon. Maximum positive annual change in available N and available P was recorded under 75% RDF + P. fluorescens + B. subtilis and 75% RDF + T. harzianum + B. subtilis, respectively. Bio-primed plants were also higher in terms of growth and nutrient use efficiency (agronomic efficiency, physiological efficiency, apparent recovery efficiency, partial factor productivity). Energy output (26,370 and 26,630 MJ ha), energy balance (13,643 and 13,903 MJ ha), maximum gross return (US $ 16,030 and 13,877 ha), and net return (US $ 15,966 and 13,813 ha) were considerably higher in T. harzianum, and P. fluorescens treated plants. The results suggest the significance of the bio-priming approach under existing integrated nutrient management strategies and the role of dual inoculations in producing synergistic effects on plant growth and maintaining the soil, food, and energy nexus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-95092-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8333308PMC
August 2021

Ameliorative mechanisms of turmeric-extracted curcumin on arsenic (As)-induced biochemical alterations, oxidative damage, and impaired organ functions in rats.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jul 31. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

Hainan Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Bioresource, College of Tropical Crops, Hainan University, Haikou, Hainan, 570228, People's Republic of China.

Arsenic (As) is known for its carcinogenic and hepatorenal toxic effects causing serious health problems in human beings. Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) extracted curcumin (Cur) is a polyphenolic antioxidant which has ability to combat hazardous environmental toxicants. This study (28 days) was carried out to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of different doses of Cur (Cur: 80, 160, 240 mg kg) against the oxidative damage in the liver and kidney of male rats caused by sodium arsenate (NaAsO) (10 mg L). As exposure significantly elevated the values of organ index, markers of hepatic injury (i.e., alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP)) and renal functions (i.e., total bilirubin, urea and creatinine, total cholesterol, total triglycerides, and lipid peroxidation malondialdehyde (MDA)). Moreover, different antioxidant markers such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione reductase (GR) activities in the liver and kidney tissues were reduced after As-induced toxicity. However, NaAsO induced histopathological changes in various organs were minimized after the treatment with Cur. The alleviation effect of Cur was dosage dependent with an order of 240>160>80 mg kg. The oral administration of Cur prominently alleviated the As-induced toxicity in liver and kidney tissues by reducing lipid peroxidation, ALT, AST, ALP, total bilirubin, urea, creatinine, total cholesterol, total triglycerides, and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). In addition, Cur being an antioxidant improved defense system by enhancing activities of SOD, CAT, GPx, and GR. Overall, the findings explain the capability of Cur to counteract the oxidative alterations as well as hepatorenal injuries due to As intoxication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-15695-4DOI Listing
July 2021

Impact of the mixture verses solo residue management and climatic conditions on soil microbial biomass carbon to nitrogen ratio: a systematic review.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Jul 23. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Guangxi Colleges and Universities Key Laboratory of Crop Cultivation and Tillage, Agricultural College, Guangxi University, Nanning, 530004, China.

Cover crops (CCs) have been increasingly cultivated to boost soil quality, crop yield, and minimize environmental degradation compared with no cover crops (NCCs). There is no consensus of CCs under different climatic conditions on soil microbial biomass carbon (SMBC), soil microbial biomass nitrogen (SMBN), and soil microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen ratio (SMBC/SMBN) are yet documented. Thus, a global meta-analysis of 40 currently available literature was carried out to elucidate the effect of CCs on SMBC and SMBN, and its ratio for cash and cover cropping systems was conducted. Our findings demonstrated that CCs increased SMBC, SMBN, and SMBC/SMBN ratios by 39, 51, and 20%, respectively, as compared to NCCs. The categorical meta-analyzes showed that the mixture of legume and nonlegume CCs decreased the SMBC, SMBN, and SMBC/SMBN ratios relative to the sole legume or nonlegume CCs. Nonlegume CCs enhanced the SMBC, SMBN, and SMBC/SMBN ratio compared to legume CCs. When CCs residues were incorporated into the soil or surface mulched, the SMBC and SMBN increased compared to the removal of residues. The effect of CCs on the SMBN and SMBC/SMBN ratio was higher in medium-textured soils compared to coarser or fine-textured soils, but coarser-textured soils have a higher SMBC. The effect of CCs on SMBN and SMBC/SMBN ratio was prominent on medium-textured soils having soil organic carbon (SOC) in the range of 10-20 mg g, pH > 6.5, and total nitrogen (TN) in the range of 1-2%. It was concluded that CCs enhanced SMBC, SMBN, and its ratio compared to NCCs. The response, however, varied depending on the soil properties and climatic region. Cover crops can boost the biological soil's health by increasing the microbial population's abundance compared to NCCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-15579-7DOI Listing
July 2021

A critical review of the possible adverse effects of biochar in the soil environment.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Nov 7;796:148756. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Department of Agrochemistry, Soil Science, Microbiology and Plant Nutrition, Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, Zemedelska 1, Brno, Czech Republic; Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Environmental Protection, Faculty of Chemistry, Brno University of Technology, Purkynova 118, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic.

Biochar has received extensive attention because of its multi-functionality for agricultural and environmental applications. Despite its many benefits, there are concerns related to the long-term safety and implications of its application, mainly because the mechanisms affecting soil and organism health are poorly quantified and understood. This work reviews 259 sources and summarises existing knowledge on biochar's adverse effects on soil from a multiangle perspective, including the physicochemical changes in soil, reduced efficiency of agrochemicals, potentially toxic substances in biochar, and effects on soil biota. Suggestions are made for mitigation measures. Mixed findings are often reported; however, the results suggest that high doses of biochar in clay soils are likely to decrease available water content, and surface application of biochar to sandy soils likely increases erosion and particulate matter emissions. Furthermore, biochar may increase the likelihood of excessive soil salinity and decreased soil fertility because of an increase in the pH of alkaline soils causing nutrient precipitation. Regarding the impact of biochar on (agro)chemicals and the role of biochar-borne toxic substances, these factors cannot be neglected because of their apparent undesirable effects on target and non-target organisms, respectively. Concerning non-target biota, adverse effects on reproduction, growth, and DNA integrity of earthworms have been reported along with effects on soil microbiome such as a shift in the fungi-to-bacteria ratio. Given the diversity of effects that biochar may induce in soil, guidelines for future biochar use should adopt a structured and holistic approach that considers all positive and negative effects of biochar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148756DOI Listing
November 2021

Global research on the air quality status in response to the electrification of vehicles.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Nov 3;795:148861. Epub 2021 Jul 3.

Prince Sultan Institute for Environmental, Water and Desert Research, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Department of Soil Science, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.

Electric vehicles (EVs) can substantially decrease atmospheric pollutant emissions, thereby improving air quality, decreasing global warming, and improving human health. In this study, we performed a comprehensive bibliometric analysis using Web of Science to understand the research developments and future perspectives in EVs between 1974 and 2021. The analysis of indicators such as research trends, publication growth, and keywords revealed that most research in the selected timeframe was focused on applying and optimizing the existing technologies of different types of EVs to decrease air pollution and mortality. The changes in air quality owing to such electrification received special attention, with approximately 441 publications preferably in the English language. Among all the retrieved documents, research articles were most common (n = 295; 66.89% of the global output), dominated by the research domains of environmental sciences, followed by energy fuels and transportation science technology. Journal analysis revealed that Sustainability (n = 19, 4.30%) was the leading journal, followed by Journal of Cleaner Production and Science of the Total Environment. The most frequently used keywords were "electric vehicles," "air quality," and "air pollution." The most highly impactful article was published by Jacobson et al. (2005) in Science, with 620 total citations and 38.82 average annual citations. Furthermore, the United States (n = 118; 26.75% of the global output) had the highest publication rate, followed by China and the United Kingdom. The leading institutions were Tsinghua University (n = 16; 3.62% of the global research output) in China, followed by the University of Michigan and Cornell University in the United States. The current analysis warrants more focus on comprehensive analysis employing transport and chemistry modeling and using the latest technology for long life and sustainable batteries. This study provides a basis for future studies on improving air quality through innovative work in the electrification of vehicles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148861DOI Listing
November 2021

Effect of carbon-enriched digestate on the microbial soil activity.

PLoS One 2021 2;16(7):e0252262. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Department of Agrochemistry, Soil Science, Microbiology and Plant Nutrition, Faculty of AgriSciences, Mendel University in Brno, Brno, Czech Republic.

Objectives: As a liquid organic fertilizer used in agriculture, digestate is rich in many nutrients (i.e. nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, calcium, potassium); their utilization may be however less efficient in soils poor in organic carbon (due to low carbon:nitrogen ratio). In order to solve the disadvantages, digestate enrichment with carbon-rich amendments biochar or humic acids (Humac) was tested.

Methods: Soil variants amended with enriched digestate: digestate + biochar, digestate + Humac, and digestate + combined biochar and humic acids-were compared to control with untreated digestate in their effect on total soil carbon and nitrogen, microbial biomass carbon, soil respiration and soil enzymatic activities in a pot experiment. Yield of the test crop lettuce was also determined for all variants.

Results: Soil respiration was the most significantly increased property, positively affected by digestate + Humac. Both digestate + biochar and digestate + Humac significantly increased microbial biomass carbon. Significant negative effect of digestate + biochar (compared to the control digestate) on particular enzyme activities was alleviated by the addition of humic acids. No significant differences among the tested variants were found in the above-ground and root plant biomass.

Conclusions: The tested organic supplements improved the digestate effect on some determined soil properties. We deduced from the results (carbon:nitrogen ratio, microbial biomass and activity) that the assimilation of nutrients by plants increased; however, the most desired positive effect on the yield of crop biomass was not demonstrated. We assume that the digestate enrichment with organic amendments may be more beneficial in a long time-scaled trial.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0252262PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8253426PMC
July 2021

Ornamental Plant Efficiency for Heavy Metals Phytoextraction from Contaminated Soils Amended with Organic Materials.

Molecules 2021 Jun 2;26(11). Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafr El-Shaikh 33516, Egypt.

Accumulation of heavy metals (HMs) by ornamental plants (OPs) from contaminated agriculture soils is a unique technique that can efficiently reduce the metal load in the food chain. L. has attractive characteristics acquiring a higher growth rate and large biomass when grown at heavy metal contaminated soils. Site-specific detailed information is not available on the use of plant in metal phytoremediation from the polluted sites. The study aimed to enhance the uptake of HMs (Pb, Zn, and Cu) via amending poultry litter extract (PLE), vinasse sugarcane (VSC), and humic acid (HA) as natural mobilized organic materials compared to ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), as a common mobilized chemical agent by plant. The studied soils collected from Helwan, El-Gabal El-Asfar (Cairo Governorate), Arab El-Madabeg (Assiut Governorate), Egypt, and study have been conducted under pot condition. Our results revealed all organic materials in all studied soils, except EDTA in EL-Gabal El-Asfar soil, significantly increased the dry weight of the plant compared to the control treatment. The uptake of Pb and Zn significantly ( > 0.05) increased due to applying all organic materials to the studied soils. HA application caused the highest uptake as shown in Pb concentration by more than 5 times in Helwan soil and EDTA by 65% in El-Gabal El-Asfar soil while VSC increased it by 110% in El-Madabeg soil. Also, an increase in Zn concentration due to EDTA application was 58, 42, and 56% for Helwan, El-Gabal El-Asfar, and El-Madabeg soil, respectively. In all studied soils, the application of organic materials increased the remediation factor (RF) than the control. El-Madabeg soil treated with vinasse sugarcane gave the highest RF values; 6.40, 3.26, and 4.02% for Pb, Zn, and Cu, respectively, than the control. Thus, we identified as a successful ornamental candidate that, along with organic mobilization amendments, most efficiently develop soil health, reduce metal toxicity, and recommend remediation of heavy metal-contaminated soils. Additionally, long-term application of organic mobilization amendments and continued growth of . under field conditions could be recommended for future directions to confirm the results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8199650PMC
June 2021

Estimating the yield stability of heat-tolerant rice genotypes under various heat conditions across reproductive stages: a 5-year case study.

Sci Rep 2021 06 30;11(1):13604. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, MOA Key Laboratory of Crop Ecophysiology and Farming System in the Middle Reaches of the Yangtze River, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, Hubei, China.

Heat events during the reproductive stages of rice plants induce great yield losses. Cultivating heat-tolerant varieties is a promising strategy for guaranteeing grain security under global warming scenarios. Most heat-tolerant rice genotypes were identified under heat during the flowering stage, but it is unclear whether these currently screened heat-tolerant rice genotypes maintain stable high grain yields when heat stress occurs during the other reproductive stages. In the present study, two notable heat-tolerant rice cultivars, Nagina22 and Shanyou63, and one typical heat-sensitive cultivar, Liangyoupeijiu, were evaluated for their yield response and yield stability under heat treatments during the panicle initiation, flowering, and grain filling stages during 2010-2014. Our results revealed that rice cultivars respond differently to heat stress during different reproductive stages. Nagina22 was the most tolerant to heat stress during the flowering and grain filling stages but was susceptible during panicle initiation; Shanyou63 was the most tolerant to heat stress during panicle initiation and grain filling and was moderately tolerant to heat stress during the flowering stages. Genotype and genotype-by-environment interaction biplot yield analysis revealed that Shanyou63 exhibited the highest stability in high grain yield, followed by Nagina22, and Liangyoupeijiu exhibited stable low grain yield when experiencing heat stress across the three reproductive stages. Our results indicate that the heat tolerance of different rice cultivars depends on the reproductive stage during which heat stress occurs, and the effects manifest as reductions in grain yields and seed setting rates. Future efforts to develop heat-tolerant varieties should strive to breed varieties that are comprehensively tolerant to heat stress during any reproductive stage to cope with the unpredictable occurrence of future heat events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93079-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8245571PMC
June 2021

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy vibrational bands study of Spinacia oleracea and Trigonella corniculata under biochar amendment in naturally contaminated soil.

PLoS One 2021 30;16(6):e0253390. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada.

Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectroscopy detects functional groups such as vibrational bands like N-H, O-H, C-H, C = O (ester, amine, ketone, aldehyde), C = C, C = N (vibrational modes of a tetrapyrrole ring) and simply C = N. The FTIR of these bands is fundamental to the investigation of the effect of biochar (BC) treatment on structural changes in the chlorophyll molecules of both plants that were tested. For this, dried leaf of Spinacia oleracia (spinach) and Trigonella corniculata (fenugreek) were selected for FTIR spectral study of chlorophyll associated functional groups. The study's primary goal was to investigate the silent features of infrared (IR) spectra of dried leave samples. The data obtained from the current study also shows that leaf chlorophyll can mask or suppress other molecules' FITR bands, including proteins. In addition, the C = O bands with Mg and the C9 ketonic group of chlorophyll are observed as peaks at1600 (0%BC), 1650 (3%BC) and 1640, or near to1700 (5%BC) in spinach samples. In fenugreek, additional effects are observed in the FTIR spectra of chlorophyll at the major groups of C = C, C = O and C9 of the ketonic groups, and the vibrational bands are more evident at C-H and N-H of the tetrapyrrole ring. It is concluded that C-N bands are more visible in 5% BC treated spinach and fenugreek than in all other treatments. These types of spectra are useful in detecting changes or visibility of functional groups, which are very helpful in supporting biochemical data such as an increase in protein can be detected by more visibility of C-N bands in FTIR spectra.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0253390PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8244852PMC
June 2021

Evaluation of Jatropha curcas L. leaves mulching on wheat growth and biochemical attributes under water stress.

BMC Plant Biol 2021 Jun 29;21(1):303. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Departments of Soil Science, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Punjab, 60800, Pakistan.

Background: Organic mulches are widely used in crop production systems. Due to their benefits in improving soil fertility, retention of soil moisture and weed control. Field experiments were conducted during wheat growing seasons of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 to evaluate the effects of Jatropha leaves mulch on the growth of wheat varieties 'Wadan-17' (rainfed) and 'Pirsabaq-2013' (irrigated) under well irrigated and water stress conditions (non-irrigated maintaining 40% soil field capacity). Jatropha mulch was applied to the soil surface at 0, 1, 3 and 5 Mg ha before sowing grains in the field. Under conditions of water stress, Jatropha mulch significantly maintained the soil moisture content necessary for normal plant growth.

Results: We noted a decrease in plant height, shoot and root fresh/dry weight, leaf area, leaf relative water content (LRWC), chlorophyll, and carotenoid content due to water stress. However, water stress caused an increase in leaf and root phenolics content, leaf soluble sugars and electrolytes leakage. We observed that Jatropha mulch maintained LRWC, plant height, shoot and root fresh/dry weight, leaf area and chlorophyll content under water stress. Moreover, water stress adverse effects on leaf soluble sugar content and electrolyte leakage were reversed to normal by Jatropha mulch.

Conclusion: Therefore, it may be concluded that Jatropha leaves mulch will minimize water stress adverse effects on wheat by maintaining soil moisture and plant water status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12870-021-03097-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8240320PMC
June 2021

Does more testing in routine preoperative evaluation benefit the orthopedic patient? Case control study from a resource-constrained setting.

Ann Med Surg (Lond) 2021 Jun 28;66:102439. Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Surgery, Section of Orthopedics, The Aga Khan University Hospital, Pakistan.

Background: Routine preoperative tests in healthy patients not only cause extra anxiety, but may delay treatment without influencing surgical plan. This has worse impact in resource-constrained settings where fee for service rather than health insurance is the usual norm. Investigators aim to determine if "routine" pre-operative tests are justified in healthy orthopedic patients.

Methods: We conducted a non-commercialized, non-funded matched case control study in tertiary care university hospital and a level-1 trauma centre for healthy patients (ASA-1&2) admitted from January 2014-December 2016 for elective orthopedic intermediate and major procedures. Cases (patient who had a change in his/her surgical plan after admission) and controls were selected independently of the exposure of interest then matched randomly to cases on age, gender and procedure type. Primary exposure was the routine preoperative lab tests, as defined by the American Society of Anesthesiologist, which included 13 blood tests. Analysis was done using Principle Component Analysis and Conditional logistic regression at univariate and multivariable levels reporting matched adjusted Odds Ratios. The data was reported in line with STROCSS criteria.

Results: Overall, 7610 preoperative tests were done for 670 patients with 62% men among cases and 53% men among controls with mean age of 49.9 22.5 years and 41.1 23.0 years, respectively. There were 1076 (14%) abnormal result that influenced surgical plan in 0.96% cases only. Matched adjusted OR with 95% confidence interval of primary exposure was insignificant.

Conclusion: Routine preoperative tests were superfluous and did not influence the surgical plan when adjusted for other variables in the model as well as after matching on potential confounders. This study would be amongst first steps to move towards an evidence based surgical practice for preoperative evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amsu.2021.102439DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8181773PMC
June 2021

Comparing the phosphorus use efficiency of pre-treated (organically) rock phosphate with soluble P fertilizers in maize under calcareous soils.

PeerJ 2021 24;9:e11452. Epub 2021 May 24.

College of Life Sciences and Technology, Xinjiang University, Urumqi City, Xinjiang Province, China.

In calcareous soils, phosphorus (P) availability to plant is impaired due to the formation of insoluble complexes with calcium and magnesium. Therefore, this study was executed to compare the P use efficiency (PUE) of four different P sources [rock phosphate (RP), acidulated rock phosphate (ARP), single super phosphate (SSP) and di ammonium phosphate (DAP)] alone or pre-treated with organic amendments (farm yard manure (FYM) enriched compost, simple compost and humic acid (HA)) along with control in maize crop under calcareous soils. All treatments irrespective of P sources received 90 kg PO ha. Phosphorus application regardless of its sources and combination with organic amendments significantly improved maize growth, yield as well as P uptake and PUE. Rock phosphate when applied alone was recorded inferior but its performance significantly improved with compost or its pre-addition with FYM and HA, that further enhanced upon acidulation. Maize grain yield increased by 21, 22.2, 67.9 and 94% with RP, ARP, ARP enriched compost and ARP+ compost respectively, over control. Similarly, PUE of DAP improved from 31.7 to 43.1 and 39 with sample and enriched compost correspondingly. Post-harvest soil and grain P were at par for SSP, ARP and DAP alone or in conjugation with organic amendments when averaged across the amendments. These results suggested that pretreatment of P sources with organic amendments is an economical and more feasible approach to improve maize yield and PUE. Moreover, on-farm acidulation of RP may give at par results with SSP and DAP with cheaper rate and hence recommended for P management in maize in alkaline calcareous soils.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.11452DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8158173PMC
May 2021

Pollution characteristics and human health risk assessments of toxic metals and particle pollutants via soil and air using geoinformation in urbanized city of Pakistan.

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int 2021 Nov 10;28(41):58206-58220. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Hainan Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Bioresource, College of Tropical Crops, Hainan University, Haikou, 570228, Hainan, China.

Toxic metals and particle pollutants in urbanized cities have significantly increased over the past few decades mainly due to rapid urbanization and unplanned infrastructure. This research aimed at estimating the concentration of toxic metals and particle pollutants and the associated risks to public health across different land-use settings including commercial area (CA), urban area (UA), residential area (RA), and industrial area (IA). A total of 47 samples for both soil and air were collected from different land-use settings of Faisalabad city in Pakistan. Mean concentrations of toxic metals such as Mn, Zn, Pb, Ni, Cr, Co, and Cd in all land-use settings were 92.68, 4.06, 1.34, 0.16, 0.07, 0.03, and 0.02 mg kg, respectively. Mean values of PM, PM, and Mn in all land-use settings were found 5.14, 1.34, and 1.9 times higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Mn was found as the most hazardous metal in terms of pollution load index (PLI) and contamination factor (CF) in the studied area. Health risk analysis for particle pollutants using air quality index (AQI) and geoinformation was found in the range between good to very critical for all the land-use settings. The hazard quotient (HQ) and hazard index (HI) were higher for children in comparison to adults, suggesting that children may be susceptible to potentially higher health risks. However, the cancer risk (CR) value for Pb ingestion (1.21 × 10) in children was lower than the permissible limit (1 × 10 to 1 × 10). Nonetheless, for Cr inhalation, CR value (1.09 × 10) was close to tolerable limits. Our findings can be of valuable assistance toward advancing our understanding of soil and air pollutions concerning public health in different land-use settings of the urbanized cities of Pakistan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-14436-xDOI Listing
November 2021
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