Publications by authors named "Virender Kumar"

125 Publications

Impact of cropping system diversification on productivity and resource use efficiencies of smallholder farmers in south-central Bangladesh: a multi-criteria analysis.

Agron Sustain Dev 2022 5;42(4):78. Epub 2022 Aug 5.

Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL USA.

Diversification of smallholder rice-based cropping systems has the potential to increase cropping system intensity and boost food security. However, impacts on resource use efficiencies (e.g., nutrients, energy, and labor) remain poorly understood, highlighting the need to quantify synergies and trade-offs among different sustainability indicators under on-farm conditions. In southern coastal Bangladesh, season rice is characterized by low inputs and low productivity. We evaluated the farm-level impacts of cropping system intensification (adding irrigated season rice) and diversification (adding chili, groundnut, mungbean, or lathyrus) on seven performance indicators (rice equivalent yield, energy efficiency, partial nitrogen productivity, partial potassium productivity, partial greenhouse gas footprint, benefit-cost ratio, and hired labor energy productivity) based on a comprehensive survey of 501 households. Indicators were combined into a multi-criteria performance index, and their scope for improvement was calculated by comparing an individual farmer's performance to top-performing farmers (highest 20%). Results indicate that the baseline system (single-crop season rice) was the least productive, while double cropped systems increased rice equivalent yield 72-217%. Despite gains in productivity, higher cropping intensity reduced resource use efficiencies due to higher inputs of fertilizer and energy, which also increased production costs, particularly for season rice. However, trade-offs were smaller for diversified systems including legumes, largely owing to lower N fertilizer inputs. season rice had the highest multi-criteria performance index, followed by systems with mungbean and lathyrus, indicating the latter are promising options to boost food production and profitability without compromising sustainability. Large gaps between individual and top-performing farmers existed for each indicator, suggesting significant scope for improvement. By targeting indicators contributing most to the multi-criteria performance index (partial nitrogen productivity, energy efficiency, hired labor energy productivity), results suggest further sustainability gains can be achieved through future field research studies focused on optimizing management within diversified systems.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13593-022-00795-3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13593-022-00795-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9355929PMC
August 2022

Microbial pigments: Learning from Himalayan perspective to industrial applications.

J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 2022 Aug 6. Epub 2022 Aug 6.

Biotechnology Division, CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, INDIA-176 061.

Pigments are an essential part of life on earth, ranging from microbes to plants and humans. The physiological and environmental cues induce microbes to produce a broad spectrum of pigments, giving them adaptation and survival advantages. Microbial pigments are of great interest due to their natural origin, diverse biological activities, and wide applications in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and textile industries. Despite noticeable research on pigment-producing microbes, commercial successes are scarce, primarily from higher, remote, and inaccessible Himalayan niches. Therefore, substantial bioprospection integrated with advanced biotechnological strategies is required to commercialize microbial pigments successfully. The current review elaborates on pigment-producing microbes from a Himalayan perspective, offering tremendous opportunities for industrial applications. Additionally, it illustrates the ecological significance of microbial pigments and emphasizes the current status and prospects of microbial pigments production above the test tube scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jimb/kuac017DOI Listing
August 2022

Tillage and crop establishment effects on weeds and productivity of a rice-wheat-mungbean rotation.

Field Crops Res 2022 Aug;284:108577

Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India.

Weeds are one of the key threats in sustaining the productivity of the rice-wheat cropping system in the Indo-Gangetic Plains. The development of sound integrated weed management technologies requires knowledge of mechanisms that influence weed flora composition and weed seedbank dynamics. A long-term study was initiated in 2015 at Patna, Bihar, India to evaluate the effect of seven tillage and crop establishment methods on weed density, weed seedbank composition, and crop productivity in rice-wheat-mungbean rotation. All the treatments included zero-till mungbean after wheat. Tillage and crop establishment methods had differential effects on weed and weed seedbank composition. In rice, zero-till direct-seeded rice recorded 62% lower emergence of , 82-90% of and 81-83% of total weeds compared to tilled systems, but the system of rice and wheat intensification favoured . In wheat, the system of wheat intensification favoured the and . Zero-till rice and wheat reduced the seedbank of by 95%, and total weed seedbank by 62% compared to the system of rice and wheat intensification. Nearly, 72% of seeds, 62% of grasses, and 64% of broad-leaved weeds were in 0-15 cm soil layer. Zero-till direct-seeded rice produced a 13% lower rice grain yield than conventional puddled transplanted rice. Compared to the system of wheat intensification, zero-till wheat under triple zero-till systems produced an 11.5% higher grain yield. Managing weed seedbank is a long-term endeavour. The present study revealed that tillage and crop establishment methods influence weed density and diversity. Under zero-till rice-wheat system, rice yield decreases marginally, but the system productivity maintains due to improvement in succeeding wheat yield. This system is also helpful in reducing the weed flora density and soil weed seedbank. Regular monitoring and management of emerging pests such as armyworm () are, however, required. The study suggests that the adoption of triple zero-tillage can be a viable option for reducing the weed density and weed seedbank concurrently increasing the system productivity of the rice-wheat-mungbean cropping system in eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2022.108577DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9214547PMC
August 2022

Weed germinable seedbanks of rice-wheat systems in the Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains: Do tillage and edaphic factors explain community variation?

Weed Res 2021 Dec 23;61(6):475-485. Epub 2021 Sep 23.

CIMMYT South Asia Regional office Kathmandu Nepal.

Zero tillage (ZT) is widely promoted throughout India's Eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) because of its potential to increase wheat productivity and resilience to abiotic stresses. Weeds remain a major barrier to ZT adoption, yet it remains unclear how ZT will influence weed communities in the Eastern-IGP. The primary objective of this study was to characterise the composition of the germinable weed seedbank sampled just prior to the wheat phase of rice-wheat farms in Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh, and examine whether adoption of ZT wheat has shifted weed community composition compared to conventional tillage (CT). Additionally, we examined whether edaphic properties and topography (upland vs. lowland) explain variation in germinable weed seedbank communities. In December 2014, we evaluated the germinable seedbank from 72 fields differing in their historic (>=3 year) tillage practices (ZT vs. CT) in three regions: Samastipur-Vaishali-Muzaffarpur (SVM), Ara-Buxar and Maharajgunj-Kushinagar. Weed community composition and species richness varied by region and topography. ZT adoption was associated with lower relative density of in the germinable seedbank and lower emergence of seedlings within farmers' fields. In upland topographies of the SVM region, ZT adoption was also associated with greater relative abundance of in the weed seedbank. However, differences between tillage systems in individual species were not large enough to result in detection of differences at the whole-community level. Variation in edaphic properties, most notably soil texture and pH, explained 51% of the variation in the weed seedbank community. Our work suggests several frequent but poorly understood species (e.g. and ) in Eastern IGP for which future research should quantify their effects on crop yields. Finally, future work surveying weed species abundance at harvest could further determine the dominant problematic species in these regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/wre.12505DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9290468PMC
December 2021

Molecular cloning, characterization, and in-silico analysis of l-asparaginase from Himalayan sp. PCH44.

3 Biotech 2022 Aug 9;12(8):162. Epub 2022 Jul 9.

Biotechnology Division, CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh 176 061 India.

l-Asparaginase (l-ASNase) is a key enzyme used to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a childhood blood cancer. Here, we report on the characterization of a recombinant l-ASNase (44- II) from sp. PCH44. The gene was identified from its genome, cloned, and overexpressed in the host (). The recombinant l-ASNase (44-ASNase II) was purified with a monomer size of 37.0 kDa and a homotetrameric size of 148.0 kDa. The purified 44-ASNase II exhibited optimum activity of 40.84 U/mg in Tris-HCl buffer (50 mM, pH 8.5) at 45 °C for 15 min. It retained 76.53% of enzyme activity at 45 °C after 120 min of incubation. The half-life and values were 600 min and 1.10 × 10 min, respectively, at 45 °C. The kinetic constants values and were 0.56, 0.728 mM, and 29.41, 50.12 U/mg for l-asparagine and l-glutamine, respectively. However, for l-glutamine is more (30.91 s) than l-asparagine (18.06 s), suggesting that enzymes act more efficiently on l-glutamine than l-asparagine. The docking analysis of l-asparagine and l-glutamine with active site residues of the enzyme revealed a molecular basis for high l-glutaminase (L-GLNase) activity and provided insights into the role of key amino acid residues in the preferential enzymatic activities.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13205-022-03224-0.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13205-022-03224-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9271149PMC
August 2022

Revisiting the Obesity Paradox in Health Care Expenditures Among Adults With Diabetes.

Clin Diabetes 2022 15;40(2):185-195. Epub 2022 Apr 15.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

Recent studies of diabetes suggest an obesity paradox: mortality risk increases with weight in people without diabetes but decreases with weight in people with diabetes. A recent study also reports the paradox more generally with health care utilization. Whether this paradox in health care utilization and spending is causal or instead the result of empirical biases and confounding factors has yet to be examined in detail. This study set out to examine changes in the relationship between BMI and health care expenditures in populations with versus without diabetes, controlling for confounding risk factors. It found that the obesity paradox does not exist and is the result of statistical biases such as confounding and reverse causation. Obesity is not cost-saving for people with diabetes. Thus, insurers and physicians should renew efforts to prevent obesity in people with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/cd20-0122DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9160553PMC
April 2022

Deciphering Haplotypic Variation and Gene Expression Dynamics Associated with Nutritional and Cooking Quality in Rice.

Cells 2022 03 28;11(7). Epub 2022 Mar 28.

Department of Agriculture Biotechnology, National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Mohali 140306, India.

Nutritional quality improvement of rice is the key to ensure global food security. Consequently, enormous efforts have been made to develop genomics and transcriptomics resources for rice. The available omics resources along with the molecular understanding of trait development can be utilized for efficient exploration of genetic resources for breeding programs. In the present study, 80 genes known to regulate the nutritional and cooking quality of rice were extensively studied to understand the haplotypic variability and gene expression dynamics. The haplotypic variability of selected genes were defined using whole-genome re-sequencing data of ~4700 diverse genotypes. The analytical workflow identified 133 deleterious single-nucleotide polymorphisms, which are predicted to affect the gene function. Furthermore, 788 haplotype groups were defined for 80 genes, and the distribution and evolution of these haplotype groups in rice were described. The nucleotide diversity for the selected genes was significantly reduced in cultivated rice as compared with that in wild rice. The utility of the approach was successfully demonstrated by revealing the haplotypic association of gene with the varying degree of grain chalkiness. The gene expression atlas was developed for these genes by analyzing RNA-Seq transcriptome profiling data from 102 independent sequence libraries. Subsequently, weighted gene co-expression meta-analyses of 11,726 publicly available RNAseq libraries identified 19 genes as the hub of interactions. The comprehensive analyses of genetic polymorphisms, allelic distribution, and gene expression profiling of key quality traits will help in exploring the most desired haplotype for grain quality improvement. Similarly, the information provided here will be helpful to understand the molecular mechanism involved in the development of nutritional and cooking quality traits in rice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells11071144DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8998046PMC
March 2022

Identification of QTLs/ Candidate Genes for Seed Mineral Contents in Common Bean ( L.) Through Genotyping-by-Sequencing.

Front Genet 2022 14;13:750814. Epub 2022 Mar 14.

Proteomics Laboratory, Division of Plant Biotechnology, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Srinagar, India.

Throughout the ages, the common bean has been consumed by humanity as an important food staple crop and source of nutrition on a global scale. Since its domestication, a wide spectrum of phenotypic and genotypic investigations have been carried out to unravel the potential of this crop and to understand the process of nutrient accumulation along with other desirable characteristics. The common bean is one of the essential legume crops due to its high protein and micronutrient content. The balance in micronutrients is critical for the growth and development of plants as well as humans. Iron (Fe), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Magnesium (Mg), Calcium (Ca), and Molybdenum (Mo) are some of the important micronutrients present in legumes. Thus, we aimed to investigate the quantitative trait loci's (QTLs)/single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to identify the candidate genes associated with micronutrients through genotyping by sequencing (GBS). In our investigation, through GBS we identified SNPs linked with traits and assessed seven micronutrients in 96 selected common bean genotypes for screening nutritionally rich genotypes. Among 96399 SNPs total identified through GBS, 113 SNPs showed significant phenotypic variance, ranging from 13.50 to 21.74%. SNPs associated with most of the seed micronutrients (Mg, Mn, Fe, Ca, Cu) were found on chr3 & chr11 (Mg, Mn, Mo, Ca, Zn). The findings from this study could be used for haplotype-based selection of nutritionally rich genotypes and for marker-assisted genetic enhancement of the common bean. Further, the identified SNPs for candidate genes/transporters associated with micronutrient content may pave the way for the enrichment of seeds by employing genomics-assisted breeding programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2022.750814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8982075PMC
March 2022

Outburst of pest populations in rice-based cropping systems under conservation agricultural practices in the middle Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia.

Sci Rep 2022 03 8;12(1):3753. Epub 2022 Mar 8.

Soil and Crop Sciences Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.

Conservation agriculture (CA), which encompasses minimum soil disturbance, residue retention either through crop residue, or cover crops and crop diversification-based crop management practices can modify the status of pest dynamics and activities under the changing climatic scenarios. CA has been advocated extensively to optimize the use of available resources, maintain the environmental quality, enhance crop productivity, and reduce the climate change impacts. Information related to the impacts of long-term CA-production systems under rice-based cropping systems on pest status is lacking, particularly in middle Indo-Gangetic Plains (MIGP). Under CA, puddling is completely avoided, and rice is directly sown or transplanted to maintain better soil health. Different sets of experimentations including farmers practice, partial CA and full CA (CA) as treatments in rice-based cropping systems, were established from 2009, 2015 and 2016 to understand the long-term impacts of CA on pest dynamics. In this study, direct and indirect effects of tillage (zero, reduced and conventional tillage), residue retention and cropping sequences on abundance and damage by pests were investigated. After 4-5 years of experimentation, populations of oriental armyworm [Mythinma (Leucania) (Pseudaletia) separata (Wlk.)] in wheat, mealybug [Brevennia rehi (Lindinger)] and bandicoot rat [Bandicota bengalensis (Gray)] in rice were found to increase abnormally in CA-based production systems. Conventionally tilled plots had a significant negative effect while residue load in zero-tilled plots had a significant positive effect on larval population build-up of M. separata. Zero tillage had a higher infestation of mealybug (52-91% infested hills) that used grassy weeds (Echinochloa colona, Echinochloa crusgalli, Cynodon dactylon, Leptochloa chinensis and Panicum repense) as alternate hosts. Cropping sequences and no disturbance of soil and grassy weeds had higher live burrow counts (4.2 and 13.7 burrows as compared to 1.47 and 7.53 burrows per 62.5 m during 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, respectively) and damaged tillers (3.4%) in CA-based practices. Based on the present study, pest management strategies in CA need to be revisited with respect to tillage, residue retention on soil surface, grassy weeds in field and cropping sequences to deliver the full benefits of CA in MIGP to achieve the sustainable development goals under the climate change scenarios.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-07760-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8904590PMC
March 2022

Green bioprocess for degradation of synthetic dyes mixture using consortium of laccase-producing bacteria from Himalayan niches.

J Environ Manage 2022 May 23;310:114764. Epub 2022 Feb 23.

Biotechnology Division, CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, 176 061, India; Academy of Scientific & Innovative Research (AcSIR), CSIR- Human Resource Development Centre (CSIR-HRDC), Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, 201 002, India. Electronic address:

Microbial remediation of synthetic dyes from industrial effluents offers a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative. Herein, laccase-producing bacteria were isolated from decaying wood niches in the Himalayan region. A bacterial consortium (BC-I) was developed to decolorize synthetic dyes cocktail of three major groups (azo, anthraquinone, and triphenylmethane). BC-I consisted of Klebsiella sp. PCH427, Enterobacter sp. PCH428, and Pseudomonas sp. PCH429 can decolorize 77% of 240 mg/L dyes cocktail in 44 h at 37 °C. BC-I works under wide pH (4.0-10.0), a high salt concentration (NaCl, 10%), and low nutrients. Further, FT-IR and LC-MS validated the dyes cocktail degradation and identified the degraded products. Additionally, phytotoxicity analysis of BC-I treated dyes cocktail significantly reduced the toxicity to Vigna radiata and Cicer arietinum compared to untreated dyes cocktail. The present study has simulated environmental challenges of acidic, alkaline, and saline industrial dyes effluents, which are significant to bioremediation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.114764DOI Listing
May 2022

Effect of magnesium stearate surface coating method on the aerosol performance and permeability of micronized fluticasone propionate.

Int J Pharm 2022 Mar 15;615:121470. Epub 2022 Jan 15.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA. Electronic address:

In this study, we evaluated the aerodynamic performance, dissolution, and permeation behavior of micronized fluticasone propionate (FP) and magnesium stearate (MgSt) binary mixtures. Micronized FP was dry mixed with 2% w/w MgSt using a tumble mixer and a resonant acoustic mixer (RAM) with and without heating. The mixing efficacy was determined by X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis. Additional techniques were used to determine powder properties such as the dynamic vapor sorption (DVS), particle size distribution (PSD) by laser diffraction light scattering, and particle surface properties by scanning electron microscope (SEM). The aerodynamic performance was studied by the next-generation impactor (NGI) using drug-loaded capsules in a PlastiApi® device. Physiochemical properties such as porosity, particle size distribution, and surface area of the formulations were studied with adsorption and desorption curves fitted to several well-known models including Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), Barret Joyner Halenda (BJH), and the density functional theory (DFT). The dissolution behavior of the formulations collected on the transwell inserts incorporated into stages 3, 5, and 7 of the NGI with a membrane providing an air interface was evaluated. Drug permeability of formulations was assessed by directly depositing particles on Calu-3 cells at the air-liquid interface (ALI). Drug concentration was determined by LC-MS/MS. A better MgSt mixing on micronized FP particles was achieved by mixing with a RAM with and without heating than with a tumble mixer. A significant concomitant increase in the % of emitted dose and powder aerosol performance was observed after MgSt mixing. Formulation 4 (RAM mixing at room temperature) showed the highest rate of permeability and correlation with dissolution profile. The results show that the surface enrichment of hydrophobic MgSt improved aerosolization properties and the dissolution and permeability rate of micronized FP by reducing powder agglomerations. A simple low-shear acoustic dry powder mixing method was found to be efficient and substantially improved the powder aerosolization properties and enhanced dissolution and permeability rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2022.121470DOI Listing
March 2022

Understanding the role of SWEET genes in fruit development and abiotic stress in pomegranate (Punica granatum L.).

Mol Biol Rep 2022 Feb 2;49(2):1329-1339. Epub 2021 Dec 2.

National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Sector 80, SAS Nagar, Mohali, Punjab, 140306, India.

Background: The Sugar Will Eventually Be Exported Transporters (SWEET), consisting of the MtN3 and salvia domain, are sugar transporters having an active role in diverse activities in plants such as pollen nutrition, phloem loading, nectar secretion, reproductive tissue development, and plant-pathogen interaction. The SWEET genes have been characterized only in a few fruit crop species.

Methods And Results: In this study, a total of 15 SWEET genes were identified in the pomegranate (Punica granatum) genome. The gene structure, transmembrane (TM) helices, domain architecture, and phylogenetic relationships of these genes were evaluated using computational approaches. Genes were further classified as Semi-SWEETs or SWEETs based on the TM domains. Similarly, pomegranate, Arabidopsis, rice, and soybean SWEETs were studied together to classify into major groups. In addition, analysis of RNAseq transcriptome data was performed to study SWEEET gene expression dynamics in different tissue. The expression suggests that SWEETs are mostly expressed in pomegranate peel. In addition, PgSWEET13 was found to be differentially expressed under high salinity stress in pomegranate. Further, quantitative PCR analysis confirmed the expression of four candidate genes in leaf and stem tissues.

Conclusion: The information provided here will help to understand the role of SWEET genes in fruit development and under abiotic stress conditions in pomegranate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11033-021-06961-2DOI Listing
February 2022

Racial Disparities in the Perceived Risk of COVID-19 and in Getting Needed Medical Care.

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities 2021 Nov 29. Epub 2021 Nov 29.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA.

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected minorities in population rates of infection, hospitalization, and mortality. However, little is known about the broader racial disparities in fears and perceptions about the pandemic and getting treated.

Objective: To examine disparities in perceived risks of COVID-19 and getting medical care.

Methods: Using the nationally representative Stanford University School of Medicine Coronavirus Attitudes and Behaviors Survey fielded in May of 2020, we examine racial and ethnic disparities in eight measures on the perceived risks of COVID-19. We use regression analysis to risk adjust perceptions controlling for 10 socioeconomic, demographic, and health variables.

Results: Black respondents were 15 percentage points more likely than White respondents to believe the pandemic would not end by Summer 2020 (92% vs 77%, p < .01), and were 19 percentage points more likely than any other race to feel a need to protect their family from COVID-19 (81% vs 62%, p < .01). Latinx respondents were 10 percentage points more fearful than White respondents of catching COVID-19 in public places (55% vs 45%, p < 0.01). Black respondents were 20 percentage points more likely than White respondents to think they would need medical care if infected (71% vs 51%, p < .01), and 18 percentage points more likely to think they would need to be hospitalized (59% vs 41%, p < .01). The proportion of Black respondents believing that the hospital would not have enough capacity to treat them if infected with COVID-19 was 12 percentage points higher than White respondents (41% vs 29%, p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Disparities in the COVID-19-related perceived risks and mistrust in healthcare across racial and ethnic groups existed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter into a post-COVID New Normal, new policies must ensure that the causes of this widespread fear and distrust in the healthcare system are understood and reversed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40615-021-01191-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8629100PMC
November 2021

Assessing Potential Environmental Impacts of Pesticide Usage in Paddy Ecosystems: A Case Study in the Deduru Oya River Basin, Sri Lanka.

Environ Toxicol Chem 2022 02 18;41(2):343-355. Epub 2022 Jan 18.

Sustainable Impact Platform, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Laguna, Manila, Philippines.

Rice paddies are unique ecosystems that provide rich wetland habitat. Their enduring existence across vast stretches of land has led them to evolve into unique systems serving a diverse assemblage of organisms and sustaining a staple grain for many people. With food demand rising, agricultural intensification through agrochemical application is a common practice used to boost food production in developing countries, including Sri Lanka. The aim of the present study was to assess the concentration of pesticide residues in water in rice ecosystems and discover their potential impacts on both environmental health and the most common fauna groups across a cropping year in Sri Lanka. A total of 270 water samples from waters associated with paddy fields within a watershed were analyzed for 20 commonly used pesticides; in addition, local farm holders were surveyed to assess pesticide usage details in three selected paddy tracts. We then used the Cornell University environmental impact quotient (EIQ) calculator and the ECOTOX Knowledgebase to determine the exposure risk associated with individual pesticides relative to their application rates and aquatic concentrations. Survey results demonstrate that several pesticides were overapplied at rates 1.2-11 times the recommended application, and the EIQ demonstrated high environmental risk of two of the agrochemicals detected, 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic and diazinon. Fish, amphibians, insects, and beetles were found to have a wide range of potential adverse outcomes from exposure to diazinon, captan, thiamethoxam, and chlorantraniliprole. To balance the trade-offs between food security and ecosystem sustainability, the present study recommends that adoption of quantifiable environmental health indicators be considered as part of the national policy regulating pesticide use. Environ Toxicol Chem 2022;41:343-355. © 2021 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of SETAC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.5261DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9306700PMC
February 2022

Understanding decision processes in becoming a fee-for-hire service provider: A case study on direct seeded rice in Bihar, India.

J Rural Stud 2021 Oct;87:254-266

School of Integrative Plant Science Soil and Crop Sciences Section, College of Agricultural and Life Science, Cornell University, USA.

While Direct Seeded Rice (DSR) has numerous potential benefits to smallholder farmers in the Eastern Gangetic Plains of South Asia, it's out-scaling has been limited by both a lack of demand by farmers and limited supply of DSR services by machinery owners. This contrasts with the comparatively more rapid scaling of zero tillage wheat in the region. This trend is yet to be fully explored, particularly when focus has been placed almost exclusively on understanding DSR adoption though the lens of farm-level agronomic, economic and environmental performance. Given that limited DSR service provision is likely to be governed outside of these considerations, this study explores with zero tillage drill owners the decision processes they apply in deciding how to use their zero tillage drills. Respondents highlight a complex web of interrelated considerations that highlight the additional complexities of DSR as compared to existing practices. Using a novel 'Decision-making Dartboard' qualitative framework, these complexities are unpacked and a set of potential changes to the assumed theory of change for DSR scaling are identified, including considerations for selection of potential DSR service providers and responsibilities for promotion and extension of DSR to overcome the prevalent negative perceptions of DSR held broadly across the communities explored. The proposed framework and analysis process are also potentially useful for exploration of other farmer decision making processes more broadly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.09.025DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8554389PMC
October 2021

Polymeric nanomedicine for overcoming resistance mechanisms in hedgehog and Myc-amplified medulloblastoma.

Biomaterials 2021 11 29;278:121138. Epub 2021 Sep 29.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA. Electronic address:

Chemoresistance and inadequate therapeutics transport across the blood brain barrier (BBB) remain the major barriers to treating medulloblastoma (MB). Hedgehog (Hh) and IGF/PI3K pathways regulate tumor cell proliferation and resistance in MB. Current Hh inhibitors are effective initially to treat SHH-MB but acquire resistance. Herein, we showed that Hh inhibitor MDB5 and BRD4/PI3K dual inhibitor SF2523 synergistically inhibited the proliferation of DAOY and HD-MB03 cells when used in combination. Treatment of these MB cells with the combination of MDB5 and SF2523 significantly decreased colony formation and expression of MYCN, p-AKT, and cyclin D1 but significantly increased in Bax expression, compared to individual drugs. We used our previously reported copolymer mPEG-b-PCC-g-DC copolymer, which showed 8.7 ± 1.0 and 6.5 ± 0.1% loading for MDB5 and SF2523 when formulated into nanoparticles (NPs). There was sustained drug release from NPs, wherein 100% of MDB5 was released in 50 h, but only 60% of SF2523 was released in 80 h. Targeted NPs prepared by mixing 30:70 ratio of COG-133-PEG-b-PBC and mPEG-b-PCC-g-DC copolymer delivered a significantly higher drug concentration in the cerebellum at 6 and 24h after intravenous injection into orthotopic SHH-MB tumor-bearing NSG mice. Moreover, systemic administration of COG-133-NPs loaded with MDB5 and SF2523 resulted in decreased tumor burden compared to non-targeted drug-loaded NPs, without any hepatic toxicity. In conclusion, our nanomedicine of MDB5 and SF2523 offers a novel therapeutic strategy to treat chemoresistant MB.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2021.121138DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8573532PMC
November 2021

Explaining the obesity paradox in healthcare utilization among people with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetol Int 2022 Jan 7;13(1):232-243. Epub 2021 Sep 7.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Georgetown University, Georgetown, USA.

Background: Several studies of diabetes suggest an obesity paradox: persons without diabetes have an increased risk of death due to obesity, whereas obesity decreases the risk of death for people with diabetes. A recent study finds the same obesity paradox with the number of healthcare visits. Whether empirical biases and confounding lead to this paradox is yet to be determined.

Objective: To examine changes in the relationship between BMI and number of visits in diabetic vs nondiabetic populations, controlling for confounding risk factors.

Methods: Using adults in the nationally representative Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) from 2008 to 2016,  = 210,317, we examine the proposed relationship using six measures of healthcare visits with zero-inflated negative binomial regressions controlling for age, gender, race/ethnicity, income, education, region, health insurance, chronic conditions, and smoking. We excluded persons with type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

Results: We find an obesity paradox among people with diabetes for three measures. That is, relative to people without diabetes, normal weight people with diabetes have more emergency room visits, inpatient, and office-based physician visits than do the obese with diabetes. However, we do not find an obesity paradox in any of the six measures once we exclude smokers and persons ever diagnosed with cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Conclusion: The obesity paradox does not exist at the utilization level and is due to the presence of statistical biases such as confounding and reverse causation. Physicians should continue to focus on efforts to prevent obesity in patients with diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13340-021-00530-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8422058PMC
January 2022

Diabetes associated fibrosis and drug delivery.

Adv Drug Deliv Rev 2021 11 9;178:113968. Epub 2021 Sep 9.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 986025 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-6025, USA. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addr.2021.113968DOI Listing
November 2021

Factors contributing to farm-level productivity and household income generation in coastal Bangladesh's rice-based farming systems.

PLoS One 2021 10;16(9):e0256694. Epub 2021 Sep 10.

Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, United States of America.

Large changes have taken place in smallholder farming systems in South Asia's coastal areas in recent decades, particularly related to cropping intensity, input availability, climate risks, and off-farm activities. However, few studies have investigated the extent to which these changes have impacted farm-level crop productivity, which is a key driver of food security and poverty in rainfed, low-input, rice-based systems. The objective of this study was to conduct an integrated assessment of variables related to socioeconomic status, farm characteristics, and crop management practices to understand the major factors influencing crop productivity and identify promising leverage points for sustainable development in coastal Bangladesh. Using a panel survey dataset of 32 variables from 502 farm households located within polder (coastal embankment) and outside polder systems during 2005-2015, we employed statistical factor analysis to characterize five independent latent factors named here as Farming Challenges, Economic Status, Crop Management Practices, Asset Endowment, and Farm Characteristics. The factor Farming Challenges explained the most variation among households (31%), with decreases observed over time, specifically households located outside polders. Individual variables contributing to this factor included perceived cyclone severity, household distance to main roads and input-output markets, cropping intensity, and access to extension services. The most important factors for increasing crop productivity on a household and per unit area basis were Asset Endowment and Crop Management Practices, respectively. The former highlights the need for increasing gross cropped area, which can be achieved through greater cropping intensity, while the latter was associated with increased fertilizer, labor, and pesticide input use. Despite the importance of these factors, household poverty trajectory maps showed that changes in off-farm income had played the strongest role in improving livelihoods in this coastal area. This study can help inform development efforts and policies for boosting farm-level crop productivity, specifically through agricultural intensification (higher cropping intensity combined with appropriate and efficient use of inputs) and expanding opportunities for off-farm income as key pathways to bring smallholder households out of poverty.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0256694PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8432825PMC
November 2021

Land gradient and configuration effects on yield, irrigation amount and irrigation water productivity in rice-wheat and maize-wheat cropping systems in Eastern India.

Agric Water Manag 2021 Sep;255:107036

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Los Baños, Laguna, The Philippines.

Laser land levelling is expanding rapidly in the rice-wheat (RW) and maize-wheat (MW) systems of the Indo-Gangetic Plains of India and Pakistan. Current practice is to level to zero (0%) gradient, whereas a small gradient (e.g. 0.1%) is typically used in developed countries. Therefore, experiments were conducted in farmers' plots (~15 m x 40 m) in the Eastern Gangetic Plains to evaluate laser levelling with a 0.1% gradient in comparison with 0% and farmer levelling practice (FL). The study was conducted over two years in RW and MW systems. In the MW system, raised beds in plots lasered with 0% and 0.1% gradients were also evaluated. Laser levelling with 0% gradient significantly reduced irrigation amount and/or increased irrigation water productivity (WPi) in all crops/systems grown on the flat compared to FL except for wheat in the MW system. While there was a consistent trend for higher yield with a 0% gradient compared with FL, the differences were not significant in any crop/system. For the RW system, the results suggest no to marginal benefits in irrigation amount and WPi from levelling with a 0.1% gradient in comparison with 0% gradient. In that system, by far the bigger gains were from changing from FL to laser levelling with 0% gradient. This resulted in substantial reductions in irrigation amount, which greatly increased WPi in both crops (by ~40%), while yield was not affected. Rice grown with FL was not profitable, but lasering with 0% gradient significantly increased gross margin for rice, wheat and the total RW system. As for the RW system, levelling to 0% with a flat configuration significantly increased WPi of both crops in the MW system compared to FL, but by a lesser proportion. Raised beds significantly increased yield of maize by 8% (0.5 t ha), reduced irrigation amount by 20% (40 mm) and increased WPi by 34% (1.0 kg m) in comparison with the laser levelled flat plots. Gross margin of the MW system on beds was 17-20% higher than FL, and gross margin with beds on a 0.1% gradient was significantly higher than either gradient on the flat. The results suggest that the gains from levelling with a 0.1% gradient compared to 0% are marginal; however, this may change if the goal of consolidation of small farmer plots into larger fields becomes a reality provided there is a proportionate increase in irrigation flow rates, and ability to drain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agwat.2021.107036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8363937PMC
September 2021

A clinico-radiological study of bicondylar tibial plateau fractures managed with dual locking plates.

J Clin Orthop Trauma 2021 Oct 12;21:101563. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Orthopaedics, Pt. BDS, PGIMS, Rohtak, 124001, India.

Background: Treatment of bicondylar intra-articular tibial plateau fractures due to high energy trauma is complex and highly prone to complications due to fracture patterns and extensive soft tissue damage.

Aim: The study's objective was to evaluate the clinical, radiological and functional outcome, including the complications in closed Schatzker type V and VI tibial plateau fractures managed with dual locking plates using less extensile approaches and indirect reduction techniques.

Materials And Methods: Thirty-four patients of closed Schatzker Type V and VI treated with pre-contoured locking plates were evaluated clinically and radiologically. Dual plating was done using a less extensile anterolateral approach for lateral plate and medial/open posteromedial approach for medial plate. Functional results were evaluated using the Knee Society Score (KSS) and radiological results by the Modified Rasmussen score (MRS) for radiological assessment.

Results: The mean age of patients in our study was 45 years (range = 26-60 years) with a male predominance of 84.4%. The average time difference between trauma and surgery was 7.6 days (range = 5-14 days) with an average length of hospital stay of 8.5 days (range = 7-18 days). Autologous bone grafting from the iliac crest was done in 10 patients (29.4%) with a sizeable metaphyseal void. The study has a mean follow-up period of 22.6 months. The complete union was seen at an average of 17.4 weeks. The average knee ROM at the last follow-up was 110.75°. Three patients had complications, 2 with wound dehiscence and 1 with deep infection.

Conclusion: Internal fixation with dual locking plates is biomechanically strong and stable and gives excellent to good functional outcomes. However, the timing of internal fixation is essential in such complex injuries to prevent soft tissue complications and failure. The use of rigid fixation by less extensile approaches and indirect reduction techniques helps prevent wound healing problems and allows early knee mobilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcot.2021.101563DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8385173PMC
October 2021

Can yield, soil C and aggregation be improved under long-term conservation agriculture in the eastern Indo-Gangetic plain of India?

Eur J Soil Sci 2021 Jul 18;72(4):1742-1761. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) Patna India.

Deteriorating soil health, diminishing soil organic carbon (SOC), development of subsurface hard compact layer and declining system productivity are barriers to achieving sustainable production in the traditional rice-wheat cropping system (TA) in the eastern Indo-Gangetic Plain of India. Conservation agriculture (CA), which favours minimum soil disturbance, crop residue retention and crop diversification could be a viable alternative to the TA to address most of those major problems. With that in mind, a long-term experiment is being implemented at ICAR-RCER, Patna, Bihar, India, with four treatments: (a) TA, (b) full CA (fCA) and (c and d) partial CA (pCA1 and pCA2), differing in crop establishment methods, cropping system and crop residue management in a randomized complete block design. Measurement of soil health parameters was carried out in the 11th year of the experiment. The results revealed a beneficial effect of CA and 46 and 40% increase in SOC concentration and stock, respectively, under fCA over TA in the 0-7.5-cm soil layer. The effect of partial CA (pCA1 and pCA2) was variable, but an increasing trend was always observed under pCA compared to TA. There was an enrichment in SOC content of aggregates under CA irrespective of size class; however, no relation was found between SOC content and aggregate diameter. The contribution of macroaggregates to SOC stock was larger (36-66%) under CA in the 0-7.5-cm soil layer. Adoption of CA improved the macroaggregate content, MWD and GMD of aggregates, and aggregation ratio. Soil macropore content was greater under fCA, whereas other parameters were similar among treatments. The impact of CA was mostly limited to 0-7.5 cm soil layer and a maximum up to 15 cm soil depth while evaluation until 60 cm soil depth was realized. The yield of rice in CA was comparable to or higher than in TA, whereas the system rice equivalent yield was always higher (38-53%) under CA than under the conventional practices. Therefore, a CA-based cropping system must be encouraged, to increase SOC status, improve aggregation stability and, consequently, sustain or increase system productivity, in order to achieve food and nutritional security in the eastern Indo-Gangetic Plain of India.

Highlights: Effects of long-term conservation agriculture (CA) on soil C, aggregation and yield were evaluated.CA improved SOC concentration and stock by 46 and 40%, as well as macroaggregate SOC stock by 36-66%.Macro-aggregation and mean weight diameter improved in CA but was mostly limited to a shallow soil depth.CA can be promoted for sustainability of a rice-wheat system due to higher productivity (38-53%).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ejss.13092DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8359171PMC
July 2021

Climate-smart agriculture practices influence weed density and diversity in cereal-based agri-food systems of western Indo-Gangetic plains.

Sci Rep 2021 08 5;11(1):15901. Epub 2021 Aug 5.

ICAR-Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (CSSRI), Karnal, India.

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA)-based management practices are getting popular across South-Asia as an alternative to the conventional system for particular weed suppression, resources conservation and environmental quality. An 8-year study (2012-2013 to 2019-2020) was conducted to understand the shift in weed density and diversity under different CSA-based management practices called scenarios (Sc). These Sc involved: Sc1, conventional tillage (CT)-based rice-wheat system with flood irrigation (farmers' practice); Sc2, CT-rice, zero tillage (ZT)-wheat-mungbean with flood irrigation (partial CA-based); Sc3, ZT rice-wheat-mungbean with flood irrigation (partial CSA-based rice); Sc4, ZT maize-wheat-mungbean with flood irrigation (partial CSA-based maize); Sc5, ZT rice-wheat-mungbean with subsurface drip irrigation (full CSA-based rice); and Sc6, ZT maize-wheat-mungbean with subsurface drip irrigation (full CSA-based maize). The most abundant weed species were P. minor > A. arvensis > M. indicus > C. album and were favored by farmers' practice. However, CSA-based management practices suppressed these species and favored S. nigrum and R. dentatus and the effect of CSAPs was more evident in the long-term. Maximum total weed density was observed for Sc1, while minimum value was recorded under full CSA-based maize systems, where seven weed-species vanished, and P. minor density declined to 0.33 instead of 25.93 plant m after 8-years of continuous cultivation. Full CSA-based maize-wheat system could be a promising alternative for the conveniently managed rice-wheat system in weed suppression in north-west India.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-95445-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8342518PMC
August 2021

Therapeutic targets, novel drugs, and delivery systems for diabetes associated NAFLD and liver fibrosis.

Adv Drug Deliv Rev 2021 09 24;176:113888. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA. Electronic address:

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) associated non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the fourth-leading cause of death. Hyperglycemia induces various complications, including nephropathy, cirrhosis and eventually hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). There are several etiological factors leading to liver disease development, which involve insulin resistance and oxidative stress. Free fatty acid (FFA) accumulation in the liver exerts oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stresses. Hepatocyte injury induces release of inflammatory cytokines from Kupffer cells (KCs), which are responsible for activating hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). In this review, we will discuss various molecular targets for treating chronic liver diseases, including homeostasis of FFA, lipid metabolism, and decrease in hepatocyte apoptosis, role of growth factors, and regulation of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and HSC activation. This review will also critically assess different strategies to enhance drug delivery to different cell types. Targeting nanocarriers to specific liver cell types have the potential to increase efficacy and suppress off-target effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addr.2021.113888DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8440458PMC
September 2021

A New Extracellular β-Galactosidase Producing sp. PCH397 from Yak Milk and Its Applications for Lactose Hydrolysis and Prebiotics Synthesis.

Indian J Microbiol 2021 Sep 16;61(3):391-395. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

Biotechnology Division, CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Himachal Pradesh, Post Box No. 6, Palampur, 176 061 India.

β-Galactosidase is a crucial glycoside hydrolase enzyme with potential applications in the dairy, food, and pharmaceutical industries. The enzyme is produced in the intracellular environment by bacteria and yeast. The present study reports yeast sp. PCH397 isolated from yak milk, which has displayed extracellular β-galactosidase activity in cell-free supernatant through the growth phase. To investigate further, cell counting and methylene blue staining of culture collected at different growth stages were performed and suggested for possible autolysis or cell lysis, thereby releasing enzymes into the extracellular medium. The maximum enzyme production (9.94 ± 2.53U/ml) was achieved at 37 °C in a modified deMan, Rogosa, and Sharpe (MRS) medium supplemented with lactose (1.5%) as a carbon source. The enzyme showed activity at a wide temperature range (4-50 °C), maximum at 50 °C in neutral pH (7.0). In addition to the hydrolysis of lactose (5.0%), crude β-galactosidase also synthesized vital prebiotics (i.e., lactulose and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)). Additionally, β-fructofuranosidase (FFase) activity in the culture supernatant ensued the synthesis of a significant prebiotic, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS). Hence, the unique features such as extracellular enzymes production, efficient lactose hydrolysis, and broad temperature functionality by yeast isolate PCH397 are of industrial relevance. In conclusion, the present study unrevealed for the first time, extracellular production of β-galactosidase from a new yeast source and its applications in milk lactose hydrolysis and synthesis of valuable prebiotics of industrial importance.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12088-021-00955-1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12088-021-00955-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8263828PMC
September 2021

Skim sequencing: an advanced NGS technology for crop improvement.

J Genet 2021 ;100

ICAR-Indian Institute of Maize Research, PAU Campus, Ludhiana 141 004, India.

High-throughput genotyping has become more convenient and cost-effective due to recent advancements in next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques. Numerous approaches exploring sequencing advances for genotyping have been developed over the past decade, which includes different variants of genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), and restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq). Most of these methods are based on the reduced representation of the genome, which ultimately reduces the cost of sequencing by many folds. However, continuously lowering the cost of sequencing makes it more convenient to use whole genome-based approaches. In this regard, skim sequencing, where low coverage whole-genome sequencing is used for the identification of large numbers of polymorphic markers cost-effectively. In the present review, we have discussed recent technological advancements, applicability, and challenges of skim sequencing-based genotypic approaches for crop improvement programmes. Skim sequencing is being extensively used for genotyping in diverse plant species and has a wide range of applications, particularly in quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping, genomewide association studies (GWAS), fine genetic map construction, and identification of recombination and gene conversion events in various breeding programmes. The cost-effectiveness, simplicity, and genomewide coverage will increase the application of skims sequencing-based genotyping. The article summarizes the protocol, uses, bioinformatics tools, its application, and future prospects of skim sequencing in crop improvement.
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September 2021

Transforming labor requirement, crop yield, and profitability with precision dry-direct seeding of rice and integrated weed management in Eastern India.

Field Crops Res 2020 Dec;259:107961

Soil and Crop Sciences Section, School of Integrative Plant Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.

In many parts of Eastern India that have a very high prevalence of rural poverty and food insecurity, the prevailing rice establishment practice of '' is characterized by low yields and modest profitability, while labor and energy inputs are high. consists of broadcasting ungerminated rice seed at high rates (>100 kg ha) prior to the onset of monsoon rain, followed by ploughing at 4-6 weeks after crop emergence to control weeds with subsequent manual gap filling through seedling redistribution to ensure stand uniformity. Dry-direct seeding of rice (DSR), both drill-DSR and precision broadcast-DSR in combination with integrated weed management (IWM) may offer a pathway for simultaneously reducing costs and markedly increasing productivity. On-farm trials were conducted from 2016 to 2018 in four districts of Odisha (Mayurbhanj, Cuttack, Bhadrak, and Puri) to evaluate the yield and economic performance of dry-DSR (drill and precision broadcast), coupled with herbicide-based IWM strategies, in comparison with conventional . Drill-DSR with IWM increased grain yield by 1.7 t ha in Mayurbhanj and 1.3 t ha in Cuttack, but not in Bhadrak, compared to . The combination of increased yield and lower variable cost in drill-DSR increased net benefit by 550, 395, and 166 US$ ha in Mayurbhanj, Cuttack, and Bhadrak, respectively. For farmers without access to seed drills, precision broadcast-DSR with IWM increased yields by 0.91, 1.22 and 0.60 t ha, and net benefits by 270, 312, and 188 US$ ha in Mayurbhanj, Puri, and Bhadrak, respectively. Among the IWM practices evaluated in dry-DSR, application of pretilachlor + safener @ 500 g ha as pre-emergence, followed by bispyribac-sodium @ 20 g ha at 15-25 days after sowing as post-emergence, and then one spot hand weeding at 30-35 days after sowing was effective in controlling weeds. These results suggest that rice yield gaps in eastern India can be reduced, and farmers' income from rice can be increased by more than 50 % by replacing with drill-DSR or precision broadcast-DSR. The results could be applicable to approximately 6.4 million ha of lowland rice where is currently practiced in Eastern India.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2020.107961DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8188295PMC
December 2020

An impact of agronomic practices of sustainable rice-wheat crop intensification on food security, economic adaptability, and environmental mitigation across eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains.

Field Crops Res 2021 Jun;267:108164

Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, India.

In the eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains (EIGP), conventional rice-wheat system has led to a decline in productivity, input-use efficiency, and profitability. To address these, a four-year field study was conducted to evaluate the performance of tillage and crop establishment (TCE) methods in rice-wheat-greengram rotation. The treatments included: 1) random puddled transplanted rice (RPTR) - conventional-till broadcast wheat (BCW) - zero-till greengram (ZTG); 2) line PTR (LPTR) - conventional-till drill sown wheat (CTW) - ZTG; 3) machine transplanted rice in puddled soil (CTMTR) - zero tillage wheat (ZTW) - ZTG; 4) machine transplanted rice in zero-till wet soil (ZTMTR) - ZTW - ZTG; 5) system of rice intensification (SRI) - system of wheat intensification (SWI) - ZTG; 6) direct-seeded rice (DSR) - ZTW - ZTG; and 7) zero-till DSR - ZTW - ZTG. During the initial two years, conventional rice system (PTR) recorded a 16.2 % higher rice grain yield than DSR system. Whereas in the fourth year, the rice yields under DSR and PTR were comparable. As compared to SRI/SWI, the average wheat yield in ZT system was significantly high, whereas in rice, SRI/SWI system was comparable with CT system. ZTW after non-puddled rice was at par to CTW after PTR. The ZT wheat produced 4.6 % more yield than CT system. DSR production system consumed 6.8 % less water compared to transplanted system. On the system basis, 10.8 % higher net returns were recorded with CA-based system compared to conventional system. The system energy productivity under CA-based production system was 14-36 % higher than PTR-based systems. CA-based system also led to 8-10 % lower global warming potential (GWP) than conventional methods. The current study indicated that as compared to conventional system, a significant gain in productivity, profitability and energy-use efficiency, and reduction in the environmental mitigation are possible with emerging alternative TCE methods. Long-term expansion and further refinement of these technologies in local areas need to be explored for the second green revolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2021.108164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8146726PMC
June 2021

[Effect of electroacupuncture on lung dysplasia in rats with intrauterine growth restriction induced by maternal food restriction].

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2021 Apr;41(4):405-10

College of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Tuina, Beijing University of CM, Beijing 100029, China.

Objective: To investigate the protective effect of electroacupuncture (EA) at "Zusanli" (ST 36) in pregnant rats on lung dysplasia of newborn rats with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) induced by maternal food restriction.

Methods: Twenty-four female SD rats were randomly divided into a control group, a control+EA group, a model group and a model+EA group, 6 rats in each group. From the 10th day into pregnancy to the time of delivery, the rats in the model group and the model+EA group were given with 50% dietary restriction to prepare IUGR model. From the 10th day into pregnancy to the time of delivery, the rats in the control+EA group and the model+EA group were treated with EA at bilateral "Zusanli" (ST 36), once a day. The body weight of offspring rats was measured at birth, and the body weight and lung weight of offspring rats were measured on the 21st day after birth. The lung function was measured by small animal lung function detection system; the lung tissue morphology was observed by HE staining; the content of peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ) in lung tissue was detected by ELISA.

Results: Compared with the control group, the body weight at birth as well as the body weight, lung weight, lung dynamic compliance (Cdyn) and PPARγ at 21 days after birth in the model group were significantly decreased (<0.01), and the peak inspiratory flow (PIF) and inspiratory resistance (RI) were significantly increased (<0.01); the number of alveoli was significantly decreased, and the alveolar area and alveolar septal thickness were significantly increased, and some alveoli were ruptured and fused. Compared with the model group, the body weight at birth as well as the body weight, lung weight, Cdyn and PPARγ at 21 days after birth in the model+EA group were significantly increased (<0.01, <0.05), and the PIF and RI were significantly reduced (<0.05); the number of alveoli was significantly increased, and the alveolar area and alveolar septal thickness were significantly reduced, and the rupture and fusion of alveolar was improved.

Conclusion: EA at "Zusanli" (ST 36) may protect the lung function and lung histomorphology changes by regulating the level of PPARγ of lung in IUGR rats induced by maternal food restriction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.13703/j.0255-2930.20200507-k0008DOI Listing
April 2021

Assessment of Nutritional Status of Mothers of Children Under 3 Years of Age and Its Determinants.

Indian J Community Med 2020 Oct-Dec;45(4):440-444. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Department of Pediatrics, Lady Hardinge Medical College and Associated Kalawati Saran Children's Hospital, New Delhi, India.

Objective: The study was conducted to identify associated factors of severe wasting among mothers.

Methodology: A prospective 12 months' study was conducted in 30 randomly selected villages of Khutpani Block of West Singhbhum with a sample of 600 households with children between 0 and 3 years of age using the prevalence of wasting in West Singhbhum district National Family Health Survey, precision of 0.05, design effect of 2 and accounting for error of 10%. Data on socioeconomic status, maternal anthropometry mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices, gender-based violence, and food security were collected. Data collection was done between July 2017 and June 2018.

Results: Wasting and severe wasting prevalence using MUAC criteria among mothers were found to be 60% and 17%, respectively. The study showed higher rate of severe maternal wasting among households facing poverty, food insecurity, poor WASH practices especially related to hand washing and toilet use and women who faced gender-based violence.

Conclusion: Nonnutritional interventions addressing poverty, household food insecurity, gender violence, and WASH practices are required to address maternal wasting, in addition to existing nutritional programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_480_19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7877434PMC
October 2020
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