Open Access Original Research Article

Impact of Photosynthetically Active Radiation on Temperature, Relative Humidity, Wind Speed and Direction in Lubigi Cyperus papyrus L. Wetland Surface

Alfonse Opio, Frank Kansiime, Tom Otiti

Advances in Research, Page 156-164
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/11317

Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) is dominant solar radiation reaching the earth surface. PAR changes in response to the position of the sun and length of the day can be complex and perhaps even counter – intuitive to ecosystems. Assessment of PAR on relative humidity (RH), temperature, wind speed and direction in Cyperus papyrus (papyrus) wetland canopy surface was done during the months of September, 2010 (wet month) and June, 2011 (dry month) when the sun is at the equator and Tropics of Cancer respectively.

PAR picked up in the morning (7.00 hour) and exhibited similar pattern during the months, although September values were significantly higher between 07.00 - 08.00 hours, 12.00 - 15.00 hours and at 19.00 hour. Significant difference in PAR at 19.00 hour was associated with significant temperature change between 20.00 to 21.00 hours. Significant temperature change between the months from 11.00 to 12.00 hours also occurred before that of PAR (12.00 - 15.00 hours). RH was significantly different between the months. Significant wind speed and direction between 07.00 - 08.00 hours was associated with significant PAR change between the months. Wind oscillation was easterly and southerly wind and significant difference in wind direction also occurred at 10.00 hour. Overall, data based on regression analysis indicate significantly strong correlation between PAR with RH, temperature and wind speed.  Such changes in weather variables in relation to the sun’s position, and ecosystem services and development requires assessment.


Open Access Original Research Article

Development, Characterization and Transferability of Peach Genic SSRs to some Rosaceae species

Rajinder Kaur, Shilpa , Era Vaidya, Krishan Kumar

Advances in Research, Page 165-180
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/8804

Aims: The present study was carried out to extract expressed sequence tags-simple sequence repeats (EST-SSRs) for peach (Prunus persica L.) and to study their transferability across some Rosaceae species such as apricot, apple, rose and strawberry.

Study Design:  Cross-transferability check of Prunus EST-SSRs to some Rosaceae species.

Place and Duration of Study: Sample: Department of Biotechnology, Dr Y. S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan-173230, Himachal Pradesh, India, between January 2012 and November 2012.

Methodology: SSRs were identified in EST sequences using SSR Identification Tool (SSRIT) and PRIMER3 software was used to design primers which were used to carry out PCR. Data generated by PCR for all the genotypes was used to calculate transferability of Prunus persica EST-SSRs to other Rosaceae species under study. Data analysis was done through NTSYSpc Version 2.02h by creating dendrograms in all the species under study.

Results: 2000 EST sequences were downloaded from the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) web site. Sequences were assembled into contigs and singletons. 124 sequnces were found to contain SSRs using SSRIT. Out of these 43 were used for primer designing using PRIMER3 software which were custom synthesized and used for polymorphism study in six genotypes of peach. Thirty-eight primers showed scorable amplification, 20 being polymorphic. These 20 polymorphic primers of peach were then further used to carry out transferability studies in apricot, apple, rose and strawberry revealing 50%, 95%, 95% and 45% transferability, respectively. Dendrograms were generated using NTSYS ver.2.02h. The coefficient values were found to range from 0.483 to 0.711 in six peach genotypes and 0.451 to 0.975 in all 22 genotypes under study.

Conclusion: Thus it can be concluded from the present study that ESTs of peach produce high polymorphism in different Rosaceous species, indicating their cross-transferability to different members of Rosaceous family.


Open Access Original Research Article

Entomological and Parasitological Indices of Malaria Transmission in Minna, Niger State, North Central Nigeria

I. C. J. Omalu, I. K. Olayemi, C. A.Otuu, S. C. Hassan, S. S. Eke, S. Paul, G. O. Uzoaga

Advances in Research, Page 181-188
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/12486

Background: The heavy burden exerted by mosquito-borne diseases was the reason for this study to evaluate the entomological and parasitological indices of malaria disease transmission in Gidan Kwano and Mekunkele in Minna, North Central Nigeria.

Aim: The aim of this study is to determine the entomological and parasitological indices of malaria transmission of these two communities for effective control measures of malaria in the study.

Study Design: This is a survey type study conducted in two selected communities in Minna the capital of Niger State, North Central Nigeria.

Methods: Mosquitoes were sampled using Pyrethrum Spray Catches (PSC). The population indoors was sampled by covering the floor with a white cloth of 5m x 5m each edge being held to the wall by a masking tape. The room was spread with an insecticide a pyrethroid and then left for 10 minutes, with every opening being shut.

Results: A total of 867 mosquitoes were collected and identified: 420(48.44%) from Mekunkele and 447(51.55%) from Gidan Kwano. The collected mosquitoes were subsequently dissected for parity (egg laying status) and sporozoite rates using standard procedures. The results obtained indicates that Anopheles mosquitoes had a relative abundance of 542(62.51) with the females constituting 380(70.11%) and the males 162(29.88%). Gidan Kwano had the higher number of Anopheles mosquitoes of 287(52.95%) compared to Mekunkele with 255(47.04%). Out of the 380 females dissected, 210(55.26%) were positive for both sporozoites and parity rates, while 170(44.73%) were negative for both. Also, a total of 425 blood samples were collected and examined for malaria parasites from both locations. On the whole 277(65.20%) of the samples were positive while 148(34.80%) were negative at both locations with Mekunkele having 70.00% infection rate compared to Gidan Kwano with 60.10.% respectively. Generally, there was no significant difference in the distribution of the mosquito vectors and the malaria parasites within the study areas (P>0.05).

Conclusion: This study therefore will be useful as a baseline data to help in designing strategies for the control of mosquito-borne diseases in Minna and its environs.  


Open Access Original Research Article

Social Status of Parents and Students’ Academic Performance in Aba Educational Zone, Abia State

Ngozi Anthonia Amazu, Cornelius Christopher Okoro

Advances in Research, Page 189-197
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/12097

This descriptive survey examined the academic performance of SS2 students in Aba Education Zone in relation to the social status of their parents. The population of the study comprised all 4955 SS2 students in Abia State from which a sample of 100 students from four secondary schools were drawn for study. Four research questions were raised to guide the study. The Social Status of Parents Questionnaire (SOSPAQ) with a reliability index of 0.81 Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, developed by the researchers was used in collecting data on the social status of parents while students’ academic performance was assessed using the raw scores vailable from school records. Analyses of research data revealed that parents’ social status influenced the academic performance of students’ in Aba Education Zone of Abia State. The researchers thus recommended that the government, well-meaning individuals and organisations should support parents from disadvantaged social backgrounds in the education of their children by providing—inaddition to free, compulsory and qualitative education—bursaries, scholarships and education resources to counteract the impact of low social status of parents on the education of the children.


Open Access Original Research Article

Comparative Road Dust Suppression Capacity of Molasses Stillage and Water on Gravel Road in Zimbabwe

J. Gotosa, G. Nyamadzawo, T. Mtetwa, A. Kanda, V. P. Dudu

Advances in Research, Page 198-208
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/13019

Gravel road dust has significant health effect. The study was conducted to assess road dust suppression effect of molasses stillage in gravel at a Sugarcane Estate in Zimbabwe. Three, 2 km long gravel road sections (steep, sloping and gentle) had the following dust suppression treatments applied to 500m long segments: (i) molasses stillage, (ii) water and (iii) control. Data on dust deposition rates were subjected to Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) to compare treatment means. Mean road dust deposition rates ranged from 998.46±50.04 to 6184.02±257 mg/m2/30 days between January and June 2012. Road segments treated with molasses stillage had the lowest (P = .05) dust deposition rates compared to other treatments. Dust deposition rates were reduced by 77-83% and by 18-39% for molasses stillage and water treatments respectively. The sloping road segments had consistently the highest (P=.05) mean dust deposition rates. It was concluded that molasses stillage outperformed water as a road dust suppressant but variations were caused by type and volume of vehicular traffic together with meteorological factors at the Estate.


Open Access Original Research Article

Environmental Accounting Practices by Corporate Firms in Emerging Economies: Empirical Evidence from Nigeria

Daferighe Emmanuel Emeakponuzo, Money Udih

Advances in Research, Page 209-220
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/12829

The issue of environmental accounting is an emerging issue in developing economies like Nigeria. Though, the Federal government has enacted various environmental laws and established agencies and regulatory bodies; the problem has been that of enforcement and compliance with the various regulations. On the part of the corporate firms which claim to have policies and operating standards on environmental issue, the severity of the impact of their operations have not been abated; and hostilities and tensions with host communities have increased. This paper assessed the impact of government legislations on environmental accounting practice and compared current practices across firms in different sectors of the economy. A survey of 25 quoted firms from different sectors of the economy revealed that much attention has not be given to the cost of natural resources damages in project evaluation. The hypotheses were tested using Chi-square and Kendall Coefficient of Concordance at 5% level of significance. The results of the hypotheses testing showed that environmental accounting practice is significant in benchmarking standard for corporate reporting and that compliance with Nigerian environmental protection laws has not had significant influence on environmental accounting practice because the issues of enlightenment, enforcement and compliance have been overlooked. It was revealed that in developing an appropriate Environmental Management System (EMS), the contribution of plant environmental staff is important; they should work in cooperation with accountants. This paper recommended that accounting professionals need to be trained in environmental accounting methods and the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) should develop an accounting standard that will incorporate full consideration of financial and physical impacts of business activity on the environment.


Open Access Original Research Article

Physical and Chemical Properties of Four Contrasting Soils under Different Land Use System

I. A. Nweke

Advances in Research, Page 236-243
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/11790

This study was undertaken to evaluate the physical and chemical properties of four contrasting soils under two land use systems. The land use types considered were fallow and cultivated. Four soils from Nsukka Hill (Entisol), Nsukka poultry site (Ultisol), Eha-Amufu (Inceptisol) and Ikem (Inceptisol) in Nsukka area of south eastern Nigeria were used for the study. Soil samples from the 0-25cm depth were collected from cultivated and adjacent fallow lands in the four different locations. The soil samples were air-dried at room temperature and then sieved through a 5.00mm sieve. Two hundred and fifty grams (250g) of the sieved sample were further sieved through 2mm sieve and use for the determination of physical and chemical properties of the soils. The result of the study showed that soils under continuous cultivation have low value in all the parameters assessed compared to the adjacent fallow soils. Continuous cultivation decreased the concentration of organic matter (OM), from 2.08-1.87% nitrogen (N), 0.3-0.17% and phosphorous (P) 4.30-3.80mgkg-1 content in all the soils studied. The pH of the soils measured in water and KCl showed low values in cultivated soils with the range 4.10-4.50 and 3.50-3.70 respectively as against fallow soils 4.60-4.90 and 3.20-4.50 respectively. Exchangeable bases, cat ion exchange capacity (CEC) and Base saturation (BS) of the soils decreased following cultivation except for K in Ikem soils, CEC in Nsukka Ultisol and BS in Ikem Inceptisol. Cultivation increased the exchangeable Al3+ and H+ in the Nsukka Entisol and thus increased the acidity. The result of this study is evidence that continuous cultivation causes depletion of soil nutrients and generally affects the physical-chemical properties of soils. This can be remedied through appropriate management practices based on organic residue incorporation, if agricultural productivity and environmental harmony are to be sustained in these soils for future generation.


Open Access Original Research Article

Environmental Parameters and Biomphalaria Snail Distribution along River Kochi, West Nile Region, Uganda

Imran Ejotre, Boniface Makanga, Sarah Nachuha, Mouhamed Mpezamihigo

Advances in Research, Page 244-250
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/12639

Aims: To explore the abundance and distribution of the common fresh water mollusks in River Kochi, with a special focus on Biomphalaria species, a vector responsible for transmitting Schistosoma mansoni to humans.

Study Design: Across sectional study design was used.

Place and Duration of Study: This study was conducted between October 2007 and March 2008 along Kochi River in Koboko, Yumbe and Moyo in the West Nile region of Uganda.

Methodology: Five sites along the river approximately 20 km apart, were selected and data on snail abundance and various environmental variables thought to be influencing the distribution of snails along this river were collected. These variables included: altitude, season of the year, water flow velocity, water pH, water temperature and concentrations of total dissolved solids in the water.

Results: Findings indicate that numbers of Biomphalaria species of snails increased with decreasing altitude (mean numbers 0, 15.33, 19, 50 & 73.33 from highest to lowest altitude points) and no snails of this species were recorded during the wet season. The abundance of Biomphalaria showed a positive relationship with pH (r=0.614) but negative with water velocity (r=-0.749).

Conclusion: Altitude influences the distribution Biomphalaria snails and hence potential prevalence of schistosomiasis. Water users of Kochi River should therefore try to minimize contact with water in this river especially during the dry season. Local leaders should lobby to government for alternative sources of water during the dry season.


Open Access Review Article

Production of Biodiesel from Marine and Freshwater Microalgae: A Review

Mariam Al Hattab, Abdel Ghaly

Advances in Research, Page 107-155
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/7752

Aim: The increase in the annual global energy consumption over the past century has relayed heavily on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel burning have accelerated CO2 emissions on a global scale. CO2 makes up 63 % of the greenhouse gasses present in the atmosphere. The environmental concerns associated with greenhouse gas emissions emphasize the need for alternate energy sources that are more environmentally friendly. The aim of this paper was to review the availability of various types of algae for the production of biodiesel and other value added products and to investigate the factors that affect cell growth and lipid production in the cells, the various oil extraction methods, and the methods of conversion of the extracted lipids into biodiesel.

Findings: Microalgae are abundant in nature and can be used as an alternate source of energy. They are photosynthetic microorganisms that are capable of growing in marine and fresh water environments and converting organic substances to oil. Their high growth rate, ability to produce large amounts of lipids which can be used for biodiesel production and to utilize CO2 present in the atmosphere for growth, makes them a good alternative to fossil fuel. Microalgae generate oil in the form of triacylglycerols which can be converted into biodiesel, via chemical or enzymatic a transesterification process. Biodiesel is a renewable fuel that generates the same amount of energy as that generated from petroleum diesel without the release of harsh compounds into the atmosphere, it is biodegradable and nontoxic and can be utilized in existing diesel engines without modification.

Conclusion: Currently, the use of microalgae for biodiesel production is not economically feasible because of the high harvesting and pre-treatment costs associated with the production process. This can be overcome by extracting proteins, vitamins, carotenoids, nucleic acid, carbohydrates and lipids from the algae and processing the algae biomass into various value added products such as ethanol, methane, animal feed and fertilizer. Additionally, the glycerol produced as a by-product during lipid conversion into biodiesel can be further fermented to produce products such as methanol, lactic acid, ethanol and hydrogen. By producing these value-added products in addition to the biodiesel, the economics of the harvesting, pre-treatment and processing of microalgae into biodiesel can be improved significantly.


Open Access Review Article

COPD: Immunopathogenesis and Immunological Markers

JieHao Joshua Sng, Paul S. Thomas

Advances in Research, Page 221-235
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/12320

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a disease of the lungs characterised by progressive and irreversible airflow limitation associated with chronic inflammation. Despite extensive research, the immunopathogenesis of COPD is still not fully elucidated. In this review, we outline the current understanding of the pathophysiology of COPD with a particular focus on chronic inflammation and the role of inflammatory cells such as neutrophils and macrophages in the disease, describe the exhaled breath condensate, a novel method of detecting inflammatory biomarkers, and suggest novel biomarkers to better characterise the immunopathogenesis of COPD.