Volume 11 - Issue 1

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    Plant defense-related enzymes against pathogens: a review
    (Eastern University, Sri Lanka, 2017) K. Prasannath
    Plant disease control is mainly based on the use of fungicides, bactericides, and insecticides-chemical compounds toxic to plant invaders, causative agents, or vectors of plant diseases. However, the detrimental effect of these chemicals or their degradation products on the environment and human health strongly imposes the search for novel, harmless means of disease control. Therefore, it is essential to introduce environmentally-friendly alternative measures for management of plant diseases. Induced plant resistance is one of the promising non-chemical strategies for the effective management of diseases. The host plant mediated resistance is governed by defense response genes encoding for production of various pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins. This review chiefly explains the biochemical response of plant defense mechanism pertaining to defense-related enzymes which have been identified as PR proteins.
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    Dietary practices of pregnant mothers from different ethnic groups in the Batticaloa district, Sri Lanka
    (Eastern University, Sri Lanka, 2017) S. Amuthenie, R. Sivakanesan
    This study was aimed to investigate the dietary practices during pregnancy among mothers in the Batticaloa district. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 382 pregnant women at 12-24 weeks of pregnancy. Socio-economic and dietary data were collected by using pre tested food frequency questionnaire through face-to-face interview. Processed data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 19. Of the pregnant mothers, 56% (214) were Tamils and 44% (168) were Muslims. Higher percentage of Tamil pregnant mothers reached their tertiary education level than Muslim mothers and Muslim pregnant mothers had higher income than Tamil pregnant mothers in the district. About 59% of the Muslim pregnant women and only 28% of Tamils were overweight before conception. On cereals intake 91.7% Muslim pregnant mothers and 84.1% Tamil mothers received their energy from rice. Muslim pregnant women had high tendency to eat fruits especially orange (95.2%), grapes (86.9%) and watermelon (54.2%), fish (91.7%) and beef (91.5%). Tamil women prefer to eat leafy vegetables (88.2%) and bottle gourd (58.9%). The ethnicity of the pregnant mothers highly influenced the consumption pattern of food group of meat, fruits and vegetables. Tamil pregnant mothers shows their preference to eat vegetable. And the frequency of consumption of meat is high among Muslim pregnant mothers.
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    Effects of graded shade levels on the growth and quality of Cordyline fruiticosa variety ‘Purple Compacta’ in the Batticaloa district
    (Eastern University, Sri Lanka, 2017) M. Krishnakanth, S. Srikrishnah ,; S. Sutharsan
    Cordyline fruticosa is a popular foliage plant and it has high demand in the export market. Shade influences the growth and quality of ornamental foliage plants. An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of different shade level on the growth and quality of C. fruticosa var. ‘Purple Compacta’ in the Crop Farm, Eastern University, Sri Lanka. Graded shade levels were defined as treatments viz. 0% (T1), 50% (T2), 60% (T3), 70% (T4), and 80% (T5). The experiment was arranged in a completely randomized design with three replications. Recommended agronomic practices were followed uniformly for all treatments. Plant height, leaf area, and plant biomass were measured at monthly interval and quality of cuttings was assessed at 3 months after transplanting. Analysis of Variance was performed to determine significant difference among treatments (p < 0.05). Results revealed that plants grown at 50% shade level (T2) obtained significantly (p < 0.05) higher plant height, leaf area, plant biomass and biomass partitioning. In quality assessment, plants grown at 50% shade level received significantly (p<0.05) highest scores. Plants performance was lower in other treatments. It could be concluded that, 50% shade level is suitable for growing C. fruticosa var. ‘Purple Compacta’ in the Batticaloa district as the growth and quality of plants were higher.
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    Effects of quantitative feed restriction on the performance of broiler chickens
    (Eastern University, Sri Lanka, 2017) D. M. N. D. Dissanayake, L. S. David
    A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of quantitative feed restriction on the performance and the production cost of broiler chickens. A total of 120, Indian River, day-old broiler chicks were randomly allocated into four dietary treatment groups such as 100% diet as control treatment and 90%, 80% and 70% diets, in floor pens. All treatments were replicated thrice with 10 birds each in a Completely Randomized Design. Broiler chickens were fed broiler starter diet from day 1 to day 21 and broiler finisher diet from day 22 to day 42. The results revealed that the body weight gain in the birds fed with 90% diet was significantly higher than those of control diet during finisher and overall phases and vice-versa during starter period. The feed intakes of birds were significantly decreased with the severity of feed restriction during all periods. However, significantly the lowest overall feed conversion ratio was reported in the birds fed with 70% diet. Furthermore, higher relative liver and lung weights were observed in the control treatment while they had lower relative heart weight. The spleen was significantly increased in the birds fed with 90% diet. It could be concluded that giving 90% of the recommended diet to the broiler chickens increases growth, immunity and income.
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    Comparison of pheromone traps against brinjal shoot and fruit borer, Leucinodes orbonalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)
    (Eastern University, Sri Lanka, 2017) R. F. Niranjana, M. Devi; R. Philip Sridhar
    The brinjal shoot and fruit borer, Leucinodes orbonalis is a destructive pest of brinjal and its control is difficult as the larvae inhabited inside the shoots or fruits of brinjal. Two different studies were conducted in farmer’s field at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India during Rabi 2013/14 (September, 2013 – January, 2014) and 2014/15 (September, 2014 – January, 2015) to evaluate the efficacy of 1) types of traps viz., sleeve and Wota-T traps, and erection heights viz., 30, 60, 90 cm above the crop canopy and at crop canopy level, and 2) concentration of lure viz., one, two and three mg (Lucin-lure®), and frequency of replacement of lure viz., 21, 45 and 60 days. The results showed that the Wota-T traps baited with 3 mg lure concentration, replaced at every 21 days caught more number of male moths of L. orbonalis. Trap catch was significantly higher in pheromone traps placed in the same level of canopy.