Frontiers of Agriculture in China

ISSN 1673-7334

ISSN 1673-744X(Online)

CN 11-5729/S

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Research articles
A promising alternate lipase for biodiesel fuel production
Zhenqian ZHANG, Chunyun GUAN
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 129-136.

Abstract   PDF (216KB)
By screening samples from different sources, a high-yield yet low-cost lipase of Enterobacter aerogenes was found and used in biodiesel production. The enzyme activity of Enterobacter aerogenes reached 34.16 U·mL−1 under the optimum conditions of initial pH 9.0, agitating at 30°C for 40 h, using NaHCO3 and glucose as carbon sources and peptone as nitrogen source, with 0.1% (w/v) MgSO4·7H2O. When adding 1.0% (w/v) olive oil to the culture, the enzyme activity reached 66.31 U·mL−1, which increased by 56.5% compared to that obtained by using 2.0% (w/v) olive oil as the sole carbon source. The lipase of Enterobacter aerogenes was immobilized by diatomite and used to catalyze biodiesel with rapeseed oil as raw materials, the transesterification rate was 92.91% under the optimum reaction conditions, which were using 1000 U immobilized lipase and 5 mL n-hexane, with ethanol as acyl acceptors, at the molar ratio of oil/ethanol of 1∶4, and adding ethanol twice, at 35°C for 48h. Therefore, the Enterobacter aerogenes will potentially serve as a promising alternative lipase for biodiesel production.
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Sequence variations of PDHA1 gene in Triticeae species allow for identifying wheat-alien introgression lines
Juqing JIA, Guangrong LI, Cheng LIU, Jianping ZHOU, Zujun YANG,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 137-144.

Abstract   PDF (435KB)
In order to develop a molecular marker for the detection of alien chromatin, an allele-specific primer targeting pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDHA1) gene was used to analyze 12 taxa representing different basic genomes in Triticeae. Amplification products with different sizes were generated among species. The sequence alignments indicated that the PDHA1 genes contained some deletions/insertions of Miniature Inverted-repeat Terminal Elements (MITE) and simple sequence repeats (SSRs), thus suggesting that the Triticeae genomes have been rapidly evolving during speciation. The genome-specific amplicons and chromosomal location of PDHA1 gene on Triticeae genomes can be used to trace the corresponding alien chromatins from Aegilops, Secale and Dasypyrum species in wheat background.
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Resource availability through rainwater harvesting influenced vegetation diversity and herbage yield in hillslope of Aravalli in India
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 145-158.

Abstract   PDF (622KB)
Recent decline in biological diversity has stimulated the research on the effects of resource conservation on biodiversity and vice versa. We examined soil water and nutrients influenced by rainwater harvesting (RWH) in hillslope and its effects on herbage diversity and productivity at up (USP), middle (MSP) and lower position (LSP) in 75 plots, each of 700-m2 area laid in<10%, 10%–20% and>20% slopes, respectively. The five RWH treatments were Contour trench (CT), Gradonie (G), Box trench (BT), V-ditch (VD) and control. Soil water content (SWC), species number, population, diversity and herbage yield increased (P<0.05) downward suggesting positive relations between soil resource and diversity/productivity. The highest species number, population, richness and diversity in 10%–20% slope were associated with soil water usage and NO3-N and NH4-N concentrations. SWC was 5.0%–19.0% greater in RWH areas than in control influencing herbage species, population, growth and yields. The increase in diversity and yields was the highest (P<0.05) in V-ditch reinforced by soil fertility. The positive effect of diversity on yield increased with resources, and the effect was compositional rather than that of species richness. Conclusively, slope gradient and soil texture influenced herbage regeneration, diversity and productivity, which were positively affected by existing soil fertility and applied RWH and mobilizing soil water and nutrients. The effect of V-ditch was the highest on composition and yield. Thus, RWH enhanced herbaceous vegetation and restoration of degraded forest/rangelands. But long-term effects of diversity in restoring ecosystem productivity could be established through long-term data collections on optimum water/nutrient usage, diversity and productivity.
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Screening and identification of antagonistic Streptomyces spp. against Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis from tomato rhizosphere
Weihong ZHANG, Wenxiang YANG, Qingfang MENG, Yaning LI, Daqun LIU,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 159-164.

Abstract   PDF (133KB)
The objectives of our present study were to isolate antagonistic Streptomyces from tomato rhizosphere, and evaluate the potential strain for the biological control of bacterial canker of tomato. One hundred and seventy strains of Streptomyces isolated from tomato rhizosphere were tested for antibiosis activity against Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis on double-layer agar. Sixty-three isolates showed antibiosis activity with diameter of an inhibition zone ranging from 1.0–6.5cm. Fifteen Streptomyces strains had strong antibiosis activity against C. m. subsp. michiganensis with diameter of the inhibition zone above 4.0cm on double-layer agar. Especially, the strain named Z-L-22 showed the strongest antibiosis activity with 6.5cm inhibition zone. The fermentation filtrate also showed a high inhibition activity against Gram-positive bacteria such as Streptomyces scabies, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus subtilis. Morphological, physiological and biochemical tests combined with 16S rDNA sequence analysis were carried out to identify the strain Z-L-22. Characteristics of the Z-L-22 were similar to those of Streptomyces setonii, and the 16S rDNA sequence showed 99.4% homology to S. setonii. Based on the polyphase taxonomic views, the Z-L-22 was identified as S. setonii.
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Effects of vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza on the protective system in strawberry leaves under drought stress
Baozhong YIN, Yanan WANG, Jinli HU, Wenchao ZHEN, Pan LIU,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 165-169.

Abstract   PDF (115KB)
Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza (VAM) plays a very important role in improving plant drought resistance abilities. A pot experiment was conducted during the 2008–2009 strawberry growing season in the greenhouse at Baoding, Hebei Province, China, aiming at exploring the influence of VAM on the drought tolerance of strawberry and elucidating the interaction mechanism. Three treatments were designed in our study, including routine water supply treatment (CK-WW), drought stress treatment with VAM fungi (GM-DS), and drought stress treatment without VAM fungi (CK-DS). Four indicators of each treatment were measured, respectively, including protective enzyme activity, pigment content, plasma membrane, and osmoregulation. The results showed that the treatment inoculated VAM fungi can increase the protective enzyme activity, osmoregulation, and antioxidant capacity membranaceous, especially the activity of catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Inoculating strawberry plants with VAM fungi under drought stress could also lead to increasing the content of leaf pigment, accelerating the accumulation of free praline and soluble protein, improving the transport speed of soluble sugar, restraining the decomposition of chlorophyll, decreasing the malondialdehyde content and plasma membrane conductivity, and improving the H+-ATPase activity.
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Effects of compost interactions on the alterations in mineral biochemistry, growth, tuber quality and production of Solanum tuberosum
Mohammed A. SALEM, Wasef AL-ZAYADNEH, Cheruth Abdul JALEEL,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 170-174.

Abstract   PDF (160KB)
Incorporation of compost in soil will not only protect the environment, but also take advantage of the nutrients and organic matter contained in the compost to enhance soil fertility and crop production. Field experiments were carried out during the 2006/2007 and 2007/2008 growing seasons at the College of Food and Agriculture Farm, United Arab Emirates University. The experiments were established in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. The plot dimension was 3.2m×2.8m, with four rows per plot. The treatments were designed to study the effect of compost rates on the potato production and soil fertility properties. Five rates of compost were investigated (control, 40, 80, 120 ton compost per hectare; and inorganic fertilizers (250€kg N·ha−1, 250kg P2O5·ha−1 and 300kg K2O·ha−1)). Results of the first growing season 2006/2007 showed that marketable tuber yield, plant height and specific gravity were greater in compost amended soil than in non-amended soil even if inorganic fertilizers were added. Application of 120 ton compost per hectare gave the highest total tubers number, marketable tuber yield, height and specific gravity.
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Induced morphological mutants in soybean [ Glycine max (L.) Merrill]
Mudasir Hafiz KHAN, Sunil Dutt TYAGI,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 175-180.

Abstract   PDF (128KB)
The seeds of two soybean cultivars viz., Pusa-16 and PK-1042 were treated with 15, 30, and 45kR of gamma rays, three concentrations of ethyl methane sulphonate (EMS) (0.1%, 0.2%, and 0.3%), and their combinations. Various morphological mutants were recorded in M2 and M3 generations. These morphological mutants were named on the basis of the part of the plant body affected. Eight different morphological mutants, i.e., tall, dwarf, gigas, black pod, smooth pod, black spotted seed, bold seeded, and early maturing were isolated. Among them, early maturing and bold seeded mutants had the potential to be incorporated into breeding programs.
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Do pre-sowing treatments affect seed germination in Albizia richardiana and Lagerstroemia speciosa ?
Md. Salim AZAD, Nerepen Kumar PAUL, Md. Abdul MATIN,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 181-184.

Abstract   PDF (146KB)
In this paper, seed morphology and effects of pre-sowing treatments were studied. Matured seeds of the species were collected from healthy trees in the National Botanical Garden, Bangladesh, and treated with five pre-sowing treatments. The average length, breadth and thickness were found to be 0.56±0.03 cm, 0.44±0.009 cm and 0.26±0.008 cm in Albizia richardiana King and Prain, and 1.32±0.02 cm, 0.55±0.04 cm and 0.11±0.002 cm in Lagerstroemia speciosa L., respectively. Germination was carried out in polybags with a mixture of topsoil, coconut husk compost, coarse sand and fine sand in a ratio of 3∶4∶1∶1. Results revealed that the germination rates of seeds in different pre-sowing treatments were significantly increased compared to those in cold-water treatment in both species. The highest germination rate was found to be 96% in hot-water treatment followed by 87%, 83% and 49% in treatments with scarification, H2SO4 and control in A. richardiana, respectively. However, the highest germination rate (79%) was found in H2SO4 treatment followed by 64%, 62% and 25% in treatments with hot water, scarification and control in L. speciosa, respectively. The lowest germination (35% in A. richardiana and 20% in L. speciosa) was found in cold-water treatment in both cases. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed the significant difference among the treatments for both species. It is concluded that hot-water treatment is recommended for seed germination of both species in rural Bangladesh.
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Finding heterosis for fiber traits in intervarietal crosses of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L.
Mueen Alam KHAN, Muhammad IQBAL, Moazzam JAMIL,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 185-187.

Abstract   PDF (69KB)
Raising yield and fiber quality of cotton through heterosis (hybrid vigor) has been an objective of plant breeders and scientists. Heterosis over mid parent for fiber-related traits was calculated in three crosses of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) involving five cotton varieties, viz., CIM 506, CIM 702, CIM 443, FH 1000 and CIM 1100 being commercially grown in Pakistan. Heterosis was observed for all four characters. The cross CIM 443 × CIM 1100 showed maximum positive heterosis (8.57%) for ginning outturn (GOT) (%) followed by fineness (7.81%) and staple length (1.01%). Therefore, the cross CIM 506 × CIM 1100 appeared to be promising for providing potential breeding materials for further commercial exploitation of heterosis in Pakistan, and heterosis breeding has a great potential for increasing stagnant cotton yields around the world.
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Synthesis of artificial antigens of diethylstilbestrol and preparation of its antibody
Qiujia FAN, Xianghong WANG, Qunbiao ZHOU, Li WANG, Yuan ZHAO,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 188-194.

Abstract   PDF (178KB)
Diethylstilbestrol-hemi-succinate (DES-HS) and diethylstilbestrol-monocarboxylic-propyl-ether (DES-MCPE) were synthesized in different ways. The two kinds of haptens were conjugated to bovine serum albumin (BSA) and ovalbumin (OVA) to form the immuno-antigens and the coating-antigen, respectively. The antibody with high titer was obtained after immunising rabbits. The results showed that the antibody had a high affinity to diethylstilbestrol tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blot. This study lays a basis for further research on the immune test kit for the DES remnant.
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Biochemical properties, molecular characterizations, functions, and application perspectives of phytases
Ruijuan LI, Wenjing LU, Jinfeng ZHAO, Chengjin GUO, Kai XIAO, Chuanfan SUN,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 195-209.

Abstract   PDF (216KB)
As a kind of enzyme widely existing in eukaryotic species, especially in grains and oil seeds, phytases play an important role in the degradation of some phosphates containing organic molecules. So far, phytases derived from various species have been successfully used as animal feed additives. It has also been experimentally verified that phytases have a potential use in generating crop germplasm with high phosphorus use efficiency, based on their biochemical role in releasing Pi from the phytate and its derivatives. In this paper, the biochemical properties, molecular characterizations, functions and the potential application perspective of phytases are reviewed and commented on, aiming at the further exploration of the biochemical and molecular characterizations, and promotion of the application of phytases, a kind of important enzyme possessing potential use in animal feeding and creation of high P use crop cultivars, in the future.
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The optimizing conditions of soft-wood cutting of yam-lobation Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz.
Yan BAI, Ge YING, Yongquan LU, Wei TIAN, Yanming LI,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 210-214.

Abstract   PDF (88KB)
This study was focused on optimizing the conditions of soft-wood cutting for Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz., including the concentration and treatment time of IBA and IBA+ NAA and the proportion of turf to perlite in substrates. L9(34) orthogonal design with three factors and three levels were adopted, and the best combination was chosen after formula analysis, variance analysis, and range analysis. The results showed that both the maximum survival rate and rooting rate were 93.33%. Statistic analysis showed that treatment with IBA (200€mg·L−1) + NAA (100 mg·L−1) for 20 s, turf to perlite ratio of 1∶3 would be the most favorable combination for soft-wood cutting of A. macrocephala.
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Salicylic acid induces the accumulation of defense-related enzymes in Whangkeumbae pear and protects from pear black spot
Yongbo WANG, Yuxing ZHANG,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 215-219.

Abstract   PDF (208KB)
The ability of salicylic acid (SA) to induce disease resistance was studied with Whangkeumbae pears affected by Alternaria kikuchiana Tanaka. SA (0.02, 0.2 and 2 mmol·L−1 active ingredient) protected Whangkeumbae pear leaves from artificial infection when applied before inoculation. When the concentration of SA reached 0.2 mmol·L−1, the disease-infected index was the lowest, and the rate of induced resistance reached 59.0%. The protection of Whangkeumbae pear leaves was associated with the activation of three defense-related enzymes, SOD, POD and PAL. Accumulation of three enzymes was induced locally in treated leaves and systemically. These results suggested that SA could induce systemic resistance in Whangkeumbae pear leaves by increasing defense-related compounds.
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Bio-absorption coefficients and relationships between elements in chestnut leaves and their fractions in chestnut forest soil
Xia LIU, Tongyan WU, Daling FENG, Shuqing LIU, Zhaohong TANG,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 220-225.

Abstract   PDF (118KB)
The Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu, and Mn concentration in the 0–20 cm and 20–40 cm soil layers of chestnut forest in the Yanshan mountainous area were determined by the available form and BCR three-step sequential chemical extraction methods. The bioabsorption coefficients and the relationships between elements in chestnut leaves and their fractions in soils were analyzed. Results showed that chestnut’s bioabsorption coefficients of Ca and Mn were higher than those of other elements. There was a negative correlation between the concentrations of Fe, Mn, and Cu in chestnut leaves and each of their fractions in soils, except for the deoxidized fraction Fe, and a positive correlation between fractions of Zn in soils and in chestnut leaves. The element fractions in soils could better reveal the biogeochemical characteristics of nutrient elements in chestnut forest soils. The nutrient status of chestnut leaves could be estimated by the acetic acid extractable fractions of Mn in the 0–20 cm soil layer and Fe and Zn in the 20–40 cm soil layer.
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Cis-acting elements analysis and function detection of xylem specific promoter from Populus
Hui WU, Shuang ZHANG, Zhigang WANG, Kejiu DU, Jinhao SU,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 226-231.

Abstract   PDF (113KB)
The cis-acting elements of JCesAP, YCesAP, and MDCesAP were analyzed by the PLACE database, the results showed that three sequences all had a core element and upstream promoter element containing TATA-box and CAAT-box. The sequences related xylem-specific and wound-defense functions were found in YCesAP and MDCesAP; and the “core xylem gene set” in JCesAP, indicating that three sequences were xylem-specific and provided with wound-defense functions. Meanwhile, some other elements were also detected, including some tissue-specific elements and some regulative ones that were induced by light, temperature, and water. For investigating their functions, three sequences of JCesAP, YCesAP, and MDCesAP were respectively combined with the report gene GFP, and those reconstructed GFP genes were respectively transferred into the genome of Populus tomentose by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. The detected results of GFP expressions in hygromycin B resistant calli of P. tomentosa showed that three sequences all possessed the promoter functions with tissue-specific characteristics.
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Vegetation structure of subtropical forest of Tabai, South Waziristan, Pakistan
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 232-236.

Abstract   PDF (85KB)
Phytosociological parameters, soil and temperature conditions, importance values of species, life form, leaf size, and biomass were investigated at the village Tabai during autumn 2006. There was very little difference in air and soil temperature due to similar elevation. There was a great difference in biomass production for various stands. The original vegetation structure has been altered due to deforestation and overgrazing. There is a need for restoration of the habitat.
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Cloning and expression of the membrane protein gene of TGEV HB06 strain
Xiaobo ZHANG, Yuzhu ZUO, Jinghui FAN, Yuan LIU,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 237-242.

Abstract   PDF (155KB)
The membrane protein gene(M) of transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) strain HB06, isolated from the feces of piglets infected with TGEV on a pig farm in Hebei province, was amplified by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The amplified PCR products of TGEV HB06 were cloned, sequenced, and compared with other TGEV strains genes selected from the GenBank. Then, the recombinant fragment in pMD18-T was subcloned into corresponding sites of prokaryotic expression vector pGEX-6P-1 after digestion with EcoRI and XhoI to construct a recombinant fusion expression vector pGEX-6P-M. Then, the verified recombinant plasmid was transformed into Escherichia coli Rossetta (DE3), and the expression of M fusion protein was induced by using isopropylthio-beta-D-galactoside (IPTG) as inducer. The results showed that the gene fragment of M at a length of 789 bp was amplified and cloned into the vector pMD18-T successfully, and sequence comparison with that reported in GenBank revealed that the M gene complete sequence shares more than 94% homology in nucleotide. The result of SDS-PAGE showed that the recombinant membrane protein had a molecular mass of approximately 56 kDa, which was the same as the expected results. It was proven by Western blotting that the recombinant membrane protein had strong positive reactions with TGEV-specific antibody. Therefore, the expressed fusion protein has a good antigenicity. This work established a good foundation for further studies on the production of anti-TGEV vaccines.
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Assemblage and distribution of pill millipedes and earthworms in relation to soil edaphic features in the Western Ghats and the west coast of India
Bombrana S. KADAMANNAYA, Kandikere R. SRIDHAR, Kanale S. SREEPADA,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 243-250.

Abstract   PDF (151KB)
Abundance and biomass of pill millipedes (Arthrosphaera) and earthworms in the forests and plantations of nine study sites in the southwestern India (Western Ghats, foothill of the Western Ghats and the west coast) were surveyed. Out of 10 morphospecies of pill millipedes (Arthrosphaera) recovered, four were identified, and the rest did not match with morphological and taxonomic descriptions. A maximum of five species of Arthrosphaera were recovered from the Western Ghat forests. In forests, the biomass of pill millipedes was higher than earthworms but lower in abundance. In plantations, both biomass and abundance of millipedes were higher than those of earthworms. None of the 12 soil edaphic features (moisture, bulk density, water-holding capacity, temperature, pH, conductivity, organic carbon, P, K, Ca, Mg and litter depth) significantly correlated with millipede biomass in the Western Ghat forests, nor were any soil features correlated with earthworm biomass in the west coast plantations. While all, except for soil moisture, were significantly correlated with earthworm biomass in the Western Ghat forests. In the Western Ghat plantations, the biomass of millipedes was significantly correlated with soil moisture, pH, organic carbon and minerals (P, K and Ca). In the west coast plantations, the biomass of millipedes was significantly correlated with moisture, water-holding capacity, organic carbon, Ca, and Mg, while, in the foothill plantations, only with temperature.
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Bacteria associated with golden pompano ( Trachinotus blochii ) broodstock from commercial hatchery in Malaysia with emphasis on their antibiotic and heavy metal resistances
Seong Wei LEE, Musa NAJIAH, Wee WENDY,
Front. Agric. China. 2010, 4 (2): 251-256.

Abstract   PDF (187KB)
This paper was the first report on pathogenic bacteria isolated from golden pompano (Trachinotus blochii) with the antibiogram, as well as the heavy metal resistance pattern. Golden pompano becomes popular among Malaysian fish farmers due to its high value and demand from local and oversea markets. However, the baseline information on antibiogram of pathogenic bacteria associated with golden pompano is not well established. Therefore, the information from this study may be useful to fish farmers in selecting appropriate antibiotic for treatment and prophylactive purpose in golden pompano culture. Isolation of bacterial isolates was carried out using 5% of Horse Blood agar, Tryptic Soy Agar (TSA), Mac Conkey, Thiosulphate Citrate Bile Salt (TCBS), Eosin Methylene Blue (EMB), Glutamate Starch Pseudomonas (GSP), Xylose Lysine Deoxycholate (XLD), and Baird Parker media. The bacterial isolates were then identified using conventional biochemical tests and confirmed by commercial bacterial identification kit. Antibiotic susceptibility test of bacterial isolates against 21 antibiotics (oxolinic acid 2 µg, ampicillin 10 µg, erythromycin 15 µg, furazolidone 15 µg, lincomycin 15 µg, oleandomycin 15 µg, amoxicillin 25 µg, colistin sulphate 25 µg, sulphamethoxazole 25 µg, chloramphenicol 30 µg, doxycycline 30 µg, florfenicol 30 µg, flumequine 30 µg, kanamycin 30 µg, nalidixic acid 30 µg, novobiocin 30 µg, oxytetracycline 30 µg, tetracycline 30 µg, nitrofurantoin 50 µg, fosfomycin 50 µg, and spiramycin 100 µg) was determined using disk diffusion method, whereas the heavy metal resistance pattern (mercury Hg2+, cadmium Cd2+, chromium Cr6+, and copper Cu2+) of the bacterial isolates was characterized using two-fold agar dilution method. Five bacterial species were successfully found from 50 diseased golden pompano. They were Streptococcus spp. (n = 12), Escherichia coli (n = 30), Salmonella spp. (n = 20), Pseudomonas spp. (n = 36), and Vibrio spp. (n = 50). More than 80% of the bacterial isolates were found sensitive to 11 out of 21 antibiotics (tetracycline, nitrofurantoin, florfenicol, chloramphenicol, oxytetracycline, nalidixic acid, doxycycline, furazolidone, flumequine, fosfomycin, and oxolinic acid. However, all bacterial isolates were found resistant to all tested heavy metals except for copper and cadmium. The multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) index of the present study indicated that the fish samples were under high risk exposure to the tested antibiotics. Florfenicol is suggested to be used as antimicrobial agent for golden pompano culture since all bacterial isolates were sensitive to it.
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19 articles