Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 1218

Search results for: biocontrol agents

1218 Combined Aplication of Indigenous Pseudomonas fluorescens and the AM Fungi as the Potential Biocontrol Agents of Banana Fusarium wilt

Authors: Eri Sulyanti, Trimurti Habazar, Eti Farda Husen, Abdi Dharma, Nasril Nasir

Abstract:

In this study, combination of some biocontrol agents with different mechanisms was an alternative to improve the effectiveness of the biological control agents. Single and combined applications of indigenous Pseudomonas fluorescens and Arbuscular Mychorrhizae Fungi (AM Fungi) isolates were tested to induce the resistance on susceptible Cavendish banana against F.oxysporum f. sp. cubense race 4 under greenhouse conditions. These isolates originally isolated from healthy banana rhizosphere at endemic Fusarium wilt areas in the centre of production banana in West Sumatra. These researches were conducted with Randomized Block Design with 16 treatments and 10 replications. The treatments were three indigenous isolates of Pseudomonas fluorescens (Par1-Cv, Par4-Rj1, Par2-Jt1) and 3 isolates of AM Fungi (Gl1BuA4, Gl2BuA6, and Gl1KeP3. The biocontrol agents were applied as single agents and combination two of them. This study demonstrated that the application of combination biocontrol organisms Pseudomonas fluorescens and AM Fungi provided were more effective than single application. The combination of Par1-Cv and Gl1BuA4 isolates was the most effective to control Fusarium wilt and followed by the combination of Par1-Cv and Gl2BuA6 and Par2-Jt1 and Gl1P3.

Keywords: pseudomonad fluorescens (Pf), arbuscular mychorrhizae fungi (AM Fungi) indigenous isolates, fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, soil rhizosphere

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1217 Efficacy of Bio-Control Agents against Colletotrichum falcatum Causing Red Rot Disease of Sugarcane

Authors: Geeta Sharma, Suma Chandra

Abstract:

Sugarcane is one of the major commercial crop playing roles in agriculture and industrial economy of India. Globally sugarcane is affected by approximately 240 diseases caused by various plant pathogenic organisms. Among them, red rot disease caused by the fungus Colletotrichum falcatum, is one of the most important diseases. In the present investigation, one fungal bioagent of Trichoderma harzianum, Pant Bioagent 1 and one bacterial bioagent Pseudomonas fluorescence, Pant Bioagent 2 (PBAT 1 and PBAT 2, respectively) were tested by dual culture method against the pathogen under laboratory conditions. The effectiveness of biocontrol agents was observed against four isolates of C. falcatum. In the case of PBAT1 maximum percent inhibition of pathogen was recorded in isolated Cf 0238 (61.05%), followed by Cf 09 (60.62%) whereas, minimum percent inhibition was recorded in Cf 3220 (48.55%) and in case of PBAT2 maximum mycelial growth inhibition percent was recorded in Cf 767 (50.50%) followed by Cf 088230(48.83%), whereas minimum percent inhibition was recorded in Cf 08 (40.16%) followed by Cf 0238 (41.83%). The present study showed that these biocontrol agents have the potential of controlling the pathogen and can further be used for the management of red rot disease in field.

Keywords: biocontrol agents, Colletotrichum falcatum, isolates, sugarcane

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1216 Assessment of the Possible Effects of Biological Control Agents of Lantana camara and Chromolaena odorata in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines

Authors: Cristine P. Canlas, Crislene Mae L. Gever, Patricia Bea R. Rosialda, Ma. Nina Regina M. Quibod, Perry Archival C. Buenavente, Normandy M. Barbecho, Cynthia Adeline A. Layusa, Michael Day

Abstract:

Invasive plants have an impact on global biodiversity and ecosystem function, and their management is a complex and formidable task. Two of these invasive plant species, Lantana camara and Chromolaena odorata, are found in the Philippines. Lantana camara has the ability to suppress the growth of and outcompete neighboring plants. Chromolaena odorata causes serious agricultural and economical damage and causes fire hazards during dry season. In addition, both species has been reported to poison livestock. One of the known global management strategies to control invasive plants is the introduction of biological control agents. These natural enemies of the invasive plants reduce population density and impacts of the invasive plants, resulting in the balance of the nature in their invasion. Through secondary data sources, interviews, and field validation (e.g. microhabitat searches, sweep netting, opportunistic sampling, photo-documentation), we investigated whether the biocontrol agents previously released by the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in their Davao Research Center to control these invasive plants are still present and are affecting their respective host weeds. We confirm the presence of the biocontrol agent of L. camara, Uroplata girardi, which was introduced in 1985, and Cecidochares connexa, a biocontrol agent of C. odorata released in 2003. Four other biocontrol agents were found to affect L. camara. Signs of damage (e.g. stem galls in C. odorata, and leaf mines in L. camara) signify that these biocontrol agents have successfully established outside of their release site in Davao. Further investigating the extent of the spread of these biocontrol agents in the Philippines and their damage to the two weeds will contribute to the management of invasive plant species in the country.

Keywords: invasive alien species, biological control agent, entomology, worst weeds

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1215 Biocontrol Potential of Trichoderma sp. against Macrophomina phaseolina

Authors: Jayarama Reddy, Anand S., H., Sundaram, Jeldi Hemachandran

Abstract:

Forty two strains of Trichoderma sp. were isolated from cultivated lands around Bangalore and analyzed for their antagonistic potential against Macrophomina phaseolina. The potential of biocontrol agents ultimately lies in their capacity to control pathogens in vivo. Bioefficacy studies were hence conducted using chickpea (Cicer arientum c.v. Annigeri) as an experimental plant by the roll paper towel method. Overall the isolates T6, T35, T30, and T25 showed better antagonistic potential in addition to enhancing plant growth. The production of chitinases to break down the mycelial cell walls of fungal plant pathogens has been implicated as a major cause of biocontrol activity. In order to study the mechanism of biocontrol against Macrophomina phaseolina, ten better performing strains were plated on media, amended with colloidal chitin and Sclerotium rolfsii cell wall extract. All the isolates showed chitinolytic activity on day three as well as day five. Production of endochitinase and exochitinase were assayed in liquid media using colloidal chitin amended broth. Strains T35 and T6 displayed maximum endochitinase and exochitinase activity. Although all strains exhibited cellulase activity, the quantum of enzyme produced was higher in T35 and T6. The results also indicate a positive correlation between enzyme production and bioefficacy.

Keywords: biocontrol, bioefficacy, cellulase, chitinase

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1214 Interaction of Cucurbitacin-Containing Phytonematicides and Biocontrol Agents on Cultivated Tomato Plants and Nematode Numbers

Authors: Jacqueline T. Madaure, Phatu W. Mashela

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Interactive effects of cucurbitacin-containing phytonematicides and biocontrol agents on growth and nematode suppression on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) had not been documented. The objective of this study was to determine the interactive effects of Nemafric-BL phytonematicide, Trichoderma harzianum and Steinernema feltiae on growth of tomato plants and suppression of root-knot (Meloidogyne species) nematodes. A 2x2x2 trial was conducted using tomato cv. ‘HTX’ on a field infested with Meloidogyne species. The treatments were applied at commercial rates. At 56 days after treatments, interactions were significant (P ≤ 0.05) for selected plant variables, without significant interactions on nematode variables. In conclusion, results of the current study did not support the combination of the test products for nematode suppression, except that some combinations improved plant growth.

Keywords: cucumis africanus, cucurbitacin b, ethnobotanicals, entomopathogenic nematodes, natural enemies, plant extracts

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1213 Influence of Cucurbitacin-Containing Phytonematicides on Nematode Biocontrol Agent: Trichoderma harzianum

Authors: Jacqueline T. Madaure, Phatu W. Mashela

Abstract:

Cucurbitacin-containing phytonematicides consistently suppress root-knot (Meloidogyne species) nematode population densities. However, the impact of these products on nematode biocontrol agents is not documented. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of Nemarioc-AL and Nemafric-BL phytonematicides on growth of Trichoderma harzianum under in vitro conditions. The two phytonematicides were separately prepared to concentrations of 3% and used in poison plate assays. After exposure at different times from 0 to 72 h, there was 100% mycelial growth of T. harzianum. In conclusion, at the recommended concentrations of phytonematicides used in managing nematode population densities, there was no evidence of suppressive effects on growth of T. harzianum by the two phytonematicides.

Keywords: botanicals, crude extracts, cucumis africanus, cucumis myriocarpus, cucurbitacin a, cucurbitacin b, ethnomedicinal plants

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1212 Efficacy of Mixed Actinomycetes against Fusarium Wilt Caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense

Authors: Jesryl B. Paulite, Irene Alcantara-Papa, Teofila O. Zulaybar, Jocelyn T. Zarate, Virgie Ugay

Abstract:

Banana is one of the major fruits in the Philippines in terms of volume of production and export earnings. The Philippines export of fresh Cavendish banana ranked No.1 with 22% share. One major threat to the industry is Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense. It tops as a major concern today affecting the Philippine banana industry since 2002 up to the present in Mindanao. Because of environmental and health issues concerning the use of chemical pesticides in the control of diseases, utilization of microorganisms has been significant in recent years as a promising alternative. This study aims to evaluate the potential of actinomycetes to control Fusarium wilt in Cavendish banana. The in-vitro experiments was carried out in Complete Randomized Design (CRD) while field experiment was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three treatments and three replications. Actinomycetes were isolated from mangrove soils in areas in Quezon and Bataan, Philippines. A total of 199 actinomycetes were isolated and 82 actinomycetes showed activity against the local Fusarium oxysporum (Foc) by agar plug assay. The test for antagonisms (AQ6, AQ30, and AQ121) of three best isolates Foc to were selected inhibiting Foc by 21.0mm, 22.0mm and 20.5mm, respectively. The same actinomycetes inhibited well Foc Tropical Race 4 showing 24.6 mm, 20.2mm and 19.0 mm zones of inhibition by agar plug assay, respectively. Combinations of the three isolates yielded an inhibition of 13.5 mm by cup cylinder assay. These findings led to the formulation of the mixed actinomycetes as biocontrol agents against Foc. A field experiment to evaluate the formulated mixed actinomycetes against Foc in a Foc infested field in Kinamayan, Sto Tomas, Davao Del Norte, Philippines. was conducted. Results showed that preventive method of application of the mixed actinomycetes against Foc showed promising results. A 56.66% mortality was observed in control set-up (no biocontrol agent added) compared to 33.33% mortality in preventive method. Further validation of the effectiveness of the mixed actinomycetes as biocontrol agent is presently being conducted in Asuncion, Davao Del Norte, Philippines.

Keywords: actinomycetes, biocontrol agents, cavendish banana, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense

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1211 Genetically Modified Fuel-Ethanol Industrial Yeast Strains as Biocontrol Agents

Authors: Patrícia Branco, Catarina Prista, Helena Albergaria

Abstract:

Industrial fuel-ethanol fermentations are carried out under non-sterile conditions, which favors the development of microbial contaminants, leading to huge economic losses. Wild yeasts such as Brettanomyces bruxellensis and lactic acid bacteria are the main contaminants of industrial bioethanol fermentation, affecting Saccharomyces cerevisiae performance and decreasing ethanol yields and productivity. In order to control microbial contaminations, the fuel-ethanol industry uses different treatments, including acid washing and antibiotics. However, these control measures carry environmental risks such as acid toxicity and the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Therefore, it is crucial to develop and apply less toxic and more environmentally friendly biocontrol methods. In the present study, an industrial fuel-ethanol starter, S. cerevisiae Ethanol-Red, was genetically modified to over-express AMPs with activity against fuel-ethanol microbial contaminants and evaluated regarding its biocontrol effect during mixed-culture alcoholic fermentations artificially contaminated with B. bruxellensis. To achieve this goal, S. cerevisiae Ethanol-Red strain was transformed with a plasmid containing the AMPs-codifying genes, i.e., partial sequences of TDH1 (925-963 bp) and TDH2/3 (925-963 bp) and a geneticin resistance marker. The biocontrol effect of those genetically modified strains was evaluated against B. bruxellensis and compared with the antagonistic effect exerted by the modified strain with an empty plasmid (without the AMPs-codifying genes) and the non-modified strain S. cerevisiae Ethanol-Red. For that purpose, mixed-culture alcoholic fermentations were performed in a synthetic must use the modified S. cerevisiae Ethanol-Red strains together with B. bruxellensis. Single-culture fermentations of B. bruxellensis strains were also performed as a negative control of the antagonistic effect exerted by S. cerevisiae strains. Results clearly showed an improved biocontrol effect of the genetically-modified strains against B. bruxellensis when compared with the modified Ethanol-Red strain with the empty plasmid (without the AMPs-codifying genes) and with the non-modified Ethanol-Red strain. In mixed-culture fermentation with the modified S. cerevisiae strain, B. bruxellensis culturability decreased from 5×104 CFU/mL on day-0 to less than 1 CFU/mL on day-10, while in single-culture B. bruxellensis increased its culturability from 6×104 to 1×106 CFU/mL in the first 6 days and kept this value until day-10. Besides, the modified Ethanol-Red strain exhibited an enhanced antagonistic effect against B. bruxellensis when compared with that induced by the non-modified Ethanol-Red strain. Indeed, culturability loss of B. bruxellensis after 10 days of fermentation with the modified Ethanol-Red strain was 98.7 and 100% higher than that occurred in fermentations performed with the non-modified Ethanol-Red and the empty-plasmid modified strain, respectively. Therefore, one can conclude that the S. cerevisiae genetically modified strain obtained in the present work may be a valuable solution for the mitigation of microbial contamination in fuel-ethanol fermentations, representing a much safer and environmentally friendly preservation strategy than the antimicrobial treatments (acid washing and antibiotics) currently applied in fuel-ethanol industry.

Keywords: antimicrobial peptides, fuel-ethanol microbial contaminations, fuel-ethanol fermentation, biocontrol agents, genetically-modified yeasts

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1210 Biological Control of Blue Mold Disease of Grapes by Pichia anomala Supplemented by Chitosan and Its Possible Control Mechanism

Authors: Esa Abiso Godana, Qiya Yang, Kaili Wang, Zhang Hongyin, Xiaoyun Zhang, Lina Zhao

Abstract:

Blue mold decay caused by Penicillium expansum is among the recent identified diseases of grapes (Vitis vinifera). The increasing concern about use of chemical substance and pesticide in postharvest fruit push the trends of research toward biocontrol strategies which are more sustainable and ecofriendly. In this study, we determined the biocontrol efficacy of Pichia anomala alone and supplemented with 1% chitosan in the grapefruit against blue mold disease caused by P. expansum. The result showed that 1% chitosan better enhances the biocontrol efficacy P. anomala. Chitosan (1% w/v) also improved the number of population of P. anomala in grape wounds, surface and on nutrient yeast dextrose broth (NYDB). P. anomala supplemented with 1% w/v chitosan significantly reduced the disease incidence, lesion diameter and natural decay of grapefruits without affecting the fruit quality as compared to the control. The scanned electron microscope (SEM) concisely illustrates how the high number of yeast cells on the wounds reduced the growth of P. expansum. P. anomala alone or P. anomala supplemented with 1% w/v chitosan are presented as a potential biocontrol alternative against the postharvest blue mold of grapefruit.

Keywords: biocontrol, Pichia anomala, chitosan, Penicillium expansum, grape

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1209 Post-Harvest Biopreservation of Fruit and Vegetables with Application of Lactobacillus Strains

Authors: Judit Perjessy, Zsolt Zalan, Ferenc Hegyi, Eniko Horvath-Szanics, Krisztina Takacs, Andras Nagy, Adel Klupacs, Erika Koppany-Szabo, Zhirong Wang, Kaituo Wang, Muying Du, Jianquan Kan

Abstract:

The post-harvest diseases cause great economic losses in the fruit and vegetables; the prevention of these deterioration has great importance. Against the fungi, which cause most of the diseases, are extensively used the fungicides. However, there are increasing consumer concerns over the presence of pesticide residues in food. An alternative and in recent years, increasingly studied method for the prevention of the diseases is biocontrol, where antagonistic microorganisms are used for the control of fungi. The genera of Lactobacillus is well known and extensively studied, but its applicability as biocontrol agents in post-harvest preservation of fruit and vegetables is poorly investigated. However these bacteria can be found on the surface of the plants and have great antimicrobial activity. In our study we have investigated the chitinase activity, the antifungal effect and the applicability of several Lactobacillus strains to select potential biocontrol agents. We investigated the determination of the environmental parameters of a gene (encoding chitinase) expression and we also investigated the relationship between actual antifungal activity and potential chitinase activity. Mixed cultures were also developed to enhance the antifungal activity and determined the optimal mold spore and bacteria concentration ratio for the appropriate efficacy. Five Lactobacillus strains (L. acidophilus N2, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus B397, L. sp. 2231, L. sake subsp. sake 2471, L. buchneri 1145) possess chitinase-coding gene from the 43 investigated Lactobacillus strains. Proteins with similar molecular weight and separation properties like bacterial chitinases were detected from these strains, which also possess chitin-binding property. Nevertheless, they were inactive, lacks the chitinolytic activity. In point of the cumulative activity of inhibition, our results showed that certain strains were statistically significant in a positive direction compared to other strains, e.g., L. rhamnosus VT1 and L. Casey 154 have shown great general antifungal effect against 11 molds from the genera Penicillium and Botrytis and isolated from spoiled fruit and vegetables. Also, some mixed cultures (L. rhamnosus VT1 - L. Plantarum 299v) showed significant antifungal effects against the indigenous molds on the surface of apple fruit during the industrial storage experiment. Thus, they could be promising for post-harvest biopreservation.

Keywords: biocontrol, chitinase, Lactobacillus, post-harvest

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1208 Potential of Entomopathogenic Nematodes to Control Woolly Apple Aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum)

Authors: Nomakholwa F. Stokwe, Antoinette P. Malan

Abstract:

Woolly apple aphid (WAA), Eriosoma lanigerum, is an important pest of apples worldwide. The aphid feeds above ground on buds and leaf axils and the roots of apple trees. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) of the two families, Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae, and their symbiotic bacteria have generated extensive interest as inundative applied biological control agents of insects. With the development of the resistance of WAA to chemicals, export restrictions, and the inability of parasitoids to control the aphid successfully early in the season, considering EPNs as an alternative biocontrol agent is important. Seven EPN species were tested for their pathogenicity against WAA. Laboratory bioassays identified S. yirgalemense and H. zealandica as being the most virulent against the subterranean stage of the WAA, with a mortality rate of 48% and 38%, respectively. Studies on the effect of WAA size showed that the last instar is most susceptible to infection, whereas smaller instars appear to be too small for nematode penetration and infection. Neither increasing the exposure period of the aphids nor increasing the nematode concentration affected the infection rate positively. The haemolymph of WAA showed an inhibitory effect on the development of the symbiotic bacteria, preventing the completion of the nematode’s life cycle.

Keywords: apples, biocontrol, entomopathogenic nematodes, woolly apple aphid

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1207 Identification and Application of Biocontrol Agents against Cotton Leaf Curl Virus Disease in Gossypium hirsutum under Green House Conditions

Authors: Memoona Ramzan, Bushra Tabassum, Anwar Khan, Muhammad Tariq, Mudassar Fareed Awan, Idrees Ahmad Nasir, Zahida Qamar, Naila Shahid, Tayyab Husnain

Abstract:

Biological control is a novel approach being used in crop protection nowadays. Bacteria like Bacillus and Pseudomonas are reported for this purpose and few of their products are commercially available too. Rhizosphere and phyllosphere of healthy cotton plants were used as a source to isolate bacteria capable of exhibiting properties worthy for selection as biocontrol agent. For this purpose all isolated strains were screened for the activities like phosphate solubilization, Indole acetic acid (IAA) production and biocontrol against fungi. Two strains S1HL3 and S1HL4 showed phosphate solubilization and IAA production simultaneously while two other JS2HR4 and JS3HR2 were good inhibitors of fungal pathogens. Through biochemical and molecular characterization these bacteria were identified as P. aeruginosa, Burkholderia and Bacillus respectively. In green house trials of these isolates against Cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV), seven treatments including individual bacterial isolate and consortia were included. Treated plants were healthy as compared to control plants in which upto 74% CLCuV symptomatic plants exist. Maximum inhibition of CLCuV was observed in T7 treated plants where viral load was only 0.4% as compared to control where viral load was upto 74%. This treatment consortium included Bacillus and Pseudomonas isolates; S1HL3, S1HL4, JS2HR4 and JS3HR2. Principal Component Biplot depicted highly significant correlation between percentage viral load and the disease incidence.

Keywords: cotton leaf curl virus, biological control, bacillus, pseudomonas

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1206 The Potential of Rhizospheric Bacteria for Mycotoxigenic Fungi Suppression

Authors: Vanja Vlajkov, Ivana PajčIn, Mila Grahovac, Marta Loc, Dragana Budakov, Jovana Grahovac

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The rhizosphere soil refers to the plant roots' dynamic environment characterized by their inhabitants' high biological activity. Rhizospheric bacteria are recognized as effective biocontrol agents and considered cardinal in alternative strategies for securing ecological plant diseases management. The need to suppress fungal pathogens is an urgent task, not only because of the direct economic losses caused by infection but also due to their ability to produce mycotoxins with harmful effects on human health. Aspergillus and Fusarium species are well-known producers of toxigenic metabolites with a high capacity to colonize crops and enter the food chain. The bacteria belonging to the Bacillus genus has been conceded as a plant beneficial species in agricultural practice and identified as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Besides incontestable potential, the full commercialization of microbial biopesticides is in the preliminary phase. Thus, there is a constant need for estimating the suitability of novel strains to be used as a central point of viable bioprocess leading to market-ready product development. In the present study, 76 potential producing strains were isolated from the rhizosphere soil, sampled from different localities in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Republic of Serbia. The selective isolation process of strains started by resuspending 1 g of soil samples in 9 ml of saline and incubating at 28° C for 15 minutes at 150 rpm. After homogenization, thermal treatment at 100° C for 7 minutes was performed. Dilution series (10-1-10-3) were prepared, and 500 µl of each was inoculated on nutrient agar plates and incubated at 28° C for 48 h. The pure cultures of morphologically different strains indicating belonging to the Bacillus genus were obtained by the spread-plate technique. The cultivation of the isolated strains was carried out in an Erlenmeyer flask for 96 h, at 28 °C, 170 rpm. The antagonistic activity screening included two phytopathogenic fungi as test microorganisms: Aspergillus sp. and Fusarium sp. The mycelial growth inhibition was estimated based on the antimicrobial activity testing of cultivation broth by the diffusion method. For the Aspergillus sp., the highest antifungal activity was recorded for the isolates Kro-4a and Mah-1a. In contrast, for the Fusarium sp., following 15 isolates exhibited the highest antagonistic effect Par-1, Par-2, Par-3, Par-4, Kup-4, Paš-1b, Pap-3, Kro-2, Kro-3a, Kro-3b, Kra-1a, Kra-1b, Šar-1, Šar-2b and Šar-4. One-way ANOVA was performed to determine the antagonists' effect statistical significance on inhibition zone diameter. Duncan's multiple range test was conducted to define homogenous groups of antagonists with the same level of statistical significance regarding their effect on antimicrobial activity of the tested cultivation broth against tested pathogens. The study results have pointed out the significant in vitro potential of the isolated strains to be used as biocontrol agents for the suppression of the tested mycotoxigenic fungi. Further research should include the identification and detailed characterization of the most promising isolates and mode of action of the selected strains as biocontrol agents. The following research should also involve bioprocess optimization steps to fully reach the selected strains' potential as microbial biopesticides and design cost-effective biotechnological production.

Keywords: Bacillus, biocontrol, bioprocess, mycotoxigenic fungi

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1205 Passengers’ Behavior Analysis under the Public Transport Disruption: An Agent-Based Simulation

Authors: M. Rahimi, F. Corman

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This paper study the travel behavior of passengers in a public transport disruption under information provision strategies. We develop a within-day approach for multi-agent simulation to evaluate the behavior of the agents, under comprehensive scenarios through various information exposure, equilibrium, and non-equilibrium scenarios. In particular, we quantify the effects of information strategies in disruption situation on passengers’ satisfaction, number of involved agents, and the caused delay. An agent-based micro-simulation model (MATSim) is applied for the city of Zürich, Switzerland, for the purpose of activity-based simulation in a multimodal network. Statistic outcome is analysed for all the agents who may be involved in the disruption. Agents’ movement in the public transport network illustrates agents’ adaptations to available information about the disruption. Agents’ delays and utility reveal that information significantly affects agents’ satisfaction and delay in public transport disruption. Besides, while the earlier availability of the information causes the fewer consequent delay for the involved agents, however, it also leads to more amount of affected agents.

Keywords: agent-based simulation, disruption management, passengers’ behavior simulation, public transport

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1204 Characterization of Bacteriophage for Biocontrol of Pseudomonas syringae, Causative Agent of Canker in Prunus spp.

Authors: Mojgan Rabiey, Shyamali Roy, Billy Quilty, Ryan Creeth, George Sundin, Robert W. Jackson

Abstract:

Bacterial canker is a major disease of Prunus species such as cherry (Prunus avium). It is caused by Pseudomonas syringae species including P. syringae pv. syringae (Pss) and P. syringae pv. morsprunorum race 1 (Psm1) and race 2 (Psm2). Concerns over the environmental impact of, and developing resistance to, copper controls call for alternative approaches to disease management. One method of control could be achieved using naturally occurring bacteriophage (phage) infective to the bacterial pathogens. Phages were isolated from soil, leaf, and bark of cherry trees in five locations in the South East of England. The phages were assessed for their host range against strains of Pss, Psm1, and Psm2. The phages exhibited a differential ability to infect and lyse different Pss and Psm isolates as well as some other P. syringae pathovars. However, the phages were unable to infect beneficial bacteria such as Pseudomonas fluorescens. A subset of 18 of these phages were further characterised genetically (Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA-PCR fingerprinting and sequencing) and using electron microscopy. The phages are tentatively identified as belonging to the order Caudovirales and the families Myoviridae, Podoviridae, and Siphoviridae, with genetic material being dsDNA. Future research will fully sequence the phage genomes. The efficacy of the phage, both individually and in cocktails, to reduce disease progression in vivo will be investigated to understand the potential for practical use of these phages as biocontrol agents.

Keywords: bacteriophage, pseudomonas, bacterial cancker, biological control

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1203 Anecic and Epigeic Earthworms as Potential Biocontrol Agents of Fusarium graminearum, Causal Agent of Fusarium Head Blight on Wheat

Authors: Gabriella Jorge, Carlos A. Pérez, Hanna Friberg, Sara Söderlund, Jan Lagerlöf

Abstract:

Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) is one of the most important Fusarium-caused diseases, which affects cereals with serious detrimental effects on yield and grain quality worldwide. Earthworms have been suggested as an alternative to control this disease, which requires a combination of preventive methods to reduce level of damage, although it has been proven that their effect is species dependent. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of the earthworms Aporrectodea longa and Lumbricus rubellus, on the inoculum of Fusarium graminearum on wheat straw. To test this we kept earthworms in vessels with soil, and F. graminearum-inoculated straw covering the surface, under controlled conditions for 6 weeks. Two factors were evaluated with a complete factorial design: earthworms (three levels: without earthworms, A. longa, and L. rubellus), and straw (two levels: inoculated with the pathogen, and sterile). The presence of L. rubellus significantly (P<0.05) reduced the amount of inoculated straw at the soil surface 31% after 6 weeks, while the presence of A. longa, most found in quiescence, did not have any significant effect on the amount of straw when compared to the control. After incubation, F. graminearum was detected by qPCR, only in the surface straw in those treatments inoculated with the pathogen but without earthworms. None of the treatments showed presence of Fusarium in the buried straw, soil or earthworm casts. Both earthworm species decreased in body weight during incubation, most likely due to the decrease in soil water content during the experiment, from 25% to 20%, and/or inadequate food supply, since no other source of food was added. However, this reduction in weight occurred indistinctly of the presence or not of Fusarium (P<0.05). This indicates that both species, of different ecological groups, anecic and epigeic, can reduce F. graminearum inoculum present in wheat straw, while their growth is not negatively affected by this pathogen. These promising results place A. longa, and L. rubellus as potential biocontrol agents of this fungal plant pathogen responsible for Fusarium Head Blight disease in wheat, although further ongoing experiments are needed to confirm the repeatability of these results.

Keywords: Aporrectodea longa, biological control, fungal plant pathogen, Lumbricus rubellus, qPCR, wheat straw

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1202 Biocontrol Effectiveness of Indigenous Trichoderma Species against Meloidogyne javanica and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis lycopersici on Tomato

Authors: Hajji Lobna, Chattaoui Mayssa, Regaieg Hajer, M'Hamdi-Boughalleb Naima, Rhouma Ali, Horrigue-Raouani Najet

Abstract:

In this study, three local isolates of Trichoderma (Tr1: T. viride, Tr2: T. harzianum and Tr3: T. asperellum) were isolated and evaluated for their biocontrol effectiveness under in vitro conditions and in greenhouse. In vitro bioassay revealed a biopotential control against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis lycopersici and Meloidogyne javanica (RKN) separately. All species of Trichoderma exhibited biocontrol performance and (Tr1) Trichoderma viride was the most efficient. In fact, growth rate inhibition of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis lycopersici (FORL) was reached 75.5% with Tr1. Parasitism rate of root-knot nematode was 60% for juveniles and 75% for eggs with the same one. Pots experiment results showed that Tr1 and Tr2, compared to chemical treatment, enhanced the plant growth and exhibited better antagonism against root-knot nematode and root-rot fungi separated or combined. All Trichoderma isolates revealed a bioprotection potential against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis lycopersici. When pathogen fungi inoculated alone, Fusarium wilt index and browning vascular rate were reduced significantly with Tr1 (0.91, 2.38%) and Tr2 (1.5, 5.5%), respectively. In the case of combined infection with Fusarium and nematode, the same isolate of Trichoderma Tr1 and Tr2 decreased Fusarium wilt index at 1.1 and 0.83 and reduced the browning vascular rate at 6.5% and 6%, respectively. Similarly, the isolate Tr1 and Tr2 caused maximum inhibition of nematode multiplication. Multiplication rate was declined at 4% with both isolates either tomato infected by nematode separately or concomitantly with Fusarium. The chemical treatment was moderate in activity against Meloidogyne javanica and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis lycopersici alone and combined.

Keywords: trichoderma spp., meloidogyne javanica, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp.radicis lycopersici, biocontrol

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1201 Improving the Biocontrol of the Argentine Stem Weevil; Using the Parasitic Wasp Microctonus hyperodae

Authors: John G. Skelly, Peter K. Dearden, Thomas W. R. Harrop, Sarah N. Inwood, Joseph Guhlin

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The Argentine stem weevil (ASW; L. bonariensis) is an economically important pasture pest in New Zealand, which causes about $200 million of damage per annum. Microctonus hyperodae (Mh), a parasite of the ASW in its natural range in South America, was introduced into New Zealand to curb the pasture damage caused by the ASW. Mh is an endoparasitic wasp that lays its eggs in the ASW halting its reproduction. Mh was initially successful at preventing ASW proliferation and reducing pasture damage. The effectiveness of Mh has since declined due to decreased parasitism rates and has resulted in increased pasture damage. Although the mechanism through which ASW has developed resistance to Mh has not been discovered, it has been proposed to be due to the different reproductive modes used by Mh and the ASW in New Zealand. The ASW reproduces sexually, whereas Mh reproduces asexually, which has been hypothesised to have allowed the ASW to ‘out evolve’ Mh. Other species within the Microctonus genus reproduce both sexually and asexually. Strains of Microctonus aethiopoides (Ma), a species closely related to Mh, reproduce either by sexual or asexual reproduction. Comparing the genomes of sexual and asexual Microctonus may allow for the identification of the mechanism of asexual reproduction and other characteristics that may improve Mh as a biocontrol agent. The genomes of Mh and three strains of Ma, two of which reproduce sexually and one reproduces asexually, have been sequenced and annotated. The French (MaFR) and Moroccan (MaMO) reproduce sexually, whereas the Irish strain (MaIR) reproduces asexually. Like Mh, The Ma strains are also used as biocontrol agents, but for different weevil species. The genomes of Mh and MaIR were subsequently upgraded using Hi-C, resulting in a set of high quality, highly contiguous genomes. A subset of the genes involved in mitosis and meiosis, which have been identified though the use of Hidden Markov Models generated from genes involved in these processes in other Hymenoptera, have been catalogued in Mh and the strains of Ma. Meiosis and mitosis genes were broadly conserved in both sexual and asexual Microctonus species. This implies that either the asexual species have retained a subset of the molecular components required for sexual reproduction or that the molecular mechanisms of mitosis and meiosis are different or differently regulated in Microctonus to other insect species in which these mechanisms are more broadly characterised. Bioinformatic analysis of the chemoreceptor compliment in Microctonus has revealed some variation in the number of olfactory receptors, which may be related to host preference. Phylogenetic analysis of olfactory receptors highlights variation, which may be able to explain different host range preferences in the Microctonus. Hi-C clustering implies that Mh has 12 chromosomes, and MaIR has 8. Hence there may be variation in gene regulation between species. Genome alignment of Mh and MaIR implies that there may be large scale genome structural variation. Greater insight into the genetics of these agriculturally important group of parasitic wasps may be beneficial in restoring or maintaining their biocontrol efficacy.

Keywords: argentine stem weevil, asexual, genomics, Microctonus hyperodae

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1200 Inferential Reasoning for Heterogeneous Multi-Agent Mission

Authors: Sagir M. Yusuf, Chris Baber

Abstract:

We describe issues bedeviling the coordination of heterogeneous (different sensors carrying agents) multi-agent missions such as belief conflict, situation reasoning, etc. We applied Bayesian and agents' presumptions inferential reasoning to solve the outlined issues with the heterogeneous multi-agent belief variation and situational-base reasoning. Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) was used in modeling the agents' belief conflict due to sensor variations. Simulation experiments were designed, and cases from agents’ missions were used in training the BBN using gradient descent and expectation-maximization algorithms. The output network is a well-trained BBN for making inferences for both agents and human experts. We claim that the Bayesian learning algorithm prediction capacity improves by the number of training data and argue that it enhances multi-agents robustness and solve agents’ sensor conflicts.

Keywords: distributed constraint optimization problem, multi-agent system, multi-robot coordination, autonomous system, swarm intelligence

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1199 Endophytic Fungi Recovered from Lycium arabicum as an Eco-Friendly Alternative for Fusarium Crown and Root Rot Disease Control and Tomato Growth Enhancement

Authors: Ahlem Nefzi, Rania Aydi Ben Abdallah, Hayfa Jabnoun-Khiareddine, Ammar Nawaim, Rabiaa Haouala, Mejda Daami-Remadi

Abstract:

Seven endophytic fungi were isolated from the wild Solanaceous species Lycium arabicum growing in the Tunisian Centre-East and were assessed for their ability to suppress Fusarium Crown and Root Rot disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis lycopersici (FORL) and to enhance plant growth. Fungal isolates were shown able to colonize tomato cv. Rio Grande roots, crowns, and stems. A significant promotion in all studied growth parameters (root length, shoot height, and roots and shoots fresh weight) was recorded in tomato plants treated with fungal conidial suspensions or their cell-free culture filtrates compared to FORL-inoculated or pathogen-free controls. I15 and I18 isolates were shown to be the most effective leading to 85.7-87.5 and 93.6-98.4% decrease in leaf and root damage index and the vascular discoloration extent, respectively, over FORL-inoculated and untreated control. These two bioactive and growth-promoting isolates (I15 and I18) were morphologically characterized and identified using rDNA sequencing gene as being Alternaria alternata (MF693801) and Fusarium fujikuroi (MF693802). These fungi significantly suppressed FORL mycelial growth and showed chitinolytic, proteolytic and amylase activities whereas only F. fujikuroi displayed a lipolytic activity. This study clearly demonstrated the potential use of fungi naturally associated with L. arabicum as biocontrol and bio-fertilizing agents.

Keywords: biocontrol, endophytic fungi, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici, tomato promotion, Lycium arabicum

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1198 Antagonistic Potential of Epiphytic Bacteria Isolated in Kazakhstan against Erwinia amylovora, the Causal Agent of Fire Blight

Authors: Assel E. Molzhigitova, Amankeldi K. Sadanov, Elvira T. Ismailova, Kulyash A. Iskandarova, Olga N. Shemshura, Ainur I. Seitbattalova

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Fire blight is a very harmful for commercial apple and pear production quarantine bacterial disease. To date, several different methods have been proposed for disease control, including the use of copperbased preparations and antibiotics, which are not always reliable or effective. The use of bacteria as biocontrol agents is one of the most promising and eco-friendly alternative methods. Bacteria with protective activity against the causal agent of fire blight are often present among the epiphytic microorganisms of the phyllosphere of host plants. Therefore, the main objective of our study was screening of local epiphytic bacteria as possible antagonists against Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight. Samples of infected organs of apple and pear trees (shoots, leaves, fruits) were collected from the industrial horticulture areas in various agro-ecological zones of Kazakhstan. Epiphytic microorganisms were isolated by standard and modified methods on specific nutrient media. The primary screening of selected microorganisms under laboratory conditions to determine the ability to suppress the growth of Erwinia amylovora was performed by agar-diffusion-test. Among 142 bacteria isolated from the fire blight host plants, 5 isolates, belonging to the genera Bacillus, Lactobacillus, Pseudomonas, Paenibacillus and Pantoea showed higher antagonistic activity against the pathogen. The diameters of inhibition zone have been depended on the species and ranged from 10 mm to 48 mm. The maximum diameter of inhibition zone (48 mm) was exhibited by B. amyloliquefaciens. Less inhibitory effect was showed by Pantoea agglomerans PA1 (19 mm). The study of inhibitory effect of Lactobacillus species against E. amylovora showed that among 7 isolates tested only one (Lactobacillus plantarum 17M) demonstrated inhibitory zone (30 mm). In summary, this study was devoted to detect the beneficial epiphytic bacteria from plants organs of pear and apple trees due to fire blight control in Kazakhstan. Results obtained from the in vitro experiments showed that the most efficient bacterial isolates are Lactobacillus plantarum 17M, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens MB40, and Pantoea agglomerans PA1. These antagonists are suitable for development as biocontrol agents for fire blight control. Their efficacies will be evaluated additionally, in biological tests under in vitro and field conditions during our further study.

Keywords: antagonists, epiphytic bacteria, Erwinia amylovora, fire blight

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1197 Knowledge Management and Tourism: An Exploratory Study Applied to Travel Agents in Egypt

Authors: Mohammad Soliman, Mohamed A. Abou-Shouk

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Knowledge management focuses on the development, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information and expertise. It has become an important tool to improve performance in tourism enterprises. This includes improving decision-making, developing customer services, and increasing sales and profits. Knowledge management adoption depends on human, organizational and technological factors. This study aims to explore the concept of knowledge management in travel agents in Egypt. It explores the requirements of adoption and its impact on performance in these agencies. The study targets Category A travel agents in Egypt. The population of the study encompasses Category A travel agents having online presence. An online questionnaire is used to collect data from managers of travel agents. This study is useful for travel agents who are in urgent need to restructure their intermediary role and support their survival in the global travel market. The study sheds light on the requirements of adoption and the expected impact on performance. This could help travel agents identify their situation and the determine the extent to which they are ready to adopt knowledge management. This study is contributing to knowledge by providing insights from the tourism sector in a developing country where the concept of knowledge management is still in its infancy stages.

Keywords: knowledge management, knowledge management adoption, performance, travel agents

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1196 Probabilistic Gathering of Agents with Simple Sensors: Distributed Algorithm for Aggregation of Robots Equipped with Binary On-Board Detectors

Authors: Ariel Barel, Rotem Manor, Alfred M. Bruckstein

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We present a probabilistic gathering algorithm for agents that can only detect the presence of other agents in front of or behind them. The agents act in the plane and are identical and indistinguishable, oblivious, and lack any means of direct communication. They do not have a common frame of reference in the plane and choose their orientation (direction of possible motion) at random. The analysis of the gathering process assumes that the agents act synchronously in selecting random orientations that remain fixed during each unit time-interval. Two algorithms are discussed. The first one assumes discrete jumps based on the sensing results given the randomly selected motion direction, and in this case, extensive experimental results exhibit probabilistic clustering into a circular region with radius equal to the step-size in time proportional to the number of agents. The second algorithm assumes agents with continuous sensing and motion, and in this case, we can prove gathering into a very small circular region in finite expected time.

Keywords: control, decentralized, gathering, multi-agent, simple sensors

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1195 Application of Metarhizium anisopliae against Meloidogyne javanica in Soil Amended with Oak Debris

Authors: Mohammad Abdollahi

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Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most popular, widely grown and the second most important vegetable crop, after potatoes. Nematodes have been identified as one of the major pests affecting tomato production throughout the world. The most destructive nematodes are the genus Meloidogyne. Most widespread and devastating species of this genus are M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria. These species can cause complete crop loss under adverse growing conditions. There are several potential methods for management of the root knot nematodes. Although the chemicals are widely used against the phytonematodes, because of hazardous effects of these compounds on non-target organisms and on the environment, there is a need to develop other control strategies. Nowadays, non-chemical measures are widely used to control the plant parasitic nematodes. Biocontrol of phytonematodes is an important method among environment-friendly measures of nematode management. There are some soil-inhabiting fungi that have biocontrol potential on phytonematodes, which can be used in nematode management program. The fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, originally is an entomopathogenic bioagent. Biocontrol potential of this fungus on some phytonematodes has been reported earlier. Recently, use of organic soil amendments as well as the use of bioagents is under special attention in sustainable agriculture. This research aimed to reduce the pesticide use in control of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica in tomato. The effects of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and different levels of oak tree debris on M. javanica were determined. The combination effect of the fungus as well as the different rates of soil amendments was determined. Pots were filled with steam pasteurized soil mixture and the six leaf tomato seedlings were inoculated with 3000 second stage larvae of M. javanica/kg of soil. After eight weeks, plant growth parameters and nematode reproduction factors were compared. Based on the results of our experiment, combination of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and oak debris caused more than 90% reduction in reproduction factor of nematode, at the rates of 100 and 150 g/kg soil (P ≤ 0.05). As compared to control, the reduction in number of galls was 76%. It was 86% for nematode reproduction factor, showing the significance of combined effect of both tested agents. Our results showed that plant debris can increase the biological activity of the tested bioagent. It was also proved that there was no adverse effect of oak debris, which potentially has antimicrobial activity, on antagonistic power of applied bioagent.

Keywords: biological control, nematode management, organic soil, Quercus branti, root knot nematode, soil amendment

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1194 From Modern to Contemporary Art: Transformations of Art Market in Istanbul

Authors: Cem Ozatalay, Senem Ornek

Abstract:

The Artprice Contemporary Art Market Annual Report 2014 notices that Istanbul, with its art market volume of $3.6 million has become the first city of the Middle East and North Africa region and the 14th city of the World. Indeed, the period 2004–2014 has been significant in terms of the growth of the art market, during which the majority of contemporary art galleries and museums in Istanbul was inaugurated. This boom means that with the joining of new agents, the structure of the art market has dramatically changed. To use Nathalie Heinich’s terminology, in the current art field, three art genres – namely classical art, modern art and contemporary art – coexist, but in the case of Istanbul, such as many art cities in the world, the latter genre has become increasingly dominant. This presentation aims to show how the power shifts away from the classical art agents to contemporary art agents, and the effects produced by the conflicts between the old and new agents of current art field. Based on the data obtained from an ongoing field research in Istanbul among the art market agents such as art dealers, curators, art critics and artists, it will be shown that even if the agents of different art genres are in conflict with each other, there is, at the same time, a continuum between the three art worlds.

Keywords: contemporary art market, economic sociology of art, Istanbul art market, structure of the art field in Istanbul

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1193 Cooperative Learning Mechanism in Intelligent Multi-Agent System

Authors: Ayman M. Mansour, Bilal Hawashin, Mohammed A. Mansour

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In this paper, we propose a cooperative learning mechanism in a multi-agent intelligent system. The basic idea is that intelligent agents are capable of collaborating with one another by sharing their knowledge. The agents will start collaboration by providing their knowledge rules to the other agents. This will allow the most important and insightful detection rules produced by the most experienced agent to bubble up for the benefit of the entire agent community. The updated rules will lead to improving the agents’ decision performance. To evaluate our approach, we designed a five–agent system and implemented it using JADE and FuzzyJess software packages. The agents will work with each other to make a decision about a suspicious medical case. This system provides quick response rate and the decision is faster than the manual methods. This will save patients life.

Keywords: intelligent, multi-agent system, cooperative, fuzzy, learning

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1192 Strength & Density of an Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Using Various Air Entraining Agent

Authors: Shashank Gupta, Shiva Garg

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The purpose of the present paper is to study the changes in the strength characteristics of autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) and also the density when different expansion agents are used. The expansion agent so used releases air in the concrete thereby making it lighter by reducing its density. It also increases the workability of the concrete. The various air entraining agents used for this study are hydrogen peroxide, oleic acid, and olive oil. The addition of these agents causes the concrete to rise like cake but it reduces the strength of concrete due to the formation of air voids. The amount of agents chosen for concrete production are 0.5%, 1%, 1.5% by weight of cement.

Keywords: AAC, olive oil, hydrogen peroxide, oleic acid, steam curing

Procedia PDF Downloads 271
1191 Using Automated Agents to Facilitate Instructions in a Large Online Course

Authors: David M Gilstrap

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In an online course with a large enrollment, the potential exists for the instructor to become overburdened with having to respond to students’ emails, which consequently decreases the instructor’s efficiency in teaching the course. Repetition of instructions is an effective way of reducing confusion among students, which in turn increases their efficiencies, as well. World of Turf is the largest online course at Michigan State University, which employs Brightspace as its management system (LMS) software. Recently, the LMS upgraded its capabilities to utilize agents, which are auto generated email notifications to students based on certain criteria. Agents are additional tools that can enhance course design. They can be run on-demand or according to a schedule. Agents can be timed to effectively remind students of approaching deadlines. The content of these generated emails can also include reinforced instructions. With a large online course, even a small percentage of students that either do not read or do not comprehend the course syllabus or do not notice instructions on course pages can result in numerous emails to the instructor, often near the deadlines for assignments. Utilizing agents to decrease the number of emails from students has enabled the instructor to efficiently instruct more than one thousand students per semester without any graduate student teaching assistants.

Keywords: agents, Brightspace, large enrollment, learning management system, repetition of instructions

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1190 Extending BDI Multiagent Systems with Agent Norms

Authors: Francisco José Plácido da Cunha, Tassio Ferenzini Martins Sirqueira, Marx Leles Viana, Carlos José Pereira de Lucena

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Open Multiagent Systems (MASs) are societies in which heterogeneous and independently designed entities (agents) work towards similar, or different ends. Software agents are autonomous and the diversity of interests among different members living in the same society is a fact. In order to deal with this autonomy, these open systems use mechanisms of social control (norms) to ensure a desirable social order. This paper considers the following types of norms: (i) obligation — agents must accomplish a specific outcome; (ii) permission — agents may act in a particular way, and (iii) prohibition — agents must not act in a specific way. All of these characteristics mean to encourage the fulfillment of norms through rewards and to discourage norm violation by pointing out the punishments. Once the software agent decides that its priority is the satisfaction of its own desires and goals, each agent must evaluate the effects associated to the fulfillment of one or more norms before choosing which one should be fulfilled. The same applies when agents decide to violate a norm. This paper also introduces a framework for the development of MASs that provide support mechanisms to the agent’s decision-making, using norm-based reasoning. The applicability and validation of this approach is demonstrated applying a traffic intersection scenario.

Keywords: BDI agent, BDI4JADE framework, multiagent systems, normative agents

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1189 Biological Control of Fusarium Crown and Root and Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Growth Promotion Using Endophytic Fungi from Withania somnifera L.

Authors: Nefzi Ahlem, Aydi Ben Abdallah Rania, Jabnoun-Khiareddine Hayfa, Ammar Nawaim, Mejda Daami-Remadi

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Fusarium Crown and Root Rot (FCRR) caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici (FORL) is a serious tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) disease in Tunisia. Its management is very difficult due to the long survival of its resting structures and to the luck of genetic resistance. In this work, we explored the wild Solanaceae species Withania somnifera, growing in the Tunisian Centre-East, as a potential source of biocontrol agents effective in FCRR suppression and tomato growth promotion. Seven fungal isolates were shown able to colonize tomato roots, crowns, and stems. Used as conidial suspensions or cell-free culture filtrates, all tested fungal treatments significantly enhanced tomato growth parameters by 21.5-90.3% over FORL-free control and by 27.6-93.5% over pathogen-inoculated control. All treatments significantly decreased the leaf and root damage index by 28.5-92.8 and the vascular browning extent 9.7-86.4% over FORL-inoculated and untreated control. The highest disease suppression ability (decrease by 86.4-92.8% in FCRR severity) over pathogen-inoculated control and by 81.3-88.8 over hymexazol-treated control) was expressed by I6 based treatments. This endophytic fungus was morphologically characterized and identified using rDNA sequencing gene as Fusarium sp. I6 (MG835371). This fungus was shown able to reduce FORL radial growth by 58.5–83.2% using its conidial suspension or cell-free culture filtrate. Fusarium sp. I6 showed chitinolytic, proteolytic and amylase activities. The current study clearly demonstrated that Fusarium sp. (I6) is a promising biocontrol candidate for suppressing FCRR severity and promoting tomato growth. Further investigations are required for elucidating its mechanism of action involved in disease suppression and plant growth promotion.

Keywords: antifungal activity, associated fungi, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici, Withania somnifera, tomato growth

Procedia PDF Downloads 70