A. Aslam


1 Predicting Long-Term Meat Productivity for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Authors: A. Abdullah, A. Bakshwain, A. Aslam


Livestock is one of the fastest-growing sectors in agriculture. If carefully managed, have potential opportunities for economic growth, food sovereignty and food security. In this study we mainly analyse and compare long-term i.e. for year 2030 climate variability impact on predicted productivity of meat i.e. beef, mutton and poultry for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia w.r.t three factors i.e. i) climatic-change vulnerability ii) CO2 fertilization and iii) water scarcity and compare the results with two countries of the region i.e. Iraq and Yemen. We do the analysis using data from diverse sources, which was extracted, transformed and integrated before usage. The collective impact of the three factors had an overall negative effect on the production of meat for all the three countries, with adverse impact on Iraq. High similarity was found between CO2 fertilization (effecting animal fodder) and water scarcity i.e. higher than that between production of beef and mutton for the three countries considered. Overall, the three factors do not seem to be favorable for the three Middle-East countries considered. This points to possibility of a vegetarian year 2030 based on dependency on indigenous livestock population.

Keywords: Water scarcity, prediction, animal-source foods, pastures, climatic-change vulnerability, CO2 fertilization

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2 Geographic Variation in the Baseline Susceptibility of Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner) (Noctuidae: Lepidoptera) Field Populations to Bacillus thuringiensis Cry Toxins for Resistance Monitoring

Authors: A. Aslam, Muhammad Arshad, Muhammad D. Gogi, M. Sufian


The transgenic cotton expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) provides an effective control of Helicoverpa armigera, a most damaging pest of the cotton crop. However, Bt cotton may not be the optimal solution owing to the selection pressure of Cry toxins. As Bt cotton express the insecticidal proteins throughout the growing seasons, there are the chances of resistance development in the target pests. A regular monitoring and surveillance of target pest’s baseline susceptibility to Bt Cry toxins is crucial for early detection of any resistance development. The present study was conducted to monitor the changes in the baseline susceptibility of the field population of H. armigera to Bt Cry1Ac toxin. The field-collected larval populations were maintained in the laboratory on artificial diet and F1 generation larvae were used for diet incorporated diagnostic studies. The LC₅₀ and MIC₅₀ were calculated to measure the level of resistance of population as a ratio over susceptible population. The monitoring results indicated a significant difference in the susceptibility (LC₅₀) of H. armigera for first, second, third and fourth instar larval populations sampled from different cotton growing areas over the study period 2016-17. The variations in susceptibility among the tested insects depended on the age of the insect and susceptibility decreased with the age of larvae. The overall results show that the average resistant ratio (RR) of all field-collected populations (FSD, SWL, MLT, BWP and DGK) exposed to Bt toxin Cry1Ac ranged from 3.381-fold to 7.381-fold for 1st instar, 2.370-fold to 3.739-fold for 2nd instar, 1.115-fold to 1.762-fold for 3rd instar and 1.141-fold to 2.504-fold for 4th instar, depicting maximum RR from MLT population, whereas minimum RR for FSD and SWL population. The results regarding moult inhibitory concentration of H. armigera larvae (1-4th instars) exposed to different concentrations of Bt Cry1Ac toxin indicated that among all field populations, overall Multan (MLT) and Bahawalpur (BWP) populations showed higher MIC₅₀ values as compared to Faisalabad (FSD) and Sahiwal (SWL), whereas DG Khan (DGK) population showed an intermediate moult inhibitory concentrations. This information is important for the development of more effective resistance monitoring programs. The development of Bt Cry toxins baseline susceptibility data before the widespread commercial release of transgenic Bt cotton cultivars in Pakistan is important for the development of more effective resistance monitoring programs to identify the resistant H. armigera populations.

Keywords: Bt cotton, baseline, H. armigera, Cry1Ac toxins

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1 A Novel Probabilistic Spatial Locality of Reference Technique for Automatic Cleansing of Digital Maps

Authors: A. Abdullah, A. Bakshwain, A. Aslam, S. Abushalmat, A. Basuhail


GIS (Geographic Information System) applications require geo-referenced data, this data could be available as databases or in the form of digital or hard-copy agro-meteorological maps. These parameter maps are color-coded with different regions corresponding to different parameter values, converting these maps into a database is not very difficult. However, text and different planimetric elements overlaid on these maps makes an accurate image to database conversion a challenging problem. The reason being, it is almost impossible to exactly replace what was underneath the text or icons; thus, pointing to the need for inpainting. In this paper, we propose a probabilistic inpainting approach that uses the probability of spatial locality of colors in the map for replacing overlaid elements with underlying color. We tested the limits of our proposed technique using non-textual simulated data and compared text removing results with a popular image editing tool using public domain data with promising results.

Keywords: Image, Noise, GIS, digital map, inpainting

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