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Intake, digestibility, nitrogen (N) balance, microbial protein synthesis, weight gain, yields of the main commercial cuts and carcass morphometric measurements were evaluated in lambs fed diets containing different levels of chitosan. Sixty Santa Inês crossbred sheep with an average body weight (BW) of 24 ± 2.2 kg were assigned to three treatments (diets containing 0, 136 or 272 mg chitosan/kg BW) in a completely randomized design. There was no effect of chitosan on dry matter (DM) intake. Ingested and retained N showed a quadratic response, with the highest values estimated at the chitosan levels of 142 and 152 mg/kg BW, respectively. Similar to N balance, microbial protein synthesis showed the same quadratic response, in which the level of 136 mg/kg BW resulted in higher synthesis when compared with the other levels. No effect of chitosan was detected on average daily gain, final weight, or carcass variables (hot carcass weight, cold carcass weight, yield of commercial cuts and morphometric measurements of the carcass). Conformation, visceral fat content and fatness of carcasses were also not altered by the use of chitosan. Chitosan improves the digestibility of DM, crude protein and neutral detergent fibre, and increases N balance and microbial protein synthesis but does not change the production performance of feedlot lambs.
Sugarcane is an important forage source for dairy cows in tropical countries. However, it provides limited digestible fiber and energy intake, and fat supplementation can be a way to increase energy density and decrease dietary, non-fiber carbohydrates concentrations. We aimed to evaluate the performance, digestion and metabolism of dairy cows in early lactation fed different concentrations of soybean oil (SBO) in sugarcane-based diets. Fourteen primiparous (545±17.2 kg of BW) and eight multiparous (629±26.7 kg BW) Holstein dairy cows were used according to a randomized block design. After calving, diets were randomly assigned to cows within the two parity groups. Diets were formulated with increasing concentrations of SBO (g/kg dry matter (DM)): control (0), low (LSBO; 15.7), medium (MSBO; 44.3) and high (HSBO; 73.4). The study was performed from calving until 84 days in milk, divided into three periods of 28 days each. Dry matter intake (DMI) was affected quadratically in response to SBO addition with the greatest and lowest values of 19.0 and 16.0 kg/day for LSBO and HSBO diets, respectively. The digestibility of potentially digestible NDF was quadratically affected by SBO with the greatest value of 623 g/kg for LSBO diet. Both milk and energy-corrected milk (ECM) production were quadratically affected by SBO inclusion, with greatest ECM values of 27.9 and 27.3 for LSBO and MSBO, respectively. Soybean oil inclusion linearly decreased milk fat concentration by 13.2% from control to HSBO. The CLA t10,c12-18:2 was observed in milk fat only for MSBO and HSBO diets. Soybean oil inclusion did not affect plasma glucose or serum concentrations of total proteins, globulins, albumin, urea nitrogen, beta-hydroxybutyrate, non-esterified fatty acids or insulin. Serum concentrations of total cholesterol, triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein increased with SBO supplementation. Soybean oil inclusion in sugarcane-based diets for early lactation dairy cows from 15.7 to 44.3 g/kg DM can improve energy intake and performance; however, at 44.3 g/kg DM milk fat concentration and ECM decreased. Soybean oil inclusion at 73.4 g/kg DM adversely affected energy intake, fiber digestion and performance of early lactation dairy cows and is not recommended.
An experiment was conducted to evaluate whether dietary reduction and sex class affect nutrient intake, digestibility, purine derivative (PD) excretion and heat tolerance coefficient in lambs. Thirty-five hair lambs (14.5 ± 0.89 kg initial body weight (BW), 2 months old) were used in a completely randomized study with a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, three sex classes (11 intact males, 12 castrated males and 12 females) and three levels of feeding (ad libitum, 300 and 600 g/kg/dry matter (DM) feed restriction) for 120 days. Intact and castrated males showed higher intakes of DM and neutral detergent fibre corrected for ash and protein (NDFap) than females. At 300 g/kg/DM feed restriction, NDFap digestibility was lower in intact males than in other classes; however, no differences were found between classes when subjected to ad libitum feeding or 600 g/kg/DM. The basal endogenous nitrogen and endogenous urinary losses were highest in intact males. Allantoin, uric acid and PD excretion, as well as PD absorption and microbial protein production were lowest in the animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. Microbial protein synthesis (MPS) was highest in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. The lowest temperatures were observed in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. The heat tolerance coefficient was highest in animals subjected to 600 g/kg/DM feed restriction. In conclusion, feed restriction reduced the time spent on feeding and rumination but increased the digestibility of DM. The restriction level of 600 g/kg/DM maximized MPS and infrared thermography indicated an elevated heat tolerance coefficient.
Sugar cane bagasse is produced in large quantities in Brazil. The cultivated area of sugar cane in recent years has been around 4.2 X 106 ha/year, with a production of about 270 X 106 t/year of cane. As each tonne of cane produces around 300 kg of bagasse by-product, a large quantity of bagasse is generated.
Bagasse is of low dry matter (DM) digestibility (about 250 g/kg), because of lignification. Efforts have been made to improve the digestibility of bagasse using treatment with chemicals (sodium hydroxide, ammonia) or steam (Abdalla et al., 1990). Although steam and pressure treatments have improved in situ degradability, intake and digestibility in cattle were disappointing (Mello et al, 1989). Recently treatment of bagasse with irradiation and ammonia have been investigated.
The study of the mechanical properties of nanostructured systems has gained importance in theoretical and experimental research in recent years. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are one of the strongest nanomaterials found in nature, with Young’s Modulus (EY) in the order 1.25 TPa. One interesting question is about the possibility of generating new nanostructures with 1D symmetry and with similar and/or superior CNT properties. In this work, we present a study on the dynamical, structural, mechanical properties, fracture patterns and EY values for one class of these structures, the so-called pentagraphene nanotubes (PGNTs). These tubes are formed rolling up pentagraphene membranes (which are quasi-bidimensional structures formed by densely compacted pentagons of carbon atoms in sp3 and sp2 hybridized states) in the same form that CNTs are formed from rolling up graphene membranes. We carried out fully atomistic molecular dynamics simulations using the ReaxFF force field. We have considered zigzag-like and armchair-like PGNTs of different diameters. Our results show that PGNTs present EY ∼ 800 GPa with distinct elastic behavior in relation to CNTs, mainly associated with mechanical failure, chirality dependent fracture patterns and extensive structural reconstructions.
Recently, a new 2D carbon allotrope structure, named phagraphene (PG), was proposed. PG has a densely array of penta-hexa-hepta-graphene carbon rings. PG was shown to present low and anisotropic thermal conductivity and it is believed that this anisotropy should be also reflected in its mechanical properties. Although PG mechanical properties have been investigated, a detailed and comprehensive study is still lacking. In the present work we have carried out fully atomistic reactive molecular dynamics simulations using the ReaxFF force field, to investigate the mechanical properties and fracture patterns of PG membranes. The Young’s modulus values of the PG membranes were estimated from the stress-strain curves. Our results show that these curves present three distinct regimes: one regime where ripples dominate the structure and mechanical properties of the PG membranes; an elastic regime where the membranes exhibit fully planar configurations; and finally am inelastic regime where permanent deformations happened to the PG membrane up to the mechanical failure or fracture.
An experiment was conducted to evaluate whether a reduction in dietary crude protein (CP) and genotype affects animal performance, feed efficiency and carcass traits of beef cattle at different stages of the feedlot. Twenty-two Nellore and 22 crossbred F1 Angus × Nellore (Nellore: 8 months, initial body weight (iBW) = 212.7 kg; Crossbred: 8 months, iBW = 226.1 kg) were used in this experiment. The experiment was conducted in a complete randomized design with six replicates, in a 2 × 3 factorial design. The factors were two genotypes (Nellore and Crossbred) and three CP concentrations (100, 120 and 140 g/kg dry matter [DM]). The experimental period lasted 224 day, being divided into two stages (Backgrounding = 112 day, and Finishing = 112 day). At the end of the experiment, all animals were slaughtered to evaluate their carcass characteristics. Similar patterns were observed during backgrounding and finishing phases on intake and average daily gain (ADG) regarding genotype. Intakes of DM, organic matter, CP, neutral detergent fibre, non-fibre carbohydrates and total digestible nutrients, ADG (kg/day) and feed efficiency were greater in Crossbred animals than Nellore in both phases. During the backgrounding phase, dietary CP did not influence DM intake. However, a linear effect of CP on ADG was observed in the backgrounding phase. During finishing, Nellore cattle fed 100 g CP/kg DM presented lower ADG than Nellore fed 120 and 140 g CP/kg DM. Crossbred animals were heavier than Nellore at the beginning and end of the trial. Crossbred animals also gained more carcass, retained more CP and fat, and had a greater subcutaneous fat thickness during the experiment compared with Nellore. There was a quadratic effect of dietary CP on retained CP and dressing. The current study found that crossbred animals (F1 Angus × Nellore) not only had greater performance, but also better carcass traits compared with Nellore, representing an option for increasing productivity. Also, it is possible to adjust diets according to phase. During the backgrounding stage, 140 g CP/kg DM should be used, being reduced to 120 g CP/kg DM during the finishing stage of feedlot for Nellore and to 100 g CP/kg DM for Crossbred, without affecting performance adversely.
Phosphorus and calcium deficiency in horses represents an important factor responsible for the low equine production in Brazil. The basic mechanisms of P and Ca metabolism differ substantially among species. Regulation of P and Ca metabolism is less well understood in horses than in others species. With the use of the isotopic dilution technique is possible to evaluate the metabolism for this mineral. The aim of the present experiment was to study the effect of different Ca levels in the diet on P and Ca metabolism in horses.
The phenolic compounds are substances which reduce feed intake, protein digestibility and reduce ruminal activity in sheep and goats. To reduce the effects of tannins a lot of synthetic materials, for example PEG (polyethylene glycol) is tested as tannin-binding agent, and let protein free for the digestibility. The aim of this work was to test the effect of tannins in the rumen microbial growth using the in vitro 32P incorporation technique.
Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient in livestock production, involved in most metabolic processes in the body, and with an impact on bone development and growth. Diet supplementation with P can improve productivity, but at excess levels the P utilization can be low, and the high P excretion will lead to environmental pollution (Tamminga, 2003). P supplementation also adds substantially to the cost of feed. Using the isotopic dilution technique (Vitti et al., 2000), we have studied the effect of different P levels in diet on P absorption and excretion in Brazilian sheep, and identified the level at which true P absorption saturates.
In vitro and in situ techniques for research on ruminants are currently much in focus. Since they have good correlations with in vivo data, they are feasible alternatives to predict the nutrition rates of feeds and may be applied in equine research on in vivo apparent digestibility. On the other hand, the disadvantage of these methods is due to the fact that fistulated animals are required to obtain the inoculum. Theodorou et al., (1994) developed an extremely promising gas production technique to assess feeds for ruminants, but still require rumen inoculum obtained from operated animals. Faecal microorganisms function similarly to those in the rumen and in the large intestine of equines. The objective this experiment was to compare rumen liquor and equine faeces as inoculum to determine in vitro digestibility of equine feeds.
Some herbaceous browses have shown a dry tolerance and had been used as animal feed. However, some of those plants have anti nutritional compounds such as tannins that can interfere on intake and digestibility. Tannins are polyphenolic compounds originated from the secondary metabolism of the plant as protection against insects, birds and as a result of drought, temperature or soil fertility. The objectives of this work were to evaluate the level and variation of tannins in important browses from the semi-arid of Brazil and to investigate the effects of different treatments (oven-, shade- and sun-drying and treatment with urea) on phenolics compounds.
Native herbaceous browses at Northeast of Brazil have a dry tolerance and have been used as animal feed. Some of those plants have anti nutritional compounds such as tannins that can interfere on their intake and digestibility. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been used in gas-based techniques for assessing anti nutritional factors in tanniniferous plants for ruminants. The objective of this work was to compare the tannin bioassay technique using the semi-automated (Reading Pressure Technique - RPT) and manual (syringe) gas production techniques to evaluate the tannin effect upon in vitro rumen fermentation, using PEG as an inhibitor of tannin effects.
Brazil has the largest market for organic products in Latin America, but only 1.04% of its agricultural land is utilized for organic production (OP). We compared organic and conventional production (CP) in economic and productivity terms using data from a randomized survey of 86 organic and conventional strawberry growers (response rate 85.2%) in Brazlândia, Federal District, Brazil. Probit model selection estimates showed that the use of technical assistance from rural extension and producer gender had no effect, but growers with greater age, higher indebtedness, smaller strawberry production area, more education and less experience on growing strawberries were more likely to produce organically. For growers with more than 5.6 years of education and less than 13.54 years of experience, more education and experience make them less likely to produce strawberry organically. Thus, we expect growers’ probabilities of conversion for strawberry OP will remain about the same over time in the study area. The average treatment effect for the treated (ATT) was estimated using nearest neighbor/propensity score matching and endogenous switching regression (ESR). These showed that producing strawberry organically had no effect on productivity or total cost per box, but increased revenue and profit per box, probably as a result of the price premium for organic strawberries. As only 4.8% of farmers had converted to organic production, conversion costs and non-economic factors, such as psychological factors and social capital, may be barriers to conversion.
Genetic parameters for visual assessment traits measured at 487 days of age (body structure (BS), finishing precocity (FP) and muscling (MS)), body weight at 450 days of age (W450), age at first calving (AFC), heifer pregnancy (HP) and stayability (STAY, i.e. the probability of a cow to produce at least three calves before reaching 76 months of age) were estimated in Nellore cattle, seeking to include these traits in the selection criteria for dams. The statistical models included additive genetic and residual random effects using single- and two-trait Bayesian analyses. The average heritability estimates were equal to 0·37 for BS, 0·42 for FP, 0·37 for MS and 0·48 for W450. Age at first calving had a low average heritability estimate (0·13), while HP and STAY estimates were higher (0·36 and 0·24, respectively). The genetic correlations between AFC, HP and STAY with visual assessment traits and body weight were favourable, indicating that selecting animals with higher BS, FP, MS and W450 values will result in the indirect selection of animals with lower AFC and successful scores for HP and STAY. The selection of heifers that present an early pregnancy should anticipate AFC and improve HP in the current herd. Except for AFC, the heritability and genetic correlation estimates between the studied traits justify their inclusion in the selection criteria of the Nellore breeding programme.
The present study investigated the impact of a western diet during gestation and lactation on the anthropometry, serum biochemical, blood pressure and cardiovascular autonomic control on the offspring. Male Wistar rats were divided into two groups according to their mother’s diet received: control group (C: 18% calories of lipids) and westernized group (W: 32% calories of lipids). After weaning both groups received standard diet. On the 60th day of life, blood samples were collected for the analysis of fasting glucose and lipidogram. Cardiovascular parameters were measured on the same period. Autonomic nervous system modulation was evaluated by spectrum analysis of heart rate (HR) and systolic arterial pressure (SAP). The W increased glycemia (123±2 v. 155±2 mg/dl), low-density lipoprotein (15±1 v. 31±2 mg/dl), triglycerides (49±1 v. 85±2 mg/dl), total cholesterol (75±2 v. 86±2 mg/dl), and decreased high-density lipoprotein (50±4 v. 38±3 mg/dl), as well as increased body mass (209±4 v. 229±6 g) than C. Furthermore, the W showed higher SAP (130±4 v. 157±2 mmHg), HR (357±10 v. 428±14 bpm), sympathetic modulation to vessels (2.3±0.56 v. 6±0.84 mmHg2) and LF/HF ratio (0.15±0.01 v. 0.7±0.2) than C. These findings suggest that a western diet during pregnancy and lactation leads to overweight associated with autonomic misbalance and hypertension in adulthood.
Wheat is an important crop in the highlands of Northern Ethiopia and climate change is expected to be a major threat to wheat productivity. However, the potential impacts of climate change and adaptation on wheat yield has not been documented for this region. Wheat field experiments were carried out during the 2011–2013 cropping seasons in Northern Ethiopia to: (1) calibrate and evaluate Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM)-wheat model for exploring the impacts of climate change and adaptation on wheat yield; (2) explore the response of wheat cultivar/s to possible change in climate and carbon dioxide (CO2) under optimal and sub-optimal fertilizer application and (3) assess the impact of climate change and adaptation practices on wheat yield based on integration of surveyed field data with climate simulations using multi-global climate models (GCMs; for short- and mid-term periods) for the Hintalo-Wajrat areas of Northern Ethiopia. The treatments were two levels of fertilizer (optimal and zero fertilization); treatments were replicated three times and arranged in a randomized complete block design. All required information for model calibration and evaluation were gathered from experimental studies. In addition, a household survey was conducted in 2012 in Northern Ethiopia. Following model calibration and performance testing, response of wheat to various nitrogen (N) fertilizer rates, planting date, temperature and combinations of other climate variables and CO2 were assessed. Crop simulations were conducted with future climate scenarios using 20 different GCMs and compared with a baseline. In addition, simulations were carried out using climate data from five different GCM with and without climate change adaptation practices. The simulated yield showed clear responses to changes in temperature, N fertilizer and CO2. Regardless of choice of cultivar, increasing temperatures alone (by up to 5 °C compared with the baseline) resulted in reduced yield while the addition of other factors (optimal fertilizer with elevated CO2) resulted in increased yield. Considering optimal fertilizer (64 kg/ha N) as an adaptation practice, wheat yield in the short-term (2010–2039) and mid-term (2040–2069) may increase at least by 40%, compared with sub-optimal N levels. Assuming CO2 and present wheat management is unchanged, simulation results based on 20 GCMs showed that median wheat yields will reduce by 10% in the short term and by 11% in the mid-term relative to the baseline data, whereas under changed CO2 with present management, wheat yield will increase slightly, by up to 8% in the short term and by up to 11% in the mid-term period, respectively. Wheat yield will substantially increase, by more than 100%, when simulated based on combined use of optimal planting date and fertilizer applications. Increased temperature in future scenarios will cause yield to decline, whereas CO2 is expected to have positive impacts on wheat yield.
We present prehistoric mercury accumulation rates in a dated sediment core from Lagoa da Pata, a remote lake in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, northern Amazon. The sediment samples were subdivided for mercury and radiocarbon analyses. A group of 18 samples have been prepared at ANU for 14C dating by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The dating results show a good correlation with depth in the core, down to 41,500 BP. Three distinct sections are clearly identified in the core. They consist of upper and lower organic-rich layers, separated by an inorganic layer which represents a short period of rapid accumulation around 18 ka BP. The mercury accumulation rate is found to be larger in the upper layer (18 ka to present) than in the lower one (41 ka to 25 ka), by a factor of three. The larger accumulation rate of mercury is probably associated with warmer temperatures and a higher frequency of forest fires during the Holocene.
Management strategies for increasing ruminant legume consumption and mitigating methane emissions from tropical livestock production systems require further study. The aim of this work was to evaluate the herbage intake, animal performance and enteric methane emissions of cattle grazing dwarf elephant grass (DEG) (Pennisetum purpureum cv. BRS Kurumi) alone or DEG with peanut (Arachis pintoi cv. Amarillo). The experimental treatments were the following: DEG pastures receiving nitrogen fertilization (150 kg N/ha as ammonium nitrate) and DEG intercropped with peanut plus an adjacent area of peanut that was accessible to grazing animals for 5 h/day (from 0700 to 1200 h). The animals grazing legume pastures showed greater average daily gain and herbage intake, and shorter morning and total grazing times. Daily methane emissions were greater from the animals grazing legume pastures, whereas methane emissions per unit of herbage intake did not differ between treatments. Allowing animals access to an exclusive area of legumes in a tropical grass-pasture-based system can improve animal performance without increasing methane production per kg of dry matter intake.
Accretion of metal-poor gas via cold accretion flows has been recently proposed as a means to trigger/sustain star formation in extremely metal-poor dwarf galaxies (XMPs), a scenario in agreement with theoretical predictions. We report on the tentative detection of CaII absorption used to trace the conditions of the gas clouds in the halo of the XMP UGCA 20.