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Field and laboratory experiments were conducted with unicorn-plant to determine conditions required for germination and to measure seed production. Field-grown plants produced an average of 122 pods/plant with an average of 71 seed/pod. The highest percent germination from seed harvested in 1980 occurred following a 2-week prechill treatment of 4 C. Germination increase was greater by removing the seed coat and the membrane enclosing the embryo than by removing the seed coat alone. Germination of seed from all pod compartments was similar. Aqueous extracts of unicorn-plant testa, leaf, stem, root, and exocarp were inhibitory in petri dish bioassays to cotton radicle growth. Extracts of stem, root, and exocarp were inhibitory to wheat radicle growth, and extracts of endocarp, leaf, and exocarp were inhibitory to unicorn-plant radicle growth. Seed buried in the field 10 cm deep for 1 to 8 months showed increased germination over time. Germination was lower when seed were stored at 4 C for 1 to 8 months in a soil having 25% (v/v) water.
The duration and intensity of unicorn-plant interference on lint yield of cotton were evaluated in the field. Random densities of 5.5 ± 1.1 unicorn-plant/m2 reduced lint yield by 41 kg/ha or about 5% for each week that unicorn-plant was present. Interference by 4, 8, and 12 weeds/10 m row decreased yield by 22, 49, and 56 kg/ha, respectively, for each week of weed interference. Each 1 kg/ha of unicorn-plant dry weight reduced lint yield by 0.26 kg/ha. Linear regression of weed dry weight could be used to predict cotton lint yield changes regardless of duration or intensity of weed interference.
The distance-of-influence of an individual devil's-claw plant to cotton leaf, stem, boll (reproductive parts), and combined aboveground plant parts was determined in two field experiments. The distance-of-influence could not be detected for the first 6 weeks after emergence; by 9 to 12 weeks, it extended up to 25 cm or more; and by the end of the season, up to 50 cm on each side of the weed. Cotton leaf and stem weights were less sensitive than cotton boll weights for measuring distance-of-influence from devil's-claw. At maturity, cotton boll weight was reduced 62 and 51% in 1983 and 45 and 29% in 1984 for sampling intervals of 0 to 25 and 25 to 50 cm, respectively. Interference from cotton reduced devil's-claw stem weight, seed capsule weight, and whole plant biomass by 6 weeks after emergence and reduced leaf biomass by 9 weeks in 1983. All except stem biomass were affected in 1984. Distance-of-influence and weed-density interference studies predicted lint yield loss similarly.
Soil water from plots containing cotton, devil's-claw, cotton with devil's-claw, and bare soil was measured throughout the growing season using a neutron probe and related to weed interference with the crop. Volumetric water content throughout the soil profile to a depth of 180 cm did not differ among treatments before the 5th or 6th week after cotton emergence. Greater water depletion occurred early in the season in plots containing devil's-claw which corresponded to a period of rapid weed growth. In plots containing only cotton, the largest reduction in water content occurred later in the season during peak bloom and early boll formation. Soil water content at depths greater than 105 cm remained unchanged in all plots throughout the season. Interference from devil's-claw reduced cotton lint yield 96% in 1986 and 46% in 1987. Higher rainfall and reduced weed populations in 1987 reduced the impact of weed interference on cotton lint yield.
Biodegradable magnetic nanoparticles were synthesized using Poly(L-Lactic Acid) and magnetite nanoparticles (∼14 nm) at different dosages, and then these nanaoparticles (nanocomposites) and pure magnetic particles were targeted in external magnetic fields by changing the test parameters. The magnetic field test results showed that magnetic saturation, fluid speed, magnetic field distance and particle size were extremely effective for a magnetic guidance system that is needed for an effective drug delivery approach. Thus, it is assumed that such nanoparticles can carry drugs (chemotherapy) to be able to cure cancer tumors as well as many other diseases.
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