We used precision agriculture techniques and the APSIM model for crop growth, water balance and nitrate leaching as a tool to monitor and improve the environmental and financial performance of farms at within-field resolution. We used yield maps, soil and climate data for two farms in Western Australia to determine spatial and temporal patterns of grain yield, drainage and nitrate leaching under a range of climatic, soil and management scenarios. On one farm, we up-scaled APSIM using soil type polygons and on another we used relationships between EM38 and soil water storage properties to map predicted yield and nitrate leaching and identify areas at greatest financial and environmental risks for management interventions.
An 80-day feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor, TM) meal as substitute for dietary fishmeal on the growth performance, feed utilisation and flesh quality of large yellow croaker (initial body weight: 189.18±0.13 g). The control diet (TM0) was designed to contain 56% of fishmeal. Based on the TM0, graded levels of TM meal (15, 30, 45, 60, 75 and 100%, respectively) were used to replace fishmeal to formulate the other six experimental diets (TM15, TM30, TM45, TM60, TM75 and TM100), respectively. The results showed that the survival was not significantly affected by dietary TM meal levels (P>0.05). Compared with control group, the final body weight, weight gain rate and protein efficiency ratio decreased significantly when the replacement level over 30%, while feed conversion ratio increased significantly as replacement level over 45% (P<0.05). The total protein-bound amino acid content in muscle was significantly increased with the increase of dietary TM meal inclusion (P<0.05). With replacement level increasing, the percentage of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Σn-3/Σn-6 poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in muscle significantly decreased (P<0.05). Meanwhile, the skin redness (a*) and yellowness (b*) values in the ventral and bottom of ventral regions showed a decreasing and increasing trend, respectively (P<0.05). The TM100 group showed a higher myofibre diameter and lower myofibre density compared to the control group (P<0.05). Total replacement of fishmeal with TM meal significantly down-regulated and up-regulated the expression of myf6 and mstn, respectively (P<0.05). The contents of inosine-5′-monophosphate and total free amino acids were significantly decreased with the increase of TM meal inclusion (P<0.05). In conclusion, TM meal can replace at least 30% of dietary fishmeal protein without negative effects on the growth, feed utilisation and flesh quality of large yellow croaker.
To evaluate the administration of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, BB-12® (BB-12) on infant colic in breastfed infants, a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised study was conducted in Chengdu, China from April 2016 to October 2017 with 192 full-term infants less than 3 months of age and meeting the ROME III criteria for infant colic. After a 1-week run-in the infants were randomly assigned to receive daily BB-12 (1×109 cfu/day) or placebo for 3 weeks. Crying/fussing time were recorded using a 24 h structured diary. The primary endpoint was the proportion of infants achieving a reduction in crying and fussing time of ≥50% from baseline. Parent’s/caregiver’s health related quality of life was measured using a modified PedsQL™ 2.0 Family Impact Module and immunological biomarkers were evaluated from faecal samples at baseline and after the 21-day intervention. The percentage of infants achieving a reduction in the daily crying/fussing time ≥50% after the 21-day intervention was significantly higher in the infants supplemented with BB-12 (P<0.001). The mean number of crying episodes was significantly reduced in the BB-12 group compared to the placebo group (10.0±3.0 to 5.0±1.87 vs 10.5±2.6 to 7.5±2.8, respectively) (P<0.001) and the mean daily sleep duration was markedly increased from baseline to end of intervention in the BB-12 group compared to the infants in the placebo group (60.7±104.0 vs 31.9±102.7 min/day, respectively) (P<0.001). The faecal levels of human beta defensin 2, cathelicidin, slgA, calprotectin and butyrate were statistically higher in the BB-12 group compared to the placebo group after the 21-day intervention. At the end of the intervention the parent’s/caregiver’s physical, emotional and social functioning scores were significantly higher for the BB-12 group compared to the placebo group (all P<0.05). Supplementation of BB-12 is effective in reducing crying and fussing in infants diagnosed with infant colic.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can cause urethral compression, bladder stone formation, and renal function damage, which may endanger the life of patients. Therefore, we aimed to develop plant-based preparations for BPH treatment with no side effects. In this study, the Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 322Hp, Lactobacillus acidophilus 322Ha, and Limosilactobacillus reuteri 322Hr were used to ferment rape pollen. The fermented rape pollen was subsequently converted into fermented rape pollen powder (FRPP) through vacuum freeze-drying technology. After fermenting and drying, the bioactive substances and antioxidant capacity of FRPP were significantly higher than those of unfermented rapeseed pollen, and FRPP had a longer storage duration, which can be stored for over one year. To investigate the therapeutic effect of FRPP on BPH, a BPH rat model was established by hypodermic injection of testosterone propionate. The BPH rats were treated differently, with the model group receiving normal saline, the positive control group receiving finasteride, and the low, medium, and high dose FRPP group receiving FRPP at doses of 0.14 g/kg/d, 0.28 g/kg/d, and 0.56 g/kg/d, respectively. The results indicate that medium dose FRPP reduced the levels of hormone such as testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and oestradiol in rats with BPH by about 32%, thus bringing the prostate tissue of BPH rats closer to normal. More importantly, medium dose FRPP treatment had a significant effect on the composition of gut microbiota in rats with BPH, increasing the levels of beneficial genera (such as Coprococcus and Jeotgalicoccus), and decreasing the levels of harmful pathogens (such as Turicibacter and Clostridiaceae_Clostridium) in the gut. This study showed that medium dose FRPP reduced the hormone level and regulated the unbalanced gut microbiota in BPH rats, thereby alleviating BPH.
Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) (BSF) is an insect that can be fed with food waste, and its larval meal is now studied as a feed ingredient to reduce the use of fish meal. However, adding BSF into the feed of pearl gentian grouper (Epinephelus fuscoguttatus × Epinephelus lanceolatus ) did not give good results. Higher levels of BSF substitution caused disorders of fatty acid metabolism, leads to fatty liver, and caused oxidative damage in the liver. Also, higher levels of BSF substitution reduced percentage of thick myofibers and significantly affected 40 of metabolites, including dodecanoic acid, D-lyxose, D-aspartic acid, and glutathione in the muscle, which did no positive effect on the improvement of fish meat. Therefore, BSF may require further processing, such as degreasing, in order to be better used.