Veterinary cytogenetics is an area of genetics that deals with normal or abnormal chromosomes of animals. Chromosome abnormalities in cattle can cause significant adverse effects on fertility through failure of production of viable gametes or early embryonic death that consequently leads to great economic loss. Chromosomal aberrations can occur as numerical errors or structural rearrangements usually without causing phenotypic abnormalities on carrier animals. According to current knowledge on chromosomal abnormalities, Robertsonian translocation (ROB) that involves chromosome 1 and 29 represents the most common form of aberration found in cattle of various breeds. Other less commonly encountered abnormalities in cattle include reciprocal translocation, chimerism (including freemartins), mosaic and rarely sex chromosome aberrations. A similar trend in incidence of abnormalities has been observed in sheep and goats although systematic studies are limited. Centric fusion that involves different chromosomes but not specific to chromosome (1;29), is the most common abnormality, followed by chimerism, sex chromosome abnormalities, and rarely deletions and inversions. In swine, reciprocal translocations are the most common abnormalities with significant economic loss due to reduction in litter size by up to 50%. This is followed by chimerism for sex chromosomes. Unlike cattle, incidence of ROB (1,29) in pigs is very rare. In domestic buffaloes, sex chromosome abnormalities are the most common found associated with infertility due to extensive damage to sex adducts. Freemartinism is the most prevalent form of all sex chromosome abnormalities detected in buffalo. However, translocations are rare incidences in buffalo. Sound breeding programmes and successful cattle production depend on minimizing and preventing all kinds of possible causes of reproductive failure in both females and males. Unlike many other causes of reproductive failure, little attention appears to be given towards cytogenetic anomalies examination at the time of breed selection for genetic improvement, as well as during investigation of causes of reproductive failure in farm animals. This is especially true in the tropical regions where cytogenetic studies are limited and their significance is poorly understood. This review provides an overview andupdate on chromosomal anomalies, their effect on fertility of farm animals and screening methods, with subsequent aim of drawing the attention of concerned bodies to make an effort towards understanding the magnitude and significance of the problem in the tropics by applying feasible and available biotechnological tools pertinent to cytogenetics. This consequently would help to design possible strategies to prevent and control the propagation of chromosomal aberrations in farm animals in the tropics.
Three populations of Polymesoda erosa collected from the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia were analyzed for heavy metals. Their soft tissues were dissected into muscle, foot, mantle, gill and remaining soft tissues (remainder). Overall metal concentrations (µg/g dry weight) in five soft tissues of the three clam populations were Cd (0.25-2.86), Cu (1.80- 21.0), Ni (0.66-30.0), Pb (0.94-7.09), and Zn (79.2-365), and these were Cd (3.64-7.07), Cu (2.37-3.29), Ni (26.2-30.0), Pb (58.8-61.6), and Zn (3.84-8.78) for the shell ranges. Among the three Polymesoda populations, gill was found to have accumulated higher Cu and Zn concentrations compared to other soft tissues, whereas shell was found to have high levels of non-essential Cd, Pb and Ni. Information on heavy metals obtained in this study could serve as baseline data for this particular species since the information is lacking in the literature. The present study has evidently shown that different soft tissues of P. erosa are potential biomonitoring for Cd, Cu, Ni and Zn, whereas the clam shell as a potential biomonitoring material for Pb based on: (1) positive results based on biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAF) (being macroconcentrators), (2) positive and significant correlations of metals between all five soft tissues (foot, gill, mantle, muscle and remainder) and the sedimentary geochemical fractions and total metal concentrations, and (3) comparisons to two similar burrowing bivalves (Donax faba and Gelonia expansa). Regardless of some metals in edible soft tissues having exceeded the food safety permissible limits, the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Ni and Zn in the soluble fractions (which is more bioavailable to consumers) of all the five edible soft tissues of P. erosa are below all the permissible metal limits. Therefore, these estimations clearly showed that the consumption of P. erosa could pose no toxicological risks to consumers.
Inter-character correlations and path coefficient analyses of yield related characters were evaluated in some quantitative traits of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench) grown under different cropping seasons. Data collected were subjected to correlation and path coefficient analyses to determine the relationships among the characters, as well as the direct and indirect effects of some yield related characters to seed yield. Correlation coefficients among characters varied among seasons. Days to flowering, number of pods per plant, length of matured pod, weight of matured pods per plant, number of ridges per pod, number of seeds per pod and 100 seed weight had significant genotypic correlations with seed yield/plant across the seasons. Environmental correlation coefficients were generally low and non significant except for number of leaves per plant, length of matured pod, width of matured pod and weight of matured pods per plant in all the seasons of study. The genotypic correlation coefficients of eight selected characters with seed yield were partitioned into their direct and indirect effects. Weight of matured pods per plant had the largest direct effect on seed yield/plant in early rain 2005 (season 1) and off season 2006 (season 2), branch length in the early rain 2006 (season 3) and stem height at flowering in late rain 2006 (season 4). The residual effects of 0.16 in season 1, 0.74 in season 2, 0.55 in season 3 and 0.38 in season 4 respectively accounting for 84%, 26%, 45% and 62%, contributed by the characters under study.
Yield-related characters, direct effect,interrelationship, path coefficients
The intestinal mucosa of the Malaysian village chicken (MVC) and commercial broiler breed (CBC) from day 1 to 20 post-hatch was examined by means of light and scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that the intestinal mucosa was highly developed on day 1 in CBC as compared to MVC in regard to villus height, crypt depth and thickness of tunica muscularis. At day 1 post-hatch, it was observed that the mid cecum of the CBC showed plicae with short villi, while very short villi without plicae were observed in MVC. The intestinal villi in both breeds had a finger-like shape at day-old chick and changed to plate-like and tongue-like shapes toward the end of the experiment for CBC and MVC, respectively. Unlike MVC, the surface epithelia of the intestinal villi in CBC exhibited cell activities represented by surface recesses, clear cell outline and dome-shaped cells with protuberances, while a marked corrugated surface and areas of discontinuities were dominantly seen on the intestinal villi of the MVC particularly on the ileal villi. This study revealed that the intestinal mucosa of MVC of newly hatched chick was less evolutionary as compared to CBC which showed earlier development and maturation with more active villi to provide the highest rate of absorption as the breed selected for high body weight and rapid growth rate.
Intestinal villi, Malaysian village chicken, broiler, light and scanning electron microscope
Investigation on the leaf epidermal morphological features was carried out on five species of the genus Capsicum in the family Solanaceae collected from different regions in the Southwestern part of Nigeria in search of taxonomic and diagnostic characters that could be employed for their classification and identification. The species are C. annuum L., C frutescens L., C. chinense jacq., C. baccatum L., and C. chacoense Hunz. All the species possessed either anomocytic or anisocytic stomata type on both adaxial and abaxial surfaces except for C. chinense which showed paracytic stomata type on both surfaces. The leaves of C. baccatum, C. annuum, C. chinense and C. frutescens are amphistomatic, while that of C. chacoense are epistomatic. The similarities and overlaps observed in the cell shape, stomata index and anticlinal wall pattern of the species provide evidence for their genetic and evolutionary relationship and justification for their taxonomic grouping.
Long-tailed macaques and students at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) (National University of Malaysia) main campus have lived together for the past forty years. Overlapping niches between the two sides have caused conflicts between the university residents and long-tailed macaques. In this study, questionnaire surveys were distributed to eight student residential colleges, involving about 776 students. Awareness, perceptions, opinions, and secondary observations of the nuisance behaviour of long-tailed macaques, and the effectiveness of precautionary measures were discussed, based on this survey. The results indicate that three-quarters of the respondents are fearful of the macaques. Less than 10% favoured the macaques’ presence on campus, and 15% of the respondents supported the eradication of the population. Half of the respondents suggested that precautionary measures, such as improving waste management and macaque translocation, would be effective methods for managing their nuisance behaviour.
One of the biodiversity hotspot areas in Peninsular Malaysia is Bukit Larut, which is located within the Banjaran Bintang (Range) near Taiping, Perak. The amphibian fauna in this area was investigated from February 2009 to June 2011 with a total of 10 observation nights. A total of 43 species of amphibians from 24 genera and seven families were recorded in this area including two species of caecilians, Caudacaecilia larutensis and Ichthyophis sp. This number constitutes 40% out of 107 amphibian species that were found throughout Peninsular Malaysia. Most of the species are from the family of Ranidae (23.3%), followed by Dicroglossidae (18.6%), Microhylidae (16.3%), Rhacophoridae (16.3%), Megophryidae (11.6%), Bufonidae (9.3%) and Ichthyophiidae (4.7%). From this study, the number of amphibian species at Bukit Larut, Perak has increased from 36 to 56 species.
Banjaran Bintang, frog species, river, biodiversity, lower part, upper part
The carcass characteristics of Nigerian West African dwarf (WAD) and Yankasa breeds of sheep managed under traditional systems were compared. These two breeds were represented by six animals each with an average body weight of 18.97±0.36kg. The animals were slaughtered and carcass weight, yields, composition and sensory properties scores were recorded. Results indicated that breed primarily differed in carcass traits and retail cuts. Yankasa breed had a significant higher (P<0.05) empty body weight, cold carcass weight. Dressing percentage varied (P<0.05) from 46.38 and 48.60% for WAD and Yankasa breeds, respectively. The loin and leg cuts were statistically (P>0.05) ranked the same across the two breed. Weights of the head and empty gut were significantly (P<0.05) lower in WAD sheep compared with Yankasa sheep. The crude protein and fat contents of meat from loins were higher (P<0.05) in WAD sheep. Following assessment, eating quality traits varied across breeds, panellist-rated flavour, juiciness and overall acceptability higher (P<0.05) in WAD meat. In conclusion, Yankasa sheep have a better carcass and dressing percentage but the overall sensory is better for the West African Dwarf. These may be due to the higher fat and protein contents resulted in more flavour, tender and juicy meat.
Sheep, Yankasa, West African Dwarf, traditional management, carcass, sensory
The effect of xylanase supplementation on the profile of the bacterial community of the gastrointestinal tract of layer chicken was investigated using PCR-DGGE analysis. Thirty four common bands, belonging to Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus salivarius, were excised from the DGGE gel, amplified, cloned and sequenced. Sequence analysis of the clones revealed that 79.4% of sequences from the intestine were related to those of Lactobacillus spp., while the remaining 20.6% belonged to the four families, Clostridiaceae (8.8%), Streptococcus (5.8%), Bacteroides (3%) and Enterococcus (3%). Bacteria belonging to the genus Lactobacillus spp. were the predominant bacteria across the different treatments and segments of the gastrointestinal tract of chicken.
Bacterial community, Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE), intestinal tract, xylanase
The antioxidant properties of whole fruits and fruits without seeds and pith of two varieties of Momordica charantia (commonly known as bitter gourd), var. minima and var. maxima were investigated. The antioxidant content was investigated using ascorbic acid and total phenolic contents whereas the antioxidant activity was investigated using 2,2-diphenyl-1- picryl hydrazyl radical scavenging activity and ferrous ion chelating activity. The results showed that the fruits without seeds and pith and whole fruits of the two varieties of Momordica charantia exhibited different antioxidant content and activities. The ascorbic acid content ranged from 8.12 mg/100g to 24.46 mg/100g whereas the total phenolic content ranged from 1.47 mg GAE/100g – 27.23 mg GAE/100g. The antiradical power ranged from 4.67 to 5.94 and the ferrous ion chelating activity using the fruit extract concentration of 0.34 g/mL ranged from 10.6% to 89.3%. The effect of blanching and boiling on the antioxidant properties of fruits without seeds and pith of Momordica charantia var. maxima and minima was also investigated. Blanching and boiling of fruits without seeds and pith of M. charantia var. maxima and var. minima induced changes in the antioxidant content differently. The radical scavenging activity of the fruits without the seeds and pith of M. charantia var. maxima and var. minima increased as a result of blanching and boiling but their ferrous ion chelating activity became undetectable. There was no clear correlation between the antioxidant content and the antioxidant activities.
Epizootic ulcerative syndrome (EUS) is one of the seasonal and economically devastating diseases in the wild and farmed fresh water and estuarine fish. Thus, an experimental study was conducted by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) from February to April 2012, to examine the susceptibility of Malaysia’s indigenous fish to EUS infection. In this experiment, forty apparently healthy moonlight gourami (Trichogaster microlepis) (10 ± 2 g body weight and 7.5 ± 1 cm in body length) were kept at 20 °C and challenged by intramuscular injection of zoospores (0.1 ml of 10,000 spores ml–1 suspension ) of Aphanomyces invadans (isolate NJM9701). Fish were observed daily for characteristic EUS clinical signs during the 14-day trial and sampled at 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 12, 14 days post-injection. The infected skin and muscle were then sampled for histopathological examination. The results demonstrated that injected fish started to develop lesions that were histopathologically and grossly identical to those found in naturally EUS-infected fish and they died within two weeks after the infection. The profoundly penetrating ulcers had characteristics such as severe dermatitis, myofibrillar degeneration, and deep necrotizing granulomatous myositis. Therefore, the result of this study proved that moonlight gourami was vulnerable to the EUS agent.
The ban on the use of antibiotics as growth promoters for poultry production in many countries has led to increasing interest to use probiotics as an alternative. In the present study, some Lactobacillus strains were isolated from chicken intestines, identified and assessed (in vitro) for their ability to survive and colonize the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), with a view to select suitable strains as potential probiotic candidates for chickens. Out of 42 isolated strains, three isolates, identified as Lactobacillus strains based on initial identification and tolerant to acid and bile based on preliminary screening using turbidity (optical density) as a measurement of growth, were selected for detailed identification and further in vitro assays. The three isolates were identified to species level using carbohydrate fermentation profile analysis and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Results showed that all three strains belonged to Lactobacillus salivarius. The three L. salivarius strains were then assessed for their ability to tolerate the stress conditions in the GIT and capacity to adhere to the intestinal epithelial cells using in vitro assays of acid, bile and pancreatic enzyme tolerance measured by viable colony counts, and adhesion assay using Caco-2 cell line. The results showed that all three L. salivarius strains exhibited good tolerance to acid, bile and pancreatic enzymes and a strong ability to adhere to intestinal epithelial cells. Thus, they would be able to survive the stress conditions of GIT, as well as to attach and colonize the GIT, and could be considered as good potential candidates for probiotics of chickens.