International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology <p>An International online journal in the English language published quarterly (March. June, September and December) by SEM-Biotech Publishing. Full text articles available. Content also available on the journal's own <a title="IJASBT" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">website</a>.</p> SEM-Biotech Publishing en-US International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology 2091-2609 Microbial Pre-treatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass for Biofuel Production: A Review <p>Lignocellulosic biomasses (LCB), second-generation biofuels are used as an alternative means to cope with the burning issues of depleting fossil fuels like petroleum products with the added advantage of renewability, lower emission, and lesser pollution. For the increment in the production of LCB biofuels, microbial pre-treatment processes are conducted which accelerates the degradation of organic polymers like lignin and hemicellulose with the activity of potential microorganisms. To increase the efficiency of degradation of hemicellulose, hemicellulolytic fungi including<em> Trichoderma</em> and <em>Aspergillus</em> and other bacteria produce multi-enzymatic complexes like cellulosomes. Similarly, organisms like<em> Tinea versicolor, Dichomitus squalens, Phlebia floridensis, Daedalea flavida</em>, and <em>Phlebia radiata</em> contain lignin-degrading auxiliary enzymes and lignin modifying enzymes like laccase and heme-containing peroxidase which aid in delignification process. Several factors are associated with pre-treatment processes like the type of strain, inoculum load, pH, temperature, fatty acids, C/N ratio, time, aeration, grindability, surface area, particle size, and supplements added. To enhance the pretreatment method, the combination of microbial with physical, chemical, and mechanical methods is suggested which leads to a synergistic effect and better yield of the final product. Overall, biofuels should be more employed and this review aims to bring light to the microbial pre-treatment approaches which can aid in the efficient production of biofuels that can directly contribute to environmental sustainability.</p> Bibek Rana Chhetri Dipika Acharya Arjun Gautam Nasala Bajracharya Anuj Shrestha Smriti Khadka Copyright (c) 2022 International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology 2022-10-01 2022-10-01 10 3 140 148 10.3126/ijasbt.v10i3.47510 Evaluation of Heavy Metals in Vegetables from Contaminated Agricultural Soils of Madhyapur Thimi, Bhaktapur District, Nepal and their Potential Health Risk Assessment <p>The present study aimed to determine Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn concentrations using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (FAAS) in five vegetables <em>viz</em>., Coriander (<em>Coriandrum sativum</em>), Mustard (<em>Brassica campestris</em>), Radish (<em>Raphanus sativus</em>), Spinach (<em>Spinacea oleracea</em>) and Chinese spinach (<em>Amaranthus dubius</em>), and their growing soils in three agricultural sites (Manohara, Bode, and Nagadesh) of Madhyapur Thimi, Bhaktapur district and to assess health risks using USEPA deterministic approaches. The average concentrations of HMs in soils were 0.85, 30.65, 40.06, 47.42, and 129.55 mg/kg for Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn respectively, exceeding the normal soil quality standards except Cr. Similarly, the average concentrations of HMs in vegetables were 0.42, 6.63, 22.33, 1.34, and 77.16 mg/kg for Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn respectively exceeding joint FAO/WHO standards except for Cu. The I-geo values revealed a class of unpolluted to moderately polluted levels for the agricultural soils indicating the 1<sup>st</sup> degree of soil pollution. Among the vegetables, Chinese spinach measured considerably high transfer factor (TF) for Cd (0.79), Cr (0.34), Cu (0.76), Pb (0.04), and Zn (0.89) indicating health concerns to the consumers. The hazard index (HI) for these HMs was found less than the acceptable limit (1.0) indicating no non-carcinogenic risk to adults through vegetable consumption. However, the lifetime carcinogenic risk (LCR) parameter indicated low to high cancer risk for Cd, Cr, and Pb. Among the vegetables, Chinese spinach estimated the highest LCR values for the HMs suggesting regular monitoring of HMs in soil and vegetable on account of their toxic effects.</p> Anuska Sharma Bijaya Adhikari Mahesh Shrestha Dipesh Raj Pant Bindra Devi Shakya Achut Ram Pradhananga Sudarshana Shakya Pawan Raj Shakya Copyright (c) 2022 International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology 2022-10-01 2022-10-01 10 3 149 163 10.3126/ijasbt.v10i3.48703 Antibiotic profiling of Salmonella species isolated from Bagmati River, Kathmandu, Nepal <p>With rapid population growth, unmanaged urbanization, and industrialization, the holy river Bagmati, has become one of the most contaminated water sources in Kathmandu, Nepal. As a result, the river has lost its capacity for self-purification and became ideal habitat for many pathogenic microorganisms such as <em>E. coli, Salmonella, Vibrio, </em>etc. The study aimed to perform the antibiogram profile of <em>Salmonella</em> species. According to the findings, <em>Salmonella</em> was identified in excessively polluted areas with sewage. Out of total 55 samples, 34.45% were <em>Salmonella </em>positive among which, 10.5% were found to be <em>S. </em>Typhi and <em>S</em>. Paratyphi, and the remaining 79% were found to be other <em>S. enterica</em> serovar. S. enterica serovar was detected in abundance from site B1. Site B2 yielded <em>Salmonella</em> Typhi and <em>Salmonella</em> Paratyphi isolates. Furthermore, <em>Salmonella</em> Paratyphi was isolated from Site B3. The water samples from Site B6 were proven to be <em>Salmonella</em>-free. Antibiotic Susceptibility Test was performed for the positive samples and all the serovars were found sensitive to Amikacin whereas least sensitive to Ampicillin i.e., 86.67%, 100%, and 50% resistant in case of other <em>S. enterica</em> serovar, <em>S</em>. Typhi and <em>S</em>. Paratyphi respectively. All the <em>Salmonella </em>species isolates were sensitive to Ciprofloxacin, Streptomycin, Ofloxacin, and Nitrofurantoin but 100 % resistant to Ampicillin. However, there is not a single data reported as Multi-Drug Resistant <em>Salmonella </em>species in this study. The study emphasized the use of effective treatments against the disease and addresses the health danger to people, animals, and many other living species living nearby the river.</p> Narayan Kunwar Manoj KC Rashika Shrestha Sushil Chaudhary Anima Shrestha Bibek Rana Chhetri Copyright (c) 2022 International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology 2022-10-01 2022-10-01 10 3 164 170 10.3126/ijasbt.v10i3.47305 Effect of Pruning and Fertilizers on Growth, Flowering and Yield of Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) under Protected Structure in Panchthar, Nepal <p>A study was conducted to determine the effect of pruning practices and different fertilizer combinations on Bhaktapur local variety of cucumber under protected structure in Panchthar, Nepal during February to June 2021. The experiment was laid out in two factorial Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. Treatments used were two pruning practices (no pruning and 3G cutting) and four fertilizer doses (no fertilizer (control), 30 Mt/ha FYM+ 100% RDF (140:60:100 kg of NPK), 9.4 Mt/ha Vermicompost+ 100% RDF of NPK and 4.3 Mt/ha Poultry manure+ 100% RDF of NPK). Although 3G cutting practice increased the days required for 50 % flowering, it significantly decreased the male: female flowers ratio (1.69) compared to no pruning (4.38). Similarly, number of fruits per plant, individual fruit weight, fruit diameter and average fruit yield (95.21 Mt/ha) were maximum in 3G cutting. In terms of fertilizers, time requirement for 50% male flowering remained unaffected, however, plants treated with fertilizers 30 Mt/ha FYM+ 100% RDF of NPK showed significantly least days required for 50% female flowering, lowest male: female flowers ratio (2.41), maximum number of fruits per plant, maximum average individual fruit weight and highest average yield (105.78 Mt/ha) which are statistically at par with results of 9.4 Mt/ha vermicompost+ 100% RDF of NPK and 4.3 Mt/ha poultry manure+ 100% RDF of NPK for these parameters. The results concluded that combined application of organic manures and inorganic fertilizers in recommended dose with 3G pruning practices is best for growth and yield of cucumber.</p> Upama Chapagain Sujan Bhandari Yogendra Man Shrestha Sagar Bista Januka Dahal Copyright (c) 2022 International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology 2022-10-01 2022-10-01 10 3 171 181 10.3126/ijasbt.v10i3.47521 Invitro Efficacy of Trichoderma Isolates and Commercial Fungicides against Exobasidium vexans, Causal Agent of Blister Blight in Tea <p>Blister blight is one of the most significant foliar fungal diseases of tea plant caused by <em>Exobasidium vexans.</em> An invitro experimentation on efficacy of biofungicides and chemical fungicides was carried out at Agriculture Research Station, Pakhribas from November 2020 to January 2021 to evaluate and analyze effectivity of two <em>Trichoderma</em> spp and five commonly used chemical fungicides against Blister Blight pathogen. Isolates of <em>Trichoderma viride</em> and <em>Trichoderma harzianum</em> were tested against <em>E. vexans</em> using dual culture technique. Five Chemical fungicides namely Copper oxychloride 50WP, Hexaconazole 5% EC, Metalaxyl 8% WP+ Mancozeb 64% WP, Carbendazim 50% WP, Carboxin 37.5% WS + Thiram 37.5% WS were tested at four different concentrations viz. 50 ppm, 100 ppm, 200 ppm and 500 ppm using poisoned food technique. The experiment was carried out in completely randomized design with three replications for each treatment. Both <em>Trichoderma viride</em> and <em>Trichoderma harzianum</em> demonstrated significant effect on mycelial growth reduction of <em>E. vexans</em>. <em>Trichoderma viride</em> and <em>Trichoderma harzianum</em> exhibited 70.87% and 66.98% inhibition in growth of <em>E. vexans </em>respectively. Similarly, Hexaconazole, Carbendazim, Carboxin + Thiram provided complete (100%) inhibition on pathogen growth regardless of concentration. Least inhibition (36%) on pathogen growth was recorded at 50 ppm of Copper Oxychloride. All chemical fungicides provided significant difference on reducing growth of pathogen in comparison to control at all concentration. It is recommended that <em>Trichoderma</em> spp be taken as a priority regarding its environmental benefit and furthermore if application of chemical fungicides is necessitated, rationalized use be done at lower dose and with appropriate timing.</p> Karun Adhikari Ashis Rai Copyright (c) 2022 International Journal of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology 2022-10-01 2022-10-01 10 3 182 189 10.3126/ijasbt.v10i3.47524