Study on the continuity of farmer`s breeding activity with Patch Faced Maritza sheep breed

P. Zhelyazkova*, V. Petrova, D. Dimov

Department of Animal Sciences, Agricultural University, 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria (Manuscript received 4 June 2018; accepted for publication 2 October 2018)

Abstract. The aim of this study was to analyze tendencies in the population of Patch Faced Maritza sheep breed and estimation of sustainability of the breeding program for this breed by analyzing continuity of farmer`s breeding activity. Patch Faced Maritza sheep breed is a local Bulgarian sheep breed typical for lowland regions of South Bulgaria and could be successfully used as local genetic resource in productive strategies for milk and meat production. Data about breeders and population structure of the breed during 27 years (1991-2017) were provided by the breeding association of Maritza sheep breed. The changes in the population structure during the 2005-2017 were tracking. The number of breeders included in the breeding program was increased from 10 to 88 herds. This positive trend in the population and increased farmer`s interest to participate in the breeding program were due to government programs for supporting sheep farming and preserve many indigenous sheep breeds that are part of agricultural heritage. The increased number of herds included in the breeding program led up to enlarge active population in three main reproductive categories: ewes, rams and breeding lambs. Comparatively small number of ewes, rams and breeding lambs which in 2005 were respectively 375, 13 and 180 run to 7678, 493 and 1868 in 2017. This enlarge of active population was achieved by three ways: joining farmers which kept Patch Faced Maritza sheep but not participating in official breeding program of the breed, increasing the breeding lambs for replacement rate and limited upgrade crossing. On the based breeding activity contracts with farmers it was estimated continuity of breeding activity in two categories of breeders: finished breeding activity with the breed and continuing with active breeding activity with the breed. The causes for discontinuing of active farmers breeding work were analysed. A total number of farmers which finished breeding activity was 54 for 27 years. Averaged continuity of farmer`s breeding activity was 4.26 years. The analysis of this information find out five reasons for discontinuing farmers breeding activity: disinterest, death, old age, switching to another business, and changing the breed. From the listed reasons the most important are switching to another business 23 farmers and disinterest for active breeding work 17 farmers. The most important fact results nowadays is the fact that Patch Faced Maritza sheep is occurred already in 11 regions in Bulgaria, although 74.11% of the population is situated in two regions Plovdiv and Pazardzhik.

Evaluation of powdery mildew resistance in various melon (Cucumis melo L.) genotypes

Zh. Ivanova*, K. Vasileva, N. Velkov, S. Grozeva

Maritsa Vegetable Crops Research Institute, 32 Brezovsko Shosse Str., 4003 Plovdiv, Bulgaria (Manuscript received 21 August 2018; accepted for publication 14 October 2018)

Abstract. Powdery mildew, caused by Podosphaera xanthii and Golovinomyces cichoracearum, is an economically important disease in melon worldwide. Genetic resistance is one of the most suitable strategies to control powdery mildew. During the last few years several races of the pathogens have been reported. The need to develop resistant varieties is a challenge for each breeding program. Leaf disc assay was used in phytopathology and breeding programs as a rapid and reliable method for evaluation of disease resistance in a large number of plant materials. The purpose of this study was to establish species and races of powdery mildew in Plovdiv region, South Central Bulgaria; to develop a suitable system of pathogen isolation and cultivation; to determine the resistance levels in different melon genotypes available in Maritsa Vegetable Crops Research Institute (MVCRI) – Plovdiv collection by the leaf disc assay. Fifty-three melon genotypes, including lines, varieties, hybrids and ten differential lines were tested. The data showed that causal agent of powdery mildew was race 1 of P. xanthii in Plovdiv region. Our experimental results indicated that for the long-term storage of powdery mildew it is preferable to keep a whole plant under in vitro conditions. This allows the preservation of powdery mildew for two months before transferring on a new tissue. Thirty-four of the tested melon genotypes reacted as immune or resistant and nineteen as susceptible. Resistant melon genotypes are a suitable source in initiating a new breeding program aimed to increase resistance to powdery mildew.

Knezha 461 – A new maize hybrid from the middle early group

N. Petrovska*, V. Valkova

Maize Research Institute, 5835 Knezha, Bulgaria
(Manuscript received 14 May 2018; accepted for publication 14 September 2018)

Abstract. The article presents the biological and morphological parameters of the new grain maize hybrid from middle early group. The hybrid is acknowledged in 2017, after three years of testing in the territorial station at Executive Agency of Variety Testing, Field Inspection and Seed Control (EAVTFISC) with standard American hybrid P 9494 and Knezha 435, a widespread Bulgarian hybrid. During the period of testing under conditions without irrigation in the experimental field of the Maize Research Institute – town of Knezha the three years average of the new hybrid exceeded the standard P 9494 by 7.4%, and Knezha 435 by 8.6%. In the ecological network of the country in 2011, under conditions without irrigation, the hybrid produced grain yield 2.6% above the foreign and 4.7% above the Bulgarian standard. In 2016 at EAVTFISC the Knezha 461 maize hybrid exceeded by average grain yield the P9494 standard by 1.5%. The testing was conducted at four points under non-irrigated conditions. The moisture content in the harvesting time is near to that of P9494 and lower than the moisture of Knezha 435. The new high-yielding and competitive hybrid Knezha 461 supplies deficiencies in the middle early group of Bulgarian hybrids, where the foreign ones take prevalence.

Variability and grain yield potential of maize (Zea mays L.) genotypes under irrigated condition in central Sudan

M.B. Alhussein1, S.H. Suliman2, A.A. Mohammed3


1Maize research program, Agricultural Research Corporation, Wad Medani, Sudan

2Crop sciences section, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Gezira, Wad Medani, Sudan

3Maize research program, Agricultural Research Corporation, Wad Medani, Sudan


DOI: 10.15547/ast.2018.03.038

(Manuscript received 25 May 2018; accepted for publication 27 August 2018)


Abstract. These experiments were conducted in two different sites to study the genetic variability and the mean performance of the elite different origin maize genotypes under irrigated condition in central region of Sudan during rainy season of 2015. The experiments were arranged in randomized complete block design with three replicates, the data were collected on days to 50% tasseling and silking, plant and ear height, ear length and diameter and grain yield. The analysis of variance for each site and cross sites showed a significant variability among tested genotypes for grain yield, days to 50% tasseling and silking, plant and ear height, ear length and diameter. Also significant differences were observed for genotypes, site and a cross site for most of the studied traits such as for grain yield, days to 50% tasseling and silking, plant and ear height, ear length and diameter. The combined results for genotypic coefficients of variability and broad sense heritability estimates grain yield, ear length and ear diameter varied significantly among the tested genotypes.

Sources of resistance in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) to ascochyta blight (Ascochyta rabiei)

  1. Koleva1, Y. Stanoeva2, I. Kiryakov2, A. Ivanova1


1Department of Crop Science and Plant protection, College Dobrich, University Bishop Konstantin Preslavski-Shumen, 9300 Dobrich, Bulgaria

2Dobroudzha Agricultural Institute, 9520 General Toshevo, Bulgaria


DOI: 10.15547/ast.2018.03.037

(Manuscript received 4 June 2018; accepted for publication 3 August 2018)


Abstract. Ascochyta blight is the major biotic stress that causes significant yield losses in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) all over the world. The disease is caused by the fungus Ascochyta rabiei (Pass.) Lab (telemorph Dydimella rabiei = Mycosphaerella rabiei (Kovachevski) v. Arx. The use of resistant cultivars is widely acknowledged as the most economic and environmentally friendly method for disease control. The aim of this study is to screen chickpea cultivars and lines for resistance to ascochyta blight with a view for using them in a breeding program. The investigations were carried out during 2012-2017 in Dobroudzha Agricultural Institute (DAI) – General Toshevo. Twenty chickpea accessions were inoculated under field and greenhouse conditions with 30 Ascochyta rabiei isolates. Disease reaction was estimated after 14 days by using 9-degree scale. Disease incidence (DI) was calculated according to the Mc Kinney index. Cluster analysis was used to group the accessions and isolates according to the DI. Nine accessions showed middle resistance under field conditions during the three years of investigations. No immune or resistant accession to all 30 isolates was found under greenhouse conditions. The cluster analysis grouped the accessions into two major classes. One of the classes consists of two accessions (XOOC01CA0490B0223D and XOOC01CA0490B2140D) which showed middle resistance to 12 and 13 of the isolates, respectively. The cluster analysis grouped the isolates into classes, subclasses and sub sub classes according to their virulence to the 20 chickpea accessions. The highest virulence showed five isolates (AR 883, AR 061, AR R1, AR 1013, AR 1015) with DI from 5.40 to 9.00 in all accessions. Differences in field and greenhouse results were expected and they were due to the strong dependence of disease development to climatic conditions. The results in this investigation showed that two chickpea accessions can be used in a breeding program for ascochyta blight resistance.

Knezha 560 – a new mid-late maize hybrid

  1. V. Valkova, N. Petrovska


Maize Research Institute, 5835 Knezha, Bulgaria


DOI: 10.15547/ast.2018.03.036

(Manuscript received 14 May 2018; accepted for publication 29 June 2018)


Abstract. Тhe article presents a short characteristic of morphological, biological and economic qualities of a new maize hybrid Knezha (Kn) 560. The hybrid is a single cross, from mid-late group – FAO 500-599. It is recognized in 2017 by the Expert Commission of Executive Agency of Variety Testing, Field Inspection and Seed Control (EAVTFISC). At the points of ecological variety trails (EVT) and EAVTFISC it was compared with the American hybrid PR 35 P 12 and the Bulgarian hybrid – Knezha 509. During the testing period in the experimental field of the Maize Research Institute (MRI) – town of Knezha, the three-year average grain yield of hybrid Knezha 560 exceeded the standard PR 35 Р 12 hybrid by 19.3% and Knezha 509 hybrid by 37.3%. In the EAVTFISC system, the new hybrid exceeds the middle standard by 0.8%. The hybrid is stress-tolerant and resistant to economically important diseases and pests of maize. With this high-yielding and competitive maize hybrid, the group of mid-late maize hybrids offered on the Bulgarian seed market is being filled.

Usability of metadata analysis of goat genetic resources among five countries from Africa, Asia and Europe: Metadata analysis of goat genetic

M.M. Musthafa1, T. Hussain2, M.E. Babar2, R.S. Aljumaah3, M.A. Alshaikh3, I. Muritala4, V. Landi4, A. Martinez4, M. Amills4, O. Dadi5, J.V. Delgado4, A.B.J. Aina5, A.A. Onasoga5, O.A. Adebambo5, C. Visser4,  E. Van Marle-Köster4, A.O. Adebambo5, F.M.M.T. Marikar6


1Institute of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2Department of Molecular Biology, Virtual University of Pakistan, Lahore, Pakistan

3Department of Animal Production, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

4Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences, Private Bag x 20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa

5Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria

6General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, 10390 Ratmalana, Sri Lanka


DOI: 10.15547/ast.2018.03.035

(Manuscript received 15 May 2018; accepted for publication 16 July 2018)


Abstract. Goats play a variety of roles all around the globe due to their capability to acclimatize different environmental conditions quite quickly since they have been regarded as one of the first sets of animals domesticated by the human. Even though domestic goats harbor precious genetic materials, research funding among developing countries is a major drawback for thorough study on them. Therefore, microsatellite markers seem to be affordable and informative. Genotypic data from different goat breeds across five countries (Nigeria, South Africa, Pakistan, France and Spain) was generated using eleven microsatellite markers for a comparative study in order to evaluate the usefulness of the available data for genetic characterization and identify the shortcomings of meta-analyses for combined data. The mean number of alleles (MNA) per population range from 6.44±2.83 alleles for Spanish to 10.25±0.96 for Pakistani goats, with an overall mean of 13.55±7.28. Observed heterozygosity (Ho) ranges from 0.61±0.02 to 0.83±0.01 for Spanish goats and Pakistani goats, respectively with an overall mean of 0.65. Ho of the markers used ranged from 0.569 (INRA5) to 0.793 (MM12). Highest and least polymorphic information content (PIC) was observed in loci MM12 (0.925) and MAF209 (0.489), respectively. All the populations showed significant change from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (P>0.05) indicating a low level of inbreeding. The genetic distance of each country’s goat populations ranged from 0.151 to 4.245. The highest genetic distance (4.245) was observed between Spanish and Pakistani goats while the lowest were observed between Spanish and French goats. Spanish and French goats are from a common ancestor while South African, Nigerian and Pakistani goats came from another ancestor or cluster. A lot of genetic admixture in the Nigerian ecotypes has been observed whereas France and Saudi Arabian breeds have been subjected to high amount of selection pressure.

Sexual dimorphism in growth and feeding of Japanese quails in Northern Guinea Savanah

  1. N. Molokwu1, H. Y. Abbaya2,


1Department of Animal Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

2Department of Animal Production, Adamawa State University (ADSU), Mubi, Nigeria


(Manuscript received 15 February 2018; accepted for publication 2 May 2018)


Abstract. The study was conducted to determine effect of sex on growth, feed consumption and reproductive pattern of Japanese quails over 16 weeks of age in the Northern Guinea Savannah of Nigeria. A total of 206 (84 males and 122 females) quails were used for the study and some of the traits measured were body weight, average daily gain, growth rate, feed intake, feed cost, feed cost to gain ratio, age at sexual differentiation and weight at sexual differentiation. There was significant (p<0.05-0.01) difference in all the parameters measured except in feed consumption and feed cost (p>0.05) at 0-3 weeks, body weight, weight gain and growth rate (p>0.05) at 13-16 weeks. There is also no significant difference in the sex differentiation traits of the age at sexual differentiation (p>0.05). It is, therefore, concluded that sexual dimorphism was observed for growth and reproductive traits with the females having more response than the males; also, the Japanese quail used for this study showed a good variation for growth and reproduction traits, thus these traits can be used as basis for selection to develop highly efficient and direct, improved lines of Japanese quails.

In vitro propagation of white oil-bearing rose (Rosa alba L.)

V. Badzhelova1, V. Bozhanova2, G. Chokov3,

1Institute of Roses, Essential and Medical Cultures, 6100 Kazanlak, Bulgaria

2Field Crops Institute, 6200 Chirpan, Bulgaria

3Industrial plants company, 6100 Kazanlak, Bulgaria


(Manuscript received 25 May 2018; accepted for publication 22 June 2018)


Abstract. The influence of major factors such as explant sterilization, plant growth regulators in the multiplication and rooting media and the genotype on the in vitro multiplication of White Oil-Bearing Rose (Rosa alba L.) was studied. Explants used in the experiment were 1.0 to 1.5 cm long nodal segments from specially cultivated mother plants. The combination of two disinfectants in the following order: 0.2% HgCl2 solution for 3 min followed by treatment with 0.5% NaClO solution for 20 min and 0.25% NaClO for 30 min was determined as the most suitable sterilization scheme. The best results of multiplication were obtained in basic MS medium with added BAP in concentration of 0.5 to 3.0 mg/L. The analysis of the variance reveals that the genotype, media variants and interactions between them have a statistically significant influence on the variation of the total number of induced adventive shoots. The highest percentage of successfully rooted young plants (97.5% on average for both genotypes) was obtained in ex vitro conditions by direct rooting in a soil mixture.


Exterior traits of a male parental form for production of autosexing Easter eggers

  1. Lukanov, A. Genchev, E. Halil


Department of Animal Science – monogastric and other animals, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.


(Manuscript received 13 March 2018; accepted for publication 2 May 2018)


Abstract. The aim of the present study was to perform exterior evaluation of a newly created male parental form for production of autosexing Easter egger crosses. The main exterior traits and measurements were conducted along with phenotype evaluation of hens and roosters of the XL male parental form at 6 and 12 months of age. The average live weight of 6-month-old roosters and hens was 2.62±0.03 kg and 1.77±0.028 kg, respectively. One-year-old roosters and hens weighed 2.8±0.027 kg and 2.03±0.04 kg, respectively, on average. The ratio between the main exterior measurements of males and females was preserved for both age groups. Hens exhibited lower massiveness index than roosters. The compactness index in hens at 6 and 12 months of age was higher than that of roosters. Six-month-old roosters demonstrated higher long-leggedness index values as compared to year-old males and hens of both studied ages. Phenotypically, birds resembled productive type Rhode Island Red chickens except for the presence of pea combs and small wattles.