Items 1-20 of 748

    • Journal Article

      BioSounds: an open-source, online platform for ecoacoustics 

      Darras, Kevin; Pérez, Noemí; -, Mauladi; Hanf-Dressler, Tara
      F1000Research 2020; 9 p.1-12: Art. 1224
      Passive acoustic monitoring of soundscapes and biodiversity produces vast amounts of audio recordings. However, the management of these raw data presents technical challenges and their analysis suffers from bottlenecks. A multitude of software solutions exist, but none can perform all the data processing needed by ecologists for analysing large acoustic data sets. The field of ecoacoustics needs a software tool that is free, evolving, and accessible. We take a step in that direction and present BioSounds: an open-source, online platform for ecoacoustics designed by ecologists and built by software engineers. Biosounds can be used for archiving and sharing recordings, manually creating and reviewing annotations of sonant animals in soundscapes, analysing audio in time and frequency, and storing reference recordings for different taxa. We present its features and structure, and compare it with similar software. We describe its operation mode and the workflow for typical use cases such as the analysis of bird and bat communities sampled in soundscape recordings. BioSounds is available from: https://github.com/nperezg/biosounds
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Correction to: Unexpected high frequency of neurofibroma in the celiac ganglion of German cattle 

      Dammann, Insa; Wemheuer, Wiebke M.; Wrede, Arne; Wemheuer, Wilhelm E.; Campe, Amely; Petschenka, Jutta; Schulze-Sturm, Ulf; Hahmann, Uwe; Czerny, Claus P.; Münster, Pia; et al.
      Brenig, BertramKreienbrock, LotharHerden, ChristianeSchulz-Schaeffer, Walter J.
      Veterinary Research. 2020 Oct 15;51(1):130
      An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via the original article.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Protection of Citrus Fruits from Postharvest Infection with Penicillium digitatum and Degradation of Patulin by Biocontrol Yeast Clavispora lusitaniae 146 

      Díaz, Mariana Andrea; Pereyra, Martina María; Santander, Fabricio Fabián Soliz; Perez, María Florencia; Córdoba, Josefina María; Alhussein, Mohammad; Karlovsky, Petr; Dib, Julián Rafael
      Microorganisms 2020; 8(10) p.1-12: Art. 1477
      Fungal rots are one of the main causes of large economic losses and deterioration in the quality and nutrient composition of fruits during the postharvest stage. The yeast Clavispora lusitaniae 146 has previously been shown to efficiently protect lemons from green mold caused by Penicillium digitatum. In this work, the effect of yeast concentration and exposure time on biocontrol efficiency was assessed; the protection of various citrus fruits against P. digitatum by C. lusitaniae 146 was evaluated; the ability of strain 146 to degrade mycotoxin patulin was tested; and the effect of the treatment on the sensory properties of fruits was determined. An efficient protection of lemons was achieved after minimum exposure to a relatively low yeast cell concentration. Apart from lemons, the yeast prevented green mold in grapefruits, mandarins, oranges, and tangerines, implying that it can be used as a broad-range biocontrol agent in citrus. The ability to degrade patulin indicated that strain 146 may be suitable for the control of further Penicillium species. Yeast treatment did not alter the sensory perception of the aroma of fruits. These results corroborate the potential of C. lusitaniae 146 for the control of postharvest diseases of citrus fruits and indicate its suitability for industrial-scale fruit processing.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Flesh ID: Nanopore Sequencing Combined with Offline BLAST Search for the Identification of Meat Source 

      Kissenkötter, Jonas; Böhlken-Fascher, Susanne; Abd El Wahed, Ahmed
      Foods 2020; 9(10) p.1-13: Art. 1392
      Detection of animal species in meat product is crucial to prevent adulterated and unnecessary contamination during processing, in addition to avoid allergy and religious consequences. Gold standard is the real-time PCR assays, which has a limited target capability. In this study, we have established a rapid sequencing protocol to identify animal species within hours. Sequencing was achieved by nanopore sequencing and data analysis via offline BLAST search. The whole procedure was conducted in a mobile suitcase lab. As per national and international regulations, the developed assay detected adulteration of pork meat with 0.1% of horse, chicken, turkey, cattle, sheep, duck, rabbit, goat, and donkey. The developed test could be used on-site as a rapid and mobile detection system to determine contamination of meat products
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Meta-analyses of genome wide association studies in lines of laying hens divergently selected for feather pecking using imputed sequence level genotypes 

      Falker-Gieske, Clemens; Iffland, Hanna; Preuß, Siegfried; Bessei, Werner; Drögemüller, Cord; Bennewitz, Jörn; Tetens, Jens
      BMC Genetics. 2020 Oct 01;21(1):114
      Abstract Background Feather pecking (FP) is damaging behavior in laying hens leading to global economic losses in the layer industry and massive impairments of animal welfare. The objective of the study was to discover genetic variants and affected genes that lead to FP behavior. To achieve that we imputed low-density genotypes from two different populations of layers divergently selected for FP to sequence level by performing whole genome sequencing on founder and half-sib individuals. In order to decipher the genetic structure of FP, genome wide association studies and meta-analyses of two resource populations were carried out by focusing on the traits ‘feather pecks delivered’ (FPD) and the ‘posterior probability of a hen to belong to the extreme feather pecking subgroup’ (pEFP). Results In this meta-analysis, we discovered numerous genes that are affected by polymorphisms significantly associated with the trait FPD. Among them SPATS2L, ZEB2, KCHN8, and MRPL13 which have been previously connected to psychiatric disorders with the latter two being responsive to nicotine treatment. Gene set enrichment analysis revealed that phosphatidylinositol signaling is affected by genes identified in the GWAS and that the Golgi apparatus as well as brain structure may be involved in the development of a FP phenotype. Further, we were able to validate a previously discovered QTL for the trait pEFP on GGA1, which contains variants affecting NIPA1, KIAA1211L, AFF3, and TSGA10. Conclusions We provide evidence for the involvement of numerous genes in the propensity to exhibit FP behavior that could aid in the selection against this unwanted trait. Furthermore, we identified variants that are involved in phosphatidylinositol signaling, Golgi metabolism and cell structure and therefore propose changes in brain structure to be an influential factor in FP, as already described in human neuropsychiatric disorders.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Understanding German Pig Farmers’ Intentions to Design and Construct Pig Housing for the Improvement of Animal Welfare 

      Winkel, Carolin; von Meyer-Höfer, Marie; Heise, Heinke
      Animals 2020; 10(10) p.1-22: Art. 1760
      Improving farm animal welfare requires modifications to the behavior of many stakeholders. Investments in more animal-friendly barns to improve animal welfare have already been made by some farmers. However, more farmers must be persuaded to modernize their barns. The marketing of animal-friendly products is the responsibility of retailers, and consumers have to purchase these products. Currently, little is known about what (and how) underlying psychological factors influence a farmer’s intention to construct pig housing to improve farm animal welfare. Pig farmers in Germany were questioned via an online questionnaire in May 2020 (n = 424). Based on the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), partial least squares path modeling was used. The constructs: attitude, subjective norm, direct and indirect experience associated with the construction of pig housing substantially influenced the farmers’ behaviors. As expected, the impact of perceived behavioral control on intention was negative but was also very low and only slightly significant. Contrary to expectations, the perceived behavioral control had no significant influence on farmers’ behaviors. Pig farmers who have already rebuilt their pigs’ housing should be motivated to share their experiences to influence their colleagues’ intentions to construct. Our results will encourage policy makers to consider the important role of the different psychological and intrinsic factors influencing pig farmers. Thus, the sustainability of pig farming can be improved by giving politicians a better understanding of farmers´ behaviors.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Point-Of-Care or Point-Of-Need Diagnostic Tests: Time to Change Outbreak Investigation and Pathogen Detection 

      Hansen, Sören; Abd El Wahed, Ahmed
      Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease 2020; 5(4) p.1-15: Art. 151
      In the recent years, the progress of international trade and travel has led to an increased risk of emerging infections. Around 75 percent of the pathogens causing these infections are of animal origin. Point-of-care tests (POCT) and point-of-need tests (PONT) have been established in order to directly provide accurate and rapid diagnostics at field level, the patient bed-side or at the site of outbreaks. These assays can help physicians and decision makers to take the right action without delay. Typically, POCT and PONT rely on genomic identification of pathogens or track their immunological fingerprint. Recently, protocols for metagenomic diagnostics in the field have been developed. In this review, we give an overview of the latest developments in portable diagnostic methods. In addition, four mobile platforms for the implementation of these techniques at point-of-care and point-of-need are described. These approaches can provide reliable diagnostics and surveillance, especially in low resource settings as well as at the level of one health.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Pan-genomic open reading frames: A potential supplement of single nucleotide polymorphisms in estimation of heritability and genomic prediction 

      Li, Zhengcao; Simianer, Henner
      PLOS Genetics 2020; 16(8) p.1-19: Art. e1008995
      Pan-genomic open reading frames (ORFs) potentially carry protein-coding gene or coding variant information in a population. In this study, we suggest that pan-genomic ORFs are promising to be utilized in estimation of heritability and genomic prediction. A Saccharomyces cerevisiae dataset with whole-genome SNPs, pan-genomic ORFs, and the copy numbers of those ORFs is used to test the effectiveness of ORF data as a predictor in three prediction models for 35 traits. Our results show that the ORF-based heritability can capture more genetic effects than SNP-based heritability for all traits. Compared to SNP-based genomic prediction (GBLUP), pan-genomic ORF-based genomic prediction (OBLUP) is distinctly more accurate for all traits, and the predictive abilities on average are more than doubled across all traits. For four traits, the copy number of ORF-based prediction(CBLUP) is more accurate than OBLUP. When using different numbers of isolates in training sets in ORF-based prediction, the predictive abilities for all traits increased as more isolates are added in the training sets, suggesting that with very large training sets the prediction accuracy will be in the range of the square root of the heritability. We conclude that pan-genomic ORFs have the potential to be a supplement of single nucleotide polymorphisms in estimation of heritability and genomic prediction.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Molecular and Serological Footprints of Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Infections in Zoo Animals 

      Roller, Marco; Hansen, Sören; Böhlken-Fascher, Susanne; Knauf-Witzens, Tobias; Czerny, Claus-Peter; Goethe, Ralph; Abd El Wahed, Ahmed
      Veterinary Sciences 2020; 7(3) p.1-14: Art. 117
      Background: Mycobacteria of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) pose a significant risk to zoological collections. Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is a member of MAC and the causative agent of Johne’s disease. Despite many reports in animals kept in zoological gardens, systemic surveillance has rarely been reported. Methods: In this study, archived serum samples collected from animal species at the Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Gardens in Stuttgart, Germany, were screened for the presence of antibodies against MAC and MAP. In addition, molecular investigations were performed on necropsy, fecal, and environmental samples. Results: In total, 30/381 serum samples of various mammalian species were positive for MAC antibodies in ELISA, while one sample of a reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata) was positive in MAP-specific ELISA. Samples from many species were positive in pan-Mycobacterium real-time PCR (40/43 fecal samples, 27/43 environmental samples, and 31/90 necropsy samples). Surprisingly, no sample was positive in the MAP-specific molecular assays. However, two environmental samples from primate enclosures were positive in Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissuis (MAH)-specific real-time PCR. Conclusions: The results reveal serological indications of MAC infections in the zoological collection. However, the presence of a MAP-contaminated environment by a high-shedding individual animal or MAP-infected population is unlikely.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Meat Quality Parameters and Sensory Properties of One High-Performing and Two Local Chicken Breeds Fed with Vicia faba 

      Escobedo del Bosque, Cynthia I.; Altmann, Brianne A.; Ciulu, Marco; Halle, Ingrid; Jansen, Simon; Nolte, Tanja; Weigend, Steffen; Mörlein, Daniel
      Foods 2020; 9(8) p.1-18: Art. 1052
      The current practices of the poultry industry have raised concerns among consumers. Among these is the culling of day-old male chicks of laying hybrids; a suitable alternative for this could be the use of dual-purpose breeds where both sexes are used. Another practice that causes concern is the import of large quantities of soybeans for feedstuff production. Substitutes for these soybean-based products are regional protein crops, such as faba beans (Vicia faba L.; FBs). The objective of this study was to test the suitability of FB as a locally produced soybean meal replacement for two local dual-purpose chicken breeds and one high-performing layer line. The breast and leg meat of male Bresse Gauloise (BG), Vorwerkhuhn (VH), and White Rock (WR) animals was evaluated for different meat quality parameters: pH, color, water holding capacity, and tenderness. Sensory properties of the samples were evaluated by a trained panel with a conventional descriptive analysis. Results show different effects of FB diets on meat quality parameters in the different breeds. The attributes mostly affected by the diet are related to aroma, flavor, and texture, particularly in VH and WR. Overall, faba beans appear to be an acceptable dietary protein source for rearing these breeds for meat production.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      The Effect of Algae or Insect Supplementation as Alternative Protein Sources on the Volatile Profile of Chicken Meat 

      Gkarane, Vasiliki; Ciulu, Marco; Altmann, Brianne A.; Schmitt, Armin O.; Mörlein, Daniel
      Foods 2020; 9(9) p.1-15: Art. 1235
      The aim of this study was to investigate the differences in the volatile profile of meat from chickens fed with alternative protein diets (such as algae or insect) through two different trials. In Trial 1, broiler chicken at one day of age were randomly allocated to three experimental groups: a basal control diet (C) and two groups in which the soybean meal was replaced at 75% (in the starter phase) and 50% (in the grower phase) with partially defatted Hermetia illucens (HI) larvae or Arthrospira platensis (SP). In Trial 2, broiler chickens were housed and reared similar to Trial 1, with the exception that the experimental diets replaced soybean meal with either 100% partially defatted HI or 100% SP. In both trials, chickens were slaughtered at day 35. Per group, 10 chickens were submitted to volatile analysis by using solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Results in both trials showed that levels of several lipid-derived compounds were found to be lower in chickens fed an HI diet, which could be linked to a possibly lower level of polyunsaturated fatty acid content in HI-fed chicken. In addition, the dietary treatments could be discriminated based on the volatile profile, i.e., the substitution of soy with HI or SP distinctively affected the levels of flavor compounds.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Genome-wide detection of signatures of selection in indicine and Brazilian locally adapted taurine cattle breeds using whole-genome re-sequencing data 

      Peripolli, Elisa; Reimer, Christian; Ha, Ngoc-Thuy; Geibel, Johannes; Machado, Marco A; Panetto, João C; do Egito, Andréa A; Baldi, Fernando; Simianer, Henner; da Silva, Marcos V G B
      BMC Genomics. 2020 Sep 11;21(1):624
      Abstract Background The cattle introduced by European conquerors during the Brazilian colonization period were exposed to a process of natural selection in different types of biomes throughout the country, leading to the development of locally adapted cattle breeds. In this study, whole-genome re-sequencing data from indicine and Brazilian locally adapted taurine cattle breeds were used to detect genomic regions under selective pressure. Within-population and cross-population statistics were combined separately in a single score using the de-correlated composite of multiple signals (DCMS) method. Putative sweep regions were revealed by assessing the top 1% of the empirical distribution generated by the DCMS statistics. Results A total of 33,328,447 biallelic SNPs with an average read depth of 12.4X passed the hard filtering process and were used to access putative sweep regions. Admixture has occurred in some locally adapted taurine populations due to the introgression of exotic breeds. The genomic inbreeding coefficient based on runs of homozygosity (ROH) concurred with the populations’ historical background. Signatures of selection retrieved from the DCMS statistics provided a comprehensive set of putative candidate genes and revealed QTLs disclosing cattle production traits and adaptation to the challenging environments. Additionally, several candidate regions overlapped with previous regions under selection described in the literature for other cattle breeds. Conclusion The current study reported putative sweep regions that can provide important insights to better understand the selective forces shaping the genome of the indicine and Brazilian locally adapted taurine cattle breeds. Such regions likely harbor traces of natural selection pressures by which these populations have been exposed and may elucidate footprints for adaptation to the challenging climatic conditions.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Buffalopox Virus: An Emerging Virus in Livestock and Humans 

      Eltom, Kamal; Samy, Abdallah; Abd El Wahed, Ahmed; Czerny, Claus-Peter
      Pathogens 2020; 9(9) p.1-9: Art. 676
      Buffalopox virus (BPXV) is the cause of buffalopox, which was recognized by the FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Zoonosis as an important zoonotic disease. Buffalopox was first described in India, later in other countries, and has become an emerging contagious viral zoonotic disease infecting milkers with high morbidity among affected domestic buffalo and cattle. BPXV is a member of the genus Orthopoxvirus and a close variant of the vaccinia virus (VACV). Recent genome data show that BPXV shares a most recent common ancestor of VACV Lister strain, which had been used for inoculating buffalo calves to produce a Smallpox vaccine. Over time, VACV evolved into BPXV by establishing itself in buffaloes to be increasingly pathogenic to this host and to make infections in cattle and humans. Together with the current pandemic of SARS-COV2/COVID 19, BPXV infections illustrate how vulnerable the human population is to the emergence and re-emergence of viral pathogens from unsuspected sources. In view that majority of the world population are not vaccinated against smallpox and are most vulnerable in the event of its re-emergence, reviewing and understanding the biology of vaccinia-like viruses are necessary for developing a new generation of safer smallpox vaccines in the smallpox-free world.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Egg Production and Bone Stability of Local Chicken Breeds and Their Crosses Fed with Faba Beans 

      Nolte, Tanja; Jansen, Simon; Halle, Ingrid; Scholz, Armin Manfred; Simianer, Henner; Sharifi, Ahmad Reza; Weigend, Steffen
      Animals 2020; 10(9) p.1-20: Art. 1480
      Poultry production is raising concerns within the public regarding the practice of culling day-old chicks and the importation of soy from overseas for feedstuff. Therefore, an alternative approach to poultry production was tested. In two consecutive experiments, two traditional chicken breeds, Vorwerkhuhn and Bresse Gauloise, and White Rock as a commercial layer genotype as well as crossbreds thereof were fed diets containing either 20% vicin-rich or vicin-poor faba beans, though addressing both subjects of debate. Hen performance traits and bone stability were recorded. All parameters were considerably influenced by the genotype with White Rock showing the significantly highest (p < 0.05) laying performance (99.4% peak production) and mean egg weights (56.6 g) of the purebreds, but the lowest bone breaking strength (tibiotarsus 197.2 N, humerus 230.2 N). Regarding crossbreds, the Bresse Gauloise × White Rock cross performed best (peak production 98.1%, mean egg weight 58.0 g). However, only limited dietary effects were found as only the feeding of 20% vicin-rich faba beans led to a significant reduction of egg weights of at most 1.1 g (p < 0.05) and to a significant reduction of the shell stability in the crossbred genotypes. In terms of dual-purpose usage, crossing of Bresse Gauloise with White Rock seems to be the most promising variant studied here.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Quantitative Modelling and Perspective Taking: Two Competencies of Decision Making for Sustainable Development 

      Böhm, Marko; Barkmann, Jan; Eggert, Sabina; Carstensen, Claus H.; Bögeholz, Susanne
      Sustainability 2020; 12(17) p.1-32: Art. 6980
      Land use change, natural resource use and climate change are challenging Sustainable Development issues (SDGs 13–15). Fostering the competencies to deal with such issues is one core task for current educational endeavors. Among these competencies, decision-making competencies are central. In detail, we investigate how learners evaluate alternative decision-making options to improve existing competence models. We exemplify our competence modelling approach using the designation of a Marine Protected Area. The cross-sectional sample consists of secondary school students and student teachers (N = 760). Partial Credit modelling shows that quantitative modelling of decision-making options is a different competence dimension than perspective taking if contextualized for Sustainable Development. In quantitative modelling, mathematical modelling is used to evaluate and reflect on decision-making options. Perspective taking covers the ability to consider different normative perspectives on Sustainable Development issues. Both dimensions show plausible (latent) correlations with related constructs within the nomological net, i.e., with qualitative arguing, economic literacy, mathematical competencies, reading competencies and analytical problem solving. Furthermore, person-abilities increase with level of education for both dimensions. The identified competence dimensions quantitative modelling and perspective taking were successfully modelled and shown to be distinct; the resulting measuring instrument is reliable and valid.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Analysis of the brain transcriptome in lines of laying hens divergently selected for feather pecking 

      Falker-Gieske, Clemens; Mott, Andrea; Preuß, Siegfried; Franzenburg, Sören; Bessei, Werner; Bennewitz, Jörn; Tetens, Jens
      BMC Genomics. 2020 Aug 27;21(1):595
      Abstract Background Feather pecking (FP) in laying hens reduces animal welfare and leads to economic losses for the layer industry. FP is considered a heritable condition that is influenced by dysregulation of neurotransmitter homeostasis, the gut microbiome, and the immune system. To identify genes and biological pathways responsible for FP behavior we compared the brain transcriptomes of 48 hens divergently selected for FP. In addition, we tested if high feather peckers (HFP) and low feather peckers (LFP) respond differently to light since light has been shown to trigger FP behavior. Results Of approximately 48 million reads/sample an average of 98.4% were mapped to the chicken genome (GRCg6a). We found 13,070 expressed genes in the analyzed brains of which 423 showed differential expression between HFP and LFP. Genes of uncertain function and non-coding RNAs were overrepresented among those transcripts. Functional analyses revealed the involvement of cholinergic signaling, postsynaptic activity, membrane channels, and the immune system. After the light stimulus, 28 genes were found to be differentially expressed. These included an interaction cluster of core components of the circadian clock. However, differences in the response to light between HFP and LFP were not detectable. Conclusions Genes involved in cholinergic signaling, channel activity, synaptic transmission, and immune response were found to be involved in FP behavior. We propose a model in which the gut microbiota modulates the immune system, which in turn affects cholinergic signaling. This might have an influence on monoamine signaling with possible involvement of GABA or glutamate signaling.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Impact of a Ration Negative in Dietary Cation–Anion Difference and Varying Calcium Supply Fed before Calving on Colostrum Quality of the Dams and Health Status and Growth Performance of the Calves 

      Rajaeerad, Abbas; Ghorbani, Gholam Reza; Khorvash, Mohammad; Sadeghi-Sefidmazgi, Ali; Mahdavi, Amir Hossein; Rashidi, Saman; Wilkens, Mirja Rosmarie; Hünerberg, Martin
      Animals 2020; 10(9) p.1-17: Art. 1465
      This study investigated the effect of diets negative in dietary cation–anion difference (DCAD) or restricted in Ca fed prepartum to dairy cows for three weeks on colostrum yield and composition, and the health and growth performance of their calves. Thirty-six pregnant non-lactating Holstein-Friesian cows were randomly assigned to three isoenergetic diets: (1) low Ca: 0.24% Ca, DCAD: +86 mEq/kg; (2) high Ca: 1.23% Ca, DCAD: +95 mEq/kg; and (3) low DCAD: 1.28% Ca, DCAD: −115 mEq/kg (all dry matter (DM) basis). While colostrum quality was not affected, low Ca supply prepartum tended to increase the colostrum yield compared to high Ca (low Ca = 8.81 vs. high Ca = 5.39 kg). However, calves from cows fed low DCAD showed higher serum concentrations of K, lower body weight (BW), starter feed intake and average daily weight gain before weaning compared to low Ca and high Ca calves (53.12 vs. 57.68 and 57.32 kg) but BW was similar postweaning (d 70). In addition, calves from dams fed low DCAD were more likely to develop diarrhea and had increased number of days with abnormal fecal scores. Consequently, calves from low DCAD dams had to be treated more frequently.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      The Impact of Behavioral Drivers on Adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Practices: The Case of Organic Farming in Turkey 

      Cakirli Akyüz, Nuray; Theuvsen, Ludwig
      Sustainability 2020; 12(17) p.1-20: Art. 6875
      Adoption decisions represent a crucial topic in sustainable agriculture research, particularly in the organic agriculture sector; to understand farmers’ decision-making, research has to delve more deeply into the influences of farmers’ behavior. The aim of this study, therefore, is to determine the behavioral intentions of Turkish sultana raisin producers toward organic farming practices. The proposed model integrates basic elements of the Theory of Planned Behavior and the technology acceptance model, which is then tested with survey data gathered from conventional and organic farmers by applying structural equation modeling, a powerful multivariate statistical technique. The results reveal that organic agriculture is perceived as a useful low-cost innovation by conventional farmers. Relating the results to group comparisons indicates that members of the conventional group are significantly more likely to have a positive intention towards adopting organic farming practices. Our results suggest possible interventions that policymakers should implement not only to stimulate adoption intentions of conventional farmers, but also to sustain continuance of organic practices by current operators.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      Survey data to identify the selection criteria used by breeders of four strains of Pakistani beetal goats 

      Ramzan, Faisal; Khan, Muhammad Sajjad; Bhatti, Shaukat Ali; Gültas, Mehmet; Schmitt, Armin O.
      Data in Brief 2020; 32 p.1-4: Art. 106051
      This article presents raw data from a survey conducted to identify the selection criteria of breeders raising either of four strains of Beetal goats, namely Beetal Faisalabadi, Beetal Makhi-Cheeni, Beetal Nuqri, and Beetal Rahim Yar Khan. After a pre-survey, a questionnaire was developed and a survey was conducted at four sites of the Punjab province of Pakistan: Faisalabad/Sahiwal, Bahawalpur/Bahawalnagar, Rajanpur, and Rahim Yar Khan. Each of these sites was the home tract of one strain. During the survey breeders (n = 162) were asked to rank the traits of their selection criteria based on the relative importance of those traits. Furthermore, the prevailing production system was also characterized by the breeders. For the interpretation of the results of this survey the readers are referred to Ref. [1]. The raw data set provided in this article can be extended in the future to include more strains of Beetal goats as well as other goat breeds. The selection criteria of breeders can change over time. This data set can also be used in future studies to investigate the temporal changes in the relative importance of different traits for the breeders. The factors potentially influencing those changes can also be investigated. This data set can further be utilized to design community based breeding plans tailored to the needs of the goat farming community.
      View Document Abstract
    • Journal Article

      An Innovative Concept for a Multivariate Plausibility Assessment of Simultaneously Recorded Data 

      Mensching, André; Zschiesche, Marleen; Hummel, Jürgen; Schmitt, Armin Otto; Grelet, Clément; Sharifi, Ahmad Reza
      Animals 2020; 10(8) p.1-22: Art. 1412
      The aim of this work was to develop an innovative multivariate plausibility assessment (MPA) algorithm in order to differentiate between ‘physiologically normal’, ‘physiologically extreme’ and ‘implausible’ observations in simultaneously recorded data. The underlying concept is based on the fact that different measurable parameters are often physiologically linked. If physiologically extreme observations occur due to disease, incident or hormonal cycles, usually more than one measurable trait is affected. In contrast, extreme values of a single trait are most likely implausible if all other traits show values in a normal range. For demonstration purposes, the MPA was applied on a time series data set which was collected on 100 cows in 10 commercial dairy farms. Continuous measurements comprised climate data, intra-reticular pH and temperature, jaw movement and locomotion behavior. Non-continuous measurements included milk yield, milk components, milk mid-infrared spectra and blood parameters. After the application of the MPA, in particular the pH data showed the most implausible observations with approximately 5% of the measured values. The other traits showed implausible values up to 2.5%. The MPA showed the ability to improve the data quality for downstream analyses by detecting implausible observations and to discover physiologically extreme conditions even within complex data structures. At this stage, the MPA is not a fully developed and validated management tool, but rather corresponds to a basic concept for future works, which can be extended and modified as required.
      View Document Abstract