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Articles by Ram C. Sihag
Total Records ( 5 ) for Ram C. Sihag
  Nidhi Wadhwa and Ram C. Sihag
  Sarpagandha (Rauvolfia serpentina (Linn.) Benth., ex Kurz.) is an important medicinal plant. Flowers of this plant are protogynous and need cross-pollination for seed set. The characterization of its pollinators and pollination mode is, therefore, important. Entire ranges of flower visitors of sarpagandha were captured with hand net from its field and were identified. These visitors were characterized as pollinators and non-pollinators based on their mode of working on the flowers. Their relative abundances, foraging rates activity durations, number of pollen grains carried on the body, effect of multiple visits were used to determine their pollinating efficiencies. At Hisar (Haryana, India), nineteen insect species were found to visit the flower of sarpagandha. The insects visiting the flowers of sarpagandha showed two types of foraging modes. On the basis of these modes, the flower visitors were characterized as pollinators and non-pollinators. Some foragers of A. dorsata and A. mellifera were base-foragers (nectar thieves/non-pollinators). However, all the lepidopterous species and some of the hymenopterous species were exclusively front-foragers (pollinators). Most abundant were two species of butterflies viz. Papilio demoleus and Pieris brassicae and three species of bees viz. Mellisodes sp., Xylocopa fenestrata and Megachile sp. The peak activity of all the insect visitors was observed at 1300 h. Maximum duration of activity in the field was shown by Papilio demoleus. All the visitors carried excessively higher number of pollen grains on their bodies than required by the flower for fruit set. Incremental visits also did not have significant increase on the fruit set. Therefore, on the basis of population abundance, foraging mode, foraging rate and activity duration, pollinating efficiency of the visitors was determined, where in Papilio demoleus was ranked as the best pollinator of sarpagandha at Hisar, that confirmed our earlier belief about predominance of psychophilous mode of pollination (i.e., pollination by butterflies) in sarpagandha.
  Ram C. Sihag and Manisha Gupta
  To help the honeybee colonies to tide over harsh summer dearth period in South-Western region of Haryana (India), the efficacy of four pollen substitute diets viz. diet-1 (Soybean flour+yeast extract+honey), diet-2 (diet-1+NaCl salt), diet-3 (diet-1+salt+vitamins and minerals) and diet-4 (diet-1+vitamins and minerals) was tested on the reproduction and build up of colonies of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.). The diet-1 could induce reproduction and build up in the treated colonies. But, the diet-2 proved counterproductive as all the attributes of the colonies receiving the latter diet declined markedly. The diet-3 could marginally increase the values of colony attributes. However, these values remained significantly lower than those achieved under diet-1. The diet-4 proved to be the best among the four artificial pollen substitute diets. The colonies receiving the latter diet showed maximal unsealed brood area, sealed brood area, bee strength and pollen and honey stores. All the control colonies had extremely low values of these parameters, could not survive the summer dearth period and vanished by late October. The colonies receiving diet-4 could give maximal economic returns followed by, in descending order, those receiving diet-1, diet-2 and diet-3. The control colonies receiving no artificial diet died during the dearth period thus causing a complete loss of the invested capital amount. The diet-4, therefore, seems to make a sufficient pollen substitute feed for sustaining reproduction and brood rearing in honeybee (A. mellifera) colonies during dearth period.
  Ram C. Sihag and Manisha Gupta
  Four artificial pollen substitute diets were earlier tested for their relative efficacy. The composition of these diets was not available in the earlier publications. This research note provides detailed composition of these four artificial diets for honeybees.
  Ram C. Sihag and Parvati Sharma
  Diseases are considered to be the major constraint in aquaculture production. They cause mortality in shrimp larviculture and fish hatcheries. They are also a constraint on consistent production of fish and shell fish. Traditionally, the control of diseases in aquaculture has relied on the use of chemical compounds. More recently probiotic microorganisms and vaccination or other forms of immunostimulation have also been employed. The abuse of antimicrobials can result in the development of resistant strains of bacteria. Such resistance can be readily transferred to other strains, either following alterations to the existing genome or by transfer of genetic material between cells through plasmids or bacteriophages. The massive use of antibiotics for the control of diseases has been questioned by acquisition of antibiotic resistance in disease causing agents and the need of alternative measures to control these diseases is of prime importance. In recent years, probiotics have a center stage and are used as alternative measures to control the fish diseases. Probiotics have been used by man for millennia since the time humans first consumed fermented milk products. Probiotics can be essential for the normal digestive, endocrine and immunological functions of the bowel. They inhibit pathogenic microorganisms and have been used therapeutically to treat a variety of gastrointestinal and even systemic disorders. Probiotics transiently colonize the bowel and except when used to treat an acute disorder, must be regularly consumed to maintain benefit. Use of microbial probiotics to promote health maintenance and disease prevention and control is now widely accepted as the new ecofriendly alternative measures for sustainable aquaculture.
  Sunita Godara , Ram C. Sihag and Rajender K. Gupta
  Use of organic fertilizers has become very common in the modern piscicultural practices; vermicompost is a new addition to the list of such fertilizers. The efficacy of vermicompost was better than the other fertilizers both in keeping the hydro-biological parameters of treated waters in favourable ranges as well as in maximizing the fish growth. However, its effect on the pathogenic bacterial profile of treated waters is not known. To accomplish this objective, an experiment was performed in 5.54×6.15 m size ponds stocked with three species of Indian major carps viz. catla (Catla catla Ham.), rohu (Labeo rohita Ham.) and mrigal (Cirrhinus mrigala Ham.) at 30 fish per pond in 3:4:3 ratios, respectively. Six treatments viz. a control without any treatment (T1), pig manure at 4,000 kg ha–1 year–1 (T2), poultry manure at 6,000 kg ha–1 year–1 (T3), cow dung at 10,000 kg ha–1 year–1 (T4), vermicompost at 10,000 kg ha–1 year–1 (T5) and vermicompost at 15,000 kg ha–1 year–1 (T6) were used to monitor their effect on the pathogenic bacterial populations in the treated pond waters. One fourth doses of fertilizers were applied 15 days prior to the fish stocking and the remaining doses were given at fortnightly intervals; the supplementary feed was given at 2% of the body weight of fishes. The pure culture of bacterial isolates segregated from the pond sediments were identified by primary, secondary and tertiary tests and confirmed for their pathogenicity through in vitro and in vivo tests. Overall, seven gram negative pathogenic bacterial strains (viz. Aeromonas hydrophila, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aerogens, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Klebsiella oxytoca, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Shigella sp.) and three gram positive strains (viz. Micrococcus luteus, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus sp.) were isolated from the pond waters treated with different manures. The in vitro and in vivo tests confirmed the pathogenic nature of these bacteria. The abundances of the heterotrophic pathogenic bacteria were minimal in the pond waters treated with vermicompost at 10,000 kg ha–1 year–1 followed by those treated with vermicompost at 15,000 kg ha–1 year–1; the abundances of pathogenic bacteria were higher in waters treated with other fertilizers including under the control treatment. Under other than these two vermicompost treatments, the abundances of pathogenic bacteria were variable depending upon the bacterium-fertilizer type. On the basis of these results, vermicompost at 10,000 kg ha–1 year–1 seemed to be the best among the five organic fertilizer treatments in controlling the abundance of pathogenic bacteria in the treated pond waters.
 
 
 
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