Volume 5, Issue No 2, Science and Natural Resources 2018

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Issues in Volume 5
I No 1 II No 2 (this issue) II No 3 II No 4 II

Editorial Board and Table of Contents

Full Articles

Potential of Typha angustifolia L. in removing norethindrone from water
Jie-Yinn Lee; Charles S. Vairappan; Kartini Saibeh. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 58 - 67
Abstract Uncontrollable demand of pharmaceutical especially contraception drugs and poor performance of conventional wastewater treatment plants has resulted in the increasing concentration of pharmaceutical residues in natural environment. Phytotechnology (phytoremediation technology) such as constructed wetland has been introduced as post treatment before the effluent is discharged from wastewater treatment plants to natural water courses. In this context, a study was conducted to assess the potential of the macrophyte, Typha angustifolia to remove norethindrone. This evaluation was conducted in hydroponic solutions with 0.5 – 2.0 mg/L of norethindrone for a maximum period of 21 days. The removal efficiency of norethindrone from the water by T. angustifolia reached a value of 90% of the initial contents. The range of relative growth rates of T. angustifolia in the norethindrone treated assays was 1.821 – 2.589. The result obtained from this study suggests that T. angustifolia has high capability to adapt and crop the toxicity of norethindrone when it is applied in phytotreatment. View article

Effects of auxin and cytokinin on biomass and phenolics production in adventitious roots cultures of Labisia pumila var. alata
Clarice Evey Anjum; Hartinie Marbawi; Jualang Azlan Gansau. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 68 - 75
Abstract Labisia pumila is a highly valuable medicinal herb in Malaysia which contains many important bioactive compounds. This study described the effects of different concentrations of auxin and auxin-cytokinin combinations on biomass and phenolics production of adventitious roots of Labisia pumila var. alata (LPA) in liquid shake culture. The roots were cultured in darkness for five weeks and its biomass was determined, followed by extraction and assessment of their production of total phenolics and flavonoids. In single hormone treatment, naphthalene-acetic acid (NAA) (1 mg/L) was the best auxin for biomass production (274.60 ± 11.00 mg FW, 42.65 ± 5.45 mg DW) with highest yield of total phenolics (70.68 ± 8.67 µg) and total flavonoids (31.12 ± 4.58 µg) compared to indole acetic acid (IAA) and indole butyric acid (IBA). However, the combination of 1 mg/L NAA with cytokinins (BAP or KN at 0.1-1 mg/L) failed to enhanced adventitious roots with biomass and bioactives accumulation. The results are beneficial for optimization of LPA adventitious root cultures for phenolics and flavonoids production. View article

Integrating Biotechnology into Geotechnical Engineering: A Laboratory Exercise
Armstrong Ighodalo Omoregie; Jasmine Siah; Brenda Chan Sze Pei; Stephenie Poh Jie Yie; Luke Shakti Weissmann; Tan Gei Enn; Rakika Rafi; Tay Hui Yee Zoe; Hasina Mohammed Mkwata; Cinderella Anak Sio; Peter Morin Nissom. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 76 - 87
Abstract Microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) is a new and promising technique that uses biocementation technology via microbial activities to improve soil properties. This natural occurring biochemical process that utilises the metabolic pathways of bacteria to form calcium carbonate, has drawn the attention of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to explore various applicable prospects for industrial purposes. The aim of this study was to execute practical activities designed to enable students discover the availability of urease-producing bacteria from local environment and perform a small-scale biocement treatment. Enrichment culture technique and Christensen’s medium were used to screen for urease-producing bacteria from soil samples. Conductivity method was then used to quantify the specific urease activities of the local isolates. A biocement treatment test via MICP process was used to investigate the suitability of using three methods to improve geotechnical properties of loose soils and determine their respective surface strengths. A total of 12 bacterial isolates were obtained from samples collected at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus. Among these, only eight bacterial isolates (designated as SUTS-1, SUTS-2, SUTS-3, SUTS-4, SUTS-5, SUTS-6, SUTS-7 and SUTS-8) were urease positive. The conductivity results, showed that bacterial isolate SUTS-6 had the highest specific urease activity (23.340 mM urea hydrolysed.min-1. OD-1) amongst all the bacterial isolates. This value is comparable to that of Sporosarcina pasteurii DS33 (23.755 mM urea hydrolysed.min-1. OD-1), a control strain used in this study. In addition, the biocement result showed that Group 1 (sand without premix) and Group 2 (sand premixed with bacterial culture) treatment produced more compactible biocemented soil samples when compared with those treated with Group 3 (sand premixed with 1 M urea and calcium chloride). However, the surface strength test revealed that Group 2 treatment method showed the highest strength (430.922 kPa), hence making it the most preferred treatment method. View article

Nutritional Quality of Rice Variety in Sabah, Malaysia
Wei Ting Neoh; Mok Sam Lum. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 88 - 92
Abstract Five rice samples collected in Sabah (white, red, black, brown and aroma rice) were evaluated for protein content and nutritional quality. Protein content of the rice samples obtained ranged from 13.13 to 24.60%. Mineral contents were significantly higher in brown rice than the others The phosphorus (P), sodium (Na), potassium (K), magnesium (mg) and copper (Cu) contents ranged from 3.48 to 4.28, 19.95 to 27.60, 74.98 to 627.17, 68.40 to 126.73 and 0.57 to 1.63 mg/100 g, respectively among the rice samples. The lowest contents of these elements were observed in white rice. Traditional rice varieties found in Sabah have better nutritional quality than white rice due to much more availability of minerals. These rice varieties may be utilized in rice breeding for specific grain quality. View article

Feed Profile of a Cut-and-Carry Feedlot Cattle Farming System in Sabah and Implications for Feedlot Feed Management
Januarius Gobilik; Lorren Adam; Punimin Abdullah; Harun Abas; Stephen Todd Morris; Cory Matthew; Yeo Boon Kiat. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 93 - 105
Abstract Little is known about feed profile of the cut-and-carry feedlot cattle farming system in Sabah. Thus, a study was conducted to perform metabolic energy budgeting at SPT 16 Tawau to assess the feed demand and supply of the said system. Available data were retrieved from 2008 to 2013, analysed and evaluated to identify the feed supply components of the system. The average herbage consumed in the system, expressed in proportion to the cut-and-carry paddocks, was 6.22 t DM ha–1 yr–1. In herbage equivalent, the average concentrate consumed and feed loss as live weight loss energy were respectively 1.80 t DM ha-1 yr-1 and 0.59 t DM ha-1 yr-1. It appears that the amount of herbage consumed is lower than the potential dry matter production of around 21.3 t DM ha-1 yr-1 based on the availability of light and rainfall for the region. The amount of concentrate consumed is relatively low, and this could be replaced with well-cultivated and high quality herbage to reduce overall feed cost. There is a need to reduce feed loss as live weight loss energy, so that a higher proportion of the herbage produced in the system could be retained as animal live weight. Based on the system feed conversion efficiency statistics, the Brahman animals tend to require more concentrate or high quality feeds compared to the Bali cattle, which could thrive more on herbage, or feed of lower nutritive value. However, the Droughtmaster cattle demanded a good balance of herbage and concentrate. Quite often the low level of animal production under the cut-and-carry feedlot farming system in Sabah has been associated with low feed production. Nevertheless the improvement of feed production alone cannot be considered as the only direct solution, as other factors, including improving system feed conversion efficiency are paramount for improving live weight gain in the whole system. View article

Effect of Crosslinkers on Immobilization of β-Galactosidase on Polymethacrylate Monolith
Rima Fatira Dahari; Clarence M Ongkudon; Mailin Misson. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 106 - 113
Abstract Advances in biotechnology unfold a new frontier for the development of enzyme-catalysed bioprocess which is green and sustainable in contrast with chemical processes. Immobilization technology appears as a beneficial solution to the uneconomical cost of enzyme operation. Immobilization of enzyme via crosslinking approach has become a technology interest due to the more concentrate enzyme activity in the catalyst compared to other techniques. In this study, two types of crosslinker, glutaraldehyde and hexamethylene diisocyanate at different concentration was investigated in immobilizing β-galactosidase on polymethacrylate monolith. The enzyme activity upon immobilization was measured spectrophotometrically at 405 nm. The immobilized enzyme was further characterized using Fourier Transform Infrared Spesctroscopy (FTIR) and Zeiss Axio Fluorescence Microscope. The findings showed that the optimum enzyme activity was achieved when using 0.05% and 0.01% glutaraldehyde hexamethylene diisocyanate respectively. Beyond that concentration, a significant reduction of enzyme activity was observed. It was found that glutaraldehyde was preferable as crosslinking agent as hexamethylene diisocyanate exhibited stronger effect in reducing enzyme activity. A successful binding of β-galactosidase on polymethacrylate monolith was observed using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Zeiss Axio Fluorescence microscope. The outcomes of this study indicate the potential of enzyme immobilization on monolith via crosslinking method. View article

Phytochemicals of Oil Palm Root Extracts and Antifungal Activity against Ganoderma boninense
Rozlianah Fitri Said; Jualang Azlan Gansau; Khim Phin Chong. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 114 - 120
Abstract This study was conducted to investigate the phytochemicals composition of oil palm seedling roots before and after elicited with copper sulfate (CuSO4). Apart from that, the antifungal activity of methanol, ethanol, acetone, ethyl acetate, chloroform and petroleum ether oil palm root extracts were also evaluated against G. boninense, the causal pathogen of basal stem rot (BSR) disease in oil palms. Qualitative chemical tests for both CuSO4-elicited and non-elicited oil palm root extracts revealed the presence of various phytochemicals in methanol extract (ME) and ethanol extract (EE). Both extracts contain alkaloids, saponins, terpenoids, cardiac glycosides and tannins except for the absent of flavonoids. Those phytochemicals constituents were strongly presence in ME from CuSO4-elicited oil palm root as compared to other extracts for both treatments. Chloroform extract (CE) from non-elicited oil palm root and petroleum ether extract (PEE) for both treatments showed negative finding for all tests. Meanwhile, the results of antifungal tests for the non-elicited oil palm roots of ME showed a higher percent of inhibition (8.15 %) against G. boninense mycelial growth followed by EE (5.56 %) and acetone extract (AE) (3.7 %). However, there is no significant difference between ME and EE, and similar results obtained for EE and AE. The CuSO4-elicited oil palm root showed that ME gave the highest significant antifungal activity (14.07 %) followed by EE (8.14 %) and AE (6.67 %). In contrast, ethyl acetate extract (EAE), CE and PEE exhibited significantly weak antifungal activities with lower percent of inhibition for both treatments. Prior application of CuSO4 as an elicitor to trigger plant defense responses and stimulate the production of secondary metabolites could determine the outcome of a plant-pathogen interaction. View article

Co-Injection of Carbon Dioxide and Non-Polar Chemical Modifiers using Micro-model System at Immiscible Conditions for Enhancing Oil Recovery
Nur Hanisah Mohd Fuat; Abu Zahrim Yaser; Ravindra Pogaku. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 121 - 130
Abstract In order to improve extraction capability of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the chemistry industry, a joint application of supercritical CO2 with some chemical modifiers such as alcohols is usually employed. Polar chemical modifiers such as methanol, is well known for its capability in extracting polar components of crude oil such as asphaltic. Most of the components in crude oils are, however, non-polar. This paper investigates the influence of non-polar chemical modifiers’ addition with CO2 on improving the crude oil extraction at immiscible conditions by using a micro-model system. From the experiments, it was found that extraction of crude oil improved with the addition of non-polar solvent with the highest oil recovery of 52.54% achieved by co-injection of gaseous CO2 and toluene, as compared to oil recovery of 27.4% by gaseous CO2 alone after 20 Pore Volume Injected (PVI). View article

Nocturnal Mammals of Segaliud-Lokan Forest Reserve, Sabah
Sze-Lue Kee; Jephte Sompud; Kurtis Jai-Chyi Pei; Mahmud Sudin; Collin Goh; Paul Liau; Fadzil Yahya. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 131 - 136
Abstract The aim of this study is to document the population density and diversity of nocturnal mammal in Segaliud-Lokan Forest Reserve (SLFR). Vehicle spotlight survey was conducted from October – December 2017. A total distance of 1,720 km travelled along the gravel roads. There were 24 species with 14 families (195 sighting) nocturnal mammals were recorded. Many large nocturnal mammals can be found in Segaliud-Lokan Forest Reserve, including Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), Tembadau (Bos javanicus), and Clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi). The Shannon’s diversity index and Simpson diversity index were 2.60 and 0.90, respectively. King's census method was used to estimate the population density which was 4.780 individual per square kilometer. The population density and diversity of nocturnal mammals was high, indicating that the forest operations in SLFR seemingly support the sustainability of the nocturnal mammal population there. View article

Avifauna Community in Timber Production Area in Segaliud-Lokan Forest Reserve, Sabah
Woon-Jah Lee; Jephte Sompud; Kurtis Jai-Chyi Pei; Mahmud Sudin; Collin Goh; Paul Liau; Fadzil Yahya; Abdul Jalal Sampurai Abdullah. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 137 - 142
Abstract Selective logging is one of the widespread human activities in tropical forest. It is a recommended forest operation method as opposed to clear-cut logging which has lower impact on environment. Timber production forests that are managed sustainably may acts as potential refuges for avian population. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to present the avifauna community in timber production area of a production forest. The study was conducted from October to December 2017 at Segaliud-Lokan Forest Reserve (SLFR). Two types of surveys were conducted, i.e. bird survey and vegetation survey. Standard point count method was used to conduct bird survey from 0700 hours to 1130 hours. For vegetation survey, 20m x 20 m plot was established on each point count stations. The data was analyzed by descriptive analysis and statistics analysis. Fisher’s alpha diversity index was calculated for the bird species diversity. A total of 55 species with 27 families (228 individuals) were recorded. The value of Fisher’s alpha index of diversity was 23.02. The results show that the avian community in SLFR was similar as compared to other past studies that were logged 20 years ago in Malaysia. View article

Macro-Geographic Variations of the Invasive Giant African Snail Achatina fulica Populations in Mindanao, Philippines
Genelyn G. Madjos; Cesar G. Demayo. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 143 - 154
Abstract It is argued that widely distributed populations of the ecologically damaging land snail Achatina fulica are expected to harbor less genetic variation due to multiple introductions. Despite of this likely decreased genetic variation, they have successfully established cosmopolitan distribution and invasive status out from their native origin in East Africa. Successful invading species are found to exhibit increased plasticity which may indicate local adaptation to maximize its fitness. Thus, this study was conducted to examine plasticity in the phenotype of the species by employing the tools of both meristic and geometric morphometrics. Variations in the ventral, apertural view of Achatina were described and compared subjecting them to Correlation Analysis Based on Distances (CORIANDIS). This method visualizes congruence and disparity of multivariate traits. Results of the study show variability within, between and among populations of A. fulica. The plasticity observed was not based on distance and may indicate their inherent ability to adapt to local conditions characterized by the kind of host plants available and maybe due to the differences in the physico-chemical environment of the sampling areas. View article

The Fishery of the Mangrove Crabs, Scylla spp in Three Selected Areas of the Philippines
Ruby Castrence-Gonzales; Jessie G. Gorospe; Mark Anthonny J. Torres; Helen J. Vicente; Elnor C. Roa; Cesar G. Demayo. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 155 - 170
Abstract The effect of unsustainable fishing practices, on the fishery and biology of the Scylla species was investigated in four stations in the Philippines based on primary and secondary data. Results show that the combined catch profile revealed a decreasing trend in the last ten years. Evaluation of crabs in the landing stations show that from a total of 644 individuals measured in terms of carapace length, carapace width and body weight, size and sexual maturity, computed length-weight relationships revealed that the growth is allometric and the size of S. serrata is decreasing. It is important to note from the results of the survey that S. serrata was the most exploited since it was shown to be the majority of crabs harvested and sold because they are not only the largest among the three species but because it is popular for both the local and export market. Aquaculture, unregulated fishing practices and the empirical data generated in this study may affect the fishery and biology of the species needing appropriate management interventions especially in regulating the collections of crabs in the wild that are not mature and in reproductive age. View article

An Update on the Bird Population in Gaya Island
Emily A. Gilbert; Jephte Sompud; Oswald A. Igau; Maklarin Lakim; Rimi Repin; Alim Biun. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 171 - 176
Abstract The ecosystem of small islands also plays a crucial role in serving as a habitat for birds especially the endemic and migratory birds. To date, there is still limited study that has been done in documenting the avian community in small islands such as Gaya Island in Sabah. Hence, this study aims to document and update the bird population by looking at the species richness and abundance of birds in Gaya Island. The method that was being used was solely standard point count method in three selected sampling trails for six months of survey. A total number of 524 individuals from 26 species and 17 families were recorded of which adding 16 species of birds from the past study. The value of the Shannon Wiener index and Simpson diversity index for the diversity of birds were 2.607 and 0.906 respectively. Interestingly two endemic species, two near threatened and one vulnerable species namely Philippine Megapode (Megapodius cumingii), White-crowned Shama (Copsychus strickladii), White-chested Babbler (Trichastoma rostratum), Grey-chested Jungle Flycatcher (Rhinomyias umbratilis) and Great Slaty Woodpecker (Mulleripicus pulverulentus) were sighted during the survey. The result from this study showed that Gaya Island supports diverse species of birds and play a crucial transit location for migratory bird species. Hence, it indicates for the need of further bird conservation studies in the island. View article

Threats Factor on Eco-tourism Activity in Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, Langkawi
Noor Syarafina Mohd Fauzi; Alamah Misni. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 177 - 183
Abstract Geo-heritage is those parts of geo-diversity that specifically identified as having conservation significance. In recent years, the eco-tourism sector has evolved and become a significant impact towards the loss of geo-heritage elements around the world. Nevertheless, Geopark concept has introduced the idea of managing the geo-heritage site through the concept of conservation, education and sustainable development. Therefore, the study used in-depth professional and expert interview to obtain data to identify the threat factor in Geopark area. The results of the interview translated into detail transcript and analysed through the latest Atlas.ti software. Meanwhile, the overall result has been sorted out, visualized through a Conceptual Model Network, and supported by figures and charts. Based on the result, eco-tourism activity identified as threats that contribute towards the negative impact in Geopark area. Therefore, proper conservation management planning is required to address the problems. This study hopes to organize, identify and analyse a precise Geopark measure in strategically sustain the valuable features of the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park. View article

Effect of Plastic Content Ratio on the Mechanical Properties of Wood-Plastic Composite (WPC) Made From Three Different Recycled Plastic and Acacia Fibres
Verra Gulitah; Kang Chiang Liew. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 184 - 189
Abstract Recycled plastic as a matrix in Wood-Plastic Composite (WPC) has been one of the major interesting research subjects due to its availability and for the sake of environmental concern. In this study, the effect of different ratios (100%, 90%, 80%, 70%, 60% and 50%) of plastic content from polypropylene (PP), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE) mixed with wood fibres (WF) from Acacia were used to produce WPCs and evaluated for their mechanical properties. The composite test pieces were produced by hot-press method and mould which followed ASTM D638-02 and ASTM D790-02 for tensile properties and flexural properties respectively. It was found that the performance of tensile strength was linearly increased with increasing amount of plastic content. WPCs of PP-WF, HDPE-WF and LDPE-WF having 100% plastic content showed highest tensile strength which were 25.02 N/mm², 16.41 N/mm² and 12.45 N/mm² respectively for different recycled plastic. Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) and Modulus of Rupture (MOR) results showed that WPC with 100% PP had the highest with 1020.07 N/mm² for MOE followed by 417.30 N/mm² and 371.81 N/mm² respectively for 100% HDPE and 100% LDPE. MOR showed highest for 100% PP also with 25.10 N/mm² as compared to HDPE only achieved 12.54 N/mm² and LDPE with 10.66 N/mm². View article

Morphometric Shape Analysis of Otolith from Selected Goby Fishes
Jocelyn O. Pattuinan; Cesar G. Demayo. 2018. Transactions on Science and Technology, 5(2), 190 - 196
Abstract Four selected fish otolith of Goby species, Glossogobius celebius, Glossogobius giuris, Awaous ocellaries, and Awaous melanocephalus were compared in this study using Elliptic Fourier SHAPE analysis. Kruskal-Wallis and Discriminant Function Analysis of shape data show significant differences in otolith shapes between species. The observed otolith shapes of the gobies provide a good taxonomic tool to separate the species of this genus. The diversity and complexity in otolith shapes may also be considered important for fisheries scientists, archeologists and for the discrimination of other species of this complex genus of fish. View article

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