Assam Agricultural University is the first institution of its kind in the whole of North-Eastern Region of India. The main goal of this institution is to produce globally competitive human resources in farm sectorand to carry out research in both conventional and frontier areas for production optimization as well as to disseminate the generated technologies as public good for benefitting the food growers/produces and traders involved in the sector while emphasizing on sustainability, equity and overall food security at household level.
Genesis of AAU -
The embryo of the agricultural research in the state of Assam was formed as early as 1897 with the establishment of the Upper Shillong Experimental Farm (now in Meghalaya) just after about a decade of creation of the agricultural department in 1882. However, the seeds of agricultural research in today’s Assam were sown in the dawn of the twentieth century with the establishment of two Rice Experimental Stations, one at Karimganj in Barak valley in 1913 and the other at Titabor in Brahmaputra valley in 1923. Subsequent to these research stations, a number of research stations were established to conduct research on important crops, more specifically, jute, pulses, oilseeds etc. The Assam Agricultural University was established on April 1, 1969 under The Assam Agricultural University Act, 1968’ with the mandate of imparting farm education, conduct research in agriculture and allied sciences and to effectively disseminate technologies so generated. Before establishment of the University, there were altogether 17 research schemes/projects in the state under the Department of Agriculture. By July 1973, all the research projects and 10 experimental farms were transferred by the Government of Assam to the AAU which already inherited the College of Agriculture and its farm at Barbheta, Jorhat and College of Veterinary Sciences at Khanapara, Guwahati.
Subsequently, College of Community Science at Jorhat (1969), College of Fisheries at Raha (1988), Biswanath College of Agriculture at Biswanath Chariali (1988) and Lakhimpur College of Veterinary Science at Joyhing, North Lakhimpur (1988) were established. Presently, the University has three more colleges under its jurisdiction, viz., Sarat Chandra Singha College of Agriculture, Chapar, College of Horticulture, Nalbari & College of Sericulture, Titabar. Similarly, few more regional research stations at Shillongani, Diphu, Gossaigaon, Lakhimpur; and commodity research stations at Kahikuchi, Buralikson, Tinsukia, Kharua, Burnihat and Mandira were added to generate location and crop specific agricultural production packages.
Present study was undertaken to elaborate alteration of histomorphological,
histochemical, ultrastructural, immunofluorescence, gut microbiota, cytokine gene
profile and brush border enzyme activity of histocompartments of small intestine in
control (basal diet) and treatment (basal diet + probiotic + zinc) group piglets during pre
and post-weaned period. This study was assumed to understand the effect of probiotic
and zinc on gut digestibility and immunity compared to the control piglets so that the
productivity of this important species of farm animal could be enhanced. Besides, this
information was assumed to help to control the post-weaning diarrhoea in piglets that
causes significant economic losses in pig production.
Eighteen (18) numbers of apparently healthy Large White Yorkshire piglets,
irrespective of their sex were utilized in the present study. These piglets were selected
from three litters (6 piglets from one litter) and were divided into control (basal diet) and
treatment (basal diet + probiotic + zinc) groups, consisting of 3 animals in each group.
The probiotic (dosed daily with 1.25 109 CFU/gm) and zinc (ZnO dosed daily with
2000 ppm) was supplemented orally to the treated piglets from birth to 10 days of age.
The weaning of the piglets was done at 28 days. The animals were sacrificed at day 20,
day 30 and day 60 from both the groups. The histomorphological, ultrastructural,
histoenzymatic, immunofluorescence and cytokine gene expression were performed to
study the alteration in treatment group of piglets. Besides, examination of brush border
enzyme activity was done to evaluate the conversion of disaccharide into
monosaccharide in these two groups of piglets.
The villus and crypt morphometry revealed higher villus height, villus width,
crypt depth, crypt width, villus enlargement factor and crypt enlargement factor, and
lower villus crypt ratio in treatment group of piglets. This might indicate greater
absorptive capacity of available nutrients and higher epithelial turn-over rate to
compensate losses in height of villi in treated piglets especially during early postweaning
In the mucosa of villus and crypt, the number of goblet cells, argentaffin cells and
tuft cells were increased in treatment group of piglets. These findings might be
concluded with better enhancement of epithelial barrier, higher production of
gastrointestinal hormones, better microenvironment of gut and defense mechanism
which resulted in effective immunity and digestibility in this group of piglets.
In the lining epithelium of small intestine, the number of intraepithelial
lymphocytes (IEL) was higher in treatment group piglets that could be the result of a
nonspecific stimulation of the local immune system possibly by certain antigens of
probiotic bacteria. The increased number of IEL might be an indicative of more mature
and efficient adaptive immune response in piglets fed with probiotic and zinc than the
In the histotopographic areas, the CD4+ cells, CD8+ cells, IgA+ cells and IgM+
cells were increased in treatment group of piglets. These findings might be interpreted
with more production and secretion of secretory IgA, enhancing defense against
pathogens, maintenance and enhancement of epithelial cell integrity and production of
more immunoglobulin to ensure a fast reaction against potential pathogens. These might
led to better mucosal immunity in the probiotic and zinc treated piglets.
In the treatment group of piglets, the brush border enzyme activity was higher to
convert their respective substrates into glucose that might be indicative of more
absorption of glucose from the available carbohydrate present in the intestine, and
resulted with better growth and development in this group of piglets.
The increased activity of acid and alkaline phosphatase in treated piglets might be
correlated with higher secretion of glands and greater absorptive capacity of enterocytes.
Similarly, higher ATPase and non-specific esterase activities might be indicative of more
concentration of B and T cells in follicular and interfollicular areas of PP in treatment
group of piglets, respectively.
The cultivable cell counts of lactic acid bacteria were higher in treatment group
of piglets. These more number of beneficial microbiota might reduce the pathogenic
bacterial load in the small intestine and provide a healthy environment for better
digestion and immunity in treatment group of piglets especially in early post-weaning
The marginal up-regulation of cytokine expression of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6
transcripts in treatment group of piglets might have resulted in the stimulation of innate
immune cells to eradicate microbes and enhancement of IgA B-cell population in the
young ones and increased epithelial cell turn-over.
The down-regulation of cytokine expression of IL-8, IL-12 and IL-18 transcripts
in treatment group of piglets possibly lead to decreased activity of NK cells and CD8+
cytotoxic T lymphocytes which was an indicative of lesser infections associated with
intracellular pathogens and presence of healthy intestinal epithelial cells in the gut.
The present study was undertaken to elaborate certain gross anatomical,
histomorphological, histochemical, ultrastructural and biochemical aspect of Harderian
gland of Pati ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) of Assam during the postnatal
development. Total 45 (forty five) numbers of apparently healthy Pati ducks (Anas
platyrhynchos domesticus) were utilized for present study.
The Harderian gland of Pati duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) was located
within the orbit. The gland was flat, oval and coma shaped with irregular border. The
gland had two surfaces i.e. the parietal and the visceral surfaces, two borders and two
blunt poles. The parietal surface was found convex and attached to fascia covered by the
nasal bones and interorbital septa of the orbit. The visceral surface was concave and it
was attached loosely to the eye ball with fascia. The lobes of the Harderian gland became
more prominent with the advancement of the age. The gland was light pink while freshly
collected. The arterial blood supplied and the venus drainage was by the ophthalmic
artery and vein. The slender branch of oculomotor nerve innervated the Harderian gland.
The result reflected an ascending trend from 0 week age group to 42 weeks age group in
all the gross parameters. There were slight difference between left and right gland in all
the gross parameter but statistically not significant (p value > 0.05). A short single duct
was observed in the Harderian Gland of Pati duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus).
The duct opened into the conjunctival sac at the base of the 3rd eyelid.
The Harderian gland of Pati duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) had a capsule
which was consisted of connective tissue, blood vessels, nerves and lymphatics. The
thickness of the capsule of the Harderian gland was increased slightly along the
advancement of the age i.e. from 0 week to 42 weeks age group. The capsular connective
tissue penetrated the parenchyma of the Harderian gland in the form of septa or
trabeculae. The collagen, reticular, elastic and nerve fibers were observed along with the
capsule and as well as in the septa and trabeculae. The thickness of the capsule and
distribution of all the fibers increased along with the advancement of the age i.e. from 0
week to 42 weeks age group.
The Harderian gland of the Pati duck (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) was
compound tubular gland. The columnar epithelial cells lined the tubules. There was no
cortex and medulla in the gland and the tubular structures were uniformly distributed
within the lobules. A central cannel was present in the gland which converged to the duct
of the gland. The lymphocytes and plasma cells were found in the intertubular
connective tissue. The numbers or population of plasma cell and lymphocytes were
accelerated by the advancement of age. The myoepithelial cells with spindle shaped
nuclei were present near the basement membrane close to the secretary cells. The
histology of the duct of the Harderian gland of Pati duck (Anas platyrhynchos
domesticus) was like typical hollow tubular organs. There were few lymphatic nodules
very distinctly present and extended from the lamina propria to the muscle layer.
In the present histochemical study of the Harderian land of Pati duck, the
reaction of Alkaline phosphatase enzyme was mild. The reaction of the Acid phosphatase
was absent. The Adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) activity was observed moderate in
all the age groups of birds. The activity of non specific Esterase was observed strong in
all the age groups. The periodic acid-Schiff (PAS - Alcian Blue 2.5 pH) stain revealed
positive reaction in all the age groups which indicated the presence of acid sulfated
mucosubtances in the cells.
In the Scanning Electron Microscopic studies of the Harderian gland of Pati duck
(Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) the tubular structures were looked like hole having
some secretion inside it. In higher magnification the lining epithelium cells were found
with some secretion at the tip of the cells. In Transmission Electron Microscopic study it
was found that the secretory mucous vesicles pushed the nucleus of the cell towards the
basal border. The nucleus was oval in shape and rough endoplasmic reticulum,
mitochondria, golgi apparatus were observed around the nucleus.
The quantity of total protein of the Harderian gland reflected a descending
trend in advancement of the age of the birds. The quantity of the total lipids in the
Harderian gland of Pati duck increased from 0 week age to 42 weeks age. The total lipid
and total protein content of the Harderian gland of Pati duck were inversely proportional
to each other.
In the present investigation, a total of 12 (twelve) healthy female goats of 6 months to one year of ages were used for studying the effects of exogenous hormones on the female genitalia. The first three animals served as untreated controls. Rest of the nine animals were further divided into three groups of three animals in each group receiving one dose of PMSG:HCG (750:1500 IU) at the age of six months, and out of that, three animals received a second dose of the hormones after a gap of three months and rest three after a gap of six months.
Reproductive organs from the control group and first experimental group after being hormonally treated were collected after laparotomy.
The different biometrical values viz. length, breadth and thickness were recorded for the three age groups separately and found that these values increased with the advancement of age and the biometrical values of the experimental animals were higher than the control group.
The biometrical values in respect of thickness recorded for the control group were 0.425 ± 0.002 cm, 0.870 ± 0.018 cm and 0.932 ± 0.013 cm and same for the experimental groups of goat were 0.680 ± 0.020 cm, 0.982 ± 0.017 cm and 1.294 ± 0.012 cm respectively.
Mean ± S.E. of the infundibulum in respect to the control group for the 3 different age groups were 1.490 ± 0.000 cm, 1.500 ± 0.000 cm and 1.490 ± 0.000 cm and for the experimental group for the 3 age groups were 1.523 ± 0.012 cm, 1.721 ± 0.007 cm and 3.000 ± 0.570 cm respectively. In the present study it was observed that the biometrical values of the infundibulum of the experimental groups registered higher values than the control group.
The longest part of the oviduct of goat was the ampulla recording 9.500 ± 0.000 cm, 13.000 ± 0.000 cm and 13.520 ± 0.437 cm respectively in control group and 10.133 ± 0.437 cm, 13.507 ± 0.007 cm and 13.667 ± 0.667 cm respectively in superovulated group. The Mean ± S.E. recorded for length (cm) and diameter (cm) of isthmus in control group were 1.400 ± 0.000, 2.100 ± 0.000 and 2.450 ± 0.000, and 0.200 ± 0.000, 0.300 ± 0.000 and 0.330 ± 0.000 respectively in different age groups.
The biometrical values were higher in the superovulated group than the control group. The Mean ± S.E. values for length (cm) of horn of uterus in control group recorded were 6.000 ± 1.155, 16.100 ± 0.000 and 15.980 ± 0.000 and superovulated group were recorded 7.700 ± 0.000, 16.400 ± 0.100 and 16.467 ± 0.176 respectively in different age groups.
The maximum values recorded for diameter (cm) was 2.290 ± 0.000 in 12 months age in control group and 2.333 ± 0.067 in superovulated group in 12 months 3rd repeated superovulation.
The Mean ± S.E. of the length (cm) of cervix in control group was 1.700 ± 0.000, 1.900 ± 0.000 and 2.100 ± 0.000 and treatment group were 2.063 ± 0.007, 2.133 ± 0.133 and 2.200 ± 0.058 respectively. Histomorphologically the ovaries of goat were found covered by the germinal epithelium formed by simple squamous cells in both the control as well as the experimental groups. In the control group, atretic follicles were observed. In the 6 month old control group, no corpus luteum was observed.
Serum cholesterol level was apparently higher in hormonally treated superovulated animals.
The number of small follicles counted for control group of animals at 6 months, 9 months and 12 months of ages were 2, 3 and 3. The number of medium follicle counted for control group of animals at 6 months, 9 months and 12 months of ages were 1, 2 and 2. Respective values for super-ovulated goats were 2, 3 and 4. The number of large follicle counted for control group of animals at 6 months, 9 months and 12 months of ages were 0, 1 and 2 and respective values for super-ovulated goat were 1, 1 and 2. The number of corpus luteum counted for control group of animals at 6 months, 9 months and 12 months of ages were 0, 1 and 2 and respective values for super-ovulated goat were 9.5, 10 and 11.
Cells of corona radiata granulosa showed presence of PAS positive reaction. Liquor folliculi of the ovarian follicles showed high concentration of neutral muco polysaccharide.