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Agronomy, Volume 11, Issue 8 (August 2021) – 233 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In a temperate climate region, it is critical to design an agrophotovoltaic (APV) system to maximize the amount of electricity generation because strong solar radiation is only available for a few hours a day. This study aims to identify an efficient APV system structure for generating electricity from solar radiation without causing an adverse impact on crop growth. To evaluate the impact of the APV on crop production, sesame (Sesamum indicum), mung bean (Vigna radiata), red bean (Vigna angularis), corn (Zea mays), and soybean (Glycine max) were cultivated in the system located at Jeollanamdo Agricultural Research and Extension Services (South Korea). Besides, economic benefits for farmers were analyzed under Renewable Energy Certificate and System Marginal Price policies. View this paper.
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Article
Seasonal Dynamics of Dry Matter Accumulation and Nutrients in a Mature Miscanthus × giganteus Stand in the Lower Silesia Region of Poland
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1679; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081679 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 902
Abstract
Biomass from M. × giganteus has great promise for use within the bioeconomy sectors, but to maximise environmental benefits, crops must produce high yields while minimising energetically costly inputs. Complex interactions between soil conditions, climatic variations, plant maturity and genotype influence yields and [...] Read more.
Biomass from M. × giganteus has great promise for use within the bioeconomy sectors, but to maximise environmental benefits, crops must produce high yields while minimising energetically costly inputs. Complex interactions between soil conditions, climatic variations, plant maturity and genotype influence yields and nutrient dynamics, which in turn impacts crop sustainability. To investigate the flux of growth and nutrients in response to a changing environment, M. × giganteus was grown in southwest Poland and sampled monthly (June–November) from 2010 to 2012. Measurements examined the interaction between plant growth and leaf development, and nutrient (N, P, K, Ca and Mg) concentrations of rhizomes, stems and leaves. The three growth years studied were markedly different for growth and meteorological conditions. Between 2010 and 2011, above ground biomass yield increased significantly from 16.5 ± 0.4 t ha−1 to 20.1 ± 0.5 t ha−1. The 2012 rhizome weights at the beginning of the growth season were halved due to extreme frost; however, resulting yield was similar (19.9 ± 0.6 5 t ha−1). Final yield from all three years were successfully predicted using MISCANFOR, and modelling indicated crop yield was water-limited. The seasonal flux of N and K from rhizome to stems and leaves then back to the rhizome at the onset of senescence was as expected in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, no such trend was evident especially for N suggesting different macronutrient sources from rhizome and soil improves the resilience of perennial crop yield across a range of diverse growth conditions. Full article
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Article
Non-Chemical Soil Fumigation for Sustainable Strawberry Production in Southern Italy
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1678; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081678 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 639
Abstract
In intensive strawberry production, monoculture is a common practice worldwide; however, prolonged replanting can cause plant disorders and jeopardize profitable cultivation of this highly valuable crop. To mitigate replanting problems, the strawberry industry is still highly dependent on chemical fumigation. Given the increasing [...] Read more.
In intensive strawberry production, monoculture is a common practice worldwide; however, prolonged replanting can cause plant disorders and jeopardize profitable cultivation of this highly valuable crop. To mitigate replanting problems, the strawberry industry is still highly dependent on chemical fumigation. Given the increasing regulatory restrictions and concerns about human and environmental risks from fumigants use, there is a growing interest in the adoption of effective, non-chemical alternatives. Two non-chemical soil fumigation practices, i.e., anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) and bio-fumigation with biocide plants (BIOFUM), were tested against chemical fumigation by chloropicrin + 1,3-dichloropropene mixture (STANDARD) and untreated (UNTREAT) control in a 2-year trial established in a commercial strawberry farm in Southern Italy (40°25′ N, 16°42′ E). Overall, the alternative practices provided consistently better results than UNTREAT; whereas, compared to STANDARD, their performance was significantly different in the two years: in 2018/19 season the alternative practices registered a 20% (ASD) and 39% (BIOFUM) marketable yield loss compared to STANDARD, while in the 2019/20 season yield differences were not significant. Although both practices appear promising as eco-friendly alternatives to chemical fumigation, in this short-term trial ASD performed better than BIOFUM both in terms of yield and fruit size, resulting in a more advanced stage for practical adoption. Full article
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Article
The Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Different Geographical Populations of Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) Accessions Based on Genotyping-by-Sequencing
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1677; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081677 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 692
Abstract
Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl is an important horticultural and medicinal crop grown worldwide in the food and pharmaceutical industries. The crop exhibits extensive phenotypic and genetic variation useful for cultivar development targeting economic traits; however, limited genomic resources are available for effective germplasm [...] Read more.
Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl is an important horticultural and medicinal crop grown worldwide in the food and pharmaceutical industries. The crop exhibits extensive phenotypic and genetic variation useful for cultivar development targeting economic traits; however, limited genomic resources are available for effective germplasm characterization into breeding and conservation strategies. This study determined the genetic relationships and population structure in a collection of different accessions of bottle gourd derived from Chile, Asia, and South Africa by using single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and mining of simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci derived from genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) data. The GBS resulted in 12,766 SNPs classified as moderate to highly informative, with a mean polymorphic information content of 0.29. The mean gene diversity of 0.16 indicated a low genetic differentiation of the accessions. Analysis of molecular variance revealed less differentiation between (36%) as compared to within (48%) bottle gourd accessions, suggesting that a random mating system dominates inbreeding. Population structure revealed two genetically differentiated groups comprising South African accessions and an admixed group with accessions of Asian and Chilean origin. The results of SSR loci mining from GBS data should be developed and validated before being used in diverse bottle gourd accessions. The SNPs markers developed in the present study are useful genomic resources in bottle gourd breeding programs for assessing the extent of genetic diversity for effective parental selection and breeding. Full article
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Article
Alfalfa Established Successfully in Intercropping with Corn in the Midwest US
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1676; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081676 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 865
Abstract
Integrating alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) with corn (Zea mays L.) for grain will increase biodiversity, reduce the negative environmental impact of corn monoculture and increase farm profitability. The objectives of this research were to evaluate forage productivity and nutritive value, along [...] Read more.
Integrating alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) with corn (Zea mays L.) for grain will increase biodiversity, reduce the negative environmental impact of corn monoculture and increase farm profitability. The objectives of this research were to evaluate forage productivity and nutritive value, along with stand establishment of alfalfa in a corn grain system in Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with four replicates at each site. Treatments included were: sole corn (i.e., check; T1), sole alfalfa (T2), alfalfa intercropped into corn (T3), a prohexadione-treated alfalfa intercropped with corn (T4), and a spring-seeded alfalfa in the year after intercropping (T5), which was planted in plots with T1 the previous year. All sites had below normal rainfall in 2016 and 2017. Corn grain yield was significantly lower when intercropped with alfalfa (T3 and T4) compared with the check corn crop (no alfalfa, T1). Corn grain yield reduction ranged from 14.0% to 18.8% compared with the check (T1). Corn biomass yield was reduced by intercropped alfalfa (T3 and T4) by 15.9% to 25.8%. In the seeding year, alfalfa seasonal forage yield was significantly greater when corn competition was absent in all environments. The intercropped alfalfa from the previous season (T3 and T4) had almost double the forage yield than the alfalfa in the seeding year (spring-seeded alfalfa; T5). In the second production year, there were no meaningful forage yield differences (p > 0.05) across all treatments, indicating alfalfa in intercropping systems does not affect forage yield past the first production year. Prohexadione-calcium, a growth regulator, did not affect alfalfa stand density, forage yield and nutritive value. The forage nutritive value was dependent on harvest date not the alfalfa intercropping treatments. Results of our study suggest that establishing alfalfa with corn is feasible and can be a potential alternative for the upper Midwest region. However, when under drought conditions, this system might be less resilient since competition between alfalfa and corn for soil moisture will be intensified under drought or moisture-limited conditions, and this will likely depress corn grain yield. Research targeted to reintroduce perennial crops into the current dominant corn–soybean systems in the US Corn Belt is urgently needed to improve stability and resiliency of production systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Forages, Cover Crops, and Biomass Crops Production)
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Article
A Comparative Study of Standard Center Pivot and Growers-Based Modified Center Pivot for Evaluating Uniformity Coefficient and Water Distribution
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1675; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081675 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
The center pivot irrigation system is a type of irrigation technology used to apply water effectively and uniformly over a wide variety of areas and topographies. These irrigation systems’ uniformity of water application greatly affects water use, energy consumption, and crop production. Performance [...] Read more.
The center pivot irrigation system is a type of irrigation technology used to apply water effectively and uniformly over a wide variety of areas and topographies. These irrigation systems’ uniformity of water application greatly affects water use, energy consumption, and crop production. Performance tests of the standard lateral galvanized and modified polyethylene plastic pipes in the center pivot irrigation systems were conducted in different regions of Saudi Arabia. Water distribution depths along the laterals, coefficient of uniformity (CU), and distribution uniformity of the low quarter (DU) were determined. The results revealed that profiles of water distribution ranged from 4 to 14 mm for the standard-center pivot irrigation systems, while those for the modified-center pivot irrigation systems ranged from 6.5 to 50 mm. Standard-center pivot irrigation systems’ CU values ranged from 74 to 90%, with an average of 86%. In comparison, the modified-center pivot irrigation systems’ CU values ranged from 62 to 83%, with an average of 78%. The DU values ranged from 60 to 82% for the standard-center pivot irrigation systems, with an overall average of 77%. For the modified-center pivot irrigation systems, the DU values, in contrast, ranged from 31 to 75%, with an average of 65%. Thus, the accuracy and uniformity of the standard-center pivot irrigation systems are superior to those that have been modified. Additionally, a statistical model was developed to investigate the relationship between the water losses and the main climatic factors under field operating conditions. Therefore, the study results are expected to draw attention to standard lateral pipes’ value on the one hand and demonstrate the detrimental consequences of growers’ incorrect practices in pivot irrigation systems, motivating them to take strong action against these activities, on the other hand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modernization and Optimization of Irrigation Systems)
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Article
Effects of Nitrification Inhibitors on Soil Nitrification and Ammonia Volatilization in Three Soils with Different pH
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081674 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 987
Abstract
The application of nitrification inhibitors (NIs) is considered to be an efficient way to delay nitrification, but the effect of NIs combinations on soil nitrification and ammonia (NH3) volatilization are not clear in soils with different pH values. In this study, [...] Read more.
The application of nitrification inhibitors (NIs) is considered to be an efficient way to delay nitrification, but the effect of NIs combinations on soil nitrification and ammonia (NH3) volatilization are not clear in soils with different pH values. In this study, we explored the effect of nitrapyrin (CP) and its combinations with 3, 4-dimethylepyrazole phosphate (DMPP), dicyandiamide (DCD) on the transformation of nitrogen, potential nitrification rate (PNR), and ammonia (NH3) volatilization in a 120-day incubation experiment with three different pH values of black soil. Treatments included no fertilizer (Control), ammonium sulfate (AS), AS+CP (CP), AS+CP+DMPP (CP+DMPP), and AS+CP+DCD (CP+DCD). The application of NIs significantly decreased NO3-N contents and potential nitrification rate (p < 0.05), while significantly increased NH4+-N contents (p < 0.05), especially CP+DCD and CP+DMPP were the most effective in the neutral and alkaline soils, respectively. In the acid soil, CP significantly increased total NH3 volatilization by 31%, while CP+DCD significantly reduced by 28% compared with AS. However, no significant difference was found in NH3 volatilization with and without NIs treatments (p > 0.05) in the neutral and alkaline soils. In conclusion, the combined nitrification inhibitors had the better efficiency in all three tested soils. CP+DCD and CP+DMPP are the most effective in inhibiting soil nitrification in the clay soils with higher pH value and lower organic matter, while CP+DCD had the potential in mitigating environment pollution by reducing N loss of NH3 volatilization in the loam soil with lower pH value and higher organic matter. It provided a theoretical basis for the application of high efficiency fertilizer in different soils. Further studies under field conditions are required to assess the effects of these nitrification inhibitors. Full article
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Communication
Why Can Green Social Responsibility Drive Agricultural Technology Manufacturing Company to Do Good Things? A Novel Adoption Model of Environmental Strategy
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1673; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081673 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 804
Abstract
The present research proposes the hierarchical linear modeling model (HLM) that describe how green social responsibility (GSR) predict the environmental strategy (ES) of agricultural technology manufacturing companies by the intermediary effects of the supervisor’s green promise (GP) based on symbolic context theory. This [...] Read more.
The present research proposes the hierarchical linear modeling model (HLM) that describe how green social responsibility (GSR) predict the environmental strategy (ES) of agricultural technology manufacturing companies by the intermediary effects of the supervisor’s green promise (GP) based on symbolic context theory. This study collected data with 150 supervisors from 50 different agricultural technology companies in Taiwan to analyze the HLM. The results suggest that vendors of agricultural technology companies should establish GSR to increase GP, which consequently can increase the companies’ adoption of the ES. It is now the first to establish a milestone, propose a novel adoption model—GP and its antecedents through the HLM to predict the adoption of ES. These findings can upgrade the related literature of agriculture and can provide the procedure in implementing ES in agricultural technology companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecologically More Sustainable Agricultural Production)
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Article
VaCRK2 Mediates Gray Mold Resistance in Vitis amurensis by Activating the Jasmonate Signaling Pathway
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1672; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081672 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 666
Abstract
Cysteine-rich receptor-like kinases (CRKs) are ubiquitous plant receptor-like kinases, which play a significant role in plant disease resistance. Gray mold is an economically important disease of grapes caused by Botrytis cinerea. However, CRK genes and their function in gray mold disease resistance [...] Read more.
Cysteine-rich receptor-like kinases (CRKs) are ubiquitous plant receptor-like kinases, which play a significant role in plant disease resistance. Gray mold is an economically important disease of grapes caused by Botrytis cinerea. However, CRK genes and their function in gray mold disease resistance in grapes have not been elucidated. This study aimed to identify and characterize CRKs in grapes and determine their role in gray mold resistance. Four CRKs were identified in Vitis amurensis and named VaCRK1VaCRK4 according to their genomic distribution. The four VaCRKs were ectopically expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana to study their function in defense response against B. cinerea. Heterologous expression of VaCRK2 in A. thaliana conferred resistance to B. cinerea. VaCRK2 expression in gray mold-resistant grape cultivar increased significantly after B. cinerea inoculation and methyl jasmonate treatment. Furthermore, the expression of jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathway-related genes in VaCRK2 overexpression lines of A. thaliana was significantly increased after B. cinerea inoculation, leading to the upregulation of pathogenesis-related (PR) genes and reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation. Overall, these results suggest that VaCRK2 confers resistance to B. cinerea by activating PR gene expression and oxidative burst through the JA signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Pesticide Discovery and Application)
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Article
Identification of Microbial Populations in Blends of Worm Castings or Sugarcane Filter Mud Compost with Biochar
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1671; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081671 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 763
Abstract
Soil amendments are used to improve soil quality, thereby enhancing plant growth and health. Efforts have been made to replace synthetic chemical enhancers. It is also preferable to not use natural products such as peat moss, the harvesting of which can be harmful [...] Read more.
Soil amendments are used to improve soil quality, thereby enhancing plant growth and health. Efforts have been made to replace synthetic chemical enhancers. It is also preferable to not use natural products such as peat moss, the harvesting of which can be harmful to marine ecosystems. Viable replacements include worm castings, which can contribute beneficial microbes, as well as physicochemical amendments. Another potential soil amendment is the compost produced from sugarcane processing byproducts. While the texture of these two materials is not ideal for even dispersal onto fields, the addition of biochar improves the texture. Previous work demonstrated that blending them with biochar from sugarcane byproducts added physicochemical benefits, while not quantitatively reducing the microbial load, even after storage. Microbial populations of the blends in the present study were found to (1) contain taxonomic groups that contribute to plant health and (2) not contain human pathogens. Based on the quantitative and qualitative microbial analyses, it has been determined that 50% or less biochar in a blend will allow maintenance of beneficial microbes in stored samples. Full article
Review
The Genetic Control of Stomatal Development in Barley: New Solutions for Enhanced Water-Use Efficiency in Drought-Prone Environments
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1670; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081670 - 22 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1135
Abstract
Increased drought frequency due to climate change is limiting the agronomic performance of cereal crops globally, where cultivars often experience negative impacts on yield. Stomata are the living interface responsible for >90% of plant water loss through transpiration. Thus, stomata are a prospective [...] Read more.
Increased drought frequency due to climate change is limiting the agronomic performance of cereal crops globally, where cultivars often experience negative impacts on yield. Stomata are the living interface responsible for >90% of plant water loss through transpiration. Thus, stomata are a prospective target for improving drought tolerance by enhancing water-use efficiency (WUE) in economically important cereals. Reducing stomatal density through molecular approaches has been shown to improve WUE in many plant species, including the commercial cereals barley, rice, wheat and maize. Rice with reduced stomatal density exhibit yields 27% higher than controls under drought conditions, reflecting the amenability of grasses to stomatal density modification. This review presents a comprehensive overview of stomatal development, with a specific emphasis on the genetic improvement of WUE in the grass lineage. Improved understanding of the genetic regulation of stomatal development in the grasses, provides significant promise to improve cereal adaptivity in drought-prone environments whilst maximising yield potential. Rapid advances in gene-editing and ‘omics’ technologies may allow for accelerated adaption of future commercial varieties to water restriction. This may be achieved through a combination of genomic sequencing data and CRISPR-Cas9-directed genetic modification approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetic Improvement of Crop Drought Tolerance)
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Article
Chemical Characterization of Brown and Red Seaweed from Southern Peru, a Sustainable Source of Bioactive and Nutraceutical Compounds
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1669; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081669 - 22 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1411
Abstract
The southern coast of Peru presents a wide diversity of seaweed, which could be used as a new sustainable source of nutritional and bioactive compounds. For the first time, we chemically characterized two species of brown (Macrocystis pyrifera) and red ( [...] Read more.
The southern coast of Peru presents a wide diversity of seaweed, which could be used as a new sustainable source of nutritional and bioactive compounds. For the first time, we chemically characterized two species of brown (Macrocystis pyrifera) and red (Chondracanthus chamissoi) Peruvian seaweed. Both species contained significant amounts of proteins (5–12%), lipids (0.16–0.74%), carbohydrates (43.29–62.65%) and minerals (1300–1800 mg kg−1 dw: dry weight). However, the profiles of amino acids, fatty acids and minerals were highly dependent on species type. C. chamissoi had a higher content of essential amino acids and minerals than M. pyrifera (170% and 45%, respectively), while the presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω 6) as well as the content of tocopherols was higher in M. pyrifera (15.77 g 100 g−1 and 2.37 μg 100 g−1, respectively). Additionally, both species presented significant concentrations of total polyphenols (39–59 mg GAE g−1) and a high antioxidant capacity (67–98 µM TE g−1). Although M. pyrifera and C. chamissoi seem to be excellent raw materials for the food and nutraceutical industry, both species contained toxic heavy metals (cadmium: Cd and nickel: Ni) which could affect the safety of their direct use. Therefore, new separation strategies that allow the selective recovery of nutrients and bioactive compounds from Peruvian seaweed are required. Full article
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Article
Expression of AtAAP Gene Family and Endosperm-Specific Expression of AtAAP1 Gene Promotes Amino Acid Absorption in Arabidopsis thaliana and Maize
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1668; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081668 - 21 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 676
Abstract
The amino acid permease (AAP) is an important transmembrane protein that is involved in the absorption and transport of amino acids in plants. We investigated the expression patterns of AtAAP genes in Arabidopsis thaliana, based on quantitative real-time PCR. The results revealed [...] Read more.
The amino acid permease (AAP) is an important transmembrane protein that is involved in the absorption and transport of amino acids in plants. We investigated the expression patterns of AtAAP genes in Arabidopsis thaliana, based on quantitative real-time PCR. The results revealed differential expression patterns of eight AtAAP genes in different tissues, with five genes (AtAAP1, AtAAP2, AtAAP6, AtAAP7, and AtAAP8) expressed at relatively high levels in both flowers and siliques, suggesting their shared functions in the accumulation of amino acids. In transgenic plants, with endosperm-specific overexpression of AtAAP1, both AtAAP1 and AtAAP6 were up-regulated in both the roots and siliques, while AtAAP2, AtAAP3, AtAAP4, and AtAAP5 showed similar expression levels in the stems and siliques, whereas AtAAP7 and AtAAP8 were expressed at their highest levels in the stems and roots. The results of the amino acid affinity experiments revealed varied absorption capacities for different amino acids, by AtAAP1, and increased acid amino contents in the reproductive organs. These results were verified in transgenic maize plants, with the overexpression of AtAAP1, revealing higher amino acid contents in the reproductive organs than those of the vegetative organs. Our study clearly demonstrated that the endosperm-specific promoter increased the amino acid contents in the reproductive organs and improved the effective utilization of organic nitrogen in plants. Full article
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Communication
A Survey of Five Plant Viruses in Weeds and Tobacco in Poland
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1667; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081667 - 21 Aug 2021
Viewed by 733
Abstract
Weeds may contribute to the spread of plant virus epidemics by acting as reservoirs of viruses or/and their vectors. The aim of this research was to study the prevalence of five viral pathogens in weeds in the fields of solanaceous crops in six [...] Read more.
Weeds may contribute to the spread of plant virus epidemics by acting as reservoirs of viruses or/and their vectors. The aim of this research was to study the prevalence of five viral pathogens in weeds in the fields of solanaceous crops in six provinces in Poland differing with soil and climate conditions. Most of the sampled sites were associated with tobacco production. The total number of 157 samples of tobacco and 600 samples of weeds were subjected to DAS-ELISA detection of tomato spotted wilt orthotospovirus (TSWV), cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), potato virus Y (PVY), tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV). Twenty nine percent of samples of weeds were infected with at least one virus. TSWV and TMV were the most frequently detected in 17.5% and 14.7% of samples, respectively. In most provinces where infected tobacco was found, the same virus was also detected in weeds. Results of this survey are discussed in the context of the current status of virus epidemics in tobacco fields in Poland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Complex Roles of Viruses in Agroecosystems)
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Article
Hybrid Bermudagrass and Tall Fescue Turfgrass Irrigation in Central California: I. Assessment of Visual Quality, Soil Moisture and Performance of an ET-Based Smart Controller
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1666; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081666 - 21 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 746
Abstract
Research-based information regarding the accuracy and reliability of smart irrigation controllers for autonomous landscape irrigation water conservation is limited in central California. A two-year irrigation research trial (2018–2019) was conducted in Parlier, California, to study the response of hybrid bermudagrass and tall fescue [...] Read more.
Research-based information regarding the accuracy and reliability of smart irrigation controllers for autonomous landscape irrigation water conservation is limited in central California. A two-year irrigation research trial (2018–2019) was conducted in Parlier, California, to study the response of hybrid bermudagrass and tall fescue to varying irrigation scenarios (irrigation levels and irrigation frequency) autonomously applied using a Weathermatic ET-based smart controller. The response of turfgrass species to the irrigation treatments was visually assessed and rated. In addition, turfgrass water response functions (TWRFs) were developed to estimate the impact of irrigation scenarios on the turfgrass species based on long-term mean reference evapotranspiration (ETo) data. The Weathermatic controller overestimated ETo between 5% and 7% in 2018 and between 5% and 8% in 2019 compared with California Irrigation Management Information System values. The controller closely followed programmed watering-days restrictions across treatments in 2018 and 2019 and adjusted the watering-days based on ETo demand when no restriction was applied. The low half distribution uniformity and precipitation rate of the irrigation system were 0.78 and 28 mm h−1, respectively. The catch-cans method substantially underestimated the precipitation rate of the irrigation system and caused over-irrigation by the smart controller. No water-saving and turfgrass quality improvement was observed owing to restricting irrigation frequency (watering days). For the hybrid bermudagrass, the visual rating (VR) for 101% ETo treatment stayed above the minimum acceptable value of six during the trial. For tall fescue, the 108% ETo level with 3 d wk−1 frequency kept the VR values in the acceptable range in 2018 except for a short period in mid-trial. The TWRF provided a good fit to experimental data with r values of 0.79 and 0.75 for tall fescue and hybrid bermudagrass, respectively. The estimated VR values by TWRF suggested 70–80% ETo as the minimum irrigation application to maintain the acceptable hybrid bermudagrass quality in central California during the high water demand months (i.e., May to August) based on long-term mean ETo data. The TWRF estimations suggest that 100% ETo would be sufficient to maintain the tall fescue quality for only 55 days. This might be an overestimation impacted by the relatively small tall fescue VR data in 2019 owing to minimal fertilizer applications and should be further investigated in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Water Conservation: Tools, Strategies, and Practices)
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Article
Assessment of the Current and Projected Conditions of Water Availability in the Sevastopol Region for Grape Growing
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1665; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081665 - 21 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 624
Abstract
Viticulture is a sector very sensitive to climate change. Observed and expected changes in temperature and precipitation can change the conditions necessary for viticulture in a particular area or make these conditions totally unsuitable for viticulture. Precipitation (water availability) and air temperature are [...] Read more.
Viticulture is a sector very sensitive to climate change. Observed and expected changes in temperature and precipitation can change the conditions necessary for viticulture in a particular area or make these conditions totally unsuitable for viticulture. Precipitation (water availability) and air temperature are the key meteorological parameters regulating the quality of grapes and wine. We used an ensemble of model data from the CMIP6 project to evaluate all possible changes in water availability in the area around Sevastopol by the middle and the end of the 21st century for two Shared Socioeconomic Pathway scenarios (SSP2-4.5 and SSP5-8.5). The hydrothermal coefficient and dryness index have been used to evaluate the water availability. The results have shown that, based on the indices values, viticulture in the study region will be possible without irrigation, but, at the same time, the vines may experience a certain level of dryness. Full article
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Article
Nutrient Dynamics in Sandy Soil and Leaf Lettuce Following the Application of Urea and Urea-Hydrogen Peroxide Impregnated Co-Pyrolyzed Animal Manure and Bone Meal
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1664; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081664 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 720
Abstract
There is a paucity of data regarding the effect of nutrient-enriched biochar amendments on nutrient dynamics in both soil and crops. This is important because unlike pristine biochar, nutrient-enriched biochar is applied to the soil in minute quantities as large amounts may led [...] Read more.
There is a paucity of data regarding the effect of nutrient-enriched biochar amendments on nutrient dynamics in both soil and crops. This is important because unlike pristine biochar, nutrient-enriched biochar is applied to the soil in minute quantities as large amounts may led to over application of the nutrients loaded in it. The current study examined the effects of both phosphorus- and nitrogen-enriched biochars on the dynamics of both macro and micronutrients in the sandy soil and leaf lettuce grown thereon. The phosphorus enrichment followed co-pyrolysis of animal manure (cow dung) with 25% and 50% bone meal (w/w), while the nitrogen enrichment was achieved by soaking the co-pyrolyzed biochar into urea and urea-hydrogen peroxide. The performances of the nutrient-enriched biochar were compared with the conventional amendment of urea and triple superphosphate (TSP) in the production of leaf lettuce over a period of two seasons in a pot experiment. The nutrient-enriched biochar amendments resulted into higher microbial biomass carbon and carbon to nitrogen ratios than the conventional amendment. The conventional amendment caused more phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium accumulations in the leaf lettuce than the nutrient-enriched biochar amendments. The nutrient-enriched biochar amendments led to more accumulations of nitrogen, calcium, and micronutrient elements in the leaf lettuce and availabilities of all the nutrient elements in the soil and thus, nutrient-enriched biochar acted as a reservoir that could provide nutrients to the growing lettuce beyond a single growing season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
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Article
Sustainable Management of Fruit Growing in Rural Areas of Montenegro: The Impact of Location on the Phenological and Nutritional Properties on Raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.)
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1663; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081663 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 534
Abstract
The physical-geographical features of the mountainous area of Montenegro cause difficulties in farmers’ life and work. The organization of the agricultural production faces a number of problems that limit the overall development of rural areas. Some agricultural crops, such as raspberry, have found [...] Read more.
The physical-geographical features of the mountainous area of Montenegro cause difficulties in farmers’ life and work. The organization of the agricultural production faces a number of problems that limit the overall development of rural areas. Some agricultural crops, such as raspberry, have found optimal growth conditions and produce appropriate yields associated with good fruit quality in such mountainous area. The Willamette variety dominates the production and has broadly expanded, as some new varieties, most notably, Tulameen, Fertȍdi Zamatos, and Glen Ample. The aim of this paper was to examine the biological and production characteristics of two raspberry varieties—one floricane (Tulameen) and one primocane (Polka)—grown in two localities. We confirmed the general rule that at lower altitudes, these varieties (570 m a.s.l, Bijelo Polje) are characterized by earlier vegetation, flowering, and fruit ripening in comparison to plants at higher altitude (1040 m a.s.l, Mojkovac). The Tulameen variety started flowering on 15 May in Bijelo Polje (the flowering phenophase lasted for 29 days, until 12 June) and on 25 May in Mojkovac (the flowering phenophase lasted for 27 days, until 20 June). That is a delay of 11 days in relation to different locations. The Polka variety started flowering on 25 June in Bijelo Polje (57 days, until 20 August) and on 1 July in Mojkovac (flowering for 67 days, until 5 September). That is a delay of 7 days. The Tulameen variety started maturation on 14 June in Bijelo Polje (maturation lasted for 27 days, until 10 July) and on 22 June in Mojkovac (26 days, until 17 July), with a delay of 9 days. The Polka variety started maturation on 23 July in Bijelo Polje (the maturation phenophase lasted for 55 days, until 15 September) and on 5 August in Mojkovac (52 days, until 25 September), with a delay of 14 days. The results showed that the Polka variety had significantly higher total phenol content than the Tulameen variety (4.43 and 4.03 mg, respectively). In terms of locality, the Mojkovac raspberries had higher total phenol content than the Bijelo Polje raspberries. Polka raspberries also had a higher content of total flavonoids than Tulameen, whereas differences between localities in regard to the content of total flavonoids in the fruit were not significant. The content of condensed tannins and gallotannins in the raspberry fruit was similar in relation to both varieties and localities. Finally, the total antioxidant capacity was significantly higher in the Polka compared to the Tulameen variety, whereas the differences between localities were not statistically significant. Full article
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Brief Report
Foliar Application of Entomopathogenic Nematodes against Cereal Leaf Beetle Oulema melanopus L. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) on Wheat
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1662; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081662 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 600
Abstract
Cereal monocultures are very susceptible to many pests, especially to those living on leaves, which largely affects yield by decreasing its quality. The most dangerous of them is the cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus L.). In cases of heavy infestation by its [...] Read more.
Cereal monocultures are very susceptible to many pests, especially to those living on leaves, which largely affects yield by decreasing its quality. The most dangerous of them is the cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus L.). In cases of heavy infestation by its larvae, the surface of plants may be reduced by 50%, and sometimes even by 80%, with a main yield loss of 10–25%. The aim of the presented study was to assess the efficiency of a native isolate of Steinernema feltiae (Filipjev, 1934) and commercial preparation Larvanem (Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Poinar, 1975)) in controlling the larvae of O. melanopus, and to reduce crops damage in the field. Nematodes were applied in a dosage of 2 million IJs/m2 as a suspension of 11 litres per square metre. A hand sprinkler with field lance and flat-stream nozzles was used for applications at the lowest working pressure of 3000 hPa. The effectiveness of both nematode species was moderate: 47.8% for S. feltiae isolate and 49.5% for H. bacteriophora. The biggest reduction in leaf damage was found in crops treated with the commercial preparation, where the index of leaf infection was 32%, being more than twofold smaller than that for the control. Full article
Article
Assessing Suitability of Sentinel-2 Bands for Monitoring of Nutrient Concentration of Pastures with a Range of Species Compositions
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1661; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081661 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 702
Abstract
The accurate and timely assessment of pasture quantity and quality (i.e., nutritive characteristics) is vital for effective pasture management. Remotely sensed data can be used to predict pasture quantity and quality. This study investigated the ability of Sentinel-2 multispectral bands, convolved from proximal [...] Read more.
The accurate and timely assessment of pasture quantity and quality (i.e., nutritive characteristics) is vital for effective pasture management. Remotely sensed data can be used to predict pasture quantity and quality. This study investigated the ability of Sentinel-2 multispectral bands, convolved from proximal hyperspectral data, in predicting various pasture quality and quantity parameters. Field data (quantitative and spectral) were gathered for experimental plots representing four pasture types—perennial ryegrass monoculture and three mixtures of swards representing increasing species diversity. Spectral reflectance data at the canopy level were used to generate Sentinel-2 bands and calculate normalised difference indices with each possible band pair. The suitability of these indices for prediction of pasture parameters was assessed. Pasture quantity parameters (biomass and Leaf Area Index) had a stronger influence on overall reflectance than the quality parameters. Indices involving the 1610 nm band were optimal for acid detergent fibre, crude protein, organic matter and water-soluble carbohydrate concentration, while being less affected by biomass or LAI. The study emphasises the importance of accounting for the quantity parameters in the spectral data-based models for pasture quality predictions. These explorative findings inform the development of future pasture quantity and quality models, particularly focusing on diverse swards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Grassland and Pasture Science)
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Article
Modelling the Effect of Salt and PEG on Water Uptake in Wheat Seeds
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1660; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081660 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 580
Abstract
Water uptake is a seminal process in seed germination. Salt and polyethylene glycol (PEG) are known to retard seed germination rates and percentages, which is often attributed to osmotic effects. Here, we quantified water uptake in wheat seeds killed with a hot needle, [...] Read more.
Water uptake is a seminal process in seed germination. Salt and polyethylene glycol (PEG) are known to retard seed germination rates and percentages, which is often attributed to osmotic effects. Here, we quantified water uptake in wheat seeds killed with a hot needle, finding evidence of three distinct water uptake pools. The fast pool was unaffected by salt, and likely represents cell walls and other apoplastic material. Water uptake into the medium and slow pools was slowed by salt addition, with the medium pool thought to be cellular, while the slow pool is presumably related to endosperm hydration. Salt caused a minor decrease in the water uptake rates and maximum seed water content, while PEG strongly suppressed both parameters. Seeds transferred between water and salt solutions followed the water uptake trajectories of the solution into which they were transferred. Seeds transferred from PEG to water achieved final seed water contents similar to water control seeds, while seeds transferred from water to PEG achieved significantly higher final water contents than PEG controls. This work confirms that salt and PEG have distinct effects on water uptake by wheat seeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
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Article
Simultaneous Calibration of Grapevine Phenology and Yield with a Soil–Plant–Atmosphere System Model Using the Frequentist Method
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1659; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081659 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 925
Abstract
Reliable estimations of parameter values and associated uncertainties are crucial for crop model applications in agro-environmental research. However, estimating many parameters simultaneously for different types of response variables is difficult. This becomes more complicated for grapevines with different phenotypes between varieties and training [...] Read more.
Reliable estimations of parameter values and associated uncertainties are crucial for crop model applications in agro-environmental research. However, estimating many parameters simultaneously for different types of response variables is difficult. This becomes more complicated for grapevines with different phenotypes between varieties and training systems. Our study aims to evaluate how a standard least square approach can be used to calibrate a complex grapevine model for simulating both the phenology (flowering and harvest date) and yield of four different variety–training systems in the Douro Demarcated Region, northern Portugal. An objective function is defined to search for the best-fit parameters that result in the minimum value of the unweighted sum of the normalized Root Mean Squared Error (nRMSE) of the studied variables. Parameter uncertainties are estimated as how a given parameter value can determine the total prediction variability caused by variations in the other parameter combinations. The results indicate that the best-estimated parameters show a satisfactory predictive performance, with a mean bias of −2 to 4 days for phenology and −232 to 159 kg/ha for yield. The corresponding variance in the observed data was generally well reproduced, except for one occasion. These parameters are a good trade-off to achieve results close to the best possible fit of each response variable. No parameter combinations can achieve minimum errors simultaneously for phenology and yield, where the best fit to one variable can lead to a poor fit to another. The proposed parameter uncertainty analysis is particularly useful to select the best-fit parameter values when several choices with equal performance occur. A global sensitivity analysis is applied where the fruit-setting parameters are identified as key determinants for yield simulations. Overall, the approach (including uncertainty analysis) is relatively simple and straightforward without specific pre-conditions (e.g., model continuity), which can be easily applied for other models and crops. However, a challenge has been identified, which is associated with the appropriate assumption of the model errors, where a combination of various calibration approaches might be essential to have a more robust parameter estimation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Predictive Modeling to Aid Agronomic Decision Making)
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Article
Climate Change Adaptation Measures in the Irrigation of a Super-Intensive Olive Orchard in the South of Portugal
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1658; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081658 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 924
Abstract
The south of Portugal is one of the regions that will be most affected by the impacts of climate change (CC), with an expected increase in water scarcity. Irrigated super-intensive olive orchards occupy a large area of the used agricultural surface in the [...] Read more.
The south of Portugal is one of the regions that will be most affected by the impacts of climate change (CC), with an expected increase in water scarcity. Irrigated super-intensive olive orchards occupy a large area of the used agricultural surface in the Alentejo region, south of Portugal, making it necessary to adapt this crop to the effects of CC. This study assessed the impacts of CC and defined adaptation measures concerning irrigation management of the super-intensive olive orchard. To compute the crop irrigation requirement (CIR), the soil water balance model ISAREG was combined with climate data relative to the reference period 1971–2000 and to the representative concentration pathways RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 for the periods 2011–2040, 2041–2070, and 2071–2100. The growing degree-days (GDD) approach was used to estimate olive phenology for these CC scenarios. Unchanged irrigation management with an average CIR increase up to 16% in RCP4.5 and 31% in RCP8.5 is expected. By adopting higher levels of water deficit, water savings of up to 22% can be realized. The results showed that the anticipated CIR increase for the CC scenarios can be mitigated through regulated deficit irrigation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Saving in Irrigated Agriculture)
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Article
Water-Centric Nexus Approach for the Agriculture and Forest Sectors in Response to Climate Change in the Korean Peninsula
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1657; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081657 - 20 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 732
Abstract
Climate change has inherent multidisciplinary characteristics, and predicting the future of a single field of work has a limit. Therefore, this study proposes a water-centric nexus approach for the agriculture and forest sectors for improving the response to climate change in the Korean [...] Read more.
Climate change has inherent multidisciplinary characteristics, and predicting the future of a single field of work has a limit. Therefore, this study proposes a water-centric nexus approach for the agriculture and forest sectors for improving the response to climate change in the Korean Peninsula. Two spatial models, i.e., Environmental Policy Integrated Climate and Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs, were used to assess the extent of changes in agricultural water demand, forest water supply, and their balance at the watershed level in the current and future climatic conditions. Climate changed has increased the agricultural water demand and forest water supply significantly in all future scenarios and periods. Comparing the results with RCP8.5 2070s and the baseline, the agricultural water demand and forest water supply increased by 35% and 28%, respectively. Water balance assessment at the main watershed level in the Korean Peninsula revealed that although most scenarios of the future water supply increases offset the demand growth, a risk to water balance exists in case of a low forest ratio or smaller watershed. For instance, the western plains, which are the granary regions of South and North Korea, indicate a higher risk than other areas. These results show that the land-use balance can be an essential factor in a water-centric adaptation to climate change. Ultimately, the water-centric nexus approach can make synergies by overcoming increasing water demands attributable to climate change. Full article
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Review
Potential of Wild Relatives of Wheat: Ideal Genetic Resources for Future Breeding Programs
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1656; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081656 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1131
Abstract
Among cereal crops, wheat has been identified as a major source for human food consumption. Wheat breeders require access to new genetic diversity resources to satisfy the demands of a growing human population for more food with a high quality that can be [...] Read more.
Among cereal crops, wheat has been identified as a major source for human food consumption. Wheat breeders require access to new genetic diversity resources to satisfy the demands of a growing human population for more food with a high quality that can be produced in variable environmental conditions. The close relatives of domesticated wheats represent an ideal gene pool for the use of breeders. The genera Aegilops and Triticum are known as the main gene pool of domesticated wheat, including numerous species with different and interesting genomic constitutions. According to the literature, each wild relative harbors useful alleles which can induce resistance to various environmental stresses. Furthermore, progress in genetic and biotechnology sciences has provided accurate information regarding the phylogenetic relationships among species, which consequently opened avenues to reconsider the potential of each wild relative and to provide a context for how we can employ them in future breeding programs. In the present review, we have sought to represent the level of genetic diversity among the wild relatives of wheat, as well as the breeding potential of each wild species that can be used in wheat-breeding programs. Full article
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Article
Trichoderma-Enriched Vermicompost Extracts Reduces Nematode Biotic Stress in Tomato and Bell Pepper Crops
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1655; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081655 - 19 Aug 2021
Viewed by 805
Abstract
Root-knot nematode (RKN) is a serious threat to crops worldwide due to the difficulty in controlling it and the limited eco-friendly alternatives to deal with the biotic stress it causes. In the present work, water-extractable fractions obtained from vermicompost (WSFv), vermicompost enriched with [...] Read more.
Root-knot nematode (RKN) is a serious threat to crops worldwide due to the difficulty in controlling it and the limited eco-friendly alternatives to deal with the biotic stress it causes. In the present work, water-extractable fractions obtained from vermicompost (WSFv), vermicompost enriched with Trichoderma asperellum (WSFta) and T. virens (WSFtv) were tested as biotechnological tools to reduce the impacts of RKN on gas exchange, water use efficiency (WUE) and nutrient concentration in tomato and bell pepper plants. The plants were infected with 5000 eggs and eventual J2 of RKN and then treated with the water-extractable fractions for seven weeks. It was observed that the addition of WSFta, WSFtv and WSFv increased the CO2 assimilation, stomatal conductance and WUE in the tomato plants. In the bell pepper plants, WSFta, WSFtv, WSFv increased the stomatal conductance, while WUE was higher in the treatment with WSFtv. In fact, the parameters associated with the gas exchange were usually higher in the bell pepper than in the tomato plants. Overall, higher contents of N, Mg, B and Mn were detected when the extracts were applied in both bell pepper and tomato plants. The application of the water-extractable fractions, inoculated or not with Trichoderma, attenuates the RKN damage on the gas exchange parameters and successfully enhanced the nutrient concentration in the infected tomato and bell pepper plants, showing that it could be an important and promising tool for reducing the damage caused by this pathogen. We suggest that both the tomato and pepper plants can cope with the dilemma between growth and stress response via stomata regulation that are modulated by the WSF and Trichoderma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Researches on Crop Nutritional Molecular Biology)
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Article
A Niche for Cowpea in Sub-Tropical Australia?
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1654; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081654 - 19 Aug 2021
Viewed by 636
Abstract
Pulses have emerged as important rotation crops in Australia. Some are in demand in agricultural production systems due to their high potential market value, because of their roles as grain or forage crops, their nitrogen fixation capability, and because they provide a disease [...] Read more.
Pulses have emerged as important rotation crops in Australia. Some are in demand in agricultural production systems due to their high potential market value, because of their roles as grain or forage crops, their nitrogen fixation capability, and because they provide a disease break or improve soil health. While several pulse crops have been identified for winter-season cropping, there are few adapted legumes apart from mungbean that are appropriate for dryland summer cropping. Currently, short-duration crops of mungbean are commonly used, but yields are highly variable and susceptible to drought. Here, we propose that cowpea has the potential to become an alternative rotation crop in dryland summer cropping zones, providing a competitive and profitable alternative pulse crop option where its drought tolerance could enable better performance under inconsistent in-crop rainfall. We demonstrate that cowpea has nutritional properties and putative uses that could prove valuable in emerging plant-based protein and aquaculture markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Innovative Cropping Systems)
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Communication
Hot Water Rinsing and Brushing of Fresh Produce as an Alternative to Chemical Treatment after Harvest—The Story behind the Technology
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1653; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081653 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 634
Abstract
For decades, heat treatments have been known to reduce or eliminate decay-causing agents and slow the physiological deterioration of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. For years, fungicides and pesticides have been used to control fungi on freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. However, these [...] Read more.
For decades, heat treatments have been known to reduce or eliminate decay-causing agents and slow the physiological deterioration of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. For years, fungicides and pesticides have been used to control fungi on freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. However, these chemicals can contaminate the environment and be hazardous to those who consume fresh produce. Therefore, heat treatments, lasting only minutes or up to several days, have been developed to control insects and pathogenic fungi on fresh produce after harvest. In the 1990s, hot water rinsing and brushing (HWRB) technology to clean and disinfect fresh produce at relatively high temperatures (50 to 62 °C) for seconds (12–20 s) was developed at the Volcani Institute in Israel. This technology has been improved over time and is currently used commercially on several crops in Israel and elsewhere. This article discusses the development of this prestorage technology, from 1996 to 2006, and describes the effects of HWRB on the internal and external characteristics of fruits and vegetables, as well as the possible mode of action of this technology, as examined in the literature published since 1996. Full article
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Article
Standing Vegetation Exceeds Soil Microbial Communities in Soil Type Indication: A Procrustes Test of Four Salt-Affected Pastures
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1652; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081652 - 19 Aug 2021
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Organisms with different life histories are able to act as indicators of different characteristics of their environment. Here, we compared the precision of habitat indication by the vegetation and soil microbial communities in four salt-affected pastures: annual open salt sward, Pannonic Puccinellia limosa [...] Read more.
Organisms with different life histories are able to act as indicators of different characteristics of their environment. Here, we compared the precision of habitat indication by the vegetation and soil microbial communities in four salt-affected pastures: annual open salt sward, Pannonic Puccinellia limosa hollow, Artemisia saline puszta and grassy saline puszta. Dissimilarity of habitats was evaluated by standardized principal component analysis (PCA) based on four different datasets: catabolic profiles of microbial communities in June (a) and September (b), composition of vascular vegetation (c) and physical and chemical properties of the soil (d). Procrustes analysis was used to quantify the resemblance between pairs of PCA ordinations based on soil properties (d) and various biotic communities (a, b, c). PCA ordination based on vegetation most closely matched the soil data-based ordination, thus vegetation appears to better indicate habitat conditions than soil microbial communities do. For microbial communities, a better agreement with the soil data-based ordination was reached in September than in June. Most probably, the long-lived sedentary habit of perennial plants in these communities requires adaptation to long-term average habitat conditions. In contrast, short-lived soil microbes can quickly follow environmental changes, thus the composition of soil microbial communities better reflect actual soil conditions. Full article
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Article
Magnesium transporter Gene Family: Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization in Theobroma cacao, Corchorus capsularis, and Gossypium hirsutum of Family Malvaceae
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1651; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081651 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 962
Abstract
Magnesium (Mg) is an element involved in various key cellular processes in plants. Mg transporter (MGT) genes play an important role in magnesium distribution and ionic balance maintenance. Here, MGT family members were identified and characterized in three species of the plant family [...] Read more.
Magnesium (Mg) is an element involved in various key cellular processes in plants. Mg transporter (MGT) genes play an important role in magnesium distribution and ionic balance maintenance. Here, MGT family members were identified and characterized in three species of the plant family Malvaceae, Theobroma cacao, Corchorus capsularis, and Gossypium hirsutum, to improve our understanding of their structure, regulatory systems, functions, and possible interactions. We identified 18, 41, and 16 putative non-redundant MGT genes from the genome of T. cacao, G. hirsutum, and C. capsularis, respectively, which clustered into three groups the maximum likelihood tree. Several segmental/tandem duplication events were determined between MGT genes. MGTs appear to have evolved slowly under a purifying selection. Analysis of gene promoter regions showed that MGTs have a high potential to respond to biotic/abiotic stresses and hormones. The expression patterns of MGT genes revealed a possible role in response to P. megakarya fungi in T. cacao, whereas MGT genes showed differential expression in various tissues and response to several abiotic stresses, including cold, salt, drought, and heat stress in G. hirsutum. The co-expression network of MGTs indicated that genes involved in auxin-responsive lipid metabolism, cell wall organization, and photoprotection can interact with MGTs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omics Approaches for Crop Improvement)
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Article
A Combined Nutrient/Biocontrol Agent Mixture Improve Cassava Tuber Yield and Cassava Mosaic Disease
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1650; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agronomy11081650 - 19 Aug 2021
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is an important tropical root crop and a major dietary energy source for more than 500 million people. The major production constraints in cassava are the occurrence of nutrient deficiency and cassava mosaic disease (CMD). Hence to increase [...] Read more.
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is an important tropical root crop and a major dietary energy source for more than 500 million people. The major production constraints in cassava are the occurrence of nutrient deficiency and cassava mosaic disease (CMD). Hence to increase the cassava yield, it is critical to develop a technology to overcome the problems associated with nutrient deficiencies and CMD. Series of field experiments were conducted to evaluate and validate a new mixture containing biocontrol agent and nutrients on different genotypes and locations. The result indicated that foliar spray of combined nutrient/biocontrol agent mixture at 21 d interval from one to five-month after planting (MAP) had significantly decreased the incidence of nutrient deficiency symptom and CMD incidence resulting in an increased tuber yield. There were significant differences among the cassava genotypes for CMD reaction and foliar spray of combined nutrient/biocontrol agent mixture at 21 d interval from 1 to 5 MAP. The genotype H226 had lower CMD incidence and higher tuber yield. The multilocation trial indicated that foliar spray of combined nutrient/biocontrol agent mixture at 21 d interval from 1 to 5 MAP significantly improved the tuber yield (24%) and decreased the CMD incidence (65%) than unsprayed control. Metabolomic study indicates that foliar spray of combined nutrient/biocontrol agent mixture has altered lipid biosynthesis and metabolism, as evidenced by increased accumulation of octadecatrienoic acid (2.28-fold) trilinolein (126.3-fold) in combined nutrient/biocontrol agent mixture sprayed plants over unsprayed control. Overall, it is evident that foliar spray of combined nutrient/biocontrol agent mixture from 1 to 5 MAP has decreased CMD incidence and increased the tuber yield. Full article
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