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Agriculture, Volume 11, Issue 12 (December 2021) – 121 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Climate change is internationally recognized as a source of concern by governments, scientists and public opinion. In this context, the need to find concrete solutions becomes increasingly urgent. Numerous economic sectors contribute to alteration of climate, especially livestock and, more generally, food production-related activities. For this reason, animal welfare policies, the complex of norms and regulations adopted by single Member States and the European Union in the field of meat production, could be a useful instrument in the climate transition invoked by policy makers and scientists.View this paper
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Article
Biostimulant Effects of an Aqueous Extract of Duckweed (Lemna minor L.) on Physiological and Biochemical Traits in the Olive Tree
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1299; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121299 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 449
Abstract
Biostimulants are becoming increasingly popular in agriculture for their ability to induce beneficial effects in crops, paving the way towards the identification of new materials with biostimulant potential. This study evaluated the potential of different concentrations of an aqueous extract (0.25%, 0.50%, and [...] Read more.
Biostimulants are becoming increasingly popular in agriculture for their ability to induce beneficial effects in crops, paving the way towards the identification of new materials with biostimulant potential. This study evaluated the potential of different concentrations of an aqueous extract (0.25%, 0.50%, and 1.00%, dry weight/water volume, respectively) obtained from duckweed (Lemna minor L.) to stimulate olive plants. Leaf net photosynthesis (Pn), leaf transpiration rate (E), stomatal conductance (gs), sub-stomatal CO2 concentration (Ci), chlorophyll content and other plant growth parameters were investigated. As a result, the extract improved Pn, gs, Ci, chlorophyll content and plant biomass production (leaf fresh and dry weight). Furthermore, the duckweed extract generally increased the uptake of nitrogen (N), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn), while it did not influence the content of sodium (Na), manganese (Mn) and copper (Cu). The untargeted metabolomic profiling of the extract revealed the presence of signalling compounds (including phytohormones), phenolics and glutathione. Such broad diversity of bioactives may support the stimulatory potential observed in olive. In summary, this study revealed for the first time that duckweed could be seen as a promising species to obtain extracts with biostimulant properties in olive trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stresses, Biostimulant and Plant Activity)
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Article
Effects of the Autumn Incorporation of Rice Straw and Application of Lime Nitrogen on Methane and Nitrous Oxide Emissions and Rice Growth of a High-Yielding Paddy Field in a Cool-Temperate Region in Japan
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1298; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121298 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 342
Abstract
The effects of autumn plowing and lime nitrogen application on rice straw decomposition, CH4 and N2O emission and rice growth in the following year in a high-yielding rice cultivated paddy field were evaluated for two years. The experimental plots were [...] Read more.
The effects of autumn plowing and lime nitrogen application on rice straw decomposition, CH4 and N2O emission and rice growth in the following year in a high-yielding rice cultivated paddy field were evaluated for two years. The experimental plots were set up, combining different times of rice straw (750 g m−2) incorporation into the soil by plowing (autumn or the following spring), with and without lime nitrogen application in autumn (5 g-N m−2). Autumn plowing promoted the decomposition of rice straw, but the application of lime nitrogen did not show a consistent trend. The soil pH was high (7.3) at the studied site, and the alkaline effect of lime nitrogen may not have been significant. As with straw decomposition, CH4 emissions were suppressed by autumn plowing, and no effect from the lime nitrogen application was observed. It was also suggested that the straw decomposition period may be shorter and the CH4 emissions may be higher in high-yielding cultivars that require a longer ripening period than in normal cultivars. The effect of both treatments on N2O emission was not clear. Both the autumn plowing of rice straw and lime nitrogen application were effective in promoting rice growth and increasing rice yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rice Farming and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
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Article
Field Inoculation of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Improves Fruit Quality and Root Physiological Activity of Citrus
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1297; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121297 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 360
Abstract
Soil arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi form a mutualistic symbiosis with plant roots and produce many benefits on host plants under potted conditions, while field inoculation of AM fungi on citrus (a woody plant) has been rarely reported. The present study aimed to analyze [...] Read more.
Soil arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi form a mutualistic symbiosis with plant roots and produce many benefits on host plants under potted conditions, while field inoculation of AM fungi on citrus (a woody plant) has been rarely reported. The present study aimed to analyze the changes in mycorrhizal growth, root vitality, and fruit quality of Citrus reticulata Blanco var. Ponkan mandarin cv. Jinshuigan grafted on Poncirus trifoliata L. after inoculation with a mix of AM fungi (Diversispora versiformis, Funneliformis mosseae, and Rhizophagus intraradices) and single F. mosseae. After the second year of AM fungal inoculations, root mycorrhizal colonization (%), root vitality, hyphal length in soil, and easily extractable glomalin-related soil protein content were significantly increased, while difficult-to-extract glomalin-related soil protein content was decreased. Two mycorrhizal fungal inoculation treatments collectively improved fruit quality parameters such as polar diameter, equatorial diameter, the weight of single fruits, fruit peel, and sarcocarp, coloration value, and soluble solids content. Our study, therefore, suggested that field inoculation with AM fungi improved root physiological activities in terms of mycorrhizal growth and root vitality and thus improved fruit quality. The effect of mixed-AM treatment was more significant than that of F. mosseae alone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research of Rhizosphere Microbial Activity)
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Article
Stability and Social Sustainability of Farm Household Income in Poland in 2003–2020
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1296; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121296 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 365
Abstract
This article analyses the available income of farmer households in Poland in 2003–2020 in the context of their level, variability, and differentiation. The income situation of farmers was analysed from the intra-sectoral perspective and the inter-sectoral perspective by comparing the average monthly available [...] Read more.
This article analyses the available income of farmer households in Poland in 2003–2020 in the context of their level, variability, and differentiation. The income situation of farmers was analysed from the intra-sectoral perspective and the inter-sectoral perspective by comparing the average monthly available income per capita of farmer households to the income of employees and total households. The research aimed to assess the stability of farmers’ incomes against the background of comparative groups and to assess their social sustainability. We understand farmers’ income parity relative to other socio-professional groups and a similar level of intra-sectoral differentiation. The source of empirical materials was the cyclical statistics of the Central Statistical Office prepared as part of the Household Budget Surveys, published in the years 2004–2021. It was found that despite a significant increase in the real income of farmers’ households in Poland over the studied years, the income disparity of farmers relative to other socio-occupational groups persisted. However, the income gap of farmers in relation to workers from the non-agricultural sector decreased from 35.1% in 2003 to an average of 15.7% in 2004–2020, which is largely due to the support for agriculture from the CAP funds. Compared to the analysed groups, the income of farmers’ households is characterised by the most significant instability and greater diversification. These results indicate a persistent deficit in the social sustainability of farmers’ household income in Poland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
The Effects of Serendipita indica and Guanidine-Modified Nanomaterial on Growth and Development of Cabbage Seedlings and Black Spot Infestation
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1295; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121295 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 471
Abstract
To ensure sustainable agricultural production and protection of crops from various biotic and abiotic stresses, while keeping in view environmental protection, by minimal usage of chemicals, the exploitation of beneficial microorganisms and modern nanotechnologies in the field of agriculture is of paramount importance. [...] Read more.
To ensure sustainable agricultural production and protection of crops from various biotic and abiotic stresses, while keeping in view environmental protection, by minimal usage of chemicals, the exploitation of beneficial microorganisms and modern nanotechnologies in the field of agriculture is of paramount importance. This study aimed to investigate the effects of Serendipita indica and guanidine-modified nanomaterial on the growth, and other selected parameters, of cabbage, as well as incidence of black spot disease. S. indica was applied in substrate and by seed inoculation. S. indica had a positive impact on the development of plants, and resulted in reduced black spot severity. The maximum plant height (119 mm) and number of leaves (8.3) were observed in S. indica-treated plants. Pigments were enhanced, i.e., chlorophyll a (0.79 mg/g), chlorophyll b (0.22 mg/g), and carotenoid content (0.79 mg/g), by substrate treatment. The highest antioxidant capacity (9.5 mM/L), chlorophyll a and b (1.8 and 0.6 mg/g), and carotenoid content (1.8 mg/L) were reported in S. indica seed treatment. S. indica treatment resulted in 59% and 41% disease incidence decrease in substrate and seed treatment, respectively. Guanidine-modified nanomaterial was seen to be effective in improving plant growth and reducing disease incidence; however, it did not perform better than S. indica. Application of nanoparticles resulted in enhanced normalized difference vegetation index and fluorescence by increasing chlorophyll a, b, and carotenoid content. Nitrogen content was the highest in plants treated with nanoparticles. However, the effect of the combined application of fungus and nanoparticles was similar to that of S. indica alone in substrate treatment, although negative impacts were reported in the biochemical parameters of cabbage. S. indica has great potential to enhance plant growth and manage Alternaria incidence in cabbage crops. Full article
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Article
Early Relay Intercropping of Short-Season Cotton Increases Lint Yield and Earliness by Improving the Yield Components and Boll Distribution under Wheat-Cotton Double Cropping
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1294; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121294 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 373
Abstract
Wheat-cotton double cropping has improved crop productivity and economic benefits per unit land area in many countries, including China. However, relay intercropping of full-season cotton and wheat, the most commonly adopted mode, is labor-intensive and unconducive to mechanization. The direct sowing of short-season [...] Read more.
Wheat-cotton double cropping has improved crop productivity and economic benefits per unit land area in many countries, including China. However, relay intercropping of full-season cotton and wheat, the most commonly adopted mode, is labor-intensive and unconducive to mechanization. The direct sowing of short-season cotton after wheat (CAW) has been successful, but cotton yields and economic benefits are greatly reduced. Whether the relay intercropping of short-season cotton before the wheat harvest increases cotton yields remains unclear, as does the earliness and fiber quality relative to those for CAW. Therefore, we directly planted short-season cotton after wheat harvest on 15 June (CAW) as the control and interplanted short-season cotton in wheat on 15 May (S1), 25 May (S2) and 5 June (S3), which were 30, 20 and 10 days prior to wheat harvest, respectively, from 2016 to 2018. The crop growth, yield, yield components, boll distribution, and earliness of the cotton were evaluated. The yields and earliness of short-season cotton under relay intercropping were 26.7–30.6% and 20.4–42.9% higher than those under CAW, respectively. Compared with CAW, relay intercropping treatments increased the boll density, boll weight and lint percentage by 5.6–13.1%, 12.5–24.5% and 5.8–12.7%, respectively. The dry matter accumulation and harvest index under the relay intercropping treatments were also greater than those under CAW, which might be attributed to the greater partitioning of dry matter to the seed cotton than to the boll shells. Among the relay intercropping treatments (S1, S2 and S3), the lint yield did not differ, but S1 and S2 were considerably better than S3 based on earliness and fiber quality. The analysis of the within-plant spatial boll distribution showed that more bolls were formed on the lower to middle fruiting branches and at the first fruiting sites for S1 and S2 than for S3 and CAW. Therefore, the increased earliness and fiber quality induced through early relay intercropping (S1 and S2) could be attributed to an improved spatial boll distribution compared to late relay intercropping (S3) or CAW. Conclusively, compared to late relay intercropping and CAW, early relay intercropping considerably increased the lint yield, fiber quality, and earliness by improving the yield components, boll distribution, and dry matter accumulation and partitioning. The relay intercropping of short-season cotton 20 to 30 days before wheat harvest represents a promising alternative to CAW in wheat-cotton double-cropping systems in the Yellow River Basin of China and other regions with similar conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Production)
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Article
Significance of Pyrolytic Temperature, Particle Size, and Application Rate of Biochar in Improving Hydro-Physical Properties of Calcareous Sandy Soil
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1293; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121293 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Water management and irrigation conservation in calcareous sandy soil are of significant importance for sustaining agricultural production, especially in arid and semi-arid region that facing scarcity of water resources. The changes in hydro-physical characteristics of calcareous sand soil were investigated after date palm [...] Read more.
Water management and irrigation conservation in calcareous sandy soil are of significant importance for sustaining agricultural production, especially in arid and semi-arid region that facing scarcity of water resources. The changes in hydro-physical characteristics of calcareous sand soil were investigated after date palm waste-derived biochar application in column trials. Significance of pyrolysis temperature (300 °C, 500 °C, and 700 °C), particle size [<0.5 mm (D0.5), 0.5–1 mm (D1), and 1–2 mm (D2)], and application rate (1%, 2.5%, and 5%) were studied. Variations in infiltration rate, intermittent evaporation, and saturated hydraulic conductivity as a function of aforementioned factors were investigated. After amending the top 10-cm soil layer with different biochar and application rates, the columns were subjected to six wetting and drying cycles by applying 25 cm3 tap water per week over a 6-week period. Overall, biochar application resulted in decreased saturated hydraulic conductivity, while improved cumulative evaporation. Specifically, biochar produced at 300 °C and 500 °C demonstrated 10.2% and 13.3% higher cumulative evaporation, respectively., whereas, biochar produced at 700 °C with 5% application rate resulted in decreased cumulative evaporation. Cumulative evaporation increased by 5.0%, 7.7% and, 7.8% for D0.5, D1 and D2 (mm) on average, respectively, as compared with the untreated soil. Thus, biochar with particle size 0.5–1 mm significantly improved hydro-physical properties when applied at 1%. Generally, using biochar produced at medium temperature and small particle size with appropriate application rates could improve the soil hydro-physical properties. Full article
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Article
Multiscale Assessments of Three Reanalysis Temperature Data Systems over China
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1292; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121292 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 395
Abstract
Temperature is one of the most important meteorological variables for global climate change and human sustainable development. It plays an important role in agroclimatic regionalization and crop production. To date, temperature data have come from a wide range of sources. A detailed understanding [...] Read more.
Temperature is one of the most important meteorological variables for global climate change and human sustainable development. It plays an important role in agroclimatic regionalization and crop production. To date, temperature data have come from a wide range of sources. A detailed understanding of the reliability and applicability of these data will help us to better carry out research in crop modelling, agricultural ecology and irrigation. In this study, temperature reanalysis products produced by the China Meteorological Administration Land Data Assimilation System (CLDAS), the U.S. Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Reanalysis version5 (ERA5)-Land are verified against hourly observations collected from 2265 national automatic weather stations (NAWS) in China for the period 2017–2019. The above three reanalysis systems are advanced and widely used multi-source data fusion and re-analysis systems at present. The station observations have gone through data Quality Control (QC) and are taken as “true values” in the present study. The three reanalysis temperature datasets were spatial interpolated using the bi-linear interpolation method to station locations at each time. By calculating the statistical metrics, the accuracy of the gridded datasets can be evaluated. The conclusions are as follows. (1) Based on the evaluation of temporal variability and spatial distribution as well as correlation and bias analysis, all the three reanalysis products are reasonable in China. (2) Statistically, the CLDAS product has the highest accuracy with the root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.83 °C. The RMSEs of the other two reanalysis datasets produced by ERA5-Land and GLDAS are 2.72 °C and 2.91 °C, respectively. This result indicates that the CLDAS performs better than ERA5-Land and GLDAS, while ERA5-Land performs better than GLDAS. (3) The accuracy of the data decreases with increasing elevation, which is common for all of the three products. This implies that more caution is needed when using the three reanalysis temperature data in mountainous regions with complex terrain. The major conclusion of this study is that the CLDAS product demonstrates a relatively high reliability, which is of great significance for the study of climate change and forcing crop models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling the Adaptations of Agricultural Production to Climate Change)
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Review
Insight into Yeast–Mycotoxin Relations
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1291; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121291 - 19 Dec 2021
Viewed by 548
Abstract
Fungal mycotoxins are secondary metabolites that can be present in green forage, hay, or silage. Consumption of contaminated plants or agricultural products can cause various animal and human diseases, which is why problems associated with mycotoxins have received particular attention. In addition, public [...] Read more.
Fungal mycotoxins are secondary metabolites that can be present in green forage, hay, or silage. Consumption of contaminated plants or agricultural products can cause various animal and human diseases, which is why problems associated with mycotoxins have received particular attention. In addition, public pressure to produce healthy food and feed is also increasing. As the results of several surveys indicate that yeasts can decrease toxic effects by binding or converting secondary metabolites or control growth of harmful fungi, this article provides an overview of the yeast species that can have great potential in detoxification. The most important antagonistic yeast species against toxigenic fungi are described and the mode of their inhibitory mechanisms is also discussed. We provide an insight into toxin binding and biotransformation capacities of yeasts and examples of their use in silo. Issues requiring further study are also mentioned. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of the Entomopathogenic Potential of Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae and Isaria fumosorosea for Management of Cosmopolites sordidus Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1290; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121290 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 530
Abstract
The banana weevil (BW), Cosmopolites sordidus, is the main coleopteran pest of banana, causing up to 100% yield loss. In this study, we screened 20 isolates of entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) for the management of BW. In the lab, eight Beauveria bassiana isolates [...] Read more.
The banana weevil (BW), Cosmopolites sordidus, is the main coleopteran pest of banana, causing up to 100% yield loss. In this study, we screened 20 isolates of entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) for the management of BW. In the lab, eight Beauveria bassiana isolates caused >50% mortality of the adult BW, whereas Metarhizium anisopliae and Isaria fumosorosea isolates were less pathogenic. B. bassiana isolates ICIPE 648, ICIPE 660 and ICIPE 273 were the most pathogenic, killing ≥80% of adult BW. B. bassiana isolate ICIPE 622 yielded the highest spores per BW cadaver (1.84 × 108 spores), followed by ICIPE 660, ICIPE 273 and ICIPE 648—1.17 × 108, 3.8 × 107 and 3.6 × 107 spores, respectively. ICIPE 273 had the shortest LT50 (5.3 days) followed by ICIPE 648 (9.8 days) and 660 (11.1 days). Similarly, the LC50 values for the three isolates were 5.18 × 107, 5.49 × 107 and 5.2 × 107 spores mL−1, respectively. In the field, ICIPE 273 and ICIPE 648 had the highest (31.3%) and lowest (20.8%) pathogenicity, respectively. This study indicates that the B. bassiana isolates ICIPE 273, ICIPE 648 and ICIPE 660 are potential candidates for the environmentally sustainable management of BW. Full article
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Article
Seed Production of Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.) under Danish Field Conditions
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1289; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121289 - 18 Dec 2021
Viewed by 402
Abstract
High and stable seed yield is critical for red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) seed production and the commercial exploitation of the crop. A three-year experiment was conducted from 2013 to 2015 under Danish field conditions to explore the influence of precipitation during [...] Read more.
High and stable seed yield is critical for red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) seed production and the commercial exploitation of the crop. A three-year experiment was conducted from 2013 to 2015 under Danish field conditions to explore the influence of precipitation during peak flowering on the seed yield of three red clover cultivars. We investigated the flowering duration and intensity based on a visual scale assessment, seed yield, and thousand seed weight in all three experimental years. In 2014 and 2015 we measured the seed yield components of floret number per flower head, seed number per flower head, and seed set. During the experimental period, high seed yields of more than 1000 kg ha−1 were obtained for the diploid cultivars ‘Rajah’ and ‘Suez’. Although a relatively high seed yield of 500 kg ha−1 was obtained in the tetraploid cultivar ‘Amos’, this was only around half of the seed yield and seed set of the diploid cultivars. Precipitation during peak flowering positively influenced the seed yield and thousand seed weight for the three cultivars. We conclude that observations of flowering phenology are required to determine the impact of environmental conditions on seed yield in red clover cultivars. Further, adequate water supply during peak flowering is important to obtain the high seed yield of red clover. Full article
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Article
Projection of Agricultural Water Stress for Climate Change Scenarios: A Regional Case Study of Iraq
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1288; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121288 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 429
Abstract
Assessment of possible changes in crops water stress due to climate alteration is essential for agricultural planning, particularly in arid regions where water supply is the major challenge for agricultural development. This study aims to project climatic water availability (CWA) and crop water [...] Read more.
Assessment of possible changes in crops water stress due to climate alteration is essential for agricultural planning, particularly in arid regions where water supply is the major challenge for agricultural development. This study aims to project climatic water availability (CWA) and crop water demand (CWD) to outline the possible future agricultural water stress of Iraq for different radiative concentration pathways (RCPs). The ensemble means of downscaled precipitation and temperature projections of the selected global climate models (GCMs) were used in a simple water balance model for this purpose. The modified Mann–Kendall (mMK) trend test was employed to estimate the tendency in CWA and the Wilcoxon rank test to evaluate CWD alteration in three future time horizons compared to the base period (1971–2000). The results revealed a decrease in CWA at a rate of up to −34/year during 2010–2099 for RCP8.5. The largest declination would be in summer (−29/year) and an insignificant decrease in winter (−1.3/year). The study also showed an increase in CWD of all major crops for all scenarios. The highest increase in CWD would be for summer crops, approximately 320 mm, and the lowest for winter crops, nearly 32 mm for RCP8.5 in the far future (2070–2099). The decrease in CWA and increase in CWD would cause a sharp rise in crop water stress in Iraq. This study indicates that the increase in temperature is the main reason for a large increase in CWD and increased agricultural water stress in Iraq. Full article
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Article
Heritable Variation, Genetic and Phenotypic Correlations for Tuber Traits and Host Plant Resistance to Late Blight for Potato Breeding in Scandinavian Testing Sites
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1287; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121287 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 552
Abstract
Potato breeding aims to improve crop productivity, quality and resilience based on heritable characteristics. Estimating the trait heritability and correlations—both genetic and phenotypic—among characteristics in a target population of environments allows us to define the best breeding method that leads to selection gains. [...] Read more.
Potato breeding aims to improve crop productivity, quality and resilience based on heritable characteristics. Estimating the trait heritability and correlations—both genetic and phenotypic—among characteristics in a target population of environments allows us to define the best breeding method that leads to selection gains. Breeding clones (47) and released cultivars (209) were grown using simple lattice designs at three testing sites in northern and southern Sweden to estimate the best linear unbiased predictors (BLUPs) derived from mixed linear models for characteristics such as tuber weight (total and according to sizes), host plant resistance to late blight (caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans) and tuber quality (starch percentage based on specific gravity measurements and reducing sugars). There was significant heritable variation for all the characteristics investigated. Tuber starch percentage and total tuber weight were the traits with the highest broad-sense heritability (H2), while the weight for the smallest size (<40 mm) had the highest H2 among the different tuber categories. These results show the potential for further improving these traits for Scandinavia through recombination and selection in segregating offspring. The genetic and phenotypic correlations among the tuber weight characteristics were significant (p ≤ 0.05) irrespective of their sizes, but none were significant (p > 0.05) with tuber starch percentage. Host plant resistance to late blight was negatively and significantly associated with tuber weight and starch percentage, thereby showing the strong effects of this disease on the productivity and quality of the potatoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genotype Evaluation and Breeding)
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Article
Multiplex CRISPR/Cas9 Mutagenesis of BrVRN1 Delays Flowering Time in Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis)
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1286; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121286 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 435
Abstract
The VERNALIZATION1 (VRN1) gene is a crucial transcriptional repressor involved in triggering the transition to flowering in response to prolonged cold. To develop Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) plants with delayed flowering time, we designed a multiplex [...] Read more.
The VERNALIZATION1 (VRN1) gene is a crucial transcriptional repressor involved in triggering the transition to flowering in response to prolonged cold. To develop Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) plants with delayed flowering time, we designed a multiplex CRISPR/Cas9 platform that allows the co-expression of four sgRNAs targeting different regions of the endogenous BrVRN1 gene delivered via a single binary vector built using the Golden Gate cloning system. DNA sequencing analysis revealed site-directed mutations at two target sites: gRNA1 and gRNA2. T1 mutant plants with a 1-bp insertion in BrVRN1 exhibited late flowering after the vernalization. Additionally, we identified ‘transgene-free’ BrVRN1 mutant plants without any transgenic elements from the GE1 (gene-editing 1) and GE2 generations. All GE2 mutant plants contained successful edits in two out of three BrVRN1 orthologs and displayed delayed flowering time. In GE2 mutant plants, the floral repressor gene FLC1 was expressed during vernalization; but the floral integrator gene FT was not expressed after vernalization. Taken together, our data indicate that the BrVRN1 genes act as negative regulators of FLC1 expression during vernalization in Chinese cabbage, raising the possibility that the ‘transgene-free’ mutants of BrVRN1 developed in this study may serve as useful genetic resources for crop improvement with respect to flowering time regulation. Full article
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Article
How COVID-19 Affects Agricultural Food Sales: Based on the Perspective of China’s Agricultural Listed Companies’ Financial Statements
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1285; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121285 - 17 Dec 2021
Viewed by 501
Abstract
Agricultural food is generally regarded as the basis of “national security” by most countries. Through marketing strategies, promoting the sales of agri-food products in the context of a pandemic is of great significance to national food security and economic growth. The purpose of [...] Read more.
Agricultural food is generally regarded as the basis of “national security” by most countries. Through marketing strategies, promoting the sales of agri-food products in the context of a pandemic is of great significance to national food security and economic growth. The purpose of our study is to understand how the COVID-19 crisis affects the sales of agri-food products as well as the organizational and management changes it brings. By understanding those points above, we can address the problem and policy challenges to better promote the recovery of the agri-food sector from the effects caused by COVID-19. The demand is today overwhelmingly urgent. Based on the data of China’s agricultural-listed companies from 2015 to 2020, this study adopted the perspective of financial statements and conducted empirical analysis through the translog revenue function, and the results showed that the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the sales of agri-food products, and the sales of agri-food products by large agricultural companies have fallen more than those of small- and medium-sized ones. Based on the results of the study, the government can consider the policy of providing financial support and temporary subsidies to agri-food enterprises during the pandemic, while agri-food enterprises actively practice digital marketing to reduce the adverse impact of COVID-19 on agri-food sales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Food Marketing, Economics and Policies)
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Article
Effect of Aviation Spray Adjuvant on Improving Control of Fusarium Head Blight and Reducing Mycotoxin Contamination in Wheat
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1284; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121284 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 424
Abstract
Fusarium head blight (FHB) and its mycotoxin contamination are among the main factors affecting wheat yield and quality. There is an urgent need to develop an efficient strategy to prevent and control the FHB disease and reduce the mycotoxin level in the wheat [...] Read more.
Fusarium head blight (FHB) and its mycotoxin contamination are among the main factors affecting wheat yield and quality. There is an urgent need to develop an efficient strategy to prevent and control the FHB disease and reduce the mycotoxin level in the wheat product. As a triazolinthione fungicide, prothioconazole is an effective broad-spectrum fungicide to control various diseases of wheat by foliar spraying. However, prothioconazole has potential harm to the female reproductive system, and its metabolism prothioconazole-desthio has teratogenicity. Considering this point, the plant protection unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are undoubtedly a suitable choice for the field application of prothioconazole. In this work, by spraying 30% prothioconazole dispersible oil suspensions, we report that aviation spray adjuvant of methylated vegetable oil influences the control effect of wheat head blight, wheat yield, prothioconazole residues, and mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) content. Adding 1.0% aviation spray adjuvant to the spray solution can significantly increase the droplet density and deposition amount in different layers of wheat canopy. The wheat yield increased by 6.94% compared with the treatment areas without spray adjuvant. Meanwhile, the prothioconazole and DON mycotoxin were not detected in the wheat grains. Based on these results, we conclude that the addition of aviation spray adjuvant can also not only ensure the high control effect of prothioconazole on FHB in wheat and increase wheat yield, but also greatly reduce the content of DON mycotoxin and ensure the safety of wheat production. This study is expected to provide theoretical guidance and data support for applying spray adjuvants in the field of plant protection UAVs in modern intensive sustainable agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Use of Pesticides)
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Article
AgriTech Innovators: A Study of Initial Adoption and Continued Use of a Mobile Digital Platform by Family-Operated Farming Enterprises
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1283; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121283 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 392
Abstract
While information technology is playing a significant transformative role in virtually every industry, within the agriculture sector, family-operated farming enterprises have been slow to adopt IT solutions to manage their operations. This study adopts a sequential mixed-methods research design to examine the pre- [...] Read more.
While information technology is playing a significant transformative role in virtually every industry, within the agriculture sector, family-operated farming enterprises have been slow to adopt IT solutions to manage their operations. This study adopts a sequential mixed-methods research design to examine the pre- and post-adoption phases of farmers’ use of a mobile digital platform for farm management. Our findings show that farmers’ initial acceptance of a mobile digital platform for farm management is shaped by social influence, which mediates the impact of performance and effort expectancy. Post-adoption continued use of the digital platform is influenced directly by performance and effort expectancy and indirectly by trust beliefs and social influence. Perceived work impediment indirectly influences post-adoption acceptance via effort expectancy. Our study untangles the direct and indirect influences of positive and negative perceptions on farmers’ acceptance of a new innovative AgriTech digital platform in these different phases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Technology)
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Article
Ash Melting Behavior of Rice Straw and Calcium Additives
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121282 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 368
Abstract
Rice straw is potentially an appropriate feedstock material for biofuel production, since a huge amount of this postharvest residue is generated every year. The transformation of such agricultural biomass into densified products with a higher energy value and their subsequent combustion is associated [...] Read more.
Rice straw is potentially an appropriate feedstock material for biofuel production, since a huge amount of this postharvest residue is generated every year. The transformation of such agricultural biomass into densified products with a higher energy value and their subsequent combustion is associated with several questions. One of them is that rice straw exhibits a large formation of ash during combustion; thus, it is essential to know the nature of its ash melting behavior. Generally, during the combustion of straw biomass, ash sintering occurs in relatively low temperatures, resulting in the damaging of heating equipment. This negative aspect can be overcome by the addition of calcium-based additives. This paper aimed to study the ash melting behavior at a laboratory scale and to determine the ash melting points of rice straw mixed with calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) in different proportional ratios. The standardly produced ash samples from the rice straw obtained from Cambodia were constantly heated up in a muffle furnace, and characteristic temperatures of ash melting, i.e., shrinkage, deformation, hemisphere, and flow temperature, were recorded. The results showed that increasing the additive ratio did not bring linear growth of the melting temperatures. The addition of 1% CaCO3 showed an optimal positive impact of higher ash melting temperatures, and thus a better ability to abate the sintering of the rice straw ash. Full article
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Article
A Territorial-Driven Approach to Capture the Transformative Momentum of the Social Economy Especially from the Agricultural Cooperatives
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1281; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121281 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 395
Abstract
In the last few lustrums, the literature has searched for more precise methods to assess the socio-economic importance of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE). On that basis, this article offers a new way of assessing the SSE impact, enhancing the understanding of [...] Read more.
In the last few lustrums, the literature has searched for more precise methods to assess the socio-economic importance of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE). On that basis, this article offers a new way of assessing the SSE impact, enhancing the understanding of the SSE potential for socio-economic transformation. An evolutionary micro–meso–macro and territorial theoretical framework is developed, utilizing, along with the assistance of a qualitative methodology, studies on the transformation promoted by the SSE on the sugar cane cluster of Veracruz (Mexico). The main results of the article are that the SSE boost beneficiaries, while the protagonists of the transformation cannot be defined a priori, but are rather conformed by transformation vectors promoted by the SSE: their values shared by a wide spectrum of actors, the SSE socio-economic and organizational specificities, and their rooting in the productive system. The fundamental conclusion of the article is the need for a “territorial-driven approach” of the SSE’s impact, compared to the dominant “stakeholder-driven approach”. The main limitations (and suggestions for future studies) are the empirical investigation of a single case, and the need to develop a qualitative and quantitative system of indicators of the transformative drive of SSE. Full article
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Article
Spatial Distribution and Influencing Factors of Soil Fungi in a Degraded Alpine Meadow Invaded by Stellera chamaejasme
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1280; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121280 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 361
Abstract
Alpine meadow degradation causes a notable decrease in palatable grasses and an increase in forbs and toxic plants in recent decades. Stellera chamaejasme is one of the most serious toxic weeds, which exerts an increasing threat on alpine meadow in Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. Combined [...] Read more.
Alpine meadow degradation causes a notable decrease in palatable grasses and an increase in forbs and toxic plants in recent decades. Stellera chamaejasme is one of the most serious toxic weeds, which exerts an increasing threat on alpine meadow in Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. Combined DNA sequencing with geostatistics was applied to analyze a typical degraded meadow invaded by S. chamaejasme in Qinghai Province, China. The study aimed to determine the spatial variation of soil fungi and its interrelationship with the plant–soil environment. Alpha diversity and relative abundance of fungal phyla and classes showed moderate or strong spatial dependency and were structured in patches of 19–318 m, and taxonomic composition exhibited much higher spatial variability than alpha diversity. Compared to plant cover, the matching of patch size showed a closer spatial link between soil properties and fungal community. Community coverage, SOM, TN, TP, and TK positively correlated to fungal diversity and taxonomic composition; no direct correlation was found between S. chamaejasme coverage and fungal community. The result suggested significant but weak association between plant–soil properties and soil fungal community at local scale. Patchy pattern of S. chamaejasme may disturb spatial variations of soil properties and fungal community, since S. chamaejasme in higher coverage corresponded to lower TK content, which contributed to a decrease in fungal diversity indirectly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research of Rhizosphere Microbial Activity)
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Article
Effect of Various Rates of P from Alternative and Traditional Sources on Butterhead Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) Grown on Peat Substrate
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1279; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121279 - 16 Dec 2021
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Previous research indicated the potential use of struvite (STR) as an alternative source of phosphorus (P) in crop production. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of STR and triple superphosphate (TSP) on the growth and chemical composition of butterhead lettuce [...] Read more.
Previous research indicated the potential use of struvite (STR) as an alternative source of phosphorus (P) in crop production. A greenhouse experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of STR and triple superphosphate (TSP) on the growth and chemical composition of butterhead lettuce grown on peat substrate over a three-month period (May–July). Both alternative (STR) and conventional (TSP) fertilizers were applied at three rates: (1) recommended rate based on the elemental content of substrate and crop nutritional need; (2) reduced rate (50% lower than recommended); and (3) increased rate (50% higher than recommended). Unfertilized (control) plants were also grown in the pot experiment. As expected, fertilizer application tended to increase the content of heavy metals in the substrate. Thus, an increase in Zn, Pb, and Cu content in peat substrate was found following STR amendments. However, compared with unfertilized plants, the applied rates of the STR and TSP fertilizers did not increase the content of Cd and Cu in the plant leaf, while Hg content was below the detection limit. In addition, Zn content in the plant leaf significantly decreased following STR and TSP applications. In comparison to unfertilized plants, both alternative and conventional fertilizers increased the content of P and nitrate nitrogen (N-NO3) in the plant leaf while their effect on Mg content was negligible. The increased rate of STR was the best fertilizer treatment because it produced the largest number of leaves, which were also characterized by the highest P content. Our findings showed that STR was an effective source of P in butterhead lettuce cultivation without adverse effects on heavy metal accumulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Production)
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Review
Associations of Pantoea with Rice Plants: As Friends or Foes?
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1278; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121278 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 541
Abstract
Pantoea species are gram-negative bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae family, generally associated with plants, either as epiphytes or as pathogens. In the last decade, Pantoea species are being regarded as re-emerging pathogens that are the causal agents of various diseases in rice plants. Inherently, [...] Read more.
Pantoea species are gram-negative bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae family, generally associated with plants, either as epiphytes or as pathogens. In the last decade, Pantoea species are being regarded as re-emerging pathogens that are the causal agents of various diseases in rice plants. Inherently, they are also known to be opportunistic plant symbionts having the capacity to enhance systemic resistance and increase the yield of rice plants. It is unclear how they can express both beneficial and pathogenic traits, and what factors influence and determine the outcome of a particular Pantoea–rice plant interaction. This review aims to compare the characteristics of rice plant-beneficial and pathogenic strains belonging to the Pantoea species and gain new insights, enabling distinction among the two types of plant–microbe interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research of Crop Plant Interactions with Bacteria and Fungi)
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Article
Peanut Germplasm Evaluation for Agronomic Traits and Disease Resistance under a Two-Season Cropping System in Taiwan
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1277; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121277 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 502
Abstract
Cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is an important crop worldwide, and peanut germplasm is an important genetic resource for peanut breeding. The two-season cropping system is common in tropical and subtropical regions, which are the main peanut production areas. The weather in [...] Read more.
Cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is an important crop worldwide, and peanut germplasm is an important genetic resource for peanut breeding. The two-season cropping system is common in tropical and subtropical regions, which are the main peanut production areas. The weather in the two cropping seasons is usually distinct and makes germplasm evaluation challenging. In this study, random stratified sampling based on market type was applied to build a core collection. Comparisons between the original entire collection and core collection were conducted. Two seasons field trials were performed with additional three seasons rust resistance evaluation trials. Principal component analysis and genotype-by-trait biplots were utilized as selection tools. Which-won-where/what and stability plot relationships were determined to provide breeders with an easy and efficient method for selection. Rust resistance simple sequence repeat and single nucleotide polymorphism markers were used to screen the germplasm. Some resistant accessions showed susceptible phenotypes, indicating that under Taiwan’s environment, the favored rust physiological races are different from those of other areas. Some potential rust resistance lines were discovered and validated, which can survive under variable weather conditions in a two-season cropping system. A set of markers was developed for utilization for rust resistance screening in Taiwan. Full article
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Article
Enhancement of Interplanting of Ficus carica L. with Taxus cuspidata Sieb. et Zucc. on Growth of Two Plants
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1276; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121276 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 433
Abstract
Medicinal-agroforestry systems are one of the multi-functional medicinal plant production systems, gaining attention as a sustainable alternative to traditional monoculture systems. In this study, three planting patterns were established which included: (1) monoculture F. carica (MF); (2) monoculture T. cuspidata (MT); and (3) [...] Read more.
Medicinal-agroforestry systems are one of the multi-functional medicinal plant production systems, gaining attention as a sustainable alternative to traditional monoculture systems. In this study, three planting patterns were established which included: (1) monoculture F. carica (MF); (2) monoculture T. cuspidata (MT); and (3) interplanting F. carica with T. cuspidata (IFT). The differences of growth biomass, photosynthesis, soil nutrients, soil enzyme activities, soil microorganisms, and main secondary metabolites of F. carica and T. cuspidata under the above three models were investigated. Compared with the MF and MT patterns, IFT pattern for 5 months significantly increased the plant growth biomass, photosynthesis, soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, and secondary metabolites content. The activities of acid phosphatase, sucrase, protease, polyphenol oxidase, urease, dehydrogenase, and catalase in soil of IFT were significantly higher than MF and MT patterns. Results showed that IFT pattern is preferred compared to the MF and MT patterns. Our result will help to provide a feasible theoretical basis for the large-scale establishment of F. carica and T. cuspidata mixed forests and obtain high-quality medicine sources for extracting important active ingredients, psoralen and paclitaxel, which are crucial to the long-term sustainable development and production of medicinal plants. Full article
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Editorial
Recent Innovations in Post-Harvest Preservation and Protection of Agricultural Products
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1275; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121275 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 378
Abstract
Food loss and waste is a global problem that negatively impacts the bottom lines of producers and agri-businesses, wastes limited resources, and contributes to climate change [...] Full article
Article
Identification of Geographical Origin of Chinese Chestnuts Using Hyperspectral Imaging with 1D-CNN Algorithm
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1274; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121274 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 470
Abstract
The adulteration in Chinese chestnuts affects the quality, taste, and brand value. The objective of this study was to explore the feasibility of the hyperspectral imaging (HSI) technique to determine the geographical origin of Chinese chestnuts. An HSI system in spectral range of [...] Read more.
The adulteration in Chinese chestnuts affects the quality, taste, and brand value. The objective of this study was to explore the feasibility of the hyperspectral imaging (HSI) technique to determine the geographical origin of Chinese chestnuts. An HSI system in spectral range of 400–1000 nm was applied to identify a total of 417 Chinese chestnuts from three different geographical origins. Principal component analysis (PCA) was preliminarily used to investigate the differences of average spectra of the samples from different geographical origins. A deep-learning-based model (1D-CNN, one-dimensional convolutional neural network) was developed first, and then the model based on full spectra and optimal wavelengths were established for various machine learning methods, including partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and particle swarm optimization-support vector machine (PSO-SVM). The optimal results based on full spectra for 1D-CNN, PLS-DA, and PSO-SVM models were 97.12%, 97.12%, and 95.68%, respectively. Competitive adaptive reweighted sampling (CARS) and a successive projections algorithm (SPA) were individually utilized for wavelengths selection, and the results of simplified models generally improved. The contrasting results demonstrated that the prediction accuracies of SPA-PLS-DA and 1D-CNN both reached 97.12%, but 1D-CNN presented a higher Kappa coefficient value than SPA-PLS-DA. Meanwhile, the sensitivities and specificities of SPA-PLS-DA and 1D-CNN models were both above 90% for the samples from each geographical origin. These results indicated that both SPA-PLS-DA and 1D-CNN models combined with HSI have great potential for the geographical origin identification of Chinese chestnuts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors Applied to Agricultural Products)
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Article
In Vitro Evaluation and Genome Mining of Bacillus subtilis Strain RS10 Reveals Its Biocontrol and Plant Growth-Promoting Potential
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1273; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121273 - 15 Dec 2021
Viewed by 508
Abstract
Recently, crop management has involved excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, compromising public health and environmental integrity. Rhizobacteria, which can enhance plant growth and protect plants from phytopathogen, are eco-friendly and have been attracting increasing attention. In the current study, Bacillus subtilis [...] Read more.
Recently, crop management has involved excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, compromising public health and environmental integrity. Rhizobacteria, which can enhance plant growth and protect plants from phytopathogen, are eco-friendly and have been attracting increasing attention. In the current study, Bacillus subtilis RS10 isolated from the rhizosphere region of Cynodon dactylon, inhibited the growth of indicator strains and exhibited in vitro plant growth-promoting traits. A whole-genome analysis identified numerous biosynthetic gene clusters encoding antibacterial and antifungal metabolites including bacillibactin, bogorol A, fengycin, bacteriocin, type III polyketides (PKs), and bacilysin. The plant growth-promoting conferring genes involved in nitrogen metabolism, phosphate solubilization, hydrogen sulfide, phytohormones, siderophore biosynthesis, chemotaxis and motility, plant root colonization, lytic enzymes, and biofilm formation were determined. Furthermore, genes associated with abiotic stresses such as high salinity and osmotic stress were identified. A comparative genome analysis indicated open pan-genome and the strain was identified as a novel sequence type (ST-176). In addition, several horizontal gene transfer events were found which putatively play a vital role in the evolution and new functionalities of a strain. In conclusion, the current study demonstrates the potential of RS10 antagonism against important pathogens and plant growth promotion, highlighting its application in sustainable agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Research of Rhizosphere Microbial Activity)
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Article
First Detection and Characterization of Cross- and Multiple Resistance to Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase (ACCase)- and Acetolactate Synthase (ALS)-Inhibiting Herbicides in Black-Grass (Alopecurus myosuroides) and Italian Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) Populations from Ireland
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1272; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121272 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 437
Abstract
Understanding the resistance spectrum and underlying genetic mechanisms is critical for managing herbicide-resistant populations. In this study, resistance to acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACCase) and acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors was investigated in four suspected resistant populations of Alopecurus myosuroides (ALOMY-001 to ALOMY-004) and Lolium [...] Read more.
Understanding the resistance spectrum and underlying genetic mechanisms is critical for managing herbicide-resistant populations. In this study, resistance to acetyl CoA carboxylase (ACCase) and acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors was investigated in four suspected resistant populations of Alopecurus myosuroides (ALOMY-001 to ALOMY-004) and Lolium multiflorum (LOLMU-001 to LOLMU-004), collected from cereal production fields in Ireland. Glasshouse assays with three ALOMY-active herbicides [propaquizafop, cycloxydim (ACCase) and mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron (ALS)] or five LOLMU-active herbicides [pinoxaden, propaquizafop, cycloxydim (ACCase) and mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron, pyroxsulam (ALS)], and target-site resistance mechanism studies, based on pyrosequencing, were carried out in each of those populations. For A. myosuroides, Ile-1781-Leu ACCase mutation contributed to propaquizafop and cycloxydim resistance (shoot dry weight GR50 resistance factor (RF) = 7.5–35.5) in all ALOMY populations, and the independent Pro-197-Thr or Pro-197-Ser ALS mutation contributed to mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron resistance (RF = 3.6–6.6), in ALOMY-002 to ALOMY-004. Most of the analyzed plants for these mutations were homo/heterozygous combinations or only heterozygous. For L. multiflorum, phenotypic resistance to mesosulfuron + iodosulfuron (RF = 11.9–14.6) and pyroxsulam (RF = 2.3–3.1) was noted in all LOLMU populations, but the Pro-197-Gln or Pro-197-Leu ALS mutation (mostly in homozygous status) was identified in LOLMU-001, LOLMU-002 and LOLMU-004 only. Additionally, despite no known ACCase mutations in any LOLMU populations, LOLMU-002 survived pinoxaden and propaquizafop application (RF = 3.4 or 1.3), and LOLMU-003 survived pinoxaden (RF = 2.3), suggesting the possibility of non-target-site resistance mechanisms for ACCase and/or ALS resistance in these populations. Different resistance levels, as evidenced by a reduction in growth as dose increased above field rates in ALOMY and LOLMU, were due to variations in mutation rate and the level of heterozygosity, resulting in an overall resistance rating of low to moderate. This is the first study confirming cross- and multiple resistance to ACCase- and ALS-inhibiting herbicides, highlighting that resistance monitoring in A. myosuroides and L. multiflorum in Ireland is critical, and the adoption of integrated weed management strategies (chemical and non-chemical/cultural strategies) is essential. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Protection, Diseases, Pest and Weeds)
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Article
Diversity and Pathogenicity of Diaporthe Species Revealed from a Survey of Blueberry Orchards in Portugal
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1271; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121271 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 482
Abstract
Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are widely cultivated worldwide and largely consumed due to their known antioxidant and medicinal properties. Although Diaporthe species have been documented in Portugal as causal agents of blueberry twig blight and dieback, there is still scarce information on [...] Read more.
Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are widely cultivated worldwide and largely consumed due to their known antioxidant and medicinal properties. Although Diaporthe species have been documented in Portugal as causal agents of blueberry twig blight and dieback, there is still scarce information on the species that cause these symptoms. Moreover, Diaporthe vaccinii, recently synonymized with D. eres, has been considered a concern to blueberry production worldwide. However, the current knowledge about its impact on blueberries remains unclear. The diversity of Diaporthe species associated with diseased blueberry plants were assessed through a national survey. A multilocus sequence analysis of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, the translation elongation factor 1-alpha (tef1-α), β-tubulin (tub2), calmodulin (cal) and histone 3 (his3) genes unveiled the presence of Diaporthe ambigua, D. amygdali, D. crousii, D. foeniculina, D. hybrida, D. leucospermi, D. malorum and D. rudis. Moreover, all species were fully characterized based on a detailed morphological description. Diaporthe amygdali, D. hybrida, D. leucospermi and D. malorum are reported for the first time on diseased blueberries in Portugal. Results show that D. eres exhibited a high level of intraspecific variability within isolates, given that the strain CBS 160.32 might be a minor pathogen on blueberry plants, whereas CAA829 was revealed to be the most aggressive. Overall, this study also demonstrates that Diaporthe amygdali and D. eres may be two of the most aggressive species to blueberry plants. This study improves our understanding of the Diaporthe species and it’s causing of dieback and twig blight on Portuguese blueberry orchards. Additionally, the identification of these pathogens represents crucial information for blueberry producers to apply appropriate phytosanitary measures, as well as offering new insights into the potential pathogenicity of D. eres on this host. Full article
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Article
Florpyrauxifen-Benzyl Selectivity to Rice
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1270; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121270 - 14 Dec 2021
Viewed by 541
Abstract
Florpyrauxifen-benzyl (FPB) is a new class of auxinic herbicide developed for selective weed control in rice. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of environmental conditions, P450 inhibitors, rice cultivar response, and gene expression on FPB selectivity in rice. Field experiments established in [...] Read more.
Florpyrauxifen-benzyl (FPB) is a new class of auxinic herbicide developed for selective weed control in rice. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of environmental conditions, P450 inhibitors, rice cultivar response, and gene expression on FPB selectivity in rice. Field experiments established in a randomized block design showed that rice plant injury due to two FPB rates (30 and 60 g ai ha−1) was affected by planting time and rice stage at herbicide application. The injury was higher at the earliest planting season and more in younger plants (V2) than larger (V6 and R0). However, no yield reduction was detected. Under greenhouse conditions, two dose-response experiments in a randomized block design showed that spraying malathion (1 kg ha−1) before FPB application did not reduce herbicide selectivity. The addition of two P450 inhibitors (dietholate and piperonyl butoxide, 10 g a.i. seed-kg−1 and 4.2 kg ai ha−1, respectively) decreased the doses to cause 50% of plant injury (ED50) and growth reduction (GR50). However, it seems not to compromise crop selectivity. BRS Pampeira cultivar showed lower ED50 and GR50 than IRGA 424 RI. A growth chamber experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design to evaluate the gene expression of rice plants sprayed with FPB (30 and 60 g ai ha−1). Results showed downregulation of OsWAKL21.2, an esterase probably related to bio-activation of FPB-ester. However, no effect was detected on CYP71A21 monooxygenase and OsGSTL transferase, enzymes probably related to FPB degradation. Further research should focus on understanding FBP bio-activation as the selective mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbicide Physiology and Environmental Fate)
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