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Special Issue "Soil Management and Agricultural Sustainability: Rhizobacteria, Organic and Inorganic Amendments"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Soil Conservation and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Rahul Datta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geology and Pedology, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, 61300 Brno, Czech Republic
Interests: soil fauna microbial interaction; soil enzymes; soil nutrient cycling; soil remediation; sustainable agriculture; organo-mineral interactions; carbon sequestration in the soil; biochar; biofertilizers
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Shah Fahad
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Agronomy, The University of Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Interests: agroecosystem; climate change; soil ecology; agronomy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today, soil management and sustainable agriculture are of great concern to have and continue to have absolute minimum resources that are essential for human survival.  Soil scientists are applying many new techniques to achieve sustainable agriculture. Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), inorganic and organic amendments offer a versatile strategy for solving problems of soil health and food security. Biocomposites made from natural materials has also become the centre of attention due to their potential long-term benefits associated with soil health. In recent time scientific fraternity has changed their view to the combined used of PGPR, biochar, compost, manures and growth hormones for agricultural sustainability, this helps in the refinement of interactions between roots, beneficial microorganism, mineral fertilizers and organic amendments for the improvement in yield and quality production of crops. PGPR introduction, along with fertilizers, organic amendments and growth hormones, provides sustainable management of the soil fertility and better cultivation of crops under resilient climate changes. The special issue will emphasize on the basic concepts of biocomposites their standardization, analysis, and characterization technique, that is important to continue developing and innovating processes considering the changing environment.  All applications that are shown from an environment friendly, sustainability and sustainability approach. (Sustainable management)

We invite researchers to contribute to the Special Issue on Soil Management and Agricultural Sustainability: Rhizobacteria, Organic and Inorganic Amendments, which is intended to serve as a unique multidisciplinary forum covering broad aspects of agriculture, environmental science, soil science, plant nutrition and crop production.

This Special Issue " Soil Management and Agricultural Sustainability: Rhizobacteria, Organic and Inorganic Amendments " aims to fill the gaps in the scientific literature concerning this crucial area as much as possible, to highlight its importance, and to provide a platform for the dissemination of state-of-the-art advances in this field. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Biochar in climate-smart agriculture
  • Bio-composites of organic amendments, fertilizers, biochar and PGPR for agricultural sustainability
  • Bio-composites in management of soil health and fertility status
  • Macronutrients consortia with bio-composites or biochar in Agriculture
  • Micronutrients consortia with bio-composites or biochar in Agriculture
  • Composites of rhizobacteria with biochar, manure and compost under abiotic stresses crop production
  • Bio-composites in management of heavy metals in contaminated soil

Dr. Rahul Datta
Dr. Subhan Danish
Dr. Shah Fahad
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Heavy metals
  • Biochar
  • Compost
  • Manures
  • PGPR
  • Agriculture crop production
  • Nutrients consortia
  • Drought stress
  • Salinity stress
  • Waterlogging stress
  • Soil compaction stress
  • Growth hormones

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

Article
Drought Stress Alleviation by Potassium-Nitrate-Containing Chitosan/Montmorillonite Microparticles Confers Changes in Spinacia oleracea L.
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9903; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179903 - 03 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 693
Abstract
Drought and low amounts of mineral nutrients in the soil are the two leading global constraints in arid and semiarid regions. Their detrimental effects on soils and crops can be alleviated by applying controlled release and biodegradable fertilizers to better and sustain the [...] Read more.
Drought and low amounts of mineral nutrients in the soil are the two leading global constraints in arid and semiarid regions. Their detrimental effects on soils and crops can be alleviated by applying controlled release and biodegradable fertilizers to better and sustain the crops. On a global scale, spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) is an essential leafy green vegetable that is biologically considered a reliable source of essential nutrients and minerals for human health. A comprehensive approach is needed to manage water stress to mitigate the impacts of stress-caused damage and to examine this for better and increased plant production. An experiment was conducted using potassium-nitrate-containing chitosan/montmorillonite microparticles (150 mg) under mild and severe drought stress (MDS: 50% and SDS: 35% FC, respectively). The treatments include control (no KNO3 and 70% FC as normal irrigation (NI)), KNO3 + NI, 50% FC as mild drought stress (MDS), KNO3 + MDS, 35% FC as severe drought stress (SDS) and KNO3 + SDS. Results revealed that drought stress decreased all studied physiological parameters and increased oxidative stress indicators in spinach. Applying KN significantly increased root (122%) and shoot length (4%), shoot fresh weight (32%) and shoot dry weight (71%), chlorophyll a (88%), carotenoids (39%), total soluble proteins (50%), soluble sugars (51%), potassium (80%), and phosphorous (32%) concentrations over No KN at severe drought. While stress indicators, like glycine betaine, malondialdehyde, hydrogen peroxide, electrolyte leakage, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and ascorbic acid levels, were increased in stress. Treatment KN was proved efficient and effective in improving spinach physiological status in both MDS and SDS. Full article
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Article
Mineral Fertilizers Improves the Quality of Turmeric and Soil
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9437; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13169437 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 530
Abstract
An experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of different mineral fertilizers on mineral contents in turmeric rhizomes and soil enzyme activities and soil properties under field conditions in Uzbekistan. The present study is the first report on the impact of mineral [...] Read more.
An experiment was carried out to investigate the effects of different mineral fertilizers on mineral contents in turmeric rhizomes and soil enzyme activities and soil properties under field conditions in Uzbekistan. The present study is the first report on the impact of mineral fertilizers in turmeric rhizomes and soil enzymes and soil properties in Uzbekistan. The experiment was carried out with four treatments: T1—Control, T2—N75P50K50 kg/ha, T3—N125P100K100 kg/ha, and T4—N100P75K75 + B3Zn6Fe6 kg/ha. Turmeric rhizomes and soil samples were collected from field experiments at the Surkhandarya scientific experimental station of the vegetable, melon crops and potato research institute, Surkhandarya, Uzbekistan. The data showed that T3—the NPK (125:100:100 kg/ha) and T4—the NPK + BZnFe (100:75:75:3:6:6 kg/ha) treatments significantly enhanced K content by 27–21%, Ca content by 43–38%, and P content by 54–17% in turmeric rhizomes as compared to control without fertilizer. A maximum of turmeric rhizome microelements content was recorded with T4, which also resulted in improved Fe, Zn, Cu, Cr, and Mo contents in turmeric rhizomes and mineral contents of soil compared to other treatments. This treatment significantly enhanced active P content by 34%, active K content by 25%, total P content by 62%, total K content by 14%, and the activities of soil urease, invertase, catalase, and phosphatase over those in the control. The present study results suggest that the application of NPK + BZnFe (100:75:75:3:6:6 kg/ha) improves macro and micronutrient contents in turmeric rhizomes and activities of soil enzymes and physicochemical properties of soil. Full article
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Article
Lilium philadelphicum Flower as a Novel Source of Antimicrobial Agents: A Study of Bioactivity, Phytochemical Analysis, and Partial Identification of Antimicrobial Metabolites
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8471; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158471 - 29 Jul 2021
Viewed by 480
Abstract
The members of the Liliaceae family are considered an excellent source of biologically active compounds. However, work on antimicrobial potential and characterization of the bioactive fractions of the Lilium philadelphicum flower is limited and needs to be explored. The present study reports the [...] Read more.
The members of the Liliaceae family are considered an excellent source of biologically active compounds. However, work on antimicrobial potential and characterization of the bioactive fractions of the Lilium philadelphicum flower is limited and needs to be explored. The present study reports the antimicrobial potential of the bioactive fraction extracted from the flower of L. philadelphicum (red lily) and partial characterization of the bioactive compound(s). The antimicrobial activity was tested against nine different Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of methanolic extract of the L. philadelphicum flower against Acinetobacter bouvetii, Achromobacter xylosoxidans, Bacillus subtilis MTCC 121, Candida albicans MTCC 183, Klebsiella pneumoniae MTCC 3384, and Salmonella typhi MTCC 537 were 25, 50, 12.5, 50, 100, and 50 μg/mL, respectively. The phytochemical analysis of the extract revealed the presence of phenols, flavonoids, tannins, terpenoids, glycosides, coumarins, and quinones. The cytotoxicity of the partially purified compound against the HepG2 cell line using MTT assay demonstrated up to 90% cell viability with a bioactive compound concentration of 50 μg/mL. However, the increase in the bioactive compound’s concentration up to 1000 μg/mL resulted in nearly 80% cell viability. This minor decline in cell viability suggests the importance and suitability of the bioactive compound for therapeutic applications. Spectroscopic studies of the bioactive compound by UV-visible spectroscopy, FT-infrared spectroscopy, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), as well as phytochemical analysis, suggested the presence of a terpenoid moiety, which may be responsible for the antimicrobial property of the L. philadelphicum flower. Full article
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Article
Carbon Mineralization Rates and Kinetics of Surface-Applied and Incorporated Rice and Maize Residues in Entisol and Inceptisol Soil Types
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7212; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13137212 - 28 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 705
Abstract
Mineralization of carbon (C) is a burning issue that is regulated by soil attributes. It has direct impacts on crop productivity and quantification of organic residue addition in soil. For better understanding and achievement of potential tillage benefits, a comprehensive scientific understanding of [...] Read more.
Mineralization of carbon (C) is a burning issue that is regulated by soil attributes. It has direct impacts on crop productivity and quantification of organic residue addition in soil. For better understanding and achievement of potential tillage benefits, a comprehensive scientific understanding of C mineralization is very important. Therefore, a laboratory incubation experiment was conducted to investigate the C mineralization rates and kinetics of crop residues (rice and maize) when applied on the surface (as zero-tillage, ZT) and incorporation (as conventional tillage, CT) in four different soil types (S1 and S2 of Entisol; S3 and S4 of Inceptisols) of West Bengal state, India. Results showed that after 7 days of incubation, there was a rapid phase of decrease in CO2-C fluxes. It continued up to day 14 followed by a sluggish nature of CO2 emission up to day-42, and after that almost levelling off in all subsequent periods up to the end of 126 days of incubation. There was a progressive release of cumulative total C from the soils with an increase in time till the last day of incubation. For every 10% increase in C loss, there was about 0.376 mg/g C mineralization from the applied residue C. It was evident from the kinetic models that C mineralization from the residues followed the exponential model: C = Co(1 − e−kt). Similar rate constant (k) values were recorded in both placement methods, but the rate of maximum potential mineralizable (C0k) residue C was higher under residue incorporation treatments for both rice and maize residue. However, the rice and maize residues showed almost similar amounts of C mineralized over time when applied on the surface. The future prediction analysis using the equation C = Co(1 − e−kt) suggested that the residues incorporated into the soil releases a maximum C irrespective of residue type. We conclude that the residues when incorporated into the soil significantly increases the C footprints through maximum C mineralization; leaving the crop residue on the soil surface reduces the C footprints which helps in achieving sustainability from an environmental perspective. Full article
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Article
Aspergillus foetidus Regulated the Biochemical Characteristics of Soybean and Sunflower under Heat Stress Condition: Role in Sustainability
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7159; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13137159 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 490
Abstract
Plants are susceptible to various environmental constrains, including heat stress due to their sessile nature. Endophytic fungi can be used as a novel technique to protect crop plants against the injurious effects of thermal stress. Endophytic fungi were isolated from Adiantum capillus-veneris L. [...] Read more.
Plants are susceptible to various environmental constrains, including heat stress due to their sessile nature. Endophytic fungi can be used as a novel technique to protect crop plants against the injurious effects of thermal stress. Endophytic fungi were isolated from Adiantum capillus-veneris L. and tested against heat stress in Glycine max L. and Helianthus annuus L. The results exhibited increased levels of the plant’s chlorophyll, height and biomass in Aspergillus foetidus (AdR-13) inoculated host crop species. Conversely, a significant decrease in lipid peroxidation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production was noted in A. foetidus-associated host crop species. Likewise, the amounts of ROS-degrading antioxidants (glutathione reductase (GR), peroxidase (POD), ascorbic acid oxidase (AAO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT)) as well as phenolics were increased, while the amounts of proline and abscisic acid (ABA) were decreased in fungal-associated test crops. Total lipids, proteins and sugars were noted to be high in A. foetidus-associated test crops. From the results, we concluded that A. foetidus have a role in heat stress mitigation that might help to sustain the production of important crops in the future. Full article
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Article
Optimized High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Method for Determining Nine Cytokinins, Indole-3-acetic Acid and Abscisic Acid
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 6998; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13136998 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 968
Abstract
Liquid-liquid extraction and solid phase extraction followed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) connected with ultraviolet (UV) detection were used for the determination of phytohormones. The parameters influencing the performance of the HPLC-UV method, including composition of the mobile phase for gradient elution, column [...] Read more.
Liquid-liquid extraction and solid phase extraction followed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) connected with ultraviolet (UV) detection were used for the determination of phytohormones. The parameters influencing the performance of the HPLC-UV method, including composition of the mobile phase for gradient elution, column temperature, flow rate, and detection wavelength, were optimized. This method can simultaneously determine 11 phytohormones, including nine cytokinins, indole-3-acetic acid, and abscisic acid. The limit of detection of this method is 0.22 to 1.1 µg L−1, and the coefficient factors of linear regression are >0.998. The recoveries of the target phytohormones ranged between 62.1~109.4%, and the relative standard deviations were <10%. This method is suitable for determining phytohormones, especially cytokinins, in young panicles, roots, and xylem sap of rice plants. Full article
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Article
Combined Use of Endophytic Bacteria and Pre-Sowing Treatment of Thiamine Mitigates the Adverse Effects of Drought Stress in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Cultivars
Sustainability 2021, 13(12), 6582; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13126582 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 722
Abstract
On a global scale, wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a widely cultivated crop among all cereals. Increasing pollution, population expansion, socio-economic development, ecological and industrial policies have induced changes in overall climatic attributes. The impact of these factors on agriculture dynamics has [...] Read more.
On a global scale, wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a widely cultivated crop among all cereals. Increasing pollution, population expansion, socio-economic development, ecological and industrial policies have induced changes in overall climatic attributes. The impact of these factors on agriculture dynamics has led to various biotic and abiotic stresses, i.e., significant decline in rainfall, directly affect sustainable agriculture. Increasing abiotic stresses have a direct negative effect on worldwide crop production. More promising and improved stress-tolerant strategies that can help to feed the increasing global population are required. A laboratory experiment was performed on two of the latest wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) genotypes (Akbar 2019 and Anaj 2017) from Punjab Pakistan, to determine the influence of seed priming with thiamine (vitamin B1) along with soil inoculation of Endophytic bacterial strains to mitigate the effects of drought stress at different degrees. Results revealed that thiamine helped in the remote germination; seeds of Anaj 2017 germinated within 16 hours while Akbar 2019 germinated after one day. Overall growth parameters of Anaj 2017 were negatively affected even under higher levels of drought stress, while Akbar 2019 proved to be a susceptible cultivar. A significant increase in RFW (54%), SFW (85%), RDW (69%), SDW (67%) and TChl (136%) validated the effectiveness of D-T3 compared to C-T0 in drought stress. Significant decrease in MDA, EL and H2O2 signified the imperative function of D-T3 over C-T0 under drought stress. In conclusion and recommendation, we declare that farmers can get better wheat growth under drought stress by application of D-T3 over C-T0. Full article
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Article
Effect of Vermicompost Application on Mineral Nutrient Composition of Grains of Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum M.)
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6004; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13116004 - 26 May 2021
Viewed by 736
Abstract
Poor soil organic content is a major cause of declining crop productivity in developing countries. Less precipitation and high temperatures oxidize organic matter in the soils of semi-arid regions. Such a deficiency in the organic matter of the soils decreases the bioavailability of [...] Read more.
Poor soil organic content is a major cause of declining crop productivity in developing countries. Less precipitation and high temperatures oxidize organic matter in the soils of semi-arid regions. Such a deficiency in the organic matter of the soils decreases the bioavailability of many nutrients. Organic amendments like vermicompost (VM) have the potential to overcome this problem, while decreasing the dependency on inorganic fertilizers. Thus, the aim of our study was to explore the best application rate of VM for the improvement of nutrient contents in buckwheat. We used two buckwheat cultivars i.e., Aktaş and Güneş were sown under variable rates of soil-applied VM (0, 0.75, 1.50, 2.25 and 3.00 t ha−1) in semi-arid highland conditions. The results demonstrated that the nutritional quality parameters were improved when VM was applied at the rate of 2.25 t ha−1. In addition, VM at 2.25 t ha−1 resulted in an improvement of the N and P contents of the grains. The P contents in the grains of the Güneş variety was higher (0.26%) than the Aktaş variety (0.24%). A significant improvement in Fe (%), Cu (%), Zn (%) and Mn contents (%) in the grains of buckwheat validated the efficacious functioning of 2.25 t ha−1 of VM. The Zn content of the grains was higher in the Güneş variety (34.06%) than the Aktaş variety (31.96%). However, no significant change in K, Ca and Mg was noted at any level of VM in both Aktaş and Güneş. It is concluded that a 2.25 t ha−1 VM application in the buckwheat crop under zero conventional fertilizer was the best level to boost the nutritional quality of the grains. Full article
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Article
Physiological and Biochemical Responses of Invasive Species Cenchrus pauciflorus Benth to Drought Stress
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 5976; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13115976 - 26 May 2021
Viewed by 700
Abstract
The invasive plant Cenchrus pauciflorus Benth exhibits strong adaptability to stress, especially drought. When newly introduced certain plant species can become invasive and quickly spread in an area due to lack of competition, potentially disturbing the ecological balance and species diversity. C. pauciflorus [...] Read more.
The invasive plant Cenchrus pauciflorus Benth exhibits strong adaptability to stress, especially drought. When newly introduced certain plant species can become invasive and quickly spread in an area due to lack of competition, potentially disturbing the ecological balance and species diversity. C. pauciflorus has been known to cause huge economic losses to agriculture and animal husbandry. Thus, understanding the physiological responses of C. pauciflorus to drought stress could help explore the role of C. pauciflorus in population expansion in sandy land environments. In this study, we evaluated the response of C. pauciflorus to induced low, moderate, and severe drought stress conditions. Results showed a linear reduction in the fresh weight (FW), dry weight (DW), and relative water content (RWC) of the aboveground parts of C. pauciflorus following drought stress as compared to the control plants (no drought stress). Chemical analyses showed that the drought treatments significantly induced the production of proline, soluble proteins, soluble sugars, MDA, and free amino acids as compared to the control treatment (no drought stress). On the other hand, the starch content was significantly reduced in drought-treated plants. This was also accompanied by a significant linear increase in the antioxidant enzyme activities (SOD, POD, and CAT) in plants subjected to drought stress. On the basis of physiological and biochemical analyses, we propose that C. pauciflorus has evolved to survive harsh drought stress conditions of the desert via sophisticated biochemical adjustment and antioxidant reprograming that allows protection against damage caused by drought stress. Full article
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Article
Cholesterol Reduction and Vitamin B12 Production Study on Enterococcus faecium and Lactobacillus pentosus Isolated from Yoghurt
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 5853; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13115853 - 23 May 2021
Viewed by 848
Abstract
The present study was aimed to test cholesterol reduction and vitamin B12 production abilities of the isolated lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Three LAB isolates, namely, Enterococcus faecium (EF), Enterococcus faecium (Chole1), and Lactobacillus pentosus (7MP), having probiotic potential, were isolated from yoghurt. [...] Read more.
The present study was aimed to test cholesterol reduction and vitamin B12 production abilities of the isolated lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Three LAB isolates, namely, Enterococcus faecium (EF), Enterococcus faecium (Chole1), and Lactobacillus pentosus (7MP), having probiotic potential, were isolated from yoghurt. These isolates were screened for bile salt hydrolase (BSH) activity, cholesterol reduction property in MRS broth, and the production of vitamin B12. The present study revealed that the isolate 7MP possesses the highest potential of (48%) cholesterol reduction compared to the other isolates. The isolates EF and Chole1 produced a good amount of (1 ng/mL) vitamin B12. These isolates were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and confirmed by MALD_TOF analysis. Thus, the use of these LAB isolates for yoghurt-making can offer the value addition of lowering cholesterol and vitamin B12 fortification in fermented food. Full article
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Article
Flowering Synchronization in Hybrid Rice Parental Lines at Different Sowing Dates
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3229; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13063229 - 15 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 691
Abstract
Hybrid seed set on the female line depends primarily on its flowering synchronization with the restorer line (R), therefore, the sowing of male and female lines must be planned properly to achieve this. Field experiments on different sowing dates (May 1st, May 15th, [...] Read more.
Hybrid seed set on the female line depends primarily on its flowering synchronization with the restorer line (R), therefore, the sowing of male and female lines must be planned properly to achieve this. Field experiments on different sowing dates (May 1st, May 15th, and May 30th) of R lines (Giza 178R, Giza 179R, and Giza 181R) and cytoplasmic male sterile (CMS) lines (IR69625A, IR70368A, IR58025A, K17A, and G46A) were carried out at the farm of Sakha Agricultural Research Station, Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt during 2019 and 2020 to study the effect of sowing dates on flowering synchronization in hybrid rice. The results indicated that the synchronization of flowering between CMS lines and R lines has highly significant effects on the days to 50% heading, number of leaves, effective accumulated temperature (EAT), plant height, panicle exertion percentage, panicle length, number of fertile panicles, panicle weight, seed set percentage, harvest index and seed yield of hybrid rice. The highest seed yield (1.72 and 1.41 t ha−1, respectively in 2019 and 2020) was recorded from the sowing date May 1st and the hybrid combination of Giza 178R × IR58025A (2.06 and 2.12 t ha−1 in 2019 and 2020, respectively). The grain yield had a significant and highly significant positive correlation with the plant height (cm), panicle exertion percentage, panicle length, number of panicles plant−1, panicle weight, seed set percentage, and harvest index. In Egypt, May 1st is the best time for the synchronization of hybrid rice lines and a combination of Giza 178R × IR58025A may be recommended for better performance. Full article
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Article
The Productivity and Nutrient Use Efficiency of Rice–Rice–Black Gram Cropping Sequence Are Influenced by Location Specific Nutrient Management
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3222; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13063222 - 15 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
Nutrient management is critical for rice farming because the crop is grown under diverse conditions, and in most cases, the existing nutrient management practices fail to achieve an attainable yield target. During recent years site specific nutrient management gained importance for a target [...] Read more.
Nutrient management is critical for rice farming because the crop is grown under diverse conditions, and in most cases, the existing nutrient management practices fail to achieve an attainable yield target. During recent years site specific nutrient management gained importance for a target yield with maximum nutrient use efficiency. Sufficient research work has not been carried out in this direction so far in the rice–rice–pulse (black gram) sequential cropping system under the red and lateritic belt of West Bengal, India. A multi-locational field experiment was conducted from July 2013 to June 2015 at three different locations, namely, Guskara (Burdwan district) and Benuriya (Birbhum district) villages in farmers’ fields and at the university farm of Visva-Bharati, Sriniketan, West Bengal, India. The performance of nutrients was tested by providing ample doses of N, P, K, S, and Zn compared to the omission of these nutrients. The growth parameters, such as crop biomass production, leaf area index, and number of tillers, and yield attributes and yield were influenced by nutrient management treatments. Application of 100% of N, P, K, S, and Zn resulted in its superiority to other nutrient management options studied, and a similar trend was also noted with the treatment in the expression of nutrient use efficiency (NUE) and nutrient response (NR). The available N, P, K, S, and Zn contents in soil increased steadily due to the increase in fertilizer application. The study concluded that optimization of NPK in the rice–rice–pulse cropping system on target yield along with need-based S and Zn application was beneficial for higher productivity. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Acidic Biochar on the Growth, Physiology and Nutrients Uptake of Maize (Zea mays L.) Seedlings under Salinity Stress
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3150; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13063150 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 566
Abstract
The application of an acidic biochar can improve plant growth and soil properties in saline conditions. In this study, we investigated the effect of acidic biochar on plant growth and nutrients contents in saline soil. Seven treatments were arranged in a complete randomized [...] Read more.
The application of an acidic biochar can improve plant growth and soil properties in saline conditions. In this study, we investigated the effect of acidic biochar on plant growth and nutrients contents in saline soil. Seven treatments were arranged in a complete randomized design, including control (CK), 0, 30, and 45 g biochar added to a soil having 1% and 1.5% salts; these treatments were termed as B0S1, B30S1, B45S1 and B0S1.5, B30S1.5, B45S1.5 respectively. Experimental results showed that the plant height, leaves plant−1, leaf area, and shoot fresh and dry biomass, and root fresh and dry biomass were increased for the B45S1.5, respectively. Similarly, the highest total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), total potassium (TK), and total sodium (Na) concentration in maize shoot were observed for B30S1, B0S1.5, CK, and B0S1.5, respectively. The highest concentrations of TN, TP, TK, and Na in root were obtained with the treatments B0S1, B0S1, B45S1, and B0S1, respectively. Soil pH, and EC decreased and nutrients concentration improved by the addition of acidic biochar. We conclude that the use of acidic biochar can be a potential source for the improvement of maize plant growth as well as mitigate the adverse effect of salt stress. Full article
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Article
Selection of Suitable Potato Genotypes for Late-Sown Heat Stress Conditions Based on Field Performance and Stress Tolerance Indices
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2770; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13052770 - 04 Mar 2021
Viewed by 882
Abstract
International Potato Center (CIP), -bred potato genotypes produce various yields under heat stress conditions due to being sown late. To explore options for achieving this, a replicated experiment was conducted at the field of Tuber Crops Research Sub-Centre, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Bogura, [...] Read more.
International Potato Center (CIP), -bred potato genotypes produce various yields under heat stress conditions due to being sown late. To explore options for achieving this, a replicated experiment was conducted at the field of Tuber Crops Research Sub-Centre, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, Bogura, Bangladesh to evaluate the performance of fourteen CIP-bred potato genotypes with two controls (Asterix and Granola). The experiment was laid out in a split-plot design with three replications. Several indices were applied to find out the suitable genotypes under heat stress. The plant height increased by 34.61% under heat stress, which was common in all the potato genotypes. Similarly, other yield-participating characters like stem per hill, canopy coverage (%), plant vigor, and tuber number per plant were also increased under heat stress conditions. However, the tuber yield was decreased by 6.30% and 11.41%, respectively when harvested at 70 and 90 days after plantation. Moreover, “CIP-203” yielded the highest (40.66 t ha−1) in non-stressed whereas, “CIP-118” yielded the highest (32.89 t/ha) in stressed conditions. Likewise, the bred “CIP-218” and “CIP-118” performed better under both growing conditions and yielded >35.00 t ha−1. According to a rank-sum test, among the fourteen potato genotypes, “CIP-218”, “LB-7”, “CIP-118”, “CIP-232”, and “CIP-112” were selected as heat-tolerant potatoes and can grow in both growing conditions with higher yield potential. Full article
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Article
Influence of Tillage Systems and Cereals–Legume Mixture on Fodder Yield, Quality and Net Returns under Rainfed Conditions
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2172; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13042172 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 703
Abstract
Livestock development in rainfed areas is slower due to the inadequate supply of nutritious fodder. Mono-cropping systems also have a negative impact on forage yield and nutrition as cereals are deficient in protein. Hence, there is a dire need to grow cereals with [...] Read more.
Livestock development in rainfed areas is slower due to the inadequate supply of nutritious fodder. Mono-cropping systems also have a negative impact on forage yield and nutrition as cereals are deficient in protein. Hence, there is a dire need to grow cereals with legumes to improve forage yield and quality. Therefore, a two-year field study was undertaken to evaluate winter cereal–legume forage and their mixtures viz. oats (cv. PD2-LV65), barley (Jau-86) and one legume viz. vetch (cv. Languedock) under different tillage systems viz. conventional tillage (moldboard plow+4-cultivation with tines) and conservation tillage (3-cultivation with tines). Crops were grown in pure stands as well as in mixtures with a 70:30 seeding ratio. The results revealed that the conventional tillage system performed better in terms of numbers of tillers/branches, leaf-to-stem ratio and green fodder yield than the conservation tillage system. However, the conventional and conservation tillage systems did not show a significant difference in terms of crude protein, acid detergent fiber and neutral detergent fiber. In the pure stands and cereal–legume mixtures, the oat–vetch mixture performed better in terms of plant height, leaf-to-stem ratio and green fodder yield. The maximum crude protein content was observed in the oat–vetch mixture, while the maximum acid detergent fiber and neutral detergent fiber were observed in the pure oat stands. In competitive indices, the land-equivalent ratio and competitive ratio showed the advantage of intercropping. In actual yield loss, results showed the positive value of barley and oats in mixtures, which reflects the advantage of intercropping in the rainfed areas. The economic analysis showed a greater net benefit from the conventional tillage than the conservation tillage system under rainfed conditions. On the basis of this investigation, an oat–vetch mixture and the conventional tillage system are recommended for higher tonnage of nutritious fodder in rainfed areas. Full article
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Article
Interactive Effect of Weeding Regimes, Rice Cultivars, and Seeding Rates Influence the Rice-Weed Competition under Dry Direct-Seeded Condition
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 317; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13010317 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1102
Abstract
Dry direct-seeded rice (Oryza sativa L.), a climate-smart and resource-efficient (labor and water) rice production technology is gaining popularity in many parts of Asian countries; however, weeds are the major constraints for its early establishment and optimum productivity. Chemical weed management is [...] Read more.
Dry direct-seeded rice (Oryza sativa L.), a climate-smart and resource-efficient (labor and water) rice production technology is gaining popularity in many parts of Asian countries; however, weeds are the major constraints for its early establishment and optimum productivity. Chemical weed management is effective, rapid, and also decreases weed management costs in dry direct-seeded rice (DSR) system; however, chemical use for weed management have a negative effect on the environment and also have human health hazards. Therefore, integrated weed management (IWM) is the best option for the sustainability of rice production under the DSR system. Improving competitiveness against weeds, weed-competitive rice cultivars, and high seeding rates were found to be the most promising IWM strategies in DSR. In this context, a field study was conducted to evaluate the weed competitiveness of rice cultivars and seeding rates on the performance of aus rice in dry direct-seeded systems in Bangladesh. Three inbred rice cultivars (CV), namely “BRRI dhan26”, “BRRI dhan48”, and “BRRI dhan55”, and one hybrid cultivar, “Arize” were tested in a seeding rate (SR) of 20, 40, and 80 kg ha−1 under two weeding regimes (WR) of weed-free and partially-weedy. Rice grain yield was strongly affected (p < 0.01) by the interactions of WR, CV, and SR. In weed-free conditions, the yield of all three inbred cultivars was increased up to SR of 40 kg ha−1 and for the hybrid cultivar, up to SR of 20 kg ha−1, and with further increment of SR, there was no yield advantage. Conversely, under partially weedy conditions, the yield of three inbred cultivars increased up to SR of 80 kg ha−1; however, for the hybrid cultivar, this increment was up to SR of 40 kg ha−1 and thereafter, no yield gain. In weedy conditions, the higher SR compensates for the yield losses by increasing the competitiveness of rice with weeds. Across SR, the hybrid cultivar had a significantly (p < 0.01) higher weed competitive index (WCI) than all the inbred cultivars and the highest SR always had a higher WCI. Full article
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Article
Mitigation of Osmotic Stress in Cotton for the Improvement in Growth and Yield through Inoculation of Rhizobacteria and Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria Coated Diammonium Phosphate
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10456; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410456 - 14 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1110
Abstract
Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is one of the major fiber crops. Its production is under threat due to scarcity of water resources under a changing climatic scenario. Limited water availability also decreases the uptake of phosphorus, and less uptake of phosphorus can [...] Read more.
Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is one of the major fiber crops. Its production is under threat due to scarcity of water resources under a changing climatic scenario. Limited water availability also decreases the uptake of phosphorus, and less uptake of phosphorus can deteriorate the quality attributes of cotton fiber. There is a need to introduce bio-organic amendments which can mitigate osmotic stress on a sustainable basis. Inoculation of rhizobacteria can play an imperative role in this regard. Rhizobacteria can not only improve the growth of roots but also enhance the availability of immobile phosphorus in soil. That is why the current experiment was conducted to explore and compare the efficacy of sole application of diammonium phosphate (DAP) over plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) and phosphorus solubilizing bacteria (PSB) coated DAP on growth and quality attributes of cotton under artificially induced osmotic stress at flowering stage. The impact of phosphorus levels was found to be significant on the plant height, leaf area, average boll weight, stomatal conductance, net photosynthetic rate, and seed cotton yield, while the irrigation effect was significant on all the parameters. The PGPR coated phosphorus performed better as compared to other treatments under normal irrigation and osmotic stress. Results showed that PGPR coated phosphorus increased by 29.47%, 21.01%, 41.11%, 32.73%, 15.63% and 22.89% plant height, average boll weight, stomatal conductance, net photosynthetic rate, fiber length, and seed cotton yield respectively. In conclusion, PGPR coated DAP can be helpful to get higher cotton productivity as compared to control and sole application of DAP under normal irrigation and osmotic stress. Full article
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Article
The Optimized N, P, and K Fertilization for Bermudagrass Integrated Turf Performance during the Establishment and Its Importance for the Sustainable Management of Urban Green Spaces
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10294; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410294 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 793
Abstract
Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers) turf is the most widely used turfgrass in urban landscapes. Large amounts of fertilizer are usually applied for maximum turf performance, while relatively little attention has been paid to efficient nutrient management of bermudagrass turf. The design [...] Read more.
Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers) turf is the most widely used turfgrass in urban landscapes. Large amounts of fertilizer are usually applied for maximum turf performance, while relatively little attention has been paid to efficient nutrient management of bermudagrass turf. The design opted for was a 3-factor and 5-level Central Composite Rotatable Design (CCRD) consisting of 24 experimental runs in the greenhouse with response surface methodology (RSM) and simulated regression modeling. The experiment covered in this study was carried out at Sichuan Agricultural University with the objectives of understanding the interactive effects of nitrogen, (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) fertilization on the bermudagrass integrated turf performance (ITP) and optimizing the amount of N, P, and K required for optimum turf performance during establishment. The qualitative and quantitative relationships between bermudagrass and fertilization significantly affected the ITP. The N, P, and K Fertilization significantly influenced the percent grass cover, turf height, shoot dry weight, root dry weight, and total chlorophyll content. Fertilization with N and P significantly enhanced the tiller length, turf density, color, and total protein levels. Root length was augmented with the application of P and K. We found that 3-D surface plots indicated significant interactive effects of NP, NK, and PK on the ITP. A simulation optimization and frequency analysis indicated that the optimal combined amounts of these nutrients were N: 26.0–27.6 g m−2, P: 24.2–26.4 g m−2, and K: 3.1–5.0 g m−2 during the establishment phase. The results suggest that optimized fertilization is key to sustainable nutrient management of bermudagrass integrated turf performance. Full article
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Article
Response of Soil Bacterial Community to Application of Organic and Inorganic Phosphate Based Fertilizers under Vicia faba L. Cultivation at Two Different Phenological Stages
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9706; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12229706 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 660
Abstract
It is essential to investigate to which extent and how specifically soil–plant–microbe interactions can be conditioned by different agricultural practices. Legumes such as Vicia faba is one of the essential functional group in intercropping and crop rotations due to its higher N fixing [...] Read more.
It is essential to investigate to which extent and how specifically soil–plant–microbe interactions can be conditioned by different agricultural practices. Legumes such as Vicia faba is one of the essential functional group in intercropping and crop rotations due to its higher N fixing capacity. Hence, it is important to study the living microbial community of this legume. Further, it is also expected that fluctuations in soil microbial diversity and composition could be complemented by plant phenological stages and different fertilizer amendments. Thus, we investigated bacterial community composition in soil treated with phosphate-based inorganic and organic fertilizers, in the presence of Vicia faba plants at flowering and fruiting time using NGS 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Further, the evaluation of plant biomass parameters under different fertilizer treatments was also carried out. The presence of the Vicia faba plant increased the abundance of N fixing bacterial such as Bardyrhizobium, Microvirga (Rhizobiales), Arthrobacter, and Psuedoarthrobacter (Actinomycetales) in soil. Fluctuation in composition and diversity of bacterial community was further supplemented by plant phenological stages. These alterations could be due to changes that occurred in the plant nutrient requirement and varied root exudation patterns at a specific phenological stage. Further, fertilizer treatments also have a profound effect on the diversity and structure of the bacterial community. Organic fertilizers, especially vegetable tanned leather waste (VTLW), have a stronger effect on the composition and diversity of bacterial community compared to inorganic fertilizer (PT—triple superphosphate). Alpha-diversity was significantly decreased by both organic and inorganic amendments, especially a species evenness because each fertilizer tends to stimulate the growth of distinctive microbes that dominated the community of amended soil. Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Cyanobacteria were the most abundant phyla, and Chelatococcus, Cyanobacteria, Sphingomonas, and Microvirga were a most abundant genus that contributed most in co-occurrence pattern, which suggests that these generalists are adapted to a variety of environments. These indicate that plant presence was a key, dominating factor, followed by fertilizers and time, in affecting soil bacterial diversity and composition. Plant recruits system (fertilization and time) -specific taxa due to differences in available nutrients and energy sources among different treatments during different growth stages. Further, fertilizer treatments did not have a stronger effect on plant production as compared to the effect on microbial community, which highlights that organic fertilizers did not tend to increase plant production. Thus, organic and inorganic amendments with matched macronutrients could have a similar impact on crop yields. Full article
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