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Agronomy, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2012), Pages 132-239

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Research

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Open AccessArticle N2O Emission and Mineral N Release in a Tropical Acrisol Incorporated with Mixed Cowpea and Maize Residues
Agronomy 2012, 2(3), 167-186; doi:10.3390/agronomy2030167
Received: 31 May 2012 / Revised: 25 June 2012 / Accepted: 26 June 2012 / Published: 10 July 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A laboratory microcosm incubation was conducted to study the influence of mixed cowpea-maize residues on N2O emission and N mineralization in a tropical acrisol. The soils were incorporated with different ratios of cowpea:maize mixtures on weight basis: 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, [...] Read more.
A laboratory microcosm incubation was conducted to study the influence of mixed cowpea-maize residues on N2O emission and N mineralization in a tropical acrisol. The soils were incorporated with different ratios of cowpea:maize mixtures on weight basis: 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75 and 0:100, and a control treatment in which there was no residue incorporation. The results show that N2O and CO2 emissions were higher in the sole cowpea treatment (100:0) than the sole maize treatment (0:100) and the control. However, cowpea-maize residue mixtures increased the proportion of N lost as N2O compared to the sole treatments. This interactive effect was highest in the 75:25 treatment. The 50:50 treatment showed moderate N2O emission compared to the 100:0, 75:25 and 25:75 treatments but with corresponding steady N mineralization and appreciable mineral N concentration. It is concluded that mixing cowpea-maize residues might increase the proportion of N lost as N2O in a tropical acrisol. However, compared to the other residue mixture treatments, mixing cowpea-maize residues in equal proportions on weight basis might offer a path to reducing N2O emissions while maintaining a steady N mineralization without risking good N supply in acrisols. The study therefore offers potential for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining soil fertility in tropical acrisols. However, further studies under both laboratory and field conditions will be required to verify and validate this claim. Full article
Open AccessArticle Soil Biochemical Changes Induced by Poultry Litter Application and Conservation Tillage under Cotton Production Systems
Agronomy 2012, 2(3), 187-198; doi:10.3390/agronomy2030187
Received: 25 May 2012 / Revised: 8 June 2012 / Accepted: 5 July 2012 / Published: 25 July 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Problems arising from conventional tillage (CT) systems (such as soil erosion, decrease of organic matter, environmental damage etc.) have led many farmers to the adoption of no-till (NT) systems that are more effective in improving soil physical, chemical and microbial properties. [...] Read more.
Problems arising from conventional tillage (CT) systems (such as soil erosion, decrease of organic matter, environmental damage etc.) have led many farmers to the adoption of no-till (NT) systems that are more effective in improving soil physical, chemical and microbial properties. Results from this study clearly indicated that NT, mulch tillage (MT), and winter rye cover cropping systems increased the activity of phosphatase, β-glucosidase and arylsulfatase at a 0–10 cm soil depth but decreased the activity of these enzymes at 10–20 cm. The increase in enzyme activity was a good indicator of intensive soil microbial activity in different soil management practices. Poultry litter (PL) application under NT, MT, and rye cropping system could be considered as effective management practices due to the improvement in carbon (C) content and the biochemical quality at the soil surface. The activities of the studied enzymes were highly correlated with soil total nitrogen (STN) soil organic carbon (SOC) at the 0–10 cm soil depth, except for acid phosphatase where no correlation was observed. This study revealed that agricultural practices such as tillage, PL, and cover crop cropping system have a noticeable positive effect on soil biochemical activities under cotton production. Full article
Open AccessArticle Understanding Lolium rigidum Seeds: The Key to Managing a Problem Weed?
Agronomy 2012, 2(3), 222-239; doi:10.3390/agronomy2030222
Received: 30 July 2012 / Revised: 31 August 2012 / Accepted: 14 September 2012 / Published: 24 September 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The 40 million hectare southern Australian winter cropping region suffers from widespread infestation by Lolium rigidum (commonly known as annual or rigid ryegrass), a Mediterranean species initially introduced as a pasture plant. Along with its high competitiveness within crops, rapid adaptability and [...] Read more.
The 40 million hectare southern Australian winter cropping region suffers from widespread infestation by Lolium rigidum (commonly known as annual or rigid ryegrass), a Mediterranean species initially introduced as a pasture plant. Along with its high competitiveness within crops, rapid adaptability and widespread resistance to herbicides, the dormancy of its seeds means that L. rigidum is the primary weed in southern Australian agriculture. With the individuals within a L. rigidum population exhibiting varying levels of seed dormancy, germination can be staggered across the crop-growing season, making complete weed removal virtually impossible, and ensuring that the weed seed bank is constantly replenished. By understanding the processes involved in induction and release of dormancy in L. rigidum seeds, it may be possible to develop strategies to more effectively manage this pest without further stretching herbicide resources. This review examines L. rigidum seed dormancy and germination from a weed-management perspective and explains how the seed bank can be depleted by control strategies encompassing all stages in the lifecycle of a seed, from development to germination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weed Management and Herbicide Resistance)

Review

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Open AccessReview Impact of Molecular Technologies on Faba Bean (Vicia faba L.) Breeding Strategies
Agronomy 2012, 2(3), 132-166; doi:10.3390/agronomy2030132
Received: 10 May 2012 / Revised: 3 June 2012 / Accepted: 4 June 2012 / Published: 4 July 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (303 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is a major food and feed legume because of the high nutritional value of its seeds. The main objectives of faba bean breeding are to improve yield, disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, seed quality and other [...] Read more.
Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is a major food and feed legume because of the high nutritional value of its seeds. The main objectives of faba bean breeding are to improve yield, disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, seed quality and other agronomic traits. The partial cross-pollinated nature of faba bean introduces both challenges and opportunities for population development and breeding. Breeding methods that are applicable to self-pollinated crops or open-pollinated crops are not highly suitable for faba bean. However, traditional breeding methods such as recurrent mass selection have been established in faba bean and used successfully in breeding for resistance to diseases. Molecular breeding strategies that integrate the latest innovations in genetics and genomics with traditional breeding strategies have many potential applications for future faba bean cultivar development. Hence, considerable efforts have been undertaken in identifying molecular markers, enriching genetic and genomic resources using high-throughput sequencing technologies and improving genetic transformation techniques in faba bean. However, the impact of research on practical faba bean breeding and cultivar release to farmers has been limited due to disconnects between research and breeding objectives and the high costs of research and implementation. The situation with faba bean is similar to other small crops and highlights the need for coordinated, collaborative research programs that interact closely with commercially focused breeding programs to ensure that technologies are implemented effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Genomics Technologies on Crop Breeding Strategies)
Open AccessReview Impact of Genomic Technologies on Chickpea Breeding Strategies
Agronomy 2012, 2(3), 199-221; doi:10.3390/agronomy2030199
Received: 11 June 2012 / Revised: 10 August 2012 / Accepted: 13 August 2012 / Published: 23 August 2012
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (270 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The major abiotic and biotic stresses that adversely affect yield of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) include drought, heat, fusarium wilt, ascochyta blight and pod borer. Excellent progress has been made in developing short-duration varieties with high resistance to fusarium wilt. The [...] Read more.
The major abiotic and biotic stresses that adversely affect yield of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) include drought, heat, fusarium wilt, ascochyta blight and pod borer. Excellent progress has been made in developing short-duration varieties with high resistance to fusarium wilt. The early maturity helps in escaping terminal drought and heat stresses and the adaptation of chickpea to short-season environments. Ascochyta blight continues to be a major challenge to chickpea productivity in areas where chickpea is exposed to cool and wet conditions. Limited variability for pod borer resistance has been a major bottleneck in the development of pod borer resistant cultivars. The use of genomics technologies in chickpea breeding programs has been limited, since available genomic resources were not adequate and limited polymorphism was observed in the cultivated chickpea for the available molecular markers. Remarkable progress has been made in the development of genetic and genomic resources in recent years and integration of genomic technologies in chickpea breeding has now started. Marker-assisted breeding is currently being used for improving drought tolerance and combining resistance to diseases. The integration of genomic technologies is expected to improve the precision and efficiency of chickpea breeding in the development of improved cultivars with enhanced resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses, better adaptation to existing and evolving agro-ecologies and traits preferred by farmers, industries and consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Genomics Technologies on Crop Breeding Strategies)

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