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Agronomy, Volume 8, Issue 1 (January 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) This research describes the generation of interspecific plum rootstock that was produced by genetic [...] Read more.
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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Agronomy in 2017
Agronomy 2018, 8(1), 6; doi:10.3390/agronomy8010006
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 22 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Agronomy maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Soil Factors Effects on the Mineralization, Extractable Residue, and Bound Residue Formation of Aminocyclopyrachlor in Three Tropical Soils
Agronomy 2018, 8(1), 1; doi:10.3390/agronomy8010001
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
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Abstract
Aminocyclopyrachlor is an herbicide that belongs to the new class of chemicals known as the pyrimidine carboxylic acids, which are used to control broadleaf weeds and brush. However, the environmental behavior and fate of aminocyclopyrachlor are not fully understood. The aim of the
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Aminocyclopyrachlor is an herbicide that belongs to the new class of chemicals known as the pyrimidine carboxylic acids, which are used to control broadleaf weeds and brush. However, the environmental behavior and fate of aminocyclopyrachlor are not fully understood. The aim of the present study was thus to evaluate the mineralization, extractable residue and bound residue formation of aminocyclopyrachlor in three tropical soils with different physico-chemical properties. 14C-labeled [pyrimidine-2-14C] aminocyclopyrachlor was used to assess the fate of this herbicide in soil placed in biometer culture flasks. Total mineralization (accumulated 14CO2) of aminocyclopyrachlor was found to be <10% in all soils, decreasing in the following order: Oxisol—Typic Hapludox (clay) > Oxisol—Typic Hapludox (loamy sand) > Plinthosol—Petric (sandy clay). Overall, constant rate of mineralization (k) values for all soils were very low (0.00050% to 0.00079% 14CO2 day−1), with mineralization half-life times (MT50) consequently very high (877 to 1376 days), suggesting potential long persistence in soil. The amount of extractable residues decreased from ~31% to 50% in all soils after 126 days of incubation, indicating an increase in bound residue formation from ~5.0- to 7.5-fold compared to evaluation immediately after herbicide application, suggesting that degradation herbicide is involved in the formation of bound residues. Extractable residues are important factors that control mineralization and bound residue formation from aminocyclopyrachlor in the soil. The present study is the first to assess the fate, distribution, and formation of bound residues of aminocyclopyrachlor in soils. Aminocyclopyrachlor residues were predominantly associated with the OM and clay contents of soil. This effect of soil physico-chemical properties should be considered in environmental risk assessment of aminocyclopyrachlor and its application in the field for weed control. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Generation of Transgenic Rootstock Plum ((Prunus pumila L. × P. salicina Lindl.) × (P. cerasifera Ehrh.)) Using Hairpin-RNA Construct for Resistance to the Plum pox virus
Agronomy 2018, 8(1), 2; doi:10.3390/agronomy8010002
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 22 December 2017
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Abstract
The use of Prunus rootstocks that are resistant to plum pox virus (PPV) is an important agronomic strategy to combat the spread of the Sharka disease in nurseries and orchards. Despite remarkable progress in developing stone fruit rootstocks to adapt to various stresses,
[...] Read more.
The use of Prunus rootstocks that are resistant to plum pox virus (PPV) is an important agronomic strategy to combat the spread of the Sharka disease in nurseries and orchards. Despite remarkable progress in developing stone fruit rootstocks to adapt to various stresses, breeding that ensures durable virus resistance has not yet been achieved. For this reason, the engineering of PPV resistant plants through genetic transformation is a very promising approach to control sharka disease. The aim of the present study is to produce transgenic plants of the clonal rootstock ‘Elita’, which is resistant to PPV using ribonucleic acid interference (RNAi) technology. The genetic construct containing the self-complementary fragments of the plum pox virus coat protein (PPV-CP) gene sequence were used to induce the mechanism of post-transcriptional gene silencing to ensure virus resistance. Transgenic plants have been produced after agrobacterium-mediated transformation of in vitro explanted leaves. The results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blotting analyses confirmed the stable genomic integration of the PPV-CP sense and antisense intron-hairpin-RNA sequence. The functionality of the introduced expression cassette was confirmed by the activity of including the uidA gene into the transferring T-DNA. To our knowledge, this is the first interspecific plum rootstock produced by genetic engineering to achieve PPV resistance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Water Deficit-Induced at Vegetative and Reproductive Stages on Protein and Oil Content in Soybean Grains
Agronomy 2018, 8(1), 3; doi:10.3390/agronomy8010003
Received: 13 October 2017 / Revised: 12 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 28 December 2017
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Abstract
Soybean is one of the most common grain crops worldwide, representing an important protein and oil source. Although genetic variability in the chemical composition of grains is seen in soybean, the mean levels of proteins have remained stagnant or, in some cases, have
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Soybean is one of the most common grain crops worldwide, representing an important protein and oil source. Although genetic variability in the chemical composition of grains is seen in soybean, the mean levels of proteins have remained stagnant or, in some cases, have decreased over time, arousing concern in the agricultural industry. Furthermore, environmental conditions influence the chemical composition of grains. Thus, the present study evaluated the effect of water deficit (WD) induced at the vegetative period (vegetative stress (VS)) and reproductive period (reproductive stress (RS)) on the protein and oil contents of grains in different soybean genotypes. Yield and its components were evaluated to evaluate the interrelation of these traits. The experiment was completed over three crop seasons under field conditions in Londrina, Paraná (PR), Brazil. WD was induced using rainout shelters and then stress treatments with irrigated and non-irrigated conditions were compared. WD negatively affected yield and its components. All evaluated genotypes showed similar responses for oil and protein contents under different water conditions. Higher protein content and lower oil content were observed in grains under RS. Such a relationship was not equally established under VS. Additionally, negative relationships between protein and oil content and between protein content and yield were confirmed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Climate Change and Pest Management: Unanticipated Consequences of Trophic Dislocation
Agronomy 2018, 8(1), 7; doi:10.3390/agronomy8010007
Received: 20 October 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 17 January 2018
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Abstract
The growth of plants and insects occurs only above a minimum temperature threshold. In insects, the growth rate depends on the temperature above the threshold up to a maximum. In plants the growth rate above the threshold generally depends on the availability of
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The growth of plants and insects occurs only above a minimum temperature threshold. In insects, the growth rate depends on the temperature above the threshold up to a maximum. In plants the growth rate above the threshold generally depends on the availability of sunlight. Thus, the relative growth rates of crops and insect phytophages are expected to differ between temperature regimes. We should therefore expect insect pest pressure at a location to change with climate warming. In this study, we used actual and simulated climate data developed for the IPCC 4th Assessment Report to drive linked plant and insect growth models to examine likely changes in insect-crop interaction. Projections of insect-crop dynamics through the 21st century suggest increases in pest pressure over much of the American Midwest, which could result in substantial increases in pesticide use to maintain productivity. Thus, climate warming could cause an increase in agriculture’s carbon footprint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change in Agriculture: Impacts and Adaptations)
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Open AccessArticle Responses of Different Panicum miliaceum L. Genotypes to Saline and Water Stress in a Marginal Mediterranean Environment
Agronomy 2018, 8(1), 8; doi:10.3390/agronomy8010008
Received: 25 November 2017 / Revised: 24 December 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
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Abstract
The aims of this study were to evaluate: (1) the effect of sodium chloride (NaCl) and mannitol at different osmotic pressures on the germination of three proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) genotypes (VIR 9181, Unikum, and Kinelskoje) under controlled laboratory conditions; and
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The aims of this study were to evaluate: (1) the effect of sodium chloride (NaCl) and mannitol at different osmotic pressures on the germination of three proso millet (Panicum miliaceum L.) genotypes (VIR 9181, Unikum, and Kinelskoje) under controlled laboratory conditions; and (2) the effects of irrigation water salinity, maximum crop evapotranspiration (ETm) restitution regimes, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) inoculation on forage production in a marginal Mediterranean soil for the genotypes that showed the highest and lowest seed germination. In the laboratory experiment, the Unikum genotype showed the highest seed germination (95.1%), whereas the lowest was found for Kinelskoje (80.4%). Regardless of the osmoticum type, germination was significantly reduced by osmotic pressure increases. Unikum showed a higher fresh biomass yield (FBY) (620.4 ± 126.3 g m−2) than Kinelskoje (340.0 ± 73.5 g m−2). AMF inoculation did not influence FBY under salt conditions, while in the absence of salt conditions it significantly increased the Unikum FBY (+50.7%) as compared to the uninoculated treatment (552.5 ± 269 g m−2). The 25% ETm significantly reduced FBY in both genotypes (−86.2% and −84.1% for Unikum and Kinelskoje, respectively) sd compared to the 100% ETm treatments (1090.3 ± 49.7 g m−2 in Unikum and 587 ± 72.2 g m−2 in Kinelskoje). The obtained results give novel information about proso millet forage production in low-input agriculture in marginal semi-arid Mediterranean land. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Archaeological Starch
Agronomy 2018, 8(1), 4; doi:10.3390/agronomy8010004
Received: 11 December 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 31 December 2017 / Published: 4 January 2018
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Abstract
This article reviews evidence of how starch granules associated with archaeological artefacts provide an insight into the use of plants by our ancestors for food, medicines and cultural activities. The properties of starch relevant to archaeological contexts, methods for examining ancient starch and
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This article reviews evidence of how starch granules associated with archaeological artefacts provide an insight into the use of plants by our ancestors for food, medicines and cultural activities. The properties of starch relevant to archaeological contexts, methods for examining ancient starch and the types of environmental conditions that would promote survival of starch granules over hundreds of thousands of years as part of the archaeological record, are considered. Starch granules identified in dental calculus are clear indicators of the individual having consumed starchy food as part of the diet. However, surviving starch granules may be only a tiny fraction of those consumed over a lifetime and not necessarily representative of foods that were in the diet. A hypothesis, based on a combination of archaeological, physiological and genetic evidence, that plant foods containing high quantities of digestible starch were essential for the evolution of the modern human phenotype, is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch Biosynthesis in Crop Plants)
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Open AccessReview Functional Analogues of Salicylic Acid and Their Use in Crop Protection
Agronomy 2018, 8(1), 5; doi:10.3390/agronomy8010005
Received: 9 December 2017 / Revised: 30 December 2017 / Accepted: 4 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
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Abstract
Functional analogues of salicylic acid are able to activate plant defense responses and provide attractive alternatives to conventional biocidal agrochemicals. However, there are many problems that growers must consider during their use in crop protection, including incomplete disease reduction and the fitness cost
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Functional analogues of salicylic acid are able to activate plant defense responses and provide attractive alternatives to conventional biocidal agrochemicals. However, there are many problems that growers must consider during their use in crop protection, including incomplete disease reduction and the fitness cost for plants. High-throughput screening methods of chemical libraries allowed the identification of new compounds that do not affect plant growth, and whose mechanisms of action are based on priming of plant defenses, rather than on their direct activation. Some of these new compounds may also contribute to the discovery of unknown components of the plant immune system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salicylic Acid in Plant Stress Responses)
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