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Agronomy, Volume 8, Issue 3 (March 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Agromorphological Traits and Mineral Content in Tomato Accessions from El Salvador, Central America
Received: 18 January 2018 / Revised: 5 March 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 14 March 2018
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Abstract
The agromorphological traits and phenotypic variation of mineral content in the fruit were evaluated in eleven tomato accessions from nine communities in El Salvador. The tomato collection was cultivated in a greenhouse with a randomized complete block design with three replications. Plant phenological
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The agromorphological traits and phenotypic variation of mineral content in the fruit were evaluated in eleven tomato accessions from nine communities in El Salvador. The tomato collection was cultivated in a greenhouse with a randomized complete block design with three replications. Plant phenological and fruit traits, as well as the mineral content, were evaluated using atomic-absorption and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. In the analysis of variance, significant differences (p < 0.01) among the accessions were determined for agromorphological traits and all mineral elements except Cu. Plant height at 30, 60 and 90 days after transplant, days to flowering and maturating of the fruits, and the number and weight of fruits per plant were useful variables for describing the phenotypic divergences among the tomato accessions. In terms of mineral content, the differences among the accessions were based on Mg, P, S, Fe, Zn and Mn. The weights of the fruits per cluster and per plant and fruit weight presented negative correlations with Ca, Mg, Fe and P (r = −0.67 to −0.71, p < 0.05) and a positive correlation with Na (0.63). Full article
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Open AccessReview Potassium: A Vital Regulator of Plant Responses and Tolerance to Abiotic Stresses
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2018 / Accepted: 10 March 2018 / Published: 12 March 2018
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Abstract
Among the plant nutrients, potassium (K) is one of the vital elements required for plant growth and physiology. Potassium is not only a constituent of the plant structure but it also has a regulatory function in several biochemical processes related to protein synthesis,
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Among the plant nutrients, potassium (K) is one of the vital elements required for plant growth and physiology. Potassium is not only a constituent of the plant structure but it also has a regulatory function in several biochemical processes related to protein synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, and enzyme activation. Several physiological processes depend on K, such as stomatal regulation and photosynthesis. In recent decades, K was found to provide abiotic stress tolerance. Under salt stress, K helps to maintain ion homeostasis and to regulate the osmotic balance. Under drought stress conditions, K regulates stomatal opening and helps plants adapt to water deficits. Many reports support the notion that K enhances antioxidant defense in plants and therefore protects them from oxidative stress under various environmental adversities. In addition, this element provides some cellular signaling alone or in association with other signaling molecules and phytohormones. Although considerable progress has been made in understanding K-induced abiotic stress tolerance in plants, the exact molecular mechanisms of these protections are still under investigation. In this review, we summarized the recent literature on the biological functions of K, its uptake, its translocation, and its role in plant abiotic stress tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Plant Nutrients in Agronomic Crops)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Repeated Application of Manure on Herbage Yield, Quality and Wintering Ability during Cropping of Dwarf Napiergrass with Italian Ryegrass in Hilly Southern Kyushu, Japan
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2018 / Accepted: 8 March 2018 / Published: 10 March 2018
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Abstract
The effects of two levels of manure application (184 and 275 kg N ha−1 year−1) on herbage yield, quality, and wintering ability during the cropping of a dwarf genotype of late-heading (DL) Napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach) oversown with Italian
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The effects of two levels of manure application (184 and 275 kg N ha−1 year−1) on herbage yield, quality, and wintering ability during the cropping of a dwarf genotype of late-heading (DL) Napiergrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach) oversown with Italian ryegrass (IR; Lolium multiflorum Lam.) were examined and compared with chemical fertilizer application (234 kg N ha−1 year−1) for 4 years to determine a sustainable and environmentally harmonized herbage production in a hilly area (340 m above sea level). No significant (p > 0.05) differences in growth attributes of plant height, tiller density, percentage of leaf blade, or dry matter yield appeared in either DL Napiergrass or IR among moderate levels (184–275 kg N ha−1 year−1) of manure and chemical fertilizer treatments. IR exhibited no significant detrimental effect on spring regrowth of DL Napiergrass, which showed a high wintering ability in all treatments. In vitro dry matter digestibility of DL Napiergrass tended to increase with increasing manure application, especially at the first defoliation in the first three years. Manure application improved soil chemical properties and total nitrogen and carbon content. The results suggested that the lower rate of manure application of 184 kg nitrogen ha−1 year−1 would be suitable, which would be a good substitute for chemical fertilizer application with an equilibrium nitrogen budget for sustainable DL Napiergrass and IR cropping in the hilly region of southern Kyushu. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Validation of a Process-Based Agro-Ecosystem Model (Agro-IBIS) for Maize in Xinjiang, Northwest China
Received: 7 December 2017 / Revised: 26 February 2018 / Accepted: 27 February 2018 / Published: 10 March 2018
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Abstract
Agricultural oasis expansion and intensive management practices have occurred in arid and semiarid regions of China during the last few decades. Accordingly, regional carbon and water budgets have been profoundly impacted by agroecosystems in these regions. Therefore, study on the methods used to
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Agricultural oasis expansion and intensive management practices have occurred in arid and semiarid regions of China during the last few decades. Accordingly, regional carbon and water budgets have been profoundly impacted by agroecosystems in these regions. Therefore, study on the methods used to accurately estimate energy, water, and carbon exchanges is becoming increasingly important. Process-based models can represent the complex processes between land and atmosphere among agricultural ecosystems. However, before the models can be applied they must be validated under different environmental and climatic conditions. In this study, a process-based agricultural ecosystem model (Agro-IBIS) was validated for maize crops using 3 years of soil and biometric measurements at Wulanwusu agrometeorological site (WAS) located in the Shihezi oasis in Xinjiang, northwest China. The model satisfactorily represented leaf area index (LAI) during the growing season, simulating its peak values within the magnitude of 0–10%. The total biomass carbon was overestimated by 15%, 8%, and 16% in 2004, 2005, and 2006, respectively. The model satisfactorily simulated the soil temperature (0–10 cm) and volumetric water content (VWC) (0–25 cm) of farmland during the growing season. However, it overestimated soil temperature approximately by 4 °C and VWC by 15–30% during the winter, coinciding with the period of no vegetation cover in Xinjiang. Overall, the results indicate that the model could represent crop growth, and seems to be applicable in multiple sites in arid oases agroecosystems of Xinjiang. Future application of the model will impose more comprehensive validation using eddy covariance flux data, and consider including dynamics of crop residue and improving characterization of the final stage of leaf development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adapting Crop Productivity to Climate Change)
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Open AccessArticle Different Approaches to Produce Transgenic Virus B Resistant Chrysanthemum
Received: 6 February 2018 / Revised: 25 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 8 March 2018
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Abstract
Chrysanthemum is a vegetative propagated culture in which viral transmission with planting material is important for its production. Chrysanthemum virus B (CVB) belongs to the viruses that strike this plant culture. Chrysanthemum virus B is found everywhere where chrysanthemum is cultivated. Damage to
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Chrysanthemum is a vegetative propagated culture in which viral transmission with planting material is important for its production. Chrysanthemum virus B (CVB) belongs to the viruses that strike this plant culture. Chrysanthemum virus B is found everywhere where chrysanthemum is cultivated. Damage to plants by CVB often leads to a complete loss of floral yield. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat cv. White Snowdon) was transformed via Agrobacterium-mediated DNA delivery with the aim of improving resistance to CVB infection. Transformation vectors contain the nucleotide sequence of CVB coat proteins (CP) in sense, antisense, and double sense orientation. The transformative vectors also invert repeats of CVB coat protein gene fragments for the induction of RNA-interference. The transgenic chrysanthemum plants were successfully obtained. The integration of the target sequences in plant genomes was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blot analyses. Chrysanthemum lines were transformed with antisense, sense, and double sense CVB CP sequences, as well as with hairpin RNA-interference constructs that were assayed for resistance to CVB. Infection of transgenic plants by CVB through the grafting of infected scions shows resistance only among plants with carried double sense (16.7%) and hairpin (12.5%) constructs. The plants transformed by sense and double sense sequences were observed and classified as tolerant. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Nutrient Management in Aquaponics: Comparison of Three Approaches for Cultivating Lettuce, Mint and Mushroom Herb
Received: 10 February 2018 / Revised: 3 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
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Abstract
Nutrients that are contained in aquaculture effluent may not supply sufficient levels of nutrients for proper plant development and growth in hydroponics; therefore, they need to be supplemented. To determine the required level of supplementation, three identical aquaponic systems (A, B, and C)
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Nutrients that are contained in aquaculture effluent may not supply sufficient levels of nutrients for proper plant development and growth in hydroponics; therefore, they need to be supplemented. To determine the required level of supplementation, three identical aquaponic systems (A, B, and C) and one hydroponic system (D) were stocked with lettuce, mint, and mushroom herbs. The aquaponic systems were stocked with Nile tilapia. System A only received nutrients derived from fish feed; system B received nutrients from fish feed as well as weekly supplements of micronutrients and Fe; system C received the same nutrients as B, with weekly supplements of the macronutrients, P and K; in system D, a hydroponic inorganic solution containing N, Ca, and the same nutrients as system C was added weekly. Lettuce achieved the highest yields in system C, mint in system B, and mushroom herb in systems A and B. The present study demonstrated that the nutritional requirements of the mint and mushroom herb make them suitable for aquaponic farming because they require low levels of supplement addition, and hence little management effort, resulting in minimal cost increases. While the addition of supplements accelerated the lettuce growth (Systems B, C), and even surpassed the growth in hydroponic (System C vs. D), the nutritional quality (polyphenols, nitrate content) was better without supplementation. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial The Impact of Genetic Changes during Crop Domestication on Healthy Food Development
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
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Open AccessReview Climate Change Trends and Impacts on California Agriculture: A Detailed Review
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 21 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
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Abstract
California is a global leader in the agricultural sector and produces more than 400 types of commodities. The state produces over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. Despite being highly productive, current and future climate change
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California is a global leader in the agricultural sector and produces more than 400 types of commodities. The state produces over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. Despite being highly productive, current and future climate change poses many challenges to the agricultural sector. This paper provides a summary of the current state of knowledge on historical and future trends in climate and their impacts on California agriculture. We present a synthesis of climate change impacts on California agriculture in the context of: (1) historic trends and projected changes in temperature, precipitation, snowpack, heat waves, drought, and flood events; and (2) consequent impacts on crop yields, chill hours, pests and diseases, and agricultural vulnerability to climate risks. Finally, we highlight important findings and directions for future research and implementation. The detailed review presented in this paper provides sufficient evidence that the climate in California has changed significantly and is expected to continue changing in the future, and justifies the urgency and importance of enhancing the adaptive capacity of agriculture and reducing vulnerability to climate change. Since agriculture in California is very diverse and each crop responds to climate differently, climate adaptation research should be locally focused along with effective stakeholder engagement and systematic outreach efforts for effective adoption and implementation. The expected readership of this paper includes local stakeholders, researchers, state and national agencies, and international communities interested in learning about climate change and California’s agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change in Agriculture: Impacts and Adaptations)
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