Agronomy2015, 5(3), 418-434; doi:10.3390/agronomy5030418 (registering DOI) - published 28 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Aluminium (Al) toxicity is a major factor reducing crop productivity worldwide. There is a broad variation in intra- and inter-specific Al resistance. Whereas the Al resistance mechanisms have generally been well explored in Al-excluding plant species, Al resistance through Al accumulation and Al tolerance is not yet well understood. Therefore, a set of 94 genotypes from three Fagopyrum species with special emphasis on F. esculentum Moench were screened, with the objective of identifying genotypes with greatly differing Al accumulation capacity. The genotypes were grown in Al-enriched peat-based substrate for 21 days. Based on the Al concentration of the xylem sap, which varied by a factor of five, only quantitative but not qualitative genotypic differences in Al accumulation could be identified. Aluminium and citrate and Al and Fe concentrations in the xylem sap were positively correlated suggesting that Fe and Al are loaded into and transported in the xylem through related mechanisms. In a nutrient solution experiment using six selected F. esculentum genotypes differing in Al and citrate concentrations in the xylem sap the significant correlation between Al and iron transport in the xylem could be confirmed. Inhibition of root elongation by Al was highly significantly correlated with root oxalate-exudation and leaf Al accumulation. This suggests that Al-activated oxalate exudation and rapid transport of Al to the shoot are prerequisites for the protection of the root apoplast from Al injury and thus overall Al resistance and Al accumulation in buckwheat.
Abstract: The irrigation water available for agriculture will be scarce in the future due to increased competition for water with other sectors, and the issue may become more serious due to climate change. In Chile, the table grape is only cultivated under irrigation. A five-year research program (2007–2012) was carried out in the Aconcagua Valley, the central area of grapes in Chile, to evaluate the response of table grape vines (Vitis vinifera L., cv Thompson Seedless) to different volumes of irrigation water. Four irrigation treatments were applied: 60, 88, 120 and 157% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc) during the first four years, and 40, 54, 92 and 108% of ETc in the last year. Irrigation over 90%–100% of ETc did not increase fruit yield, whereas the application of water below 90% ETc decreased exportable yield, berry size and pruning weight. For example, 60% ETc applied water reduced exportable yield by 20%, and only 40% of the berries were in the extra and large category size, while pruning weight was 30% lower in comparison to the treatment receiving more water.
Abstract: Trace elements (TEs) are vital for the operation of metabolic pathways that promote growth and structural integrity. Paddy soils are often prone to TE limitation due to intensive cultivation and irrigation practices. Apart from this, rice paddies are potentially contaminated with transition metals such as Cd, which are often referred to as toxic TEs. Deficiency of TEs in the soil not only delays plant growth but also causes exposure of plant roots to toxic TEs. Fine-tuning of nutrient cycling in the rice field is a practical solution to cope with TEs deficiency. Adjustment of soil physicochemical properties, biological process such as microbial activities, and fertilization helps to control TEs mobilization in soil. Modifications in root architecture, metal transporters activity, and physiological processes are also promising approaches to enhance TEs accumulation in grains. Through genetic manipulation, these modifications help to increase TE mining capacity of rice plants as well as transport and trafficking of TEs into the grains. The present review summarizes that regulation of TE mobilization in soil, and the genetic improvement of TE acquisition traits help to boost essential TE content in rice grain.
Abstract: Declines in Ogallala aquifer levels used for irrigation has prompted research to identify methods for optimizing water use efficiency (WUE) of cotton (Gossypiumhirsutum L). In this experiment, conducted at Lubbock, TX, USA in 2014, our objective was to test two canopy temperature based stress indices, each at two different irrigation trigger set points: the Stress Time (ST) method with irrigation triggers set at 5.5 (ST_5.5) and 8.5 h (ST_8.5) and the Crop Water Stress Index (CWSI) method with irrigation triggers set at 0.3 (CWSI_0.3) and 0.6 (CWSI_0.6). When these irrigation triggers were exceeded on a given day, the crop was deficit irrigated with 5 mm of water via subsurface drip tape. Also included in the experimental design were a well-watered (WW) control irrigated at 110% of potential evapotranspiration and a dry land (DL) treatment that relied on rainfall only. Seasonal crop water use ranged from 353 to 625 mm across these six treatments. As expected, cotton lint yield increased with increasing crop water use but lint yield WUE displayed asignificant (p ≤ 0.05) peak near 3.6 to 3.7 kg ha−1 mm−1 for the ST_5.5 and CWSI_0.3 treatments, respectively. Our results suggest that WUE may be optimized in cotton with less water than that needed for maximum lint yield.
Abstract: Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) brown rust (caused by Puccinia melanocephala Syd. & P. Syd.) was first reported in the United States in 1978 and is still one of the great challenges for sugarcane production. A better understanding of sugarcane genotypic variation in response to brown rust will help optimize breeding and selection strategies for disease resistance. Brown rust ratings were scaled from non-infection (0) to severe infection (4) with intervals of 0.5 and routinely recorded for genotypes in the first clonal selection stage of the Canal Point sugarcane breeding program in Florida. Data were collected from 14,272 and 12,661 genotypes and replicated check cultivars in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Mean rust rating, % infection, and severity in each family and progeny of female parent were determined, and their coefficients of variation (CV) within and among families (females) were estimated. Considerable variation exists in rust ratings among families or females. The families and female parents with high susceptibility or resistance to brown rust were identified and ranked. The findings of this study can help scientists to evaluate sugarcane crosses and parents for brown rust disease, to use desirable parents for crossing, and to improve genetic resistance to brown rust in breeding programs.
Abstract: Biochars are complex heterogeneous materials that consist of mineral phases, amorphous C, graphitic C, and labile organic molecules, many of which can be either electron donors or acceptors when placed in soil. Biochar is a reductant, but its electrical and electrochemical properties are a function of both the temperature of production and the concentration and composition of the various redox active mineral and organic phases present. When biochars are added to soils, they interact with plant roots and root hairs, micro-organisms, soil organic matter, proteins and the nutrient-rich water to form complex organo-mineral-biochar complexes Redox reactions can play an important role in the development of these complexes, and can also result in significant changes in the original C matrix. This paper reviews the redox processes that take place in soil and how they may be affected by the addition of biochar. It reviews the available literature on the redox properties of different biochars. It also reviews how biochar redox properties have been measured and presents new methods and data for determining redox properties of fresh biochars and for biochar/soil systems.