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Agronomy, Volume 13, Issue 1 (January 2023) – 277 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Kengyilia melanthera, is a perennial grass of the Triticeae tribe. A recommended way for determining the best harvest time is to evaluate the seed yield of grasses. However, maximum yield varies greatly depending on the species. According to the current study, during two trial years, seed yield (SY) (kg·hm−2) of K. melanthera seeds increased gradually with the seed maturation in D1–D6 (15 to 30 days after peak anthesis), and reaching the peak values of over 1700 kg·hm−2, 30 days after peak anthesis. Although seeds following harvest, such as at D6, showed a minor gain in seed quality and vigor while continuing to prolong harvest time (33 days after peak anthesis (D7) to 33 days after peak anthesis (D8)), the loss of falling grain is significant; therefore, early harvest should be preferred. View this paper
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16 pages, 2902 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Drought Stress Tolerance of Mangifera indica L. Autotetraploids
by Alicia V. Perera-Castro, Beatriz Hernández, Maria José Grajal-Martín and Águeda M. González-Rodríguez
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 277; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010277 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2702
Abstract
Mango can be grown in subtropical and semi-arid regions, where using commercial cultivars and rootstocks with improved resistance to drought is crucial. Induction of polyploidy has been widely applied in breeding programs for increasing crop drought resistance. In this study, drought resistance of [...] Read more.
Mango can be grown in subtropical and semi-arid regions, where using commercial cultivars and rootstocks with improved resistance to drought is crucial. Induction of polyploidy has been widely applied in breeding programs for increasing crop drought resistance. In this study, drought resistance of several mango cultivars and their respective autotetraploids was evaluated. Leaf morphology and physiology were monitored in two-year-old plants during a period of water withholding and subsequent rewatering. Even though all tetraploid cultivars presented morphological differences in leaf traits, the effect of ploidy in delaying leaf water loss and its detrimental effects of photosynthesis was only observed in ‘Gomera-1’. As a result of this, this cultivar sustained maximum levels of quantum efficiency and gas exchange for a longer period than the rest of cultivars. Therefore, the isohydric strategy of this tetraploid was not associated with earlier stomatal closure. Proline did not increase in the isohydric cultivar probably due to the maintenance of high leaf relative water content. In contrast, in some anisohydric mangos, proline increased when leaf water content decreased below 80%. Some diploids exhibited higher levels of proline than tetraploids, but recovery of plant functionality after rewatering did not differ from the rest of cultivars. We conclude that drought resistance in mango can be improved by using polyploids with water-saving physiological traits. Full article
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14 pages, 1416 KiB  
Article
Combining Controlled-Release Urea and Normal Urea to Improve the Yield, Nitrogen Use Efficiency, and Grain Quality of Single Season Late japonica Rice
by Can Zhao, Zijun Gao, Guangming Liu, Yue Chen, Wei Ni, Jiaming Lu, Yi Shi, Zihui Qian, Weiling Wang and Zhongyang Huo
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010276 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1745
Abstract
Controlled-release urea (CRU) is widely adopted to improve yields and nitrogen use efficiencies (NUEs) in rice. However, there are few studies on the effects of the mixed application of CRU and normal urea (at different N ratios) on rice yield, nitrogen efficiency, and [...] Read more.
Controlled-release urea (CRU) is widely adopted to improve yields and nitrogen use efficiencies (NUEs) in rice. However, there are few studies on the effects of the mixed application of CRU and normal urea (at different N ratios) on rice yield, nitrogen efficiency, and grain quality. A series of simplified fertilization modes (SFMs) were set up in 2018–2019. CRU with release periods of 80 days and 120 days were mixed with urea at N ratios of 7:3, 6:4, 5:5, 4:6, and 3:7 and applied during the rice-growing season. We determined the rice yield, dry matter accumulation, NUEs, and grain quality. The yields of SFM_80_6/4 (CRU with release periods of 80 days were mixed with urea at N ratios of 6:4) and SFM_120_5/5 (CRU with release periods of 120 days were mixed with urea at N ratios of 5:5) were 3.69% and 4.39% higher than that of fractionated urea (FU), respectively, across 2018 and 2019. Combining the application of controlled-release urea and normal urea improved the dry matter accumulation, nitrogen accumulation, and nitrogen uptake rate when compared with FU. SFMs improved the processing quality and appearance quality of rice grains and did not reduce the cooking and eating quality. SFM_80_6/4 and SFM_120_5/5 are a one-time fertilization mode with high yield, high efficiency, and good grain quality, which is worthy of further promotion and application. Full article
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12 pages, 1189 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Tomato Fruit Quality and Soil Nutrients through Foliar Spraying Fulvic Acid under Stress of Copper and Cadmium
by Xiaodi Shi, Lingfei Zhang, Zehan Li, Xiangyang Xiao, Nanbiao Zhan and Xiumin Cui
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 275; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010275 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1817
Abstract
Fulvic acid (FA), the essence and most active component in humus, is widely used as a fertilizer synergistic agent and for soil improvement. As a synergist, FA can not only highly chelate microelements, but also play a key role as a growth promoter. [...] Read more.
Fulvic acid (FA), the essence and most active component in humus, is widely used as a fertilizer synergistic agent and for soil improvement. As a synergist, FA can not only highly chelate microelements, but also play a key role as a growth promoter. Due to the small molecular weight and high solubility, FA is usually used by foliar spraying in vegetable production, yet the effect on fruit quality and nutrient absorption is still unclear. Here, ‘Jinpengdashuai’ tomatoes were used to investigate the effects of spraying FA on tomato fruit quality and soil Cu and Cd availability under stress of Cu and Cd by pot experiments. The results showed that the 1000 mg·L−1 FA could significantly improve the biomass of tomato plants to some extents under different stresses of Cu and Cd. After spraying FA, the Cu and Cd content in different organs and the whole accumulation decreased; meanwhile, the transport efficiency of Cu and Cd was also reduced to some degree. The drops of FA significantly changed the chemical form of Cu and Cd in 0~10 cm soil, from the easily absorbed water soluble (or ion) form into the insoluble form, hard to absorb. The Cu content in the residual state increased by 93.8% and 172.5%, respectively, under single and compound stress, and the Cd content in the residual state increased by 16.7% and 58.6%. Foliar spraying FA could promote the absorption and transport of essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and maintain the nutrient balance, which alleviates the inhibition of normal metabolism by Cu and Cd stress, to a certain extent. More distinctly, Vc, total sugar and lycopene increased by 11.4~45.9%, 19.2~48.5% and 30.9~84.5%, respectively, indicating that foliar spraying FA could improve the appearance and flavor quality of tomato fruits under stress of Cu and Cd. Full article
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17 pages, 2360 KiB  
Article
Seed Phenotyping and Genetic Diversity Assessment of Cowpea (V. unguiculata) Germplasm Collection
by Ioannis Zafeiriou, Michalia Sakellariou and Photini V. Mylona
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010274 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2005
Abstract
Cowpea is a nutrient-rich staple legume and climate-resilient crop for vulnerable agroecosystems. However, the crop still remains underutilized, mainly due to its narrow genetic base, and the production is often ravaged by aphid infestation outbreaks. Thus, genetic diversity assessment and the detection of [...] Read more.
Cowpea is a nutrient-rich staple legume and climate-resilient crop for vulnerable agroecosystems. However, the crop still remains underutilized, mainly due to its narrow genetic base, and the production is often ravaged by aphid infestation outbreaks. Thus, genetic diversity assessment and the detection of defense-related alleles are fundamental to germplasm management and utilization in breeding strategies to support food safety in climate change times. A germplasm collection of 87 cowpea landraces sourced from Greece was subjected to seed phenotyping, SSR genotyping and to screening for the presence of aphid-resistance-conferring alleles. Significant diversity in the species’ local germplasm was revealed. The landraces were grouped in metapopulations based on their broader geographical origin. High amounts of variation and statistically significant differences were detected among the landraces regarding the seed morphological traits, the seed color and eye color according to MANOVA (Wilk’s λ = 0.2, p < 0.01) and significant correlations were revealed among these features according to Pearson’s test (p < 0.05). High levels of genetic polymorphism were detected for the metapopulations, ranging from 59% (VuPop3) to 82% (VuPop4). The AMOVA revealed that 93% of the molecular diversity was distributed among the landraces of each metapopulation. Further population structure analysis presumed the existence of two inferred populations, where in population A, 79% of the landraces have a cream/cream-brown seed coat, whereas in population B, 94% of the landraces are brown-ochre to black-seeded. Molecular screening for alleles conferring aphid resistance revealed the correspondence of 12 landraces to the resistant genotype of TVu-2876. The study highlights the importance of cowpea germplasm collection genetic diversity, as a source of important agronomic traits, to support breeding efforts and expand cowpea cultivation to foster food security and agriculture sustainability and diversification in climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Breeding Advances in Legume Diversification and Biofortification)
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17 pages, 4369 KiB  
Article
Water Budget of Urban Turf Field and Optimal Irrigation Schedule Simulation in an Ecotone between Semi-Humid and Semi-Arid Regions, Northern China
by Hongjuan Zhang, Jianjun Wang, Mengzhu Liu, Yanjun Shen and Hongwei Pei
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010273 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1421
Abstract
Water security in the ecotone between semi-humid and semi-arid regions (EHA) is very vulnerable and sensitive to climate change and human interferences. Urban turf irrigation is a primary consumer of urban water resources in the EHA, which places huge pressures on water security [...] Read more.
Water security in the ecotone between semi-humid and semi-arid regions (EHA) is very vulnerable and sensitive to climate change and human interferences. Urban turf irrigation is a primary consumer of urban water resources in the EHA, which places huge pressures on water security by substantial irrigated water use due to the expansion of urban turf planting. Based on a 2-year (2020–2021) turf experiment in Zhangjiakou City, a typical water-deficit city in the EHA of northern China, the water budget for turf was measured and analyzed. Furthermore, the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM2) was employed to evaluate the optimal irrigation scheme for turf. The results showed that the average volumetric water content in the 0–40 cm soil layer was maintained above 23% in 2020–2021. The evapotranspiration in growth period of turf accounted for more than 70% of the annual evapotranspiration, and the deep seepage in turf soil accounted for 49.67% and 60.28% of the total precipitation and irrigation in 2020 and 2021, respectively, during the vigorous growth period of the turf from May to September. The calibrated RZWQM2 showed a robust ability to simulate the water changes in turf. The d-values (consistency index) between the simulated and observed volumetric water contents and evapotranspiration were both greater than 0.90. In the aspects of irrigation scenarios, the T60%-12 scenario (TA-B, where A is 100%, 80%, 60% or 40% of the total irrigation amount and B is the number of irrigation events corresponding to A) was determined as the best irrigation schedule in our study area because of lower evapotranspiration, seepage and higher turf soil water storage under this irrigation scenario, also resulting from the comparison of different irrigation scenarios using the entropy-weight-TOPSIS method. In such an optimal scenario, T60%-12 irrigation treatment reduced the irrigated water requirement of turf by 40% (142.06 mm) and the seepage amount by 28.07% (39.05 mm), and had the lowest negative impacts on the turf growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Water Use and Irrigation)
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19 pages, 3988 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Molecular Responses of Wheat to Low Light Intensity
by Xiu Li, Rui Yang, Liulong Li, Ke Liu, Matthew Tom Harrison, Shah Fahad, Mingmei Wei, Lijun Yin, Meixue Zhou and Xiaoyan Wang
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010272 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1894
Abstract
Here we document physiological and molecular attributes of three wheat cultivars (ZM9023, YM158 and FM1228) under low light intensity with advanced technologies, including non-standard quantitative technology and quantitative proteomics technology. We found lower dry matter accumulation of YM158 compared with ZM 9023 and [...] Read more.
Here we document physiological and molecular attributes of three wheat cultivars (ZM9023, YM158 and FM1228) under low light intensity with advanced technologies, including non-standard quantitative technology and quantitative proteomics technology. We found lower dry matter accumulation of YM158 compared with ZM 9023 and FM1228 under low light intensities due to up-regulation of photosynthetic parameters electron transport rate (ETR), Y(II), Fv/Fm, Chl (a + b) of YM158 and down-regulation of Chl a/b. ETR, Y(II) and Fv/Fm significantly decreased between ZM9023 and FM1228. The ETR between PSII and PSI of YM158 increased, while light use efficiency (LUE) of ZM9023 and FM1228 decreased. We found that YM158 had greater propensity to adapt to low light compared with ZM9023, as the former was able to increase photochemical electron transfer rate, enhance photosystem activity, and increase the light energy under low light. This meant that the YM158 flag leaf has stronger regulatory mechanism under low light environment. Through proteomic analysis, we found LHC protein (LHCB1, LHCB4, LHCA2, LHCA3) for YH158 was significantly up-regulated, while the PSII subunit protein of FM1228 and ZM9023 b559 subunit protein were down-regulated. We also documented enhanced light use efficiency (LUE) due to higher light capture pigment protein complex (LHC), photosystem II (PSII), PSI and cytochrome B6F-related proteins, with dry matter accumulation being positively correlated with Fv/Fm, ETR, and ΦPS(II), and negatively correlated with initial fluorescence F0. We suggest that Fv/Fm, ETR, and ΦPS(II) could be considered in shade tolerance screening to facilitate wheat breeding. Full article
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22 pages, 4622 KiB  
Article
Integrating Diverse Cover Crops for Fallow Replacement in a Subtropical Dryland: Implications on Subsequent Cash Crop Yield, Grain Quality, and Gross Margins
by Ismail Ibrahim Garba and Alwyn Williams
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010271 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2402
Abstract
Integrating cover cropping into crop–fallow rotation has been considered a key component of ecological intensification that could mitigate negative productivity and sustainability challenges associated with conventional fallow practices. However, the adoption of cover crops in water-limited environments has been limited by potential soil [...] Read more.
Integrating cover cropping into crop–fallow rotation has been considered a key component of ecological intensification that could mitigate negative productivity and sustainability challenges associated with conventional fallow practices. However, the adoption of cover crops in water-limited environments has been limited by potential soil water and nitrogen (N) costs and resulting yield penalties. We examined the impacts of diverse cover crops on fallow soil water and mineral N dynamics and the legacy impacts on subsequent cash crop productivity and profitability. The cover crops used (forage oat—Avena sativa L. [grass], common vetch—Vicia sativa subsp. sativa L.)/fababean—Vicia faba L. [legume], forage rape—Brassica napus L. [brassica]) differed in functional traits related to growth, phenology, and soil water and N acquisition and use strategies. We found that grass-associated cover crops generally supported higher cash crop grain yield and profit than brassica- or legume-associated cover crops, mainly due to moderate biomass accumulation and water use and persistent groundcover. Cash crop grain yields increased by +19% and +23% following forage oat cover crop, with concomitant gains in gross margins of +96$ ha−1 and +318$ ha−1 for maize and winter wheat compared to conventional fallow. In contrast, maize grain yield following brassica-associated cover crops ranged from +8 to −21% and reduced gross margins by −229 to −686$ ha−1 relative to conventional fallow. Legume- and brassica-associated cover crops had the lowest mungbean and winter wheat grain yield and gross margins compared to conventional fallow and the added stubble. Cash crop yields were related to cover crop biomass production, biomass N accumulation, residue carbon to N ratio, and legacy impacts through effects on soil water availability at cash crop sowing. Given the additional grain yield and gross margin benefits following grass-associated cover crops, they may provide a potential alternative fallow soil water and N management option that could improve crop productivity and cropping system resilience in water-limited environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Innovative Cropping Systems)
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18 pages, 3232 KiB  
Article
Comparison between Drift Test Bench and Other Techniques in Spray Drift Evaluation of an Eight-Rotor Unmanned Aerial Spraying System: The Influence of Meteorological Parameters and Nozzle Types
by Changling Wang, Supakorn Wongsuk, Zhan Huang, Congwei Yu, Leng Han, Jun Zhang, Wenkang Sun, Aijun Zeng and Xiongkui He
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010270 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1834
Abstract
In the past decade, an unmanned aerial spraying system (UASS) was applied more and more widely for low-volume aerial pesticides spraying operations in China. However, UASS have a higher drift risk due to more fine droplets sprayed with a higher working height and [...] Read more.
In the past decade, an unmanned aerial spraying system (UASS) was applied more and more widely for low-volume aerial pesticides spraying operations in China. However, UASS have a higher drift risk due to more fine droplets sprayed with a higher working height and a faster driving speed than ground sprayers. Study on UASS spray drift is a new hot spot within the field of pesticide application technology. The field test bench was originally designed and applied for the measurement of the spray drift potential of ground sprayers. No methodology using the test bench for UASS drift evaluation was reported. Based on our previous study, field drift measurements of an eight-rotor UASS were conducted using three techniques (test bench, ground petri dish, and airborne collection frame) in this study, and the effects of meteorological parameters and nozzle types were investigated, to explore the applicability and the feasibility of the test bench used in UASS field drift evaluation. The test bench is proven promising for direct drift determination of UASS and the described methodology enabled classification of different UASS configurations. Higher wind speeds and finer droplets produced higher drift values. The faster the wind speed and the lower the humidity, the more the spray drift. The test bench can reduce the site requirements and improve the efficiency of the field drift test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Environment and Intelligent Plant Protection Equipment)
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19 pages, 5009 KiB  
Article
Palynological Study of Fossil Plants from Miocene Murree Formation of Pakistan: Clues to Investigate Palaeoclimate and Palaeoenvironment
by Shabir Ahmad, Mushtaq Ahmad, Mohamed Fawzy Ramadan, Shazia Sultana, Alessio Papini, Fazal Ullah, Saddam Saqib, Asma Ayaz, Mansoor Ahmed Bazai, Wajid Zaman and Muhammad Zafar
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010269 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2481
Abstract
Palaeoflora in Pakistan in the Miocene is characterized by its high biodiversity. The present study investigated the pollen of fossil plants from the Murree Formation of Pakistan. Shales and mudstones were collected from the Murree section located at the foothills of the Margalla [...] Read more.
Palaeoflora in Pakistan in the Miocene is characterized by its high biodiversity. The present study investigated the pollen of fossil plants from the Murree Formation of Pakistan. Shales and mudstones were collected from the Murree section located at the foothills of the Margalla hills and analyzed by palynofacies and palynostratigraphic analyses. In this paleopalynological study of the Miocene Murree Formations of Pakistan, 31 samples were analyzed using microscopic techniques containing 48 pollen types from 12 families. The quantitative and qualitative morphological features of pollen were determined using light and scanning electron microscopy to help identify the pollen grains. Exine ornamentations and spines were the most important diagnostic features for distinguishing one pollen grain from another. The maximum exine thickness was observed in Ocimum basilicum of 4.25 μm, whereas the maximum pollen diameter was recorded for Pinus of 69.5 μm. Lamiaceae, Asteraceae, and Poaceae were the dominant families. The results showed that the preservation of floral records was not optimal. The presented results provide data on the dominant fossil plant taxa that existed in Pakistan (23.03–5.33 Ma). The evolution and phytogeographical histories of fossil plants can be unraveled using rock sediments to preserve biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Plant Taxonomy and Floristic Studies)
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12 pages, 1954 KiB  
Article
Optimization of In Vitro Propagation of Pear (Pyrus communis L.) ‘Pyrodwarf®(S)’ Rootstock
by Behzad Kaviani, Azam Barandan, Alicja Tymoszuk and Dariusz Kulus
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010268 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2614
Abstract
Pears are among the most economically important fruits in the world that are grown in all temperate zones. Pyrus communis L., ‘Pyrodwarf®(S)’ rootstock is one of the gene sources used to improve fruit productivity, rootstock resistance, and tolerance to biotic and [...] Read more.
Pears are among the most economically important fruits in the world that are grown in all temperate zones. Pyrus communis L., ‘Pyrodwarf®(S)’ rootstock is one of the gene sources used to improve fruit productivity, rootstock resistance, and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Traditional propagation of P. communis L. is time-consuming and limited by a short growing season and harsh winter conditions. Therefore, in vitro propagation is a suitable alternative. Murashige and Skoog medium (MS) and woody plant medium (WPM) supplemented with different concentrations of 6-benzyladenine (BA) and kinetin (Kin), individually or in combination, were used for in vitro shoot proliferation. Nodal segments were used as explants. MS medium augmented with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) or indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) was then used for rooting of microshoots. A combination of 2 mg·L−1 BA and 1 mg·L−1 Kin in MS medium resulted in a significant improvement in shoot proliferation. This combination produced the highest number of shoots (4.352 per explant) and leaves (10.02 per explant). The longest shoots (4.045 cm) were obtained in WPM enriched with 1 mg·L−1 BA. However, these shoots were not suitable for multiplication and rooting steps. The largest number of roots (5.50 per microshoot) was obtained on MS medium augmented with IAA at 1 mg·L−1. The produced plantlets were cultivated in pots filled with perlite and cocopeat (in a ratio of 1:3) and acclimatized gradually in a greenhouse, recording an even 90% survival rate. Full article
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13 pages, 13937 KiB  
Article
Soil Organic Carbon and Mineral Nitrogen Contents in Soils as Affected by Their pH, Texture and Fertilization
by Sebastian Kuśmierz, Monika Skowrońska, Przemysław Tkaczyk, Wojciech Lipiński and Jacek Mielniczuk
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 267; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010267 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3540
Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) and mineral nitrogen (Nmin), especially nitrates (NO3) in agroecosystems have attracted much attention over the past few decades due to their crucial roles in soil fertility, crop productivity, environmental quality, and/or climate change mitigation [...] Read more.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) and mineral nitrogen (Nmin), especially nitrates (NO3) in agroecosystems have attracted much attention over the past few decades due to their crucial roles in soil fertility, crop productivity, environmental quality, and/or climate change mitigation and adaptation. The aim of the study was to evaluate the contents of organic carbon, ammonium, and nitrate in soils under differentiated pH, texture, and fertilization rates. A large-scale environmental study was conducted in Polish arable lands. The spatial distribution of the sampling points reflected agricultural production conditions, variability of soil properties, and representativeness of textures that are characteristic of Poland. Our results indicated that SOC content was significantly affected by the soil pH and texture as well as mineral and organic fertilization. The same factors, except organic amendments, significantly supported mineral nitrogen concentration in the present study. The most important factors controlling SOC in the study were ranked as follows: soil pH > pre-crop N fertilization > crop N fertilization > N applied with manure > soil texture. In the case of N-NH4 and N-NO3, mineral fertilization was the most critical variable. The carbon and nitrogen governance in agroecosystems should consider the ranks of factors controlling their contents. Full article
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17 pages, 648 KiB  
Article
Genetic Analysis of Zinc, Iron and Provitamin A Content in Tropical Maize (Zea mays L.)
by Enoobong Udo, Ayodeji Abe, Silvestro Meseka, Wende Mengesha and Abebe Menkir
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010266 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1805
Abstract
Breeding maize with high contents of zinc, iron and provitamin A (PVA) could be effective in mitigating micronutrient deficiency in developing countries with a high reliance on maize-based diets. Information on the mode of inheritance of zinc, iron, PVA and grain yield (GY) [...] Read more.
Breeding maize with high contents of zinc, iron and provitamin A (PVA) could be effective in mitigating micronutrient deficiency in developing countries with a high reliance on maize-based diets. Information on the mode of inheritance of zinc, iron, PVA and grain yield (GY) would facilitate the development of varieties with enhanced contents of these nutrients. Twenty-four yellow to orange maize inbred lines and their 96 F1 hybrids generated using North Carolina Design II, were evaluated alongside four checks for two years at two locations in Nigeria. The effects of environment, hybrid and inbred line were significant for GY and contents of zinc, iron and PVA. The GY, and contents of zinc, iron and PVA of the hybrids ranged from 1.49 to 6.05 t ha−1, 22.51 to 33.33 mg kg−1, 20.04 to 29.65 mg kg−1 and 3.55 to 15.28 µg g−1, respectively. Additive gene effects controlled the accumulation of PVA and Fe, whereas both additive and non-additive gene effects controlled the inheritance of Zn and GY. Inbred lines with high general combining ability for GY and single or multiple micronutrients were identified, and could be used to develop hybrids and synthetics that combine high GY with high micronutrient content. Six hybrids combined high GY with high contents of all three micronutrients, and are recommended for further evaluation and possible release. Our study revealed the feasibility of enriching maize with multiple micronutrients without compromising grain yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics)
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14 pages, 3580 KiB  
Article
Removal of Two Triazole Fungicides from Agricultural Wastewater in Pilot-Scale Horizontal Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands
by Paraskevas Parlakidis, Ioanna Gounari, Aristidis Georgiou, George Adamidis, Zisis Vryzas and Georgios D. Gikas
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010265 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1886
Abstract
Myclobutanil is a systemic fungicide belonging to the triazole group, which is frequently detected in environmental samples. Triticonazole, also a triazole fungicide, controls soil and seed-borne diseases and it is mainly used as a seed-coating pesticide. Both myclobutanil and triticonazole are considered as [...] Read more.
Myclobutanil is a systemic fungicide belonging to the triazole group, which is frequently detected in environmental samples. Triticonazole, also a triazole fungicide, controls soil and seed-borne diseases and it is mainly used as a seed-coating pesticide. Both myclobutanil and triticonazole are considered as persistent pollutants in the environment, raising concerns about their environmental fate and ecotoxicity potential. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the efficiency of four pilot-scale horizontal subsurface flow (HSF) constructed wetlands (CWs) to remediate myclobutanil and triticonazole from artificially polluted water. Daily loading of the four CWs took place from March 2022 to July 2022 with contaminated water fortified with myclobutanil and triticonazole. Three of the CWs, encoded WMG-R, WMG-C, and WMG-U, with medium gravel (MG) as porous media and the fourth, with code name WFG-R, fine gravel (FG). Common reed (R, Phragmites australis) was planted in the WMG-R and WFG-R units, and cattail (C, Typha latifolia) in the WMG-C unit. The WMG-U unit with no plant was used as a control unit. The results showed that the removal rate follows the pattern: WFG-R (88.4%) > WMG-R > (83.4%) > WMG-C (59.3%) > WMG-U (36.6%) and WFG-R (88.5%) > WMG-C (71.0%) > WMG-R > (70.9%) > WMG-U (49.2%) for myclobutanil and triticonazole, respectively. The most significant factors influencing the fungicides’ dissipation were the porous media content and the plant species. Full article
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15 pages, 3927 KiB  
Article
Soil Aggregates Are Governed by Spacing Configurations in Alfalfa-Jujube Tree Intercropping Systems
by Guodong Chen, Wenxia Fan, Wen Yin, Zhilong Fan, Sumei Wan, Yunlong Zhai and Xiaokang Zhang
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010264 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1413
Abstract
Soil aggregates play an important role in affecting the structural stability of the soil, and it is important to understand the relationship between soil aggregate stability and crop yield in herbage-fruit tree intercropping systems. In this study, we determined the optimal spacing configurations [...] Read more.
Soil aggregates play an important role in affecting the structural stability of the soil, and it is important to understand the relationship between soil aggregate stability and crop yield in herbage-fruit tree intercropping systems. In this study, we determined the optimal spacing configurations for improving aggregate stability while increasing crop yields in alfalfa-jujube intercropping systems. The treatments included three intercropping patterns, i.e., the distances between alfalfa and jujube at 0.5 m (IP0.5m), 1 m (IP1m), and 1.45 m (IP1.45m), along with monoculture alfalfa (CKAL) and jujube (CKJU). The results showed that IP0.5m, IP1m, IP1.45m, and CKJU effectively improved soil aggregate structure compared to CKAL. The IP1m spacing significantly increased the amounts of macro-aggregates (8.2%), and improved soil mechanical properties and aggregate stability among the other treatments, which was partly attributable to increased mean weight diameter (13.6%) and decreased soil aggregate destruction rate of water-stable aggregates (2.9%). The results of the principal component analysis showed that IP1m treatments had a positive effect on PC1. The one-meter spacing of jujube-to-alfalfa intercropping optimized the soil structure while improving the yield (8.3%); thus, it can be considered the most suitable intercropping spacing configuration for growing alfalfa in jujube plantations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Cropping Systems for Improving Crop Yield and Soil Quality)
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18 pages, 1607 KiB  
Article
Using 15N Isotope to Evaluate the Effect of Brown Coal Application on the Nitrogen Fate in the Soil–Plant System
by Hongjun Lei, Yingji Lian, Pan Ei Ei Kyaw, Mei Bai, Shah Jahan Leghari, Hongwei Pan, Zheyuan Xiao and Deli Chen
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010263 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1768
Abstract
The problems of high nitrogen (N) fertilizer application rate and low N utilization efficiency are common worldwide in vegetable plantations. Application of brown coal (BC, also known as lignite) can increase crop yield and fertilizer N recovery efficiency (NRE). However, the [...] Read more.
The problems of high nitrogen (N) fertilizer application rate and low N utilization efficiency are common worldwide in vegetable plantations. Application of brown coal (BC, also known as lignite) can increase crop yield and fertilizer N recovery efficiency (NRE). However, the effect of BC application on the utilization and distribution of exogenous N in the soil–plant system under different fertilization strategies is unclear. The pot experiment was set up in three factors of randomized design, including 15N-labeled urea fertilizer, BC, and organic manure, and pakchoi was used as the test crop. There were five rates of 15N-labeled urea, including 0, 100, 200, 300, and 400 kg N ha−1, two rates of BC with 5 and 0 t ha−1, and the organic manure with 0 t ha−1 which constitutes ten treatments. The other four treatments were the combination of one 15N-labeled urea rate of 100 kg N ha−1, two rates of BC with 5 and 0 t ha−1, and two rates of organic manure with 100 and 0 kg N ha−1. In conclusion, the interaction of all N fertilizer rates combined with BC improved soil 15N retention efficiency by 10.14% compared without BC amendment. Between 200 and 300 kg N ha−1, the average potential loss rate of 15N decreased by 10.41%. The application of BC could reduce N loss by enhancing plant N uptake and increasing soil retention. The combined use of 200 kg N ha−1 fertilizer and 5 t ha−1 of BC would maintain a high fertilizer NRE and ensure pakchoi yield. Full article
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16 pages, 715 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Nitrogen and Cropping System Management in Continuous Winter Wheat Forage Production Systems
by Bronc Finch, Joao Luis Bigatao Souza, Vaughn Reed, Raedan Sharry, Michaela Smith and Daryl Brian Arnall
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010262 - 15 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1524
Abstract
In the central Great Plains, winter wheat is used for over-winter grazing for cattle and sheep until the late spring months, when livestock are moved to grass pasture. As the popularity of summer cover crops increases, interest in their use in forage production [...] Read more.
In the central Great Plains, winter wheat is used for over-winter grazing for cattle and sheep until the late spring months, when livestock are moved to grass pasture. As the popularity of summer cover crops increases, interest in their use in forage production systems increases as well. There is specific interest in the opportunity to increase productivity by the inclusion of a crop grown in the fallow season of winter wheat fields. The intensification of systems in a resource (water and/or nitrogen) limited region could decrease winter wheat forage production influencing a system’s ability to sustain continuous forage production. Nitrogen (N) management could be effective in mitigating negative impacts on winter wheat. The objective of this study is to evaluate the influence of different summer forage crop species and different N management strategies in a multi-year continuous winter wheat forage production system in the central Grain Plains. Increased production of dry matter and crude protein was observed by implementing summer forage crops into a winter wheat forage system. A deleterious effect of summer crops compared to traditional fallow periods was observed but mitigated by the split application of N even compared to the same rate applied at pre-plant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forage and Grain Crops Productivity in Their Coupling Systems)
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18 pages, 3322 KiB  
Article
New Insights from Soil Microorganisms for Sustainable Double Rice-Cropping System with 37-Year Manure Fertilization
by Jin Li, Kai-Luo Liu, Ji Chen, Jiang Xie, Yu Jiang, Guo-Qiang Deng, Da-Ming Li, Xian-Jiao Guan, Xi-Huang Liang, Xian-Mao Chen, Cai-Fei Qiu, Yin-Fei Qian, Wen-Jian Xia, Jia Liu, Chun-Rui Peng, Stephen M. Bell and Jin Chen
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010261 - 15 Jan 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2308
Abstract
Long-term intensive use of mineral fertilizers in double rice-cropping systems has led to soil acidification and soil degradation. Manure fertilization was suggested as an alternative strategy to mitigate soil degradation. However, the effects of long-term mineral and manure fertilization on rice grain yield, [...] Read more.
Long-term intensive use of mineral fertilizers in double rice-cropping systems has led to soil acidification and soil degradation. Manure fertilization was suggested as an alternative strategy to mitigate soil degradation. However, the effects of long-term mineral and manure fertilization on rice grain yield, yield stability, soil organic carbon (SOC) content, soil total nitrogen (TN) content, and the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Based on a long-term experiment established in 1981 in southern China, we compared four treatments: no fertilizer application (Control); application of nitrogen–phosphorus–potassium (NPK); NPK plus green manure in early rice (M1); and M1 plus farmyard manure in late rice and rice straw return in winter (M2). Our results showed that 37 years of NPK, M1, and M2 significantly increased rice grain yield by 54%, 46%, and 72%, and yield stability by 22%, 17%, and 9%, respectively. M1 and M2 significantly increased SOC content by 39% and 23% compared to Control, respectively, whereas there was no difference between Control and NPK. Regarding soil TN content, it was significantly increased by 8%, 46%, and 20% by NPK, M1, and M2, respectively. In addition, M2 significantly increased bacterial OTU richness by 68%, Chao1 index by 79%, and altered the bacterial community composition. Changes in soil nutrient availability and bacterial Simpson index were positively correlated with the changes in grain yield, while shifts in bacterial community were closely related to yield stability. This study provides pioneer comprehensive assessments of the simultaneous responses of grain yield, yield stability, SOC and TN content, nutrient availability, and bacterial community composition to long-term mineral and manure fertilization in a double rice-cropping system. Altogether, this study spanning nearly four decades provides new perspectives for developing sustainable yet intensive rice cultivation to meet growing global demands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multiple Cropping Systems for Improving Crop Yield and Soil Quality)
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39 pages, 3038 KiB  
Article
Identification of Stripe Rust and Leaf Rust on Different Wheat Varieties Based on Image Processing Technology
by Hongli Wang, Qian Jiang, Zhenyu Sun, Shiqin Cao and Haiguang Wang
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010260 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2145
Abstract
The timely and accurate identification of stripe rust and leaf rust is essential in effective disease control and the safe production of wheat worldwide. To investigate methods for identifying the two diseases on different wheat varieties based on image processing technology, single-leaf images [...] Read more.
The timely and accurate identification of stripe rust and leaf rust is essential in effective disease control and the safe production of wheat worldwide. To investigate methods for identifying the two diseases on different wheat varieties based on image processing technology, single-leaf images of the diseases on different wheat varieties, acquired under field and laboratory environmental conditions, were processed. After image scaling, median filtering, morphological reconstruction, and lesion segmentation on the images, 140 color, texture, and shape features were extracted from the lesion images; then, feature selections were conducted using methods including ReliefF, 1R, correlation-based feature selection, and principal components analysis combined with support vector machine (SVM), back propagation neural network (BPNN), and random forest (RF), respectively. For the individual-variety disease identification SVM, BPNN, and RF models built with the optimal feature combinations, the identification accuracies of the training sets and the testing sets on the same individual varieties acquired under the same image acquisition conditions as the training sets used for modeling were 87.18–100.00%, but most of the identification accuracies of the testing sets for other individual varieties were low. For the multi-variety disease identification SVM, BPNN, and RF models built with the merged optimal feature combinations based on the multi-variety disease images acquired under field and laboratory environmental conditions, identification accuracies in the range of 82.05–100.00% were achieved on the training set, the corresponding multi-variety disease image testing set, and all the individual-variety disease image testing sets. The results indicated that the identification of images of stripe rust and leaf rust could be greatly affected by wheat varieties, but satisfactory identification performances could be achieved by building multi-variety disease identification models based on disease images from multiple varieties under different environments. This study provides an effective method for the accurate identification of stripe rust and leaf rust and could be a useful reference for the automatic identification of other plant diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Control of Fungal Diseases of Crop Plants)
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23 pages, 4097 KiB  
Review
Challenges and Opportunities of Agriculture Digitalization in Spain
by Ebrahim Navid Sadjadi and Roemi Fernández
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010259 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4155
Abstract
Motivated by the ongoing debate on food security and the global trend of adopting new emerging technologies in the aftermath of COVID-19, this research focuses on the challenges and opportunities of agriculture digitalization in Spain. This process of digital transformation of the agricultural [...] Read more.
Motivated by the ongoing debate on food security and the global trend of adopting new emerging technologies in the aftermath of COVID-19, this research focuses on the challenges and opportunities of agriculture digitalization in Spain. This process of digital transformation of the agricultural sector is expected to significantly affect productivity, product quality, production costs, sustainability and environmental protection. For this reason, our study reviews the legal, technical, infrastructural, educational, financial and market challenges that can hinder or impose barriers to the digitalization of agriculture in Spain. In addition, the opportunities that digitalization can bring are identified, with the intention of contributing to provide insights that helps strengthen the Spanish agricultural model and make the necessary decision so that professionals in the sector are prepared to adapt to this intense change. Full article
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16 pages, 1206 KiB  
Article
How Much Phosphorus Uptake Is Required for Achieving Maximum Maize Grain Yield? Part 2: Impact of Phosphorus Uptake on Grain Quality and Partitioning of Nutrients
by Chad J. Penn, James J. Camberato and Matthew A. Wiethorn
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010258 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2363
Abstract
Previous studies have shown that excess phosphorus (P) uptake by maize can lead to a decreased grain yield. Part one of this study demonstrated that maize experienced luxury consumption of P in three phases of P uptake. The objective of this work was [...] Read more.
Previous studies have shown that excess phosphorus (P) uptake by maize can lead to a decreased grain yield. Part one of this study demonstrated that maize experienced luxury consumption of P in three phases of P uptake. The objective of this work was to further explore how P uptake indirectly impacts the uptake of other nutrients and their translocation within the plant to explain the yield penalty associated with luxury P consumption. Three maize hybrids were grown under optimal conditions using sand-culture hydroponics for precise control of the root environment. Plants were grown to maturity with six different P concentrations followed by biomass and nutrient partitioning analysis of various maize parts. All non-P nutrients achieved maximum grain content at P uptake levels that coincided with the maximum grain yield, while the partitioning of K, Mg, Mn, B, N, S, and Fe into other non-grain tissue continued with further P uptake. With luxury P consumption beyond the point corresponding with maximum grain yield, the N, S, Fe, Cu, and Zn grain content significantly decreased along with the grain yield. With luxury P consumption, Cu, Zn, and Fe accumulated in the roots. Grain production with luxury P uptake may have been limited by P-inhibited translocation of Cu, Zn, and Fe from roots to grain. This decrease in translocation did not prevent further non-grain tissue growth since those nutrients were not as limiting as they were for grain. Data suggest that these micronutrients limited protein production, which was evident from the decrease in grain N and S content and concentration that coincided with the decrease in grain yield concomitant with luxury P uptake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
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17 pages, 628 KiB  
Article
Phytotoxic Effects of Essential Oils from Six Lamiaceae Species
by Francesca Casella, Maurizio Vurro, Francesca Valerio, Enrico Vito Perrino, Giuseppe N. Mezzapesa and Angela Boari
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010257 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 1965
Abstract
Essential oils produced by plants, and their components, could be sources of new natural herbicidal compounds. Thirteen oils extracted from six wild Lamiaceae species (namely Clinopodium suaveolens (Sm.) Kuntze, Satureja montana L. subsp. montana, Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav., Salvia fruticosa Mill. subsp. [...] Read more.
Essential oils produced by plants, and their components, could be sources of new natural herbicidal compounds. Thirteen oils extracted from six wild Lamiaceae species (namely Clinopodium suaveolens (Sm.) Kuntze, Satureja montana L. subsp. montana, Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav., Salvia fruticosa Mill. subsp. thomasii (Lacaita) Brullo, Guglielmo, Pavone & Terrasi, Satureja cuneifolia Ten., and Thymus spinulosus Ten.) from South Italy were tested in vitro for the phytotoxic activity to cress and branched broomrape seeds, tomato radicles, and lambsquarters leaf disks. Moreover, the possible correlation between oil composition and biological activity was evaluated. One of the oils from T. capitata inhibited cress germination by 96.4% at the lowest tested concentration (100 ppm) and reduced both chlorophyll and carotenoid content in lambsquarters leaf disks by around 50%. Some oils, particularly those from T. spinulosus, inhibited tomato radicle elongation by 85% at 1000 ppm. Many oils inhibited broomrape seed germination up to 100% when tested in solution at 1000 ppm or released as vapors. Among the oil components, α-terpinene, p-cymene, β-cis-ocimene, cis-sabinene hydrate, carvacrol methyl ether, and thymol were mostly correlated to the inhibition of cress seeds germination and tomato radicle elongation. The presence of thymol and p-cymene was also correlated to the inhibition of broomrape seed germination. Some of the tested essential oils or their components could have potential as pre-emergence herbicides and could be useful in the development of new weed control strategies. Full article
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16 pages, 8488 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Monitored Erosion Events in the Context of Characteristics of Source Areas in Czech Conditions
by Michal Gebhart, Miroslav Dumbrovský, Bořivoj Šarapatka, Karel Drbal, Marek Bednář, Jiří Kapička, František Pavlík, Blanka Kottová, Vojtěch Zástěra and Zlatica Muchová
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010256 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
Since the year 2012, nationwide monitoring of erosion on agricultural land has been carried out in the Czech Republic with more than 2,300 cases of erosion events recorded so far. The evaluation of the relationships between the actual manifestation of erosion and the [...] Read more.
Since the year 2012, nationwide monitoring of erosion on agricultural land has been carried out in the Czech Republic with more than 2,300 cases of erosion events recorded so far. The evaluation of the relationships between the actual manifestation of erosion and the characteristics of the 5600 erosion enclosed areas (EEAs), on which surface runoff develops after erosion-forming rainfall, are presented in this contribution. Most frequently grown crops during an erosion event include maize (49.8% of cases), rapeseed (13.7%), potatoes (8.1%) and sugar beets (2.1%). The distributions of affected erosion enclosed areas (EEAs) in terms of shares of soils with low susceptibility and medium susceptibility to compaction, drainage systems and contributing areas of critical points are bimodal; the low percentage (<10%) being more prominent than the high one (>90%). The percentage of hydrologic soil group B in EEA has the high share dominant over the low one. Unsurprisingly, erosion events have been recorded predominantly in EEAs with low forest cover and on arable land (share >90%). The distribution of EEAs across altitudes corresponds with the relief of the country. Obtained results will be used to validate the implementation of erosion-monitoring systems and for the adaptation of soil erosion prevention and mitigation measures in the sustainable land use policy. Full article
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15 pages, 2011 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity and Population Structure in Bread Wheat Germplasm from Türkiye Using iPBS-Retrotransposons-Based Markers
by Kamil Haliloğlu, Aras Türkoğlu, Ali Öztürk, Gniewko Niedbała, Mohsen Niazian, Tomasz Wojciechowski and Magdalena Piekutowska
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010255 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2183
Abstract
This study investigated the genetic diversity and population structure of 63 genotypes from Turkish bread wheat germplasm using iPBS-retrotransposons primers. The thirty-four iPBS primers produced a total of 1231 polymorphic bands, ranging from 8 (iPBS-2375) to 60 (iPBS-2381) alleles per marker, with an [...] Read more.
This study investigated the genetic diversity and population structure of 63 genotypes from Turkish bread wheat germplasm using iPBS-retrotransposons primers. The thirty-four iPBS primers produced a total of 1231 polymorphic bands, ranging from 8 (iPBS-2375) to 60 (iPBS-2381) alleles per marker, with an average number of 36.00 alleles. The polymorphism information content (PIC) per marker varied between 0.048 (iPBS 2087) and 0.303 (iPBS 2382), with an average of 0.175. The numbers of effective alleles (ne), genetic diversity of Nei (h), and Shannon’s information index (I) value were calculated as 1.157, 0.95, and 0.144, respectively. The greatest genetic distance (0.164) was between Eastern Anatolia Agricultural Research Institute genotypes and Çukurova Agricultural Research Institute genotypes. The unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic mean (UPGMA) dendrogram placed the 63 wheat genotypes into three clusters. The percentage of genetic diversity explained by each of the three main coordinates of the basic coordinate analysis was determined to be 44.58, 12.08, and 3.44, respectively. AMOVA (Analysis of Molecular Variance) showed that the variation within populations was 99% and that between populations was 1%. The result of genetic structure analysis suggests that the greatest value of K was calculated as 3. The F-statistic (Fst) value was determined as 0.4005, 0.2374, and 0.3773 in the first to third subpopulations, respectively. Likewise, the expected heterozygosity values (He) were determined as 0.2203, 0.2599, and 0.2155 in the first, second, and third subpopulations, respectively. According to the information obtained in the study, the most genetically distant genotypes were the G1 (Aksel 2000) and G63 (Karasu 90) genotypes. This study provided a deep insight into genetic variations in Turkish bread wheat germplasm using the iPBS-retrotransposons marker system. Full article
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13 pages, 5063 KiB  
Article
Validation of a Warning System to Control Brown Rot in Peach and Nectarine
by Carla Casals, Joan Segarra, Rosario Torres, Neus Teixidó, Antonieta De Cal and Josep Usall
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010254 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1508
Abstract
Monilinia spp. is the main pathogen that affects stone fruit, causing significant production losses, especially in seasons with favorable climatic conditions for disease development. Currently, the standard practices for controlling this disease are by means of spray programs of synthetic fungicides. Fungicide applications [...] Read more.
Monilinia spp. is the main pathogen that affects stone fruit, causing significant production losses, especially in seasons with favorable climatic conditions for disease development. Currently, the standard practices for controlling this disease are by means of spray programs of synthetic fungicides. Fungicide applications using treatment schedules imply an increase in the number of applications; however, the applications are justified considering the real risk of Monilinia spp. infection. Consequently, fruit surface contains a higher number and concentration of residues, but not better control of the disease. From previous studies, the epidemiology of Monilinia spp. was deeply studied in one of the main stone fruit regions of Europe, the ‘Valle del Ebro’, and an epidemiological model was developed to describe the brown rot epidemic pattern in this area. After that, a warning system for fungicide applications in the field was elaborated that included the main factors to be considered as fruit susceptibility, the presence of inoculum in the field, and climatological factors (temperature, leaf wetness, rainfall, or their interaction). In the present study, we present data of the warning system validation during six seasons in 38 fields of peaches and nectarines of the ‘Valle del Ebro’. The results indicated that the incidence of disease caused by Monilinia spp., recorded in the field and postharvest, was similar in both plot evaluations and the calendar and warning systems. However, the disease level was higher in late varieties (3.2% and 9.3% of infected fruit recorded in the field and in postharvest, respectively) in comparison with earlier varieties (0.6% and 3.1% of infected fruit recorded in the field and in postharvest, respectively). In general, the strategy applied (the calendar or warning system) did not affect the disease level recorded. However, when fungicide treatments were applied following the warning system, the treatment reductions were higher than 50% in 96% of the trials in early varieties; meanwhile, in late varieties, this level of reduction was obtained in 77% of trials. Our data encourage the use of the proposed warning system as an effective strategy to control Monilinia spp. in peaches and nectarines, reducing the number of chemical treatments applied in the field with a high level of efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monilinia on Stone Fruit Species)
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12 pages, 2028 KiB  
Article
Effects on Soil Bacterial Organisms in an Alfalfa Monocropping System after Corn Insertion and Nitrogen Fertilization
by Zongyong Tong, Lixue Wang, Yu Wang, Xianglin Li and Feng He
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010253 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and corn (Zea mays L.) are common forage plants for feeding livestock, and their effects on soil bacterial organisms have been extensively studied. However, there is little comprehensive research on soil bacterial organisms and their function in [...] Read more.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and corn (Zea mays L.) are common forage plants for feeding livestock, and their effects on soil bacterial organisms have been extensively studied. However, there is little comprehensive research on soil bacterial organisms and their function in a long-term alfalfa monocropping system after corn insertion and fertilization. The effects of alfalfa–corn rotation (AF: alfalfa monocropping, RA: alfalfa and corn rotation) and nitrogen fertilization (RA0 and RA15) were investigated in a field experiment. The results showed that fertilization significantly increased the aboveground biomass (AGB) and soil nitrate nitrogen, and corn insertion significantly decreased the nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N) (p < 0.05). In addition, the bacterial community structure among the treatments was significantly changed by the rotation and fertilization. The rotational system of RA significantly increased the soil bacterial diversity compared with AF (p < 0.01), and most of the soil bacterial communities were of the phyla Actinobacterota and Proteobacteria. The RA system had a lower relative abundance of Actinobacterota than the AF system. The bacterial function prediction found that the soil carbon and nitrogen cycle processes in RA were more active than those in AF. The RDA analysis revealed that NO3-N and pH were the main environmental factors affecting the bacterial community structure in the RA system. Full article
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12 pages, 1921 KiB  
Article
Morphological and Genetic Analysis of Wild Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) Germplasm from Calabria Region in South Italy
by Antonio Calvi, Meriem Miyassa Aci, Antonio Lupini and Giovanni Preiti
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010252 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1384
Abstract
Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) constitute a species that grows spontaneously in the region of Calabria (South Italy), but the species’ morphological and genetic characterization have not yet been explored. Thus, we explored some morphological traits related to cones of wild hops from [...] Read more.
Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) constitute a species that grows spontaneously in the region of Calabria (South Italy), but the species’ morphological and genetic characterization have not yet been explored. Thus, we explored some morphological traits related to cones of wild hops from three Calabrian sites: Cosenza (CS), Catanzaro (CZ), and Vibo Valentia (VV). In addition, eight Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR) were adopted to investigate the genetic diversity and population structure of the local germplasm, which were also compared to commercial varieties. Cone length exhibited large variation among the different populations, whereas cone shape was the most discriminant trait according to principal coordinate analysis. Eighty-one alleles were detected with a high mean of alleles per locus (10.12). The SSRs used in the present study were highly informative with a genetic diversity of 0.829 and a PIC value > 0.62, thereby confirming the high genetic variability in Calabria. Finally, genetic structure analysis revealed the existence of two distinct groups regardless of the specimens’ sampling sites. Further studies including other wild hops populations from Calabria will be performed in order to detect specific alleles for new breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Analysis in Crops)
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16 pages, 2249 KiB  
Article
Different Maize Ear Rot Fungi Deter the Oviposition of Yellow Peach Moth (Conogethes punctiferalis (Guenée)) by Maize Volatile Organic Compounds
by Yinhu Chen, Jie Han, Haiqing Yang, Xiaochun Qin, Honggang Guo and Yanli Du
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010251 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1593
Abstract
Yellow peach moth (Conogethes punctiferalis (Guenée), (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), YPM) and maize ear rot are important pests and diseases of maize (Zea mays L., (Poales: Poaceae)). In recent years, YPM has become the most destructive maize pest in the Huang-Huai-Hai summer maize [...] Read more.
Yellow peach moth (Conogethes punctiferalis (Guenée), (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), YPM) and maize ear rot are important pests and diseases of maize (Zea mays L., (Poales: Poaceae)). In recent years, YPM has become the most destructive maize pest in the Huang-Huai-Hai summer maize region of China via the tunneling of larvae into maize ears. Interestingly, YPM infestation aggravates the occurrence of maize ear rot and causes heavier yield loss of maize in the field. However, few studies report whether maize ear rot would also affect the behavior of YPM. Here, we identified the effects of maize ear rot caused by four different fungi on maize ears’ volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the cascading effects on the behavior of YPM. The current results found that mated YPM females showed a preference for mock-inoculated maize ears (MIM) or mechanically damaged maize ears (MDM) but showed repellence to Penicillium oxalicum (Eurotiales: Aspergillaceae)-infected maize ears (POM), Trichoderma asperellum (Hypocreales: Hypocreaceae)-infected maize ears (TAM), Aspergillus phoenicis (Eurotiales: Aspergillaceae)-infected maize ears (APM), Aspergillus flavus (Eurotiales: Aspergillaceae)-infected maize ears (AFM) in the oviposition selection and four-arm olfactometer experiments, indicating that VOCs emitting from fungi-infected maize ears were all repellent to mated YPM females. Further analyses showed that 57 VOCs were identified from all treatments. The partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) displayed a separation between TAM, APM, AFM and POM, MDM, and MIM, with 24.3% and 19.1% explanation rates of the first two PLS components. Moreover, the relative quantities of eight common VOCs from different treatments were lower, and the other three common VOCs were higher in fungi-infected maize ears than those in MIM or MDM. There were also 17 unique VOCs in fungi-infected maize ears. In conclusion, these results suggested that maize ear rot negatively affected the behavior of YPM by changing both components and proportions of maize ears’ VOCs. These behavior-modifying VOCs may form the basis for the development of attractant or repellent formulations for YPM’s management in the future. Full article
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12 pages, 2503 KiB  
Article
An Experimental Study on the Effect of Cutting Angle on the Growth of Grafted Watermelon Seedlings Using the One-Cotyledon Grafting Method
by Huan Liang, Kai Jiang, Xianfeng Shi, Juhong Zhu, Jiangfeng Liu, Dehuan Wang, Mihong Ge, Mobing Zhou and Feifei Shan
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010250 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1622
Abstract
The labor-efficient automation of grafting has been recognized as a key factor in the wider adoption of grafting. In growing cucurbits, the root pruned one-cotyledon grafting method is the most commonly used method with grafting machines. The cutting angle, which affects the matching [...] Read more.
The labor-efficient automation of grafting has been recognized as a key factor in the wider adoption of grafting. In growing cucurbits, the root pruned one-cotyledon grafting method is the most commonly used method with grafting machines. The cutting angle, which affects the matching of the rootstock and scion, is key to the survival of the graft seedling. In the production of cucurbit graft seedlings, the cutting parameters are established based on experience, leading to low grafting success. To determine accurate cutting parameters, the watermelon cv. ‘Zaojia84-24′ was used as the scion and the pumpkin cv. ‘Zhenzhuang’ was used as rootstock, and two one-way experiments investigating the cutting angle of the watermelon scion and the rootstock as factors were conducted. The cutting angle of the rootstock and scion had no significant effect on the xylem reconnection rate or the grafting survival rate. A larger cutting angle for the rootstock and scion led to a delay in the reconnection of the phloem. Different cutting angles for the scion significantly affected the growth of the scion after grafting. Compared with a scion graft cutting angle of 10° (SL), graft cutting angles of 14° (SM) and 20° (SS) led to significantly greater scion dry weights, with increases of 16.00% and 18.61%, respectively. Different cutting angles of the rootstock significantly affected the growth of roots after grafting. Compared with a rootstock graft cutting angle of 10° (RL), graft cutting angles of 17° (RM) and 27° (RS) led to significantly greater root dry weights, with increases of 29.33% and 22.54%, respectively. The results of this study can provide a reference for the design of cutting mechanisms for cucurbit grafting robots, improving the cutting precision of grafting robots. Full article
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20 pages, 5192 KiB  
Article
Organo-Mineral Fertilization Based on Olive Waste Sludge Compost and Various Phosphate Sources Improves Phosphorus Agronomic Efficiency, Zea mays Agro-Physiological Traits, and Water Availability
by Youness Bouhia, Mohamed Hafidi, Yedir Ouhdouch, Youssef Zeroual and Karim Lyamlouli
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010249 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2833
Abstract
In the context of intensive and sustainable agriculture, limiting soil degradation and the loss of organic matter has become an obligation to maintain food security. The use of organo-mineral fertilizer (OMF) products is an innovative technology that may solve the different challenges raised. [...] Read more.
In the context of intensive and sustainable agriculture, limiting soil degradation and the loss of organic matter has become an obligation to maintain food security. The use of organo-mineral fertilizer (OMF) products is an innovative technology that may solve the different challenges raised. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of various organo-mineral fertilizer (OMF) formulations on Zea mays agro-physiological traits, phosphorus (P)-related parameters, and water conservation during a 90-day pot experiment. The OMF formulations consisted of blending several doses of a stable OMWS compost (10 t /ha(OMF1), 50 t/ha (OMF2), or 100 t/ha (OMF3)) with different sources of mineral P, namely diammonium phosphate (DAP), rock phosphate (RP), or phosphate washing sludge (PWS), compared with separate applications. The results indicated that the effect of an OMF on the soil and plants was strongly dependent on the source of P used and the dose of OMWS compost. The best agronomic performance was attributed to OMF1-based DAP, which resulted in a significant improvement in the shoot and root biomass dry weight by more than 260% and 40%, respectively. However, using an OMF2 formulation was more optimal when using RP and PWS as mineral P sources. Independently of the type of P fertilizer, the addition of stable OM systematically improved multiple soil properties, including water availability, and the nutrient concentrations, such as the available P, exchangeable potassium, and magnesium. Furthermore, the plant’s respiration, photosynthetic activity, and nutrient assimilations were positively affected by the OMF formulations. Overall, our results demonstrate that organo-mineral fertilization is a promising solution for increasing the efficiency of low-P and high-P mineral fertilizers in alkaline soils through direct and indirect mechanisms involving improved soil properties and higher P solubilization. Full article
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14 pages, 6481 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation on Air-Liquid Transient Flow and Regression Model on Air-Liquid Ratio of Air Induction Nozzle
by Changxi Liu, Jun Hu, Yufei Li, Shengxue Zhao, Qingda Li and Wei Zhang
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010248 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
Air induction nozzle (AIN) has a special Venturi structure that has been widely used in the field of reducing the probability of drift of pesticide droplets and realizing precise application. The present research mainly adopts the method of comparative test and analyzes the [...] Read more.
Air induction nozzle (AIN) has a special Venturi structure that has been widely used in the field of reducing the probability of drift of pesticide droplets and realizing precise application. The present research mainly adopts the method of comparative test and analyzes the difference between AIN and standard fan nozzle. However, the research on internal flow characteristics and air–liquid ratio (ALR) of AIN is very limited. In order to detect the air-liquid transient flow distribution and the influence of the geometric parameter structure of Venturi on the air–liquid ratio in the air induction nozzle, numerical simulation and air-liquid ratio prediction model of AIN combined with TD (Turbo Drop series) type Venturi tubes and ST110 (standard nozzle series) type fan nozzles are used. Based on the VOF (volume of fluid) model and Realizable k-ε turbulence control method, the TD-ST combined AIN is simulated numerically using open input and exit boundary conditions. The results show that the transient flow characteristic of the combined AIN is determined by the geometric structure of the Venturi tube, and the internal velocity and pressure change significantly at the Venturi angle. Under the same ST110 fan nozzle, the size of the larger TD Venturi tube will decrease the air phase content in the air–liquid flow. TD03-ST06 combined AIN has a maximum volume flow of 0.0092 (L/min) under 0.6 MPa. The air–liquid ratio regression model is established by designing the intake volume measurement system. According to this model, the influence law of tube size and spray parameters on the air–liquid ratio can be clarified. After variance analysis, it is proved that this model is suitable for air–liquid ratio prediction of TD-ST combined AIN. This study clarifies the air–liquid coupling law inside AIN and provides some reference for the quantitative analysis of the relationship between the geometric parameters, spray parameters, and the air–liquid ratio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agricultural Biosystem and Biological Engineering)
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