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Agronomy, Volume 13, Issue 2 (February 2023) – 336 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): There has been growing interest in developing new varieties of Saskatoon berries that are better adapted to different growing conditions and have improved fruit quality and yield. However, some problems are connected with the dormancy and low germinability of seeds, which prolong the breeding program of obtaining new cultivars. The seeds of the species exhibited physiological and physical dormancy. Dormancy breakage was promoted by stratification with KNO3, smoke-water or scarification with sandpaper, H2SO4 or treatments with pulsed radio frequency. The application of selected stratification, scarification, and other treatments showed improvements in the percentage, rate, onset, and uniformity of Saskatoon berry seed germination, increasing the potential for obtaining new plants for breeding purposes. View this paper
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12 pages, 3608 KiB  
Communication
GmSTK12 Participates in Salt Stress Resistance in Soybean
by Yang Liu, Jingwen Zhou, Yun Chen, Xue Yang, Shuang Jiao, Huimin Zhang, Xiaofei Ma, Hong Zhai and Xi Bai
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 613; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020613 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1562
Abstract
Soybean (Glycine max (Linn.) Merr.) is a widely-cultivated crop, the yield of which is markedly affected by adverse environmental conditions. Soil salinization, in particular, has led to the degradation of agricultural land, resulting in poor plant growth and decreased crop yields. In [...] Read more.
Soybean (Glycine max (Linn.) Merr.) is a widely-cultivated crop, the yield of which is markedly affected by adverse environmental conditions. Soil salinization, in particular, has led to the degradation of agricultural land, resulting in poor plant growth and decreased crop yields. In plants, serine/threonine protein kinases (STKs) are involved in the plant response to a variety of abiotic stresses. Our previous study identified a transcription factor (GmWRKY20) involved in plant stress resistance, which can directly regulate the expression of GmSTK12. Here, we investigated the effect of the stress-responsive gene GmSTK12 (Glyma.12g198200), which encodes a serine/threonine protein kinase, on soybean salt tolerance. Overall, the overexpression of GmSTK12 (GmSTK12-OE) resulted in increased salt tolerance. Under salt stress, GmSTK12-OE soybeans exhibited significantly increased chlorophyll and proline (PRO) contents; decreased relative electrical conductivity; decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide anion (O2) contents; and increased activities of the antioxidant enzymes catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and peroxidase (POD). The nitroblue tetrazolium chloride (NBT) staining experiment further confirmed the reduced accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in GmSTK12-OE soybean leaves. We further determined the Na+ and K+ contents in soybean leaves and roots and found that the Na+ content and Na+/K+ ratio in GmSTK12-OE soybean leaves and roots were significantly lower than those of WT (williams82) soybeans. Furthermore, quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed that the expression of three SOS pathway genes (GmSOS1, GmSOS2a, and GmSOS2b) was upregulated in GmSTK12-OE soybeans under salt stress. Taken together, the results indicate that GmSTK12 is involved in the mechanism of soybean response to salt stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Soybean Molecular Biology)
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18 pages, 6119 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Characterization of the SAMS Gene Family in Cotton Unveils the Putative Role of GhSAMS2 in Enhancing Abiotic Stress Tolerance
by Joseph Wanjala Kilwake, Muhammad Jawad Umer, Yangyang Wei, Teame Gereziher Mehari, Richard Odongo Magwanga, Yanchao Xu, Yuqing Hou, Yuhong Wang, Margaret Linyerera Shiraku, Joy Nyangasi Kirungu, Xiaoyan Cai, Zhongli Zhou, Renhai Peng and Fang Liu
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 612; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020612 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2197
Abstract
The most devastating abiotic factors worldwide are drought and salinity, causing severe bottlenecks in the agricultural sector. To acclimatize to these harsh ecological conditions, plants have developed complex molecular mechanisms involving diverse gene families. Among them, S-adenosyl-L-methionine synthetase (SAMS) genes initiate the physiological, [...] Read more.
The most devastating abiotic factors worldwide are drought and salinity, causing severe bottlenecks in the agricultural sector. To acclimatize to these harsh ecological conditions, plants have developed complex molecular mechanisms involving diverse gene families. Among them, S-adenosyl-L-methionine synthetase (SAMS) genes initiate the physiological, morphological, and molecular changes to enable plants to adapt appropriately. We identified and characterized 16 upland cotton SAMS genes (GhSAMSs). Phylogenetic analysis classified the GhSAMSs into three major groups closely related to their homologs in soybean. Gene expression analysis under drought and salt stress conditions revealed that GhSAMS2, which has shown the highest interaction with GhCBL10 (a key salt responsive gene), was the one that was most induced. GhSAMS2 expression knockdown via virus-induced gene silencing (VGIS) enhanced transgenic plants’ susceptibility to drought and salt stress. The TRV2:GhSAMS2 plants showed defects in terms of growth and physiological performances, including antioxidative processes, chlorophyll synthesis, and membrane permeability. Our findings provide insights into SAMS genes’ structure, classification, and role in abiotic stress response in upland cotton. Moreover, they show the potential of GhSAMS2 for the targeted improvement of cotton plants’ tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses. Full article
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20 pages, 4590 KiB  
Article
Adsorption of As(V) at Humic Acid-Kaolinite-Bacteria Interfaces: Kinetics, Thermodynamics, and Mechanisms
by Min Xiao, Jingwen Guo, Shan Zhao and Shifeng Li
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020611 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1535
Abstract
The immobilization and transformation of arsenic at the mineral-organic interface in soil environments ultimately depend on the soil components and their interactions. Herein, the effect of humic acid (HA) and a typical bacterium (a Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis) coating on the adsorption of [...] Read more.
The immobilization and transformation of arsenic at the mineral-organic interface in soil environments ultimately depend on the soil components and their interactions. Herein, the effect of humic acid (HA) and a typical bacterium (a Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis) coating on the adsorption of arsenate As(V) to kaolinite (Kao) mineral was investigated. The As(V) adsorption reaction kinetics, isotherms, thermodynamics, and mechanism on the clay mineral-organic composites of kaolinite-Bacillus subtilis (Kao-B.s) and humic acid-kaolinite-Bacillus subtilis (Kao-HA-B.s) were investigated. The As(V) adsorption on the composites was better fitted to pseudo-second-order kinetics and the Freundlich model. The adsorption capacity of As(V) followed the order of Kao-HA-B.s > Kao-B.s > B.s > Kao-HA > Kao. The positive ΔH (31.44, 5.87 kJ mol−1) and ΔG (0.10–0.96 kJ mol−1) values confirmed that the adsorption of As(V) by all composites was nonspontaneous and endothermic in character at room temperature. The FT-IR, XRD, and thermodynamic results revealed that the adsorption mechanism of As(V) on the kaolinite–organic interfaces could be attributed to the electrostatic forces between the terminal aluminum or silanol groups of kaolinite and As(V) and the complexation between HA, bacteria, and As(V), which formed an inner-sphere complex and surface complex, respectively. The experimental results showed that the adsorption of As(V) on the Kao-HA or Kao-bacteria system was accompanied by significant additive interactions, while the ternary Kao-HA-bacteria system had a significant inhibitory effect on As(V) binding at a higher HA content due to the shielding effect, with the promotion effect shown at a lower concentration for dispersion effect for HA on the kaolinite particles. Full article
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14 pages, 2221 KiB  
Article
The Study of Possible Soybean Introduction into New Cultivation Regions Based on the Climate Change Analysis and the Agro-Ecological Testing of the Varieties
by Marina Belyshkina, Mikhail Zagoruiko, Denis Mironov, Igor Bashmakov, Dmitry Rybalkin and Anna Romanovskaya
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020610 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1226
Abstract
Analyzing agro-climatic conditions for the period of 1981–2020 has revealed a tendency for local climate warming under the condition of its aridization in the territory of the Central region of the Russian Non-Chernozem zone, and the new northern borders for soybean growing in [...] Read more.
Analyzing agro-climatic conditions for the period of 1981–2020 has revealed a tendency for local climate warming under the condition of its aridization in the territory of the Central region of the Russian Non-Chernozem zone, and the new northern borders for soybean growing in the region have been marked. The isotherm of the sum of active temperatures has been established to have shifted towards high latitudes by 150–200 km. The values of the sum of active temperatures have increased from 1700–2200 °C to 1950–2400 °C, while the amount of precipitation during the growing season has decreased by 20–40 mm on average, from 270–280 mm to 190–230 mm. Three agro-climatic subzones—northern (NAS), central (CAS) and southern (SAS)—have been identified, each characterized by similar temperature and humidity conditions during the growing season. Thus, in the northern agro-climatic subzone, the sum of temperatures during the growing season is 2000–2200 °C, the HTC (hydrothermal coefficient) is 1.4–1.7, and the sum of precipitation is 285–295 mm; in the central subzone, the sum of temperatures is 2200–2400 °C, the HTC is 1.1–1.4, and the sum of precipitation is 265–285 mm; in the southern one, the sum of temperatures is 2400–2600 °C, the HTC is 0.7–1.1, and the sum of precipitation is 255–265 mm. Along with the northern ecotype varieties recommended for this zone, the vegetation features of early maturing soybean varieties of other ecological types—southern and Far Eastern—were studied. As a result of the agro-ecological analysis of early maturing soybean varieties, it has been found that the soybeans belonging to the group of very early or early maturing with a determinant type of growth are recommended for cultivation in the northern agro-climatic subzone of the Central region of the Non-Chernozem zone; the soybean varieties belonging to the group of very early or early maturing with a determinant or semi-determinant type of growth—in the central zone; the soybean varieties belonging to the group of very early or early maturing with a determinant, semi-determinant, and indeterminant type of growth—in the southern zone. Considering the variety characteristics and the agro-ecological tests conducted, it has been found that the northern ecotype varieties can sustainably ripen in all agro-climatic subzones in the Central region of the Non-Chernozem zone, the southern and the Far Eastern varieties—in the central and the southern zones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Agroecology Innovation: Achieving System Resilience)
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22 pages, 5225 KiB  
Article
Study on the In-Field Water Balance of Direct-Seeded Rice with Various Irrigation Regimes under Arid Climatic Conditions in Egypt Using the AquaCrop Model
by Elsayed Elsadek, Ke Zhang, Ahmed Mousa, Gazi Tawfiq Ezaz, Tolossa Lemma Tola, Hiba Shaghaleh, Amar Ali Adam Hamad and Yousef Alhaj Hamoud
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020609 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1996
Abstract
Crop growth models are cost-effective and user-friendly tools for decision-makers to develop efficient in-field management strategies. These models are particularly important in countries such as Egypt, where the risk of water scarcity is inevitable. The present study aimed to examine the in-field water [...] Read more.
Crop growth models are cost-effective and user-friendly tools for decision-makers to develop efficient in-field management strategies. These models are particularly important in countries such as Egypt, where the risk of water scarcity is inevitable. The present study aimed to examine the in-field water balance of direct-seeded rice (Giza 178) under various irrigation regimes and arid conditions during two growing seasons (2019 and 2020). Four irrigation regimes, namely, continuous flood irrigation with a fixed water depth of 5 cm, and 3-, 6-, and 10-day irrigation frequencies (FI, 3IF, 6IF, and 10IF, respectively), were arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replicates. Then, the feasibility of using AquaCrop in simulating direct-seeded rice development and in-field water balance was assessed. Five statistical indicators, including normalized root-mean-squared error (NRMSE), index of agreement (d), coefficient of determination (R2), Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient (EF), and percent deviation (Pd), were used to evaluate the performance of AquaCrop. The field trial results demonstrated that both the 3IF and 6IF irrigation regimes were the best for achieving the highest biomass (21.0 t·ha−1, under 3IF), yield (9.8 t·ha−1, under 3IF), and saving irrigation water (18.3–22.4%, under 6IF), making them the best to apply in Egypt. Moreover, the AquaCrop simulation results showed a good correlation between the observed and simulated rice yield (Y) in both seasons (R2 = 0.99 and 0.98 in 2019 and 2020, respectively). AquaCrop showed excellent performance in simulating canopy cover (CC) and biomass (B) during both growing seasons (5.0 ≤ NRMSE ≤ 15.0, 0.97 ≤ d ≤ 0.99, 0.92 ≤ R2 ≤ 0.99, and 0.92 ≤ EF ≤ 0.99). In addition, the model showed acceptable performance in simulating in-field water balance components. Reasonably good model efficiency was recorded in simulating crop actual evapotranspiration (ETact). Meanwhile, the average Pd for percolation (P) was between −15.3% and 5.4% during both growing seasons. Overall, AquaCrop showed adequate accuracy in simulating CC, B, Y, ETact, and P but relatively low efficiency in simulating ETact and P under severe water scarcity. Therefore, AquaCrop may serve as a valuable tool for irrigation management and crop yield prediction even in arid regions, such as Egypt. Full article
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12 pages, 1379 KiB  
Article
Opposite Root Morphological Responses of Chinese Cabbage to Poly-γ-glutamic Acid When Applied with Urea and Ammonium Sulphate
by Lei Zhang, Lingli Wang, Yu Sun, Xiaoyan Dong, Zhanbo Wei, Lili Zhang and Yuanliang Shi
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 608; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020608 - 20 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) significantly promotes the fertilizer N uptake efficiency of crops and evidently affects soil available N (nitrate, ammonium and glutamate) status. As an adaptive strategy to forage N, root morphology responds variably to soil available N dynamics. Detailed knowledge of how [...] Read more.
Poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) significantly promotes the fertilizer N uptake efficiency of crops and evidently affects soil available N (nitrate, ammonium and glutamate) status. As an adaptive strategy to forage N, root morphology responds variably to soil available N dynamics. Detailed knowledge of how root morphology responds to γ-PGA remains unexplored. A pot trial was conducted to investigate the response of root morphological traits to γ-PGA when applied with CO(NH2)2 or (NH4)2SO4. The results showed that γ-PGA significantly improved the dry weight, total carbon and total nitrogen content of roots, and with a higher improvement with CO(NH2)2 compared to (NH4)2SO4. γ-PGA significantly increased the root length, total surface area, tips and forks with CO(NH2)2. Contrarily, γ-PGA significantly reduced root length, specific root length, specific root area, root volume, tips and forks with (NH4)2SO4, with its inhibition on root growth mainly caused by the high ammonium content in soil. In conclusion, γ-PGA gives opposite effects on root morphological traits when applied with CO(NH2)2 or (NH4)2SO4. This finding provides a new insight to reveal the promotion mechanism of γ-PGA on plant N acquisition in the rhizosphere and offers a practical reference for optimizing γ-PGA and fertilizer application management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
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13 pages, 2159 KiB  
Article
A Pleiotropic Drug Resistance Transporter TaABCG36 Contributes to Defense against Puccinia triticina in Triticum aestivum
by Na Zhang, Yaya Hu, Yanhui Wu, Johannes Mapuranga, Ying Yuan and Wenxiang Yang
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 607; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020607 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1849
Abstract
ABC transporters play important roles in plant growth and resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses. Here, we showed that the TaABCG36 gene positively regulates leaf rust resistance in the wheat line Thatcher + Lr19 (TcLr19) when challenged with an avirulent pathotype of Puccinia [...] Read more.
ABC transporters play important roles in plant growth and resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses. Here, we showed that the TaABCG36 gene positively regulates leaf rust resistance in the wheat line Thatcher + Lr19 (TcLr19) when challenged with an avirulent pathotype of Puccinia triticina (Pt). The TaABCG36 gene was cloned from genomic DNA and cDNA from wheat line TcLr19. The clone was 6730 bp in gDNA and 4365 bp in cDNA for this gene. It encoded an ABC transporter with 1454 amino acids in length. BLASTp analysis indicated a considerable identity ABC transporter G family member 36 with Aegilops tauschii subsp. strangulata, Triticum dicoccoides, and T. aestivum; thus, we named the gene TaABCG36. TaABCG36 was proved to be a plasma transmembrane protein by bioinformatic analysis and subcellular localization of the TaABCG36–GFP fusion protein. The expression of TaABCG36 in wheat leaves reached a peak at 72 h post-inoculation by Pt avirulence pathotype, and the expression was also induced by phytohormone treatments of salicylic acid (SA), abscisic acid (ABA), and methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Three fragments (V1–V3) of the TaABCG36 gene were introduced to the BSMV-VIGS vector and, thus, silenced the expression of TaABCG36 in the wheat line TcLr19. All the three BSMV:VIGS-infected plants showed reaction type “3” to Pt pathotype THTS, which was fully avirulent on TcLr19 (infection type “0”). Histopathological observation showed that silencing of TaABCG36 facilitated the formation of haustorial mother cells (HMC) and mycelial growth, implying that TaABCG36 plays a positive role in the response of TcLr19 against THTS. These results provide molecular insight into the interaction between Pt and its wheat host and identify a potential target for engineering resistance in wheat to damaging pathogen of Pt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Interaction between Plants and Fungi and Oomycetes)
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17 pages, 2904 KiB  
Article
Effects of Nitrogen Supply on Dry Matter Accumulation, Water-Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Grain Yield of Soybean (Glycine max L.) under Different Mulching Methods
by Xin Wang, Wangyang Li, Jiaqi An, Hongzhao Shi, Zijun Tang, Xiao Zhao, Jinjin Guo, Lin Jin, Youzhen Xiang, Zhijun Li and Fucang Zhang
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020606 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1537
Abstract
In dryland agriculture, mulching methods and nitrogen application have been extensively adopted to improve water and nitrogen use efficiency and increase crop yield. However, there has been a scarcity of research on the combined effects of mulching types and nitrogen application on the [...] Read more.
In dryland agriculture, mulching methods and nitrogen application have been extensively adopted to improve water and nitrogen use efficiency and increase crop yield. However, there has been a scarcity of research on the combined effects of mulching types and nitrogen application on the growth and yield of soybean (Glycine max L.). In the present study, four nitrogen levels (N0: 0 kg N ha−1, N1: 60 kg N ha−1, N2: 120 kg N ha−1, N3: 180 kg N ha−1) and four mulching methods (NM: no mulching, SM: straw mulching, FM: film mulching, SFM: straw and film mulching) were set so as to evaluate the effects of mulching methods and nitrogen application on dry matter accumulation, grain yield, water-nitrogen use efficiency, and economic benefits of soybean in Northwest China from 2021 to 2022. The results show that the dry matter accumulation, yield formation, water and nitrogen use efficiency, and economic benefits of soybean were improved under different mulching methods (SM, FM, and SFM) and nitrogen applications (N1-N3), and that the effect is the best when the nitrogen application rate is N2 and the mulching method is FM. As such, a conclusion could be drawn that suitable nitrogen application (120 kg ha−1) combined with film mulching was beneficial for the utilization of rainwater resources and soybean production in the dryland of Northwest China. Full article
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17 pages, 3679 KiB  
Article
Physiological and Transcriptome Analysis Reveals the Differences in Genes of Antioxidative Defense Components and Cold-Related Proteins in Winter and Spring Wheat during Cold Acclimation
by Xiaoguang Lu, Yuhan Wu, Chaoyue Tang, Chang Liu, Ninghui Li, Yuchen Du, Lianshuang Fu, Xin Liu, Jun Liu and Xiaonan Wang
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 605; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020605 - 20 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1277
Abstract
Recent findings suggest that cold acclimation can enhance cold resistance in wheat. Dongnongdongmai 1 (DM1) is a winter wheat variety that can overwinter at −30 °C; however, its cold acclimation mechanism is yet to be fully elucidated. Here, we elucidated the potential mechanisms [...] Read more.
Recent findings suggest that cold acclimation can enhance cold resistance in wheat. Dongnongdongmai 1 (DM1) is a winter wheat variety that can overwinter at −30 °C; however, its cold acclimation mechanism is yet to be fully elucidated. Here, we elucidated the potential mechanisms of cold acclimation in DM1 and the China Spring (CS) variety, especially the role of the antioxidant system, using transcriptome and physiological analyses. Cold stress increased H2O2 and O2 production in both varieties; however, CS had higher contents of H2O2 and O2 than DM1. Moreover, cold significantly increased ROS-scavenging activities in DM1, especially at 30 days after exposure. Gene ontology (GO) analysis showed that differentially expressed peroxidase (POD) genes were enriched in antioxidant activity, with most POD genes being significantly upregulated in DM1 under cold acclimation. Additionally, cold acclimation increased the expression of cold acclimation protein (CAP), late embryogenesis abundant protein (LEA), and cold-responsive genes in both varieties, with higher expression levels in DM1. Overall, the results showed that DM1 exhibited a higher cold tolerance than CS during cold acclimation by increasing the expression of POD genes, LEA, CAP, and cold-responsive proteins, improving the understanding of the mechanism of cold resistance in DM1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant-Crop Biology and Biochemistry)
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13 pages, 17141 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Evaluation of Low Nitrogen Tolerance in Oat (Avena sativa L.) Seedlings
by Yue Wang, Kaiqiang Liu, Guoling Liang, Zhifeng Jia, Zeliang Ju, Xiang Ma and Qingping Zhou
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 604; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020604 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1271
Abstract
In oat production, the over-application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer in fields due to low N fertilizer use efficiency not only increases production costs but also causes environmental pollution. Currently, mining low N-tolerant oat varieties is an important way to promote sustainable agriculture. In [...] Read more.
In oat production, the over-application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer in fields due to low N fertilizer use efficiency not only increases production costs but also causes environmental pollution. Currently, mining low N-tolerant oat varieties is an important way to promote sustainable agriculture. In this study, 30 oat varieties were grown in a seedling culture with two treatments of normal N (10 mM NH4NO3) and low N (1.25 mM NH4NO3), and the correlations between agronomic traits and plant N content and low N tolerance coefficients and indices were determined, which can be used as indicators for the evaluation of low N-tolerant oat varieties. Coefficient of variation, correlation analysis, principal component analysis, partial least-squares discrimination analysis, random forest analysis, least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression and model evaluation, and membership function analysis were used for in-depth analysis of these indicators. Plant N content, root–crown ratio, and dry weight of aboveground plant parts were found to be important indicators of low N tolerance in oats. According to the membership function ranking of the 30 selected oat varieties, Jiayan 2, Qingyongjiu 035, and Qingyin 2 had strong tolerance to low N stress and Qingyongjiu 003, Qingyongjiu 021, and Qingyongjiu 016 had poor tolerance to low N stress. Thus, this study provides a reliable and comprehensive method for evaluating the low N tolerance of oat varieties as well as a reference for screening other low N-tolerant plants. Full article
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16 pages, 5620 KiB  
Article
Tomato Maturity Recognition Model Based on Improved YOLOv5 in Greenhouse
by Renzhi Li, Zijing Ji, Shikang Hu, Xiaodong Huang, Jiali Yang and Wenfeng Li
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 603; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020603 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2560
Abstract
Due to the dense distribution of tomato fruit with similar morphologies and colors, it is difficult to recognize the maturity stages when the tomato fruit is harvested. In this study, a tomato maturity recognition model, YOLOv5s-tomato, is proposed based on improved YOLOv5 to [...] Read more.
Due to the dense distribution of tomato fruit with similar morphologies and colors, it is difficult to recognize the maturity stages when the tomato fruit is harvested. In this study, a tomato maturity recognition model, YOLOv5s-tomato, is proposed based on improved YOLOv5 to recognize the four types of different tomato maturity stages: mature green, breaker, pink, and red. Tomato maturity datasets were established using tomato fruit images collected at different maturing stages in the greenhouse. The small-target detection performance of the model was improved by Mosaic data enhancement. Focus and Cross Stage Partial Network (CSPNet) were adopted to improve the speed of network training and reasoning. The Efficient IoU (EIoU) loss was used to replace the Complete IoU (CIoU) loss to optimize the regression process of the prediction box. Finally, the improved algorithm was compared with the original YOLOv5 algorithm on the tomato maturity dataset. The experiment results show that the YOLOv5s-tomato reaches a precision of 95.58% and the mean Average Precision (mAP) is 97.42%; they are improved by 0.11% and 0.66%, respectively, compared with the original YOLOv5s model. The per-image detection speed is 9.2 ms, and the size is 23.9 MB. The proposed YOLOv5s-tomato can effectively solve the problem of low recognition accuracy for occluded and small-target tomatoes, and it also can meet the accuracy and speed requirements of tomato maturity recognition in greenhouses, making it suitable for deployment on mobile agricultural devices to provide technical support for the precise operation of tomato-picking machines. Full article
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15 pages, 1274 KiB  
Article
Improvements in the Characterisation of Permeability and Inertial Factor of Insect-Proof Screens through Pressure Drop Coefficients
by Francisco-Javier Granados-Ortiz, Alejandro López-Martínez, Francisco Domingo Molina-Aiz, Choi-Hong Lai, Araceli Peña-Fernández, Juan Antonio Martínez-Lao and Diego Luis Valera-Martínez
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020602 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1088
Abstract
Permeability and inertial factor are the most relevant variables in the Forchheimer equation. They are important to estimate pressure drop when a fluid flow is passing through a porous media. However, in the insect-proof screens field, the existing models to date are still [...] Read more.
Permeability and inertial factor are the most relevant variables in the Forchheimer equation. They are important to estimate pressure drop when a fluid flow is passing through a porous media. However, in the insect-proof screens field, the existing models to date are still providing a poor predictive accuracy, in part due to they are based on 2D porosity of screens. This work provides novel models for permeability and inertial factor, which are developed from experimental data of insect-proof screens in a wind tunnel and the analytical estimation of 3D porosity. Instead of fitting models directly on observed training data values of permeability and inertial factor, we propose to focus the modelling efforts on finding models dependent on the 3D porosity through the constants in the pressure drop of Forchheimer equation. Since two screens can have the same 2D porosity but different 3D porosity, this makes also models more reliable. The combination of all these aspects has led to parametric models that overcome by far predictions by previous models in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Horticultural and Floricultural Crops)
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9 pages, 3449 KiB  
Communication
Rapid Detection of A282S Mutation in the RDL1 Gene of Rice Stem Borer via the Mutation-Specific LAMP Technique
by Zijiao Song, Sugui Zhang, Wentao Man, Yao Li, Guanghua Luo, Jinyao Yu, Yilan Fu, Junxi Yao, Yiqu Chen and Chunqing Zhao
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 601; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020601 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1474
Abstract
Rice stem borer Chilo suppressalis (Walker) is one of the most serious pests on rice and is distributed worldwide. With the long-term and continuous usage of insecticides, C. suppressalis has developed high levels of resistance to various kinds of insecticides, including phenylpyrazole insecticides. [...] Read more.
Rice stem borer Chilo suppressalis (Walker) is one of the most serious pests on rice and is distributed worldwide. With the long-term and continuous usage of insecticides, C. suppressalis has developed high levels of resistance to various kinds of insecticides, including phenylpyrazole insecticides. As is well known, the resistance of C. suppressalis to phenylpyrazole insecticides is determined by the A282S mutation of the GABA receptor RDL subunit. In order to efficiently detect the resistance of C. suppressalis, a rapid and sensitive loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technique was established and optimized in this study. The optimal concentration of components was Bst DNA polymerase (0.24 U/μL), dNTP (0.8 mM), Mg2+ (4 mM), betaine (0.6 M), forward inner primer and backward inner primer (1.6 μM), F3 and B3 (0.4 μM), and hydroxyl naphthol blue (150 mM), respectively, and the optimal reaction condition was 63 °C for 60 min, which could reduce the cost and time of detection. In addition, the accuracy of the optimized LAMP reaction system and parameters was verified in the field strains of C. suppressalis from different regions, including Jiangsu, Jiangxi, and Hu’nan provinces. The mutation (A2’S) was successfully detected in the field strains. As far as we know, this is the first report of the LAMP technique applied in the resistance monitoring of C. suppressalis to phenylpyrazole insecticides. According to our results, the optimized LAMP reaction system is feasible and easy to operate and to efficiently detect resistance-related mutation in a short time, as directly judged by the naked eye. Our results provide a new tool for detection of resistance of C. suppressalis, which is a very useful tool for comprehensive management of C. suppressalis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insecticide Resistance and Novel Insecticides)
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16 pages, 1764 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Silicon Supplementation for Drought Stress under Water-Deficit Conditions: An Application of Sustainable Agriculture
by Muhammad Ahsan, Mohammad Valipour, Fahim Nawaz, Muhammad Raheel, Hafiz Tassawar Abbas, Mateen Sajid, Abdul Manan, Shamsa Kanwal, Eman A. Mahmoud, Ryan Casini, Hosam O. Elansary, Emanuele Radicetti and Hira Zulfiqar
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 599; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020599 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2158
Abstract
Drought is a key abiotic stress that confines agriculture development worldwide. Silicon (Si) is commonly considered to be a valuable element for resistance against drought and for sustainable agriculture. To investigate the morpho-physiological and biochemical characteristics of Gerbera jamesonii plants, a pot experiment [...] Read more.
Drought is a key abiotic stress that confines agriculture development worldwide. Silicon (Si) is commonly considered to be a valuable element for resistance against drought and for sustainable agriculture. To investigate the morpho-physiological and biochemical characteristics of Gerbera jamesonii plants, a pot experiment was conducted under greenhouse conditions and exposed to water stress (60% FC) and well-watered (100% FC) conditions. Foliar application of Si was carried out after ten days (48 days after sowing) of drought treatment and was repeated weekly, while well-water was regarded as control. Water deficiency significantly abridged the morphological attributes, pigments, and stress-related metabolites and negatively affected the photosynthetic apparatus in drought-stressed gerbera plants. However, Si supplementation by 40 mg L−1 produced increased leaf area (31%), stem length (25%), flower diameter (22%), plant fresh biomass (17%), total chlorophyll (48%), and concentration of carotenoids (54%) in water-stressed plants. Similarly, the accretion of a total free amino acid (41%) and the activities of peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, glycinebetaine, total soluble proteins, total free proline, and malondialdehyde were enhanced by 44%, 31%, 53%, 33%, 330%, 61%, 51%, and 66%, respectively, under drought stress in comparison with control conditions. Meanwhile, the photosynthetic rate (89%), the transpiration rate (12%), and stomatal conductance (55%) were significantly enhanced in water-deficit gerbera leaves with Si supplementation. This study proposes that the foliar application of Si is a viable and convenient method of improving the performance of elegant gerbera flower plants in regions of the world that are facing severe water deficiency. Full article
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19 pages, 6569 KiB  
Article
Effect of Microwave Treatment at 2.45 GHz on Soil Physicochemical Properties and Bacterial Community Characteristics in Phaeozems of Northeast China
by Qi Li, Xiaohe Sun, Chunjiang Zhao, Shuo Yang, Chenchen Gu and Changyuan Zhai
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020600 - 19 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1530
Abstract
Microwave irradiation is a new means of non-toxic, residue-free, and green soil disinfection that prevents and controls soil diseases, insects, and weeds and helps to improve crop quality and yield. Soil microorganisms, as an important part of the ecosystem, are closely related to [...] Read more.
Microwave irradiation is a new means of non-toxic, residue-free, and green soil disinfection that prevents and controls soil diseases, insects, and weeds and helps to improve crop quality and yield. Soil microorganisms, as an important part of the ecosystem, are closely related to crop growth and health. To investigate the changes of soil physicochemical properties and microbial communities during microwave soil disinfection for different time periods, phaeozems from northeastern China were selected for microwave treatment at 3, 6, 9, and 12 min, and their physicochemical properties were measured after 30 days of incubation. The test soils (0–20 cm) after 30 days of incubation were used, and high-throughput sequencing was performed to detect changes in their soil microbial structure under different microwave time treatments. Microwave treatment had significant effects on soil pH, nitrate (NO3--N), ammonium (NH4+-N), and available phosphorus (AP) content. As shown by the Shannon, Chao, and Ace indices, microwave treatment at 3 min had the lowest effect on bacterial diversity compared to the control treatment (CK). Shannon index decreased by 9.92%, 24.56%, 34.37%, and 38.43% after 3, 6, 9, and 12 min microwave treatments, respectively; Chao index decreased by 7.69%, 18.13%, 32.21%, and 57.91%, respectively; Ace index decreased by 6.40%, 6.98%, 20.89%, and 52.07%, respectively. The relative abundance of beneficial soil microorganisms Micromonospora, Fictibacillus, Paenibacillus, and Bacillus (Firmicutes) increased significantly compared to CK. The results indicated that although the microwave treatment altered the soil microbial community, beneficial soil microorganisms showed faster recovery. In addition, pH, soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen ratio (C/N), soil-available phosphorus (AP), and NO3--N were important factors affecting bacterial community diversity and composition following microwave treatment, and bacterial community composition was driven by soil chemical properties such as soil pH, SOC, C/N, and NO3--N. Microwave treatments at different time periods affected soil microbial community structure to different degrees, and soil bacteria of copiotrophic taxa (e.g., Firmicutes) were relatively higher than the control. Overall, microwave treatment from 3–6 min may be more suitable for soil disinfection. The study of the effect of microwave on soil physicochemical properties and bacterial microbial community not only provides some scientific reference for the rational application of microwave soil disinfection, but also has positive significance for soil-borne disease control and crop quality improvement. Full article
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17 pages, 2107 KiB  
Article
Seed Protein Genetics Linked with Nitrogen and Phosphorus Translocation Efficiency in Soybean
by Qingsong Zhao, Niannian Ma, Ruirui Li, Yongjia Zhong, Xinxin Li and Hong Liao
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020598 - 19 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1650
Abstract
Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) is an important nutritional crop with high seed protein content. Production of high protein concentrations relies on sufficient nutrient supplies, especially of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). Although the genetic basis for seed quality traits has been [...] Read more.
Soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) is an important nutritional crop with high seed protein content. Production of high protein concentrations relies on sufficient nutrient supplies, especially of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). Although the genetic basis for seed quality traits has been well studied, little information exists on any genetic connections between seed quality and nutrient supplies in soybean. Here, a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population of 179 progeny was generated using HC6 and JD17 as parents contrasting in seed quality and N and P translocation efficiencies. Seed protein and N and P translocation efficiencies were higher in HC6 than in JD17. Meanwhile, positive correlations were observed between seed protein content and translocation efficiency of N and P in RILs, implying that high N and P translocation efficiencies might facilitate seed protein accumulation. A genetic map was constructed using 5250 SNP markers covering a genetic distance of 3154.83 cM. A total of 6 loci for quality and 13 loci for N and P translocation efficiency were detected. Among them, two fragments on chromosome 6 and chromosome 20 contained multiple significant markers for both quality and N and P translocation efficiencies, with the respective observed LOD values ranging from 2.98 to 5.61, and 3.01 to 11.91, while the respective PVE values ranged from 8.2% to 13.9%, and 8.3% to 28.0%. Interestingly, one significant locus on chromosome 20 appears to be the product of a transposable element (TE) InDel in Glyma.20G085100, with progeny lacking the TE also exhibiting higher N and P translocation efficiencies, along with higher seed protein contents. Taken together, these results provide genetic evidence that increasing N and P translocation efficiencies may lead to increasing protein contents in soybean seeds. Furthermore, a TE InDel may be used as a genetic marker for breeding elite soybean cultivars with high protein content and N and P translocation efficiencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Improvement of Soybean Nutrient Use Efficiency)
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10 pages, 1529 KiB  
Article
Action of Different Exposures of Chilled Atmospheric Treatments on the Mortality of Granary Weevil and Embryo Viability of the Treated Wheat
by Sándor Keszthelyi, Helga Lukács, Szilvia Gibicsár, Roman Rolbiecki and Ferenc Pál-Fám
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 597; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020597 - 19 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 990
Abstract
The granary weevil, Sitophilus granarius (L.), is considered a serious pest in stored grain worldwide. As residual-based protection possibilities become scarcer, the development of eco-friendly control technologies that can be implemented in practice is becoming urgent. In this spirit, our objective was to [...] Read more.
The granary weevil, Sitophilus granarius (L.), is considered a serious pest in stored grain worldwide. As residual-based protection possibilities become scarcer, the development of eco-friendly control technologies that can be implemented in practice is becoming urgent. In this spirit, our objective was to assess the effectiveness of different levels of atmospheric cooling against S. granarius under laboratory conditions. We also analysed the effects of cooling on progeny generation and the viability of treated wheat. Thus, we investigated the consequences of atmospheric exposures to temperatures of −5, −10, −15, −20, and −25 °C for 60, 75, and 90 min on these factors, and also explored the effects of nearby ranges using extrapolation. The viability of the treated wheat embryo was analysed using a TTC test. Our results showed that the highest efficacy was observed at an atmospheric cooling temperature of −25 °C (with a parallel recorded temperature of −10.5 °C in the stored grains zone), with a 90 min exposure at suboptimal relative humidity (40%). At 60% relative humidity, the mortality averages were more dispersed, and the expected efficiencies above 95% occurred at longer exposures. The post-suppressive effect of cooling can be confirmed in all three exposures. The different cooling temperatures of the tested exposure times did not produce any appreciable changes in the viability of treated wheat embryos. In conclusion, our results show that the use of atmospheric cooling can be an effective solution for stored product protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Post-harvest Pest and Disease Management)
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17 pages, 4093 KiB  
Article
GmERF54, an ERF Transcription Factor, Negatively Regulates the Resistance of Soybean to the Common Cutworm (Spodoptera litura Fabricius)
by Linyan Cai, Rui Qin, Xiao Li, Xinyu Liu, Deyue Yu and Hui Wang
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 596; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020596 - 18 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1406
Abstract
Soybean is attacked by various herbivorous insect pest species during the whole course of its life cycle in the field. It is important for soybean production to improve insect resistance by identifying and utilizing soybean endogenous insect-resistant genes. The ethylene-responsive transcription factor (ERF) [...] Read more.
Soybean is attacked by various herbivorous insect pest species during the whole course of its life cycle in the field. It is important for soybean production to improve insect resistance by identifying and utilizing soybean endogenous insect-resistant genes. The ethylene-responsive transcription factor (ERF) plays a significant role in plant biotic and abiotic stresses; however, few studies focus on its role in insect resistance in soybean. Here, based on our previous common cutworm (CCW)-induced soybean transcriptome data, a soybean ERF gene GmERF54 was cloned, which responded to CCW feeding. Transcriptional analysis revealed that GmERF54 was ubiquitous in all soybean tissues and was expressed differently in insect-resistant and insect-susceptible soybean cultivars. RNA interference of GmERF54 increased the resistance to CCW, while the overexpression of GmERF54 decreased the resistance to CCW in transgenic soybean hairy roots compared with their controls. GmERF54 was localized to the nucleus, had transcriptional activation activity, and interacted with AP2/ERF GmPLT2. Several putative hormone response elements were predicted in the promoter sequence of GmERF54. Four putative elements were only found in the GmERF54 promoter sequence of insect-resistant cultivar Wanxianbaidongdou (WX), but not in the insect-susceptible cultivar Nannong 99-10 (99-10). GmERF54 promoter sequences of WX and 99-10 were cloned into the pCAMBIA1381z vector containing the β-glucuronidase (GUS) gene to generate GmERF54WX:GUS and GmERF5499-10:GUS recombinant vectors, respectively. GUS staining of soybean hairy roots containing GmERF54WX:GUS and GmERF5499-10:GUS showed that GmERF54 was induced by CCW attack and both MeJA (methyl jasmonate) and IAA (indole-3-acetic acid) treatments. Alleles in insect-resistant and insect-sensitive cultivars responded to these inductions differently. Overall, our results reveal that GmERF54 may be involved in the regulation of soybean resistance to CCW. Full article
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15 pages, 5385 KiB  
Article
BrDMC1, a Recombinase Gene, Is Involved in Seed Germination in Brassica rapa under Salt Stress
by Xulin Wang, Zhengqing Xie, Zhaoran Tian, Shuaipeng Wang, Gongyao Shi, Weiwei Chen, Gangqiang Cao, Baoming Tian, Xiaochun Wei, Luyue Zhang and Fang Wei
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 595; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020595 - 18 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1147
Abstract
Recombinases are in part responsible for homologous recombination and genome integrity during DNA repair. DMC1 has a typical RecA domain, and belongs to the recombinase superfamily. The reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a potent DNA damage agent is produced during seed germination under [...] Read more.
Recombinases are in part responsible for homologous recombination and genome integrity during DNA repair. DMC1 has a typical RecA domain, and belongs to the recombinase superfamily. The reactive oxygen species (ROS) as a potent DNA damage agent is produced during seed germination under stress conditions. DNA repair should be initiated immediately to allow for subsequent seedling development. In this study, we attempted to characterize the underlying mechanism of BrDMC1 responsiveness to salinity stress using the RNA interference approach in Brassica rapa (B. rapa). Bioinformatics and expression pattern analysis revealed that BrDMC1 only retained BrDMC1.A01 after the whole genome triplication (WGT) event and was primarily transcribed in flowers and seeds. BrDMC1 had high activity in the promoter region during germination, according to histochemical GUS staining. The data showed that salt treatment reduced the germination rate, weakened seed vigor and decreased antioxidant enzyme activity, but increased oxidative damage in BrDMC1-RNAi seeds. Furthermore, the expression of stress-responsive genes and damage repair genes was significantly different in transgenic lines exposed to salt stress. Therefore, BrDMC1 may respond to salt stress by controlling seed germination and the expression of stress-related and damage repair genes in B. rapa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetables Breeding for Stress Tolerance and Quality Improvement)
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14 pages, 3883 KiB  
Article
Mapping of Gynaephora alpherakii Inhabitability Area in the National Park of Qilian Mountain, China
by Yanyan Lv, Jianguo Zhang, Wei Chen, Yi Sun, Meng Li, Hongyan Yu, Shuhua Yi and Baoping Meng
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 594; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020594 - 18 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1194
Abstract
Gynaephora alpherakii (G. alpherakii) is one of the dominant pests in the alpine meadow; its outbreak has substantial impacts on grass vegetation production and carrying capacity. The increasing frequency of G. alpherakii outbreaks will take place with global warming and human [...] Read more.
Gynaephora alpherakii (G. alpherakii) is one of the dominant pests in the alpine meadow; its outbreak has substantial impacts on grass vegetation production and carrying capacity. The increasing frequency of G. alpherakii outbreaks will take place with global warming and human activities. Therefore, it is crucial to identify inhabitable areas to apply prevention measures efficiently and facilitate sustainable grassland management. In this study, field measurements of G. alpherakii (from 2010 to 2021) were used to explore the relationships between its density and environmental factors in the National Park of Qilian Mountain, China. Then, the inhabitability area was mapped. The results showed that (1) eight of the twenty-five factors studied (average and maximum value of solar radiation; minimum, standard deviation, and average value of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI); maximum precipitation; and digital elevation model) had a greater influence on G. alpherakii density. (2) Among all of the estimation models, models based on the average of solar radiation, the minimum of NDVI, and the maximum precipitation were better than other factors, with a higher determination coefficient (R2) of 0.53–0.66 and a lower root mean square error (RMSE) of 40.54–47.32 head/m2. Models based on rest factors had a lower accuracy, with R2 within 0.38–0.49 and an RMSE of 50.91–58.68 head/m2. (3) The inhabitable area which was most suited for G. alpherakii growth, development, and frequent outbreaks was located in the northeast of the research area (24.72%), with inhabitability decreasing from southeast to northwest. This method is helpful for clarifying the distribution regions and occurrence dynamics of the G. alpherakii in the alpine meadow. The spatial distribution of G. alpherakii in the National Park of Qilian Mountain can also be clearly defined by using this method, which can provide data support for its prevention and control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Grassland Conservation: Sustainability under Climate Change)
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18 pages, 14064 KiB  
Article
Mapping the Invasive Species Stellera chamaejasme in Alpine Grasslands Using Ecological Clustering, Spectral Separability and Image Classification
by Nianzhao Hu, Yongmei Liu, Xinghua Ge, Xingzhi Dong, Huaiyu Wang, Yongqing Long and Lei Wang
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 593; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020593 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1651
Abstract
Stellera chamaejasme (Thymelaeaceae) is amongst the worst invasive species of the alpine grasslands on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau; timely and effective monitoring is critical for its prevention and control. In this study, by using high spatial resolution Planet imagery, an optimal approach was explored [...] Read more.
Stellera chamaejasme (Thymelaeaceae) is amongst the worst invasive species of the alpine grasslands on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau; timely and effective monitoring is critical for its prevention and control. In this study, by using high spatial resolution Planet imagery, an optimal approach was explored to improve the discrimination of S. chamaejasme from surrounding communities, integrated with TWINSAPN technique, Transformed divergence and image classification algorithms. Results demonstrated that there were obvious spectral conflicts observed among the TWINSPAN ecological communities, owing to the inconsistency of S. chamaejasme coverage within the communities. By determining the threshold of spectral separability, the adjustment of ecological classification produced spectrally separated S. chamaejasme communities and native species communities. The sensitive index characterizing the spectra of S. chamaejasme contributes to its discrimination; moderate or good classification accuracy was obtained by using four machine learning algorithms, of which Random Forest achieved the highest accuracy of S. chamaejasme classification. Our study suggests the distinct phenological feature of S. chamaejasme provides a basis for the detection of the toxic weed, and the establishment of communities using the rule of spectral similarity can assist the accurate discrimination of invasive species. Full article
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12 pages, 936 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Efficacy and Mechanism of Resistance to Soil-Applied PPO Inhibitors in Amaranthus palmeri
by Gulab Rangani, Aimone Porri, Reiofeli A. Salas-Perez, Jens Lerchl, Srikanth Kumar Karaikal, Juan Camilo Velásquez and Nilda Roma-Burgos
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020592 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1298
Abstract
Resistance to protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors in Palmer amaranth is a major concern, given the high selection pressure and increasing number of populations with reduced sensitivity to PPO herbicides in the US. We evaluated the effect of five soil-applied herbicides on Palmer amaranth [...] Read more.
Resistance to protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors in Palmer amaranth is a major concern, given the high selection pressure and increasing number of populations with reduced sensitivity to PPO herbicides in the US. We evaluated the effect of five soil-applied herbicides on Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats.) populations collected in 2014 and 2015 in Arkansas, USA. Soil-applied saflufenacil, sulfentrazone, and flumioxazin reduced the seedling emergence 91–100%; however, fomesafen and oxyfluorfen showed reduced (63–90%) efficacy on some populations. Target-site mutation (TSM) is the major mechanism of resistance to PPO herbicides; therefore, six populations showing resistance to soil-applied fomesafen were selected for molecular investigations. A total of 81 survivors were genotyped for all known resistance-conferring mutations. A total of 64% and 36% survivors had single and double TSMs, respectively, with 69% of plants carrying TSM in both alleles of PPO2. Three survivors from two populations showed an additional copy of PPO2, whereas all other survivors had one copy. Expression analysis showed 3- to 6-fold upregulation of PPO2 in all plants from resistant populations tested. Transgenic overexpression of WT-ApPPO2 and dG210-Apppo2 in A. thaliana confirmed the reduced sensitivity to soil-applied fomesafen compared to the wild type. Collectively, PPO inhibitors applied pre-emergence are still effective in controlling populations resistant to foliar-applied PPO herbicides. Mechanically, elevated expression of resistant PPO2, alongside functional TSM, contribute to reduced sensitivity to soil-applied fomesafen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbicides Toxicology and Weeds Herbicide-Resistant Mechanism)
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18 pages, 1006 KiB  
Article
Eco-Physiological and Productive Response of Deficit Irrigated Potatoes
by Anita Ierna and Giovanni Mauromicale
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020591 - 18 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1152
Abstract
A comprehensive study on both the eco-physiological and productive response of potatoes to dynamic deficit irrigation is lacking. Therefore, the aim was to study, over two growing seasons and on two potato cultivars—Arinda and Timate, the effects of five irrigation regimes (I0–dry control, [...] Read more.
A comprehensive study on both the eco-physiological and productive response of potatoes to dynamic deficit irrigation is lacking. Therefore, the aim was to study, over two growing seasons and on two potato cultivars—Arinda and Timate, the effects of five irrigation regimes (I0–dry control, I1—irrigated control, I2—supply 100% of the maximum evapotranspiration—ETm from tuber initiation up to 50% of tuber growth and 0% ETm from 50% to the end of tuber growth, I3—supply 100% of ETm from tuber initiation up to 50% of tuber growth and 50% ETm from 50% to the end of tuber growth, I4—supply 100% of ETm from tuber initiation up to 50% of tuber growth and 75% ETm from 50% to the end of tuber growth) simultaneously on the crop physiology (via chlorophyll fluorescence and leaf gas exchange traits), above-ground biomass yield, tuber yield and its components, irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE), source/sink ratio and tubers’ dry matter content. Regardless of cultivars and seasons, in I3 and I4 for eco-physiological and productive traits, values comparable with I1 were found. Compared to I1, I2 reduced tuber yield by about 18% but increased the IWUE by about 110%, saving a high amount of irrigation water (about 1500 m3 ha−1 per season). Arinda appeared more susceptible than Timate to water deficit in the second part of tuber growth, namely I2, from an eco-physiological point of view, but no differences between cultivars were found from a productive point of view. It was possible to effectively apply dynamic deficit irrigation to save irrigation water without compromising yields strongly. Full article
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19 pages, 3642 KiB  
Article
Allelopathic Effects of the Invasive Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. on Native Plants: Perspectives toward Agrosystems
by Shazia Bibi, Amina Bibi, Mohammad A. Al-Ghouti and Mohammed H. Abu-Dieyeh
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020590 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2267
Abstract
Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. Is highly recognized for its invasive character and its detrimental effects on different plant species across the world. In this study, a field survey was performed to assess the impact of P. juliflora on the surrounding native plants, followed [...] Read more.
Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. Is highly recognized for its invasive character and its detrimental effects on different plant species across the world. In this study, a field survey was performed to assess the impact of P. juliflora on the surrounding native plants, followed by the effect of different concentrations of its aqueous leaf extract on seed germination and seedling growth of selected Qatari flora. Our field observations indicated a high prevalence of new recruitments of P. juliflora than other native-associated plants in the study site. Germination percentage and/or seed radicle length of the test species: Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce, Sueda aegyptica (Hasselq.) Aellen, Halopeplis perfoliata (Forssk.) Bunge ex Schweinf. & Asch, and P. juliflora were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) reduced by the extracts at different concentration levels. Moreover, the germination rate of A. tortilis was not affected; however, the seed germination of P. cineraria was significantly affected at concentrations of 6 and 8 mg mL−1. The seed radicle lengths at 2 mg mL−1 were significantly reduced for both plant species. The seed germination and radicle length of S. aegyptica and H. perfoliata were significantly decreased at 2 mg mL−1 of extract of P. juliflora. Furthermore, the height and biomass of the seedlings of Aeluropus lagopoides (L.) Trin. ex Thwaites, Caroxylon imbricatum (Forssk.), and Tetraena qatarensis (Hadidi) Beier & Thulin were significantly reduced by the aqueous extracts at 6 and 8 mg mL−1. The aqueous extract reduced the seed germination and seedling growth at 6 and 8 mg mL−1, indicating an autotoxic effect. Such allelopathic behavior of P. juliflora designates the potential investigation of using its allelochemicals as naturally based herbicides in agrosystems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Allelopathy in Sustainable Agriculture)
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14 pages, 1960 KiB  
Article
Pyramiding Rice Blast Resistance Gene Pi2 and Fragrance Gene badh2
by Yakun Wang, Shengjia Tang, Naihui Guo, Ruihu An, Zongliang Ren, Shikai Hu, Xiangjin Wei, Guiai Jiao, Lihong Xie, Ling Wang, Ying Chen, Fengli Zhao, Shaoqing Tang, Peisong Hu and Zhonghua Sheng
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020589 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1663
Abstract
Rice is a major food crop across the globe, but the frequent occurrence of rice blast in recent years has seriously affected the yield of rice. In addition, fragrance rice is becoming increasingly popular among consumers. In this study, the fragrant rice variety [...] Read more.
Rice is a major food crop across the globe, but the frequent occurrence of rice blast in recent years has seriously affected the yield of rice. In addition, fragrance rice is becoming increasingly popular among consumers. In this study, the fragrant rice variety Wenxiang-1 was used as the donor of the fragrance gene badh2, and the rice variety R1179 was used as the donor of rice blast resistance gene Pi2. Plants that were homozygous for both Pi2 and badh2 were selected using marker-assisted selection (MAS) applied to the Wenxiang-1/R1179 F2 segregation population with the functional markers Pi2-1 and Badh2-1 as well as whole-genome-SNP-genotyping technology. Finally, “elite” rice varieties R365 and R403 that had both high levels of rice blast resistance (level 3 and 4) and fragrance (0.650 and 0.511 mg/kg) were bred. Genetic composition analysis indicated that 40.67% of the whole genome of R365 was inherited from Wenxiang-1, while 59.33% was inherited from R1179. Similarly, 46.26% of the whole genome of R403 was inherited from Wenxiang-1, while 53.74% was inherited from R1179. These new hybrid lines with R365 and R403 as the male parents also exhibit high yield per hectare, especially C815S/R365 and Yu03S/R403 F1, with yields per hectare of 9.93 ± 0.15 and 9.6 ± 0.17 tons. These plants also possess high levels of rice blast resistance (level 3 and 4) and fragrance (0.563 and 0.618 mg/kg). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Breeding and Genetics)
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18 pages, 7243 KiB  
Article
Numerical Simulation of Soil Water–Salt Dynamics and Agricultural Production in Reclaiming Coastal Areas Using Subsurface Pipe Drainage
by Peirong Lu, Yujie Yang, Wan Luo, Yu Zhang and Zhonghua Jia
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 588; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020588 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1466
Abstract
Soil salinization induced by shallow saline groundwater in coastal areas can be managed using subsurface pipe drainage (SPD) for agricultural land reclamation. However, a reasonable SPD system layout should comprehensively consider local hydrological conditions and crop physiological characteristics based on long-term model evaluations. [...] Read more.
Soil salinization induced by shallow saline groundwater in coastal areas can be managed using subsurface pipe drainage (SPD) for agricultural land reclamation. However, a reasonable SPD system layout should comprehensively consider local hydrological conditions and crop physiological characteristics based on long-term model evaluations. The objectives of this study were to test the applicability of a crop growth model (AquaCrop) for simulating winter wheat growth in SPD-applied fields by employing the water table behaviors predicted by the soil hydrologic model HYDRUS. Model calibration and validation based on field observations suggested that HYDRUS accurately predicted the distributions of soil water–salt dynamics, and the seasonal variations of canopy cover and biomass production predicted by AquaCrop were close to the measured values. The simulation scenarios considering the long-term effect of groundwater salinity (10.53, 21.06, and 31.59 g L−1 for low, medium, and high levels), drain spacing (10, 20, 30, 40 m, and no-SPD), and precipitation category (dry, normal, and wet year) on soil solute transport, grain yield (GY), water productivity (WP), and groundwater supply (GS) were further explored using a combination of HYDRUS and AquaCrop. The simulation results indicated that narrowing the drain spacing could improve the desalination performance of SPD, but there was no continuous downward trend of soil solute concentration during the long-term application of SPD when groundwater salinity was constant. The SPD application could improve grain yield by 0.81–1.65 t ha−1, water productivity by 0.13–0.35 kg m−3, and groundwater supply by 6.06–31.03 mm compared to the no-SPD scenarios, but such increases would be less pronounced in dry years with groundwater salinity at the low level. This study demonstrated that the co-application of hydrologic and crop growth models is a feasible method for revealing the effects of SPD on agricultural land reclamation in coastal areas. Full article
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18 pages, 857 KiB  
Article
Improving the Sustainability of Rice Cultivation in Central Thailand with Biofertilizers and Laser Land Leveling
by Anny Ruth P. Pame, Duangporn Vithoonjit, Nisa Meesang, Carlito Balingbing, Martin Gummert, Nguyen Van Hung, Grant R. Singleton and Alexander M. Stuart
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020587 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2836
Abstract
Rice production in the Central Plains of Thailand plays a key role in the country’s food security. However, the overuse of inputs coupled with the rising production costs are making it increasingly difficult for smallholder rice farming to remain economically and environmentally sustainable. [...] Read more.
Rice production in the Central Plains of Thailand plays a key role in the country’s food security. However, the overuse of inputs coupled with the rising production costs are making it increasingly difficult for smallholder rice farming to remain economically and environmentally sustainable. Replicated production-scale field trials of Cost Reduction Operating Principles (CROP)—Thailand’s national package of best management practices for rice production—were established in tandem with laser land leveling (LLL), mechanical drum seeder, and the application of two biofertilizer products (i.e., PGPR II, that contains Azospirillum brasilense Sp. TS29 and Burkholderia vietnamiensis S45; and LDD #12, that contains Azotobacter tropicalis, Burkholderia unamae and Bacillus subtilis) and compared with farmer’s practices (FP). Performance indicators (PI) promoted by the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) were used to assess economic and environmental indicators. CROP + PGPR had significantly higher net income (79%) and nitrogen-use efficiency (57%) compared with FP. Pesticide use (28%), seed (60%), inorganic fertilizer N (41%) and total production costs (19%) were reduced in all CROP treatments compared with FP. These results demonstrate that the application of CROP, LLL, mechanical drum seeder, and biofertilizers can substantially improve the economic and environmental sustainability of rice production in the Central Plains of Thailand. Full article
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25 pages, 1059 KiB  
Article
Development of a “0-Pesticide Residue” Grape and Wine Production System for Standard Disease-Susceptible Varieties
by Mihaela Roškarič, Andrej Paušič, Janez Valdhuber, Mario Lešnik and Borut Pulko
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020586 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1664
Abstract
In order to realize the goals of the EU Farm to Fork strategy, grape growers are introducing new grape-growing technologies. Among the new trends, “0-pesticide residue” protection is quite a promising one. Field trials were carried out in vineyards located in the Mediterranean [...] Read more.
In order to realize the goals of the EU Farm to Fork strategy, grape growers are introducing new grape-growing technologies. Among the new trends, “0-pesticide residue” protection is quite a promising one. Field trials were carried out in vineyards located in the Mediterranean part of Slovenia in 2021 and 2022 to test the “0-pesticide residue” (ZPR) grape protection system with the goal of producing wine without pesticide residues above the limit of 0.001 mg kg−1. The standard integrated grape protection program (IP) was compared to the ZPR program. The level of infection of leaves and grapes by fungal pathogens did not significantly increase due to the implementation of the ZPR spray program. The amount of yield and quality of yield were not decreased significantly, but a small financial loss of EUR 70–400 ha−1 appeared at ZPR grape production when compared to the IP production system. The ZPR system enabled a significant decrease in pesticide residue concentration in wine at a rate of 27 applied pesticide active substances in a rage from 20% to 99%. The goal of producing wine without pesticide residues above the limit concentration of 0.001 mg kg−1 was not completely achieved in these experiments, but we came very close to it with the tested spraying programs. Further finetuning of pesticide positioning and alternative plant protection products in 0-pesticide residue systems is needed. Full article
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24 pages, 3355 KiB  
Article
Detection of High-Performance Wheat Genotypes and Genetic Stability to Determine Complex Interplay between Genotypes and Environments
by Ibrahim Al-Ashkar, Mohammed Sallam, Khalid F. Almutairi, Mohamed Shady, Abdullah Ibrahim and Salem S. Alghamdi
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020585 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1568
Abstract
Abiotic stress decreases crop production worldwide. In order to recommend suitable genotypes for cultivation under water deficit and heat stress conditions, an overall understanding of the genetic basis and plant responses to these stresses and their interactions with the environment is required. To [...] Read more.
Abiotic stress decreases crop production worldwide. In order to recommend suitable genotypes for cultivation under water deficit and heat stress conditions, an overall understanding of the genetic basis and plant responses to these stresses and their interactions with the environment is required. To achieve these goals, the multitrait genotype-ideotype distance index (MGIDI) was utilized to recognize abiotic-stress-tolerant wheat genotypes, and the weighted average of absolute scores (WAASB) index as well as the superiority index, which enables weighting between the mean performance and stability (WAASBY), were utilized to recognize high-yielding and stable genotypes. Twenty wheat genotypes were examined to determine the abiotic stress tolerance capacity of the investigated genotypes under nine test environments (three seasons × three treatments). Abiotic stress significantly decreased most morpho-physiological and all agronomic traits; however, some abiotic-stress-tolerant genotypes expressed a slight reduction in the measured traits as compared with the control group. G04, G12, G13, and G17 were identified as convenient and stable genotypes using the MGIDI index under all environments. Based on the scores of the genotype index (WAASB), G01, G05, G12, and G17 were selected as superior genotypes with considerable stability in terms of the grain yield (GY). G04, G06, G12, and G18 were classified as cluster (I), the productive and stable genotypes, using the WAASBY superiority index. The combined indices (MGIDI and WAASB) and (MGIDI and WAASBY) revealed genotypes G12 and G17 and genotypes G04 and G12, respectively, as the most stable candidates. Therefore, these are considered novel genetic resources for improving productivity and stabilizing GY in wheat programs under optimal conditions, water deficit, and heat stress. The genotype G12 was jointly expressed in all three indices. Stability measures using WAASB may help breeders with decision-making when selecting genotypes and conducting multi-environment trials. Hence, these methods, if jointly conducted, can serve as a powerful tool to assist breeders in multi-environment trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Bioinformatics for Plant Genetic Traits)
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12 pages, 1161 KiB  
Article
Efficacy of Pendimethalin Rates on Barnyard Grass (Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv) and Their Effect on Photosynthetic Performance in Rice
by Chinaza B. Onwuchekwa-Henry, Robert Coe, Floris Van Ogtrop, Rose Roche and Daniel K. Y. Tan
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020582 - 18 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2774
Abstract
Pendimethalin herbicide toxicity to rice plants and barnyard grass invasion have increasingly affected the productivity of direct-seeded rice (DSR) in the fields. Whether and how to promote DSR productivity and sustain weed management depend on the appropriate pre-emergence herbicide application rate to minimise [...] Read more.
Pendimethalin herbicide toxicity to rice plants and barnyard grass invasion have increasingly affected the productivity of direct-seeded rice (DSR) in the fields. Whether and how to promote DSR productivity and sustain weed management depend on the appropriate pre-emergence herbicide application rate to minimise its toxicity in the rice ecosystem. Pot experiments were conducted to determine the effects of pendimethalin rates (1.5, 1.75, 2.0 kg a.i. ha−1, two control treatments include the untreated control and the treated control with 1.5 kg a.i. ha−1 S-metolachlor) on barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beaux) and their potential toxicity risk to photosynthetic performances of rice (Topaz and Sen pidao). All the pendimethalin treatments provided excellent control of barnyard grass. Among the treatments, 1.5, 1.75, 2.0 kg a.i. ha−1 pendimethalin and 1.5 kg a.i. ha−1 S-metolachlor (treated control) decreased leaf area of barnyard grass significantly by 38.9, 49.6, 49.6 and 46.2%, respectively, compared with the untreated control at 40 days after sowing (DAS). The above-ground biomass of barnyard grass significantly decreased by 40% (1.48 g plant−1) with 2.0 kg a.i. ha−1 pendimethalin and by 46.2% (1.33 g plant−1) when 1.5 kg a.i. ha−1S-metolachlor was applied at 40 DAS compared with the untreated pots. Higher pendimethalin rates increased toxicity in Topaz and Sen pidao varieties, and 2.0 kg a.i. ha−1 pendimethalin significantly reduced effective quantum yield (light-adapted) of photosystem (PS) II by 18% (0.58) and 19% (0.52), respectively, compared with the untreated control. Application of 2.0 kg a.i. ha−1 pendimethalin rate significantly decreased the maximum quantum yield (dark-adapted) of Sen pidao (0.66) compared with 1.5 kg a.i. ha−1 pendimethalin (0.68) including the untreated control. All pendimethalin treatments suppressed above-ground biomass at 55 DAS, but above-ground biomass of barnyard grass significantly decreased by 59.9% when 2.0 kg a.i. ha−1 pendimethalin was applied compared with the untreated control. Although application of 1.5 kg a.i. ha−1 pendimethalin rates reduced the effective quantum yield (light-adapted) of photosystem II of Sen pidao (0.55) by a small percentage (8%) than Topaz (0.65), it was non-toxic for both varieties compared with 2.0 kg a.i. ha−1 pendimethalin. Therefore, the use of 1.5 kg a.i. ha−1 pendimethalin can be used for effective weed management in the direct seeding of rice at an early growth stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Weed Science and Weed Management)
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