Next Issue
Volume 14, March
Previous Issue
Volume 14, January
 
 

Agronomy, Volume 14, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 169 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Phenology plays a vital role in refining the timing of cultural practices in peach orchards. Monitoring the progression of floral buds is essential for efficient orchard management, crop yield, post-harvest management, and marketing strategies. Utilizing a model that integrates heat requirements, combined with observed floral bud transitions, could enhance agricultural practices and promote the sustainable cultivation of peaches. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
14 pages, 2642 KiB  
Article
Increasing Planting Density and Optimizing Irrigation to Improve Maize Yield and Water-Use Efficiency in Northeast China
by Dongping Shen, Keru Wang, Linli Zhou, Liang Fang, Zhen Wang, Jiale Fu, Tingting Zhang, Zhongyu Liang, Ruizhi Xie, Bo Ming, Peng Hou, Jun Xue, Jianmin Li, Xiaojun Kang, Guoqiang Zhang and Shaokun Li
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020400 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 643
Abstract
We investigated the effects of variety, planting density, and irrigation amount on grain yield, water-use efficiency (WUE), and evapotranspiration (ETc). The trial was conducted in Tong Liao, Inner Mongolia, from 2021 to 2022, with compact variety Dika159 (DK159) and conventional variety Zhengdan958 (ZD958) [...] Read more.
We investigated the effects of variety, planting density, and irrigation amount on grain yield, water-use efficiency (WUE), and evapotranspiration (ETc). The trial was conducted in Tong Liao, Inner Mongolia, from 2021 to 2022, with compact variety Dika159 (DK159) and conventional variety Zhengdan958 (ZD958) as the test materials. The planting density was set to 6.0 × 104 plants/ha (D1, local farmer planting density) and 9.0 × 104 plants/ha (D2), with five irrigation levels: 450 mm (W450, irrigation amount used by local farmers, CK); 360 mm (W360); 270 mm (W270); 180 mm (W180); and 90 mm (W90). The results indicate that the yield and WUE of variety DK159 increased by 7.48% and 5.00%, compared to ZD958, respectively. Increasing planting density enhanced yield by 13.32–15.57% in maize yield and 9.55–11.47% in WUE. Maize yield exhibited a trend of increasing linearly with the irrigation amount before reaching a plateau, reaching a maximum (16.62–17.39 t/ha) and high WUE (2.45–2.49 kg/m3) with DK159-D2-W270. The highest water consumption intensity occurred during the silking stage to the milk stage for different densities and varieties. The results indicate that selecting compact varieties, increasing planting density, and optimizing irrigation amount through integrated drip irrigation and water fertilizer can effectively improve maize yield and WUE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integration of Agronomic Practices for Sustainable Crop Production)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 2456 KiB  
Article
Myricetin Inhibits Photodegradation of Profenofos in Water: Pathways and Mechanisms
by Nan Zhang, Yawei Yang, Xin Wang, Taozhong Shi, Pei Lv, Qing X. Li and Rimao Hua
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020399 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 554
Abstract
Profenofos is a detectable insecticide in the environment with strong toxicity to non-targeted organisms. Photodegradation is a main transformation of profenofos in the environment. Myricetin is a flavonoid that strongly scavenges free radicals. The effect of myricetin on the photodegradation of profenofos was [...] Read more.
Profenofos is a detectable insecticide in the environment with strong toxicity to non-targeted organisms. Photodegradation is a main transformation of profenofos in the environment. Myricetin is a flavonoid that strongly scavenges free radicals. The effect of myricetin on the photodegradation of profenofos was studied. The half-lives (T1/2) of profenofos were 1.7–7.0 and 90 h under artificial light and sunlight. The photolysis rate of profenofos decreased by 1.87–4.72 and 7.62 times with the addition of 20 ratios of myricetin. Free radicals reacting with profenofos were •OH and 1O2, and the key free radical was •OH. Myricetin strongly scavenged •OH and 1O2 which rapidly reacted with profenofos. O-(2-Chlorophenyl)-O-ethyl-S-propyl phosphorothioate (M3) and O-(2-chlorophenyl)-O-ethyl phosphorothioate (M4) were major and new photoproducts of profenofos. According to the Ecological Structure Activity Relationships, photodegradation of profenofos was a detoxification process, but myricetin inhibited the photodegradation of profenofos and its photoproducts. These results highlight the implication of myricetin on the fate and potential risk of profenofos in the environment. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

17 pages, 18572 KiB  
Article
Geographic Information System-Based Analysis of Reclaimable Idle Cropland for Agrivoltaics in Kansai, Japan: Enhancing Energy and Food Security
by Hideki Nakata and Seiichi Ogata
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020398 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 678
Abstract
Decarbonization and idle cropland reclaiming pose critical policy challenges. Agrivoltaic systems (AVSs), which merge agriculture and photovoltaics, offer a promising solution by reducing land use conflicts between agriculture and energy production. This study develops a GIS-based methodology to identify reclaimable idle croplands and [...] Read more.
Decarbonization and idle cropland reclaiming pose critical policy challenges. Agrivoltaic systems (AVSs), which merge agriculture and photovoltaics, offer a promising solution by reducing land use conflicts between agriculture and energy production. This study develops a GIS-based methodology to identify reclaimable idle croplands and assess the AVS’s contribution to agriculture and photovoltaic energy in Japan’s Kansai region. Using official geographic data and excluding high-risk areas, this study employs GIS for quantitative analysis. Our method detected more reclaimable idle cropland than previous studies. Focusing on food security while limiting AVS installations to reclaimable idle croplands could still generate up to 4564.08 GWh of electricity (0.8% of regional consumption) and 930.82 tons of soybeans (6.2% of regional yield). Under a more stringent scenario that excludes areas less suitable for solar power, 5 of 227 municipalities could achieve 15% electricity self-sufficiency through AVS. This research uncovers the existence of reclaimable idle croplands that could not be detected by existing methods and a decentralized power source available alongside food security maintenance. These insights will inform decarbonization and agricultural policy and guide the development of supportive and regulatory AVS frameworks. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 2612 KiB  
Article
Effect of Different Sowing Seasons, Growth Stages, Leaf Positions, and Soybean Varieties on the Growth of Clanis bilineata tsingtauica Mell Larvae
by Nan Liu, Yulu Yan, Longwei Yang, Yufei Xu, Huiyan Jiang, Zhihao Ye, Hao Wang, Junyi Gai and Guangnan Xing
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020397 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 627
Abstract
Clanis bilineata tsingtauica Mell (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae, CBT), as a traditional edible insect, is becoming popular in China due to its high nutritional value, but production needs to be improved to meet the expanding market. In the present study, CBT eggs were artificially inoculated [...] Read more.
Clanis bilineata tsingtauica Mell (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae, CBT), as a traditional edible insect, is becoming popular in China due to its high nutritional value, but production needs to be improved to meet the expanding market. In the present study, CBT eggs were artificially inoculated on soybean leaves to evaluate the effects of leaf position, growth stage, sowing season, and soybean variety on CBT larval growth, respectively. The results showed that (1) the larval weight and survival rate were poorly correlated, so they could represent two different larval growth and development indicators for CBT. The 21-day-old larval weight was significantly different between the sowing seasons and between soybean growth stages, which was suitable as a key indicator for evaluating CBT larval rearing factors. (2) Compared with autumn-sown soybeans, the weight of 21-day-old larvae feeding on V6 stage (sixth trifoliolate) leaves of summer-sown soybeans was significantly higher, with an average increase of 44.7%. (3) Under autumn sowing conditions, the weight of 21-day-old larvae feeding on soybeans in the V6 stage was significantly higher than those fed on soybeans in the R3 stage (beginning pod), increasing by 33.9%. (4) Under summer sowing conditions, the weight of 21-day-old larvae feeding on the third-top leaf (the third leaf from the top of the soybeans’ main stem) was significantly higher than those feeding on the third-bottom leaf (the third leaf from the bottom of the soybeans’ main stem) at V6 stage by 35.7%. Similar results also appeared in autumn sowing; the average weights of 21-day-old larvae feeding on the third-top leaf increased significantly by 29.9% compared to those feeding on the third-bottom leaf. Moreover, the survival rate of larvae fed with the third-top leaf was significantly higher than that of those fed with the third-bottom leaf at the V6 stage in autumn sowing. Leaf position is the main factor affecting the survival rate of larvae. (5) Under summer sowing conditions, the weights of larvae fed with the third-top leaf of the susceptible-soybean varieties NN89-29 and NN1138-2 were significantly higher than that of those fed with the third-bottom leaf of these varieties. This difference was significantly reduced with autumn sowing. In conclusion, the CBT eggs inoculated on the third-top leaf of NN89-29 and NN1138-2 at the V6 stage in summer sowing could achieve maximum larval yield. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2774 KiB  
Article
Transcriptome Analysis Provides Valuable Insights into Leaf Size Variation in Rhamnus heterophylla
by Huiying Shang, Lulu Xun, Tao Miao, Chen Chen, Yuan Lu and Bin Li
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020396 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 640
Abstract
The size of leaves is a vital factor in the development and overall biomass of a plant, serving as a key indicator of how a plant adapts to its environment. Rhamnus heterophylla, a species known for its heteromorphic leaves of varying sizes, [...] Read more.
The size of leaves is a vital factor in the development and overall biomass of a plant, serving as a key indicator of how a plant adapts to its environment. Rhamnus heterophylla, a species known for its heteromorphic leaves of varying sizes, presents an intriguing case for studying leaf development at the molecular level. To gain insights for further studies on the underlying mechanisms, we constructed a comprehensive reference transcriptome database using both SMART sequencing and Illumina RNA-seq technologies. Our analysis of the transcriptome data identified 88,546 isoforms, featuring an N50 size of 2386 base pairs. Furthermore, we identified 2932 transcription factors from 55 gene families, along with 14,947 unigenes that underwent alternative splicing. By comparing the gene expression patterns between large and small leaves, we pinpointed 982 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Among these DEGs, 116 genes exhibit significantly greater activity in small leaves, while 866 genes display significantly greater activity in large leaves. Functional enrichment analyses revealed the significant involvement of these DEGs in various hormone signaling pathways. Notably, we detected a significant decrease in the expression of several genes associated with auxin synthesis, such as ARFs, GRF8, and IAA27, in small leaves. This finding sheds light on their potential role in leaf size regulation in R. heterophylla, providing valuable insights into the genes underlying this mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Horticultural and Floricultural Crops)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1310 KiB  
Article
Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Carbon Footprint, and Grain Yields of Rice-Based Cropping Systems in Eastern China
by Zhongze Hu, Hongjiang Liu, Yuefang Zhang, Ji Chen, Xian Wang, Daliu Yang, Jing Sheng, Liugen Chen and Jianchu Zheng
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020395 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 732
Abstract
A multiple cropping system is beneficial for utilizing natural resources, while increasing the grain production and economic outputs. However, its impact on greenhouse gas emissions is unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of rice-based cropping systems on methane [...] Read more.
A multiple cropping system is beneficial for utilizing natural resources, while increasing the grain production and economic outputs. However, its impact on greenhouse gas emissions is unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of rice-based cropping systems on methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, the carbon footprint (CF), grain yields, and net economic returns in eastern China. Four treatments were applied: rice–fallow (as a control), rice–milk vetch, rice–wheat, and rice–rapeseed. Methane and N2O emissions were measured every 7 days via static chamber and gas chromatography methods from the 2019 rice season to the 2021 non-rice season. The CF was calculated based on the life cycle assessment. The results showed that multiple cropping systems significantly increased the annual grain yield by 1.2–6.4 t ha−1 and the annual CH4 and N2O emissions by 38–101 kg CH4-C ha−1 and 0.58–1.06 kg N2O-N ha−1, respectively. The average annual net returns for rice–wheat and rice–rapeseed were 131–150% greater than those for rice–milk vetch and rice–fallow. The annual CFs increased in the following order: rice–wheat (19.2 t CO2-eq ha−1) > rice–rapeseed (16.6 t CO2-eq ha−1) > rice–milk vetch (13.9 t CO2-eq ha−1) > rice–fallow (11.5 t CO2-eq ha−1). The CH4 emissions contributed to the largest share of the CF (60.4–68.8%), followed by agricultural inputs (27.2–33.7%) and N2O emissions (2.9–5.9%). Moreover, nitrogen fertilizer accounted for 65.6–72.4% of the indirect greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural inputs. No significant difference in the CF per unit grain yield was observed between the four rice-based cropping systems. The CF per net return of rice–wheat and rice–rapeseed significantly decreased by 37–50% relative to that of rice–fallow and rice–milk vetch. These findings suggest the potential to optimize rice-based cropping systems for environmental sustainability and grain security. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 10027 KiB  
Article
Spatial Distribution, Source Analysis, and Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in the Farmland of Tangwang Village, Huainan City, China
by Ying Liu, Wenjing Shen, Kaixuan Fan, Weihao Pei and Shaomin Liu
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020394 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 579
Abstract
The impacts of heavy metal pollution in arable soil on agricultural production, environmental health, and the wellbeing of urban and rural residents cannot be overlooked. It has become a significant bottleneck in achieving comprehensive rural revitalization. To accurately grasp the characteristics of heavy [...] Read more.
The impacts of heavy metal pollution in arable soil on agricultural production, environmental health, and the wellbeing of urban and rural residents cannot be overlooked. It has become a significant bottleneck in achieving comprehensive rural revitalization. To accurately grasp the characteristics of heavy metal pollution in suburban cultivated soil, Tangwang Village (a suburb of Huainan City) was subjected to scrutiny. The contents of heavy metals (Hg, Cu, Hg, As, Pb, Cr, Cd, and Zn) in the topsoil of cultivated land in this area were detected, and their spatial distribution characteristics were analyzed using inverse distance spatial interpolation. (1) After conducting a comprehensive analysis and thorough examination of the PMF model sources, it was determined that Cu, Cd, and Zn exhibit a direct correlation with agricultural practices, collectively contributing to a cumulative percentage of 21.10%. Meanwhile, Cr is derived from a combination of sources, including both natural parent materials and human activities, accounting for a total proportion of 24.45%. Notably, lead emissions from automobile exhausts constitute a significant source, while arsenic is primarily associated with dispersed factories and their respective operations, contributing to respective proportions of 36.38% and 18.07%. It is evident that agricultural practices, transportation, and industrial activities are the main reasons for heavy metal pollution in arable soil. (2) The evaluation of geological accumulation indicators reveals that the level of soil arsenic accumulation pollution is mild to moderate (1.199). On the other hand, the cumulative pollution level of Cd, Hg, Cr, and Cu was relatively low (0.462→0.186), whereas the levels of Pb and Zn were below the threshold. (3) The assessment of the ecological risk index revealed that the predominant elements posing potential ecological risks in the investigated region were Hg, As, and Cd, with average Ei values of E(Hg) = 86.81, E(As) = 80.67, and E(Cd) = 67.83, respectively. (4) The human health risk assessment revealed significant differences in the single non-carcinogenic risk values of heavy metals generated by different exposure pathways, with oral ingestion > dermal contact > oral nasal inhalation. Children were more susceptible to the toxic effects of heavy metals compared to adults. Both As and Cr caused an increased risk of cancer in both children and adults, which is a matter of great concern. The results of this study contribute to a more accurate description of the sources of heavy metals in farmland soil. This study indicates that the application of PMF for soil source analysis yields clear results that can be further applied. This research also has potential policy significance as it can help to improve the sustainability of ecosystems by coordinating both environmental and human activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1050 KiB  
Article
Mixtures of Forage Species as Pasture for Dairy Ewes in a Mediterranean Environment
by Giuseppe Di Miceli, Marialetizia Ponte, Lucia Dinolfo, Giuseppe Maniaci, Marianna Pipi, Riccardo Gannuscio, Simona Prestigiacomo, Adriana Bonanno and Antonino Di Grigoli
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020393 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 483
Abstract
In Sicilian forage systems, the introduction of native self-seeding annual legumes can be beneficial in low-input farming. Intercropping would be a valuable strategy for implementing pasture resources in Sicilian forage systems during late spring. The aim of this study was to evaluate the [...] Read more.
In Sicilian forage systems, the introduction of native self-seeding annual legumes can be beneficial in low-input farming. Intercropping would be a valuable strategy for implementing pasture resources in Sicilian forage systems during late spring. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects on ewes’ milk production of continuous grazing with two different mixtures (i) sulla (Sulla coronarium L.), burr medic (Medicago polymorpha L.), and chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) (SuBuCh); and (ii) barrel medic (Medicago truncatula Gaertn.), snail medic (Medicago scutellata L.), and burr medic (BuSnBa). Twenty lactating ewes were homogeneously divided into four groups of five ewes. Each group was assigned to one of four 1500 m2 grazing sectors consisting of two replicates of SuBuCh and BuSnBa. Ewes fed with the SuBuCh mixture showed higher milk yield, higher protein (5.17 vs. 4.85%, p < 0.001) and casein content (4.02 vs. 3.73%, p < 0.001), lower urea content (37.70 vs. 45.38 mg dL−1, p < 0.001), and better clotting parameters compared to ewes grazing on the BuSnBa mixture. Finally, ewes in the SuBuCh group showed a smaller decrease in live weight at the end of the grazing period compared to BuSnBa ewes (−2.05 vs. −3.55 kg, respectively), although the difference did not reach a significant level. These preliminary one-year results seem to highlight the promising role of SuBuCh intercrop leading to a potential quantitative/qualitative improvement in grazing resources and the productive performance of grazing ewes in a semi-arid Mediterranean environment. However, it is of note that these outcomes might undergo variations when subjected to a prolonged trial extending beyond three years. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2174 KiB  
Article
Nitrogen Utilization and Loss of the Tea Plantation System on Sloped Farmland: A Short-Term Response to Substitution with Organic Fertilizer
by Yingliang Yu, Yafei Zhang, Bei Yang, Cong Qian, Yizhi Wang, Taifeng Chen, Xuemei Han, Linzhang Yang and Lihong Xue
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 392; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020392 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 455
Abstract
(1) Background: Excessive nitrogen (N) fertilizer application in tea plantations leads to challenges such as soil acidification and nitrogen loss, impending the sustainable development of the plantation system. Yet, there is a lack of research on blended fertilization strategies, and limited data regarding [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Excessive nitrogen (N) fertilizer application in tea plantations leads to challenges such as soil acidification and nitrogen loss, impending the sustainable development of the plantation system. Yet, there is a lack of research on blended fertilization strategies, and limited data regarding N loss when substituting with organic fertilizer. (2) Methods: A year-long field monitoring experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of substituting compound fertilizer with organic fertilizer, specifically with respect to runoff N loss and uptake of chemical fertilizer N by tea trees. (3) Results: The annual runoff N loss ranged from 0.16 to 0.57 kg·hm−2 and accounted for a mere 0.22–0.48% of N from fertilizer applications. Substitution with organic fertilizer reduced runoff N loss by 21–53% and improved the tea tree utilization efficiency of chemical fertilizer N from 16% to 27%. A 50% organic fertilizer substitution (based on the amount of N) promoted a net soil N mineralization rate, creating an ammonium-rich environment favored by tea trees. (4) Conclusions: The positive effects of partially substituting N fertilizer with organic fertilizer in tea plantation systems on both N utilization efficiency and N loss were confirmed. If conditions permit, the study team would aim to expand the temporal scope of the study, and to investigate the impact of organic fertilizer substitution on N loss under various precipitation intensities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

38 pages, 20974 KiB  
Article
A Path Planning System for Orchard Mower Based on Improved A* Algorithm
by Mengke Zhang, Xiaoguang Li, Ling Wang, Liujian Jin and Shubo Wang
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020391 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 598
Abstract
The application of intelligent mobile robots in agriculture has emerged as a new research frontier, with the integration of autonomous navigation technology and intelligent agricultural robots being the key to the widespread adoption of smart agricultural machinery. This paper investigates comprehensive coverage path [...] Read more.
The application of intelligent mobile robots in agriculture has emerged as a new research frontier, with the integration of autonomous navigation technology and intelligent agricultural robots being the key to the widespread adoption of smart agricultural machinery. This paper investigates comprehensive coverage path planning for tracked lawnmowers within orchard environments and addresses challenges related to task allocation and battery life. Firstly, in this study, the motion model of the tracked lawnmower was initially simplified based on assumptions about the orchard environment. Force analyses were conducted on each of its motion mechanisms. For the known orchard environment, a grid-based mapping technique was employed to model the orchard environment. Then, in order to improve the algorithm speed and reduce the number of turns during the lawnmower’s traversal, the A* search algorithm was enhanced by combining the method of robot cluster traversal in the orchard environment. Finally, the improved method was simulated and verified in the MATLAB platform to investigate the influence of the number of lawnmower clusters on the path planning in the connected and non-connected orchards. Furthermore, two sets of on-site field trials were meticulously designed to validate the reliability, practicality, and efficacy of the simulation experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Unmanned Systems: Empowering Agriculture with Automation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 4100 KiB  
Review
The Influence of Sugar Beet Cultivation Technologies on the Intensity and Species Biodiversity of Weeds
by Barbora Kotlánová, Pavel Hledík, Stanislav Hudec, Petra Martínez Barroso, Magdalena Daria Vaverková, Martin Jiroušek and Jan Winkler
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 390; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020390 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 660
Abstract
Sugar beet production is highly affected by weeds. The structure of crop rotation, the use of intercrops and different tillage techniques bring several benefits to sugar beet cultivation and create different living conditions for weeds. The response of weed communities in sugar beet [...] Read more.
Sugar beet production is highly affected by weeds. The structure of crop rotation, the use of intercrops and different tillage techniques bring several benefits to sugar beet cultivation and create different living conditions for weeds. The response of weed communities in sugar beet stands has not been studied. The experimental plot is in the cadastral area of Ivanovice na Hané (Czech Republic). During an eight-year monitoring period (2013–2020), 46 weed species were identified. The dominant species was Chenopodium album. There were also summer and winter weeds. A more varied crop rotation increased the intensity of weed infestation, with winter weeds being the most common. On the contrary, a higher proportion of cereals in the crop structure favors the presence of summer weeds. The tillage technology and the inclusion of catch crops did not significantly affect the intensity of weed infestation in sugar beet stands or the spectrum of weed species. Current cropping technologies have driven the evolution of weeds. Due to their short life cycles and relatively simple genomes, weeds can respond very quickly to technological measures and, thus, change their harmfulness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Weed Science and Weed Management)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 2301 KiB  
Article
Lupine Cultivation Affects Soil’s P Availability and Nutrient Uptake in Four Contrasting Soils
by Cristina Mori Alvez, Carlos Perdomo Varela, Pablo González Barrios, Andrea Bentos Guimaraes and Amabelia del Pino Machado
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 389; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020389 - 18 Feb 2024
Viewed by 794
Abstract
A substantial amount of phosphorus (P) in the soil is not readily available for plant uptake. Certain species may enhance P availability from poorly soluble P forms. This study focused on improving our comprehension of the effect of two lupine species (L. [...] Read more.
A substantial amount of phosphorus (P) in the soil is not readily available for plant uptake. Certain species may enhance P availability from poorly soluble P forms. This study focused on improving our comprehension of the effect of two lupine species (L. albus and L. angustifolius) on soil’s P mobilization and its link with soil acidity variations, comparing the response of the lupine species in terms of plant traits (i.e., aboveground biomass and nutrient uptake) with that of oats (Avena strigosa L.) in four contrasting soils (i.e., available P in soil, soil acidity, soil fertility, and texture). The phosphorus solubilization capacity was assessed on variations of P availability (PBray1) at four points in time, comparing soils with lupine to oat-containing soils and their baseline values. Compared to soils containing oats, at harvest, lupine soils had significantly increased PBray1 concentrations; the maximum average increment was around 5.3 mg kg−1, with L. albus in Sites 1 and 2, which presented higher organic matter (OM) contents than the other two sites. Lupine-induced soil acidification did not fully explain that P increase. Oats exhibited the highest increase in shoot dry weight in response to soil’s P availability, while lupine was the least affected. Nevertheless, L. albus showed similar or higher nutrient uptake than oats across all soils. The manganese (Mn) concentration was high in both lupine species’ shoot biomass; however, within each lupine species, across all soil types tested, these legumes had different Mn accumulation levels depending on the soil acidity. Lupinus albus had a higher ability to mobilize non-labile P in the light-textured soil with a high OM content, achieving comparable and higher plant P status than oats and providing N through biological N fixation (BNF), positioning it as a suitable crop for diversifying Uruguay’s agricultural crop rotation systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Legumes in Sustainable Cropping Systems)
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 5170 KiB  
Article
Biological Exploration and Physicochemical Characteristics of Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus in Several Host Crops
by Ubilfrido Vasquez Gutierrez, Henry López López, Gustavo Alberto Frías Treviño, Juan Carlos Delgado Ortiz, Alberto Flores Olivas, Luis Alberto Aguirre Uribe and Agustín Hernández Juarez
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020388 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1089
Abstract
Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) is considered an emerging disease and a viral pandemic for tomato consumers. The objectives of this research were to analyze the biological and physicochemical characteristics of ToBRFV in tomato and tobacco plants, as well as to evaluate [...] Read more.
Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) is considered an emerging disease and a viral pandemic for tomato consumers. The objectives of this research were to analyze the biological and physicochemical characteristics of ToBRFV in tomato and tobacco plants, as well as to evaluate its natural host range. Inoculant seeds were recovered from ToBRFV-infected tomato samples in Coahuila, Mexico, and confirmed by RT-PCR. In the first greenhouse experiment, tomato plants of the F1 hybrid variety 172–300 (Yüksel), infected with ToBRFV, were used to evaluate viral inclusions (VI), dilution endpoint (DEP), the incubation period (IP), and latency period (LP). In a greenhouse experiment, Nicotiana longiflora plants were inoculated with ToBRFV to determine the in vitro longevity (IVL) and thermal inactivation (TI) of the virus in sap. Finally, the inoculation of tomato plants grown in open fields was carried out to evaluate transmission to natural hosts. The plants tested for possible ToBRFV reservoirs near the inoculum source were inspected and confirmed by a double-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA). The results indicate that the VIs on tomato leaves manifested as X-bodies and rounded, stacked plaques within epidermal cells. The DEP required to induce the infection in plants was from a ToBRFV concentration of 1 × 10−5.5, the IP of ToBRFV occurred 9 to 12 days post-inoculation, and LP could be detected one day after inoculation. The TI of ToBRFV in N. longiflora plants occurred at 85 °C for 30 min. Ipomoea purpurea, Mirabilis jalapa, Clematis drummondii, and Solanum tuberosum were newly identified hosts of ToBRFV. The results found contribute to a better understanding of the impact of ToBRFV, managing and preventing the spread of ToBRFV in diverse environments. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

13 pages, 4455 KiB  
Article
Effect of Ecological Factors on Nutritional Quality of Foxtail Millet (Setaria italica L.)
by Ke Ma, Xiatong Zhao, Boyu Lu, Yiru Wang, Zhongxiao Yue, Liguang Zhang, Xianmin Diao and Xiangyang Yuan
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020387 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 490
Abstract
Foxtail millet (Setaria italica [L.] P. Beauv.) is a climate-change-ready crop, and it is crucial for predicting the impact of ecological factors on grain quality. In this study, multivariate statistical analysis was used to explore the relationship between ecological factors and the [...] Read more.
Foxtail millet (Setaria italica [L.] P. Beauv.) is a climate-change-ready crop, and it is crucial for predicting the impact of ecological factors on grain quality. In this study, multivariate statistical analysis was used to explore the relationship between ecological factors and the key nutritional quality of Jingu 21 from twelve production areas. The results showed that the crude fat and amylopectin content of foxtail millets showed a downward trend from south to north. The nutritional quality was significantly affected by geographical, climatic, and soil factors, and the foxtail millet produced in geographically close areas was extremely similar in nutritional quality. Most nutritional quality indicators of Jingu 21 had a strong correlation with the latitude and climatic factors such as average temperature, diurnal temperature range, and average precipitation, while the content of mineral elements was greatly affected by soil factors. Moreover, higher average precipitation in the jointing, booting–heading, and heading stages, a higher average temperature, and a lower diurnal temperature range in the heading and grain-filling stages are conducive to the establishment of nutritional quality. The findings could facilitate the rational distribution of high-quality foxtail millets under global climate change. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 3384 KiB  
Article
Phenylalanine Ammonia-Lyase-Mediated Differential Response of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Cultivars with Different Stress Tolerance to Treatment with Low-Molecular-Weight Chitosan
by Tatiana A. Timofeeva, Anastasiya N. Bubnova, Balzhima T. Shagdarova, Valery P. Varlamov and Anastasiya M. Kamionskaya
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 386; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020386 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 745
Abstract
The latest research has shown that chitosan acts as a growth stimulator and elicitor in plants, including resistance to biotic and abiotic factors. However, increasing concentrations could possibly make chitosan a source of stress for plants. In this study, we investigated the effect [...] Read more.
The latest research has shown that chitosan acts as a growth stimulator and elicitor in plants, including resistance to biotic and abiotic factors. However, increasing concentrations could possibly make chitosan a source of stress for plants. In this study, we investigated the effect of low-molecular-weight chitosan hydrolysate on the root development of tomato (Solanum lycoperscum) cultivars Red Cherry, Lel, and Tytan. The growth rate change, together with total phenolic content, phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) activity, and gene expression, were studied in relation to tomatoes. High concentrations of chitosan negatively affect the growth of tomato seedlings and contribute to changes in the tropism of the seedling roots. After the addition of chitosan hydrolysate, the PAL activity and the total phenolic content decreased 24 h later. PAL is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of many plant stress factors. An analysis of the tomato PAL gene family was carried out. The SlPAL gene expression in the seedlings of cv. Cherry increased 1.5 times after 48 h, while in cv. Lel, the expression stably decreased in the presence of chitosan. The obtained results are supposed to aid our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of chitosan on plant development and further its successful application in agriculture as well as in research on plant stress. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2119 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Allelopathic Activity of Various Parts of Platycodon (Platycodon grandiflorus) and Its Mitigation by Activated Carbon
by Long Bao, Xuemei Zhao, Gaowa Kang, Kaito Suzuki, Tamer Ismail, Yoshiharu Fujii and Satoru Motoki
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 385; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020385 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 664
Abstract
Platycodon is a medicinal plant of considerable pharmacological and dietary value. With the growing demand, agricultural production is increasing. However, the continuous cropping significantly causes negative impacts on its yield and quality. In this study, in order to solve the problem of continuous [...] Read more.
Platycodon is a medicinal plant of considerable pharmacological and dietary value. With the growing demand, agricultural production is increasing. However, the continuous cropping significantly causes negative impacts on its yield and quality. In this study, in order to solve the problem of continuous cropping, we evaluated the allelopathic activity of Platycodon and investigated the potential use of activated carbon for mitigating the negative impacts of allelopathic chemicals produced by Platycodon. The sandwich method (method for assaying the allelopathic activity of each part of a plant) was employed to evaluate the allelopathic activity of different parts (leaves, stems, and roots) of Platycodon. The inhibitory effects of various Platycodon plant parts were assessed based on their effects on lettuce seedling growth. At a concentration of 10 mg parts/10 mL agar, the average inhibition rates of Platycodon leaves on the radicle and hypocotyl growth of lettuce were 79.4% and 61.8%, stems 58.0% and 45.7%, and roots 53.4% and 49.3%, respectively. At a concentration of 50 mg parts/10 mL agar, the inhibitory effects were as follows: leaves (91.9%, 72.2%), stems (79.5%, 60.3%), and roots (71.4%, 65.2%). The effect of activated carbon on the adsorption of allelopathic substances was investigated, and the results of the sandwich method with a concentration of 10 mg parts/10 mL agar showed the following growth-inhibitory effects on lettuce seedlings and hypocotyls—roots (27.8%, 25.7%), leaves (13.3%, 25.7%), and stems (9.1%, 13.6%)—in each case showing a significant decrease in the inhibitory activity. The plant box method (method for assaying the allelopathic activity of plant root exudates) was employed to evaluate the activity of Platycodon root exudate. The growth inhibition rates of lettuce radicle and hypocotyls were 45.5% and 18.9%, respectively. The plant box method with addition of activated carbon revealed average rates of promotion of 16.7% and 4.7% on the growth of lettuce seedlings and hypocotyls, respectively. The results of this study demonstrated that activated carbon has a mitigating effect on allelopathic inhibition associated with the different plant parts and root exudation of Platycodon and provide a potential solution for overcoming problems associated with the continuous cropping of Platycodon. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 9441 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Characterization of the Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) Gene Family in Pakchoi and the Role of the BchFSD2 Gene in the Salt Stress Toleran
by Yuqi Zhou, Shuhao Li, Shengxiang Ran, Yang Xu, Maomao Hou, Mingxuan Han and Fenglin Zhong
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 384; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020384 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 599
Abstract
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an important antioxidant metalloenzyme present in plants that plays a vital role in plant growth and development, but studies on the SOD gene family in Pakchoi are lacking. In this study, we identified 13 SOD genes from [...] Read more.
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an important antioxidant metalloenzyme present in plants that plays a vital role in plant growth and development, but studies on the SOD gene family in Pakchoi are lacking. In this study, we identified 13 SOD genes from pakchoi, including three MnSODs, five Cu/ZnSODs, and five FeSODs. Through structural analysis, the gene structures and motif patterns in the three subfamilies showed a high degree of conservation. From an evolutionary point of view, gene duplication is an important pathway driving the evolutionary development of the SOD gene family. In addition, by analyzing the structure and function of BchSOD proteins, most of the genes were shown to be involved in different developmental stages of pakchoi, and their expression was shown to be regulated by external conditions such as light, phytohormones, and abiotic stress. qPCR results revealed that BchSODs were expressed in different parts of pakchoi, and most of the genes were expressed in response to abiotic stresses (salt and drought) and hormones (GA and MeJA). In addition, the BchFSD2 gene was studied in depth, and subcellular localization confirmed that the BchFSD2 gene was expressed in plant chloroplasts. Overexpression of BchFSD2 promoted salt tolerance, limited superoxide anion and MDA production, and increased antioxidant enzyme activities in Arabidopsis. In summary, the BchSOD gene family was comprehensively analyzed in this study to provide new insights for a better understanding of BchSOD function and to improve salt tolerance in pakchoi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Breeding and Genetics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 5415 KiB  
Article
Smilax aspera L. Leaf and Fruit Extracts as Antibacterial Agents for Crop Protection
by Riccardo Fontana, Eva Sánchez-Hernández, Pablo Martín-Ramos, Jesús Martín-Gil and Peggy Marconi
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020383 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 647
Abstract
Smilax aspera L. (commonly known as sarsaparilla) is recognized for its composition rich in flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, steroidal saponins, stilbenoids, and tannins, exhibiting anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, and antimicrobial properties. This study investigates the hydromethanolic extracts of its leaves and fruits through vibrational spectroscopy and gas [...] Read more.
Smilax aspera L. (commonly known as sarsaparilla) is recognized for its composition rich in flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, steroidal saponins, stilbenoids, and tannins, exhibiting anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, and antimicrobial properties. This study investigates the hydromethanolic extracts of its leaves and fruits through vibrational spectroscopy and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, evaluating their potential as biorationals for safeguarding crops. Analysis of S. aspera leaf and fruit extracts revealed the presence of phytochemicals such as lactones and other furan derivatives. In vitro assessments against three phytopathogens—Erwinia amylovora, Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae, and Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris—demonstrated strong antibacterial activity, with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values of 1500 μg·mL−1 for both extracts. Biofilm tests indicated that the leaf extract reduced biofilm formation by 78–85%, while the fruit extract led to a reduction of 73–92.5%. At a concentration of 750 µg·mL−1, the extracts caused a decrease in amylovoran synthesis by 41–58%. Additionally, noticeable alterations in membrane permeability were observed at MIC and MIC/2 doses. Subsequent in vivo trials conducted on Pyrus communis L. trees utilizing the combined aerial part extract yielded substantial protection against E. amylovora at a dose of 1500 μg·mL−1, reaching 80% wilting reduction for the leaf extract. The findings presented herein cast S. aspera extracts as a promising natural-based treatment against these bacterial phytopathogens. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

6 pages, 202 KiB  
Editorial
Humic Substances: Importance for Agriculture, Affinity and Interactions with Soil Amendments and Pollutants
by Maria Roulia
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 382; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020382 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 548
Abstract
Humic substances (HS) represent a key component in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, constituting a major pool of recalcitrant organic carbon and nitrogen [...] Full article
29 pages, 12728 KiB  
Article
Effect of Different Types of Organic Manure on Oil and Fatty Acid Accumulation and Desaturase Gene Expression of Oilseed Flax in the Dry Areas of the Loess Plateau of China
by Xingkang Ma, Yuhong Gao, Xingbang Ma, Bing Wu, Bin Yan, Yue Li, Yifan Wang, Peng Xu, Ming Wen, Haidi Wang, Yingze Wang and Lizhuo Guo
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020381 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 452
Abstract
In order to understand the mechanism of action of oil and fatty acid accumulation and desaturase gene expression in how oilseed flax responds to different fertilization conditions, a three-factor split-plot experiment was conducted to investigate the accumulation trends of oil and fatty acids. [...] Read more.
In order to understand the mechanism of action of oil and fatty acid accumulation and desaturase gene expression in how oilseed flax responds to different fertilization conditions, a three-factor split-plot experiment was conducted to investigate the accumulation trends of oil and fatty acids. The results revealed that soluble sugar (SS) and sucrose (SUC) contents decreased, and the starch (ST) content increased gradually with the grain development and maturity of oilseed flax. The application of sheep manure promoted the accumulation of nonstructural carbohydrates in the grains. Soluble sugar (SS) and sucrose (SUC) contents were negatively correlated with the oil content. Compared with chemical fertilizer, organic manure decreased the total saturated fatty acid but increased the unsaturated fatty acid. Organic manure significantly upregulated the expression of various genes, and fad2a gene expression was higher with the 5.8 t ha−1 chicken manure treatment. The 25 t ha−1 sheep manure treatment was more conducive to the expression of fad3a and fad3b genes and promoted the accumulation of linolenic acid (LIN), and the LIN content increased by 0.64–3.90% compared with other treatments. Consequently, an ongoing anthropogenic sheep manure input may impact the regulation of grain oil quality and yield per unit area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farming Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 3253 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Drought Tolerance in USDA Tomato Germplasm at Seedling Stage
by Kenani E. Chiwina, Gehendra Bhattarai, Haizheng Xiong, Neelendra K. Joshi, Ryan W. Dickson, Theresa M. Phiri, Ibtisam Alatawi, Yilin Chen, Zachary Stansell, Kai-Shu Ling and Ainong Shi
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020380 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 646
Abstract
Drought, a crucial abiotic stressor, markedly reduces the growth and yield of tomato crops (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Consequently, adopting drought-resistant cultivars and implementing breeding programs to enhance drought tolerance have emerged as enduring solutions to alleviate the adverse effects of drought in [...] Read more.
Drought, a crucial abiotic stressor, markedly reduces the growth and yield of tomato crops (Solanum lycopersicum L.). Consequently, adopting drought-resistant cultivars and implementing breeding programs to enhance drought tolerance have emerged as enduring solutions to alleviate the adverse effects of drought in various tomato cultivation regions. In this study, 68 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) tomato accessions were assessed in a controlled greenhouse experiment, encompassing both water deficit treatment and a control group subjected to standard watering conditions. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design with three replications. The results of this study pinpointed four accessions, PI 365956, PI 584456, PI 390510, and PI 370091, as drought-tolerant accessions. Additionally, high broad-sense heritability was revealed for leaf wilting, leaf rolling, and SPAD chlorophyll content (total leaf chlorophyll). Furthermore, positive correlations were found among parameters associated with leaf wilting, leaf rolling, and SPAD chlorophyll content. The findings offer valuable insights for tomato breeding initiatives, especially those focused on enhancing drought tolerance in elite cultivars. Future studies will expand the evaluation to include a larger pool of tomato accessions and conduct a genome-wide association study to identify single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for molecular breeding in tomatoes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Breeding and Genetics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 5745 KiB  
Article
Effects of Cd Stress on Morphological and Physiological Characteristics of Maize Seedlings
by Siqing Deng, Yueying Wu, Qingping Zeng, Aoni Zhang, Meijuan Duan and Min Deng
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020379 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 600
Abstract
Heavy metal (HM) contamination poses a serious threat to safe crop production and human health, and different maize inbred lines respond differently to cadmium (Cd) stress. However, the morphological and physiological characteristics of maize inbred lines seedlings are not clear under Cd stress. [...] Read more.
Heavy metal (HM) contamination poses a serious threat to safe crop production and human health, and different maize inbred lines respond differently to cadmium (Cd) stress. However, the morphological and physiological characteristics of maize inbred lines seedlings are not clear under Cd stress. In this study, we analyzed the agronomic traits and physiological and biochemical indices of inbred maize seedlings under Cd stress in the seedling stage using the inbred lines Kui3, CML118, Mo17, B73, and B77 as the materials. These five inbred maizes were treated with five different concentrations of Cd (0, 1, 3, 5, and 7 mg L−1, respectively) were applied and the indices of the maize seedlings determined on day 15. The aboveground and belowground biomass of five maize inbred lines seedlings showed a decreasing trend under Cd stress. Leaf relative water content and SPAD values also decreased, but the overall decrease in relative water content was small, and the differences were not significant. Surprisingly, Cd stress affected the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT), leading to enhanced mem-brane lipid peroxidation. The cadmium content varied greatly between varieties under Cd stress, but all of them had lower Cd content above ground than below ground, and the varieties with the highest and lowest transfer coefficients were Mo17 (0.33–0.83) and B73 (0.06–0.44), respectively. Kui3 had the greatest difference in soluble protein content under Cd stress, which showed a de-creasing trend, and the soluble sugar content was significantly decreased in general compared to that of CK. The soluble sugar content was higher than CK under Cd treatment, and the proline content of the maize seedlings of all of the inbred lines showed an increasing trend compared to CK. Overall, there were significant genotypic differences in the Cd stress response to Cd toxicity in the maize inbred lines seedlings, and, in general, this study helps us to understand the mechanism of maize inbred lines seedlings response to Cd stress. It provides a theoretical basis for the se-lection and breeding of varieties, and food safety. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 921 KiB  
Review
Exploring the Impact of Alternate Wetting and Drying and the System of Rice Intensification on Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Review of Rice Cultivation Practices
by James Dahlgreen and Adam Parr
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020378 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1417
Abstract
Rice provides ~20% of human dietary energy and, for many people, a similar share of their protein. Rice cultivation, however, produces significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, comparable to those from the aviation sector. The main GHG from rice production is methane, mostly a [...] Read more.
Rice provides ~20% of human dietary energy and, for many people, a similar share of their protein. Rice cultivation, however, produces significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, comparable to those from the aviation sector. The main GHG from rice production is methane, mostly a result of conventional rice cultivation (CRC) keeping rice fields continuously flooded during the crop cycle. There is extensive evidence that alternate wetting and drying (AWD) of rice fields substantially reduces methane emissions. AWD is one component of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), an agroecological approach to the management of plants, water, soil, and nutrients. This article reviews field studies measuring GHG emissions associated with the adoption of AWD and SRI. The review confirms that both AWD and SRI offer substantial reductions in methane emissions per hectare compared with CRC. These benefits are, however, partly offset by increases in emissions of nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide. The studies also show that SRI (but not AWD) improves yield and therefore further reduces GHG emissions per kg of rice. The review concludes that while both AWD and SRI substantially reduce emissions per hectare and per kilogram of rice, SRI can simultaneously contribute to food security while addressing the drivers of climate change. Further investigation of carbon emissions and sequestration under different rice cultivation methods is needed to strengthen the evidence base. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 2230 KiB  
Article
Integrated Management of Clubroot in Zhejiang Province, China
by Yi Zhang, Hongrui Yu, Tong Zhao, Iqbal Hussain, Xinyan Ma, Yuqi Wang, Kaiwen Liu, Nairan Sun and Xiaolin Yu
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020377 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Clubroot, caused by Plasmodiophora brassicae, is a destructive soil-borne disease significantly harming global Brassica crop production. This study employed the Williams and European Clubroot Differential (ECD) and Williams systems to identify the pathotypes of P. brassicae collected from Hangzhou City, Yuhang District and [...] Read more.
Clubroot, caused by Plasmodiophora brassicae, is a destructive soil-borne disease significantly harming global Brassica crop production. This study employed the Williams and European Clubroot Differential (ECD) and Williams systems to identify the pathotypes of P. brassicae collected from Hangzhou City, Yuhang District and Quzhou City, Kaihua County in Zhejiang Province. Greenhouse and field trials were conducted to evaluate the effects of plastic film covering and four chemical agents on the growth parameters and clubroot severity of the Chinese cabbage cultivar ‘Granaat’. Potential treatment mechanisms on clubroot were explored through a qPCR analysis of the resting spore density and pH measurement of the soil. Furthermore, treatment with 1-napthaleneacetic acid (NAA), a synthetic auxin, was also evaluated for its potential role in suppressing clubroot. The results indicate that the pathotypes of P. brassicae in the two districts were P1, ECD20/31/12, and P3, ECD20/15/4. While an individual application of plastic film covering could not effectively control clubroot, calcium cyanamid, dazomet and ammonium bicarbonate demonstrated significant efficacy in its management. These three agents significantly reduced the resting spore density in the soil, with calcium cyanamid and ammonium bicarbonate also increasing soil alkalinity. Additionally, ammonium bicarbonate promotes lateral root development in ‘Granaat,’ helping infected plants access adequate water and nutrients. However, NAA exhibited no efficacy in clubroot control. Therefore, sustained lateral root development is crucial for effectively resisting P. brassicae invasion. Considering application costs and environmental friendliness, we propose the field application of ammonium bicarbonate as the optimal method for clubroot disease management in Zhejiang Province. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 2886 KiB  
Article
Phytoplasma-Induced Leaf Reddening as a Monitoring Symptom of Apple Proliferation Disease with Regard to the Development of Remote Sensing Strategies
by Wolfgang Jarausch, Miriam Runne, Nora Schwind, Barbara Jarausch and Uwe Knauer
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020376 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 705
Abstract
Apple proliferation (AP) is an economically important disease in many apple-growing regions caused by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ which is spread by migrating psyllid vectors on a regional scale. As infected trees in orchards are the only inoculum source, the early eradication of [...] Read more.
Apple proliferation (AP) is an economically important disease in many apple-growing regions caused by ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’ which is spread by migrating psyllid vectors on a regional scale. As infected trees in orchards are the only inoculum source, the early eradication of those trees is one of the most efficient strategies to prevent further spread of AP. Remote sensing is a promising rapid and cost-effective tool to identify infected trees on a regional scale. AP-induced premature leaf reddening was evaluated as a reliable symptom for remote sensing by monitoring more than 20,000 trees in 68 different orchards with 20 representative cultivars from 2019 to 2022 in a highly AP-affected region in Southwest Germany. Specific AP symptoms were almost 100% correlated with molecular detection of ‘Ca. P. mali’ and these specific symptoms were almost 100% correlated with leaf reddening. ‘Ca. P. mali’ was detected in 71–97% of trees which showed partial or entire reddening without any other AP symptom. Experimental and field data showed that reddening was induced by cold night and warm day temperatures (about 5 °C vs. 20 °C) in September. Quantification of the phytoplasma by real-time PCR showed no correlation with the intensity of reddening in the leaf. PCR-RFLP subtyping revealed no influence of different ‘Ca. P. mali’ strains on the symptom expression. In conclusion, leaf reddening in late September/early October was a reliable symptom useful for remote sensing of AP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Precision and Digital Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 8448 KiB  
Review
Technology for Production of Wheat Doubled Haploid via Maize Pollen Induction—Updated Review
by Xizhen Guan, Junhua Peng and Daolin Fu
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020375 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1403
Abstract
Chromosome elimination resulting in haploids is achieved by rapid loss of chromosomes from one parent during the zygote stage and is an important procedure to produce doubled haploid (DH) lines in plants. During crosses between an emasculated wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and [...] Read more.
Chromosome elimination resulting in haploids is achieved by rapid loss of chromosomes from one parent during the zygote stage and is an important procedure to produce doubled haploid (DH) lines in plants. During crosses between an emasculated wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) as pollen donors, the complete loss of maize chromosomes results in wheat haploid embryos. Through embryo rescue and chromosome doubling processes, pure lines with stable traits can be quickly obtained. The technique is called the “Wheat × Maize System”. Although this technology is not new, it remains a practical approach to date. In order to optimize and improve this technology and to achieve its maximum potential in the winter wheat area of China, this paper reviews the previous and ongoing research and technical procedures for the production of wheat DH lines via the maize pollen induction and presents outlooks on DH research and its application in wheat breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crop Breeding and Genetics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 3892 KiB  
Article
Combined Passive Heating Systems in Mediterranean, Low-Cost, Greenhouse Cucumber Crops
by Santiago Bonachela, María Rosa Granados, Joaquín Hernández, Juan Carlos López and Juan José Magán
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020374 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 502
Abstract
Greenhouse microclimate and crop response of winter cucumber cycles grown in unheated Mediterranean greenhouses with representative combinations of passive heating systems (fixed, plastic screen with and without black mulch; movable thermal screen with black mulch; and double-layer plastic covering with black mulch) were [...] Read more.
Greenhouse microclimate and crop response of winter cucumber cycles grown in unheated Mediterranean greenhouses with representative combinations of passive heating systems (fixed, plastic screen with and without black mulch; movable thermal screen with black mulch; and double-layer plastic covering with black mulch) were evaluated in Almería, SE Spain. In the first experiment, the black mulch in combination with a movable or fixed screen increased the marketable cucumber yield by 14%, which appears to be mostly attributable to higher substrate temperatures induced by the black mulch in the cold period. Moreover, the black mulch in combination with a fixed screen frequently led to screen water condensation. The use of a movable screen, rather than a fixed one, in combination with a black mulch increased the first-class cucumber yield in the second experiment and reduced the non-marketable one in the first experiment. This might be mainly attributable to the higher incoming shortwave radiation in the cold period. Moreover, the movable screen reduced the risk of water condensation on the screen and the crop. The cucumber in the greenhouse with the double-layer covering and black mulch, compared to that with movable screen and black mulch, received lower daily incoming shortwave radiation, particularly, during the second half of the cycle (mainly due to the formation of water condensation droplets on the lower surface of the external plastic film), which reduced crop yield. Further field research is needed to better quantify the most limiting factor for growth (substrate/soil or air temperature, radiation, or water condensation) in Mediterranean greenhouse crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farming Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 4292 KiB  
Article
An Explanatory Model of Red Lentil Seed Coat Colour to Manage Degradation in Quality during Storage
by Bhawana Bhattarai, James G. Nuttall, Cassandra K. Walker, Ashley J. Wallace, Glenn J. Fitzgerald and Garry J. O’Leary
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 373; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020373 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 628
Abstract
This study presents an explanatory biophysical model developed and validated to simulate seed coat colour traits including CIE L*, a*, and b* changes over time for stored lentil cultivars PBA Hallmark, PBA Hurricane, PBA Bolt, and PBA Jumbo2 under diverse storage [...] Read more.
This study presents an explanatory biophysical model developed and validated to simulate seed coat colour traits including CIE L*, a*, and b* changes over time for stored lentil cultivars PBA Hallmark, PBA Hurricane, PBA Bolt, and PBA Jumbo2 under diverse storage conditions. The model showed robust performance for all cultivars, with R2 values ≥ 0.89 and RMSE values ≤ 0.0019 for all seed coat colour traits. Laboratory validation at 35 °C demonstrated a high agreement (Lin’s Concordance Correlation Coefficient, CCC ≥ 0.82) between simulated and observed values of all colour traits for PBA Jumbo2 and strong agreement (CCC ≥ 0.81) for PBA Hallmark in brightness (CIE L*) and redness (CIE a*), but not in yellowness (CIE b*). At 15 °C, both cultivars exhibited moderate to weak agreement between simulated and observed values of all colour traits (CCC ≤ 0.47), as very little change was recorded in the observed values over the 360 days of storage. Bulk storage system validation for PBA Hallmark showed moderate performance (CCC ≥ 0.46) between simulated and observed values of all colour traits. Modelling to simulate changes in seed coat colour traits of lentils over time will equip growers and traders to make informed managerial decisions when storing lentils for long periods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Data, Models, and Their Applications in Agriculture)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2854 KiB  
Article
Remediation of Cadmium and Lead in Mine Soil by Ameliorants and Its Impact on Maize (Zea mays L.) Cultivation
by Qiyue Chen, Lei Wang, Bo Li, Siteng He, Yang Li, Yongmei He, Xinran Liang and Fangdong Zhan
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020372 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 577
Abstract
The soil in a lead–zinc mining area, contaminated with heavy metals like cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb), poses a risk to crops such as maize. Experiments using biochar and sepiolite as soil ameliorants in potted maize showed these substances can mitigate heavy metal [...] Read more.
The soil in a lead–zinc mining area, contaminated with heavy metals like cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb), poses a risk to crops such as maize. Experiments using biochar and sepiolite as soil ameliorants in potted maize showed these substances can mitigate heavy metal contamination. Biochar increased potassium and phosphorus in the soil and maize, while sepiolite significantly boosted overground phosphorus by 73.2%. Both ameliorants transformed Cd and Pb into a more stable state in the soil, reducing their accumulation in maize, especially with biochar, which effectively inhibited metal migration during leaching events. This study provided insights for further improvement of soil amendments and multi-factor application experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil and Plant Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 2245 KiB  
Article
Prohexadione-Calcium Mitigates the Overgrowth of Corn Seedlings
by Minh Vuong Duong, Jong-Wook Chung, Van Gioi Ha, Hwi Moon, Ju-Kyung Yu and Yoon-Sup So
Agronomy 2024, 14(2), 371; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy14020371 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 586
Abstract
In the temperate climate of South Korea, specific corn varieties are cultivated using plug trays. The cultivation process is initiated from February to March within greenhouse facilities, maintaining a temperature below 10 degrees Celsius. Following this, in April, seedlings are transplanted to enable [...] Read more.
In the temperate climate of South Korea, specific corn varieties are cultivated using plug trays. The cultivation process is initiated from February to March within greenhouse facilities, maintaining a temperature below 10 degrees Celsius. Following this, in April, seedlings are transplanted to enable an exceptionally early harvest for increased profitability. However, the subsequent elevation in indoor temperatures leads to seedling overgrowth. This study explores the effectiveness of three plant growth regulators—paclobutrazol, prohexadione-calcium, and diniconazole–on super sweet corn seedlings. Significantly, the application of prohexadione-calcium at 2 ppm during the first leaf stage substantially reduces seedling height and impedes the growth of both the first and second internodes. This impact extends to leaf-related traits, manifesting reductions in the area, length, and width of the third leaf. Furthermore, prohexadione-calcium induces a significant decrease in both fresh and dried shoot weight, while simultaneously augmenting root weight. This alteration results in a noteworthy shift in the root–shoot ratio, particularly at 2 ppm. Subsequent experiments have identified the optimal concentration of prohexadione-calcium at 15 ppm, effectively mitigating overgrowth in both hybrid and inbred corn varieties. These findings provide essential insights for practitioners seeking to efficiently manage corn seedling overgrowth. The study contributes to understanding the retardant effect of prohexadione-calcium on various morphological traits, offering practical applications for optimizing plant growth regulator concentrations in corn cultivation strategies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop