Next Issue
Volume 10, January
Previous Issue
Volume 9, November

Agriculture, Volume 9, Issue 12 (December 2019) – 18 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The total coverage amount of waxes versus cutin monomers accumulated at a ratio of 0.6, corresponding to masses per unit of 30.3 μg•cm−2 and 50.8 μg•cm−2. The predominant wax mixtures were n-alkanes in homologous series of C20–C35, dominated by C31 and C33; and triterpenoids with an abundant amount of uvaol, lupenon, β-amyrinon, and β-amyrin. The most prominent cutin compounds were C16- and C18-type monomers, in which 9(10),16-diOH-hexadecanoic acid and 9,10-epoxy-ω-OH-octadecanoic acid predominated. The average chain length (ACL) of aliphates in pitaya fruit cuticle (30.5) was similar to that estimated in leaf waxes, and higher than that in most of the fruit and petal waxes. We propose that the relatively high ACL and wax/cutin ratio might enhance the cuticular barrier properties in pitaya fruit cuticle to withstand drought. 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 Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Article
Generational Changes in Agriculture: The Influence of Farm Characteristics and Socio-Economic Factors
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120264 - 15 Dec 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1276
Abstract
The increasing importance of large cities (metropolises) poses a range of challenges to the socio-economic functions of the rural and agricultural areas around them. One such challenge is pressure exerted on family-run farms to abandon agricultural activity and on people engaged in such [...] Read more.
The increasing importance of large cities (metropolises) poses a range of challenges to the socio-economic functions of the rural and agricultural areas around them. One such challenge is pressure exerted on family-run farms to abandon agricultural activity and on people engaged in such activity to shift to other sectors. This may be a hindrance to successful succession on family farms. The aim of this paper is to present spatial variation in generational changes in farms located around large cities (metropolises) in Poland and to assess the factors affecting the scale of such changes. Special attention was paid to the importance of the location of farms relative to large cities. One innovative feature of the approach presented was to conduct an analysis of generational changes in the agricultural sector at the supra-local level along with an attempt to quantify the impact of large urban centers on that process. The empirical material based on which the conclusions were formulated included official statistics data and information made available by an institution engaged in the implementation of agricultural policy programs financed from European Union (EU) funds, i.e., young farmer payments (Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) pillar I) and measures “Setting up of young farmers” and “Early retirement” (CAP Pillar II). In the executed study, methods of descriptive and multivariate statistics, including regression trees, were used. It was found that socio-economic (exogenous) factors had a significant statistical impact on generational changes in farms. In areas with an attractive labor market and a high level of urbanization, a successful generational shift in farms occurred less often. Nonetheless, generational changes in the agriculture of the analyzed areas were relatively most strongly determined by endogenous factors linked with the economic potential of the farm. Farm characteristics (area of agricultural land and economic size) and the characteristics of managers, including in particular their education, were found to be more important than exogenous factors. In areas where large and economically strong farms dominated and the level of education among farmers was relatively high, generational changes were faster compared to other areas. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Agroclimatic Risk Zoning of Avocado (Persea americana) in the Hydrographic Basin of Paraná River III, Brazil
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120263 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1025
Abstract
Fruticulture is a prominent component of Brazilian agriculture. Studies have shown that climatic variability and its impact on the physiological development of plant species are fundamental for planning the agricultural calendar, resource conservation, and sustainable management of production. In this context, one of [...] Read more.
Fruticulture is a prominent component of Brazilian agriculture. Studies have shown that climatic variability and its impact on the physiological development of plant species are fundamental for planning the agricultural calendar, resource conservation, and sustainable management of production. In this context, one of the first criterion for planting a crop is agroclimatic zoning, since it provides information on climate-related risks and aids decision-making and agricultural planning. The objective of this study was to carry out climatic risk zoning for avocado (Persea americana Mill.) in the basin of Paraná River III, Paraná State, Brazil. Meteorological data from 43 stations, from 1976 to 2018, were used. The climatic risk analysis was based on the requirements of the avocado for precipitation, water balance, average annual temperature, and frost tolerance. Statistical and geoprocessing techniques ensured full regional coverage of data and contributed to decision-making. The results identified favorable climatic conditions for all climatic variables in the western part of the river basin. Despite water deficits in some months, rainfall and water balance were not restrictive for avocado production in the region. Avocado tree cultivation is not recommended in the eastern part of the basin, where there is a considerable risk of frost. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Chemical Properties and Enzyme Activity of Soil as Affected by Tillage System and Previous Crop
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120262 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1184
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of tillage system and previously cultivated crop on the chemical properties and enzyme activity of soil. The first-order experimental factor was the tillage system, i.e., (1) conventional tillage (CT) and (2) reduced tillage [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of tillage system and previously cultivated crop on the chemical properties and enzyme activity of soil. The first-order experimental factor was the tillage system, i.e., (1) conventional tillage (CT) and (2) reduced tillage (RT), whereas the second-order experimental factor was the previously cultivated crop, i.e., a) pea and b) durum wheat. Samples of soil were analyzed for the contents of organic C, total N, available forms of P, K, and Mg, as well as soil pH, total sorption capacity, and activity of soil enzymes (dehydrogenases, phosphatases, ureases, and proteases). The study demonstrated that the contents of organic C, total N, and available forms of K and Mg as well as soil pH were higher in soil subjected to RT than in that subjected to CT. In plots after pea cultivation, higher values were determined for the contents of total N and Mg, whereas in plots after durum wheat cultivation, the contents of organic C, P, and K and the soil pH were higher. Higher activities of dehydrogenases and phosphatases in soil were noted in soils subjected to the CT system than in those subjected to the RT system, whereas the activities of ureases and proteases were higher in soils subjected to RT. In addition, higher activities of dehydrogenases, phosphatases, and proteases were determined in the soil after pea cultivation than after durum wheat cultivation, whereas a higher activity of ureases was found in the soil after durum wheat cultivation. The C/N ratio was more beneficial after CT than after RT, as well as in the soil from plots after pea cultivation than after durum wheat cultivation. Full article
Article
Diversified Arable Cropping Systems and Management Schemes in Selected European Regions Have Positive Effects on Soil Organic Carbon Content
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120261 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1467
Abstract
In the last few decades, various crop diversification strategies and management practices have been promoted to improve or at least maintain environmental quality and agroecosystem services. We conducted a data-analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of alternatives for crop diversification and environmentally friendly farming [...] Read more.
In the last few decades, various crop diversification strategies and management practices have been promoted to improve or at least maintain environmental quality and agroecosystem services. We conducted a data-analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of alternatives for crop diversification and environmentally friendly farming management for arable crops in four selected European pedoclimatic regions and typical cropping systems in the Atlantic, Boreal, Mediterranean North, and Mediterranean South regions. The dataset was retrieved from 38 references and included data on site-specific environmental conditions, soil tillage, crop rotation, fertilization, and final soil organic carbon content (SOC). No tillage (NT) was more effective (7%) in increasing SOC content than minimum tillage (MT) across the studied depths (from 5 to 40 cm). Conservation tillage as whole, including NT, MT, and rotational tillage (RT) positively affected SOC content in the top 10 cm (28%) in comparison with conventional tillage (CT). Compared to monoculture, longer crop rotations (3–5 years) and the introduction of legumes resulted in higher increases in SOC contents (18%), that were higher in semiarid conditions (11%) than under humid and sub-humid climates (3.2%). The effect of fertilization on SOC contents was higher in the Mediterranean North region (28%), and organic fertilization showed the highest increases (25%) compared to the control with mineral fertilization. Higher increases in SOC contents with tillage and fertilization management were found in sites with lower SOC contents in the control treatment (conventional tillage and mineral fertilization respectively). The data analysis indicated that various European arable agroecosystems benefit both from diversified cropping systems and the adoption of environmentally friendly farming management and are thereby capable to increase SOC contents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Fertility)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Impact of Nutritional Management on Available Mineral Nitrogen and Soil Quality Properties in Coffee Agroecosystems
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120260 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1008
Abstract
Coffee crop management is guided by an approach of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers application in order to guarantee high production rates; however, this type of management increases soil degradation. A study was conducted in order to evaluate the impact of changing soil nutritional management [...] Read more.
Coffee crop management is guided by an approach of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers application in order to guarantee high production rates; however, this type of management increases soil degradation. A study was conducted in order to evaluate the impact of changing soil nutritional management from Chemical (NPK) to Organic (Farmyard Manure-FYM), and from Chemical (NPK) to Mixed (NPK + FYM) regarding soil quality properties and mineral nitrogen available in coffee agroecosystems; a multi-spatial analysis was carried out considering a unifactorial design; soil samples were taken from depths between 0.10 and 0.20 m in 42 plots; physical and chemical variables were measured (ammonium, nitrates, pH, organic matter, moisture, bulk density and texture). It was found that Chemical Management affects the physical and chemical properties of soil quality (organic matter, humidity, bulk density, and pH), resulting in significant differences (p < 0.05) comparing to Mixed and Organic Management. The lowest level of organic matter was found under chemical management, being of 3% and increasing up to 4.41% under mixed management. Mineral nitrogen availability in the form of ammonium, was not affected by nutritional management. A higher concentration of nitrate was found under Mixed Management (105.02 mg NO3 kg−1), presenting significant differences (p < 0.05) against Chemical and Organic. There was no significant difference between Organic and Chemical Management. The study allowed us to determine that, through coffee organic nutritional management, it is possible to keep suitable soil quality conditions in order to reduce soil degradation, and to keep mineral nitrogen available for the development of coffee plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Fertility)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Technical Efficiency of Smallholder Irish Potato Producers in Santa Subdivision, Cameroon
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120259 - 08 Dec 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1206
Abstract
Irish potato is one of the major staple food and cash crops in Cameroon. Several studies have been conducted on the agronomic aspect of the crop, but very little is known on the technical efficiency of potato producers in the country. This study [...] Read more.
Irish potato is one of the major staple food and cash crops in Cameroon. Several studies have been conducted on the agronomic aspect of the crop, but very little is known on the technical efficiency of potato producers in the country. This study examines the technical efficiency of smallholder Irish potato producers in the Santa subdivision and the determinants of technical efficiency. Data were collected through surveys of Irish potato producers, and analyses were conducted using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and the Tobit model. The research findings imply that, in order to reduce the level of technical inefficiencies among smallholder Irish potato producers, appropriate training should be provided to farmers in order to improve their agronomic knowledge with respect to potato production. In addition, emphasis should be placed on policies and programs that promote extension services in order to improve the performance of Irish potato producers in the Santa subdivision. Again, more credit institutions, such as microfinance institutions, should be established by the government in order to help farmers access enough credit for potato production. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Erratum
Erratum: Van Loon, J., et al. Precision for Smallholder Farmers: A Small-Scale-Tailored Variable Rate Fertilizer Application Kit. Agriculture, 2018, 8, 48
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120258 - 05 Dec 2019
Viewed by 802
Abstract
The authors wish to correct the following erratum in this paper [...] Full article
Article
Evaluation of Two Different Flooring Designs for Rabbit Housing in Accordance with German Welfare Regulations: Soiling and Mortality
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120257 - 04 Dec 2019
Viewed by 848
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to investigate a new housing system for fattening rabbits with two different flooring designs (F1 and F2) in accordance with new legal requirements in Germany (11 mm slats and 11 mm gaps, elevated platform with 15% [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to investigate a new housing system for fattening rabbits with two different flooring designs (F1 and F2) in accordance with new legal requirements in Germany (11 mm slats and 11 mm gaps, elevated platform with 15% perforation), in comparison with an established system with wire mesh flooring (C). While F1 flooring was made of punched slatted plastic panels, F2 consisted of fixed single rods with a rounded surface. In six batches with F1 and C housing, and subsequently three batches with F2 housing, soiling of rabbits’ hind feet, pens, and cages as well as mortality rates were recorded. While pens and rabbits in F2 conditions were assessed as being cleaner than F1, neither reached the cleanliness of C rabbits and cages. Mortality was highest in F1 housing (18.1%) and comparable between F2 (10.3%) and C housing (11.7%). The present investigations showed different results in terms of soiling and mortality for different implementations of the German regulations. Nevertheless, both floors in accordance with these requirements revealed hygienic disadvantages compared to the established cages. Further research is necessary in order to keep rabbits under good hygienic conditions and in compliance with legal requirements. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Do Land Ownership and Agro-Ecological Location of Farmland Influence Adoption of Improved Rice Varieties? Evidence from Sierra Leone
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120256 - 01 Dec 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1065
Abstract
This study investigates the impact of farmland ownership and agro-ecological location on the adoption of the two most important sources of improved rice varieties (NERICA and ROK) in the context of Sierra Leone. In terms of farmland ownership, the results showed that farmers [...] Read more.
This study investigates the impact of farmland ownership and agro-ecological location on the adoption of the two most important sources of improved rice varieties (NERICA and ROK) in the context of Sierra Leone. In terms of farmland ownership, the results showed that farmers who cultivated their own land had a higher tendency of remaining as non-adopters of improved varieties, but those who rented farmland or were engaged in sharecropping had higher adoption rates of improved rice varieties. Also, the location of farmland (uplands or inland valley swamps) determined the rates of adoption of improved varieties differently. For instance, upland regions showed faster adoption of ROK varieties, but inland valley areas showed faster adoption of NERICA varieties. We also examined the survival rates of local rice varieties. The adoption of improved varieties was only occurring at a very low rate, and the farmers’ adoption of ROK varieties was swifter than for NERICA varieties. This study recommends that policies advocating the adoption of improved rice varieties in Sierra Leone must take into consideration the patterns of farmland ownership and location. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Assessing the Influence of Fumigation and Bacillus Subtilis-Based Biofungicide on the Microbiome of Chrysanthemum Rhizosphere
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120255 - 01 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 914
Abstract
Chrysanthemum is an important ornamental species in China. However, sustained monoculture often leads to a decline in soil quality, in particular to the build-up of pathogens. Fusarium wilt, a severe disease in chrysanthemum monoculture systems, was effectively controlled by fumigation and/or the application [...] Read more.
Chrysanthemum is an important ornamental species in China. However, sustained monoculture often leads to a decline in soil quality, in particular to the build-up of pathogens. Fusarium wilt, a severe disease in chrysanthemum monoculture systems, was effectively controlled by fumigation and/or the application of a biofungicide in our previous study. However, the mechanisms underlying disease suppression remain elusive. Here, a series of greenhouse experiments were conducted to characterize the effect on the chrysanthemum rhizosphere microbiome of the fumigant dazomet (DZ) and of a biofungicide based on Bacillus subtilis NCD-2 (BF). The results indicated that the BF treatment increased bacterial diversity by 4.2%, while decreasing fungal diversity by 21.3%. After two seasons of BF treatment, the abundance of microbes associated with disease suppression such as Bacillus spp. and Trichoderma spp. increased 15.1-fold and 4.25-fold more than that of the control, while the pathogenic Fusarium oxysporum was decreased by 79.20% when compared to the control. Besides, the DZ treatment reduced both bacterial and fungal diversity 7.97% and 2.73% respectively, when compared with the control. The DZ treatment controlled Fusarium wilt disease and decreased the abundance of F. oxysporum in the first year, but the abundance of the F. oxysporum was 43.8% higher after two years in treated soil than in non-treated soil. Therefore, the application of BF has a great potential for the control of Fusarium wilt disease in chrysanthemum by changing soil microbiome structure and function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Microbe Interactions)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comparison of Causality of Temperature and Precipitation on Italian Ryegrass (Lolium Multiflorum Lam.) Yield between Cultivation Fields via Multi-Group Structural Equation Model Analysis in the Republic of Korea
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120254 - 01 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
This study aimed to compare the causality of climatic factors affecting the yield of Italian ryegrass (IRG) between upland fields and paddy fields, by multi-group structure equation modeling. The raw data (n = 728) on forage contains both yield, field type, and [...] Read more.
This study aimed to compare the causality of climatic factors affecting the yield of Italian ryegrass (IRG) between upland fields and paddy fields, by multi-group structure equation modeling. The raw data (n = 728) on forage contains both yield, field type, and the plantation address were collected from the Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea. The climatic factors were: growing days, temperature and precipitation-in autumn and next spring seasons-from the climate big data of the weather information system of Korean Meteorology Administration. In the result, the composition of climatic factors was similar, but the causality by the paths was different between upland fields and paddy fields. In particular, yield in the paddy fields was sensitive to autumn precipitation because of short growing days in the rice-rotation system. In the paddy fields, the precipitation effect in both autumn and the next spring indirectly affected the yield through temperature. The autumn temperature effect on yield in the paddy fields was 2.82 times greater than in the upland fields, between the two field types, the spring temperature effect was somewhat similar after wintering; thus, IRG cultivation in paddy fields should be limited to the south. However, there is greater suitability for IRG in the upland fields in the autumn, where the benefits of higher temperatures accumulate to offset effectively the short growing days. This study will assist in checking areas suitable for IRG cultivation as a winter forage crop in the Republic of Korea. In the future, the structure established in this study will be expanded by adding variables related to soil physical properties from soil information system and cultivation management from survey sheets. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Yield and Quality of Faba Bean (Vicia faba L. var. major) Genotypes as a Vegetable for Fresh Consumption: A Comparison between Italian Landraces and Commercial Varieties
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120253 - 29 Nov 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1636
Abstract
Legumes crops play significant roles both in human diets and agriculture, and contribute to sustainable farming. In this study, we evaluated both some quality traits and yield of four landraces (Cegliese, Iambola, San Francesco, and FV5) of faba bean (Vicia faba L. [...] Read more.
Legumes crops play significant roles both in human diets and agriculture, and contribute to sustainable farming. In this study, we evaluated both some quality traits and yield of four landraces (Cegliese, Iambola, San Francesco, and FV5) of faba bean (Vicia faba L. var. major Harz) for fresh consumption in order to assess and distinguish the landraces also in comparison with two commercial varieties (Aguadulce supersimonia and Extra-early purple) by using a crop system without irrigation. Independently of the genotype, we obtained the same pods yield (1794 g m−2) without affecting the seed size. All genotypes can be considered a good source of vitamin C, although Extra-early purple and San Francesco reveal the highest content (703 and 646 mg 100 g−1 fresh weight—FW, respectively). Cegliese showed the highest L-dopa content (10.14 mg 100 g−1 FW), suggesting its use as a natural rich source of L-dopa (dopamine precursor used for Parkinson’s disease treatment) instead of using synthesized L-dopa. In conclusion, this study highlight interesting quality traits of faba bean when consumed as fresh vegetables, suggesting its positive role on human health and the possibility of its production by using local horticultural systems that are skilled in optimizing resource utilization. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of Nitrogen Foliar Fertilization on the Vegetative and Productive Performance of the Olive Tree and on Oil Quality
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120252 - 29 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1035
Abstract
The correct management (dose, time of distribution) of N fertilization in olive growing is still not completely clarified but is nowadays essential in order to guarantee sustainable production. In this regard, in central Italy over a 4-year-period a study was carried out to [...] Read more.
The correct management (dose, time of distribution) of N fertilization in olive growing is still not completely clarified but is nowadays essential in order to guarantee sustainable production. In this regard, in central Italy over a 4-year-period a study was carried out to investigate the effect of high nitrogen availability during oil accumulation in the fruit (second phase of fruit growth) on vegetative and productive activities of olive trees and oil quality. In May of each year, secondary branches were selected and girdled in their proximal part. Afterwards, half of the girdled branches were sprayed three times with a solution containing urea (2% w/w), whereas the other half was sprayed only with water. The nitrogen treatments did not cause any damage to the foliage and fruits nor did it cause appreciable changes in leaf photosynthesis and specific weight, fruit-drop, ripening pattern and weight, water and oil contents, pulp/pit ratio of the fruits, fatty acid composition, polyphenols content, and sensorial characteristics of the oil. The N provided via foliar fertilization during the oil accumulation phase in trees in conditions of good supply of N does not induce significant effects on the vegetative-productive activity of the tree. Full article
Article
Thermotolerance and Physiological Traits as Fast Tools to Heat Tolerance Selection in Experimental Sugarcane Genotypes
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120251 - 28 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 803
Abstract
Heat stress limits the growth, development, and yield of crop plants when it occurs during short or long periods of time. An experiment was conducted with the objectives of (i) evaluating the cell membrane thermostability (CMT) as an indicator of heat [...] Read more.
Heat stress limits the growth, development, and yield of crop plants when it occurs during short or long periods of time. An experiment was conducted with the objectives of (i) evaluating the cell membrane thermostability (CMT) as an indicator of heat tolerance in sugarcane and to determine its relationship with physiological parameters under heat-stressed conditions, and (ii) evaluating the utility of CMT for selecting heat-tolerant genotypes in a breeding program. A total of nine elite experimental, and four commercial sugarcane genotypes were evaluated for CMT, and the results are expressed as relative cell injury (RCI). Six genotypes were classified as highly tolerant and seven as highly sensitive. We concluded that the use of RCI, as an indicator of CMT in sugarcane genotypes, is a suitable useful parameter for selecting the genotypes tolerant to heat stress in a breeding program. This procedure, combined with other characters, helps to identify sugarcane plants with the ability to maintain a high yield photosynthetic rate under stressful field conditions. Furthermore, it offers an opportunity to improve selection efficiency over that of field testing, since high temperature stresses do not occur consistently under field conditions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Chemical Composition of the Cuticle Membrane of Pitaya Fruits (Hylocereus Polyrhizus)
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 250; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120250 - 27 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1267
Abstract
This study comprehensively analysed the chemical composition of the cuticle in pitaya fruits. The total coverage amount of the waxes versus cutin monomers accumulated at a ratio of 0.6, corresponding to masses per unit of 30.3 μg·cm−2 and 50.8 μg·cm−2, [...] Read more.
This study comprehensively analysed the chemical composition of the cuticle in pitaya fruits. The total coverage amount of the waxes versus cutin monomers accumulated at a ratio of 0.6, corresponding to masses per unit of 30.3 μg·cm−2 and 50.8 μg·cm−2, respectively. The predominant wax mixtures were n-alkanes in homologous series of C20–C35, dominated by C31 and C33; as well as triterpenoids with an abundant amount of uvaol, lupenon, β-amyrinon, and β-amyrin. The most prominent cutin compounds were C16- and C18-type monomers, in which 9(10),16-diOH-hexadecanoic acid and 9,10-epoxy-ω-OH-octadecanoic acid predominated, respectively. The average chain length (ACL) of aliphates in pitaya fruit cuticle (30.5) was similar to that estimated in leaf waxes, and higher than that in most of the fruit and petal waxes that have been reported. We propose that the relatively high ACL and wax/cutin ratio might enhance the cuticular barrier properties in pitaya fruit cuticle to withstand drought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Postharvest Physiology and Technology of Fruits and Vegetables)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Floral Biology Studies in Habanero pepper (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) to Implement in a Cross-Breeding Program
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120249 - 26 Nov 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1204
Abstract
Knowledge of the reproductive biology of a species is fundamental in order to develop an efficient program of genetic improvement by hybridization. The viability of the pollen, anther dehiscence, receptivity of the stigma and the anthesis of 12 improved lines of Habanero pepper [...] Read more.
Knowledge of the reproductive biology of a species is fundamental in order to develop an efficient program of genetic improvement by hybridization. The viability of the pollen, anther dehiscence, receptivity of the stigma and the anthesis of 12 improved lines of Habanero pepper were studied to develop a cross-breeding program. Among the results, the greatest number of flowers in anthesis was quantified at 8:00 a.m. for most genotypes. The dehiscence of the anther differed significantly in stages evaluated, observing in flower buds 100% of the closed anthers. The receptivity was positive in all the stages evaluated (before, during and after anthesis) and in all the genotypes, the most outstanding being the genotype AKN-08, which presented 100% of receptivity in the three stages evaluated. The viability of the pollen varied among the different conservation times evaluated (0, 24 and 48 h) while the highest percentage of viability (80%) and the largest number of seeds per fruit (56) were obtained when recently collected pollen was used (0 time). These results will have an important repercussion on the improvement of the Habanero pepper by increasing the efficiency of the programs to obtain hybrids and/or improved varieties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetable Crops Breeding)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Optimal and Robustly Optimal Consumption of Stretch Film Used for Wrapping Cylindrical Baled Silage
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120248 - 21 Nov 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 960
Abstract
A conventional method for wrapping round bales of agricultural materials by wrappers with a rotating table or with rotating arms is considered. In contemporary agriculture, the demand for minimal consumption of the film used to wrap bales is very high, in order to [...] Read more.
A conventional method for wrapping round bales of agricultural materials by wrappers with a rotating table or with rotating arms is considered. In contemporary agriculture, the demand for minimal consumption of the film used to wrap bales is very high, in order to apply this method with lower cost and less damage to the environment. A combined model-based problem of such a design, focusing on the width of stretch film and the overlap between adjacent film strips that minimizes film consumption, was mathematically formulated and solved. It was proven that the complete set of optimal film widths is defined by a simple algebraic equation described in terms of film, bale, and wrapping parameters. The optimal overlap ratios were found to be irreducible fractions in which the dividend is the divisor minus one; however, only the first three factions, 1 2 , 2 3 ,   and   3 4 , are practically significant. Next, the robustness to disturbances in the functioning of an actual bale wrapper, which leads to overlap ratio uncertainty, is examined. It was shown that, unfortunately, the optimal film widths applied together with the optimal overlaps do not provide any robustness to overlap variations. To overcome this inconvenience, the problems of a choice of the best commercially available film width guaranteeing minimal film consumption or maximal tolerance on the overlap uncertainty were formulated and solved. A new algorithm for a robust design of wrapping parameters was developed, motivated, and numerically verified to achieve a trade-off between satisfactory robustness and low film usage. For the resulting wrapping parameters, near-optimal film usage was achieved; the relative errors of the minimal film consumption approximation did not exceed 4%. It was proven that for the overlap, slightly more than 50%, i.e., 51% or 52%, provides both optimality and robustness of the overlap over disturbances, which are ensured regardless of the number of film layers. Moreover, it was found that for these overlaps and for the commercially available film widths selected according to the algorithm, the film consumption was more than twice as small than the film usage for exactly 50% overlap, if the actual overlap was smaller than pre-assumed. Similarly, an overlap of slightly more than the commonly used 67% will result in about 30% to 40% reduction in film usage in the presence of unfavorable disturbances, depending on the number of film layers and wrapping parameters. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Endophytic Fungi of Citrus Plants
Agriculture 2019, 9(12), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9120247 - 21 Nov 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1420
Abstract
Besides a diffuse research activity on drug discovery and biodiversity carried out in natural contexts, more recently, investigations concerning endophytic fungi have started considering their occurrence in crops based on the major role that these microorganisms have been recognized to play in plant [...] Read more.
Besides a diffuse research activity on drug discovery and biodiversity carried out in natural contexts, more recently, investigations concerning endophytic fungi have started considering their occurrence in crops based on the major role that these microorganisms have been recognized to play in plant protection and growth promotion. Fruit growing is particularly involved in this new wave, by reason that the pluriannual crop cycle likely implies a higher impact of these symbiotic interactions. Aspects concerning occurrence and effects of endophytic fungi associated with citrus species are revised in the present paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occurrence and Functions of Endophytic Fungi in Crop Species)
Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop