Special Issue "North American Native Food Crops"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Francis Drummond

Professor of Insect Ecology and Insect Pest Management and Blueberry, Extension Pollination Specialist, School of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: wild blueberry, pollination, genetics, ecology, pest ecology, simulation modeling, statistics, plant physiological ecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

North American native plants cultivated as food crops are represented by more than 100 plant species belonging to several taxonomic families. Several berry species in the Ericaceae, such as lowbush blueberry, highbush blueberry, rabbiteye blueberry, and cranberry, and other berry and small fruit species, such as black raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, prickly pear, Concord grape, and several others, are grown in regions of their origin and neighboring areas of North America. Other North American food crops are represented by a few fruit tree species, such as American elderberry, black cherry, desert apricot, and others, nut species, such as walnuts, hickory nuts, and pecans, vegetable species in the Cucurbitaceae, such as cucumbers, squashes, and pumpkins, other vegetables, such as tomatoes, lima beans, chili peppers, corn, avocado, and many others, and a few grains, such as amaranth and corn.

These food crop systems are special in North America because many species have adapted to the climates and ecosystems that they are grown in. Most species have been improved for food production through breeding, but some are still wild genetic resources representing genotypes that differ little from plant populations that are not cultivated. Some of the still unanswered questions are: 1) Do native crop plants offer a more resilient response to climate change than crops from other continents? 2) Are native crop plants more tolerant of pest communities, having undergone long-term co-evolutionary interactions with these organisms? 3) Are pollination and reproductive biology of native plants different from those of non-native crop plants imbedded within a non-adapted landscape?

This Special Issue will address some of these questions and others, allowing agricultural researchers to compare and highlight the differences between native and non-native crop plants cultivated in North America.

Prof. Francis Drummond
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • North American
  • native
  • crops
  • food plants
  • indigenous
  • wild
  • genetics
  • cultivation
  • land races
  • pests
  • breeding

Published Papers (5 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-5
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
Genetic Diversity of Lowbush Blueberry throughout the United States in Managed and Non-Managed Populations
Agriculture 2019, 9(6), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9060113
Received: 2 May 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 25 May 2019 / Published: 30 May 2019
PDF Full-text (1459 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Expressed sequenced tagged-polymerase chain reaction (EST-PCR) molecular markers were used to evaluate the genetic diversity of lowbush blueberry across its geographic range and to compare diversity among four paired managed/non-managed populations. Seventeen populations were sampled in a north–south transect throughout the eastern United [...] Read more.
Expressed sequenced tagged-polymerase chain reaction (EST-PCR) molecular markers were used to evaluate the genetic diversity of lowbush blueberry across its geographic range and to compare diversity among four paired managed/non-managed populations. Seventeen populations were sampled in a north–south transect throughout the eastern United States with 27 km to 1600 km separating populations. The majority of genetic variation was found within populations (75%) with each population genetically unique (p ≤ 0.0001) with the exception of the Jonesboro, ME, and Lubec, ME, populations. The effects of management for commercial fruit harvesting on genetic diversity were investigated in four locations in Maine with paired managed and non-managed populations. Significant differences were found between the populations indicating that commercial management for fruit production influences the diversity of lowbush blueberries in the landscape, even though planting does not occur. Forests are harvested and the existing understory blueberry plants become established. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue North American Native Food Crops)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Reproductive Biology of Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton)
Agriculture 2019, 9(4), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9040069
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 30 March 2019
PDF Full-text (3048 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wild blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton, is a native forest understory plant that is managed as a fruit crop. Over the past 51 years, experiments have been conducted to investigate its reproduction. A model was developed that predicts bloom to begin at 100° days [...] Read more.
Wild blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton, is a native forest understory plant that is managed as a fruit crop. Over the past 51 years, experiments have been conducted to investigate its reproduction. A model was developed that predicts bloom to begin at 100° days (base 4.4 °C) after 1 April and to end at 500° days for a period of three to four weeks. Flower stigmas are only receptive to pollen deposition for eight to 10 days, and the rate of fruit set declines rapidly after four days. Placement of pollen upon receptive stigmas suggests that fruit set occurs with as little as a single pollen tetrad. Twelve tetrads result in 50% fruit set. Several years of exploratory fruit set field experiments show viable seeds per berry, which result from pollination with compatible genotype pollen, is associated with larger berry mass (g). Decomposition of the total variance in fruit set shows that stem variation explains 65% to 79% of total variance in the fruit set. To a lesser extent, the field, year, and clone also explain the percent fruit set variation. Variation between stems may be due to variation in the number of flowers. Fruit set tends to decrease as the flower density increases, possibly due to the limitation of pollinators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue North American Native Food Crops)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
Effects of Soil pH and Fertilizers on Haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.) Vegetative Growth
Agriculture 2019, 9(3), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9030056
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 16 March 2019
PDF Full-text (456 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.) is a new northern latitude fruit crop that is increasing in popularity. This sudden enthusiasm for haskap increases the need for obtaining baseline knowledge related to establishing it as a crop, such as its optimal soil pH and [...] Read more.
Haskap (Lonicera caerulea L.) is a new northern latitude fruit crop that is increasing in popularity. This sudden enthusiasm for haskap increases the need for obtaining baseline knowledge related to establishing it as a crop, such as its optimal soil pH and fertilizer needs. In a greenhouse, one-year-old haskap plants (cultivar: Indigo Treat©) were grown in a local loamy sand. We assessed the impact of pH and fertilizer on haskap vegetative growth through an experiment involving four soil pH and five fertilization treatments of three N sources (ammonium, nitrate, and organic (chicken manure)). Leaf senescence as well as above-ground and root biomass were recorded after 19 weeks of vegetative growth. For cultivar Indigo Treat©, optimal vegetative growth was observed under slightly acidic soil conditions (pHCaCl2 5.5–6 or pHwater 5.9–6.5) without application of N. Phosphorus and K fertilizers did not influence vegetative growth. We here discuss the implications for establishing haskap orchards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue North American Native Food Crops)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
Apatite Stimulates the Deposition of Glomalin-Related Soil Protein in a Lowbush Blueberry Commercial Field
Agriculture 2019, 9(3), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9030052
Received: 21 February 2019 / Revised: 2 March 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
PDF Full-text (669 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many wind-sensitive and unproductive soils could benefit from increased glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP), an operationally defined soil protein pool known to improve soil quality and nutrient storage. We expect at least part of this GRSP fraction to originate from fungal biomass. Although P-rich [...] Read more.
Many wind-sensitive and unproductive soils could benefit from increased glomalin-related soil protein (GRSP), an operationally defined soil protein pool known to improve soil quality and nutrient storage. We expect at least part of this GRSP fraction to originate from fungal biomass. Although P-rich minerals such as apatite are known to increase C allocation from plants to mycorrhizal fungi, there are no studies directly linking apatite with GRSP. We investigated the effect of apatite on GRSP deposition rates in a cultivated field of wild lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton; Vaccinium myrtilloides Michx.) in the Saguenay‒Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec (Canada). A field incubation technique (145 days) using sterilized porous sand bags (50 µm pores) was used to measure in situ easily extractable GRSP (EE-GRSP) deposition rates from bags with (n = 10) and without (n = 10) apatite. Half of the bags (n = 10) were also soaked in Proline® 480 SC (Bayer CropScience, Calgary, Alberta, Canada) (Prothioconazole) to determine if EE-GRSP deposition rates were affected by this commonly applied fungicide. Our results indicated that adding apatite into sand bags significantly increased (+70%) EE-GRSP deposition rates, whereas soaking the bags in fungicide had no significant effect. Although the direct linkage between GRSP and lowbush blueberry plants remains to be detailed, our study reports for the first time GRSP concentrations from lowbush blueberry soils. Implications of these findings are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue North American Native Food Crops)
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia Michx., syn. Muscandinia rotundifolia (Michx.) Small): The Resilient, Native Grape of the Southeastern U.S
Agriculture 2019, 9(6), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9060131
Received: 19 April 2019 / Revised: 13 June 2019 / Accepted: 15 June 2019 / Published: 22 June 2019
PDF Full-text (820 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Angiosperms are well adapted to tolerate biotic and abiotic stresses in their native environment. However, the growth habit of native plants may not be suited for cultivation and their fruits may not be desirable for consumption. Adapting a plant for cultivation and commercial [...] Read more.
Angiosperms are well adapted to tolerate biotic and abiotic stresses in their native environment. However, the growth habit of native plants may not be suited for cultivation and their fruits may not be desirable for consumption. Adapting a plant for cultivation and commercial appeal through breeding and selection may accentuate weaknesses in pest tolerance. The transition of muscadine from a wild, native plant to a cultivated crop has taken place over the last 150 years. Early production primarily involved cloning elite wild selections; few pest management inputs were needed since the material was genetically similar to the native plant. Over time, emphasis was placed on the refinement of pruning, trellising, and other cultural inputs to increase productivity and commercial implementation. In turn, breeders developed newer cultivars with greater productivity and commercial appeal. Many modern muscadine cultivars remain tolerant to biotic pests and are adapted to a hot and humid climate. The primary focus of this review is to provide a descriptive context of muscadine as a native American, perennial fruit crop that requires minimal pest management in hot, humid climates relative to recently introduced European bunch grapes. Inherent muscadine traits resulting in fewer pesticide inputs make them worthy of being planted across considerable acreages; yet, muscadines remain a niche crop. We conclude that muscadines suffer from their short history of cultivation in a confined region and would benefit from breeding and marketing efforts to increase consumption, commercial acceptance, and awareness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue North American Native Food Crops)
Figures

Figure 1

Agriculture EISSN 2077-0472 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top