Innovations in Tropical Vegetable Agroecosystems

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Horticultural and Floricultural Crops".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 January 2023) | Viewed by 21957

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2500 Campus Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Interests: understanding how crop yield and quality can be optimized in agricultural systems that reduce reliance on conventional chemical inputs and increase use of ecological farming practices

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2500 Campus Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Interests: using techniques from genetics, genomics, plant breeding, ecology, geography, and agroecology to develop new crops and improve old ones for a changing environment

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Tropical Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2500 Campus Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA
Interests: Postharvest physiology; handling and storage of tropical fruits; vegetables and ornamentals. The research program projects range from basic to the adaptation and application of technology to the improvement of postharvest quality and handling in an integrated and systematic way.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Vegetable production is one of the most challenging and potentially rewarding sectors in agriculture. This is especially true in the tropics with year-round pest pressure, ecosystems that range from arid to rainforest, often with limited resources and systems that range in scale from subsistence to international commodities. This Special Issue will feature collaborative research from around the world addressing novel, sustainable approaches to vegetable production in the tropics. Specifically, we aim to include work that investigates the links between ecological farming practices, yield, and crop quality. We invite submissions on topics including but not limited to crop breeding/selection for tropical environments, fertilizers derived from local organic byproducts, non-chemical pest control strategies, and advances in postharvest treatment/storage of tropical vegetable crops. Novel work with cover crops and organic amendments to enhance soil ecological function as well as research on reducing reliance on synthetic inputs is welcomed. Crops of interest include all vegetables as well as short-cycled tropical fruit crops including melons, pineapple, and papaya.

Dr. Theodore Radovich
Dr. Michael Kantar
Prof. Robert E Paull
Guest Editors

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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Agronomy 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 2600 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

  • regenerative
  • sustainable
  • agriculture
  • horticulture
  • food production
  • indigenous crops
  • plant health
  • human nutrition
  • postharvest
  • storage
  • yield
  • crop quality

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 2712 KiB  
Article
Determining Optimal Levels of Pruning in Hylocereus undatus [(Haw.) Britton and Rose] in Trellis Systems
by Fernando M. Chiamolera, Laura Parra, Elisabet Sánchez, Marina Casas, Juan J. Hueso and Julián Cuevas
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010238 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2839
Abstract
The main objective of this work was to determine the optimum level of pruning in pitaya. In addition, we want to establish the relationship between pruning levels and the intensity of flowering, and between flowering levels and heavy flower bud drop that affects [...] Read more.
The main objective of this work was to determine the optimum level of pruning in pitaya. In addition, we want to establish the relationship between pruning levels and the intensity of flowering, and between flowering levels and heavy flower bud drop that affects this species. With these aims, two experiments were performed on Hylocereus undatus [(Haw.) Britton and Rose] cultivated in greenhouses and trained in a trellis system. Our results conclude that cane pruning leaving 15 cladodes per meter in a trellis system is the most productive, as it yielded more fruit of similar weight. Positive relationships between flowering and setting, regardless of pruning levels, justify less severe pruning. Fruit set and size did not depend on pruning levels, although we found a fruit weight reduction when a single cladode developed more than one fruit. Flower buds drop was proportionally higher in cladodes forming more flowers, suggesting that bud competition plays a role in their drop. However, flower bud thinning seems unnecessary, although if a flower is to be chosen, it is better to select those formed at the apex of the cladode since they produce larger fruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Tropical Vegetable Agroecosystems)
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9 pages, 1700 KiB  
Article
Genotypic and Environmental Influence on Fresh Rhizome Yield of Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.)
by Kylie Tavares, Emilie Kirk, Sharon Motomura-Wages, Justin Calpito, Jon-Paul Bingham, Amjad A. Ahmad, Kevin Flanagan, Jensen Uyeda, Michael B. Kantar and Theodore J. K. Radovich
Agronomy 2022, 12(11), 2703; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12112703 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1564
Abstract
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and related Curcuma species have been used traditionally in India, China, Hawaii, and other cultures for millennia. Today they are used around the world for spice, medicine, dye, and religious purposes. Recent biomedical studies have corroborated the long-known [...] Read more.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and related Curcuma species have been used traditionally in India, China, Hawaii, and other cultures for millennia. Today they are used around the world for spice, medicine, dye, and religious purposes. Recent biomedical studies have corroborated the long-known traditional medicinal values of turmeric and its constituent curcuminoid compounds, which have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticarcinogenic properties. As part of statewide research and extension efforts to support an expanding turmeric industry, we examined yield of 14 accessions across different climatic zones in Hawaii to observe and describe Genotype × Environmental influences. Fresh turmeric yield differed significantly among genotypes. The overall yields observed in this work ranged 11.3–57.22 t ha−1 and generally agree with those in the literature. Data from the different sites suggest that fertility and water management are able to mitigate moderate stress imposed by climate change within a certain range, but suboptimal temperatures associated with high elevation in the tropics (>1000 m) are an important driver of lower yields. This suggests that high yielding turmeric varieties may possess wide adaptability and may perform well across diverse environments. However, site-specific evaluations will still be necessary, particularly in environments outside turmeric’s environmental optima and in the presence of high pest pressure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Tropical Vegetable Agroecosystems)
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14 pages, 12794 KiB  
Article
An Investigation into Using Temporary Immersion Bioreactors to Micropropagate Moringa oleifera Lam. Callus, Roots, and Shoots
by Elmien Coetser, Elsa S. du Toit and Gerhard Prinsloo
Agronomy 2022, 12(11), 2672; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12112672 - 28 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
Moringa oleifera Lam., a tree naturally grown in the tropics, is becoming increasingly popular as an industrial crop due to its multitude of useful attributes. Therefore, this study tested the effect of temporary immersion system (TIS) bioreactors for mass micropropagation of Moringa oleifera [...] Read more.
Moringa oleifera Lam., a tree naturally grown in the tropics, is becoming increasingly popular as an industrial crop due to its multitude of useful attributes. Therefore, this study tested the effect of temporary immersion system (TIS) bioreactors for mass micropropagation of Moringa oleifera Lam. callus, roots, and shoots. TIS are tissue culture systems that make use of timers to periodically immerse and drain plant cultures in a liquid nutrient medium instead of using solidified media. In initial studies, Moringa oleifera seeds were germinated in vitro, and in vitro seedling leaflets were then used as explant material for callus production on the pre-culturing media. Two experiments were conducted to improve the protocol for TIS bioreactor production. The first experiment investigated the effect of 6-benzylaminopurine (BA) and kinetin, whereas experiment 2 was conducted to improve shooting production. For the first experiment, leaf material was cultured onto a solidified medium consisting of half-strength Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal salts and 0.5 ppm 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) to initiate callus production before splitting it between solidified media and bioreactors for shooting. The shooting media consisted of full-strength MS basal salts and different treatments of kinetin and BA. A significant increase in callus production was observed with the use of TIS bioreactors, compared to solidified media, whereas root production had a highly significant interaction effect between the media and the cytokinin treatments. With shoot proliferation in mind, experiment 2 was performed, where microcuttings from in vitro-grown seedlings were excised and cultured onto a solidified MS medium, consisting of a control (0 ppm BA) and two different concentrations of 6-benzylaminopurine (BA) (0.1 ppm BA and 0.2 ppm BA) in the pre-culturing phase. Microcuttings were again excised after two weeks and transferred to the shooting media containing 0.1 ppm BA in TIS bioreactors and semi-solidified medium. Results showed TIS bioreactors to be effective in increasing both the amount and length of shoots produced. Shoot and callus fresh weights were also higher in explants cultured in TIS bioreactors. The results of this study also suggest M. oleifera sensitivities to plant growth regulators (PGRs). In conclusion, this study successfully produced callus, roots, and shoots in both the solidified media and TIS bioreactors, emphasizing the prospect of using TIS bioreactors for mass micropropagation of M. oleifera callus, roots, and shoots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Tropical Vegetable Agroecosystems)
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14 pages, 764 KiB  
Article
Strategies to Reduce Radiation Stress in Open-Field Ginger and Turmeric Production
by Marlon Retana-Cordero, Sofia Flores, Rosanna Freyre and Celina Gómez
Agronomy 2022, 12(8), 1910; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12081910 - 14 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2070
Abstract
Excess solar radiation can negatively affect growth and rhizome yield of ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) plants. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of 60% shade nets (Experiment 1) as well as [...] Read more.
Excess solar radiation can negatively affect growth and rhizome yield of ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) plants. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of 60% shade nets (Experiment 1) as well as white and red kaolin sprays during two production stages (early establishment vs. entire cycle) (Experiment 2) on field-grown ginger and turmeric plants. In Experiment 1, plants were propagated from seed rhizomes (R) or second-generation rhizomes from tissue-cultured plants (2GR), while only R were used in Experiment 2. There were no differences in rhizome yield in response to shade in Experiment 1, with mean values of 644 and 692 g in ginger and turmeric, respectively. Overall, 2GR ginger plants produced a higher rhizome yield (880 g) than R plants (425 g), but no yield differences were measured in turmeric. In Experiment 2, for both species and regardless of kaolin color, sprays applied during the entire cycle increased photosynthesis and stomatal conductance and reduced leaf temperature and transpiration compared to control. Rhizome yield was also up to 87% higher in ginger and 47% higher in turmeric plants sprayed with kaolin. Spraying plants with white kaolin during the early season establishment of these crops can be an effective strategy to reduce radiation stress for open-field production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Tropical Vegetable Agroecosystems)
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12 pages, 1105 KiB  
Article
Rate and Timing of Meat and Bone Meal Applications Influence Growth, Yield, and Soil Water Nitrate Concentrations in Sweet Corn Production
by Tiare Silvasy, Amjad A. Ahmad, Koon-Hui Wang and Theodore J. K. Radovich
Agronomy 2021, 11(10), 1945; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11101945 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3669
Abstract
Using local resources and minimizing environmental impacts are two important components of sustainable agriculture. Meat and bone meal (MBM), tankage, is a locally produced organic fertilizer. This study was conducted to investigate the response of sweet corn (Zea mays L. var. [...] Read more.
Using local resources and minimizing environmental impacts are two important components of sustainable agriculture. Meat and bone meal (MBM), tankage, is a locally produced organic fertilizer. This study was conducted to investigate the response of sweet corn (Zea mays L. var. saccharata Stuart.) and soil water nitrate (NO3-N) concentration to MBM application at two locations, Waimānalo and Poamoho, on the island of O’ahu. The objectives were to determine effects of six application rates (0, 112, 224, 336, 448 and 672 kg N ha−1) and two application timings (preplant and split application) on: (1) sweet corn growth, yield, and quality, and (2) soil water nitrate concentration within and below the root zone. The split-plot was designed as four replicates randomly arranged in a complete block. Plant growth of roots and shoots, yield, and relative leaf chlorophyll content of sweet corn increased with increasing application rates of MBM in both locations. At Poamoho, yield was 13.6% greater in preplant versus split application. Nitrate-nitrogen losses were reduced by 20% at Waimānalo and 40% at Poamoho when MBM was applied in split applications. These findings suggest that MBM is an effective nitrogen source for sweet corn and a split application of MBM may reduce the potential for pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Tropical Vegetable Agroecosystems)
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12 pages, 902 KiB  
Article
Compost-Based Growing Media Improved Yield of Leafy Lettuce in Pot Culture
by Mari Marutani and Seanne Clemente
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1762; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091762 - 1 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3098
Abstract
Compost-based media were examined for effects on plant growth of leafy lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in pot culture. Four types of locally sourced composts were created using different proportions of wood chips from untreated pallets and mixed tropical tree debris, food [...] Read more.
Compost-based media were examined for effects on plant growth of leafy lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) in pot culture. Four types of locally sourced composts were created using different proportions of wood chips from untreated pallets and mixed tropical tree debris, food waste from restaurants, and chicken manure. Compost-based media were prepared by mixing each compost with a commercial peatmoss to create 25, 50, and 100% compost-peatmoss mixtures (by volume). In Trial One, cv. Starfighter had the greatest shoot (leaves/stems) biomass when grown in 100% compost containing wood chips, food waste, and chicken manure. In Trial Two, cvs. Starfighter and New Red Fire were examined. Growing media affected all plant growth parameters including fresh and dry shoots and roots, shoot and root length, and number of leaves. Cultivar affected all except fresh root weight. Interaction effects of growing medium and cultivar type were found for fresh shoot weight, dry root weight, shoot, and root length. Regression analyses indicated increases in amount of compost in growing media increased dry shoot and root weights. Composts containing recyclable organic materials can be an alternative to commercial media in pot culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Tropical Vegetable Agroecosystems)
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9 pages, 1131 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Hawaiian Heritage Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.) Breeding Lines
by Todd Anderson, Theodore Radovich, Jon-Paul Bingham, Nicolas Sinclair, Giselle Bryant and Michael Benjamin Kantar
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1545; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081545 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3212
Abstract
Producing ‘Hawaiian Heritage’ cultivars can raise the market value of locally grown sweet potatoes and increase small farmer earnings in Hawaii. Twelve sweet potato breeding lines (Ipomea batatas L.), derived from the Hawaiian maternal parent ‘Mohihi’, together with four check [...] Read more.
Producing ‘Hawaiian Heritage’ cultivars can raise the market value of locally grown sweet potatoes and increase small farmer earnings in Hawaii. Twelve sweet potato breeding lines (Ipomea batatas L.), derived from the Hawaiian maternal parent ‘Mohihi’, together with four check varieties, were trialed under organic management conditions across three environments (site-year combinations) in Oahu, Hawaii (Waimānalo-2018, Waimānalo-2019 and Poamoho-2019). Trials were harvested five months after planting, consistent with local commercial production standards. There were significant differences in fresh harvest yield, post-curing yield, shape, and quality between environments and cultivars. The ‘Hawaiian Heritage’ lines HM 26 and HM 34 outperformed the commercial standard, demonstrating the potential use of traditional Hawaiian germplasm in modern breeding programs. Additionally, ‘Hawaiian Heritage’ lines (e.g., HM 32 and HM 17) with unique traits favored by the local community may be suitable breeding materials for niche markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Tropical Vegetable Agroecosystems)
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10 pages, 5006 KiB  
Article
Growing Environment and Heat Treatment Effects on Intra- and Interspecific Pollination in Chile Pepper (Capsicum spp.)
by Tsung Han Lin, Shih Wen Lin, Yen Wei Wang, Maarten van Zonneveld and Derek W. Barchenger
Agronomy 2021, 11(7), 1275; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11071275 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3011
Abstract
Heat tolerance is important for the sustainable production of many crops, including chile pepper. Tolerance to high temperature is complex and involves various component traits, with pollen viability being among the most important. in vitro pollen assays for heat tolerance have been widely [...] Read more.
Heat tolerance is important for the sustainable production of many crops, including chile pepper. Tolerance to high temperature is complex and involves various component traits, with pollen viability being among the most important. in vitro pollen assays for heat tolerance have been widely used in chile pepper; however, associations between the pollen treatment and pollination have not been widely explored. The objectives of this study were to validate the utility of in vitro heat stress pollen characterization through in vivo pollination during summer and winter seasons and to evaluate the cross-compatibility among wild and domesticated species to initiate introgression population development. Seven entries of wild and domestic Capsicum species grown during the summer and winter seasons were used to evaluate pollination success rate. Pollen was either used directly or treated at 38 °C for four hours before making reciprocal self- and cross-pollination among all the entries. Significant associations between in vitro pollen treatment and pollination success rate during summer and winter seasons were identified. Heat treatment was a greater contributor to variability than the growing environment, which validates previous reports on the usefulness of studying pollen in vitro in selection for heat tolerance. Accessions of the wild progenitor C. annuum var glabriusculum, PBC 1969 and PBC 1970, were identified as a potential heat-tolerant source for use in breeding and future research. This work provides a basis for future research in exploring additional heat tolerance components as well as for the development of phenotyping assays for pollen or other floral traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovations in Tropical Vegetable Agroecosystems)
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