Special Issue "Berry Crop Production and Protection"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2018
Berry crops include, but are not limited to, the genera: Fragaria (strawberry, Rosaceae), Ribes (currant and gooseberry, Grossulariaceae), Rubus (brambles: raspberry and blackberry; Rosaceae), Vaccinium (blueberry, cranberry and lingonberry; Ericaceae) and Vitis (grapes, Vitaceae). The significant role of these fruits in maintaining human health has increased their popularity and production, dramatically, across the world. This Special Issue of Agronomy will cover berry crops in the areas of breeding, genetics, germplasm, production systems, propagation, plant and soil nutrition, pest and disease management, postharvest, health benefits, marketing and economics and other related areas. The aim will be to bring together a collection of valuable articles that will serve as a foundation of innovative ideas for production and protection of health-promoting berry crops in changed environment.
Dr. Samir Debnath
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. 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 1000 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.
- climate change
- genetic enhancement
- horticultural practices
- pest resistance
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Foliar applications of biostimulants promote growth, yield and fruit quality of strawberry plants grown under nutritional limitation
Sebastian Soppelsa1, Markus Kelderer2, Claudio Casera2, Michele Bassi2, Peter Robatscher2 and Carlo Andreotti1,*
1 Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
2 Research Centre Laimburg (Bolzano), Italy
* Correspondence: Carlo.Andreotti@unibz.it
Abstract: Biostimulants are substances considered able to promote plant’s physiological processes, leading to an enhancement of growth performances and crop quality. Moreover, biostimulants have been found effective in enhancing plant resistance toward stressful conditions, both of biotic and abiotic nature. Within this framework, our work aimed to investigate the efficacy of multiple applications of biostimulants on the growth, yield and fruit quality of strawberry plants exposed to nutritional limitation. The experiment was conducted under greenhouse conditions using strawberry plants (cv. Elsanta) cultivated on a substrate composed by peat and natural clay, without any fertilization for the entire growing cycle. Strawberry plants were repeatedly treated with biostimulants belonging to different classes (humic acids, macro and micro seaweed extracts, alfalfa hydrolysate, amino acids alone or in combination with zinc, B-group vitamins, chitosan and a commercial product containing silicon plus zinc), during the period from pre-flowering up to berry maturation.
The use of chitosan and B-group vitamins was able to promote the vegetative growth potential of strawberry plants as indicated by the higher biomass accumulation measured at different organs level and by the increased total leaf area as compared to untreated plants. Nevertheless, physiological indicators such as the photosynthetic rate and the chlorophyll content measured at leaf level were found not significantly affected by biostimulants applications. Final berry yield was found around 20% higher in chitosan, vitamins and silicon treated plants, with vitamins-treated berries showing an earlier and shorter period of fruit harvest as compared to control. As regarding the strawberry quality, chitosan-treated berries were firmer as compared to control, outlining an interesting potential toward an extension of the shelf life duration of fruits. Biostimulant applications had an effect on the fruit coloration and nutritional value, being the seaweed extract and alfalfa hydrolysate strawberry fruits brighter (higher Chroma value as compared to control) and characterized by an higher accumulation of total phenolic compounds (anthocyanins in particular). The applications of zinc-based substances were found related to lower concentration of vitamin C in the fruits, therefore suggesting a detrimental effect of this mineral element on the ascorbic acid synthesis.
To conclude, the use of biostimulants can be positively considered as a method to overcome plant nutritional limitations, which is often the consequence of the unavailability of mineral fertilizers (such as in the organic production method) and of the soilless conditions in strawberry production.
Keywords: soilless conditions; abiotic stress; growth performances; chitosan; seaweeds; Fragaria x ananassa
Bird management in blueberries and grapes
Michigan State University
Abstract: Bird damage to fruit is a long-standing challenge for growers that imposes significant costs on fruit production because of yield losses and grower efforts to manage birds. We tested several pest bird management tactics in blueberries and grapes in Michigan. Data are currently being analyzed.
Genetic and developmental bases of fruit firmness variation in blueberry – a review
Type of Manuscript: Review
Authors: Francesco Cappai, Juliana Benevenuto, Luis Felipe Ventorim Ferrao, Patricio R. Munoz
Affiliation: Blueberry Breeding and Genomic Program, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611
Blueberry has been recognized worldwide as a valuable source of health-promoting compounds, becoming one of the crops with the highest consumer demand and productive trends. Fruit firmness is a key target for blueberry breeding as it directly affects fruit quality, transportability, shelf life, consumer preference, and the ability of cultivars to be machine harvested. Fruit softening naturally occurs during berry development, maturation, and postharvest ripening. However, some genotypes are better at retaining firmness than others, and some are crunchy, which provides extra firmness with a distinct eating experience. In this review, we summarized important studies addressing the firmness trait in blueberry, focusing on physiological and molecular changes affecting this trait at the onset of ripening and also the genetic basis of firmness variation across individuals. The complex quantitative nature of this trait in an autopolyploid species such as blueberry imposes additional challenges for the implementation of molecular techniques in the breeding program. However, we highlight the potential of a QTL mapping analysis and adaptation of genome editing protocols such as CRISPR in further assist and accelerate the blueberry breeding program.