Special Issue "Biological Technology Platforms Accelerating Crop Improvement"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Mamoru Okamoto

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61-8-8313-1499
Interests: plant nutrition, nitrogen use efficiency, plant molecular biology, wheat genetics
Guest Editor
Dr. Darren Plett

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61-8-8313-1499
Interests: nitrogen use efficiency, nitrate transport, plant biotechnology, systems biology
Guest Editor
Dr. Trevor Garnett

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61-8-8313-1134

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Modern agriculture has been hugely impacted by a number of technological innovations. Examples include the invention of industrial scale nitrogen fertilizer production 100 years ago, and hybrid corn breeding in the 1930s which increased crop production an order of magnitude. Numerous developing technologies may lead to similar impacts.

Biotechnologies, including gene alteration and direct introduction of genes of interest to the host crop’s genome, have been developed in the last three decades. Compared to conventional breeding methods, biotechnology provides the opportunity to fix a gene in a new crop variety more quickly. However, because of legislative hurdles and public concern, genetically modified varieties in production are limited to only a few crop species, and can be grown in only specific countries. This technology is also a powerful research tool for defining gene function, and genome editing technologies, such as CRISPR/Cas9, may become the next breakthrough in this field.

More recently, sensor- and image-based phenotyping technologies have been developing rapidly. These high-tech tools have become core components of pipelines for efficient crop improvement programs, and more applications are anticipated. The tools rely heavily on big data handling software and computational capabilities and will need to be developed together with phenotyping platforms to make the technologies available for crop producers. The use of big data tools like machine learning allow scientists to take advantage of advanced data storage and analysis capabilities to test complex hypotheses about the functioning of plants and agricultural systems.

This special issue will focus on advanced technologies in crop production. The featured areas include biotechnology, phenotyping, big data management, and bioinformatics. We also welcome contributions based around newer technologies, which may have an impact on agriculture in the future. We welcome scientific reviews, research papers, and opinions on policies.

Dr. Mamoru Okamoto
Dr. Darren Plett
Dr. Trevor Garnett
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 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.

Keywords

  • Plant biotechnology
  • Genome editing
  • Crop phenotyping
  • Crop improvement
  • Big data
  • Bioinformatics

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle In-Vitro Inhibition of Pythium ultimum, Fusarium graminearum, and Rhizoctonia solani by a Stabilized Lactoperoxidase System alone and in Combination with Synthetic Fungicides
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (268 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Advances in enzyme stabilization and immobilization make the use of enzymes for industrial applications increasingly feasible. The lactoperoxidase (LPO) system is a naturally occurring enzyme system with known antimicrobial activity. Stabilized LPO and glucose oxidase (GOx) enzymes were combined with glucose, potassium iodide, [...] Read more.
Advances in enzyme stabilization and immobilization make the use of enzymes for industrial applications increasingly feasible. The lactoperoxidase (LPO) system is a naturally occurring enzyme system with known antimicrobial activity. Stabilized LPO and glucose oxidase (GOx) enzymes were combined with glucose, potassium iodide, and ammonium thiocyanate to create an anti-fungal formulation, which inhibited in-vitro growth of the plant pathogenic oomycete Pythium ultimum, and the plant pathogenic fungi Fusarium graminearum and Rhizoctonia solani. Pythium ultimum was more sensitive than F. graminearum and R. solani, and was killed at LPO and GOx concentrations of 20 nM and 26 nM, respectively. Rhizoctonia solani and F. graminearum were 70% to 80% inhibited by LPO and GOx concentrations of 242 nM and 315 nM, respectively. The enzyme system was tested for compatibility with five commercial fungicides as co-treatments. The majority of enzyme + fungicide co-treatments resulted in additive activity. Synergism ranging from 7% to 36% above the expected additive activity was observed when P. ultimum was exposed to the enzyme system combined with Daconil® (active ingredient (AI): chlorothalonil 29.6%, GardenTech, Lexington, KY, USA), tea tree oil, and mancozeb at select fungicide concentrations. Antagonism was observed when the enzyme system was combined with Tilt® (AI: propiconazole 41.8%, Syngenta, Basel, Switzerland) at one fungicide concentration, resulting in activity 24% below the expected additive activity at that concentration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Technology Platforms Accelerating Crop Improvement)
Open AccessArticle Yield Stability in Winter Wheat Production: A Survey on German Farmers’ and Advisors’ Views
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 22 June 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (272 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most of the available research studies have focused on the production of high grain yields of wheat and have neglected yield stability. However, yield stability is a relevant factor in agronomic practice and, therefore, is the focus of this comprehensive survey. The aim [...] Read more.
Most of the available research studies have focused on the production of high grain yields of wheat and have neglected yield stability. However, yield stability is a relevant factor in agronomic practice and, therefore, is the focus of this comprehensive survey. The aim was to first describe the importance of yield stability as well as currently used practical management strategies that ensure yield stability in wheat production and secondly, to obtain potential research areas supporting yield stability in the complex system of agronomy. The target groups were German farmers with experience in wheat production and advisors with expertise in the field of wheat cultivation or research. A sample size of 615 completed questionnaires formed the data basis of this study. The study itself provides evidence that the yield stability of winter wheat is even more important than the amount of yield for a large proportion of farmers (48%) and advisors (47%). Furthermore, in the view of the majority of the surveyed farmers and advisors, yield stability is gaining importance in climate change. Data analysis showed that site adapted cultivar choice, favorable crop rotations and integrated plant protection are ranked as three of the most important agronomic management practices to achieve high yield stability of wheat. Soil tillage and fertilization occupied a middle position, whereas sowing date and sowing density were estimated with lower importance. However, yield stability is affected by many environmental, genetic and agronomic factors, which subsequently makes it a complex matter. Hence, yield stability in farming practice must be analyzed and improved in a systems approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Technology Platforms Accelerating Crop Improvement)
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