Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Agricultural Biosystem and Biological Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2023) | Viewed by 40190

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Department of Agrobiotechnology, Institute of Agricultural Sciences, RUDN University, Moscow 117198, Russia
Interests: weed management; sustainable crop production; field crop production; management practices
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Dear Colleagues,

As the extent and output of agriculture still grows to new global records, so does the awareness of societies on the multiple contributions of land ecosystems to human wellbeing. Modern theories of economic growth rely on the assumption that natural resources have to be used effectively and with a higher proportion of renewable resources in the process of satisfying consumer demand. In this regard, crop productivity in the large-scale field is the main strategy in global farming systems. Currently, large-scale farming systems have led to enhancing production but also caused substantial environmental degradation; as such, this enhanced production has mostly been based on expansion onto natural areas and greater use of external inputs and other forms of intensified use. In this regard, agroecology has developed and become most successful in small-scale family farming, which contributes roughly more than half of the food consumed by humans by one estimate, farming on <30% of the agricultural land. Large scale farming, which occupies the majority of the global agricultural area, is defined here as the highly mechanized, commercial cropping and livestock keeping activities that take place in privately owned or rented land by an individual farmer, company, or family enterprise. This sector is responsible for 70% of current deforestation, the largest share of agriculture and agricultural water use, and habitat disruption, resulting in biodiversity loss.

In this Special Issue, we aim to exchange knowledge on any aspect related to crop productivity and energy balance in large-scale fields, and to take stock of the knowledge available and identify key open research questions critical for the transition of large-scale farming systems to agroecology, from the realm of agronomy, ecology, and social sciences.

Dr. Meisam Zargar
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • crop productivity
  • energy balance
  • farming system

Published Papers (14 papers)

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19 pages, 1391 KiB  
Article
Water Relation, Gas Exchange Characteristics and Yield Performance of Selected Mungbean Genotypes under Low Soil Moisture Condition
by Tahmina Tamanna, Md. Moshiul Islam, Arpita Roy Chaity, Shahjadi-Nur-Us Shams, Md. Asadujjaman Rasel, M. Moynul Haque, Md. Giashuddin Miah, Saud Alamri and Yoshiyuki Murata
Agronomy 2023, 13(4), 1068; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13041068 - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1758
Abstract
Among the environmental constraints, the growth and yield of crops are seriously impaired by moisture stress. With this view, an experiment was conducted to observe genotypic differences in water relation, gas exchange characteristics and yield performance of mungbean under low soil moisture conditions. [...] Read more.
Among the environmental constraints, the growth and yield of crops are seriously impaired by moisture stress. With this view, an experiment was conducted to observe genotypic differences in water relation, gas exchange characteristics and yield performance of mungbean under low soil moisture conditions. Experimental variables consisted of five drought tolerant genotypes (G88, G108, G141,varietiesG186), one susceptible genotype (G43) and two standard check variety (BU mug 5, Binnamoog-8) which assigned to two moisture regimes viz., water regime A ((80 to 90% field capacity (FC)) and water regime B (40 to 50% FC). Results showed that water saturation deficit, water uptake capacity and transpiration rate were the lowest in tolerant genotypes G88 followed by genotypes G141, while those were the highest in susceptible genotype G43 under low soil moisture conditions. Contrarily, the highest amount of relative water content and water retention capacity were found in tolerant genotypes G141, G108 and G88 and the lowest was recorded in susceptible genotype G43 under low soil moisture conditions. In the case of the photosynthetic rate and stomatal conductance, the tolerant genotype G141, G88 and G108 showed the higher values at moisture stress condition. The highest total chlorophyll content and proline content were also found in tolerant genotype G88 followed by G141 and G108, and the lowest was found in susceptible genotype G43 under moisture stress conditions. Irrespective of genotypes, moisture stress significantly decreased the yield attributes and yield of mungbean genotypes. However, the highest seed yield per plant (12.11 g) was found in tolerant genotype G88 under low soil moisture conditions because of its lowest reduction rate of yield attributes under moisture stress. Similar responses were also observed in tolerant genotypes G141 and G108. Therefore, the genotypes G88, G108 and G141 showed better performance in the case of water relation and gas exchange characteristics which might be contribute to higher yield of those genotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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16 pages, 838 KiB  
Article
Biomass and Methane Production in Double Cereal Cropping Systems with Different Winter Cereal and Maize Plant Densities
by Massimo Blandino, Mattia Scapino, Luca Rollè, Elio Dinuccio and Amedeo Reyneri
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020536 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1128
Abstract
The biogas supply chain requires a correct combination of crops to maximize the methane yield per hectare. Field trials were carried out in North Italy over three growing seasons, according to a factorial combination of four cropping systems (maize as a sole-crop or [...] Read more.
The biogas supply chain requires a correct combination of crops to maximize the methane yield per hectare. Field trials were carried out in North Italy over three growing seasons, according to a factorial combination of four cropping systems (maize as a sole-crop or after hybrid barley, triticale and wheat) and two maize plant densities (standard, 7.5 plants m−2 and high, 10 plants m−2) with the plants harvested as whole-crop silage. The specific methane production per ton was measured through the biochemical methane potential (BMP) method, while the methane yield per hectare was calculated on the basis of the BMP results and considering the biomass yield. The average methane yield of wheat resulted to be equal to 4550 Nm3 ha−1, and +17% and +28% higher than triticale and barley, respectively, according to the biomass yield. A delay in maize sowing reduced the yield potential of this crop; the biomass of maize grown after barley, triticale and wheat was 20%, 33% and 47% lower, respectively, than maize cultivated as a single crop. The high plant population increased the biomass yield in the sole-crop maize (+23%) and in the maize grown after barley (+20%), compared to the standard density. The highest biomass (32 t ha−1 DM) and methane yield (9971 Nm3 ha−1) within the cropping systems were obtained for barley followed by maize at a high plant density. This cropping system increased the methane yield by 46% and 18%, respectively, compared to the sole-crop maize or maize after triticale at a standard density. The smaller amount of available solar radiation, resulting from the later sowing of maize, reduced the advantage related to the application of a high plant density. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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15 pages, 1687 KiB  
Article
Diversity of the Biological and Proteinogenic Characteristics of Quinoa Genotypes as a Multi-Purpose Crop
by Sergey Voronov, Yurii Pleskachiov, Aleksandra Shitikova, Meisam Zargar and Mostafa Abdelkader
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 279; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020279 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1915
Abstract
Quinoa is a multi-purpose vegetable, grain, and forage crop, due in part to the high nutritional value of its aerial parts. This work evaluates quinoa genotype characteristics as a starting point for a better understanding of multi-purpose cultivation. Ten cultivars of quinoa were [...] Read more.
Quinoa is a multi-purpose vegetable, grain, and forage crop, due in part to the high nutritional value of its aerial parts. This work evaluates quinoa genotype characteristics as a starting point for a better understanding of multi-purpose cultivation. Ten cultivars of quinoa were studied on soddy-podzolic soils: Brightest Brilliant, Red Faro, and Cherry Vanilla from the US (USA 1–3); Titicaca (KY1) from Denmark; Regalo (KY2), a cultivar selected by the Baer Seed Research Center for southern Chile; as well as Q1–Q5, UAE cultivars of various ecological and geographical origins. Quinoa plants were divided into three parts (lower, middle, and upper). The Q3 and Q4 cultivars produced the maximum fresh weight (38.7 g and 35.4 g, respectively) and dry matter (5.6 g and 5.3 g, respectively). The leaf mass and stems comprised 25% and 75% of the lower parts, versus 50–60% and 40–50% of the middle parts, respectively. Stems made up about 15% of the upper parts. The KY1 and Q5 cultivars produced the highest results (4.08 and 4.23 g, respectively). Protein concentrations of the quinoa grains were relatively high, with up to 14.0% grain protein in the USA2 cultivars. Leucine and isoleucine were the most abundant amino acids in quinoa grains, ranging from 6.7 to 9.2 g/100 g of protein. In contrast, methionine was the least abundant amino acid with less than 1.5 g/100 g of protein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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24 pages, 2555 KiB  
Article
Agro-Physiological Indices and Multidimensional Analyses for Detecting Heat Tolerance in Wheat Genotypes
by Ibrahim Al-Ashkar, Mohammed Sallam, Abdelhalim Ghazy, Abdullah Ibrahim, Majed Alotaibi, Najeeb Ullah and Abdullah Al-Doss
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010154 - 3 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1862
Abstract
Increasing atmospheric temperature can significantly reduce global wheat productivity; despite a mounting demand for wheat grain supplies. Developing genotypes with superior performance under current and future hot climates is a key challenge for wheat breeders. Multidimensional tools have supported plant breeders in increasing [...] Read more.
Increasing atmospheric temperature can significantly reduce global wheat productivity; despite a mounting demand for wheat grain supplies. Developing genotypes with superior performance under current and future hot climates is a key challenge for wheat breeders. Multidimensional tools have supported plant breeders in increasing the genetic stability rate of agro-physiological indices that influence wheat productivity. We used 25 agro-physiological indices to classify 20 bread wheat genotypes for their heat stress tolerance. Agro-physiological indices and multidimensional analyses to identify differences in genetic and phenotypic were used, combining these analyses to reach selection criteria of accurate and credible. The 25 studied indices reflected high genotypic and environmental variations. We used 16 indices, which have brought together high heritability and genetic gain as indicators for screening heat-tolerant genotypes. Based on the seven principal comprehensive indices of (D value), wheat genotypes were classified into three highly heat-tolerant, four heat-tolerant, six moderately heat-tolerant, five heat-sensitive, and two highly heat-sensitive wheat genotypes. Based on four critical indices [grain yield (GY), grain-filling duration (GFD), spike length (SL) and canopy temperature (CT)] obtained from stepwise multiple linear regression (SMLR), the genotypes were grouped as four genotypes highly heat-tolerant, six heat-tolerant, two moderately heat-tolerant, four heat-sensitive and four highly heat-sensitive. The classification D value and SMLR distances were significantly correlated based on the Mantel test, with a perfect match in nine genotypes. SMLR indicated that a mathematical equation for the evaluation of wheat heat tolerance was established: GY = 0.670 + 0.504 × GFD + 0.334 × SL − 0.466 × CT (R2 = 0.739; average prediction accuracy of 94.12%). SMLR-based classification of wheat genotypes for heat tolerance was further verified through discriminant analysis, which showed that prior and posterior classification was identical in eighteen genotypes. Cross-validation showed that prior and posterior classification was identical in thirteen genotypes. Based on this study, we can recommend tolerated new wheat lines (DHL25, DHL05, DHL23 and DHL08) and cultivar Pavone-76 as a promising genetic source for heat-tolerant breeding programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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14 pages, 282 KiB  
Article
Energy Efficiency of Oat:Pea Intercrops Affected by Sowing Ratio and Nitrogen Fertilization
by Gerhard Moitzi, Helmut Wagentristl, Hans-Peter Kaul, Jaroslav Bernas and Reinhard W. Neugschwandtner
Agronomy 2023, 13(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13010042 - 22 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1329
Abstract
This study analyzed energy input (direct and indirect), energy output, net-energy output, energy use efficiency, energy intensity, and the energy productivity of oat:pea intercrops as affected by sowing ratio (oat:pea (%:%): 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75, 0:100) and nitrogen (N) fertilization (0, 60, 120 [...] Read more.
This study analyzed energy input (direct and indirect), energy output, net-energy output, energy use efficiency, energy intensity, and the energy productivity of oat:pea intercrops as affected by sowing ratio (oat:pea (%:%): 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75, 0:100) and nitrogen (N) fertilization (0, 60, 120 kg N ha−1). The two year field experiment was conducted on a calcaric Chernozem soil in the north-western part of the Pannonian Basin. The results for grain yield showed that pure stands of oat and pea had a higher energy use efficiency and energy intensity than intercrops, indicating that pure stands used the growing factors more efficiently than intercrops. The energy use efficiency was higher in pure pea than pure oat. The energy productivity for the above-ground biomass production was much more affected by the factor N fertilization than by the factor sowing ratio. The highest energy productivity of grain N yield and above-ground biomass N yield was achieved in pure pea stands (0:100). N in plant residues of the zero N fertilization variant required 68% lower technical energy than N from mineral fertilizer. The sowing rate of the intercrops is a management tool to trade-off between the benefits of the in-field biodiversity and energy efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
14 pages, 3349 KiB  
Article
Salicylic Acid Pre-Treatment Reduces the Physiological Damage Caused by the Herbicide Mesosulfuron-methyl + Iodosulfuron-methyl in Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
by Seyedeh Asieh Khatami, Morteza Barmaki, Mohammad Taghi Alebrahim and Ali Ahsan Bajwa
Agronomy 2022, 12(12), 3053; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12123053 - 2 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Chemical herbicides are the most common method of weed control in crops, but they can also negatively affect the host crops, such as wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The damage caused to the crop plants is often temporary and minor, but sometimes, it [...] Read more.
Chemical herbicides are the most common method of weed control in crops, but they can also negatively affect the host crops, such as wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The damage caused to the crop plants is often temporary and minor, but sometimes, it can be more substantial, requiring remedial measures. Salicylic acid (SA) is a plant hormone widely used to promote plant growth and to mitigate oxidative stress through its exogenous application. We evaluated the role of exogenously applied SA (as a pre-treatment) in ameliorating the oxidative damage caused by the herbicide mesosulfuron-methyl + iodosulfuron-methyl in wheat plants. The herbicide disrupted the physiological function of plants by affecting several enzymatic antioxidants. The hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents increased at herbicide concentrations higher than 18 g ai ha−1 compared with the untreated control. However, the SA decreased the H2O2 and MDA contents compared with plants that were not treated with SA prior to the herbicide application. The activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) enzymes increased with increasing rates of the herbicide, as well as over time, regardless of the SA treatment. The activity of catalase (CAT) increased up to the herbicide rate of 18 g ai ha−1 and then decreased at the higher rates, while SA pre-treatment enhanced the CAT activity. The activities of ascorbate peroxidase, peroxidase, and glutathione-S-transferase enzymes generally increased in response to the herbicide application and SA pre-treatment, but fluctuated across different days of sampling following the herbicide application. Herbicide stress also induced high levels of proline production in wheat leaves as compared with the untreated control, while SA pre-treatment decreased the proline contents. Overall, the pre-treatment with different concentrations of SA mitigated the herbicide damage to the physiological functions by regulating the enzymatic antioxidants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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11 pages, 3203 KiB  
Article
Does Belt Uniform Sowing Improve Winter Wheat Yield under High Sowing Density?
by Mei Chen, Yong-He Zhu, Ming-Jian Ren, Long Jiang, Jin He and Rui Dong
Agronomy 2022, 12(12), 2936; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12122936 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1139
Abstract
The belt uniform (BU) sowing pattern can improve the yield of winter wheat, but whether and how the BU sowing pattern can increase yield under different sowing densities is unknown. The field study was conducted in Guiyang (Guizhou province) during the growing season [...] Read more.
The belt uniform (BU) sowing pattern can improve the yield of winter wheat, but whether and how the BU sowing pattern can increase yield under different sowing densities is unknown. The field study was conducted in Guiyang (Guizhou province) during the growing season in 2017–2018, 2018–2019, and 2019–2020. Four winter wheat cultivars were used in field experiments to investigate the changes of the dry matter accumulation and partition, yield and yield components at maturity under five sowing densities (75, 150, 225, 300, and 375 plants per m2), and three sowing patterns: line and dense (LD) sowing with 33.3 cm row spacing (LDS); the belt uniform (BU) sowing with 15 cm (BUN), and 20 cm (BUW) row spacing. The BU sowing pattern significantly increases shoot dry matter and grain yield in all four winter wheat cultivars under all five sowing densities and in each growing season, particularly under the high sowing density of 300 and 375 plants m−2. Harvest index was unaffected by the different sowing densities and sowing patterns. While spike number increased, grain weight per spike decreased with the increase in sowing density. The 1000-grain weight and grain number per spike were unaffected by the sowing patterns. The variation in the shoot dry weight can explain 94% variation in grain yield and 66% variation in spike number. Allometric analysis showed that more dry matter was partitioned to the spike than to the stem and leaf. We conclude that the BU sowing pattern can increase grain yield under high sowing densities associated with a high shoot dry matter accumulation and its partition to the spike. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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12 pages, 3562 KiB  
Article
Tillage System and Seeding Rate Impact on Yield, Oil Accumulation and Photosynthetic Potential of Different Cultivars of Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) in Southern Russia
by Sergey Voronov, Yurii Pleskachiov, Serazhutdin Kurbanov, Diana Magomedova and Meisam Zargar
Agronomy 2022, 12(11), 2904; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12112904 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1622
Abstract
Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) is a high-value oilseed crop with growing importance in numerous countries around the globe. This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of the basic tillage technique and various seeding rates on the yield, oil accumulation and photosynthetic [...] Read more.
Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) is a high-value oilseed crop with growing importance in numerous countries around the globe. This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of the basic tillage technique and various seeding rates on the yield, oil accumulation and photosynthetic potential of different safflower cultivars (Kamyshinskiy 73, Zavolzhskiy 1 and Alexandrite) in the Volgograd Region of Southern Russia. Three field experiments were conducted at the research farm of Volgograd Agricultural State University during 2018–2020. The treatments were arranged as split plots based on a randomized complete block design with three blocks. Tillage treatments (basic tillage as the control (moldboard PN-4-35, depth 20–22 cm), chisel ploughing (OCHO 5-40, depth 35–37 cm) and disc ploughing (BDM-4, depth 12–14 cm)) were assigned to the main plots, and seeding rates (200, 300 and 400 m2/m2) were allocated to the subplots. The maximum leaf area, with a value of 26.35 m2/m2 and the greatest photosynthetic potential of 1489 thousand m2 × day ha−1, was obtained in Alexandrite with the interaction of deep chisel ploughing and a seeding rate of 400 thousand seeds ha−1. The highest dry biomass was also achieved in Alexandrite, with a value of 3.24 t ha−1, with the interaction of deep chisel ploughing and a seeding rate of 400 thousand seeds ha−1. The highest yield (1.84 t ha−1) and oil accumulation (28.75%) were recorded for Alexandrite with the interaction of deep chisel ploughing and a seeding rate of 300 and 400 thousand seeds ha−1 respectively. Overall, in terms of tillage treatments, the safflower productivity was highest when chisel tillage was performed, and the lowest yield was observed with the small disc ploughing practice. The yield of Alexandrite cultivar was noted to be 4.4–4.8% higher than that of the Zavolzhsky cultivar and 9.2–10.8% higher than that of the Kamyshinsky 73 cultivar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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16 pages, 1624 KiB  
Article
Light Interception and Radiation Use Efficiency of Three Cassava Genotypes with Different Plant Types and Seasonal Variations
by Supattra Mahakosee, Sanun Jogloy, Nimitr Vorasoot, Piyada Theerakulpisut, Banyong Toomsan, Carl Corley Holbrook, Craig K. Kvien and Poramate Banterng
Agronomy 2022, 12(11), 2888; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12112888 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1625
Abstract
The yield potential of cassava might be increased by enhancing light interception and the ability to convert energy into biomass and yield, which is described as radiation use efficiency (RUE). The objective of this study was to determine light interception, extinction coefficient ( [...] Read more.
The yield potential of cassava might be increased by enhancing light interception and the ability to convert energy into biomass and yield, which is described as radiation use efficiency (RUE). The objective of this study was to determine light interception, extinction coefficient (k), and RUE of three cassava genotypes (Kasetsart 50 (KU50), Rayong 11 (RY11), and CMR38-125-77) under seasonal variations. The field experiments were conducted in a randomized complete block design with four replications, using two planting dates for 2 years at Khon Kaen, Thailand. Data were recorded for weather conditions, light interception, leaf area index (LAI), and biomass. Solar radiation interception, RUE, and k were calculated. Light interception of the crop planted in May sharply increased in the early growth stage, whereas the crop planted in November slowly increased and could maintain higher light interception from the mid–late growth stages. Light interception and LAI had a moderate to high coefficient of determination (R2 = 0.61–0.89) for three cassava genotypes and all planting dates. The k values ranged from 0.59 to 0.94, varying by genotypes and planting dates, indicating that the leaf orientation of the three cassava genotypes was horizontally oriented. The relationship between biomass accumulation and cumulative solar radiation produced a high value of R2 (0.86–0.99). The RUE for biomass (RUEbi) varied by genotype and planting date, ranging from 0.66 g MJ−1 to 0.97 g MJ−1. However, the RUE for storage root dry weight (RUEsr) ranged from 0.29 g MJ−1 to 0.66 g MJ−1. The RUEbi and RUEsr in each genotype on each planting date were significantly different. The highest RUEbi and RUEsr were found at 4–6 and 7–9 MAP for almost all genotypes and planting dates, except for the crop planted in November 2015, when both RY11 and CMR38-125-77 had the highest RUEbi at 10–12 MAP. RY11 had a lower LAI compared to other genotypes, which contributed to lower light disruption and lower RUEbi and RUEsr. KU50 and CMR38-125-77 could maintain canopy light interception during canopy development and storage root accumulation stages and had high RUEbi and RUEsr, resulting in high biomass and crop yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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17 pages, 5434 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Potential of Streptomyces spp. in Suppression of Rhizoctonia solani (AG1-IA) Causing Rice Sheath Blight Disease in Northern Iran
by Meysam Soltani Nejad, Neda Samandari Najafabadi, Sonia Aghighi, Amir Hashem Shahidi Bonjar, Kheda Magomed-Salihovna Murtazova, Magomed Ramzanovich Nakhaev and Meisam Zargar
Agronomy 2022, 12(10), 2292; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12102292 - 24 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2408
Abstract
A study was conducted in the Guilan Province of Iran, using a variety of Actinomycetes species isolated from the rice fields, with the intention of identifying useful biocontrol agents to lessen rice sheath blight disease. The antagonistic effects against the rice pathogen agent [...] Read more.
A study was conducted in the Guilan Province of Iran, using a variety of Actinomycetes species isolated from the rice fields, with the intention of identifying useful biocontrol agents to lessen rice sheath blight disease. The antagonistic effects against the rice pathogen agent were also assessed both in vitro and in vivo. The antifungal abilities of more than 30 Actinomycetes isolates against the Rhizoctonia solani Kühn (AG1-IA) were used. The biocontrol abilities of the most active isolates were studied in a greenhouse. The size of the inhibition zone against pathogen development and the most potent antagonist Actinomycetes isolates were determined based on the dual culture screening test findings. The ability to create hydrolytic enzymes including amylase, chitinase, protease, and lipase were shown by hydrolytic enzyme assays on the putative antagonists. Antifungal activities of Streptomyces isolates against fungus mycelia were also studied using SEM since, compared to the control grown mycelia and mycelia adjacent to the inhibition zone in the plate, tests revealed an unusual and deformed structure; in our opinion, the chitinase secreted can destroy fungal mycelium. Chloroform test showed that its antifungal effect persists upon exposure to chloroform. All possible isolates belonged to the Streptomyces species, according to the 16S rDNA molecular analysis of the majority of active isolates. Comparing isolates, G had the highest impact in reducing sheath blight disease. The Iranian strain of the Streptomyces has antifungal capabilities, highlighting its potential as a viable biocontrol agent to be used in an Integrated Disease Management (IDM) program to control the rice sheath blight disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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15 pages, 1894 KiB  
Article
Life Cycle Assessment of the Cultivation Processes for the Main Vegetable Crops in Southern Egypt
by Mostafa Abdelkader, Meisam Zargar, Kheda Magomed-Salihovna Murtazova and Magomed Ramzanovich Nakhaev
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1527; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071527 - 25 Jun 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2943
Abstract
Due to the increasing concern about climate change and environmental sustainability, the investigation of energy consumption represents a very intriguing and undeniable subject. This study was directed to investigate energy footprints, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and life cycle assessment (LCA) of the main [...] Read more.
Due to the increasing concern about climate change and environmental sustainability, the investigation of energy consumption represents a very intriguing and undeniable subject. This study was directed to investigate energy footprints, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and life cycle assessment (LCA) of the main vegetable crops cultivated under open field conditions in southern Egypt. Potato production required the maximum energy amount (112.3 GJ/ha) compared to 76 GJ and 96 GJ for onion and tomato, respectively. Based on energy indices, potato gave (energy ratio > 1; energy productivity > 1; energy profitability > 1; net energy > 0), while onion and tomato production shared the same indicators (energy ratio < 1; energy productivity > 1; energy profitability < 0; net energy < 0). However, GHG emissions generated for producing one ton of potato tubers registered the least amount by 76.0 kg CO2 eq. The same GHG amount was produced by 834 kg of onion bulbs and 940.6 kg of tomato fruits. The emission rates were more a consequence of diesel, followed by inorganic fertilizer and manure. In addition to carbon emissions, every production process causes several other environmental problems, thus a comprehensive analysis of environmental impact categories is required. The openLCA program performed LCA and ten impact categories were considered to transform the inventory data into several indicators. Producing one ton of potato tubers has the least footprint on the environment and the ecosystem, such as global warming (GW)—238.8 kg CO2 eq. t−1; human toxicity (HT)—288.3 kg 1,4-DB eq. t−1; fresh water aquatic ecotoxicity (FAEF)—160.44 kg 1,4-DB eq. t−1; marine aquatic ecotoxicity (MAET)—365,636 kg 1,4-DB eq. t−1; and terrestrial ecotoxicity (TE)—1.18 kg 1,4-DB eq. t−1. The analyses indicated that machinery and diesel fuel had the highest impact on all the studied categories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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16 pages, 4457 KiB  
Article
Effect of Foliar Treatment with Aqueous Dispersions of Silver Nanoparticles on Legume-Rhizobium Symbiosis and Yield of Soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.)
by Yurii A. Krutyakov, Maria T. Mukhina, Olga A. Shapoval and Meisam Zargar
Agronomy 2022, 12(6), 1473; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061473 - 18 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2169
Abstract
Interest in the use of silver as a component of plant protection products and growth regulators appeared relatively recently with the development of methods for the effective stabilization of colloidal systems containing nanoparticles of this metal. In the present work, we studied the [...] Read more.
Interest in the use of silver as a component of plant protection products and growth regulators appeared relatively recently with the development of methods for the effective stabilization of colloidal systems containing nanoparticles of this metal. In the present work, we studied the effect of foliar treatments with aqueous dispersions of silver nanoparticles stabilized by polyhexamethylene biguanide hydrochloride with an average diameter of 6 ± 1 nm and a zeta-potential of +47.4 ± 1.3 mV on legume-Rhizobium symbiosis, which largely determines the efficiency of soil nitrogen assimilation and the yield of soybean (Glycine max L. Merr.). Based on the results of a two-year field experiment, it was shown that treatments with low doses of silver nanoparticles lead to a significant increase in the number of root nodules and an increase in soybean yield. The observed biological effectiveness of silver nanoparticles dispersions is explained by an increase in the enzymatic activity of peroxidases and polyphenol oxidases in the terrestrial part of plants. It is very likely that the treatment with silver nanoparticles and the increase in peroxidase activity in non-infected parts of the plant lead to a more effective prevention of the penetration of rhizobacteria into the aboveground soybean organs, which, in turn, may be the reason for the observed decrease in the activity of peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase in parts of plant roots susceptible to rhizobia. The latter, as is known, contributes to an easier flow of the nodulation process and the development of legume–Rhizobium symbiosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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18 pages, 1093 KiB  
Article
Ameliorating Seed Germination and Seedling Growth of Nano-Primed Wheat and Flax Seeds Using Seven Biogenic Metal-Based Nanoparticles
by Maryam Bayat, Meisam Zargar, Kheda Magomed-Salihovna Murtazova, Magomed Ramzanovich Nakhaev and Sergey I. Shkurkin
Agronomy 2022, 12(4), 811; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12040811 - 27 Mar 2022
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 3103
Abstract
Recently, large-scale agriculture has led to increasing crop production. To increase crop productivity in large-scale cropping systems, attempts have been made to make nano-fertilizers and deliver them to the crops by extension of nanotechnology. Hence, nano-fertilizers might be defined as nanoparticles that may [...] Read more.
Recently, large-scale agriculture has led to increasing crop production. To increase crop productivity in large-scale cropping systems, attempts have been made to make nano-fertilizers and deliver them to the crops by extension of nanotechnology. Hence, nano-fertilizers might be defined as nanoparticles that may directly assist in supplying essential nutrients for crop productivity. Seed germination is the first and the most susceptible stage in the plant’s growing phases, so could be considered as an index to evaluate the effect of newly developed materials such as nanoparticles (NPs), providing useful information for researchers. In our experiments, germination tests have been carried out in Petri dishes containing wet filter paper and nano-primed seeds. We had biosynthesized seven nanoparticles in our previous studies including calcinated and non-calcinated zinc oxide, zinc, magnesium oxide, silver, copper, and iron nanoparticles. The effect of these biogenic nanoparticles and their counterpart metallic salts including zinc acetate, magnesium sulfate, silver nitrate, copper sulfate, and iron (III) chloride was studied on two popularly grown plants, wheat and flax, in laboratory conditions to obtain preliminary information for future field experiments. Germination percentage, shoot length, root length, seedlings length, root–shoot ratio, seedling vigor index (SVI), shoot length stress tolerance index (SLSI), and root length stress tolerance index (RLSI) were calculated on the second and seventh days of the experiment. According to the results, the response of the plants to metal containing nanoparticles and metal salts mainly depend on the type of the metal, plant species, concentration of the NP suspension or salt solution, condition of the exposure, and the stage of growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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Review

Jump to: Research

12 pages, 795 KiB  
Review
Improving Crop Productivity and Ensuring Food Security through the Adoption of Genetically Modified Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa
by Nyasha John Kavhiza, Meisam Zargar, Svetlana Igorevna Prikhodko, Elena Nikolaevna Pakina, Kheda Magomed-Salihovna Murtazova and Magomed Ramzanovich Nakhaev
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020439 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 14804
Abstract
The food security challenge is one of the most topical issues of the 21st Century. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the least food-secure region, and solutions are constantly being sought to alleviate the problem. The region’s exponentially growing population is in dire need of [...] Read more.
The food security challenge is one of the most topical issues of the 21st Century. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the least food-secure region, and solutions are constantly being sought to alleviate the problem. The region’s exponentially growing population is in dire need of affordable and nutritious food. The “Gene Revolution” (genetic engineering) presents opportunities in which food security can be ensured in SSA. Genetic modification (GM) has potential to solve myriad problems currently being experienced in SSA agriculture, hence improving yields and reducing the costs of production. Most of the SSA countries have a precautionary stance towards GM crops; thus, only a handful of countries have approved the commercialized production of transgenic crops. The lack of understanding and sound knowledge about the GM system is reflected in the formulation of policies and regulatory frameworks for biosafety and their implementation. There is need to conscientize the policymakers and the public about the general principles of genetic engineering for better decision making. Considering the multiple beneficial aspects demonstrated by transgenic crops it will not be prudent to ignore them. The versatility of GM technology makes it adaptable to the food crisis in SSA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Crop Productivity and Energy Balance in Large-Scale Fields)
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