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Agronomy, Volume 2, Issue 1 (March 2012), Pages 1-73

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Wheat Nitrogen Fertilisation Effects on the Performance of the Cereal Aphid Metopolophium dirhodum
Agronomy 2012, 2(1), 1-13; doi:10.3390/agronomy2010001
Received: 14 December 2011 / Revised: 16 January 2012 / Accepted: 1 February 2012 / Published: 9 February 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effects of five rates of nitrogen fertiliser applications on the performance of the cereal aphid Metopolophium dirhodum on winter wheat, within the range of rates recommended for UK crops, were investigated over two seasons in field-grown crops and also on plants [...] Read more.
The effects of five rates of nitrogen fertiliser applications on the performance of the cereal aphid Metopolophium dirhodum on winter wheat, within the range of rates recommended for UK crops, were investigated over two seasons in field-grown crops and also on plants grown in the glasshouse. Longevity was unaffected by the level of fertilisation, but aphid intrinsic rate of increase and fecundity increased with each level applied. In the second field season, when a higher upper limit was used, many of these increases were significant. A previously unreported finding for this species was that there was a significant decrease in fecundity for the highest rate of fertilisation. Results for the glasshouse-reared aphids followed a similar pattern to those in the field, and overall they underline recent reports in the literature of the negative effects of high nutrient concentrations on the performance of herbivorous insects. The underlying reasons for these are discussed. Full article
Open AccessArticle Modeling Long-Term Trends in Russet Burbank Potato Growth and Development in Wisconsin
Agronomy 2012, 2(1), 14-27; doi:10.3390/agronomy2010014
Received: 8 February 2012 / Revised: 7 March 2012 / Accepted: 7 March 2012 / Published: 14 March 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (528 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Improving understanding and prediction of the potato (Solanum tuberosum) tuber size over the growing season is important due to its effects on crop price and marketing. Several models have been proposed to describe potato growth and development, but are based on [...] Read more.
Improving understanding and prediction of the potato (Solanum tuberosum) tuber size over the growing season is important due to its effects on crop price and marketing. Several models have been proposed to describe potato growth and development, but are based on short-term data and have little use for predicting yields or in-season management decisions. This analysis uses long-term data collected from 1979 to 1993 in central Wisconsin to describe growth and development of the Russet Burbank potato variety. This paper describes average number of potato tubers per plant and tuber length as influenced by thermal time and stem number per plant over 14 years. For each plant variable, data analysis uses multivariate techniques to fit a hierarchical logistic model with parameters potentially depending on stem number per plant. Analysis finds that the average number of potato tubers and average tuber length were affected by thermal time and stem number per plant. Estimated models are biologically relevant, provide an understanding of seasonal thermal variability and stem number per plant effects on average tuber set and growth, and can be used to describe yearly variation in average potato growth and development. Increased understanding of potato growth in response to thermal time and stem number per plant can improve management recommendations and predictions of crop economic value. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agronomy: Feature Papers)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Maize Germplasm for Resistance to Aflatoxin Accumulation
Agronomy 2012, 2(1), 28-39; doi:10.3390/agronomy2010028
Received: 12 February 2012 / Revised: 6 March 2012 / Accepted: 7 March 2012 / Published: 14 March 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aflatoxin contamination of maize grain threatens human food and animal feed safety. Breeding for reduced grain aflatoxin accumulation is one of the best strategies presently available to lower grain aflatoxin accumulation. Previously identified sources of germplasm with reduced grain aflatoxin accumulation are [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin contamination of maize grain threatens human food and animal feed safety. Breeding for reduced grain aflatoxin accumulation is one of the best strategies presently available to lower grain aflatoxin accumulation. Previously identified sources of germplasm with reduced grain aflatoxin accumulation are excessively tall and late maturing. The objective of this research was to screen germplasm and identify potential sources of aflatoxin resistance. KO679Y and CUBA117:S15-101-001-B-B-B-B inbreds were evaluated for aflatoxin accumulation alongside resistant and susceptible checks with both performing well. These two lines were also evaluated in various crosses. KO679Y performed especially well in crosses with Mp494 and Mp717, resulting in low ear rot and very low aflatoxin levels, but not well in other crosses. A breeding cross including CUBA117:S15-101-001-B-B-B-B as a parent accumulated low levels of aflatoxin both years it was evaluated. Lines resulting from these crosses are being advanced for further evaluation and improvement. KO679Y and CUBA117:S15-101-001-B-B-B-B may prove useful for breeders seeking germplasm sources for ear rot and mycotoxin reduction, especially KO679Y which matures a week earlier and is approximately 25% shorter than current lines resistant to grain aflatoxin accumulation. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Applied Genetics and Genomics in Alfalfa Breeding
Agronomy 2012, 2(1), 40-61; doi:10.3390/agronomy2010040
Received: 22 February 2012 / Revised: 2 March 2012 / Accepted: 6 March 2012 / Published: 15 March 2012
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (402 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), a perennial and outcrossing species, is a widely planted forage legume for hay, pasture and silage throughout the world. Currently, alfalfa breeding relies on recurrent phenotypic selection, but alternatives incorporating molecular marker assisted breeding could enhance genetic [...] Read more.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), a perennial and outcrossing species, is a widely planted forage legume for hay, pasture and silage throughout the world. Currently, alfalfa breeding relies on recurrent phenotypic selection, but alternatives incorporating molecular marker assisted breeding could enhance genetic gain per unit time and per unit cost, and accelerate alfalfa improvement. Many major quantitative trait loci (QTL) related to agronomic traits have been identified by family-based QTL mapping, but in relatively large genomic regions. Candidate genes elucidated from model species have helped to identify some potential causal loci in alfalfa mapping and breeding population for specific traits. Recently, high throughput sequencing technologies, coupled with advanced bioinformatics tools, have been used to identify large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in alfalfa, which are being developed into markers. These markers will facilitate fine mapping of quantitative traits and genome wide association mapping of agronomic traits and further advanced breeding strategies for alfalfa, such as marker-assisted selection and genomic selection. Based on ideas from the literature, we suggest several ways to improve selection in alfalfa including (1) diversity selection and paternity testing, (2) introgression of QTL and (3) genomic selection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Genomics Technologies on Crop Breeding Strategies)
Open AccessReview Genomic Databases for Crop Improvement
Agronomy 2012, 2(1), 62-73; doi:10.3390/agronomy2010062
Received: 11 January 2012 / Revised: 13 March 2012 / Accepted: 15 March 2012 / Published: 20 March 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (180 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Genomics is playing an increasing role in plant breeding and this is accelerating with the rapid advances in genome technology. Translating the vast abundance of data being produced by genome technologies requires the development of custom bioinformatics tools and advanced databases. These [...] Read more.
Genomics is playing an increasing role in plant breeding and this is accelerating with the rapid advances in genome technology. Translating the vast abundance of data being produced by genome technologies requires the development of custom bioinformatics tools and advanced databases. These range from large generic databases which hold specific data types for a broad range of species, to carefully integrated and curated databases which act as a resource for the improvement of specific crops. In this review, we outline some of the features of plant genome databases, identify specific resources for the improvement of individual crops and comment on the potential future direction of crop genome databases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Genomics Technologies on Crop Breeding Strategies)

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