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Agriculture, Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2018)

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Open AccessArticle Performance of Pinoxaden on the Control of Diclofop-Resistant Italian Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. ssp. multiflorum) in Winter Wheat
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070114
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
Resistance to herbicides in Italian ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. ssp. multiflorum (Lam.) Husnot) is an economically important herbicide-resistance issue in world agriculture. Diclofop-resistant ryegrass is the number one weed problem in Arkansas wheat. Field studies were conducted from 2006 through 2008 at
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Resistance to herbicides in Italian ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. ssp. multiflorum (Lam.) Husnot) is an economically important herbicide-resistance issue in world agriculture. Diclofop-resistant ryegrass is the number one weed problem in Arkansas wheat. Field studies were conducted from 2006 through 2008 at Bredlow corner and Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA to determine the effect of herbicide programs consisting of pinoxaden (Axial) alone or in mixtures with preemergence and postemergence herbicides, along with tillage systems, for managing diclofop-resistant Italian ryegrass. Italian ryegrass control, wheat injury, and grain yield were evaluated. A single treatment with pinoxaden alone resulted in 58% ryegrass control and 1488 kg ha−1 grain yield. The best treatment was metribuzin followed by mesosulfuron, which resulted in 2793 kg grain yield ha−1, a 47% increase compared to pinoxaden alone. In Fayetteville (2006–2007 and 2007–2008), the best treatment was two applications of metribuzin, which yielded about 3700 kg grain ha−1. A single application of pinoxaden resulted in 40% loss of grain yield compared to a single application of flufenacet + metribuzin and almost 50% yield loss compared to sequential application of metribuzin. Yield loss was attributed due to insufficient control of Italian ryegrass. The effect of tillage on Italian ryegrass was inconsistent between years and treatments. In the first year, for example, tillage × herbicide treatments did not differ. In the second and third year, control of Italian ryegrass was better in no-till than in conventional till in both locations. In conclusion, pinoxaden alone could not control diclofop-resistant Italian ryegrass sufficiently. Other herbicide modes of action need to be added to the management program of diclofop-resistant Italian ryegrass, especially one with residual activity such as metribuzin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weed Management)
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Open AccessArticle Trifolium mutabile as New Species of Annual Legume for Mediterranean Climate Zone: First Evidences on Forage Biomass, Nitrogen Fixation and Nutritional Characteristics of Different Accessions
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070113
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract
The present study evaluated the forage production, nitrogen fixation and the qualitative characteristics of different accessions of Trifolium mutabile, a new species of annual clover, collected in southern Italy. Forage traits were assessed by harvesting plants at the vegetative stage (stem elongation)
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The present study evaluated the forage production, nitrogen fixation and the qualitative characteristics of different accessions of Trifolium mutabile, a new species of annual clover, collected in southern Italy. Forage traits were assessed by harvesting plants at the vegetative stage (stem elongation) and the subsequent regrowth at the flowering stage (inflorescence emergence-main shoot). From results, significant differences were found among the accessions of T. mutabile in terms of forage biomass production (from 5.1 to 8.2 t ha−1 dry matter), capacity of nitrogen fixation (58.2–76.8% Ndfa) and forage nutritional characteristics. Besides the high forage yield, the investigated accessions showed favourable values of production and quality, representing also worthy germplasm for selection programs as well as the application for possible plant cultivar registration. Moreover, it is interesting to underline that T. mutabile may represent a valuable alternative to commonly cultivated annual clover species due to its prolonged vegetative cycle. However, further investigations are needed to assess the self-reseeding capacity of T. mutabile when utilized as pasture species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quality and Production of Forage)
Open AccessArticle Issues and Prospects for the Sustainable Use and Conservation of Cultivated Vegetable Diversity for More Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070112
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract
Traditional vegetables are key assets for supporting more nutrition-sensitive agriculture under climate change as many have lower water requirements, adaptation to poor quality soils, higher resistance to pests and diseases, and higher nutritional values as compared to global vegetables. The effective use of
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Traditional vegetables are key assets for supporting more nutrition-sensitive agriculture under climate change as many have lower water requirements, adaptation to poor quality soils, higher resistance to pests and diseases, and higher nutritional values as compared to global vegetables. The effective use of traditional vegetables can be challenged however by lack of information and poor conservation status. This study reviewed the uses, growth forms and geographic origins of cultivated vegetables worldwide and the levels of research, ex situ conservation, and documentation they have received in order to identify gaps and priorities for supporting more effective use of global vegetable diversity. A total of 1097 vegetables were identified in a review of the Mansfeld Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants, including species used for leaves (n = 495), multiple vegetative parts (n = 227), roots (n = 204), fruits or seeds (n = 90), and other parts like flowers, inflorescences, and stems (n = 81). Root vegetables have received significantly less research attention than other types of vegetable. Therophytes (annuals) have received significantly more attention from research and conservation efforts than vegetables with other growth forms, while vegetables originating in Africa (n = 406) and the Asian-Pacific region (n = 165) are notably neglected. Documentation for most vegetable species is poor and the conservation of many vegetables is largely realized on farm through continued use. Supportive policies are needed to advance research, conservation, and documentation of neglected vegetable species to protect and further their role in nutrition-sensitive agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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Open AccessReview A Review of the Available Land Cover and Cropland Maps for South Asia
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070111
Received: 17 May 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 July 2018 / Published: 8 July 2018
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Abstract
A lack of accuracy, uniqueness and the absence of systematic classification of cropland categories, together with long-pending updates of cropland mapping, are the primary challenges that need to be addressed in developing high-resolution cropland maps for south Asia. In this review, we analyzed
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A lack of accuracy, uniqueness and the absence of systematic classification of cropland categories, together with long-pending updates of cropland mapping, are the primary challenges that need to be addressed in developing high-resolution cropland maps for south Asia. In this review, we analyzed the details of the available land cover and cropland maps of south Asia on national and regional scales in south Asia and on a global scale. Here, we highlighted the methodology adopted for classification, datasets used, classification system used for classifying different land covers and croplands and the resolution of datasets available. This listed review of different available datasets can help the reader to know which datasets to be used in their study and to understand which methodology to be chosen to further developing the accurate high-resolution land cover and cropland maps for advanced studies and for better understanding of ground reality in a timely updated version. We tried to identify the major concerns, particularly the inadequacy of knowledge regarding the spatial distribution of major crop types within south Asia, which hinder policy and strategic investment and delay the efforts to improve food security for a rapidly growing human population at a time of constant market instability and changing global climate. The overall focus of this paper is on reviewing the need for timely updated high-resolution cropland maps of south Asia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Urban Fish Farming in Jos, Nigeria: Contributions towards Employment Opportunities, Income Generation, and Poverty Alleviation for Improved Livelihoods
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070110
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 7 July 2018
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Abstract
In most urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa, the migration of people from rural to urban areas in search of better socio-economic conditions and improved livelihoods is contributing to increased unemployment levels, poverty and large scale urban deprivation. Given such poverty situations and the
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In most urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa, the migration of people from rural to urban areas in search of better socio-economic conditions and improved livelihoods is contributing to increased unemployment levels, poverty and large scale urban deprivation. Given such poverty situations and the prevalence of people who survive on less than 2 USD per day, local populations in these areas are increasingly vulnerable to food insecurity as well as malnutrition. One way out of this poverty trap is practicing small scale agriculture both for subsistence and income-generating purposes. In this paper, the role of small scale fish farming as a livelihood strategy by urban farmers in the city of Jos has been investigated by means of a mixed-method research design. Thus, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected for analyses in order to understand the various dimensions of small scale fish farming amongst 50 respondents randomly selected in the city of Jos, Nigeria. The results have shown the spatial distribution of these farming practices, as well as the demographic attributes of these farmers. Small-scale fish farming is a viable source of food, generating local employment opportunities as well as much needed income in an environment of urban deprivation. Some of the income (above ₦20,000 or 55.56 USD) derived from this fish farming significantly alleviates poverty, as it exceeds the Nigerian national minimum wage of ₦18,000 (50.00 USD). Results also show that the lack of reliable water supplies and high production costs are some of the most constraining problems that militate against operational effectiveness and efficiency, along with poor marketing of their produce and lack of preservation facilities. The lack of access to credit facilities was also mentioned as one of the problems besetting this activity. From the perceptions of the respondents in this study, a number of negative environmental impacts associated with small scale fish farming have been highlighted. Given these results and the growth potential of this kind of farming in Jos, more integrated local development planning is recommended for addressing the infrastructural and resource needs of practicing farmers for achieving long term sustainability in small scale fish farming. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Factors Affecting the Household Succession in Agricultural Occupation in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070109
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
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Abstract
This research aims to determine the factors affecting the succession of youths from farming households in agricultural occupations within Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand. Primary information was collected from 400 farm households using a structured questionnaire. Binary logistic regression analysis shows that five variables
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This research aims to determine the factors affecting the succession of youths from farming households in agricultural occupations within Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand. Primary information was collected from 400 farm households using a structured questionnaire. Binary logistic regression analysis shows that five variables significantly influence the decision of the new generation on succession in agricultural occupation: Their experience in agricultural work, attitude towards agriculture as an occupation, the number of agricultural labor within a household, marital status, and if they faced problems with the agricultural resources in the past. The results also imply the need for agriculture-related agencies and other relevant sectors to focus on the promotion of agricultural occupation succession by educating, creating awareness, and attitude shifting for the new generation, to make them realize both the significance and benefits gained from taking up agriculture as an occupation. Moreover, publicizing the Young Smart Farmers Program—youths who are successful in agriculture—would also help promote youths’ succession in agricultural occupation in households. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Conservation Effects of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Biased Policymakers
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070108
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we study the effects of international trade on forest conservation and welfare in a two-country model with industry-biased policymakers and Cournot-competing firms. We find that opening up to trade increases the harvest taxes that the industry-biased governments impose compared to
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In this paper, we study the effects of international trade on forest conservation and welfare in a two-country model with industry-biased policymakers and Cournot-competing firms. We find that opening up to trade increases the harvest taxes that the industry-biased governments impose compared to the autarky taxes. The tax increase is large enough to decrease the production levels, which leads to higher conservation levels. In addition, the numerical simulation predicts that increasing the industry-bias monotonically increases (i) the positive tax effect, (ii) the positive conservation effect, and (iii) the welfare gains from trade. The intuition behind the results is that industry-biased governments already degrade the environment under autarky, so even a highly-distorted trade outcome can be welfare-improving. We conclude that, even if industry bias decreases conservation, it does not have to increase the environmental costs of trade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture Policies: Experiences and Challenges)
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Open AccessArticle Does Solar Radiation Affect the Distribution of Dubas Bug (Ommatissus lybicus de Bergevin) Infestation
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070107
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
The Dubas bug Ommatissus lybicus is a serious pest of date palms. The infestation level of the Dubas bug varies from location to location, as well as from one season to the next. Climate factors are considered to be the main drivers for
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The Dubas bug Ommatissus lybicus is a serious pest of date palms. The infestation level of the Dubas bug varies from location to location, as well as from one season to the next. Climate factors are considered to be the main drivers for fluctuations in infestation levels. Few studies have examined the effects of solar radiation on O. lybicus infestation. This study was undertaken to examine the effect of solar radiation on O. lybicus infestation levels in Oman. Infestation data were collected during the spring infestation seasons of 2009 and 2016 from 49 and 69 locations, respectively, from seven governorates of North Oman. The monthly clear-sky potential solar radiation was calculated from a digital elevation model (DEM) with 20-m resolution in the ArcGIS environment, and the average daily solar radiation was calculated for each month. Ordinary least square regression (OLS) and geographic weight regression (GWR) models were run to find the relationship between infestation levels and solar radiation. The infestation level ranged from 0.02 insect/leaflet to 32.98 insects/leaflet, with an average of 7.50 insects/leaflet in 2009 and 0.17 insect/leaflet to 17.52 insects/leaflet, with an average of 4.38 insects/leaflet in 2016. The highest solar radiation was recorded in June, with an average of 27.7 MJ/m2/day, and the minimum was in December, with an average of 14.1 MJ/m2/day. The higher infestation rate showed a weak correlation with solar radiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Agricultural System)
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Open AccessArticle Durum Wheat Breeding: In the Heat of the Senegal River
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070099
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 22 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
Global warming may cause +4 °C temperature increases before the end of this century. Heat tolerant bred-germplasm remains the most promising method to ensure farm productivity under this scenario. A global set of 384 durum wheat accessions were exposed to very high temperatures
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Global warming may cause +4 °C temperature increases before the end of this century. Heat tolerant bred-germplasm remains the most promising method to ensure farm productivity under this scenario. A global set of 384 durum wheat accessions were exposed to very high temperatures occurring along the Senegal River at two sites for two years. The goal was to identify germplasm with enhanced tolerance to heat. There was significant variation for all traits. The genetic (G) effect accounted for >15% of the total variation, while the genotype by environment interaction (G × E) reached 25%. A selection index that combines G and a G × E wide adaptation index was used to identify stable high yielding germplasm. Forty-eight accessions had a stable grain yield above the average (2.7 t ha−1), with the three top lines above 3.5 t ha−1. Flowering time, spike fertility and harvest index were the most critical traits for heat tolerance, while 1000-kernel weight and spike density only had environment-specific effects. Testing of six subpopulations for grain yield across heat-prone sites revealed an even distribution among clusters, thus showing the potential of this panel for dissecting heat tolerance via association genetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Breeding in Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Joint Determination of Improved Variety Adoption, Productivity and Efficiency of Pulse Production in Bangladesh: A Sample-Selection Stochastic Frontier Approach
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070098
Received: 13 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
Pulses are an important source of protein and have recently gained international prominence. This paper jointly identifies the determinants of improved variety adoption, productivity and efficiency of 2700 pulse producers from 10 pulse-growing districts of Bangladesh using a Sample-selection Stochastic Production Frontier model.
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Pulses are an important source of protein and have recently gained international prominence. This paper jointly identifies the determinants of improved variety adoption, productivity and efficiency of 2700 pulse producers from 10 pulse-growing districts of Bangladesh using a Sample-selection Stochastic Production Frontier model. Result revealed that the decision to adopt improved pulse technology is significantly influenced by yield, farming experience, education and extension contact while subsistence pressure discourages adoption. Land, fertilizer, mechanical power, pesticides and labour are the significant determinants of improved pulse productivity. Productivity is significantly lower for improved varieties of lentil, blackgram and chickpea as compared to mungbean and for farmers who use own-sourced seed. Location of the growing area does matter. Improved pulse productivity is significantly higher in five of the ten districts. The mean level of technical efficiency of improved pulses is estimated at 0.73, implying that productivity can be substantially improved by eliminating inefficiency. Policy implications include investments in R&D and extension services by involving farmers in R&D endeavours and enhancing farmer-based seed production and distribution schemes to develop and disseminate improved pulse technology, improving farmers’ education and tenurial reforms to facilitate smooth operation of the land market and mechanical power services to increase pulse productivity and production in Bangladesh. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Discussion on Mehlich-3 Phosphorus Extraction from the Perspective of Governing Chemical Reactions and Phases: Impact of Soil pH
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070106
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
Mehlich-3 (M3) is one of the most common agronomic and environmental phosphorus (P) extractants for determining P fertilizer requirements and the potential for non-point source pollution. Understanding how soil properties impact M3 extractability can improve our ability to properly use this soil test.
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Mehlich-3 (M3) is one of the most common agronomic and environmental phosphorus (P) extractants for determining P fertilizer requirements and the potential for non-point source pollution. Understanding how soil properties impact M3 extractability can improve our ability to properly use this soil test. The objectives of this study were to investigate the impact of soil pH on P extractability by M3 and water in different soils containing equal total P, and to ascertain information about mechanisms of M3-P extraction. Soil pH at four field sites was previously adjusted to a range of approximately 4.5–7.5. Soils (Grant, Dale, Teller, Easpur) were characterized, and P was extracted with M3 and water. Extraction of Mehlich-3 P decreased 40% to 55% with increasing pH, which was potentially due to changing P forms, partial neutralization of extractant pH, and consumption of extractant fluoride (F) by non P-containing calcium (Ca) minerals. Water-soluble P (WSP) increased with increasing pH up to pH 6–7. Mehlich-3 P and WSP were not positively correlated except for one soil type. Mehlich-3 P is best utilized with WSP as indicators of quantity and intensity, respectively. Use of M3-P alone at pH < 5.5 may overestimate solubility. Further research should examine the suitability of M3-P at pH > 7. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Fertility)
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Open AccessArticle Conservation of Crop Genetic Resources in Italy with a Focus on Vegetables and a Case Study of a Neglected Race of Brassica Oleracea
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070105
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 24 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
This study attempts, above all, to provide a summary, on a strictly scientific basis, about the strategies of conservation of autochthonous agrobiodiversity followed in Italy. A special focus is dedicated to vegetables and, therefore, could represent a contribution to improve the national strategy
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This study attempts, above all, to provide a summary, on a strictly scientific basis, about the strategies of conservation of autochthonous agrobiodiversity followed in Italy. A special focus is dedicated to vegetables and, therefore, could represent a contribution to improve the national strategy for the safeguarding of its agrobiodiversity in general. The paper offers also an outlook on the most critical factors of ex situ conservation and actions which need to be taken. Some examples of ‘novel’ recovered neglected crops are also given. Finally a case study is proposed on ‘Mugnolicchio’, a neglected race of Brassica oleracea L., cultivated in Altamura (Ba) in southern Italy, that might be considered as an early step in the evolution of broccoli (B. oleracea L. var. italica Plenck) like ‘Mugnoli’ another neglected race described from Salento (Apulia). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Environmental Impact of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Production under Different Levels of Nitrogen Fertilization
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070104
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 25 June 2018 / Accepted: 26 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
A field experiment was conducted in Astaneh-ye Ashrafieh of Guilan Province in northern Iran to evaluate the environmental impact of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) production under three levels of nitrogen (N) use (0, 30, and 60 kg ha−1) applied in
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A field experiment was conducted in Astaneh-ye Ashrafieh of Guilan Province in northern Iran to evaluate the environmental impact of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) production under three levels of nitrogen (N) use (0, 30, and 60 kg ha−1) applied in the form of urea fertilizer. Six categories of environmental impact (i.e., global warming potential, acidification potential, terrestrial eutrophication potential, depletion of fossil resources, potassium resources, and phosphate resources) were determined. The functional unit was assumed the production of one ton of peanut pod yield. Peanut pod yield increased by 48.8% with N rate 30 kg ha−1 and by 108.6% with N rate 60 kg ha−1, compared with control (without N fertilization). The environmental index (EcoX) values with regard to global warming, acidification, and terrestrial eutrophication potential were 0.18, 0.52, and 0.66 for N rates of 0, 30, and 60 kg ha−1, respectively. Increase in N rate aggravated the emission of NH3 and N2O, resulting in more harmful effect of peanut growth on the environment at higher N rates than control (without N fertilization). The resources depletion index (RDI) values with regard to depletion of fossil resources, potassium resources, and phosphate resources were 0.80, 0.53, and 0.30 for N rates of 0, 30, and 60 kg ha−1, respectively. Increase in N rate and the resultant higher peanut yield mitigated the environmental effects of fertilization mainly by reducing the depletion of phosphate resources. Proper N input is a major consideration for mitigating environmental impacts of N fertilization in crop production and producers should be informed to use the least rate that will give them an economic optimum return over the long run. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Relay Intercropping with Cover Crops Improved Autumn Forage Potential of Sweet Maize Stover
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070103
Received: 6 June 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
Maize (Zea mays L.) stover is used globally as winter feed for livestock but the nutritive value is low, requiring supplementation. A 2-year randomized complete block study with three replicates at New Mexico State University’s Alcalde Sustainable Agriculture Science Center compared sweet
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Maize (Zea mays L.) stover is used globally as winter feed for livestock but the nutritive value is low, requiring supplementation. A 2-year randomized complete block study with three replicates at New Mexico State University’s Alcalde Sustainable Agriculture Science Center compared sweet maize (Zea mays var. rugosa; maize-alone) with sweet maize relay intercropped with oat (Avena sativa L.; maize-oat) or turnip (Brassica rapa L.; maize-turnip). Relay intercropping had no effect (p > 0.05) on sweet maize stover dry matter (DM) yield and there was no difference in aboveground biomass DM yield of the intercropped species. Turnip aboveground biomass had greater crude protein concentration and 48-h in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD) than oat aboveground biomass. Relay intercropping with turnip improved sweet maize stover IVDMD (443, 439, and 515 g IVDMD kg−1 for maize-alone, maize-oat, and maize-turnip, respectively, p < 0.0001). Intercropping increased animal gains compared to maize-alone (0.36, 0.52, and 0.59 kg/day for maize-alone, maize-oat, and maize-turnip, respectively, p < 0.02), likely due to provision of additional crude protein. Relay intercropping oat or turnip into sweet maize is viable for improving sweet maize stover for fall forage. In addition turnip, specifically, had a positive effect on stover nutritive value. Full article
Open AccessArticle Phytochemical Analysis and Antioxidant Properties in Colored Tiggiano Carrots
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070102
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 19 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
The carrot (Daucus carota L.) is an important vegetable source of bioactive compounds in the human diet. In the Apulia region (Southern Italy), local farmers have domesticated colored landraces of carrots over the years, strictly related to local cults and traditions. Amongst
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The carrot (Daucus carota L.) is an important vegetable source of bioactive compounds in the human diet. In the Apulia region (Southern Italy), local farmers have domesticated colored landraces of carrots over the years, strictly related to local cults and traditions. Amongst these, an important landrace is the carrot of Saint Ippazio or the Tiggiano carrot. In the present study, we evaluated the content of carotenoids, anthocyanins, phenolic acids, sugars, organic acids, and antioxidant activity in Tiggiano carrots. Our results indicated that yellow-purple carrots have the highest levels of bioactive compounds, together with the highest antioxidant capacity compared to the yellow and cultivated orange varieties. These data point out the nutritional value of purple Tiggiano carrots and may contribute to the valorization of this typical landrace. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Management of Plant Growth Regulators in Cotton Using Active Crop Canopy Sensors
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070101
Received: 1 June 2018 / Revised: 24 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
Factors affecting cotton development present spatial and temporal variability. Plant growth regulators (PGR) are used to control vegetative growth, promote higher yields, better fiber quality, and facilitate mechanical harvest. The optimal rate of PGR application depends on crop height, biomass, and growth rate.
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Factors affecting cotton development present spatial and temporal variability. Plant growth regulators (PGR) are used to control vegetative growth, promote higher yields, better fiber quality, and facilitate mechanical harvest. The optimal rate of PGR application depends on crop height, biomass, and growth rate. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate optical and ultrasonic crop canopy sensors to detect the crop spatial variability in cotton fields, and to develop strategies for using this information to perform variable rate application (VRA) of PGR in cotton. Field trials were conducted in Midwest Brazil during the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 crop seasons. Two optical and two ultrasonic active crop canopy sensors were evaluated as tools to detect crop variability. On-farm trials were used to develop and validate algorithms for VRA based on within-field variations in crop response to PGR applications. The overall performance of the sensors to predict crop height and the accumulation of biomass in cotton was satisfactory. Short distance variability was predominant in some fields, reducing the performance of the sensors while making current technology for variable rate application of PGR inadequate. In areas with large scale variability, the VRA led to 17% savings in PGR products and no significant effect on yield was observed. Ultrasonic sensors present can be a low-cost alternative to implement variable rate application of PGR in real time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Agriculture)
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Open AccessReview Aflatoxins in Mozambique: Impact and Potential for Intervention
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070100
Received: 19 June 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract
Aflatoxins have been a known cause of primary liver cancer in Mozambique since pre-independence epidemiological studies. However, their impact goes beyond public health, affecting the country’s economy and raising legal concerns. As a developing country endemic for Aspergillus, the nation has been
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Aflatoxins have been a known cause of primary liver cancer in Mozambique since pre-independence epidemiological studies. However, their impact goes beyond public health, affecting the country’s economy and raising legal concerns. As a developing country endemic for Aspergillus, the nation has been struggling to keep up with external trade quality demands, delicate policy making, still dealing with the farmers’ limitations to control the contamination. The level and prevalence of aflatoxins show variations over time, geographic location, and across the different commodities. Considering the recommendations of the Codex Alimentarius, the major crops will be highly implicated unless there is major intervention from the authorities to control the toxins. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Plant Nutrient Dynamics in Stressful Environments: Needs Interfere with Burdens
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070097
Received: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 1 July 2018
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Nutrient Dynamics in Stressful Environments)
Open AccessArticle Cultivation of Potted Sea Fennel, an Emerging Mediterranean Halophyte, Using a Renewable Seaweed-Based Material as a Peat Substitute
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070096
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 22 June 2018 / Accepted: 25 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
Sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum L.), an emerging halophyte species, represents a nutritious and refined food product. In this study, the effect on yield and quality of potted sea fennel grown on three posidonia (Podisonia oceanica (L.) Delile)-based composts (a municipal organic
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Sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum L.), an emerging halophyte species, represents a nutritious and refined food product. In this study, the effect on yield and quality of potted sea fennel grown on three posidonia (Podisonia oceanica (L.) Delile)-based composts (a municipal organic solid waste compost, a sewage sludge compost and a green compost) and a peat-based substrate was analyzed. Composts were used both pure and mixed with peat at a dose of 50% on a volume basis. We hypothesized that the halophytic nature of this plant might overcome the limitations of high-salinity compost-based growing media. The growth parameters, color traits and trace metals content (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) of the edible parts were compared. Independently of the substrates, the average total and edible yields were 51 and 30 g plant−1, respectively, while the average waste portion was about 41%. The use of posidonia-based compost did not affect the color traits of sea fennel plants as compared with samples grown on the commercial peat-based substrate. In general, potted sea fennel grown on both posidonia-based composts and commercial peat-based substrate appeared a good source of essential micronutrients. Only a weak reduction of Fe and Mn concentrations was observed in plants grown on posidonia-based composts, especially when used at the highest dose. Independently of the growing medium, the content of potentially hazardous trace elements (Cd and Pb) in the edible parts of sea fennel was always below the maximum admissible limits fixed by the European legislation. Results indicate that posidonia-based composts can be used as a sustainable peat substitute for the formulation of soilless mixtures to grow potted sea fennel plants, even up to a complete peat replacement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity of Vegetable Crops, A Living Heritage)
Open AccessReview Can Parentage Analysis Facilitate Breeding Activities in Root and Tuber Crops?
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070095
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
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Abstract
Controlled pollination in root and tuber crops is challenging. Complex ploidy, cross-incompatibility, erratic flowering patterns, outcrossing, etc., limit the efficiency of breeding progress in these crops. Half-sib breeding that involves random pollination among parents is a viable method to harness genetic gain in
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Controlled pollination in root and tuber crops is challenging. Complex ploidy, cross-incompatibility, erratic flowering patterns, outcrossing, etc., limit the efficiency of breeding progress in these crops. Half-sib breeding that involves random pollination among parents is a viable method to harness genetic gain in outcrossing crops that are problematic for performing planned and controlled pollination. The authenticity of resulting progenies from the half-sib breeding is essential to monitor the selection gain in the breeding program. Parentage analysis facilitated by molecular markers is among the available handy tools for crop breeders to maximize genetic gain in a breeding program. It can help to resolve the identity of half-sib progenies and reconstruct the pedigree in the outcrossing crops. This paper reviews the potential benefits of parentage analysis in breeding selected outcrossing root and tuber crops. It assesses how paternity analysis facilitates breeding activities and the ways it improves genetic gain in the root and tuber breeding programs. Conscious use of complementary techniques in the root and tuber breeding programs can increase the selection gain by reducing the long breeding cycle and cost, as well as reliable exploitation of the heritable variation in the desired direction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Breeding in Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Satellite and Proximal Sensing to Estimate the Yield and Quality of Table Grapes
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070094
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 26 June 2018
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Abstract
Table grapes are a crop with high nutritional value that need to be monitored often to achieve high yield and quality. Non-destructive methods, such as satellite and proximal sensing, are widely used to estimate crop yield and quality characteristics, and spectral vegetation indices
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Table grapes are a crop with high nutritional value that need to be monitored often to achieve high yield and quality. Non-destructive methods, such as satellite and proximal sensing, are widely used to estimate crop yield and quality characteristics, and spectral vegetation indices (SVIs) are commonly used to present site specific information. The aim of this study was the assessment of SVIs derived from satellite and proximal sensing at different growth stages of table grapes from veraison to harvest. The study took place in a commercial table grape vineyard (Vitis vinifera cv. Thompson Seedless) during three successive cultivation years (2015–2017). The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Green Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (GNDVI) were calculated by employing satellite imagery (Landsat 8) and proximal sensing (Crop Circle ACS 470) to assess the yield and quality characteristics of table grapes. The SVIs exhibited different degrees of correlations with different measurement dates and sensing methods. Satellite-based GNDVI at harvest presented higher correlations with crop quality characteristics (r = 0.522 for berry diameter, r = 0.537 for pH, r = 0.629 for berry deformation) compared with NDVI. Proximal-based GNDVI at the middle of veraison presented higher correlations compared with NDVI (r = −0.682 for berry diameter, r = −0.565 for berry deformation). Proximal sensing proved to be more accurate in terms of table grape yield and quality characteristics compared to satellite sensing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle Higher Crop Yield Levels in the North Savo Region—Means and Challenges Indicated by Farmers and Their Close Stakeholders
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070093
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 26 June 2018
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Abstract
The sustainable intensification of farming systems is expected to increase food supply and reduce the negative environmental effects of agriculture. It is also seen as an effective adaptation and mitigation strategy in response to climate change. Our aim is to determine farmers’ and
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The sustainable intensification of farming systems is expected to increase food supply and reduce the negative environmental effects of agriculture. It is also seen as an effective adaptation and mitigation strategy in response to climate change. Our aim is to determine farmers’ and other stakeholders’ views on how higher crop yields can be achieved from their currently low levels. This was investigated in two stakeholder workshops arranged in North Savo, Finland, in 2014 and 2016. The workshop participants, who were organized in discussion groups, considered some agricultural policies to discourage the improvement of crop yields. Policy schemes were seen to support extensification and reduce the motivation for yield improvements. However, the most important means for higher crop yields indicated by workshop participants were improved soil conditions with drainage and liming, in addition to improved crop rotations, better sowing techniques, careful selection of cultivars and forage grass mixtures. Suggested solutions for improving both crop yields and farm income also included optimized use of inputs, focusing production at the most productive fields and actively developed farming skills and knowledge sharing. These latter aspects were more pronounced in 2016, suggesting that farmers’ skills are increasingly being perceived as important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Crop Production Intensification)
Open AccessArticle Inhibitory Effects of Bamboo Leaf on the Growth of Pyricularia grisea Fungus
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070092
Received: 27 May 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 25 June 2018
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Abstract
In this study, the effects of bamboo leaf were examined on mycelial growth of Pyricularia grisea, a fungus of rice blast disease that causes a great loss in rice production. The hexane extract exhibited maximal reduction on growth of P. grisea (IC
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In this study, the effects of bamboo leaf were examined on mycelial growth of Pyricularia grisea, a fungus of rice blast disease that causes a great loss in rice production. The hexane extract exhibited maximal reduction on growth of P. grisea (IC50 = 0.62 mg/mL), followed by aqueous and ethyl acetate extracts, while the methanol extract was least effective (IC50 = 9.71 mg/mL). At 0.5–1.0 mg/mL doses, all extracting solvents showed inhibition on the growth of P. grisea, but at a 0.1 mg/mL concentration, the antifungal activity was solely observed on hexane and ethyl acetate extracts. By GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry), 25 constituents were identified, principally belonging to long-chain fatty acids, sterols, phenols, phenolic acids, volatile oils, and derivatives of terpenes. It was suggested that compounds originated from hexane and ethyl acetate extracts such as fatty acids, oils, and phenols, and their derivatives were responsible for the antifungal activity of bamboo leaf. Non-polar constituents were accountable for the antifungal activity, although water-soluble compounds may play a role. Bamboo leaf appears to be a potent natural source to manage the infestation of P. grisea in rice cultivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Disease Control in Agriculture)
Open AccessArticle Suppressing Alopecurus myosuroides Huds. in Rotations of Winter-Annual and Spring Crops
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070091
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
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Abstract
Alopecurus myosuroides Huds. has become one of the most abundant grass weeds in Europe. High percentages of winter-annual crops in the rotation, earlier sowing of winter wheat and non-inversion tillage favor A.myosuroides. Additionally, many populations in Europe have developed resistance to
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Alopecurus myosuroides Huds. has become one of the most abundant grass weeds in Europe. High percentages of winter-annual crops in the rotation, earlier sowing of winter wheat and non-inversion tillage favor A.myosuroides. Additionally, many populations in Europe have developed resistance to acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase), acetolactate synthase (ALS) and photosynthetic (PSII) inhibitors. Hence, yield losses due to A.myosuroides have increased. On-farm studies have been carried out in Southern Germany over five years to investigate abundance, control efficacies and crop yield losses due to A.myosuroides. Three crop rotations were established with varying proportions of winter- and summer-annual crops. The crop rotations had a share of 0, 25 and 50% of summer-annual crops. Within each crop rotation, three herbicide strategies were tested. In contrast to classical herbicidal mixtures and sequences, the aim of one of the herbicide strategies was to keep selection pressure as low as possible by using each mode of action (MOA) only once during the five years. A.myosuroides population was susceptible to all herbicide at the beginning of the experiment. Initial average density was 14 plants m−2. In the rotation with only winter-annual crops, density increased to 5347 ears m−2 in the untreated control plots. Densities were lower in the rotations with 25% and even lower with 50% summer-annual crops. Control efficacies against A. myosuroides in the herbicide strategy using only MOAs of the HRAC-groups B and A, according to the Herbicide Resistance Action Committee (HRAC) classification on MOA, dropped after five years compared to the strategy of changing MOA in every year. Nevertheless, the results demonstrate the need for combining preventive and direct weed-management strategies to suppress A.myosuroides and maintain high weed-control efficacies of the herbicides. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Bacillales Members from the Olive Rhizosphere Are Effective Biological Control Agents against the Defoliating Pathotype of Verticillium dahliae
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070090
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
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Abstract
The use of biological control agents (BCAs) is of interest within an integrated management strategy of Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO) caused by the soil-borne fungus Verticillium dahliae Kleb. Previous studies have shown that the root/rhizosphere of healthy olive plants is an important
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The use of biological control agents (BCAs) is of interest within an integrated management strategy of Verticillium wilt of olive (VWO) caused by the soil-borne fungus Verticillium dahliae Kleb. Previous studies have shown that the root/rhizosphere of healthy olive plants is an important reservoir of microorganisms displaying biocontrol activity against VWO (i.e., Pseudomonas strains PICF7 and PIC141). Moreover, these BCAs are already adapted to the ecological niche where they are deployed. Three novel bacteria (strains PIC28, PIC73 and PIC167) from nursery-produced olive plants were in-depth characterized using a previously implemented approach consisting of in situ isolation, in vitro antagonism tests, in planta bioassays, phenotypic and metabolic characterization, genome analyses and in silico identification of traits involved in plant-bacteria interactions, and multi-locus sequence analyses. All strains displayed in vitro growth inhibition of different olive pathogens and biocontrol effectiveness against Verticillium dahliae, with strain PIC73 being the most effective BCA. Strains PIC73 and PIC167 were identified as Paenibacillus polymyxa (Prazmowski) Ash et al. and Paenibacillus terrae Yoon et al., respectively. Strain PIC28 belongs to the Bacillus genus. Some of these Bacillales members showed in vitro compatibility with previously characterized BCAs (Pseudomonas spp. strains) also originating from the olive rhizosphere, paving the way for the future development of tailored bacterial consortia effective against VWO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Disease Control in Agriculture)
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Open AccessReview Genomics-Assisted Breeding in the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB)
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070089
Received: 27 May 2018 / Revised: 19 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 22 June 2018
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Abstract
Breeding in the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) targets highly diverse biotic and abiotic constraints, whilst meeting complex end-user quality preferences to improve livelihoods of beneficiaries in developing countries. Achieving breeding targets and increasing the rate of genetic gains
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Breeding in the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) targets highly diverse biotic and abiotic constraints, whilst meeting complex end-user quality preferences to improve livelihoods of beneficiaries in developing countries. Achieving breeding targets and increasing the rate of genetic gains for these vegetatively propagated crops, with long breeding cycles, and genomes with high heterozygosity and different ploidy levels, is challenging. Cheaper sequencing opens possibilities to apply genomics tools for complex traits, such as yield, climate resilience, and quality traits. Therefore, across the RTB program, genomic resources and approaches, including sequenced draft genomes, SNP discovery, quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and genomic selection (GS), are at different stages of development and implementation. For some crops, marker-assisted selection (MAS) is being implemented, and GS has passed the proof-of-concept stage. Depending on the traits being selected for using prediction models, breeding schemes will most likely have to incorporate both GS and phenotyping for other traits into the workflows leading to varietal development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Breeding in Agriculture)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview Chitinases—Potential Candidates for Enhanced Plant Resistance towards Fungal Pathogens
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070088
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 22 June 2018
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Abstract
Crop cultivation is crucial for the existence of human beings, as it fulfills our nutritional requirements. Crops and other plants are always at a high risk of being attacked by phytopathogens, especially pathogenic fungi. Although plants have a well-developed defense system, it can
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Crop cultivation is crucial for the existence of human beings, as it fulfills our nutritional requirements. Crops and other plants are always at a high risk of being attacked by phytopathogens, especially pathogenic fungi. Although plants have a well-developed defense system, it can be compromised during pathogen attack. Chitinases can enhance the plant’s defense system as they act on chitin, a major component of the cell wall of pathogenic fungi, and render the fungi inactive without any negative impact on the plants. Along with strengthening plant defense mechanisms, chitinases also improve plant growth and yield. Chitinases in combination with recombinant technology can be a promising tool for improving plant resistance to fungal diseases. The applicability of chitinase-derived oligomeric products of chitin further augment chitinase prospecting to enhance plant defense and growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Breeding in Agriculture)
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Open AccessReview Aflatoxins in Mozambique: Etiology, Epidemiology and Control
Agriculture 2018, 8(7), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture8070087
Received: 26 May 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 18 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
Mozambique is endemic to aflatoxigenic Aspergillus but the country has to heavily rely on foreign research to deduce what is happening locally. There is some information produced by local scholars and institutions but it needs to be “tied” together. This review briefly synthetizes
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Mozambique is endemic to aflatoxigenic Aspergillus but the country has to heavily rely on foreign research to deduce what is happening locally. There is some information produced by local scholars and institutions but it needs to be “tied” together. This review briefly synthetizes the country’s major findings in relation to the toxin’s etiology, epidemiology, detection and control, discussing and meta-analyzing them as far as they allow. The causes and commodities affected are the same as in most tropical countries; the toxin is widespread and the level of exposure is high. Regarding the control, it is still marginal but some institutions have driven efforts in this direction. Learning from other countries is still the best approach to take, as the solutions are probably the same for most places. Full article
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