Saturday, 16 January 2016

Agronomic performance of maize populations divergently selected for diferulate cross-linkage

Journal of Agricultural Science
DOI: 10.1017/S0021859615001161


The direct response of a divergent selection programme for total cell wall ester-linked diferulate concentration in maize pith stalk tissues and its indirect effect on cell wall degradability and corn borer resistance have been previously evaluated. Since increased total diferulate concentration is expected to improve crop performance in response to corn borers, the objective of the present research was to evaluate the indirect response of the divergent selection for diferulates on agronomic traits under corn borer infestation. For this purpose, five maize populations with contrasting total diferulate concentrations were evaluated four environments for performance under protected and infested conditions. Measured traits were: days to anthesis, days to silking, plant height, stalk lodging, grain moisture at harvest and grain yield. High diferulate populations showed a significant reduction in anthesis (precocity), and were 11 cm taller than the starting population, while low diferulate populations were 9 cm shorter, and showed nearly 1 t/ha lower grain yield than the original and high diferulate populations. The analysis showed that cycles of selection were positively correlated with flowering, plant height and grain yield. The infestations with borers produced >1 t/ha of reduction in grain yield; although the higher diferulate populations showed a better performance under infestation than the low diferulate populations. This positive effect on the grain yield by increasing diferulate content can be considered an extra in order to breed for resistance to corn borers.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Oleaceae cross-reactions as potential pollinosis cause in urban areas

Science of the Total Environment
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.10.107


It is worth noting the allergological problems induced by a not accurate design of the ornamental vegetation in the parks and streets of the cities. Usually, in the Oleaceae family, only the olive pollen is considered an important aeroallergen but other species of the family could be an important source of airborne pollen allergens. Pollen from Fraxinus, Olea and Ligustrum and its main aeroallergens were sampled in the atmosphere of an urban area in North-Western Spain during 2011. The allergen bioaerosol content was quantified by using specific 2-site ELISA and Ole e 1 antibodies. The Fra e 1 and Lig v 1 allergens were detected by means Ole e 1 antibodies. This fact demonstrates the cross-reactivity between the main allergens of Fraxinus, Olea and Ligustrum, plants widely species used as ornamental in the cities. Therefore, the urban allergenic people sensitized to Olea pollen could present allergenic reactions during the winter (due to ash pollen allergens), the spring (caused by olive pollen allergens) and the early summer (triggered by the privet flowering). As a consequence, sensitivity to the pollen of one species may favour development of sensitivity to all three species as consequence of the priming effect. The combination of pollen count and the allergen quantification must be assessed in the epidemiologic study of allergic respiratory diseases.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Acidification of mixtures of granite powder and compost for reuse in plant production

Compost Science & Utilization, 24 (2016)


We evaluated the utilization of granite powder—a residue of stone cutting and polishing resulting from its preparation for construction and ornamental use—in the preparation of nursery potting mixtures, within a general objective of waste recycling and reuse. Granite powder was blended with two composts of different origins and properties: one elaborated from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW), and another from pine bark. Since all materials presented pH values over 8, which are excessive for growing most vegetal species, the use of iron sulphate to acidify them has been assessed. Three doses of iron sulphate (14, 69, and 97 g kg−1, equivalent to 0.1, 0.5, and 0.7 meq H+ g−1) were added to the granitic powder and mixtures with 25 or 75% (v/v) of each compost, which were incubated in the laboratory during 30 days. Doses of iron sulphate above 0.1 meq H+ g−1 resulted in excessive electrical conductivity (>2 dS m−1) in all the samples, and too low pH values (<5) in most of them. The productivity of granite powder/compost mixtures acidified with 0.1 meq H+ g−1 was tested in a greenhouse experiment with ryegrass, where it was observed that plant productivity increased with respect to a control commercial substrate based on peat, in particular when the MSW compost was employed. On the basis of the physicochemical properties of the mixtures and the results of the greenhouse experiment, the use of granite powder mixed with 75% of MSW compost (v/v), acidified with 14 g kg−1 of iron sulphate (0.1 meq H+ g−1) is recommended.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Application of transit data analysis and artificial neural network in the prediction of discharge of Lor River, NW Spain

Water Science & Technology (2016)
DOI: 10.2166/wst.2016.002


Transit data analysis and artificial neural networks (ANNs) have proven to be a useful tool for characterizing and modelling non-linear hydrological processes. In this paper, these methods have been used to characterize and to predict the discharge of Lor River (North Western of Spain), one, two and three days ahead. Transit data analyses have showed a coefficient of correlation of 0.53 for a lag between precipitation and discharge of one day. By other hand, temperature and discharge has a coefficient of correlation negative (−0.43) for a delay of 19 day. The ANNs developed provide a good result for the validation period, with R2 between 0.92 and 0.80. Furthermore, these prediction models have been tested with discharge data from a period of 16 years later. Results of this testing period also show a good correlation with a R2 between 0.91 and 0.64. Overall, results indicate that ANNs are a good tool to predict river discharge with a small number of input variables.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Acidification of mixtures of granite powder and compost for reuse in plant production

COMPOST SCIENCE & UTILIZATION, 2016, 24, 1-10 



We evaluated the utilization of granite powder—a residue of stone cutting and polishing resulting from its preparation for construction and ornamental use—in the preparation of nursery potting mixtures, within a general objective of waste recycling and reuse. Granite powder was blended with two composts of different origins and properties: one elaborated from the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (MSW), and another from pine bark. Since all materials presented pH values over 8, which are excessive for growing most vegetal species, the use of iron sulphate to acidify them has been assessed. Three doses of iron sulphate (14, 69, and 97 g kg¡1, equivalent to 0.1, 0.5, and 0.7 meq HC g¡1) were added to the granitic powder and mixtures with 25 or 75% (v/v) of each compost, which were incubated in the laboratory during 30 days. Doses of iron sulphate above 0.1 meq HC g¡1 resulted in excessive electrical conductivity (>2 dS m¡1) in all the samples, and too low pH values (<5) in most of them. The productivity of granite powder/compost mixtures acidified with 0.1 meq HC g¡1 was tested in a greenhouse experiment with ryegrass, where it was observed that plant productivity increased with respect to a control commercial substrate based on peat, in particular when the MSW compost was employed. On the basis of the physicochemical properties of the mixtures and the results of the greenhouse experiment, the use of granite powder mixed with 75% of MSW compost (v/v), acidified with 14 g kg¡1 of iron sulphate (0.1 meq HC g¡1) is recommended.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Hydroxycinnamate Synthesis and Association with Mediterranean Corn Borer Resistance

J. Agric. Food Chem., 2016, 64, 539–551
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b04862


Previous results suggest a relationship between maize hydroxycinnamate concentration in the pith tissues and resistance to stem tunneling by Mediterranean corn borer (MCB, Sesamia nonagrioides Lef.) larvae. This study performs a more precise experiment, mapping an F2 derived from the cross between two inbreds with contrasting levels for hydroxycinnamates EP125 × PB130. We aimed to co-localize genomic regions involved in hydroxycinnamate synthesis and resistance to MCB and to highlight the particular route for each hydroxycinnamate component in relation to the better known phenylpropanoid pathway. Seven quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for p-coumarate, two QTLs for ferulate, and seven QTLs for total diferulates explained 81.7, 26.9, and 57.8% of the genotypic variance, respectively. In relation to borer resistance, alleles for increased hydroxycinnamate content (affecting one or more hydroxycinnamate compounds) could be associated with favorable effects on stem resistance to MCB, particularly the putative role of p-coumarate in borer resistance.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Biochemical, physiological and isotopic responses to natural product p-hydroxybenzoic acid in Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.)

Plant Growth Regulation
DOI: 10.1007/s10725-014-9981-1


The present study was conducted to evaluate the role of natural compound p-hydroxybenzoic acid (pHBA) on physiological, biochemical and isotopic responses of Dactylis glomerata L. Application of pHBA in the range 0.5–1.5 mM reduced the leaf fresh/dry biomass, shoot/root length, relative water content and leaf osmotic potential of D. glomerata. pHBA decreased the photosynthetic efficiency and quantum yield of photosystem II photochemistry in D. glomerata seedlings following treatment at all concentrations. Photochemical and non-photochemical fluorescence quenching were reduced after treatment with 1.5 mM pHBA. Carbon isotope composition ratio in D. glomerata leaves was significantly less negative following treatment with pHBA than the control. Carbon isotope discrimination value was declined by pHBA. The leaf protein content was lower after treatment with 1.5 mM pHBA. Our results suggest that pHBA possesses allelopathic potential against D. glomerata and this study provide new insights into the physiological, biochemical and isotopic action mechanism of pHBA.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The plant secondary metabolite citral alters water status and prevents seed formation in Arabidopsis thaliana

Plant Biology
DOI: 10.1111/plb.12418


Based on previous results, which showed that the secondary metabolite citral causes disturbances to plant water status, the present study is focused on demonstrating and detailing these effects on the water-related parameters of Arabidopsis thaliana adult plants, and their impact on plant fitness. Clear evidence of effects on water status and fitness were observed: plants treated with 1200 and 2400 μm citral showed decreased RWC, reduced Ψs, increased Ψw and reduced stomatal opening, even 7 days after the beginning of the experiment. Plant protection signals, such as leaf rolling or increased anthocyanin content, were also detected in these plants. In contrast, 14 days after beginning the treatment, treated plants showed signs of citral-related damage. Moreover, the reproductive success of treated plants was critically compromised, with prematurely withered flowers and no silique or seed development. This effect of citral on fitness of adult plants suggests a promising application of this natural compound in weed management by reducing the weed seed bank in the soil.
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