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Stress and food security

Rashid Njai, Paul Siegel, Shaoman Yin, Youlian Liao
Recent global (1) and national (2,3) health equity initiatives conclude that the elimination of health disparities requires improved understanding of social context (4,5) and ability to measure social determinants of health, including food and housing security (3). Food and housing security reflect the availability of and access to essential resources needed to lead a healthy life. The 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) included two questions to assess perceived food and housing security in 15 states...
January 13, 2017: MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
H Charles J Godfray, Daniel Mason-D'Croz, Sherman Robinson
Fungal diseases are major threats to the most important crops upon which humanity depends. Were there to be a major epidemic that severely reduced yields, its effects would spread throughout the globalized food system. To explore these ramifications, we use a partial equilibrium economic model of the global food system (IMPACT) to study a hypothetical severe but short-lived epidemic that reduces rice yields in the countries affected by 80%. We modelled a succession of epidemic scenarios of increasing severity, starting with the disease in a single country in southeast Asia and ending with the pathogen present in most of eastern Asia...
December 5, 2016: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Noa Blutraich Wertheimer, Neil Stone, Judith Berman
Rapid responses to acute stresses are essential for stress survival and are critical to the ability of fungal pathogens to adapt to new environments or hosts. The rapid emergence of drug resistance is used as a model for how fungi adapt and survive stress conditions that inhibit the growth of progenitor cells. Aneuploidy and loss of heterozygosity (LOH), which are large-scale genome shifts involving whole chromosomes or chromosome arms, occur at higher frequency than point mutations and have the potential to mediate stress survival...
December 5, 2016: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Jocelyn A Ozga, Harleen Kaur, Raghavendra P Savada, Dennis M Reinecke
Legume crops are grown throughout the world and provide an excellent food source of digestible protein and starch, as well as dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids. Fruit and seeds from legumes are also an important source of vegetables for a well-balanced diet. A trend in elevated temperature as a result of climate change increases the risk of a heat stress-induced reduction in legume crop yield. High temperatures during the crop reproductive development phase are particularly detrimental to fruit/seed production because the growth and development of the reproductive tissues are sensitive to small changes in temperature...
December 23, 2016: Journal of Experimental Botany
Sikander Pal, Jiangsan Zhao, Asif Khan, Narendra Singh Yadav, Albert Batushansky, Simon Barak, Boris Rewald, Aaron Fait, Naftali Lazarovitch, Shimon Rachmilevitch
Dwindling water resources combined with meeting the demands for food security require maximizing water use efficiency (WUE) both in rainfed and irrigated agriculture. In this regard, deficit irrigation (DI), defined as the administration of water below full crop-water requirements (evapotranspiration), is a valuable practice to contain irrigation water use. In this study, the mechanism of paclobutrazol (Pbz)-mediated improvement in tolerance to water deficit in tomato was thoroughly investigated. Tomato plants were subjected to normal irrigated and deficit irrigated conditions plus Pbz application (0...
December 22, 2016: Scientific Reports
Christopher Cullis, Karl J Kunert
Orphan, or underutilized, legumes are domesticated legumes with useful properties, but with less importance than major world crops due to use and supply constraints. However, they play a significant role in many developing countries, providing food security and nutrition to consumers, as well as income to resource-poor farmers. They have been largely neglected by both researchers and industry due to their limited economic importance in the global market. Orphan legumes are better adapted than the major legume crops to extreme soil and climatic conditions, with high tolerance to abiotic environmental stresses such as drought...
December 21, 2016: Journal of Experimental Botany
Hye-Kyung Chung, Oh Yoen Kim, So Young Kwak, Yoonsu Cho, Kyong Won Lee, Min-Jeong Shin
Food insecurity is an ongoing public health issue and contributes to mental health status. We investigated whether food insecurity is associated with inadequate nutrient intake and whether it affects mental health indicators (perceived stress/experience of depressive symptom/suicidal ideation) and quality of life (QOL) among Koreans (n = 5862, 20-64 years) using data from the Korea National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (2012-2013). Household food security status was categorized as "food-secure household", "food-insecure household without hunger", and "food-insecure household with hunger"...
December 16, 2016: Nutrients
Emmanuelle Chrétien, Lauren J Chapman
Key to predicting the response of fishes to climate change is quantifying how close fish are to their critical thermal limits in nature and their ability to adjust their thermal sensitivity to maintain performance. Here, we evaluated the effects of body size and habitat on aerobic scope (AS) and thermal tolerance of Nile perch Lates niloticus (L.), a fish of great economic and food security importance in East Africa, using respirometry and critical thermal maximum (CTmax) trials. Juvenile Nile perch from distinct habitats (high or low dissolved oxygen concentrations) of Lake Nabugabo, Uganda were exposed for 4...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Matthew Gilliham, Jason A Able, Stuart J Roy
Plant breeding and improvements in agronomic practice are consistently contributing to increased global crop production year upon year. However, the rate of yield improvement currently lags behind the targets set for producing enough food to meet the demands of the predicted global population of 2050. Furthermore, crops that are exposed to harmful non-living environmental factors (abiotic stress, e.g. water limitation, salinity, extreme temperature) are prone to reduced yields. Here, we briefly describe the processes undertaken in conventional breeding programs, which are usually designed to improve yields in near-optimal conditions rather than specifically breeding for improved crop yield stability under stressed conditions...
December 17, 2016: Plant Journal: for Cell and Molecular Biology
Moez Hanin, Chantal Ebel, Mariama Ngom, Laurent Laplaze, Khaled Masmoudi
Soil salinization is a major threat to agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions, where water scarcity and inadequate drainage of irrigated lands severely reduce crop yield. Salt accumulation inhibits plant growth and reduces the ability to uptake water and nutrients, leading to osmotic or water-deficit stress. Salt is also causing injury of the young photosynthetic leaves and acceleration of their senescence, as the Na(+) cation is toxic when accumulating in cell cytosol resulting in ionic imbalance and toxicity of transpiring leaves...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Ying Li, He Shen, Qian Zhou, Kun Qian, Theo van der Lee, Sanwen Huang
The oomycete Phytophthora infestans was the causal agent of the Irish Great Famine and is a recurring threat to global food security. The pathogen can reproduce both sexually and asexually, with high potential to adapt to various environments and great risk to break disease resistance genes in potato. As other oomycetes, P. infestans is regarded to be diploid during the vegetative phase of its life cycle, although some studies reported trisomy, and polyploidy. Using microsatellite fingerprinting, genome-wide assessment of SNP polymorphism, nuclear DNA quantification, and microscopic counting of chromosome numbers we assessed the ploidy level of isolates...
December 13, 2016: Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions: MPMI
Zhen Chen, Moshun Chen, Ming Jiang
Soil mercury (Hg) contamination is a major factor that affects agricultural yield and food security. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) plays multifunctional roles in mediating a variety of responses to abiotic stresses. The effects of exogenous H2S on rice (Oryza sativa var 'Nipponbare') growth and metabolism under mercuric chloride (HgCl2) stress were investigated in this study. Either 100 or 200 μM sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS, a donor of H2S) pretreatment improved the transcription of bZIP60, a membrane-associated transcription factor, and then enhanced the expressions of non-protein thiols (NPT) and metallothioneins (OsMT-1) to sequester Hg in roots and thus inhibit Hg transport to shoots...
December 1, 2016: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: PPB
Babu Valliyodan, Heng Ye, Li Song, MacKensie Murphy, J Grover Shannon, Henry T Nguyen
Drought and its interaction with high temperature are the major abiotic stress factors affecting soybean yield and production stability. Ongoing climate changes are anticipated to intensify drought events, which will further impact crop production and food security. However, excessive water also limits soybean production. The success of soybean breeding programmes for crop improvement is dependent on the extent of genetic variation present in the germplasm base. Screening for natural genetic variation in drought- and flooding tolerance-related traits, including root system architecture, water and nitrogen-fixation efficiency, and yield performance indices, has helped to identify the best resources for genetic studies in soybean...
December 7, 2016: Journal of Experimental Botany
Michael Gomez Selvaraj, Milton Orlando Valencia, Satoshi Ogawa, Yingzhi Lu, Liying Wu, Christopher Downs, Wayne Skinner, Zhongjin Lu, Jean C Kridl, Manabu Ishitani, Jos van Boxtel
Nitrogen (N) fertilizers are a major input cost in rice production and its excess application leads to major environmental pollution. Development of rice varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is essential for sustainable agriculture. Here, we report the results of field evaluations of marker-free transgenic NERICA4 (New Rice for Africa 4) rice lines over-expressing barley alanine amino transferase (HvAlaAT) under the control of a rice stress-inducible promoter (pOsAnt1). Field evaluations over three growing seasons and two rice growing ecologies (lowland and upland) revealed that grain yield of pOsAnt1:HvAlaAT transgenic events was significantly higher than sibling nulls and wild type controls under different N application rates...
November 27, 2016: Plant Biotechnology Journal
Guido Steigner, Charles R Doarn, Michael Schütte, David Matusiewicz, Christian Thielscher
INTRODUCTION: Many corporate organizations around the world are looking at new ways to improve the health and well-being of their employees. Many have begun to use m-health approaches and unique applications (apps) to provide assistance. In Germany, both m-health and occupational health management (OHM) are growing quickly. Therefore, we hypothesized that the combination-apps usage in OHM-is growing as well. We studied the usage of health apps in large corporations for health management of employed individuals...
November 17, 2016: Telemedicine Journal and E-health: the Official Journal of the American Telemedicine Association
M A Khan, Dorcus C Gemenet, Arthur Villordon
The challenge to produce more food for a rising global population on diminishing agricultural land is complicated by the effects of climate change on agricultural productivity. Although great progress has been made in crop improvement, so far most efforts have targeted above-ground traits. Roots are essential for plant adaptation and productivity, but are less studied due to the difficulty of observing them during the plant life cycle. Root system architecture (RSA), made up of structural features like root length, spread, number, and length of lateral roots, among others, exhibits great plasticity in response to environmental changes, and could be critical to developing crops with more efficient roots...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Prasanta K Dash, Rhitu Rai
Evolutionary frozen, genetically sterile and globally iconic fruit "Banana" remained untouched by the green revolution and, as of today, researchers face intrinsic impediments for its varietal improvement. Recently, this wonder crop entered the genomics era with decoding of structural genome of double haploid Pahang (AA genome constitution) genotype of Musa acuminata. Its complex genome decoded by hybrid sequencing strategies revealed panoply of genes and transcription factors involved in the process of sucrose conversion that imparts sweetness to its fruit...
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Chunyang He, Zhifeng Liu, Min Xu, Qun Ma, Yinyin Dou
Cropland net primary productivity (CNPP) is a crucial indicator of grain productivity and food security. However, assessments of the impact of urban expansion on the CNPP in China have been inadequate owing to data limitations. In this paper, our objective was to assess the impact of urban expansion on the CNPP in China from 1992 to 2015 in a spatially explicit manner. We first obtained the CNPP before urban expansion between 1992 and 2015 in China using the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (CASA) model. We then assessed the impact of urban expansion on the CNPP from 1992 to 2015 at multiple scales (the whole country, agricultural zones, and urban expansion hotspots) by combining the CNPP before urban expansion with the urban land coverage time series extracted from multi-source remotely sensed data...
January 15, 2017: Science of the Total Environment
William J Percey, Lana Shabala, Qi Wu, Nana Su, Michael C Breadmore, Rosanne M Guijt, Jayakumar Bose, Sergey Shabala
Soil salinity remains a major threat to global food security, and the progress in crop breeding for salinity stress tolerance may be achieved only by pyramiding key traits mediating plant adaptive responses to high amounts of dissolved salts in the rhizosphere. This task may be facilitated by studying natural variation in salinity tolerance among plant species and, specifically, exploring mechanisms of salinity tolerance in halophytes. The aim of this work was to establish the causal link between mesophyll ion transport activity and plant salt tolerance in a range of evolutionary contrasting halophyte and glycophyte species...
December 2016: Plant Physiology and Biochemistry: PPB
Peter B McIntyre, Catherine A Reidy Liermann, Carmen Revenga
Fisheries are an essential ecosystem service, but catches from freshwaters are often overlooked. Hundreds of millions of people around the world benefit from low-cost protein, recreation, and commerce provided by freshwater fisheries, particularly in regions where alternative sources of nutrition and employment are scarce. Here, we derive a gridded global map of riverine fisheries and assess its implications for biodiversity conservation, fishery sustainability, and food security. Catches increase with river discharge and human population density, and 90% of global catch comes from river basins with above-average stress levels...
October 24, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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