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Sustainable agriculture

Maryam Bello-Akinosho, Rosina Makofane, Rasheed Adeleke, Mapitsi Thantsha, Michael Pillay, George Johannes Chirima
Restoration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon- (PAH-) polluted sites is presently a major challenge in agroforestry. Consequently, microorganisms with PAH-degradation ability and soil fertility improvement attributes are sought after in order to achieve sustainable remediation of polluted sites. This study isolated PAH-degrading bacteria from enriched cultures of spent automobile engine-oil polluted soil. Isolates' partial 16S rRNA genes were sequenced and taxonomically classified. Isolates were further screened for their soil fertility attributes such as phosphate solubilization, atmospheric nitrogen fixation, and indoleacetic acid (IAA) production...
2016: BioMed Research International
Yongqi Sun, Qianyi Liu, Hao Wang, Zuotai Zhang, Xidong Wang
Disposal of biomass in the agriculture and steel slags in the steel industry provides a significant solution toward sustainability in China. Herein these two sectors were creatively combined as a novel method, i.e., biomass/CO2 gasification using waste heat from hot slags where the influence of chemical compositions of steel slags, characterized as iron oxide content and basicity, on gasification thermodynamics, was systemically reported for the first time. Both the target gases of CO, H2 and CH4 and the polluted gases of NH3, NO and NO2 were considered...
October 14, 2016: Bioresource Technology
Angélica Rossana Castro de Souza, Daiana Bortoluzzi Baldoni, Jessica Lima, Vitória Porto, Camila Marcuz, Carolina Machado, Rafael Camargo Ferraz, Raquel C Kuhn, Rodrigo J S Jacques, Jerson V C Guedes, Marcio A Mazutti
Production of a bioherbicide for biological control of weeds requires a series of steps, from selection of a suitable microbial strain to final formulation. Thus, this study aimed to select fungi for production of secondary metabolites with herbicidal activity using biological resources of the Brazilian Pampa biome. Phytopathogenic fungi were isolated from infected tissues of weeds in the Pampa biome. A liquid synthetic culture medium was used for production of metabolites. The phytotoxicity of fungal metabolites was assessed via biological tests using the plant Cucumis sativus L...
October 4, 2016: Brazilian Journal of Microbiology: [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology]
Belén Martínez-Alcántara, Mary-Rus Martínez-Cuenca, Almudena Bermejo, Francisco Legaz, Ana Quiñones
The main objective of this study was to compare the performance of two liquid organic fertilizers, an animal and a plant-based fertilizer, with mineral fertilization on citrus trees. The source of the fertilizer (mineral or organic) had significant effect in the nutritional status of the organic and conventionally managed mandarins. Nutrient uptake, vegetative growth, carbohydrate synthesis and soil characteristics were analyzed. Results showed that plants fertilized with animal based liquid fertilizers exhibited higher total biomass with a more profuse development of new developing organs (leaves and fibrous roots)...
2016: PloS One
J Casey, E Jardim, J Th Martinsohn
Exploitation of fish and shellfish stocks by the European Union fishing fleet is managed under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which aims to ensure that fishing and aquaculture are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable and that they provide a source of healthy food for E.U. citizens. A notable feature of the CFP is its legally enshrined requirement for sound scientific advice to underpin its objectives. The CFP was first conceived in 1970 when it formed part of the Common Agricultural Policy...
October 19, 2016: Journal of Fish Biology
Zafar Iqbal Khan, Kafeel Ahmad, Sidrah Rehman, Samra Siddique, Humayun Bashir, Asma Zafar, Muhammad Sohail, Salem Alhajj Ali, Eugenio Cazzato, Giuseppe De Mastro
In the recent years, the use of sewage water for irrigation has attracted the attention of arid and semi-arid countries where the availability of fresh water is poor. Despite the potential use of sewage water in crop irrigation as effective and sustainable strategy, the environmental and human risks behind this use need to be deeply investigated. In this regard, an experiment was carried out under field conditions in Nursery, University College of Agriculture Sargodha, to evaluate the possible health risks of undesirable metals in wheat grains...
October 20, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Silvia Echeverría-Sáenz, Freylan Mena, María Arias-Andrés, Seiling Vargas, Clemens Ruepert, Paul J Van den Brink, Luisa E Castillo, Jonas S Gunnarsson
The River Madre de Dios (RMD) and its lagoon is a biodiversity rich watershed formed by a system of streams, rivers, channels, and a coastal lagoon communicating with the Caribbean Sea. This basin sustains a large area of agricultural activity (mostly banana, rice, and pineapple) with intensive use of pesticides, continually detected in water samples. We investigated in situ the toxicological effects caused by pesticide runoff from agriculture and the relation of pesticide concentrations with different biological organization levels: early responses in fish biomarkers (sub-organismal), acute toxicity to Daphnia magna (organismal), and aquatic macroinvertebrate community structure...
October 18, 2016: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Brian Weselowski, Naeem Nathoo, Alexander William Eastman, Jacqueline MacDonald, Ze-Chun Yuan
BACKGROUND: Paenibacillus polymyxa is a plant-growth promoting rhizobacterium that could be exploited as an environmentally friendlier alternative to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Various strains have been isolated that can benefit agriculture through antimicrobial activity, nitrogen fixation, phosphate solubilization, plant hormone production, or lignocellulose degradation. However, no single strain has yet been identified in which all of these advantageous traits have been confirmed...
October 18, 2016: BMC Microbiology
Matt Liebman, Bàrbara Baraibar, Yvonne Buckley, Dylan Childs, Svend Christensen, Roger Cousens, Hanan Eizenberg, Sanne Heijting, Donato Loddo, Aldo Merotto, Michael Renton, Marleen Riemens
Weed management is a critically important activity on both agricultural and non-agricultural lands, but it is faced with a daunting set of challenges: environmental damage caused by control practices, weed resistance to herbicides, accelerated rates of weed dispersal through global trade, and greater weed impacts due to changes in climate and land use. Broad-scale use of new approaches is needed if weed management is to be successful in the coming era. We examine three approaches likely to prove useful for addressing current and future challenges from weeds: diversifying weed management strategies with multiple complementary tactics, developing crop genotypes for enhanced weed suppression, and tailoring management strategies to better accommodate variability in weed spatial distributions...
July 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Stephen A Wood, Noah Sokol, Colin W Bell, Mark A Bradford, Shahid Naeem, Matthew D Wallenstein, Cheryl A Palm
Soil organic matter is critical to sustainable agriculture because it provides nutrients to crops as it decomposes and increases nutrient- and water-holding capacity when built up. Fast- and slow-cycling fractions of soil organic matter can have different impacts on crop production because fast-cycling fractions rapidly release nutrients for short-term plant growth and slow-cycling fractions bind nutrients that mineralize slowly and build up water-holding capacity. We explored the controls on these fractions in a tropical agroecosystem and their relationship to crop yields...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
John H Kim, Esteban G Jobbágy, Robert B Jackson
Increasing pressures for food, fiber, and fuel continue to drive global land-use changes. Efforts to optimize ecosystem services under alternative land uses are often hampered by the complex interactions and trade-offs among them. We examined the effects of land-use changes on ecosystem carbon storage and groundwater recharge in grasslands of Argentina and the United States to (1) understand the relationships between both services, (2) predict their responses to vegetation shifts across environmental gradients, and (3) explore how market or policy incentives for ecosystem services could affect land-use changes...
September 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Luiz A C Galvão, Michelle M Haby, Evelina Chapman, Rachel Clark, Volney Magalhães Câmara, Ronir Raggio Luiz, Francisco Becerra-Posada
Objective To identify reported interventions that facilitate sustainable development and have had a positive impact on health in four areas: sustainable food production; sustainable energy use; sustainable jobs ("decent work"); and prevention of toxic exposure to chemicals. Methods Systematic review methods were used to synthesize evidence from multiple systematic reviews and economic evaluations. A comprehensive search was conducted of at least 14 databases and 8 websites for each of the four overviews, using pre-defined protocols, including clear inclusion criteria...
March 2016: Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública, Pan American Journal of Public Health
Vladimir Totev Valkov, Maurizio Chiurazzi
The establishment of legumes crops with phenotypic traits that favour their persistence and competitiveness in mixed swards is a pressing task in sustainable agriculture. However, to fully exploit the potential benefits of introducing pasture-based grass-legume systems, an increased scientific knowledge of legume agronomy for screening of favourable traits is needed. We exploited a short-cut phenotypic screening as a preliminary step to characterize the growth capacity of three different Lotus corniculatus cvs cultivated in different nutritional conditions as well as the evaluation of their nodulation capacities...
October 13, 2016: Plants (Basel, Switzerland)
Xu Han, Zhihui Cheng, Huanwen Meng
BACKGROUND: Garlic (Allium sativum L.) stalk is a byproduct of garlic production that is normally thought of as waste but is now considered to be a useful biological resource. It is necessary to utilise this resource efficiently and reasonably to reduce environmental pollution and achieve sustainable agricultural development. RESULTS: The effect of decomposed garlic stalk for different durations was investigated in this study using wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa var...
October 17, 2016: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Isabel Quispe, Rodrigo Navia, Ramzy Kahhat
Rapid population growth and consumption of goods and services imply that demand for energy and resources increases continuously. Energy consumption linked to non-renewable resources contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and enhances resource depletion. In this context, the use of agricultural solid residues such as rice husk, coffee husk, wheat straw, sugar cane bagasse, among others, has been widely studied as an alternative energy source in order to decrease the use of fossil fuels. However, rice husk is among those agricultural residues that are least used to obtain energy in developing countries...
October 14, 2016: Waste Management
William C Wetzel, Heather M Kharouba, Moria Robinson, Marcel Holyoak, Richard Karban
The performance and population dynamics of insect herbivores depend on the nutritive and defensive traits of their host plants(1). The literature on plant-herbivore interactions focuses on plant trait means(2,3,4), but recent studies showing the importance of plant genetic diversity for herbivores suggest that plant trait variance may be equally important(5,6). The consequences of plant trait variance for herbivore performance, however, have been largely overlooked. Here we report an extensive assessment of the effects of within-population plant trait variance on herbivore performance using 457 performance datasets from 53 species of insect herbivores...
October 12, 2016: Nature
Harald Marx, Catherine E Minogue, Dhileepkumar Jayaraman, Alicia L Richards, Nicholas W Kwiecien, Alireza F Sihapirani, Shanmugam Rajasekar, Junko Maeda, Kevin Garcia, Angel R Del Valle-Echevarria, Jeremy D Volkening, Michael S Westphall, Sushmita Roy, Michael R Sussman, Jean-Michel Ané, Joshua J Coon
Legumes are essential components of agricultural systems because they enrich the soil in nitrogen and require little environmentally deleterious fertilizers. A complex symbiotic association between legumes and nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria called rhizobia culminates in the development of root nodules, where rhizobia fix atmospheric nitrogen and transfer it to their plant host. Here we describe a quantitative proteomic atlas of the model legume Medicago truncatula and its rhizobial symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti, which includes more than 23,000 proteins, 20,000 phosphorylation sites, and 700 lysine acetylation sites...
October 17, 2016: Nature Biotechnology
Channa Jayasumana, Omesh Ranasinghe, Sachini Ranasinghe, Imalka Siriwardhana, Sarath Gunatilake, Sisira Siribaddana
OBJECTIVE: Chronic Interstitial Nephritis in Agricultural Communities (CINAC) causes major morbidity and mortality for farmers in North-Central province (NCP) of Sri Lanka. To prevent the CINAC, reverse osmosis (RO) plants are established to purify the water and reduce the exposure to possible nephrotoxins through drinking water. We assessed RO plant maintenance and efficacy in NCP. METHODS: We have interviewed 10 RO plant operators on plant establishment, maintenance, usage and funding...
October 15, 2016: Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
Figen Sisman Nayal, Aydin Mammadov, Nilgun Ciliz
While Turkey is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of agricultural goods, it is also, at the same time a net importer of energy carriers. This dichotomy offers a strong incentive to generate energy from agricultural and farming waste; something which could provide energy security for rural areas. Combined with the enhanced energy security for farming areas, the production of energy in this manner could conceivably contribute to the overall national effort to reduce the Turkey's carbon footprint...
October 11, 2016: Journal of Environmental Management
Traci Kantarski, Steve Larson, Xiaofei Zhang, Lee DeHaan, Justin Borevitz, James Anderson, Jesse Poland
Development of the first consensus genetic map of intermediate wheatgrass gives insight into the genome and tools for molecular breeding. Intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium) has been identified as a candidate for domestication and improvement as a perennial grain, forage, and biofuel crop and is actively being improved by several breeding programs. To accelerate this process using genomics-assisted breeding, efficient genotyping methods and genetic marker reference maps are needed. We present here the first consensus genetic map for intermediate wheatgrass (IWG), which confirms the species' allohexaploid nature (2n = 6x = 42) and homology to Triticeae genomes...
October 13, 2016: TAG. Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Theoretische und Angewandte Genetik
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