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Alejandro Ortega-Beltran, Juan Moral, Ryan D Puckett, David P Morgan, Peter J Cotty, Themis J Michailides
Interactions between pathogenic and nonpathogenic fungal species in the tree canopy are complex and can determine if disease will manifest in the plant and in other organisms such as honey bees. Seasonal dynamics of fungi were studied in an almond orchard in California where experimental release of the atoxigenic biopesticide Aspergillus flavus AF36 to displace toxigenic Aspergillus strains has been conducted for five years. The presence of the vegetative compatibility group (VCG) YV36, to which AF36 belongs, in the blossoms, and the honey bees that attend these blossoms, was assessed...
2018: PloS One
Antonio Archidona-Yuste, Carolina Cantalapiedra-Navarrete, Gracia Liébanas, Hava F Rapoport, Pablo Castillo, Juan E Palomares-Rius
Root-knot nematodes of the genus Meloidogyne are recognised worldwide as a major production constraint in crops of primary economic importance. Knowledge of their diversity and prevalence, as well as the major environmental and agronomical cues for understanding their distribution in specific areas is of vital importance for designing control measures to reduce significant damage. We provide the first detailed information on the diversity, distribution and levels of Meloidogyne species infecting wild and cultivated olive soils in a wide-region in southern Spain that included 499 sampling sites...
2018: PloS One
Siva Kumar Golla, P Rajasekhar, S M D Akbar, H C Sharma
Wild relatives of crops are an important source of resistance genes against insect pests. However, it is important to identify the accessions of wild relatives with different mechanisms of resistance to broaden the basis and increase the levels of resistance to insect pests. Therefore, we evaluated 15 accessions of wild relatives of chickpea belonging to seven species and five genotypes of cultivated chickpea for their resistance to pod borer, Helicoverpa armigera, which is the most damaging pest of chickpea...
June 19, 2018: Journal of Economic Entomology
Chase A Stratton, Elisabeth A Hodgdon, Samuel G Zuckerman, Anthony M Shelton, Yolanda H Chen
Swede midge, Contarinia nasturtii Kieffer (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), is an invasive pest causing significant damage on Brassica crops in the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada. Heading brassicas, like cauliflower, appear to be particularly susceptible. Swede midge is difficult to control because larvae feed concealed inside meristematic tissues of the plant. In order to develop damage and marketability thresholds necessary for integrated pest management, it is important to determine how many larvae render plants unmarketable and whether the timing of infestation affects the severity of damage...
May 1, 2018: Journal of Insect Science
Sonia Grimbuhler, Jean-François Viel
The proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) plays an important role in reducing exposure to pesticides in vineyard farming activities, including re-entry tasks. However, discomfort from clothing systems may increase the physiological burden on workers. We compared the physiological burdens of vineyard workers wearing three different types of PPE during canopy management in field humid conditions while accounting for occupational, climatic, and geographical environments. The study was conducted in the Bordeaux vineyards of southern France during June 2012...
June 19, 2018: Annals of Work Exposures and Health
Craig Matthews, Muhammad Arshad, Abdelali Hannoufa
Heat stress and extreme temperatures negatively affect plant development by disrupting regular cell and biochemical functions, ultimately leading to reducing crop production. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is an important forage crop grown world-wide as forage for livestock feed. Limiting the effects of abiotic stress by developing alfalfa cultivars that are stress tolerant would help mitigate losses to crop production. Members of the microRNA156 (miR156) family regulate the Squamosa Promoter-Binding Protein-like (SPL) genes that in turn impact plant growth and development by regulating downstream genes in response to various abiotic stresses...
June 20, 2018: Physiologia Plantarum
S D Bennett, S V Sodha, T L Ayers, M F Lynch, L H Gould, R V Tauxe
The US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) gives food safety regulators increased authority to require implementation of safety measures to reduce the contamination of produce. To evaluate the future impact of FSMA on food safety, a better understanding is needed regarding outbreaks attributed to the consumption of raw produce. Data reported to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System during 1998-2013 were analysed. During 1998-2013, there were 972 raw produce outbreaks reported resulting in 34 674 outbreak-associated illnesses, 2315 hospitalisations, and 72 deaths...
June 20, 2018: Epidemiology and Infection
Ilje Pikaar, Silvio Matassa, Benjamin L Bodirsky, Isabelle Weindl, Florian Humpenöder, Korneel Rabaey, Nico Boon, Michele Bruschi, Zhiguo Yuan, Hannah van Zanten, Mario Herrero, Willy Verstraete, Alexander Popp
One of the main challenges for the 21st century is to balance the increasing demand for high-quality proteins while mitigating environmental impacts. In particular, cropland-based production of protein-rich animal feed for livestock rearing results in large-scale agricultural land-expansion, nitrogen pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here we propose and analyze the long-term potential of alternative animal feed supply routes based on industrial production of microbial proteins (MP). Our analysis reveals that by 2050, MP can replace, depending on socio-economic development and MP production pathways, between 10-19% of conventional crop-based animal feed protein demand...
June 20, 2018: Environmental Science & Technology
Daniel Alberto Pérez-Aguilar, Marianne Araújo Soares, Luis Clepf Passos, Ana Mabel Martínez, Samuel Pineda, Geraldo Andrade Carvalho
The mirid Engytatus varians (Distant) is a promising biological control agent of the tomato borer, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), one of the most destructive pests of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). The effects of five insecticides commonly used on tomato crops in Brazil were evaluated on E. varians in laboratory and semifield conditions. Glass Petri dish with residues of chlorfenapyr, thiamethoxam, and abamectin caused ˃90% mortality in both stages of the predator 72 h post-treatment, except imidacloprid that caused 78% of nymphs mortality...
June 19, 2018: Ecotoxicology
Shani Tiwari, Dimitris Kaskaoutis, Vijay Kumar Soni, Shiv Dev Attri, Abhay Kumar Singh
The Indo-Gangetic Basin (IGB) experiences one of the highest aerosol loading over the globe with pronounced inter-/intra-seasonal variability. Four-year (January 2011-December 2014) continuous MICROTOPS-II sun-photometer measurements at Varanasi, central Ganges valley, provide an opportunity to investigate the aerosol physical and optical properties and their variability. A large variation in aerosol optical depth (AOD: from 0.23 to 1.89, mean of 0.82 ± 0.31) and Ångström exponent (AE: from 0.19 to 1...
June 20, 2018: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Meeli Roose, Reija Hietala
The aim of the reformed EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) 2014-2020 is to enhance greening via an ecological focus area, arable crop diversification, and the maintenance of permanent grasslands. This study tests the greening process in the case of agricultural landscape in southwestern Finland by projecting land use between 2005 and 2017. The study method integrates the quantitative results of Markov chains and spatial features of a cellular automata model. Initially, land use change was recognized by appropriate metrics...
June 19, 2018: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Pedro Campos, Fernando Borie, Pablo Cornejo, Juan A López-Ráez, Álvaro López-García, Alex Seguel
Wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) and barley ( Hordeum vulgare L.) are major crops cultivated around the world, thus playing a crucial role on human diet. Remarkably, the growing human population requires a significant increase in agricultural production in order to feed everybody. In this context, phosphorus (P) management is a key factor as it is component of organic molecules such as nucleic acids, ATP and phospholipids, and it is the most abundant macronutrient in biomass after nitrogen (N), although being one of the scarcest elements in the lithosphere...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Ben Trevaskis
Genes controlling plant development have been studied in multiple plant systems. This has provided deep insights into conserved genetic pathways controlling core developmental processes including meristem identity, phase transitions, determinacy, stem elongation, and branching. These pathways control plant growth patterns and are fundamentally important to crop biology and agriculture. This review describes the conserved pathways that control plant development, using Arabidopsis as a model. Historical examples of how plant development has been altered through selection to improve crop performance are then presented...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Nunzio Fiorentino, Valeria Ventorino, Sheridan L Woo, Olimpia Pepe, Armando De Rosa, Laura Gioia, Ida Romano, Nadia Lombardi, Mauro Napolitano, Giuseppe Colla, Youssef Rouphael
Microbial inoculants such as Trichoderma -based products are receiving great interest among researchers and agricultural producers for their potential to improve crop productivity, nutritional quality as well as resistance to plant pathogens/pests and numerous environmental stresses. Two greenhouse experiments were conducted to assess the effects of Trichoderma -based biostimulants under suboptimal, optimal and supraoptimal levels of nitrogen (N) fertilization in two leafy vegetables: Iceberg lettuce ( Lactuca sativa L...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Rinse Jaarsma, Albertus H de Boer
Potato is an important cultivated crop species and since it is moderately salt sensitive there is a need to develop more salt tolerant cultivars. A high activity of Na+ transport across the tonoplast in exchange for H+ is essential to reduce Na+ toxicity. The proton motive force (PMF) generated by the V-H+ -ATPase and the V-H+ -PPase energizes the Na+ (K+ )/H+ antiport. We compared the activity, gene expression, and protein levels of the vacuolar proton pumps and the Na+ /H+ antiporters in two potato cultivars ( Solanum tuberosum ) contrasting in their salt tolerance (cv...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
George Janes, Daniel von Wangenheim, Sophie Cowling, Ian Kerr, Leah Band, Andrew P French, Anthony Bishopp
Phosphorus is a crucial macronutrient for plants playing a critical role in many cellular signaling and energy cycling processes. In light of this, phosphorus acquisition efficiency is an important target trait for crop improvement, but it also provides an ecological adaptation for growth of plants in low nutrient environments. Increased root hair density has been shown to improve phosphorus uptake and plant health in a number of species. In several plant families, including Brassicaceae, root hair bearing cells are positioned on the epidermis according to their position in relation to cortex cells, with hair cells positioned in the cleft between two underlying cortex cells...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Rongrong Guo, Hengbo Qiao, Jiao Zhao, Xianhang Wang, Mingxing Tu, Chunlei Guo, Ran Wan, Zhi Li, Xiping Wang
WRKY transcription factors are known to play important roles in plant responses to various abiotic and biotic stresses. The grape WRKY gene, WRKY3 was previously reported to respond to salt and drought stress, as well as methyl jasmonate and ethylene treatments in Vitis labrusca × V. vinifera cv. 'Kyoho.' In the current study, WRKY3 from the 'Kyoho' grape cultivar was constitutively expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana under control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter. The 35S::VlWRKY3 transgenic A. thaliana plants showed improved salt and drought stress tolerance during the germination, seedling and the mature plant stages...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Koen Hoogendoorn, Lena Barra, Cees Waalwijk, Jeroen S Dickschat, Theo A J van der Lee, Marnix H Medema
Plant pathogenic fungi in the Fusarium genus cause severe damage to crops, resulting in great financial losses and health hazards. Specialized metabolites synthesized by these fungi are known to play key roles in the infection process, and to provide survival advantages inside and outside the host. However, systematic studies of the evolution of specialized metabolite-coding potential across Fusarium have been scarce. Here, we apply a combination of bioinformatic approaches to identify biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) across publicly available genomes from Fusarium , to group them into annotated families and to study gain/loss events of BGC families throughout the history of the genus...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Jesús Mercado-Blanco, Isabel Abrantes, Anna Barra Caracciolo, Annamaria Bevivino, Aurelio Ciancio, Paola Grenni, Katarzyna Hrynkiewicz, László Kredics, Diogo N Proença
Trees are crucial for sustaining life on our planet. Forests and land devoted to tree crops do not only supply essential edible products to humans and animals, but also additional goods such as paper or wood. They also prevent soil erosion, support microbial, animal, and plant biodiversity, play key roles in nutrient and water cycling processes, and mitigate the effects of climate change acting as carbon dioxide sinks. Hence, the health of forests and tree cropping systems is of particular significance. In particular, soil/rhizosphere/root-associated microbial communities (known as microbiota) are decisive to sustain the fitness, development, and productivity of trees...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
James J Odanga, Samira Mohamed, Sizah Mwalusepo, Florence Olubayo, Richard Nyankanga, Fathiya Khamis, Ivan Rwomushana, Tino Johansson, Sunday Ekesi
Avocado ( Persea americana ) fruits are an important source of income and a nutritious food for small-scale growers and other stakeholders involved in farming along the Afrotropical highlands of Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively. Avocado fruits are infested by several insect pests, namely the Asian invasive fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae), and the false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). However, there is inadequate information on the distribution patterns of these pests in small-scale avocado cropping systems in the East African highlands...
June 19, 2018: Insects
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