Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Scientia Agricola]]> vol. 71 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Genetic parameters and trends of morphometric traits of GIFT tilapia under selection for weight gain</b>]]> The main factor considered in breeding programs for fish is growth, which can be assessed in terms of a gain in either weight or body measurements. This study was undertaken to evaluate the morphometric traits of GIFT strain tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) selected for weight gain. The data set used contained information on 6,650 animals. The genetic values of 8,590 animals in a relationship matrix of five generations were predicted. The following morphometric measurements were evaluated: standard length; body depth and body width. Body area and volume were also calculated. Bi-character analyses involving morphometric traits were used to estimate (co)variance components. Heritability, larval and fingerling common environmental effects were estimated for each trait, together with the genetic and phenotypic correlations between traits. Bayesian procedures were utilised by Gibbs chains, and the convergence of the chains was tested using the Heidelberger and Welch method. Genetic trends were estimated by segmented regression of the fish breeding values of the generations considered in this study. Estimates of heritability (0.28 a 0.31) had moderate to high magnitudes for all traits. Genetic correlations between traits were all above 0.8, and the genetic gains were satisfactory from the third generation onwards. From the estimates of the genetic parameters and genetic gain the morphometric traits evaluated have good potential for selection. <![CDATA[<b>Pork loin two-toning and drip loss in relation to steak cross-section anatomical position, plasma and exudate glucose</b>]]> Perception of color and its relationship to water holding capacity are important for defining the yield and quality of the pork production process. The aim of this study was to identify the relationship among color measurements taken at various anatomical positions in the cross-sectional surface of pork loin steak, and measurements of fluid exudation and its glucose concentration, as well as the impact on these attributes due to plasma glucose at slaughter. Two assays were conducted sequentially: i) investigation of the surface color parameters at different anatomical positions in the pork loin cross-section and their relationship to general exudation; and ii) the effect of plasma glucose levels on surface color variables, drip loss and glucose exudate concentration in three anatomical regions in the steak. The L* value of the ventro-lateral region, in the first assay, had the highest correlation with average steak drip loss at all anatomical points, exudation increasing proportionally between 48 and 72 h. The hue angle was also positively correlated with drip loss and lightness. The drip loss was greater when the animals had high plasma glucose, especially in the intermediate and lateral regions of the steak surface. The intermediate region presented greater lightness and lower redness. The plasma and glucose exudate concentrations, potential indicators of the muscle glycolytic metabolism, were related to color and drip loss. These variables can be influenced by the anatomical region inside the muscle, impacting the ability to retain water, two-toning occurrence and overall pork loin quality. <![CDATA[<b>Impact of castor meal on root-knot and free-living nematodes</b>]]> Soil amendment may enhance soil quality as well as reduce plant-parasitic nematode. Despite the many applications already undertaken using castor meal, its efficiency in controlling root-knot nematodes (RKN, Meloidogyne incognita) when applied to melon (Cucumis melo) is still not clear. Three different amounts of castor meal (Ricinus communis) applied were evaluated in microplots planted with melon either with or without RKN. The impact of castor meal on soil free-living nematode communities was also determined. Total nematode genera richness was estimated as 37 for the entire set of microplots sampled across both sampling dates. Rarefaction analysis resulted in 12 collector's curves out of the total of 30 that reached the horizontal asymptote. Univariate ANOVA with two factors yielded differences (p < 0.05) only with regard to the time factor. Simpson, Shannon, Evenness and Equitability indices showed a trend toward moderate increases by the end of the experiment, while the other indices were higher for tomato in pre-transplant sampling compared to harvest. Nematode community and diversity changed during the course of the experiment, although there was substantial confounding heterogeneity within and between the factorial combinations from the beginning. Root knot population was not reduced by the castor meal but increased throughout the period, regardless of treatment. RKN reduced melon yield, number and weight of melon. <![CDATA[<b>Large scale artificial rearing of <i>Anastrepha</i> sp.1 <i>aff. fraterculus</i> (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Brazil</b>]]> Some species of the genus Anastrepha (Diptera: Tephritidae) are successfully managed by matching the sterile insect technique with parasitoid releases. Such strategies used in integrated pest management can be implemented only where insect mass-rearing programs are feasible. In this study, we show the process of domestication, rearing technology and quality control data obtained from 54 generations of Anastrepha sp.1 aff. fraterculus (Wiedemann, 1830) kept under fully artificial conditions. Eggs were collected by an artificial oviposition panel consisting of one side of the cage made of blue voile fabric externally covered with a thin layer of silicon rubber. They were then air-bubbled in water at 25 ºC for 48 h before seeding. Larvae were reared on the regular laboratory artificial diet with 66 % of agar reduction turning over a semi-liquid diet, which reduced costs and improved insect quality. The adult and larval diets were composed of local ingredients including hydrolyzed yeast. When large-scale production of this fly is contemplated, the critical stage is larval development. This system of artificial rearing for A. fraterculus sp.1 developed in Brazil, allows for the production of a large number of insects of excellent quality using local ingredients and less agar in diet composition than the original medium used for this species. By reducing the interval of egg collection, the system might be optimized in terms of insect yield and, therefore, meet the demands of A. fraterculus sp.1 with regard to integrated pest management purposes. <![CDATA[<b>Lettuce genotype resistance to "soft rot" caused by <i>Pectobacterium carotovorum </i>subsp<i>. carotovorum</i></b>]]> Soft rot, caused by Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum (Pcc), is the main bacterial disease affecting lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) crops in Brazil and leads to significant yield losses. This study aimed to assess the reaction of lettuce genotypes to soft rot induced by a virulent isolate and the stability of the resistance to three isolates varying in virulence. Using a descriptive ordinal scale ranging from 1 to 9 a classification system was defined: class 1 = resistant (R): severity (Sev) < 1.5; class 2 = moderately resistant (MR): 1.5 < Sev < 2.5; class 3 = susceptible (S): 2.5 < Sev < 3.5; class 4 = highly susceptible (HS): Sev &gt; 3.5). Of the 41 tested genotypes, 14 were classified as MR and 27 as S when inoculated with a Pcc isolate of intermediate virulence. Eleven of these genotypes (four S and seven MR) were selected to test their resistance stability against three other isolates with an increasing degree of virulence (Pcc36 < Pcc-A1.1 < Pcc-23). Out of the 11 genotypes eight retained the original classification and three moved from S to MR resistant class when challenged with the least virulent isolate. Vitória de Santo Antão was the only genotype classified as MR for all tested isolates and is a promising candidate for durable soft rot resistance breeding. <![CDATA[<b>Carbon sequestration in clay and silt fractions of Brazilian soils under conventional and no-tillage systems</b>]]> The capacity of soils to sequestrate carbon (C) is mainly related to the formation of organo-mineral complexes. In this study, we investigated the influence of soil management systems on the C retention capacity of soil with an emphasis on the silt and clay fractions of two subtropical soils with different mineralogy and climate. Samples from a Humic Hapludox and a Rhodic Hapludox, clayey soils cultivated for approximately 30 years under no-tillage (NT) and conventional tillage (CT) were collected from six layers distributed within 100-cm soil depth from each site and from an adjacent native forest. After the removal of particulate organic matter (POM), the suspension (<53 µm) was sonicated, the silt and clay fractions were separated in accordance with Stokes' law and the carbon content of whole soil and physical fractions was determined. In the Humic Hapludox, the clay and silt fractions under NT showed a higher maximum C retention (72 and 52 g kg-1, respectively) in comparison to those under CT (54 and 38 g kg-1, respectively). Moreover, the C concentration increase in both fractions under NT occurred mainly in the topsoil (up to 5 cm). The C retention in physical fractions of Rhodic Hapludox varied from 25 to 32 g kg-1, and no difference was observed whether under an NT or a CT management system. The predominance of goethite and gibbsite in the Humic Hapludox, as well as its exposure to a colder climate, may have contributed to its greater C retention capacity. In addition to the organo-mineral interaction, a mechanism of organic matter self-assemblage, enhanced by longer periods of soil non-disturbance, seems to have contributed to the carbon stabilization in both soils. <![CDATA[<b>Methods of soil organic carbon determination in Brazilian savannah soils</b>]]> Several methods exist for determining soil organic carbon, and each one has its own advantages and limitations. Consequently, a comparison of the experimental results obtained when these methods are employed is hampered, causing problems in the comparison of carbon stocks in soils. This study aimed at evaluating the analytical procedures used in the determination of carbon and their relationships with soil mineralogy and texture. Wet combustion methods, including Walkley-Black, Mebius and Colorimetric determination as well as dry combustion methods, such as Elemental and Gravimetric Analysis were used. Quantitative textural and mineralogical (kaolinite, goethite and gibbsite) analyses were also carried out. The wet digestion methods underestimated the concentration of organic carbon, while the gravimetric method overestimated. Soil mineralogy interfered with the determination of carbon, with emphasis on the gravimetric method that was greatly influenced by gibbsite. <![CDATA[<b>Soil phosphorus dynamics as affected by Congo grass and P fertilizer</b>]]> Some plant species can change soil phosphorus (P) availability and this may be an important tool in managing tropical high fixing phosphorus soils. An experiment was conducted to evaluate phosphorus transformations in the soil and phosphatase activity during periods of Congo grass (Brachiaria ruziziensis, Germain et Evrard) growth in two tropical soils receiving 20, 40, 80, 160 mg dm-3 of inorganic P. Plants were grown for 84 days in 8-L pots. Acid phosphatase activity, P in the microbial mass, soil organic and inorganic P and P accumulation by Congo grass were evaluated. Phosphorus fertilization increased soil P availability, Congo grass yields and P accumulation in the plant. On average, less labile P forms in the soil were not changed by Congo grass; however, the P in the soil extracted with HCl (P-Ca - non labil form) decreased. This decrease may have resulted from the combination of the presence of grass and phosphatase capacity to dissolve less available P in the soil. Thus, soil exploration by Congo grass roots and the subsequent extraction of calcium phosphate may have increased the P concentration in the plant tissue. Despite the decrease in the P extracted from the soil with HCl resulting in increased labile P forms in the soil, the effect of Congo grass on the availability of P depends on the soil type. <![CDATA[<b>Solum depth spatial prediction comparing conventional with knowledge-based digital soil mapping approaches</b>]]> Solum depth and its spatial distribution play an important role in different types of environmental studies. Several approaches have been used for fitting quantitative relationships between soil properties and their environment in order to predict them spatially. This work aimed to present the steps required for solum depth spatial prediction from knowledge-based digital soil mapping, comparing the prediction to the conventional soil mapping approach through field validation, in a watershed located at Mantiqueira Range region, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Conventional soil mapping had aerial photo-interpretation as a basis. The knowledge-based digital soil mapping applied fuzzy logic and similarity vectors in an expert system. The knowledge-based digital soil mapping approach showed the advantages over the conventional soil mapping approach by applying the field expert-knowledge in order to enhance the quality of final results, predicting solum depth with suited accuracy in a continuous way, making the soil-landscape relationship explicit. <![CDATA[<b>Spectral indices for the detection of salinity effects in melon plants</b>]]> Water scarcity and soil salinization affect large semiarid agricultural areas throughout the world. The maintenance of agricultural productivity implies better agricultural practices and a careful selection of resistant crops. A proper monitoring of the physiological status of plants can lead to better knowledge of plant nutritional requirements. Visible and near-infrared (VNIR) radiometry provides a non-destructive and quantitative method to monitor vegetation status by quantifying chemical properties using spectroscopic techniques. In this study, the capability of VNIR spectral measurements to detect salinity effects on melon (Cucumis melo L.) plants was tested. Melon plants were cultivated under multiple soil salinity conditions (electrical conductivity, (EC)1:5: 0.5, 1.0 and 2.5 dS m-1). Spectral data of leaves were transformed into vegetation indices indicative of the physiological status of the plants. The results showed differences for N (p < 0.05), K and Na content (p < 0.01) due to salinity suggesting different degrees of salt stress on the plants. Specific leaf area increased with salinity levels (p < 0.001). The capabilities of VNIR radiometry to assess the influence of soil salinity on melon physiology using a non-destructive method were demonstrated. A normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI750-705), and the ratio between water index (WI) and normalized difference vegetation index (WI/NDVI750-705) showed significant relationships (p < 0.01) with the salinity. Therefore, this method could be used for in-situ early detection of salinity stress effects. <![CDATA[<b>Composition of pectic polysaccharides in a Portuguese apple (<i>Malus domestica </i>Borkh. cv Bravo de Esmolfe)</b>]]> Malus domestica Borkh. cv Bravo de Esmolfe is a typical Portuguese apple cultivar classified as Protected Designation and Origin (PDO). It is a traditional product produced under strict conditions and labelled with a specific law protected designation. This cultivar presents quite good sweetness and flavor. The monosaccharide composition of the pectic polysaccharides from this traditional apple is herein reported for the first time. Based on the molar ratios obtained from the sugar composition, the presumable pectin structure could be inferred. The cell-wall polysaccharides present in the alcohol-insoluble residue (AIR) of unpeeled BE apple were sequentially fractionated. In addition, pectic material was also extracted by citric acid treatment prior to heat extraction at acidic pH. The water soluble pectin, imidazole soluble pectin and sodium carbonate soluble pectin account for 44, 16 and 40 % of the AIR, respectively. The pectic polysaccharides extracted in the presence of citric acid had lower galacturonic acid content and higher neutral sugars content. The homogalacturonan (HG) and less-substituted rhamnogalacturonan (RG) domains are extracted first. Pectin treated with citric acid has been shown to contain more substituted polymers, especially RG-I. In addition, the relatively higher Xylose/Galacturonic acid ratio found in the citric acid extract demonstrates that the xylogalacturonan (XG) domain presumably is present in the pectic material of the unpeeled BE apple. <![CDATA[<b>Soil respiration in cucumber field under crop rotation in solar greenhouse</b>]]> Crop residues are the primary source of carbon input in the soil carbon pool. Crop rotation can impact the plant biomass returned to the soil, and influence soil respiration. To study the effect of previous crops on soil respiration in cucumber (Cucumis statirus L.) fields in solar greenhouses, soil respiration, plant height, leaf area and yield were measured during the growing season (from the end of Sept to the beginning of Jun the following year) from 2007 to 2010. The cucumber was grown following fallow (CK), kidney bean (KB), cowpea (CP), maize for green manure (MGM), black bean for green manure (BGM), tomato (TM), bok choy (BC). As compared with CK, KB, CP, MGM and BGM may increase soil respiration, while TM and BC may decrease soil respiration at full fruit stage in cucumber fields. Thus attention to the previous crop arrangement is a possible way of mitigating soil respiration in vegetable fields. Plant height, leaf area and yield had similar variation trends under seven previous crop treatments. The ratio of yield to soil respiration revealed that MGM is the crop of choice previous to cucumber when compared with CK, KB, CP, BGM, TM and BC.